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Foot Lab: Call for Volunteers

Posted in BU research by Julie Northam

How unique is a human footprint? What is the variability in a person’s footprint? How do human footprints vary with body mass?

These are just some of the questions that Professor Matthew Bennett is currently exploring and needs volunteers to help with his research.

He is looking for three types of volunteer:

  • Any adult – staff or student – who would be prepared to walk barefoot in a tray of sand leaving a dozen footprints and have their weight, height and age recorded. Some of you may remember doing this for a previous experiment back in 2007 and are encouraged to take part again. It takes no more than ten minutes and all the data, including digital scans or your footprints, are stored anonymously and cannot be traced back to you.
  • Any adult – staff or student – who is prepared to donate about an hour of their time to leave multiple barefoot tracks in the sand tray. We are looking for at least a hundred tracks per individual and this will involve you walking up and down the sand tray multiple times while we scan your tracks.
  • Any children accompanied by their parents (staff or student) of any age, from those that have just learnt to walk, to those that are approaching 17 years old. Some parents will have already seen that the Talbot Campus Nursery is involved and their children may be participating via that route.

The experiments have full ethical clearance from BU and you will receive full particulars and be asked to sign a consent form for yourself and for your children should they wish to get involved. All the data will be held anonymously and no individual will be identifiable from their data. The data will only be used to generate scientific results and publications.

The Foot Lab will be open to the public as part of the Festival of Learning 2014 on the 9 and 10 June, but the lab is open for BU staff and students from 27 May to 20 June.  It is located on the Talbot Campus in in CAG01a. Email Matthew Bennett to book a time for yourself, a group of colleagues, or for you and your children to come in.

Most times of the day (Monday to Friday) can be accommodated especially if you are bringing in children and may be able to open the Foot Lab for small groups at the weekend. For those studying or working on the campus the Foot Lab will normally open for two slots a day (Monday to Friday) between 10am and 11.30am and again in the afternoon between 3.30pm and 5pm.

IT as a Utility Community conference

As part of the community, BUCSU is supporting Southampton University with this UK network.

IT as aUtility: Network+ community conference

                                             Thursday 19th – Friday 20th June 2014

This will be a two-day presentation and reflection on the achievements so far and the future plans of the RCUK-funded IT as a Utility Network+. The event will be an opportunity to further examine the role of IT utilities in the digital economy both now and in the future.

If you are interested in booking onto this event, please book your place via Eventbrite.

In addition to this, BU will be hosting a ‘Data as a utility and analytics as a service’ workshop at the Executive Business Centre on Monday 9th June from 12pm – 6pm.

Collaboration between BU and China!

Posted in BU research by Rachel

Last week Dr Biao Zeng organised a seminar with guest speaker, Jianfang Cheng, Deputy Chief of the Zhongguancun Science Park London Office.  Zhongguancun Science Park is a consortium of hi-tech industry and is often referred to as China’s ‘Silicon Valley’.

Dr Zeng invited colleagues and students from across the Institution to attend this seminar and find out more about how we can build a partnership with various companies who are based at the Park.  Ms Cheng was keen to find out about the key areas of research at BU and to explore whether there were research and collaboration opportunities between BU and Zhongguancun Science Park.

Rachel Clarke – KTP Officer

Money Available for Open Access Publishing!

Back in April 2011 we launched the BU Open Access Publication Fund. This is a dedicated central budget that has been launched in response to, and in support of, developments in research communication and publication trends. The fund is also to support research in complying with some of the major funding bodies who have introduced open access publishing requirements as a condition of their grants.

The fund is available for use by any BU author ready to submit a completed article for publication who wishes to make their output freely and openly accessible.

If you are interested in applying to the fund then you need to email ShellyAnne Stringer in RKEO with the following information:

  • Name of the open access publication
  • Confirmation this will be a peer reviewed paper
  • A short justification (1 paragraph) of why it is beneficial for your research to be published in this particular open access publication
  • The cost of the open access publication
  • Likely publication date
  • Likely REF Unit of Assessment (UOA)
  • A copy of the paper

If you have any questions about the Fund then please direct them to Shelly via email.

Further information: BU Open Access Fund policy

Research Professional – Sign up to the 8am Playbook

Many of you will know of Research Professional as a great source for funding opportunities, but that is not all that this service can provide. As well as funding, Research Professional has an extensive news section.

