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SPEED Project – The World Port Sustainability Awards

The SPEED (Smart Ports Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development) project team is very honoured to have been shortlisted for the 2021 IAPH Sustainability Awards by The World Ports Sustainability Program (https://sustainableworldports.org/iaph-sustainability-awards-2021) in the category ‘Resilient Digital Infrastructure’. IAPH (The International Association of Ports and Harbours) (https://www.iaphworldports.org/) was formed in 1955 and over the last sixty years has grown into a global alliance representing over 180 members ports and 140 port related businesses in 90 countries.

The SPEED open innovation portal maintained by BU (https://speed.wazoku.com/ccc/speedportal), the commitment to collective ecosystem growth, the strong international consortium, and the focus on value creation for the smart port community have probably helped to being nominated and shortlisted. This is a big success achieved by the SPEED project partners’ hard work and creative efforts. SPEED is part of the European Interreg 2 Seas program and aims to empower a cross-border community of port authorities, port stakeholders, ambitious data science and IoT entrepreneurs and knowledge centres to become the world leading innovation hub for smart port application development.

We would like to thank you for your support.

BU SPEED Team: Professor Reza Sahandi, Dr Deniz Cetinkaya, Dr Gernot Liebchen, Mrs Shabnam Kazemi and Aikaterini Kakaounaki

BU academic indexes more than 2,500 articles to make them available online.

For the past 15 years Dr Sean Beer has been working with a conservation charity called the Exmoor Society. Since the society was founded in the late 1950s there have been 61 editions of the Society’s journal, the Exmoor Review, containing some 2,659 articles. These articles, written by local people, academics, and policy makers,  represent a unique resource examining the social, economic, and environmental history of Exmoor from the geological past, to the present day and into the future.

The review is available online, however, only as unsearchable PDF files. The index will allow those who are interested to search for information which they can then look up in the appropriate edition of the journal. A future project will be to fully digitize the content.

The society was originally formed to protect the uplands of Exmoor from afforestation (the right tree is great in the right place – current policymakers please take note!).  Exmoor, in the south-west of England, was made a National Park in 1954 and is famous not only for its landscape, and the richness of its natural environment and history, but also for its many literary connections as exemplified by the work of RD Blackmore, Henry Williamson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth.

Sean will be updating the index on a yearly basis and intends to continue his work with the society, particularly with regard to developing research projects relating to the area and its social, economic, and environmental future.

Orientation on migration health and research

Academics from Bournemouth University successfully conducted a three-day orientation programme (two hours a day on May 12, 14, and 17) on research methods and health issues of Nepali migrants, particularly related to the emerging issue of sudden cardiac death. BU academics Dr Pramod Regmi and Dr Nirmal Aryal (both from the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences) led the orientation events online. Ten Nepali migrant leaders, researchers and activists from Nepal, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates participated in this research capacity-building event.

This orientation programme was originally designed for Malaysia-based research team members for BU Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) project ‘Investigating Sudden Cardiac Death of Nepali labour migrants in Malaysia’ (PI: Prof Edwin van Teijlingen). However, to be inclusive the project team also invited migrant leaders and activists from Nepal and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, since they also need to increase the awareness and capacity on migration health issues and basic research concepts.

Two not-for-profit migrant-related organisations, Pravasi Nepali Co-ordination Committee (PNCC), Nepal and North-South Initiative (NSI) Malaysia collaborated for this event. PNCC is one of the leading migrant-related organisations in Nepal; however it is actively working in the countries of Gulf and Malaysia as well. NSI is a collaborator of BU for sudden cardiac death project in Malaysia and actively engaged in advocacy, program, and research for the welfare of migrants and refugees.

For the past few years, BU’s academics (Aryal, Regmi, Mahato, van Teijlingen) have published many papers [1-19] around the health and wellbeing of Nepali migrant workers. Several of these papers have been co-authored by FHSS Visiting Faculty (Bibha Simkhada, Pratik Adhikary, Padam Simkhada). GCRF also funded the recently launched ‘Health Research Network for Migrant Workers in Asia’ (PI Dr Regmi). This research network (https://hearmigrants.org/) fosters collaboration within academics of South Asia and South East Asia, the GCC countries, and Malaysia, and between academic and non-academic institutions and people to identify, understand and help address health problems, behaviours and related issues of migrant workers.

References:

