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Scheme for salary support for ECR Fellowships

This scheme is for ‘Salary support for ECR Fellowships‘ to support the next generation of talented researchers delivering novel, fundamental research. The scheme provides support for salary shortfalls on early career researcher (ECR) fellowship applications to prestigious funders, if awarded.

Supporting ECRs is a key priority under BU2025. ECR fellowships provide important and strategic opportunities for ECRs to undertake a significant research project, increasing their research independence and providing development opportunities for them as future research leaders.

The scheme provides funding to make up salary shortfalls and by doing so aims to:

  • Provide support and development opportunities for ECRs
  • Encourage talented ECRs to join and develop a research career at the University
  • Build research capacity and capability in areas of strategic importance
  • Enhance the sustainability of the University’s research culture and environment

The RDS Funding Development Officers (FDO) will advise all eligible applicants of this opportunity when early career academic staff have identified the external funder fellowship call on an intention to bid (ItB) form.

This used to be a pathway under the ‘Prestigious Research Funders Scheme’ (PRFS). The PRFS has now been withdrawn as BU are looking to introduce a different scheme for providing internally funded postdoctoral research fellows in 2022. Watch this space.

SCRAMBLE EVENT : Come along to the ESRC Explore people’s relationships with digital technologies session

The ESRC have pre-announced the following call: Explore people’s relationships with digital technologies, discussed at the funding development briefing this week.

Who should attend?

All are welcome with an interest in exploring relations with digital technologies. This call should be social science-led, with at least 50% of the programme falling within ESRC’s remit. But to enable approaches to the challenge of understanding our relationships with technology, it should also look widely across disciplines, drawing on expertise from fields such as:

  • the humanities
  • computer science
  • software engineering
  • mathematical sciences.

RDS will be running a brainstorming session on the 10th November 13:00 -14:30. It will be an opportunity to identify potential collaborators/ themes for this network funding call. The session will be hosted on Zoom here

ACTION REQUIRED: Ahead of the event, we invite you to discuss your interests, potential collaborators, project ideas on Padlet. As ideas get added we can start to identify potential themes prior to the session. You can access the Padlet here.

Agenda:

13:00- 13:30      Information on the call and ESRC delivery plan overview.

13:30 – 14:15    Discussion around emerging themes from Padlet and potential collaborations.

14:15 – 14:30    Discussion about next steps.

If you have any queries or are unsure as to whether you ought to come along, please email your faculty facilitator in the first instance or Alexandra Pekalski apekalski@bournemouth.ac.uk .

Reflections on examining a PhD by Publications or hybrid PhD

Writing for publication in peer-reviewed journals is increasingly recognised as important for postgraduate students’ career development.   To encourage PhD students to write and submit during their thesis research, more and more UK universities has formally started to accept PhD theses by publication, or a hybrid model of both academic papers and purposely written chapters in a PhD thesis.  For example, both the University of Bath and Bournemouth University offer a hybrid thesis [1-2], whilst Bournemouth University offers separately the opportunity to submit a PhD by Publication.   The paper included in such theses can be: (1) published; (2) accepted/published online first; (3) submitted; or (4) in final draft form for submission.  Published papers, due to the nature of journal word limits are usually much shorter and less detailed than traditional PhD chapter.  The specifically written chapters, of the Introduction, Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations chapter, and occasionally a Methods chapter will provide the reader (read ‘the examiner’) with further insights into the background of the research and offer details the student had to omit from published papers due to word limit restrictions.  Students may also opt to offer a short explanatory text before or after individual paper.  The overall Discussion chapter should aim to fully contextualise and integrate all papers into the thesis.

It is easy to see that these new format theses may require some adjustment from UK academics examining them.  Below I have listed some of the key issue a PhD examiner may want to consider in a PhD by Publication, such as the notion of integration and repetition, how the critique published papers, especially in quality peer-reviewed journals, and the nature and content of purposely written chapters.