If you just want to keep up to date with all the latest news relevant to Higher Education, sign up for the 8am Playbook. This will allow you to ‘be in the know’ and will help you to keep up to date with hot topics which might turn into research opportunities. It will also enable you to be up to date when talking to colleagues or, as mentioned at this week’s Doctoral Supervision event, be ready to converse if you meet John Vinney in the lift!

In addition, if you have particular interests, your personal account with Research Professional allows you to sign up to newsletters focussing on, for example, European News and Research. Going further, you can set up your own news searches and manage your alerts to receive these weekly direct to your inbox.

To find out more, go to our recent post on help and training sessions.

Want to know how to publish a journal article and retain your rights?

Posted in Publishing by Julie Northam

Then say hello to the SPARC Author Addendum -

SPARC is The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication.

Your article has been accepted for publication in a journal and, like your colleagues, you want it to have the widest possible distribution and impact in the scholarly community. In the past, this required print publication. Today you have other options, like online archiving, but the publication agreement you’ll likely encounter will actually prevent broad distribution of your work.

It is unlikely that you would knowingly keep your research from a readership that could benefit from it, but signing a restrictive publication agreement limits your scholarly universe and lessens your impact as an author.

Why? According to the traditional publication agreement, all rights —including copyright — go to the journal. You probably want to include sections of your article in later works. You might want to give copies to your class or distribute it among colleagues. And you are likely to want to place it on your staff profile page and in BU’s institutional repository (BURO, especially as this is now a requirement for the next REF exercise – see this post for further information). These are all ways to give your research wide exposure and fulfill your goals as a scholar, but they are inhibited by the traditional agreement. If you sign on the publisher’s dotted line, is there any way to retain these critical rights?

Yes. The SPARC Author Addendum is a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your articles. The Author Addendum is a free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons and Science Commons, established non-profit organizations that offer a range of copyright options for many different creative endeavors.

Visit the SPARC website for further information -

Have you got any experience of using this to negotiate your rights as an author with publishers? Share your experiences by contributing to the Research Blog!

Professor Barry Richards on ‘The Conversation’

A piece written by BU’s Professor Barry Richards was featured as a lead article on ‘The Conversation’ website.

Entitled ‘A hymn confirms that the FA Cup final is a matter of life and death’, the article explores the reasons why ‘Abide with Me’ has become the FA Cup anthem.

The Conversation is a website, sourcing news and views from the academic and research community and sharing it with the wider public.

Read Barry’s article on The Conversation here.

Coffee and cakes…

Coffee and cakes will be available at the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office coffee morning this Thursday (22 May 2014), starting at 9.30am in the Retreat. This will be an informal opportunity for you to have a chat with various members of the R&KEO team. If you can’t make it this week, the next event will take place on 19 June in R303, Royal London House between 9am and 10am.

We also have coffee mornings arranged for the next academic year; the first event of 2014-15 will be in the Retreat on 30 October.

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday!

Hot beverage and cupcake

HE in the news last week

Posted in Uncategorized by ccherry



Dame Julia Goodfellow, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent,  has made an impassioned defence of the benefits to universities of European Union membership amid the rise in popularity of Ukip. Kent v-c warns of dangers to HE of leaving EU (THE)

Independence referendum

Scottish universities could lose more than two-fifths of their non-EU students if the country votes for independence, a survey suggests. Of 200 overseas students surveyed, 46% of non-EU nationals said they would be less likely to choose a university in an independent Scotland because they wanted a British degree. More than a third feared the reputation of a Scottish degree would decline.


Finally, the Complete University Guide rankings have been released today. Cambridge top for forth year (Mail)


One in five students is unhappy with the standard of teaching at their university, a survey by Student Hut suggests. A similar proportion of undergraduates has also complained of a lack of support from tutors beyond formal teaching in lectures and seminars. While the survey drew on a self- selecting sample, it chimes with growing criticism of teaching standards at English universities since the increase in tuition fees.

