Tagged / BU

Fundraising for the Hearts Milk Bank at BU

On the 17th of November, The World Prematurity Day, there was a fundraising cake sale for the Hearts Milk Bank.

cake-saleThe amount raised will help to either

– feed 14 babies for a day

–  or feed 3 babies for 5 days, the average time they need donor milk

– or buy enough containers for 55 mums to start donating milk

– or buy almost 3  transportation bags.

The Hearts Milk Bank is therefore 1 step closer to provide donor milk for babies born too soon or too sick!

 

I would like to thank anyone who has made this cake sale possible, the bakers and the buyers, the great people who donated money, SUBU, and the people helping me on the day. You are awesome!

Gillian Weaver, co-founder of the bank contacted me to say “We are so grateful to you Isabell and to everyone who supported your cake sale on World Prematurity Day. You raised a fantastic amount and we will put it to very good use helping to ensure that all premature and sick babies get access to safe and assured supplies of donor milk irrespective of where they are born in the UK. We know that this not only helps to prevent tiny babies from life threatening illnesses but also supports their mothers whilst they build up their own breastmilk supply. The Hearts Milk Bank (the bank with a difference) will also be a biobank of breastmilk samples for much needed research into breast cancer so your support for us is doubly valuable!”

ukamb_logo2If you would like to learn more about donor milk visit the website of the UK Association for Milk Banking.

gkjo6pcssbgobqmecfa6If you would like to learn more about the Hearts Milk Bank or would like to donate, please click here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hearts-milk-bank-saving-tiny-babies-helping-mums-cancer

 

I learned about donor milk as part of my PhD thesis at BU, focusing on the effects of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the perinatal period. If you are interested in our research please contact me at inessel@bournemouth.ac.uk

Many thanks, Isabell

World Prematurity Day – 17th November – Cake Sale

Would you donate a cake/cupcakes?

 

picture3Date:   17th November

Time:   11.30-13.30

  Venue: BoHo Lounge, Ground floor, Bournemouth House

Cake drop off on the morning of the 17th in R304 or B112a

 

picture1Preterm born babies are at high risk to develop a wide range of complications.

Some of these complications can be prevented by feeding babies with human breast milk.

Therefore, the WHO recommends human donor milk as best alternative if mother’s own milk is not available!

 

picture2The HEARTS MILK BANK is currently crowd funding to buy the needed equipment to start providing donor milk for babies born too soon or too sick, to improve their chance of survival and health!

All money from the cake sale will be directly donated to the Hearts Milk Bank!

 

 

If you want to donate a cake or receive  more information please contact

Isabell Nessel inessel@bournemouth.ac.uk

 

 

BU Researcher Dr Firend Al Rasch has released a book: Asian Case Studies- Lessons from Malaysian Industries

BU’s Dr Firend Al Rasch has recently published a book around his research into Asian industry and their significance to the world of trade and commerce. The book ‘Lessons from Malaysian Industries’ is one of a series of Asian case studies and explains how these industries can stay relevant among other key players in the Asian market.

This section of the series explores Malaysia which is relatively small in comparison to its other Asian-Pacific neighbours, such as India and China. In 2010, the country set a target to become a high-income nation by 2020. Dr Rasch analysed a number of Malaysian companies from a number of industries, including palm oil, electrical, electronics, business services, oil and gas etc. He discusses how Malaysia is at a disadvantage as it’s unable to compete with its larger neighbours, nor is it able to grow to the high-end market value of Singapore.

In the wake of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) the economic landscape is becoming ever more competitive and has the potential to force many businesses to become non-existent.  The study recognises how Malaysia needs to identify its strongest market niche and use this to maximise its income in order to remain relevant in the global market.

The book has used research methods that enable the reader to understand the reasoning of how Malaysian companies build their company structure and how they discuss moving forward. For example, Dr Rasch, has examined case studies such as VADS Berhad, a fully integrated Connectivity/ICT/BPO Solutions Provider which represents the issues a typical Malaysian company faces.