Integration/duplication

Individual papers are free-standing, i.e. they must give enough information about the research question and methods to make sense to the reader.  This means that four papers from the same study in a thesis may appear as both disjointed and repetitive at the same time.  Moreover, details on background and methods are often minimal in papers presenting results.  This offers the examiner an opportunity to ask questions such as:

  • How do the included papers relate to each other in terms of subject matter or theoretical underpinning?
  • Do the included papers together result in a cohesive narrative?

It is worth looking at difference between the included papers.  One of my former students included two qualitative papers, both originating from the same dataset (i.e. the same interviewees) but each paper presented the data analysed in a different way.  The reviewers of the second paper had suggested a different approach to the analysis and the candidate had decided that it was worth the considerable amount of extra work.  This was obviously a topic for debate in the viva.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

It can be daunting for a less experienced examiner to critique an included paper that has been peer-reviewed and published in a prestigious journal in one’s discipline.  Perhaps a starting point could be to ask the candidate what the peer reviewers said when the manuscript was first submitted.  Did you receive and conflicting comments from reviewers or the editor?  The examiner may want to ask for further details of published paper, e.g.  “I know you probably had word-length issues for paper X, but why didn’t you expand on the detailed analysis in the Discussion chapter you included in the thesis?”  Interestingly, the University of Bath states that “Examiners are entitled to specify corrections to any part of the thesis… including parts submitted for publication, or already published” [1].  The latter does not mean changing the published paper, but perhaps adding a comment or explanation to the Discussion chapter or to the text introducing that particular paper.

In many discipline academic papers as co-authored, hence you would expect co-authored papers in a PhD by Publication.  This offers to examiner the opportunity to ask about the candidate’s unique contribution to that paper.  Occasionally, one of the included papers may not list the candidate as first author.  If this is the case in one of the four or five included papers this is not problem per se, but worth asking the same question to the candidate: “What is your unique contribution to the paper?”

Another potential issue to look out for in a PhD by Publication is so-called salami-slicing [3], especially if the candidate has published several small parts of the thesis study in different small papers where a single paper would have been more appropriate.

Written chapters

The examiner may want to start by focusing on the candidate’s Introduction, Discussion, or Conclusion chapters.  Or the overall Methods chapter if there is one.  Typically, a PhD by Publication has an Introduction, four or more papers, an overarching Discussion perhaps a short Conclusion.  What is often missing is a Methodology and Methods chapter.  Since individual papers have only basic methods section of a few hundred words, there is little detail in each paper, let alone nuance in the methods. Often methodological issues and reflections are missed, as are more subtle aspects of research ethics.  These are key topics to raise in the viva.

 

Professor Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)

 

Acknowledgements: I would like to thank my colleague Dr. Ann Luce, Associate Professor in Journalism and Communication at Bournemouth University for her encouraging me to write this blog post.

 

References:

  1. University of Bath: https://www.bath.ac.uk/publications/guidelines-for-research-examiners/attachments/Guidelines_for_Examiners_of_Doctoral_Degrees_Nov19.pdf
  2. Bournemouth University (2021-22) 8A Code of Practice for Research Degrees (Policy, Procedure and Guidelines). https://intranetsp.bournemouth.ac.uk/pandptest/8a-code-of-practice-for-research-degrees.pdf
  3. Tolsgaard, M.G., Ellaway, R., Woods, N. et al. Salami-slicing and plagiarism: How should we respond?. Adv in Health Sci Educ 24, 3–14 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-019-09876-7

Midwifery paper co-produced with BU students

Congratulations to Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (FHSS) staff and students on their latest publication in the international journal Midwifery (published by Elsevier).   FHSS Professors Carol Clark and Vanora Hundley, undergraduate student researcher Guste Kalanaviciute and CMMPH PhD student Vanessa Bartholomew and Professor Helen Cheyne from the University of Stirling recently had the following paper accepted: ‘Exploring pain characteristics in nulliparous women; a precursor to developing support for women in the latent phase of labour’ [1].

 

Reference:

Clark C, Kalanaviciute G, Bartholomew V, Cheyne H, Hundley VA (2021) Exploring pain characteristics in nulliparous women; a precursor to developing support for women in the latent phase of labour. Midwifery (in press) 

Are you a peer reviewer or a funding panel member?

