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Academic Appraisals – Guidance for Preparing RKE Supporting Documents

Posted in BU research by clujanbarroso

For 2015/16 Academic Appraisals the appraisee will need to complete the Academic Staff Performance Appraisal Form (ASPAF), Section B (Academic Staff Profile) includes a review of outputs and BURO.

The following guide will help you extract that information from BRIAN / BURO to be able to take it to the meeting.

Capture

 

BU Researchers Deliver Journalism Training for the Big Issue

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The Big Issue Online Journalism training programme finished off last week with a gallery exhibition of the participants’ work, open to the public. The event which took place in Poole Library featured articles and photos produced by the trainees during the 6-week course. The course, organised by the Big Issue, in collaboration with communications agency Poached Creative and Bournemouth University, targeted as participants Big Issue sellers or unemployed people with an interest in writing or photography. Its main aim was to equip the trainees with basic journalistic skills that would help them find their own public voice and offer a pathway to future employment.

BU researchers Dr Ann Luce, Dr Dan Jackson and Dr Einar Thorsen were approached by the Big Issue to deliver part of the training, after their successful collaboration with Access Dorset – a charity for disabled people – on a similar project that aimed at empowering people with disabilities through citizen journalism.

The Big Issue Online Journalism included lessons on news and features writing and photography, with a focus on interviewing and how to connect to the audience, as well as promoting work through social media. Participants also had the opportunity to put their newly adopted skills to practice by creating photo-essays and covering the Wheels Festival in Bournemouth, and individual choices for stories included such on the Dino Exhibition in Christchurch and a feature article about Chaplin’s bar in Boscombe. Works by all of the participants were published on the project’s blog. Guest talks were also given, including one by the editor of Dorset Life magazine.

One trainee said: “Training like this is not available anywhere. This is really good because it’s hands on as well as the written part of it. I’ve learnt a hell of a lot in a short period of time.”

Another participant also praised the course: “I’m stepping back into the right zone of getting back to work. Freelancing is difficult. This is good for networking, getting back with people, seeing how different people work and getting good feelings about yourself.”

Many said the training had given them a clearer idea of what topics they want to implement in their work, and a better understanding of what editors are looking for in order to get their work published in the future.

All of the participants had an artistic background and were engaged with writing, photography, music or painting – a hobby for some, a means for a living for others.

Dr Dan Jackson and Dr Einar Thorsen – assisted by students Daniel Weissman, Naomi Mihara and Stefani Tasheva – also worked on evaluating the project through interviewing the participants prior to their training as well as after to learn about their background, their expectations of the course and their experiences throughout the six weeks, and in what ways it was beneficial to them. The data from these interviews will be disseminated in upcoming publications.

 

 

COMPARATIVE ECONOMICS EVENT

Posted in Uncategorized by jholscher

A Bournemouth team from the Faculty of Management, which included an MSc student, two PhD students, two early career researchers and two senior members of staff, presented 6 different papers at the First World Congress of Comparative Economics.
All were very well received! You see Sydney Sydney Chikalipah, Peter Howard-Jones, Khurshid Djalilov, Jens Hӧlscher, Rossella Trappa, Merima Balavac and Allan Webster, who also had a good time in Rome.

Rome

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The Early Career Physics Communicator Award 2015

Posted in Delicious links by ssquelch

The Institute Of Physics (IOP) has recently announced its Early Career Physics Communicator Award 2015. This is an amazing opportunity for an early career physicist to be acknowledged as a leader in their field, and also to win £250!

Eligibility:

Applicants do not need to be a member of the IOP, but should be one of the following:

  • A person currently studying an undergraduate degree in physics or engaged in postgraduate study of physics within five years of their first degree qualification
  • An undergraduate physicist
  • A person working as a physicist in UK or Eire within the first five years of their physics career

Application:

Submission of a report of their communication activities which should be no more than 1500 words long.

Further details and the application form are available by clicking the ‘Group Prize’ tab here:

Application Deadline:

Monday 5th October 2015

The Prize

The winner of the 2015 IOP Physics Communicators Group award will receive £250 and an award certificate at an event to be held on Monday 23 November. As well as providing recognition of the winner’s work through the prize money, the process will also facilitate networking opportunities for all participants.