  1. Adhikary, P., Aryal, N., Dhungana, R.R., KC, R.K., Regmi, P.R., Wickramage, K.P., Duigan, P., Inkochasan, M., Sharma, G.N., Devkota, B., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P. (2020) Accessing health services in India: experiences of seasonal migrants returning to Nepal. BMC Health Services Research 20, 992. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-020-05846-7
  2. IOM [International Organization for Migration]. (2019) Health vulnerabilities of cross-border migrants from Nepal. Kathmandu: International Organization for Migration.
  3. Aryal, N., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, E., Trenoweth, S., Adhikary, P., Simkhada, P. (2020) The Impact of Spousal Migration on the Mental Health of Nepali Women: A Cross-Sectional Study, International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health 17(4), 1292; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph1704129
  4. Regmi, P., Aryal, N., van Teijlingen, E., Adhikary, P. (2020) Nepali migrant workers and the need for pre-departure training on mental health: a qualitative study, Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health 22, 973–981.
  5. Adhikary, P. van Teijlingen, E. (2020) Support networks in the Middle East & Malaysia: A qualitative study of Nepali returnee migrants’ experiences, International Journal of Occupational Safety & Health (IJOSH), 9(2): 31-35.
  6. Simkhada, B., Sah, R.K., Mercel-Sanca, A., van Teijlingen, E., Bhurtyal, Y.M., Regmi, P. (2020) Health and Wellbeing of the Nepali population in the UK: Perceptions and experiences of health and social care utilisation, Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health 23(1): 298–307. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-020-00976-w
  7. Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E., Mahato, P., Aryal, N., Jadhav, N., Simkhada, P., Syed Zahiruddin, Q., Gaidhane, A., (2019) The health of Nepali migrants in India: A qualitative study of lifestyles and risks, Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health 16(19), 3655; doi:10.3390/ijerph16193655.
  8. Dhungana, R.R., Aryal, N, Adhikary, P., KC, R., Regmi, P.R., Devkota, B., Sharma, G.N., Wickramage, K., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P. (2019) Psychological morbidity in Nepali cross-border migrants in India: A community-based cross-sectional, BMC Public Health 19:1534 https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-019-7881-z
  9. Aryal, N., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Mahato, P. (2019) Adolescents left behind by migrant workers: a call for community-based mental health interventions in Nepal. WHO South East Asia Journal of Public Health 8(1): 38-41.
  10. Aryal, N., Regmi, P.R., Faller, E.M,, van Teijlingen, E., Khoon, C.C., Pereira, A., Simkhada, P. (2019) ‘Sudden cardiac death and kidney health related problems among Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia’ Nepal Journal of Epidemiology9(3): 755-758. https://www.nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/25805
  11. Adhikary P, van Teijlingen E., Keen S. (2019) Workplace accidents among Nepali male workers in the Middle East and Malaysia: A qualitative study, Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health 21(5): 1115–1122. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10903-018-0801-y
  12. Simkhada, P.P., van Teijlingen, E.R., Gurung, M., Wasti, S. (2018) A survey of health problems of Nepalese female migrants workers in the Middle-East & Malaysia, BMC International Health & Human Rights 18(4): 1-7. http://rdcu.be/E3Ro
  13. Adhikary P, Sheppard, Z., Keen S., van Teijlingen E. (2018) Health and well-being of Nepalese migrant workers abroad, International Journal of Migration, Health & Social Care 14(1): 96-105. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMHSC-12-2015-0052
  14. Adhikary, P, Sheppard, Z., Keen, S., van Teijlingen, E. (2017) Risky work: accidents among Nepalese migrant workers in Malaysia, Qatar & Saudi Arabia, Health Prospect 16(2): 3-10.
  15. Simkhada, P.P., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, E., Aryal, N. (2017) Identifying the gaps in Nepalese migrant workers’ health and well-being: A review of the literature, Journal of Travel Medicine 24(4): 1-9.
  16. Aryal, N., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, E.Simkhada, P., Adhikary, P., Bhatta, Y.K.D., Mann, S. (2016) Injury and Mortality in Young Nepalese Migrant Workers: A Call for Public Health Action. Asian-Pacific Journal of Public Health28(8): 703-705.
  17. Sapkota, T., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Nepalese health workers’ migration to United Kingdom: A qualitative study. Health Science Journal 8(1):57-74.
  18. Adhikary P, Keen S., van Teijlingen E (2011). Health Issues among Nepalese migrant workers in the Middle East. Health Science Journal.5(3):169-i75 DOI: 2-s2.0-79960420128.
  19. Adhikary, P., Simkhada, P.P., van Teijlingen E., Raja, AE. (2008) Health & Lifestyle of Nepalese Migrants in the UK, BMC International Health & Human Rights 8(6). Web address: www.biomedcentral.com/1472-698X/8/6.

  

 

 

 

 

 

19th EUROGRAPHICS Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage (EG GCH 2021) – Call for papers

Bournemouth University will host the 19th EUROGRAPHICS Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage (EG GCH 2021) from 4-6 November 2021. The workshop will engage practitioners and researchers across the world working at the interface of novel 3D digital technologies and cultural heritage. This year, circumstances depending, EG GCH will be run in a hybrid format, organised by the University of Bournemouth, UK. This will allow those who are able to attend the conference in person to do so, while those that can’t, especially if the pandemic is still raging at the time of the conference, will also not miss out on this exciting event.

The event seeks different types of contributions including:

  1. Research papers: original and innovative research (maximum 10 pages)
  2. Short papers: update of ongoing research activities or projects (maximum 4 pages)
  3. Posters: overview of activities or national/international interdisciplinary projects (500 words abstract)
  4. Panel sessions for multidisciplinary/industry-oriented projects
  5. Special sessions on Interactive Digital Narratives

Note down these important dates:

  • Full papers submission deadline: 19 July 2021
  • Short papers submission deadline: 2 August 2021
  • Posters submission deadline: 30 August 2021

All accepted research and short papers will be published by the Eurographics Association and archived in the EG Digital Library.
The authors of up to five selected best papers will be invited to submit an extended version to the ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH).

The full call for papers and key dates can be found on the workshop website. The fantastic keynotes will be announced soon.

Please consider submitting and attending the workshop.