As well as this, the book has analysed financial data, to present the importance of financial structure. He has also looked at a breakdown of the company’s marketing strategies, to understand how they sell themselves. The methods of data collection of real companies, give the reader real-life perspective of how companies run and how the industry can survive in such a diverse and important trade region.

To get yourself a copy of the book head over to Amazon

If you’d like to ask Dr Rasch anything, then get in touch.

BU’s PhD Isabell Nessel at the Human Milk Bank in Southampton, Princess Anne Hospital

human-milk-bank-southamptonMost of you have probably heard/read about human milk banking by now from me or my previous posts, if not read here more about it. This week, I had the opportunity to meet Anita Holloway-Moger, the Human Milk Bank Nursery Nurse at the Princess Anne Hospital Human Milk Bank in Southampton.

It was a great opportunity to finally visit and see a milk bank and speak to the person responsible to gain more practical insight into human milk banking in the UK, instead of only reading about it for my research.

human-donor-milk
Human donor milk comes from mothers who have had several blood tests and is collected from the mothers’ homes by the milk bank staff and/or the blood bikes. The frozen milk then gets processed in the milk bank, which means it is tested for microbiological contamination and pasteurised (heat treated) to make it save for the premature or sick babies to receive. This has been shown to increase their chance of survival and help their development.
Thank you Anita for taking all the time to answer my questions and for showing me around, as well as Bournemouth University for the funding which made my trip possible!

 

UKAMBIf you would like to find out more about human milk banking in the UK or want to become a human milk donor visit the UK Association for Milk Banking website at http://www.ukamb.org/.

 

If you would like to learn more about our research, please feel free to contact me at inessel@bournemouth.ac.uk

Isabell

BU PGR Research into the effects of diet and exercise on mobility and brain function – Call for participants.

bike-pictureWe are often reminded that we should be paying attention to what we eat and making sure we exercise regularly. These recommendations are based on years of research into how diet and exercise can impact our health and well-being throughout the lifespan. However, it’s rare that these two crucial elements are studied together.

  • Can combining different lifestyle interventions produce an even more profound effect than each individually?
  • Are people able to adapt to two changes in lifestyle?
  • Is one element of lifestyle modification better than the other?

We have designed a study that will hopefully give an insight into these questions by looking at the effects of a dietary supplement and exercise classes on a spinning bike in adults aged 60+. The supplement contains fish oil (1000 mg DHA, 160 mg EPA), 20 µg B12, 1 mg folic acid, 124 mg phosphatidylserine, 240 mg gingko biloba standardized leaf extract and 20 mg vitamin E.

We are seeking to recruit healthy adults aged 60+ to take part in the study.  Volunteers will be split into four groups.

  • Supplement and exercise classes
  • Placebo and exercise classes
  • Supplement
  • Placebo

We will ask volunteers to take part in tests related to walking ability and brain function and a blood sample will also be required.  These will be done at the beginning of the study and after 24 weeks.

All testing and the exercise classes will take part at SportBU at Bournemouth University Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB.

  • Inclusion criteria: Aged 60+ and able to walk 50 metres without a walking aid
  • Exclusion criteria: Vestibular impairments (balance disorder), diagnosed neurological disorder e.g. dementia or depression, previously received lower limb surgery, diagnosis or receiving treatment for pernicious anaemia, allergy to seafood, regular consumption of multivitamin/fish oil supplements in the last six months, have been advised not to take part in exercise by a doctor

Due to a number of advances in medicine and healthcare, life expectancy has steadily increased in the UK meaning we have an ever expanding population of people aged 60+.  For this population it’s not just about living longer, it’s about living better for longer.  This can mean being able to take part in leisure activities like sports, gardening or visiting friends right down to more vital activities like being able to climb stairs or rise from a chair.  Mobility and brain function play a pivotal role in the quality of life of the older generation, yet it’s common to see declines in both of these areas as we get older.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in taking part of would like more information about the study or our research please contact