Research Development and Support (RDS) would like to understand more about BU academics’ expertise in reviewing external grant applications and funding panel experience. As part of this we are collecting information about the external funding panels that BU academics are members of.

We will use the information gathered through this survey to create a database of funding panel expertise, which may be used to approach relevant academics for their expertise in particular funding calls for internal initiatives.

If you are a reviewer or external funding panel member, we would be extremely grateful if you could please complete this brief survey by Friday 5th November:

Complete the survey here

Doctoral College Newsletter | October 2021

The Doctoral College Newsletter provides termly information and updates to all those involved with postgraduate research at BU. The latest edition is now available to download here. Click on the web-links provided to learn more about the news, events and opportunities that may interest you.

If you would like to make a contribution to future newsletters, please contact the Doctoral College.

2022 BU Studentship Competition

The BU Matched Funded Studentship Competition, which has run annually since 2006, provides an important role in growing our PGR numbers, building and strengthening a greater number of external relationships, and providing a stronger Fusion learning experience for our PGRs.

There are up to 20 matched funded PhD projects and up to 3 matched funded MRes projects available, which, in principle, will be split between the four faculties. There are no fully funded studentships on offer.

Application Process

At this stage, academic staff are invited to submit proposals for matched funded studentship projects which, if successful, will be advertised to recruit PhD candidates for a September 2022 start.

Full details, including the BU Studentship Allocative Process and Proposal Form, can be found on the Doctoral College Staff Intranet.

Submission Deadline:

Applications should be submitted to the Doctoral College via email to phdstudentshipcompetition@bournemouth.ac.uk no later than 5pm on Wednesday 05 January 2022.

If you have any questions about your application, please speak with your Deputy Dean for Research and Professional Practice (DDRPP) or the Heads of the Doctoral College: Dr Fiona Knight (for FST or FHSS enquiries) or Dr Julia Taylor (for FM or FMC enquiries).

Please ensure applications contain all relevant information (project proposal signed by Faculty DDRPP; letter of support from matched funder; Due Diligence form signed by Faculty DDRPP) as incomplete applications will not be considered.

BU’s Research Principles

Putting the BU Studentship Scheme into strategic context, under BU2025, the studentship funding panel will operate to prioritise applications for funding and make recommendations to the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC).

In line with the previous competition, allocation of the BU Studentships will be aligned to BU’s Research Principles (in particular, Principles 1, 2, 3 and 7):

Principle 1: encouraging the development of research team(s)

Principle 2: supporting research development, funding and impact that are both disciplinary and increasingly multi and inter-disciplinary as exemplified by the SIAs

Principle 3: focussing on the development of critical mass within the University, as per the honeycomb model

Principle 7: taking into account disciplinary norms when providing opportunities.

New Research Impact Fund call launching soon

The next round of the Research Impact Fund will be launched in early November

This funding is open to researchers at all stages of their careers, whether building relationships for future research projects, or seeking to realise the real-world changes their existing research could make.

The Research Impact Fund will:

  • Deliver support for developing impact
  • Improve the culture of research impact
  • Create a pipeline of potential case studies for future assessment exercises
  • Reward and recognise the efforts of those working towards developing the impact of their research.

For the 2021-22 call there will be two main strands:

Strand 1: Supporting the development of impact – aimed at early career researchers or those new to research / impact

The aim of this strand is to support the development of new partnerships and networks. These will lay the groundwork for future research projects which start with considering how to meet the needs of key stakeholders with proposed research questions.

Strand 2: Supporting areas of emerging impact

This will be used to support academic staff who have evidence of underpinning research and evidence of the impact potential of this research. The aim is to develop and accelerate research impact and support the creation of an impact pipeline in preparation for future REF exercises.

In addition, a small travel fund will be available throughout the year that will facilitate relationship building with external stakeholders such as policymakers or industry contacts, and can lead to impact development.

Details of the full call will follow early next month. In the meantime, for any informal enquires about the fund, please email Research Impact.

You can watch a short video introduction to impact here.