Award Ceremony:

Four finalists will present their work at the prize final on Monday 23rd November 2015 at IOP, Portland Place, London, W1B 1NT.

The prize will be awarded by materials scientist, engineer, broadcaster and writer, Mark Miodownik

For more details, please get in contact with the Physics Communicators Group Secretary, Chris Sinclair:

christopher.sinclair@ucl.ac.uk or click here to see a further breakdown of the results from the 2014 Prize Event.

Career Management Training for Researchers

Posted in Training by boardm

How well do you understand your skills, values and motivations?

The Vitae website has a wealth of personal development resources and advice designed specifically for researchers, including self-assessment tools that allow you to explore your motivations and identify career path options. Visit the VITAE website and register using your BU Login.

Please note that BU BRAD training courses are running this week; there are still places available on most courses including a career trajectory seminar.

Newton Fund seeks Peer Review Panel Members

newton fundThe Newton Fund is actively inviting expressions of interest from senior and early career researchers to expand their pool of panel members for the Newton Fund initiative and, potentially, other British Council programmes.

Looking at the specialisms below, BU has significant expertise in many of these areas.

They are looking for early career researchers who would like to broaden their experience of peer review as a career development opportunity, and for senior researchers who are willing to share and use their experience to support the review panels. Please note that we can only consider researchers based at UK institutions.

By getting involved in funding panels, you will gain invaluable insights into how a funder functions, how they assess applications, build your network, raise your profile in your field and, potentially, give you the opportunity to influence future funding decisions.

For this particular invitation:

Eligibility  Senior and early-career researchers. Early-career researcher is defined as being aCollaborative Decision Making PhD holder + up to 10 years. For fields where a PhD is not a usual career requirement, sufficient research experience will be accepted.

Researchers with the following specialisms are eligible to apply:

  • Biological and Medical Sciences
  • Environment and Agriculture
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences

In particular, the Newton Fund would like to hear from researchers who have the following subject specialisms:

  • Human rights
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Marine biology/Oceanography
  • Aquaculture
  • Public health/Nutrition
  • Food science
  • Microbiology
  • Earth Sciences

Find out more and apply!

HE Policy Update

Monday

Graduate Debt

The UK Graduate Careers Survey carried out by High Fliers Research, revealed that students leaving university this summer, who were among the first to pay £9,000-a-year tuition fees can expect much higher debts (an average of more than £30,000) than their predecessors, who had an average debt of £20,400 in 2014, £20,300 in 2013 and £19,400 in 2012. Graduates ‘now £30,000 in debt but more upbeat’ (The Daily Telegraph).

Value For Money

Four in 10 of the first students to pay higher fees do not believe their courses have been good value for money a survey carried out by ComRes reveals. The survey found there were differences of opinion between students doing different types of courses. Two-thirds of those studying science, technology, maths and engineering (subjects that require a lot of practical teaching and staff time) said their courses had been good value. 44% of humanities and social science students, which tend to receive less direct teaching time, said they felt their courses represented good value. Four in 10 students say university not good value – survey (BBC News).

Tuesday

Response to Anthony Seldon

A number of letters have been published in response to an opinion piece from Anthony Seldon (who becomes VC of Buckingham University in September) in the Times on Saturday saying that universities are lazy and ‘an ocean of complacency exists in the sector’. Respondents/defendants include David Willetts and Nicola Dandridge from UUK. Letters: Do UK universities need to raise their game? (The Times).

Wednesday

EU 

Both academics and UUK are warning that leaving the EU would mean the UK would lose access to research funding provided by the European Union, and would also make it harder for academics to collaborate on international projects. They have also warned that it could lead to a decline in student numbers, as EU students would be recruited on the same basis as overseas students, leading to a rise in their tuition fees and inclusion in immigration figures. Leaving the EU would ‘damage’ UK universities (The Daily Telegraph).

Teacher Training

University initial teacher training (ITT) providers will be able to recruit as many students as they want under radical new plans being introduced by the government for the next academic year. Teacher training recruitment uncapped for universities (THE).