Paul Fairbairn

PhD Student Bournemouth University

07871 319620

pfairbairn@bournemouth.ac.uk

chair-old-lady

A great opportunity from the collaboration of Bournemouth University and Nuffield Foundation

FHSSN

 

The Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (FHSS) has been hosting four Nuffield Foundation-funded college students this summer as part of Nuffield’s Research Placement programme. Two of the students (Jamie Singleton and Freddie Corrie-Deane) are working under the guidance of FHSS PhD student Francesco Ferraro, who is supervised by Professors Alison McConnell, Tom Wainwright and Dr James Gavin.

Jamie and Freddie joined us on the 25th of July and they are already familiar with many research aspects, such as: writing a review, dealing with ethical issues, using complex devices and tackling statistical issues.

Francesco has found the experience of working with the students rewarding from many perspectives: “I do trust their questioning and their will to learn and understand more, as it will help the project adding new questions. Conducting research is not simply a duty to search for results; producing research involves the ability to share it, by allowing others to join, bringing their own curiosity and surprise”.

A quote from Richard Feynman sums up the project so far “I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”

Here are a few thoughts from those involved in Freddie and Jamie’s Nuffield placements:

“Joining a research study, I knew I was in for a hefty chunk of reading, and with a pessimistic outlook I thought it would all be dry and bland, and that it would be the source of countless days of boredom. Thankfully I was wrong, and while I did have to spend an obligatory day or two reading background information, studies and manuals; the rest of this placement has been involved with the workings of brand-new machinery in the Orthopaedic Research Institute and going out into the local community to talk with people, both of which have been challenging and engaging in all of the right ways to make this experience an enjoyable one.

Our engagement in the community started very early into the placement, on the second day in fact, when we tagged along with Francesco (Our PhD Student overseer/mentor) to an area of sheltered housing to help him give a talk on his study, it was some really good hands on experience (it didn’t hurt that we were offered a biscuit or two). Following this line of talking to people, Jamie and I have spent the last couple of days walking around the gardens by the seaside talking to people and filling out surveys.

We have also spent a day or two engrossed in the outstanding labs in the Orthopaedic Research Institute, equipped with an amazing range of equipment from a pair of surgery VR simulators that bring in experts and surgeons from all over Europe, to the intricate and ever useful Primus Machine which has more potential and customisable positions than there are hours in the day and so understandably has just as many uses.”

  • Freddie

 

“During the past two weeks at Bournemouth University, we have had lots of hands on experience and witnessed the fun sides of research and also, the not-quite side. The latter, quite funnily enough, involved vast amounts of background reading and studying of protocols. The more enjoyable hands on experience however, consisted of being introduced to and working in the Orthopaedic Research Institute Labs testing out protocols.  Much to our disappointment… we had to use numerous fun and expensive pieces of equipment, it was at this point we knew this was the right place to be.

Amongst playing around with expensive machinery such as the PrimusRS and the Virtual Reality machines, we got to do some real work. This work was tough yet enriching and consisted of explaining what the research was about and why it is essential to a sheltered community, and of course when asked, accepting the offer for tea and biscuits. Visiting the shelter did give me an insight into the recruitment process for research projects, and I was quite surprised of how laid back it was.

Next, this time for real we did have work to do such as reading protocols, resources, and informative documents needed to produce our review which was not the most exciting experience however, it was made up for by the interesting walks we went on, through the Lower Gardens, in order to gather vital information that we needed for our project analysis of the PASE questionnaire.”

  •  Jamie

 

“I was really excited to visit our Nuffield students who are working with Francesco Ferraro at Bournemouth University. I was particularly keen to see how they have been integrated into the team working on a real life application. I was surprised by the highly technical, world class, equipment available to the team. I was also surprised to see how health care is being ‘gamefied’ with the balance app and the ‘Grail’. Thank you for having us.”