The EG GCH 2021 organisation committee

Research staff coffee breaks

A warm ‘hello!’ from your Research Staff Association (RSA) reps. We hope that this email finds you well and that you have been managing to cope with all the changes over the last year.

We are contacting all the research staff across the university to invite you all to our virtual (for the moment) ‘Research Staff Coffee Breaks’, starting on 27th May at 10-11am and continuing throughout the summer.

Due to the many challenges we have encountered over the last year and a general consensus among the members of the RSA that we would like to do more to support the research staff we represent, we are working to develop the RSA to help make BU a great place for researchers to work and progress in their careers. We want to offer peer support, accurate representation and opportunities to get to know other research staff across the university. To do this though, we need to connect with the members of the BU community who we represent (you!) and find out first-hand what the important issues, concerns and aspirations are.

As an initial means of introducing ourselves and meeting you we have set up a number of coffee breaks as an informal space to connect and take a break from work. Whilst we are still working from home these will be held on zoom. The details for the coffee breaks are included below including the zoom links and log in details. If you cannot make any of these meetings but would like to introduce yourself, raise an issue or simply ask a question please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email.

Zoom links:

Please join us for one or both of these – there’s no need to RSVP!

Unfortunately, we don’t have resources to send out coffee and cake but hopefully you can find something nice and can join us at some or all our breaks. We are looking into more formal provision of space and food and drink for when we are able to meet on campus but until then, we’re looking forward to meeting you virtually soon.

Best wishes

The Research Staff Association Team

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) 2021 – Closing today

Still time to have your say

Final call for PGRs to complete this year’s Advance HE Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) which closes today!


Don’t miss the chance to tell us about your experience at Bournemouth University by taking part in the Advance HE Postgraduate Research Experience Survey which closes today (Monday 17 May 2021). We are keen to make sure our PGRs have the best possible experience while studying at Bournemouth University. To do this, we need to know what you think works well and what as a University we could do better.

As a thank you for taking part, we will be making a £1 donation for every survey completed to the student mental health wellbeing charity, Student Minds.

How do I take part?

PGRs received an email from the University on Monday 12 April 2021 containing a unique link which allows you to access and complete the survey. If you can’t find this email, contact PRES@bournemouth.ac.uk and we’ll help you to get access.

What will I be asked?

The survey will take around 15 minutes to complete. Your response is confidential and any reporting will be entirely anonymous. The survey is your chance to tell us about your experience as a PGR at BU. It will ask you to share your views on supervision, resources, the research community, progress and assessment, skills and professional development, and wellbeing.

Why should I take part?

Your feedback is important. The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey is the only national survey of PGRs and so is the only way for us to compare how we are doing with other institutions and to make changes that will improve your experience in the future.

More information

If you would like to know more about the survey, please visit: PRES 2021

We hope you take the opportunity to get involved this year and help us make improvements to your experience.

 

Best wishes,

The Doctoral College

Conversation article: UK-India trade deal: why the timing is crucial for both nations

The UK and India have announced a new enhanced deal on trade at a virtual summit. The deal aims to double trade between the two countries by 2030 and declares their joint commitment to start working towards a comprehensive free-trade agreement, for which discussions are due to commence in the autumn.

Britain and India announced £1 billion of new trade and investment as part of this new Enhanced Trade Partnership. Indian investments worth £533 million will be made in Britain, including £240 million by the Serum Institute for production of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines and sales business. At the same time, £446 million worth of export deals were announced by British businesses in India. This builds on a trade relationship that was already worth £25.5 billion in 2019.

At the summit the UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, also launched a Roadmap 2030 to expand and deepen bilateral cooperation in five areas: people-to-people relationships, trade and prosperity, defence and security, climate action and healthcare cooperation.

Deeper ties

The new deal is expected to generate additional employment in both countries, grow bilateral trade and unlock new opportunities in sectors such as food and drink, business services such as law and accounting, advanced engineering, defence, education, energy, life sciences and healthcare. It will also reduce barriers, both tariff and non-tariff, for businesses at a time when the prospects for global growth after the COVID-19 pandemic remain uncertain.

The deal is particularly interesting due to its size and intended scope. The UK and India are the 5th and 6th biggest economies in the world. India is the largest single market, of about 1.4 billion people, that the UK has committed to negotiating a free-trade deal with to date.

India is Britain’s sixth-largest non-EU trading partner, whereas Britain is barely inside India’s top 20. This points to significant scope for growth on both sides. Once agreed, the free-trade deal is likely to be extremely significant, fostering innovation and technology cooperation as well as skills transfer and knowledge-sharing between the two nations.

At present, however, India is facing a particularly devastating health threat following the latest outbreak of COVID-19. The UK government and the diaspora have been supporting India with things like ventilators, oxygen generation units and a clinical advisory group, but the subcontinent is so large and populous that there is only so much that can be achieved.

The new agreement can potentially help by easing the pain of economic contraction for India in 2021, while supporting both partners as they commence rebuilding efforts to recover from the pandemic.

Britain and the Indo-Pacific

The deal will likely strengthen the geopolitical positions of both nations in a part of the world that is dominated by China. The UK’s recent Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy articulated the importance of an Indo-Pacific region with “open societies”.

The UK signalled a willingness in the review to play a larger role in the region, committing to a larger naval presence to ensure freedom of navigation. It has applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a free-trade bloc of 11 Pacific nations including Japan, Australia and Canada.