Thursday

International Students

A new survey commissioned by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and the Higher Education Academy (HEA) reveals that students believe they benefit in many ways from studying alongside people from other countries. However, the benefits are clearer to international students, the survey also suggests that international students work harder than British students. The Daily Telegraph has turned the survey on its head to say that one in three students believe international students detract from learning. Overseas students considered hardest workers, survey finds (THE).

Size of Research Groups

The trend among research funders to give out fewer but larger grants may not be the best use of resources, a study of scientific productivity suggests.  Chasing big bang for bucks might be poor use of cash (THE).

Vocational Degree Awards

The government could be poised to rekindle a polytechnic-type model for awarding vocational degrees that could pitch them in direct competition with further education colleges. The plans which are outlined in a government consultation cites the role of the former Council for National Academic Awards, which awarded degrees when post-92 universities were polytechnics. This is said to have grabbed the attention of Jo Johnson, the new Universities and Science Minister, who is set to outline his major priorities for higher education in a speech this week. Polytechnic-type proposals alarm post-92 group (THE).

Friday

Value of HE

A critical article looks at the value of higher education in the Telegraph. It states that amid the austerity of government cuts, higher education is in fact witnessing a boom. Booming universities take taxpayers for a ride (The Daily Telegraph).

Destination of Leavers from Higher Education

HESA has published the first release statistics from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education study. The top line figures show a slight increase in the numbers of graduates in work/further study six months after graduating.Graduate employment and salaries up, but gender pay gap remains (THE). Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education in the United Kingdom (HESA).

Removing con-fusion: combining genetics, ecology and engineering in fish population restoration

Posted in Uncategorized by Rob Britton

Work on our fusion-funded co-creation and co-production project heats up in July as students get to work with our partners on our project ‘Fusing ecology, engineering and genetics to deliver sustainable river management’.

Working with the Environment Agency, the University of Insubria, Italy, we are investigating how river management strategies in the UK can be more sustainable in relation to river engineering and fishery management. This is important given river management focuses mainly on delivering socio-economic benefits (e.g. via flood defence) that are detrimental to fish communities (e.g. due to habitat loss). These impacts are usually mitigated by releasing (‘stocking’) high numbers of fish reared in captivity. There is, however, little consideration given on the fate and impact of these fish, providing the basis for our work.

Work to date has included our research assistant, Caterina Antognazza, collating samples and information to enable our student teams to run their genetic and ecological analyses, and engineering projects that designed sustainable engineering solutions to restore river habitats. Consequently, teams of placement students will very soon be commencing work in Italy and BU to determine the genetic and ecological impacts of fish stocking, with particular focus on whether the policy of stocking farmed fish has resulted in genetic impacts for fish populations at a regional level. We are also running a workshop very soon to bring together external stakeholders to discuss these issues. Given the expected fast pace of progress in the next five weeks, we’ll report back on our outputs by the end of July so watch this space!!

Catarina

Caterina prepares the samples for the students.

– Rob Britton, Demetra Andreou, Ben Thomas

CMMPH at the 10th International Normal Birth conference

Grange-over-Sands in Lancashire was once again a beautiful setting from 15th-17th June for one of the most inspirational midwifery research conferences. Attracting a significant international attendance from eminent researchers, clinicians and user representatives from as far afield as Australia, China, Canada, Brazil and across Europe (many regular attendees), the conference is now in its 10th year. Hosted by Professor Soo Downe and her team from UCLAN, it brings together researcher across all maternity professions, to present and debate work primarily relating to physiological birth. Two members of CMMPH were presenting (and tweeting!):

Professor Vanora Hundley discussed ‘Do midwives need to be more media savvy?’, a presentation created with Professor Edwin van Teijlingen and Ann Luce, based on a previous FoL public debate at BU relating to the role media plays in creating fear in childbirth  https://research.bournemouth.ac.uk/engagement/fear-in-childbirth-are-the-media-responsible/ . She highlighted the need for midwives to be more aware of how to work with the media in order to harness the power to present positive messages, as well as understanding impact on women and health care providers. A paper on this presentation is accessible from: http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/21600/

Jenny Hall with Maltese midwives and other delegates

Jenny Hall with Maltese midwives and other delegates

 

Dr Jenny Hall presented as part of a symposium with midwifery colleagues from Malta on an ongoing educational project relating to promotion of physiological birth in Malta. Malta has one of the highest Caesarean section rates in Europe and the team have been working together to develop midwives confidence in facilitating physiological birth as well as supporting them to educate women and families.