  • Rachel Delourme (STEM Advisor & Sustainability Co-ordinator at Cornwall Council) and Shayan Bahadori (from Nuffield Foundation).

 

“Freddie and Jamie have been a huge asset to Francesco’s work over the past couple of weeks. They have worked together as a team to solve problems and test solutions, and I can see how all three of them have benefitted from the experience. I’d recommend hosting Nuffield placement students to anyone; they’ve been a pleasure to have around and they’ve both made valuable contributions to our work.”

  • Alison McConnell

 

Transfer viva? Only 10 000 words(!)

"Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham www.phdcomics.com

 

Preparing for your transfer viva – a mere 10 000 words and a separate 500 abstract.

After a bit of nudging from a few staff @HSC-BU, I thought to write a short on how to prepare for the transfer viva. I had mine in Dec 2012 and these are few things at the time that helped and a few I got the hang of post-viva. By now you should have done an RD6 and 1 Annual Review. These forms, available from your school administrator, help you put down what you are going to do for the next few years (sigh) and how you will ‘physically’ do it (double sigh). When I started my transfer viva, I took (i.e. copy and pasted) a lot of what was in my RD6 research plan and used it as the skeleton in order to write the 10000 words. I then looked at the BU PhD bible  – Code of Practice for Resarch Degrees booklet and borrowed a transfer viva from the school admins. The older ones  helped me for structure and format. And the same rules apply, be concise and write you abstract last.

The timeline for transfer from MPhil to PhD is usually a  year/and a half after you start (or submit your RD6, 24-36months for PT), once you hand it in, after your supervisors are ‘happy’, you will have a month before your viva. Have a chat with your school admin (for HSC, it is Paula Cooper and Sara Glithro), and your supervisors as they will read it, then look for examiners (2), an independent chair and a supervisor (if you wish; I asked mine, you don’t have to, so as to gain feedback, as he also took notes and could comment on my ‘performance’; all towards the final viva). There is a one page form that you and your supervisors need to fill in, hand in duplicates of form and of bound thesis and done. Not quite.

Take it very ‘seriously’, I took it for granted once written and discussed you would carry on the PhD (this is not always the case read the BU PhD bible), the quality of the document and performance in the viva voce matters. It should ressemble as much as possible the ‘final product’. Once you hand in your 10 000 words, read it the week before or the night before. I was really nervous but the best piece of advice I got was ‘go in and talk’ – you know your work the ‘best’: so pretend like you want your best friend to understand your work. A few things I could have done better? Better writing, made sure I did not repeat myself and written it more as a ‘story’. Using power point where each slide helps you plan what you will write. For me the viva was the best time to say this is my work and to gain (brutal) feedback from people from a similar field as it gives you time to plan your final product. One major thing I realised I needed to put my study in context and what it means to ‘science’.

Essentially it looked something like this:

  • Title page (Name, Title, Supervisors, School, University)
  • Acknowledgements (Thank you to your supervisors, school, funders…)
  • Abstract (500 words)
  • Table of contents (in a table with invisible borders)
  • List of Abbreviations (in a table with invisible borders)
  • Introduction (which is your literature review)
  • Research Plan: Methodology and justification of method(s) used (your literature review will help here)
  • Aim and Objectives – which are drawn from your research question
  • Progress to date: Research contribution to the field (a PhD means a new contribution to the field or new tools); Findings (Here – I only included the findings that I had ‘cleaned’ for the final table and I was sure I would be able to discuss if asked) and a discussion of your findings.
  • Ethical considerations (Ethics body and in the appendix letter of ethics body);
  • Conclusion & future work (what I infer from what is done so far and how it will lead to the next stage).
  • Reference list
  • Appendix (Tables, survey questionnaire, letters…)

Start with the ‘niggly’ bits, making sure your endnoteTM lets you insert during cite and write (the librarian can help you with this if you haven’t done the course, Emma Crowly for graduate school). So that it should only take a click to insert your bibliography as BU Harvard. I chose headings in the layout so that when I write my final thesis it will be a matter of adding heading and sub-heading titles. So for the table of contents: Use a table from excel or use Home>Headings, e.g. Heading 5. Abbreviations can be sorted with the function ‘sort’ in WordTM.