The UK has also become an official dialogue partner of the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. All this, including the trade deal with India, seeks to help the UK to “unlock opportunities in the region” and establish an outward-looking global Britain.

Finally, announcing an UK-India agreement before the EU-India summit on May 8 gives the UK a first-mover advantage over the trading bloc that it has just left behind. In keeping with the UK-India deal, facilitating investment, regulatory cooperation and trade barriers are at the top of the agenda at the summit. The EU is also seeking to make progress on a free-trade agreement, as well as several other treaties on specific aspects of trade. Modi had been due to visit Porto, Portugal for the occasion, but this has been cancelled due to the pandemic.

The UK-India declaration for an Enhanced Trade Partnership symbolises the commitment of both countries to bolster what Modi has referred to as “living bridge” between the two countries in light of their shared history, culture and democratic values. It is these common attributes – together with complementary skills and capabilities – that make the UK and Indian natural partners despite the geographical distance, especially at a time when both the economies will have to address the economic rebuilding agenda after the pandemic.

Sangeeta Khorana, Professor of Economics, Bournemouth University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

HE Policy Update for the w/e 13th May 2021

Several controversial new Bills with implications for the HE sector were introduced through the Queen’s Speech – which was very political this year (you’ll see what we mean). There’s a lot to say so it’s a longer update and we’ve focussed mainly on the parliamentary shenanigans this week.

Regular BU readers will know that we like to look to the horizon fairly regularly to see what else is heading our way.  The stuff in the Queen’s Speech for HE, while interesting, is just getting us started on what this year will bring – the big stuff is all still to come. Here’s the latest version of the Policy team’s horizon scanning.

Queen’s Speech

You can read the full Queen’s Speech here and peruse the Briefing Pack (which contains the background information. The Queen’s Speech announced over 25 Bills. Proposed new legislation that is of most interest to HE:

  • Skills and Post-16 Education Bill
  • Professional Qualifications Bill
  • Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill
  • Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions legislation

Below is the most relevant content from the speech or the accompanying briefing notes, with new or key content in blue. We’ve more to say on the free speech and skills/lifelong learning elements so these follow below.   We’ve covered the research content in the research section below.

Professional Qualifications Bill

The purpose of the Bill is to:

  • Create a new framework to recognise professional qualifications from across the world to ensure the UK can access professionals in areas of a workforce shortage. This will replace the interim system that gives preference to professional qualifications from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
  • Enable the Government to provide UK regulators with a consistent set of powers to enter into agreements with regulators overseas to recognise professional qualifications.

The main benefits of the Bill would be:

  • Ensuring there is a clearly identified set of priority professions where there is demand for skills from overseas, such as nurses and teachers and enabling qualifications from around the world to be recognised.
  • Supporting our key regulated professions to attract the brightest and best talent from around the world by creating a new framework for recognising qualifications from overseas.
  • Allowing regulators to continue to set and maintain high professional standards.
  • Strengthening the UK’s global trading status, supporting the UK and regulators in realising opportunities for UK professionals to deliver services in markets overseas.
  • Improving the transparency around the entry and practice requirements of regulated professions, such as medicine, nursing and teaching.

The main elements of the Bill are:

  • Enabling the UK to implement its international agreements on professional qualifications and to allow regulators to enter into reciprocal agreements with their international counterparts to facilitate the recognition of professional qualifications. This will support UK professionals to deliver services in markets overseas.
  • Making sure regulators have the information and flexibility they need to regulate professionals effectively who have qualified in a different part of the UK.
  • Requiring regulators to publish details about entry and practice requirements making information about careers more accessible and raising public confidence in regulated professions.
  • Introducing a new system for recognising all architects who qualified overseas. This will expedite new international entrants to the Architects Register in the UK while requiring them to demonstrate an understanding of the specific UK landscape.

BEIS’ post speech press release: The Professional Qualifications Bill will mean skilled professionals from around the world can seek recognition to practise in the UK in areas where their skills are in need. Supporting the UK’s key regulated professions to deliver the vital services on which we rely is a priority for the government. Regulators are the experts in their field and must have the autonomy to set the standard required to practise in the UK, ensuring quality and safety.

Turing Scheme

  • The Government has introduced the Turing Scheme, a new international educational exchange scheme that has a global reach. This represents an opportunity for young people across the UK, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to work and study across the world, as we build back stronger.
  • The Turing Scheme is backed by £110 million of funding, and in its first year will support around 35,000 participants in universities, colleges and schools to go on placements and exchanges around the globe. The sector has welcomed this new global scheme.
  • The Turing Scheme is UK-wide, with education institutions eligible to apply across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • The new scheme will help level up opportunities by targeting students from disadvantaged backgrounds and areas which did not previously have many students benefiting from Erasmus+, making life-changing opportunities accessible to everyone across the country.
  • The scheme will be global, with every country in the world eligible to partner up with UK institutions, unlike Erasmus+, which is EU-focused.
  • This scheme will be a key part of our long-term ambitions for a Global Britain. [Perhaps the subtext here is stop complaining about the funding cuts and the lack of reciprocal exchange this is all you’re getting. Unless you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.]

Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions – another very political one

The purpose of the legislation is to deliver the manifesto commitment to stop public bodies from imposing their own approach or views about international relations, through preventing boycott, divestment or sanctions campaigns against foreign countries.