 

All delegates also received a copy of the book ‘Roar behind the silence: why kindness, compassion and respect matter in maternity care’, that includes chapters by two BU authors: Dr Jenny Hall and Consultant midwife, Katherine Gutteridge. ( see http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/2015/02/28/stop-the-fear-and-embrace-birth/ for further information)

As usual the conference provided extensive opportunity for networking and developing links for future collaboration in a considerably relaxing environment.

A tweet storify and photographs of the whole conference are available which includes contribution from BU researchers:

https://storify.com/SagefemmeSB/normal-labour-birth-10th-research-conference

https://animoto.com/play/M21BCHDHihSqkH3LdxU0hw

 

 

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

The following funding opportunities have been announced. Please follow the links for more information.

 

The Department of Health, including NIHR, invites tenders for its small business research initiative call on faecal and urinary incontinence in frail elderly people. The call aims to find innovative new products and services to help with faecal and urinary incontinence in frail elderly people. Tenderers should address prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management.

Phase 1 shows the technical feasibility of the proposed concept, and Phase 2 contracts are intended to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstration units from the more promising technologies in Phase 1. Only those projects that have completed Phase 1 successfully will be eligible for Phase 2.

Maximum award: up to £100,000 per project over six months

Closing date:  12:00pm,  11/08/15

 

NHS England, under the Department of Health, invites tenders for minimising the impact of falling. This competition focuses on minimising the impact of falls and the fear of falling in older people, and should address a range of unmet needs, expressed as ‘what if’ scenarios, that could improve the care that clinicians are able to offer to patients in terms of outcomes, experience and efficiency. Fall prevention services provide assessment, strength and balance training, occupational therapist support, vision assessments and medicines review. Tenders should show the technical feasibility of the proposed concept.

Maximum award: up to £100,000 per project for a maximum of six months.

Closing date: 12:00pm, 11/08/15

 

NHS England, under the Department of Health, invites tenders to address functional needs in the elderly. This competition aims to find technologies to help address, as well as provide solutions for, functional difficulties associated with patients, particularly the increasingly frail elderly suffering multi-morbidities (defined as suffering two or more chronic conditions). Technologies should be aligned to the three key challenges which are commonly associated with functional difficulties; these are: detecting frailty and monitoring deterioration; activities of daily living (including dressing above and below the waist, grooming, bathing and showering, light housework and preparing meals); and treatment burden, including adhering to disease management plans and lifestyle changes, as well as drug concordance, adherence and compliance.  Tenders should show the technical feasibility of the proposed concept.

Maximum award: up to £100,000 per project for a maximum of six months.

Closing date: 12:00pm, 11/08/15

 

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council and the Newton Fund invite proposals for their collaborative call with China, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam on rice research. This aims to build on the combined strengths of academic research groups within China, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and the UK to work together on collaborative interdisciplinary and innovative basic, strategic or applied research that contributes to and underpins the long-term sustainable production of rice, and also an understanding that rice production sits alongside the provision of other ecosystem services. Projects of up to three years in duration and addressing the following challenges will be encouraged:

• Greater resilience to biotic and abiotic stresses;

• Improved resource use efficiency, including nitrogen, phosphorous and water;

• Improved quality of rice, including nutritional enhancement and grain quality;

• Novel research tool and technology development supporting the above areas, including systems biology, bioinformatics, screening and characterisation of germplasm for gene and trait discovery.