A few useful resources for writing:

Good luck!

HSC Student receives Graduate Scholar Award at University of Berkeley Conference.

 

Sheetal Sharma, HSC presented at the Science in Society conference (SiS) at Berkeley University in November 2012 where she received a Graduate Scholar Award http://science-society.com/the-conference/graduate-scholar-award

As a PhD student presenting it’s an opportunity to practice for the inevitable viva and a chance to reflect on your work, as there’s always a question you do not expect. For instance, I had a few questions on cultural aspects of my PhD mixed-methods evaluation. That helped me prepare for my transfer viva, where I was asked on the cultural context of the health promotion intervention, specifically in a country context, run by Green Tara Nepal: http://www.greentaratrust.com/ The plenary was the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues http://www.bioethics.gov/cms/node/778 on ethics and morality of science.

Conferences can be competitive, in the sense, you need to be accepted. Secondly you also can compete for a ‘free space’ and in this instance you were able to compete to be a chair. At SiS, graduate students were invited to, through a very formal application process, to be chair of session. Although it means you won’t attend certain talks, the trade-off is worth is as one is forced to think of questions or how to manage, and be critical and aware of several issues of research.

Being ‘forced’ to be critical led to my planning more what aspects I want to present to the audience. This conference was concerned with the science of health, its epistemology and helped me think of how to discuss the development of theory. As in a PhD viva one might need to answer ‘new knowledge to the field’ how the theory or models proposed are better than competing theories.

I was also lucky to visit Howard University, where I spend time researching cultural ‘appropriateness’ of health programmes, specifically should postnatal care be done again at 40 days. For my PhD evaluation of the Green Tara Nepal that the cultural sensitive aspect led to its increase in health services uptake. I encourage those interested to visit their work as they are ranked school in the top 20% of social work programmes. The World Bank and USAID frequently have invitations to talks, the ones I attended highlighted the focus of women in development, what role programmes can play to develop rural areas; as it is women in Nepal who ‘stay’ in the villages to farm and care for the family as men migrate abroad or to the capital city Kathmandu.

This experience helped me begin the reflection of what my evaluation means, whether in a policy context or the epistemological context; on my return I spoke to my supervisory team. Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen, Prof. Vanora Hundley, Dr. Catherine Angell and my external supervisor Dr. Padam Simkhada (University of Sheffield) who encouraged me to on this basis strengthen my writing for my discussion on what the research done has meant.

 