The main benefits of the legislation would be preventing divisive behaviour that undermines community cohesion by preventing public bodies from imposing their own approach or views about international relations via their own boycott, divestment or sanctions campaigns. There are concerns that such boycotts may legitimise antisemitism.

The main elements of the legislation are stopping public bodies from taking a different approach to UK Government sanctions and foreign relations. This will be in the form of preventing public institutions carrying out independent boycotts, divestments and sanctions against:

  • Foreign countries, or those linked to them.
  • The sale of goods and services from foreign countries.
  • UK firms which trade with such countries, where such an approach is not in line with UK Government sanctions.
  • The measures will cover purchasing, procurement and investment decisions which undermine cohesion and integration.

Draft Online Safety Bill

The purpose of the draft Bill is to:

  • Introduce ground-breaking laws to keep people safe online whilst ensuring that users’ rights, including freedom of expression, are protected online.
  • Build public trust by making companies responsible for their users’ safety online, whilst supporting a thriving and fast growing digital sector.
  • Designate Ofcom as the independent online safety regulator.

The main benefits of the draft Bill would be:

  • Delivering our manifesto commitment to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online, through improving protections for users, especially children, whilst protecting freedom of expression.
  • Ensuring there is no safe space for criminal content and activity online.
  • Restoring public trust in the services that online platforms offer and supporting a thriving, fast growing digital sector.

The main elements of the draft Bill are:

  • Placing a duty of care on companies to improve the safety of their users online. This will require them to tackle illegal content on their services and to protect children from harmful content and activity online. They must seriously consider the risks their services pose to users and take action to protect them.
  • Requiring major platforms to set out clearly in their terms and conditions what legal content is unacceptable on their platform and enforce these consistently and transparently.
  • Requiring platforms to have effective and accessible user reporting and redress mechanisms to report concerns about harmful content, and challenge infringement of rights (such as wrongful takedown).
  • Designating Ofcom as the independent online safety regulator and giving it a suite of robust enforcement powers to uphold the regulation. This will include very large fines of up to £18 million or 10 per cent of annual global turnover – whichever is greater – as well as business disruption measures. The Government expects Ofcom to prioritise enforcement action where children’s safety has been compromised.
  • Boosting public resilience to disinformation through media literacy and supporting research on misinformation and disinformation.

Education Recovery Plan

As we build back from the pandemic, we are putting in place a package of measures to ensure no child is left behind as a result of the education and extracurricular activities they may have missed out on. We are working with the Education Recovery Commissioner – Sir Kevan Collins – to

  • develop an ambitious, long-term plan that builds back a better and fairer education system in England and delivers significant reforms to address the scale of this challenge.
  • As a first step, over the past year we have already provided over £2 billion to schools, colleges and early years settings to support pupils’ academic and wider progress. This includes £1.7 billion in funding to support education recovery and over £400 million is being invested to support access to remote education including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets.

Research

Queen’s speech – this mostly not new, no legislation, just a little update on where we are

  • We are committed to making the UK a global superpower, with a world leading research and development environment. Innovation is a key pillar of our approach to tackling the effects of the pandemic and levelling up the UK.
  • R&D will continue to be critical to the economic and social recovery from the impact of COVID-19, enabling us to build back better for a greener, healthier and more resilient UK. Our goal is to further strengthen science, research and innovation across the UK, making them central to tackling the major challenges of today and in the future.
  • On average, each public pound invested in R&D across our portfolio ultimately leverages around £2 of additional private sector investment and creates £7 of net benefits.
  • The Government is investing £14.9 billion in R&D in 2021-22. This investment means Government R&D spending is now at its highest level in four decades. We are committed to increasing public expenditure on R&D to £22 billion, helping to deliver on our target to increase total UK R&D investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027.
  • In the R&D Roadmap, we set out our priorities for boosting innovation in the economy. We want to make the UK a world-leading place to innovate and bring new products and services to market.
  • BEIS will publish an Innovation Strategy this summer to inspire, facilitate and unleash innovation across the UK; supporting and harnessing the tremendous capability of UK innovators to boost future prosperity locally and nationwide.
  • We have already introduced the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) Bill, to unleash the potential of the UK’s world-class research and science base.
  • Our Review of Research Bureaucracy will advise on practical solutions to substantially reducing unnecessary research bureaucracy, freeing up researchers to devote more time to their academic roles and pursuing world-class research.

BEIS published a press release on the research focussed announcements made in the Queen’s Speech stating it has reinforced the UK’s commitments to becoming a global science superpower, taking advantage of the UK’s departure from the EU, and strengthening our energy security as we transition to a net zero future.

Queen’s speech – Advanced Research and Invention Agency – again, not new, just a progress report

The ARIA Bill was first introduced in March 2021 (after a lot of prior discussion and Committee sessions) and has been carried over from the 2019-21 parliamentary session. The Government have committed £800 million to fund ARIA.

The purpose of the Bill is to:

  • Create the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) as a new statutory corporation to fund high-risk, high-reward R&D.
  • Give ARIA broad powers to take an innovative approach to research funding, and a mandate for higher tolerance for failure when pursuing high-risk research.
  • Define ARIA’s relationship with the Government, giving it autonomy and freedoms to manage its day-to-day affairs.
  • Support this agile operating model by freeing ARIA from some standard public sector obligations.