In addition to the challenges listed above, proposals will also be welcomed in the following areas and countries:

• Improved photosynthetic efficiency in rice (China, Thailand, UK)

• Environmentally sustainable rice cultivation systems (Thailand, Philippines, UK)

• Utilisation of rice by-products (Philippines, Vietnam, UK)

• Sustainably increasing the genetic yield potential of rice (China, UK)

Each proposal must involve at least one applicant based in the UK and one based in either China, the Philippines, Thailand or Vietnam. All proposals are required to have a UK principal Investigator, in addition to a PI from one or more of the partner countries.

All applicants must adhere to the national eligibility rules for research proposals.

The total budget from BBSRC and NERC is worth up to £6.5 million, with matched funding from the partner agencies in China, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Projects may last up to a maximum of up to three years.

Closing date: 16:00, 13/08/15

 

The Natural and Environmental Research Council (NERC) and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) are inviting research proposals under this ‘Understanding and Sustaining Brazilian Biome Resources’ call. This call is supported by the UK through the Newton Fund which forms part of the UK governments Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment and is only open to joint UK-Brazil applications.

This call aims to improve the understanding of the role of biodiversity in the functioning of ecosystems, the drivers and impact of change, and management and restoration options in Brazil. The call’s objectives are:

• Improve understanding of the role of biodiversity in major biome biogeochemical cycles at the whole-biome level;

• Explore the spatial correlations between ecosystem function in terms of biogeochemical cycles and the distribution of species of conservation concern, within a range of Brazilian ecosystems including forest and non-forest biomes;

• Critically assess the potential and trade-offs of ecosystem management and policy options to protect both key ecosystem functions and biodiversity and other ecosystem services.

Projects must undertake research at the biome spatial level, and should seek to utilise new or novel technological capability and make use of existing long term data sets that are available from other projects.

UK-based researchers associated with organisations eligible for NERC funding may apply. Brazilian researchers associated to public or non-profit higher education and research organisations in the state of São Paulo may apply.

NERC will provide up to £2 million at 80 per cent full economic cost for UK-based researchers with FAPESP providing matched equivalent effort to Brazilian researchers.

It is expected that two to three project proposals, lasting up to three years, will be funded.

Closing date: 16:00, 02/09/15

 

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council has extended the closing date for technical assessments and applications for their ARCHER leadership projects.

The previous deadline of 1 September has been extended to 7 September 2015. All other call details remain the same.

These awards provide direct access to the UK’s national supercomputing facility ARCHER for computationally intensive individual projects. Eligible projects may include the following:

• Leadership calculations that push the boundaries of scientific high performance computing;

• Calculations that require a large number of processing cores;

• High-risk, high-reward projects that rely heavily on high performance compute resource and have significant potential for large future impact;

• Substantial computational projects by experienced teams that need large compute resources, but do not rely on additional support by EPSRC or NERC;

• Pre-competitive computational production runs by non-academic research groups within sectors related to the remits of the ARCHER partner research councils.

Applicants should be individuals eligible to hold a full EPSRC or NERC grant, or persons of similar standing in industry or the third sector.

A total of 2m kAU is available, split between EPSRC and NERC remits at the ratio of 77 % EPSRC and 23 % NERC. Each applicant should apply for at least 100,000 kAU for a maximum period of two years.

Closing date: 16:00, 07/09/15

 

The Centre for Defence Enterprise and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory invite innovative proposals for their themed competition on ‘what’s inside that building’. This supports phase one research projects that aim to develop novel techniques which remotely provide information about the layout and situation inside a building, or underground facility from a range of at least 100 metres. Projects should develop and mature technology readiness level 2 to 3 concepts based on both direct sensing and inference from indirect measurements. In addition, they should address the following technology challenges: novel applications of traditional sensing methods; new technologies and approaches.

Proposals may include technologies that address the following:

• Detecting concealed manufacturing activity;

• Finding out about the internal structure of a building in preparation for entry, including walls, furniture and electrical equipment;

• Identifying illegal storage activities;

• Working out the number of people in a building and what they are doing;

• Detecting people who are hiding or being held against their will;

• Supporting disaster relief, for instance seeing under collapsed buildings.

Preference may be given to projects that produce a technology demonstration as opposed to projects that only deliver a written report.