University is often “wasted” on school leavers because they fail to select the correct degree course, according to Mary Curnock Cook. She says that too many teenagers – particularly those from middle-class backgrounds – “sleepwalk” into university under pressure from their parents and peers without giving it proper thought. Middle-class children sleepwalk to university (Telegraph)

Election 2015

An interesting article in the Guardian where a series of education figures have their say on what should be included in 2015 manifestos. In my manifesto … education policy ideas for 2015 (Guardian Education)


University Alliance’s new report, ‘Closing the Gap: unlocking opportunity through higher education’, features in today’s THE. Our report argues that the UK’s social mobility debate is too narrowly focused on a “small number of elite universities” and needs to be “dragged out of the 1970s”. Social mobility debate ‘too focused on elite universities’ (THE)

Australian Budget

Also in the news, Libby Hackett comments on the announcement that Australia will slash public funding for university courses by 20% and remove the caps on the fees universities can charge.

Widening participation

The proportion of Cambridge places claimed by pupils from state schools has declined this year amid warnings from admissions tutors that the university does “not operate a quota system”. Cambridge University admits fewer state school students (Telegraph)


A European Union-sponsored university ranking system has gone live after around six years of development. U-Multirank launched by EU commissioner (THE)


University Alliance’s social mobility report is mentioned in this piece looking at whether the Russell Group is an oligarchy. Sean Coughlan at the BBC says, “it’s not a criticism of the individual institutions, but an irritation that belonging to a group, named after the London hotel where they used to meet, seems to have taken on a semi-official status.” Is the Russell Group really an ‘oligarchy’? (BBC) 

Student Experience

The Times Higher Education’s Student Experience Survey has been released today. Now in its ninth year, students rate their institutions in 21 categories, from the quality of staff and lectures, to course structure, social life, industry connections and accommodation.


Which countries are steaming ahead in scientific output and power? Simon Marginson analyses the worldwide data. Research is now a global game (THE)


The amount of money pledged to UK universities by donors last year fell by more than 10 per cent and there was only a slight increase in the number of fundraising staff, according to a new survey. Plenty of jam donated today but tomorrow’s pledges spread more thinly (THE)


More English universities could be allowed to borrow money without seeking permission from the funding council under new financial rules to be brought in later this year. New rules let borrowers avoid HEFCE hurdle (THE)

International students

Universities should increase their tuition fees for international students to £11,000 a year because this appears to have little impact on demand, a survey has suggested. Overseas fees of £11,000 ‘have little impact on demand’ (THE)   


Chinese universities outperform those of the US when the countries’ average incomes are taken into account, according to an international ranking of higher education systems. Dragons overtake eagles in income-related rankings (THE)


HE funding

Too many policy experts look to the US and Australia as “some higher education funding nirvana”, according to Michael Gunn (Chair of Million+). Nirvana of HE funding is not US and Australia, warns Gunn (THE)


Julia King, Vice-Chancellor at Aston University, looks at social mobility in the UK and argues that students are increasingly valuing the chance to earn while they learn. Why higher apprenticeships? They’re a debt-free route to a top quality degree


One person in five who receives a university education becomes a millionaire, according to official figures.

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

In 2007, the BBSRC, in partnership with the MRC and the EPSRC, established the Diet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC) with 15 company members. Approximately £3M of funding is available to support a portfolio of projects relating to DRINC. A workshop for the call will be held on 3 June 2014 in London and will be an opportunity for applicants to: understand the DRINC research challenges and assessment process; meet other potential applicants and form new collaborations; and discuss proposals with representatives from the DRINC steering group, the Club’s company members and the Research Councils. The deadline for the outline proposal is 4pm on 09/07/14 with full invited applications in November 2014.

The BBSRC, TSB and EPSRC are to invest £45m in major integrated research and development projects through the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst. There are five types of award – early stage: translation; early stage: feasibility studies;  industrial research; late stage: pre-experimental feasibility studies; and late stage: experimental development – and, with the exception of translation awards which are academic, can involve a single business or be collaborative. Total project sizes can range from up to £250k for feasibility studies to up to £10m for experimental development. Applicants must register by noon on 03/12/14 and the full application must be submitted by noon on 10/12/14.

Following on from the successful partnership of the EPSRC and Find a Better Way (FABW) in 2013, which has resulted directly in FABW providing grants for two major research projects, this Call for Expressions of Interest aims to stimulate the academic community to propose truly novel approaches to the humanitarian demining challenge. FABW is prepared to commit up to £1M funding to support the research project(s) arising from this Call. Closing date 25/06/14 with invited applications to be submitted by 27/02/15.