The main benefits of the Bill would be:

  • Creating a new agency to fund high-risk, high-reward research, to enhance the UK’s R&D offer and help cement the UK’s position as a global science superpower.
  • Supporting the creation of ground-breaking technology, with the potential to produce transformational benefits to our economy and society, new technologies and new industries. For example, the US Advanced Research Projects Agency took a similar approach to funding and supported the breakthrough research that underpins the internet and the Global Positioning System (GPS).
  • Diversifying the R&D funding system and providing innovative and flexible tools to push the boundaries of science at speed, reaching an even wider range of the research community.

The main elements of the Bill are:

  • Creating ARIA as a statutory corporation.
  • Providing broad functions for ARIA to conduct, support or commission research-related activities, with regard to the desirability of doing so for the benefit of the UK.
  • Explicitly tolerating failure in pursuing ambitious research, development, and exploitation.
  • Establishing an arm’s length relationship to Government, set out in ARIA’s procedure, membership and appointments processes, with limited information and direction rights for the Secretary of State.
  • Providing powers for the Secretary of State to dissolve ARIA that can only be exercised after 10 years.

This week Research Minister, Amanda Solloway, published a written ministerial statement setting out the £200,000 budget and use of an agency to source the best candidates for the ARIA CEO and Chair roles: Given the unusual autonomy placed on the CEO and Chair roles for ARIA, it is vital we source the best possible candidates, and get them started as soon as possible. We have planned an extensive outreach strategy to ensure we maximise the size of the talent pool. We will expand and enhance the search for the right individuals, including by procuring the services of a respected international Executive Search agency from the Government’s Commercial Framework. This agency will not have any part to play in candidate selection or interview sifting, these activities will be the responsibilities of BEIS Secretary of State and the ARIA Recruitment Panel, respectively.

Regional R&D

The Higher Education Policy Institute has published a report on regional policy and R&D finding that geographic concentration of Research and Development (R&D) investment is a widespread characteristic of research globally and is not unique to the UK.

The report highlights that there is no single picture of the distribution of research funding, with the pattern depending on the metric used.

Recognising that the levelling up agenda is not the first attempt to stimulate regional investment and address regional inequalities in the UK, the authors argue that future regional initiatives must be built on firmer foundations – with much wider recognition of the complex picture of UK research funding among policymakers.

The report makes six recommendations to develop more resilient regional R&D initiatives.

  1. Set out measurable objectives: A clear vision and regional metrics for success could advance the regional R&D agenda.
  2. Focus on impact: Regional metrics should focus on the impact of research, rather than the level of investment.
  3. Build greater strengths through partnerships: Foster inter-regional collaborations to strengthen the impact of research.
  4. Create strong civic partners at regional and local levels: Enable civic authorities to lead regional R&D initiatives within a national framework.
  5. Integrate regional, national and global interests: Strong relationships between national and regional R&D are essential.
  6. Ensure financial sustainability for university research: Improving the sustainability of funding would enable stronger regional R&D.

Quick News:

  • Wonkhe highlight:
    • The Financial Times has an opinion piece, arguing that opaque bureaucracy is holding back university spinout companies in the UK and Europe.
    • The LSE Impact Blog has a piece from Elizabeth Gadd, which argues that a commitment to research assessment means a commitment to addressing the problem of global university rankings.
  • The Government have announced £22 million of new investment to build cyber security resilience globally including a focus on developing countries. The UK, jointly with INTERPOL, is setting up a new cyber operations hub in Africa working across Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda to support joint operations against cybercrime. The Foreign Secretary said: We are working with like-minded partners, to make sure that the international order that governs cyber is fit for purpose. Our aim should be to create a cyberspace that is free, open, peaceful and secure, and which benefits all countries and all people. We want to see international law respected in cyberspace, just as we would anywhere else. And we need to show how the rules apply to these changes in technology, the changes in threats, and the systemic attempts to render the internet a lawless space.

Admissions

The Post Qualification Admissions (PQA) debate is another significant Government intervention in HE right now. PQA has been bumbling along as an idea for years but the current Government seems set on change. The recent consultation highlights that although the Government are willing to push change through they’re undecided about which method, and all proposed approaches have flaws. You can read BU’s response to the consultation.   If you read our response, you’ll see we think it creates more problems than it solves.  As others have said, is this a solution looking for a problem.

Student Recruitment: Wonkhe have a blog on retaining the most useful and impactful methods on online student recruitment. It’s not just about engaging students who cannot afford to travel or live in rural/remote areas anymore. It also mentions targeted recruitment and the increasing harnessing of data: …recruitment and admissions professionals could begin to think of themselves as citizen-scientists, building data models to deliver the kind of intelligence and insight required to bring prospective students into the learning community – and enable those first exploratory steps on the road to a lifelong relationship.

Exams: Ofqual has released a non-technical guide for students explaining the awards process and how to appeal grades for A levels and equivalent technical and vocational qualifications.

Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill

As introduced by the Queen’s Speech the purpose of the Bill is to: fulfil the manifesto commitment to strengthen academic freedom and free speech in universities in England. [Interesting phrasingdo they feel they have to but not really want to, or is this hugely political Bill something they really care about?  It seems really odd to prioritise this one as one of the first Bills after the speech].  The Government’s press release trailing the Bill: Universities to comply with free speech duties or face sanctionsThe policy paper that has been the foundation for this is here (you may recall the SoS’s colourful and controversial introduction). Wonkhe also have an excellent blog on free speech – everything you want to know – which highlights some of the challenges we discuss below.