The total budget for phase one of this competition is worth £650,000. There is no cap on proposals, however MOD is more likely to fund phase one projects worth between £50,000 and £100,000. Successful projects may receive an additional £500,000 for phase two of the competition, in which funding is awarded on a per-project basis. Proposals should focus on a short, sharp, proof of concept phase, typically lasting between 3 to 8 months.

Closing date: 17:00, 10/09/15

 

Nesta, in collaboration with Innovate UK, invites proposals for the Longitude prize. This rewards the development of a transformative point-of care diagnostic test to revolutionise the delivery of global healthcare and conserve antibiotics for future generations. The test must be accurate, rapid, affordable, easy to use and available to anyone, anywhere in the world. It should be able to identify when antibiotics are needed and, if they are, which ones to use.

Anyone and any organisation may enter. Teams must include a member who has a presence in the UK. The competition is only open to those who have developed a new diagnostic test.

The winner is awarded £8 million. £2m is awarded to support promising entries along the way. The prize money must be used to develop and market the winning solution.

Closing date: 30/09/15

 

Innovate UK’s IC tomorrow, in collaboration with several partners, invites proposals for its digital innovation contest on games. This supports the development of an innovative commercial prototype service or application across five areas which different areas of the games industry. Proposals should address one of the following challenges:

• Second-screen use in a game, supported by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE);

• Open street map data, supported by Crytek UK;

• New markets and perceptual computing, supported by Intel;

• Wider games distribution on mobile web, supported by Google Chrome;

• Games and cinema, supported by Odeon Cinema and Pinewood Studios.

Businesses based in the UK and EU may apply.

Five companies may receive up to £25,000 each. The total budget is £125,000.

Closing date: 12:00pm, 16/10/15

 

Follow-on funding from The Natural Environment Research Council

As the name suggests, the Follow-on Fund picks up where research programme and discovery science (responsive mode) grants leave off, and enables their commercial potential to be realised by further developing the research outputs.

Examples of activities funded include technology licensing, launching technology-based products or services, selling know-how based consultancy services, and the commercialisation of NERC-funded datasets.

Researchers who are receiving/have received NERC funding may apply. Proposals must build on the outputs of recent/previous NERC-funded research activity. Applicants are encouraged to seek input from potential commercial stakeholders and end-users before submitting an application. Projects do not have to be based on proprietary, patentable intellectual property, though all proposals must have demonstrable economic potential, and be likely to deliver some form of societal or environmental benefit.

Each proposal may receive up to £100,000 at 80 per cent full economic cost.

Closing date: 22/10/15

 

Please note that some funding bodies specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your RKEO Funding Development Officer

You can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in RKEO or view the recent blog post here.

If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on Research Professional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

 

Call now open ! Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF): money available to support your business engagement and knowledge exchange ideas

Posted in HEIF by stownrow

Further to the earlier blog giving you the “heads up” on the HEIF interim call. To confirm this is now open. The information is on the research blog and more details can be found on the staff intranet.

This funding has been made available to run from 1 August 2015 to 31 July 2016. This is known as HEIF 5+ and will be used to fund new projects.

The proposal deadline when applications close is Friday 3 July.

For more information please use the link to the information on the staff intranet.

Please feel free to contact Jayne Codling if you have any queries, however I have produced a set of FAQS that I hope will help and save some time if you do have any questions.

 

RKEO and Legal Services Coffee Morning – Thursday 25th of June

coffee morning pics****LAST REMINDER for the 25th of June****

Join us at our next RKEO coffee morning will be taking place on Thursday the 25th of June and will be held in conjunction with our colleagues from the Legal Services team.

Members of the RKEO and the Legal Services teams will be in the Retreat, Talbot Campus from 9.30 to 10.30am.

Come along and discuss your research plans with our RKEO team and check out how they can support you through the whole research funding process from applying to successful project management and delivery. We can also help you find the right funding opportunity, discuss the processes relating to funding schemes, as well as identifying potential collaborators and partners to strengthen your application. We can help with public engagement, knowledge transfer opportunities and much, much more….

Representatives from Legal Services will also be available to answer queries on matters such as contracting arrangements, freedom of information and data protection.