The NERC Independent Research Fellowship Scheme is designed to develop scientific leadership among the most promising early-career environmental scientists, by giving all fellows five years’ support, which will allow them sufficient time to develop their research programmes and to gain international recognition. As part of this scheme, NERC will expand its fellowship networking and training activities, working with host institutions, to support the development of future leaders in NERC science.  Closing date 01/10/14.

NERC invites applications for NERC Independent Research Fellowships in the priority area of Bioinformatics to deliver part of NERC Mathematics & Informatics for Environmental Omic Data Synthesis (Omics) research programme. The aim of these fellowships is to develop scientific leadership among the most promising early-career scientists, by giving all Fellows five years’ support, which will allow them sufficient time to develop their research programmes, and to establish international recognition. Through this call NERC aims to support a minimum of six IRFs working in the area of environmental bioinformatics. This is the final year for this specialised opportunity with a closing date of 01/10/14.

Note: Applicants may apply either to the standard NERC IRF call or to the call for NERC IRFs in Bioinformatics, but not to both.

The Valuing Nature programme is a five year interdisciplinary NERC-led research programme in collaboration with ESRC, BBSRC, AHRC and Defra. On behalf of the programme funders, NERC are inviting applications from early-career researchers who wish to develop their understanding of the challenges identified in Goal 1 by developing their research expertise in a different discipline. The fellowships will address the aim of the programme by improving our understanding and questioning of: the complexities of the natural environment in valuation analyses; the wider societal and cultural value of ecosystems services; the links between ecosystem stocks and tipping points; how the values of ecosystem services change as tipping points are reached and exceeded; and critical levels of natural capital that avoid abrupt and damaging ecosystem change. It is expected that up to three fellowships may be awarded to support environmental researchers to develop social science (including economic) expertise in relation to the goals of the Valuing Nature programme, and for social scientists (including economists) to gain natural science expertise in relation to the goals of the Valuing Nature programme. Closing date: 16:00 on 14/08/14.

NERC and the TSB have announced the latest round of SPARK Awards in the field of Algal Bioenergy. These are £5k grants to encourage new collaborations between the research community and Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). It is the intention that small confidence building measures such as a SPARK award will encourage a longer term relationship between the SME and research-based partner. Up to £5,000 per grant is available. The closing date is 26/06/14.

NERC and the MRC are inviting applications from UK scientists to attend a joint workshop with the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in Beijing on 14-16 July 2014 on Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health in a Chinese Megacity. Application is via an Expression of Interest, to be submitted by 4pm on 02/06/14.

Please note that some funders specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your RKE Support Officer.

You can set up your own personalised alerts on ResearchProfessional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s RKE Officer in RKE Operations or see the recent post on this topic, which includes forthcoming training dates up to November 2014.

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

BUDI Cake Sale in aid of Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Awareness Week – Tomorrow 20 May, Talbot Campus

Posted in Uncategorized by mobrien

This week (18-24th May) is the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Awareness Week and this year’s theme is all about opening up (not bottling it up) and encouraging people who are concerned about dementia to talk to the Alzheimer’s Society.

As a charity, the Alzheimer’s Society are encouraging others to help them promote awareness of dementia and to raise vital funds to ensure that their valuable work of supporting people affected by dementia continues.

On Tuesday 20th May (10-12am) BUDI, with support from SUBU and the BU Baking Society, will hold a cake sale in the Atrium (Talbot Campus). Please come along and find out more about our work and purchase a tasty treat in aid of this worthy cause.

If you would like to donate cakes to be sold on the stall or have any questions please email

Should metrics be used more widely in the next REF?

Back in 2008, after the dust was settling from the REF 2008 submission, HEFCE initiated a series of exercises to investigate whether bibliometric indicators of research quality (such as citation counts) could be used as part of the assessment for REF 2014. BU was one of 22 institutions that took part in the bibliometrics pilot, the result of which was that HEFCE concluded that citation information was not sufficiently robust enough to be used formulaically or as a primary indicator of quality but that there might be scope for it to inform and enhance processes of expert review in some disciplines. The REF 2014 guidelines stated that citation data would be provided for outputs submitted to all sub-panels in Main Panel A and some sub-panels in Main Panel B.