“Research impact is the good that researchers can do in the world.”
Mark Reed, Fast Track Impact

Life and Environmental Science Student Zach Boakes reaches public vote for seagrass restoration project in Bali

Zach Boakes, a PhD student in Life and Environmental Sciences has reached the final public vote for a project he has designed with the NGO North Bali Reef Conservation. The project will restore seagrass -which is both an effective climate sink and important for marine biodiversity, including threatened sea cows or dugongs – in Bali. The project will incorporate and benefit local communities in the poorest section of North Bali, through eco-tourism, improved fisheries catches and paid work in restoring the seagrass and protecting the seagrass in the future.

You can vote for the project to receive funding here:

https://www.eocaconservation.org/project-voting-category.cfm?catid=1

Image from Geoff Spiby (Wikimedia Commons) released under CC BY-SA 3.0 licence. 

Funding Development Briefing. Spotlight “Getting Started at BU”.

Reminder: The RDS will be Funding Development Briefing  Wednesday at 12 noon. The spotlight will be on the “Getting started at BU”.

We will cover:

  • Overview of the process, explain acronyms, highlight resources available etc.
  • Q & A

For those unable to attend, the session will be recorded and shared on Brightspace here.

Invites for these sessions have been disseminated via your Heads of Department.

UKRO annual visit – meeting with BU academics in 2021

As usual, RDS will host the annual UK Research Office visit to BU in 2021 – this year it will be virtual again.

This year’s event is scheduled for October 27, 2021 and is organised as part of funding briefing session; we have those on Teams every Wednesday.

Please make a note in your diaries – all academic staff interested in Horizon Europe framework programme and EU funding in general are invited to attend this session.

The session will be hosted by RDS and led by our UKRO European Advisor Ms Malgorzata Czerwiec from Brussels.

This year you are not be required to register in advance – simply join our Wednesday’s briefing session on 27th October at noon.

Agenda

12:00 – 12:10

Newest funding opportunities (as usual)

12:10 – 12:50

Horizon Europe Pillar 2 opportunities – how to approach calls for collaborative funding.

During this session will be covered opportunities of Horizon Europe 2022 calls, highlighting key features of proposal writing/consortium building/evaluation.

13:00 – 14:45

Previously booked one-to-one sessions (to be held using Zoom) with UKRO representative.

Academics are welcome to book one-to-one sessions indicating their EU funding related topic of interest; please email individually to Research Facilitator International Ainar Blaudums by 25 October and we will allocate 15 minutes timeslot for you.

UKRO delivers subscription-based advisory service for research organisations and provides Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and European Research Council (ERC) National Contact Point services in the UK. As part of UKRO services, BU members of staff may sign up to receive personalised email alerts and get early access to the EU funding related publications on UKRO portal.

Please contact Research Facilitator International Ainar Blaudums if you have further questions.

Writing references: The hidden work of academics

Halfway through October I have written several academic references for three people already.  This is one of the more hidden aspects of an academic job.  Writing a good reference is often time consuming for good reasons, including: the reference needs to be tailor-made for the specific job and the candidate; you may not have seen the candidate for several years and finding relevant details, such as ‘when did the candidate work for your organisation?’ takes time;  and last but not least, the employer asking for a reference has its own system.  The latter is a more recent addition to the burden of writing a reference.  Gone are the days of writing a structured letter about the candidate, a letter which you could tweak for different jobs the candidate applied for.  Most employers have their own reference system which may make the job easier them but creates far more work for the writer of the reference.

To illustrate each these points with an example.  One reference I write on an online form automatically assumed I was writing as the most recent employer, the electronic form ‘forced’ me to write as if I was the most recent employer and then explain in the text box for another question that I had worked with the candidate some years ago.  Another request was for a reference for a former colleague whom I had worked with 15 years ago in Aberdeen.  She was returning to a research post and had looking after children and working in clinical practice in the intermediate period.  Lastly, a former BU M.Sc. student  is applying to several universities for a Ph.D. place and each university offered a different thesis topic and required me to complete its own online form, and, of course, each form is slightly different!