Come along and have a chat with us and see how we can help you, or just pop by and enjoy a coffee and a cake.

We look forward to seeing you!

 

The importance of Information Security

Posted in Uncategorized by lrossiter

cyber eyeInformation security has recently been making headline news with a growing rate of daily reports on cyber-attacks on individuals, businesses and government establishments. This has resulted in an increase in the need for infosec professionals with the proven skills to alleviate the growing cyber risks and attacks; so much so that the demand for experienced and qualified professionals has outstripped supply.

Kevin Henry is recognised as one of the Leaders in the field of Information Security worldwide and recently he visited Bournemouth University to give ‘An Overview of Information Security Today and into the Future’. He highlighted importance of the right Infosec practitioners by describing:

  • How important it is for businesses not only to have the right technologies in place but also the skilled operators to use them to their full extent.
  • Often there are several systems working side by side in a business, but not together, leaving gaps which can be easily exploited. It takes a skilled professional to see those gaps and close them.
  • The need for security to be reasonable, simple and without burden to the user was also stressed. It should not slow a process down but should always be one step ahead of the curve. However, there will always be a balance to be found between system security and availability.

Kevin emphasised the need for:

  • Building a strong security culture both in our individual lives and in our professional lives: we all rely on technology in one form or another so each individual needs to take responsibility and not rely on others to tell us what to do, we should all be using the mantra ‘security is my job’.
  • Security awareness is paramount, businesses need to be constantly reminding staff what they should and should not be doing. Importantly, security needs to be regarded as being a positive influence and not as merely catching people out when they do something wrong.
  • Businesses and Infosec professionals need to look ahead and consider where their business will be in two or three years’ time; what are the emerging technologies and how can we prepare and invest now?

Concluding thoughts on how businesses should manage Information Security:Due to the very nature of risk, specifically its unpredictability, it can be difficult to justify expenditure on systems and professionals mitigating it. By the same token, it is difficult to measure the success of implementing Infosec procedures and systems. Ultimately, each business needs to take ownership of the information they hold, whether it is Intellectual Property or the card details of customers and understand the impact of a security breach. A decision can then be made as to how much time and money to invest. Ignorance to the risks can no longer be used as an excuse, a security breach resulting in the loss of credit card details for example would be seen as irresponsible rather than unlucky.
The team at Bournemouth University Cyber Security Unit (BUCSU) have the skills and experience to assist businesses in developing their own personalised Information Security systems and processes. In addition we undertake bespoke security awareness training for all levels of staff. Our enterprise consultants can provide advice and assistance in accessing the various funding available to businesses to improve their Infosec position through consultancy and collaborative research. For more information on any of these points visit the BUCSU website or contact bucsu@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Last chance to book on to the Networking Development workshop on Thursday!

Posted in Uncategorized by Rachel

The Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) are hosting a one-day networking development workshop for academics who are interested in working with business.

Held off-site in Bournemouth from 9am-5pm on Thursday 25th June, this workshop aims to focus on developing your personal skills where key learning outcomes are: communication, persuasion, influence and talking to a business audience.

This workshop is ideal for academics who wish to work with industry on projects such as consultancy or KTP.

We only have two spaces left!  If you are interested in attending, please book your place via Rachel Clarke, KE Adviser (KTP) on 01202 961347 or email clarker@bournemouth.ac.uk

ERASMUS visit to Freiberg University, Germany

Returning earlier visits from teams of Freiberg University Jens Hӧlscher stayed with colleagues in Saxonia to deepen research collaboration and teaching exchange experience. Freiberg will host a conference as part of the ESRC funded seminar series ‘Access to Finance for SMEs’ www.bournemouth.ac.uk/access-to-finance in January 2016. Jens gave a seminar on publication strategies for early career researchers. In his capacity of Research Professor of the Halle Institute for Economic Research he also finished a paper on 25 years of German Unity on that occasion, which has now been published in ‘Wirtschaftsdienst (Economic Service)’ http://www.wirtschaftsdienst.eu/archiv/autor/jens-hoelscher/ .

Freiberg_Obermarkt

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