In April 2014, the Minister for Universities and Science asked HEFCE to undertake a fresh review of the role of metrics in determining quality, impact and other key characteristics of research undertaken in the HE sector. The review is being chaired by Professor James Wilsdon, Professor of Science and Democracy at the Science Policy Institute, University of Sussex.

HEFCE have launched a sector-wide call for evidence about research metrics and BU will be making an institutional response. BU colleagues are therefore invited to send feedback to me so that it can be considered as part of BU’s response. Colleagues are also invited to send individual responses to HEFCE.

Thinking back to 2008-09, I remember research metrics being an emotive subject and many researchers, both at BU and  across the sector, were extremely skeptical of their use in research assessment. Although bibliometrics have moved on a long way since then I think that there will still be concern as to whether metrics are robust enough to be used formulaically, particularly in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

HEFCE have asked that responses focus on the following issues:

1. Identifying useful metrics for research assessment.

2. How should metrics be used in research assessment?

3. ‘Gaming’ and strategic use of metrics.

4. International perspective.

Further information about the call for evidence is available here:

It is anticipated that the outcome of the review will inform the framework for the next REF assessment so it is vitally important that HEFCE receive a high quality and quantity of feedback from all disciplines.

If you would like to contribute to the BU institutional response, please add your comments to this response form and email it to me ( by Friday 30th May.

Free places available for BU staff – BUDI workshop hosted by Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 21st May 2014

Thanks to FIF Mobility Strand Funding, Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) are delighted to be welcoming colleagues from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York to Bournemouth University from 20-23rd May 2014. As part of their visit, BU Staff are being invited to join a free workshop. In this workshop MoMA’s specially trained Museum Educators will share their successful model and established approach for making their services dementia-friendly (validated via evaluation from New York University). 

This workshop showcases MoMA’s innovative style of education delivery, providing attendees with an opportunity to hear the success of their approach and a practical demonstration in the Atrium Gallery. Staff with an interest in alternative teaching methods and those working with vulnerable groups may be particularly interested in attending. Please also pass on this information to any PhD students you feel may benefit from attending.

Date: 21st May 2014

Time: 11:00 – 15:30

Venue: Talbot Campus

There are a limited number of places available on this workshop for BU staff. To book a place, or for more information, please email or call 01202 962538.

Advance Media Skills Workshop

An Advanced Media Skills Workshop is taking place on Tuesday 27th May 2014, 10:00-11:30, Talbot Campus, this workshop is designed for members of staff who are (or will be) in regular contact with the press. This workshop is designed to leave you ready to talk to the press with confidence. Learn skills for answering questions and getting your point across.  Have your skills tested in front of camera and on a microphone and listen back in groups to give honest feedback on improving your interview technique.

Please note there are limited spaces to book on please visit the Staff Development & Engagement Pages on the Staff Intranet.


BUDI Cake Sale in aid of Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Awareness Week

Posted in Uncategorized by mobrien


Next week (18-24th May) is the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Awareness Week and this year’s theme is all about opening up (not bottling it up) and encouraging people who are concerned about dementia to talk to the Alzheimer’s Society.

As a charity, the Alzheimer’s Society are encouraging others to help them promote awareness of dementia and to raise vital funds to ensure that their valuable work of supporting people affected by dementia continues.

On Tuesday 20th May (10-12am) BUDI, with support from SUBU and the BU Baking Society, will hold a cake sale in the Atrium (Talbot Campus). Please come along and find out more about our work and purchase a tasty treat in aid of this worthy cause.

If you would like to donate cakes to be sold on the stall or have any questions please email

BUs Open Access Event

Last Wednesday, BU hosted a sector-wide Open Access Event at the EBC. The day was a great success with attendees travelling from universities across the UK to hear keynote speaker Alma Swan and speakers from HEFCE, LSE Impact Blog, PLOS, University of Oxford and BU talk about Open Access, one of the key priorities for the sector at the moment.

Feedback from the event has been overwhelming positive with attendees finding the day extremely useful with lots of interesting discussion throughout the day. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting blogs summarising the key points from each of the presentations so keep your eyes peeled…

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