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

Ada Lovelace Day 2021 at BU: celebrating women in STEM – Professor Jane Murphy and Dr Sue Green

A portrait of Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace

 Tuesday 12th October is Ada Lovelace Day: an international celebration of women’s achievements in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Often referred to as the ‘first computer programmer’, Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) inspired Alan Turing’s work on the first modern computers in the 1940s. Find out more about her here.

All week we are profiling a selection of the women who work in STEM disciplines at BU, in areas as varied as games technology, sport psychology, electronics and clinical nutrition. Today we feature Professor Jane Murphy and Dr Sue Green.

Professor Jane Murphy, Professor of Nutrition and co-lead for the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre

Prof Jane Murphy

Prof Jane Murphy

Jane’s work focuses on key nutrition-related problems in older adults and how to translate nutrition science into practice. At a national level, she has led knowledge exchange projects commissioned by Health Education England to provide innovative education and training to improve dementia care across the health and social care workforce.

Dr Susan Dewhurst, Head of Department and Principal Academic in Exercise Physiology, who nominated her, says:

“Jane is a role model as a research leader committed to solving key nutrition problems in older adults. She has won funding from prestigious organisations like the Burdett Trust for Nursing and NIHR. Jane’s research has direct impact in practice through her clinical lead role in the Wessex Academic Health Science Network. She influences high standards in education and practice in her role as an elected council member for the Association for Nutrition and is a recognised mentor.”

What does Ada Lovelace mean to you?

Ada Lovelace was clearly a mathematical genius, ahead of her time and a trailblazer for women in science in the 19 century, working with scientists much better-known at the time, such as Babbage and Faraday.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career in a STEM subject?

Good nutrition is fundamental to support health and wellbeing and live a long and rewarding life. Through some early influences, I developed a keen interest in nutrition, and recognising how it related to ill-health and preventing disease thus paved the way towards my career in a STEM subject.

Moreover, learning about Elsie Widdowson – a pioneer nutrition scientist and dietitian – inspired me. She pushed boundaries to advance the science of nutrition in so many respects, including how the UK population could live with food rationing through the challenges of WW2 and creating the first UK food composition tables.

What would your advice be to girls looking at STEM subjects as a possible career?

Go for it! Research in science works best (and is more fun!) in collaboration and when working in partnership, regardless of gender, to solve fascinating problems and co-create real-world solutions. Keep focused on doing the best you can.

What would you like to change as a result of your research?

I’d like to see a better appreciation of the role of good nutrition across society to optimise health and wellbeing, particularly as we age and for older people, ensuring everyone receives evidence-based nutrition advice that’s appropriate to their needs.


Dr Sue Green, Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Department for Nursing Science

Dr Sue Green

Dr Sue Green

Sue has held funded clinical academic posts combining research and clinical work and has been at the forefront of developing clinical academic careers for nurses.

Sue’s research programme focuses on aspects of clinical nutrition, particularly nutritional care by nurses. Her initial research focused on laboratory-based approaches to study appetite. She has since focused on research to develop evidence for nursing practice, including nutritional screening, and how to apply that evidence to patient care.

A registered nurse with experience in acute and continuing care environments, Sue continues to work clinically as a nutrition nurse seconded to Solent NHS Trust.

Prof Stephen Ersser, Head Of Department For Nursing Science and Professor Of Nursing And Dermatology, who nominated her, says:

“Sue is an amazing leader in clinical nutrition related to nursing, especially nutritional screening and is recognised in her field.”

What does Ada Lovelace mean to you?

Ada Lovelace’s reputation supports efforts to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering, and maths.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career in a STEM subject?

A childhood spent observing animal behaviour and organisms’ responses to different environments inspired me to study a STEM subject. I followed my first career as a registered nurse by studying for a Zoology degree, before focussing on nutrition and health at masters and PhD level.

Have you faced any challenges in your chosen field because you’re a woman?

It is very difficult to be recognised as a woman in science if you are also a registered nurse. The two are seen as different fields, where in fact there is great synergy between the two.

What would your advice be to girls looking at STEM subjects as a possible career?

Go with your passion and your curiosity. Studying a STEM subject can lead to a wealth of career opportunities.

What would you like to change as a result of your research?

My hope is that my research will improve patients’ nutritional care and care delivery.