And others are questioning the whole premise for the Bill  – Phil Baty (THE) on Twitter referred to some stats, from the OfS Prevent monitoring report 2017-18 – issued June 2019

There are many stages for this before it becomes law and much discussion still to come: link to bill itself.  . 

The main benefits of the Bill would be:

  • Strengthening legislation on freedom of speech and academic freedom in higher education in England, with duties on higher education providers and students’ unions.
  • Ensuring that universities in England are places where freedom of speech can thrive for all staff, students and visiting speakers, contributing to a culture of open and robust intellectual debate.
  • Ensuring that academic staff feel safe to question and test received wisdom and put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions, without being at risk of losing their jobs, privileges or promotion.
  • Creating ways for staff, students and visiting speakers to get redress if they suffer a loss as a result of the duties being breached.

The main elements of the Bill are:

  • Including new freedom of speech and academic duties on higher education providers and students’ unions. The regulator, the Office for Students, will have the power to impose fines for breaches.
  • Ensuring that, for the first time, students’ unions at universities will have to take steps to secure lawful freedom of speech for their members and others, including visiting speakers.
  • Creating a new role of Director for Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom at the Office for Students, with a remit to champion freedom of speech and academic freedom on campus, and responsibility for investigations of infringements of freedom of speech duties in higher education which may result in sanctions and individual redress.
  • Enabling individuals to seek compensation through the courts if they suffer loss as a result of breach of the freedom of speech duties.

We are concerned about the tangled web that this will create.  Some of the problems that are likely to come up are illustrated by this: Universities minister Michelle Donelan was interviewed on PM on Radio 4 yesterday, where host Evan Davies suggested the bill’s provisions could clash with government efforts to tackle antisemitism. Donelan subsequently posted a tweet thread rebutting the claim.  Donelan has since been contradicted by the PM and the Secretary of State.  This will all need to be clarified at some point, although of course, in practice, someone looking at an incident would in any event have to look at all the factual and contextual circumstances of an incident as well as the potentially conflicting rules.  The problem is this is all so political that these controversial disputes will be fought out in the open,  in an ill- or at best partially- informed social media frenzy.

Skills and Post-16 Education Bill

Since the Queen’s Speech the Government has introduced this Bill with the Lifetime Skills Guarantee as its centrepiece.  The Bill has not yet been published, but will form the legislative underpinning for the reforms set out in the previously published Skills for Jobs White Paper. The Government say the proposed new law create a post-16 and adult education and training system that is “fit for the future, providing the skills that people need for well-paid jobs and opportunities to train throughout their lifetime.” The rhetoric surrounding the introduction of the Bill reminds the PM outlined his vision for a radical change in skills provision in a speech last year. He made clear that the 50 per cent of young people who do not go to university have been historically deprived of the chance to find their vocation and develop a fulfilling, well-paid career. This rather sets the tone and the translucent Government intention behind the Bill. However, it remains to be seen whether it will work out as the Government intends.

And it will be expensive – so are there cuts to HE funding round the corner to help fund it?

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said As we rebuild from the pandemic, we’ve put reforming post-16 education and skills at the heart of our plans to build back better, and as Education Secretary I have championed the often forgotten 50 per cent of young people who don’t go to university. Through legislation, our vision is to transform the sector and expand opportunity right across the country, so that more people can get the skills they need to get good jobs.

Meanwhile Research Professional cover the comments from the Director for Fair Access and Participation (OfS) who states that universities “must be central to the vision” behind plans to improve access to further and higher technical education.

The Queen’s Speech introduced the purpose of the Bill is to:

  • Legislate for landmark reforms that will transform post-16 education and training, make skills more readily available and get more people into work as set out in the Government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper.
  • Enable people to access flexible funding for Higher or Further Education, bringing Universities and Further Education colleges closer together, and removing the bias against technical education.  Legislative measures will include a “new student finance system” transforming the current loan system with lifelong access to flexible funding equivalent to four years of higher-level study.
  • Deliver the Prime Minister’s new Lifetime Skills Guarantee, as part of our blueprint for a post-16 education system that will ensure everyone, no matter where they live or their background, can gain the skills they need to progress in work at any stage of their lives.
  • Increase productivity, support growth industries and give individuals opportunities to progress in their careers.
  • Strengthen the powers of the Office for Students to take action to address low quality higher education provision.

The main benefits of the Bill would be:

  • Offering adults across the country the opportunity to retrain in later life through the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, helping them to gain in-demand skills and open up further job opportunities.
  • Realigning the system around the needs of employers so that people are trained for the skills gaps that exist now and in the future, in sectors the economy needs including construction, digital, clean energy and manufacturing.
  • Improving the quality of training available by making sure that providers are better run, qualifications are better regulated, and that providers’ performance can be effectively assessed.