HSC PhD student from HSC presents in London at Society for Social Medicine

Sheetal’s SSM poster can be viewed here

Sheetal Sharma a PhD student at Health and Social Care at BU was lucky to be accepted at the Society for Social Medicine (SSM) September Conference in London to present her poster on my PhD research: Mixed-methods evaluation of a health promotion intervention in rural Nepal, complete with a photograph of the fieldwork involved in villages in Nepal! This year was particularly tough getting accepted as conference organisers commented that 360 abstracts were submitted, of which just 159 (44%) were accepted (including 3 as plenary presentations, 96 as parallel presentations, and 60 as poster presentations). And further stated that that at another SSM conference, an abstract awarded a poster presentation would have been given an oral presentation.
“My BU supervisors Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen, Prof. Vanora Hundley, Dr. Catherine Angell and my external supervisor Dr. Padam Simkhada (University of Sheffield) supported me to submit an abstract with our Spanish and Argentine academic partners, early this year”. I really appreciated the free place as universities have limited budgets to support their students in presenting at conferences; I doubt I would have attended had I had to meet the costs myself. So a big thanks to BU and SSM for supporting me! After my experiences at SSM 2012, I would encourage students and young researchers to attend SSM, as the research presented is stimulating and the feedback obtained is invaluable, the conference is really well organised, the support team and volunteers are really friendly and helpful! I hope to be a part of the ECR committee based on this conference.”
Sheetal mentioned she particularly enjoyed the workshop session on Evaluation of complex public health interventions, the concepts and methods practical guidance on “how to do it” and the applicability of different study designs, particularly the role of qualitative research by Mark Petticrew (LSHTM), James Hargreaves (LSHTM), and Steve Cummins (QMUL), as it relates to her evaluation on a health promotion intervention that aims to improve childbearing women’s demand of health services.
Sheetal felt it was great to see what research is conducted from institutions across the U.K. and globally, in a dynamic setting specifically the welcome address by Dr Piot who co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire in 1976, the Pemberton Lecture, 2012: Ethnicity and health by Peter Whincup. Sheetal feels research students should be encouraged to present as it motivates them to publish and network. Attending the conference in London also gave her a chance to visit the King’s Fund and dine at Lincoln’s Inn in the 19th century Great Hall with a view onto a fresco of Moses and Edward I ending with a guided tour of the Wellcome Collection.

The Graduate School story part I…

Professor John Fletcher founded BU’s Graduate School in 2002. Here he reflects on what life was like before the Graduate School and where we have come to so far…

This blog is a reflection of the BU Graduate School story so far as the first incarnation of the Graduate School makes way for a new vision. When I was asked to set up the Graduate School in November 2002 as 0.2FTE of my time, it was in the wake of two RAEs where BU had been criticised for its lack of institutional support of its PGRs and a stream of complaints from our postgraduate researchers via the Student Union.  The first step was to examine the processes and systems in place across both campuses which quickly revealed that the seven Schools had seven different sets of processes and systems and, even more challenging, it transpired that we had somewhere between 80 and 147 PhD students but nobody quite knew how many.  When looking at the qualification rates at that time BU was only managing to get 11% of its PGRs through within 4 years and some researchers had been registered for more than 13 years!  Eight years on the Graduate School has implemented a Code of Practice and a set of processes that are now common across BU’s six Schools, overseen the introduction of new and innovative doctoral programmes and help improve our qualification rates. The systems that the Graduate School has put in place were deemed to be so effective that members of the panel that came to BU for the institutional audit contacted the VC to ask if they could adopt the BU model for their own institution.  BU was also one of the first handful of universities to introduce a credit bearing training programme for its supervisors, something that is now becoming commonplace across the sector. 

The support provided by the Graduate School to our PGR students has reduced the isolation and the complaints received from PGRs but there is still a long way to go to ensure that we have the correct systems in place to create a best practice research environment.  The introduction of myBUILD as an online research student log and compliance system met with considerable resistance but was innovative at that time and BU was one of the first institutes across the HEI sector to introduce an online log.  The lack of resources has meant that it was not possible to continue to develop the platform as the numbers of researchers increased but even though myBUILD has probably long gone past its “best before” date, it is vastly superior to the varied and somewhat unusual mixture of record keeping that was found in the individual Schools. There is an urgent need to redevelop the online system to make it more intuitive and better integrated with the other platforms across BU.

BU now has well over 300 PhD students and the qualification rates, particularly those of our part-time researchers, is vastly superior to that of 2002.  The Graduate School introduced the Annual PGR Conference which has been enormously successful and was an integral part of the Special Audit of PGR programmes, a working member of the EUA’s programme on improving the quality of doctoral programmes across Europe and was the hub for BU’s application to ESRC and AHRC for doctoral support bids (the former falling foul of the spending cuts but the latter achieving success). It is hoped that Graduate School will move from strength to strength as the importance of the postgraduate segment of our student body becomes more significant as we move forward in the 21st century.