The main elements of the Bill are:

  • Putting employers at the heart of the post-16 skills system through the Skills Accelerator, by enabling employers and providers to collaborate to develop skills plans aimed at ensuring local skills provision meets local needs. Meaning employers will have a statutory role in planning publicly-funded training programmes with education providers through the Skills Accelerator programme.
  • Introducing the Lifelong Loan Entitlement, which will give individuals access to the equivalent of up to four years’ worth of student loans for level 4-6 qualifications that they can use flexibly across their lifetime, at colleges as well as universities.
  • Strengthening the system of accountability by extending existing powers for the Secretary of State for Education to intervene where colleges have failed to meet local needs, to direct structural change where required to secure improvement, and by amending the regulation of post-16 education and training providers to ensure quality.
  • Strengthening the ability of the Office for Students to assess and regulate Higher Education provision in England, ensuring that they can regulate in line with minimum expectations of quality.

There’s a lot to say about all this.

Is it truly lifelong? The change in funding has been welcomed by many but one wonders if the devil will be in the detail. In fact, is it really a cut?  The four years of flexible funding for level 4-6 qualifications doesn’t seem much of a change for most HE students on an academic route – currently this is all the Government funds as standard anyway. In effect this is just reinforcing that you only have one bite of the cherry. So if an individual decides to take some flexible modules across a range of programmes and at a mix of providers, perhaps even adding some technical or vocational pathway provision in and then decides their heart lies in a particular area which requires a full degree they will have run out of tuition funding before they complete their degree. Of course, the Government might respond that the mix of modules the individual undertook were all accredited and the credit can be transferred in. However, the reality is rarely that simple.

There is also the adult worker with an undergraduate degree in psychology who wishes to retrain in an ELQ exempt subject such as midwifery (so currently they get a second set of funding). Or the manufacturing worker who took a series of courses related to his role that their employer required them to use the Government funding for – who finds themself redundant due to automation and AI and without enough credit to retrain.

Flexibility is great as long as all providers accept the credit accumulated and it doesn’t chip away at the overall pot too much to prevent the individual achieving their aspirations.

Will the Government continue to provide a second bite of the cherry for priority or work shortage areas? Probably, but it still places a lot of pressure on the young people to choose wisely for that first degree and they likely will have had little careers advice, life or work experience to know where to choose to make their mark in the world. It also perpetuates current social mobility concerns – young people from disadvantaged areas are risk adverse so may be most affected by the drip drip of frequent calls on their “pot”.

For HE it could mean little change but for individuals there isn’t a safety net. I think we all recall the controversial advert the Government had to withdraw where Fatima the dancer was expected to retrain for a career in IT.

And there was some interesting stuff tucked away in the notes accompanying the Speech on giving the OfS additional powers to enforce their quality framework.

Wonkhe shared details of a report from London South Bank and Aston Universities which makes the case for a technically focused university role in the expansion of higher technical education. The joint report – “Truly Modern Technical Education” calls for flexibility in the use of the apprenticeship levy and the proposed lifelong learning account to allow for higher education qualifications at levels four and five to form a part of a wider, collaborative, offer.

The report also argues that universities of technology could strengthen the link between skills and R&D, and that universities should play a leading role in the development of local industrial or economic strategies. It notes that 39 per cent of students enrolled in UK universities in 2019 were studying a “technical” subject.

There’s a blog too. If you read the blog ensure you read the comments responding to the blog too!

Covid

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan confirmed all students are permitted to return to campus on 17 May and acknowledged that while teaching may have finished for many they could engage in cocurricular and other on-campus activities before the end of term and enable them to have the option of engaging with their academic tutors in-person. This could include in-person career support, society events as well as other social student experiences that have had to remain remote up until now.

Research Professional report that the timing of student return shows government is ‘out of touch’ following comment from Paul Blomfield, MP and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Students which stated the decision to reopen campuses so late in the academic year exposes the government as out of touch with higher education. He continued: After almost half a year of being told to stay away from campuses, students are frustrated about being an afterthought and angry about the lack of support from the government…On rents and lost earnings, they’ve been hit hard, without the support available to others.

UCU said: This looks like a stupid end to a stupid year beset by government mismanagement.

Read more from Research Professional on the reopening in Too Little, Too Late.  

Wonkhe: All students can now “return” to campus. But what for? Wonkhe’s short piece highlights how universities’ hands are still tied in offering Donelan’s meaningful ‘activities’:

  • Ah yes. Right down to this late in the academic year, DfE drops providers in it. It may as well have said “we’ve said they can, so it’s up to them if they don’t! If you feel you’ve not been getting the quality, quantity and access to tuition, you can complain to the OIA…”
  • It’s worth remembering that as of Monday it’s still the case that to be exempt from the indoor gatherings rules (rule of six or two households), the gathering has to be necessary for the purposes of a course of study or essential life skills training provided by a higher education provider.
  • All of which means that as this mass of students “return” to campus, your Environmental Sciences tutor could show you a film as part of your course, only they stopped actually teaching weeks ago. Meanwhile if the student Environmental Society wanted to show you that film in the same venue in the same way with the same risk assessment, they can’t. 

Back to Donelan’s letter which reminds about the additional £15 million hardship funding available to students through HE providers and restates the Covid testing regime. Also acknowledging the restricted access to work experience the letter announces the Graduate Employment and Skills Guide:

  • We are aware that 2021 graduates will have had fewer opportunities to gain work experience (fewer internships, placements, part time jobs), and participate in extracurricular activities, experiences that traditionally help students develop employability skills. My Department has worked with Universities UK, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), the Institute of Student Employers, the OfS and across the sector to understand what more we can do to support graduates who are looking to enter the labour market or continue their studies at this challenging time. As a result, we have developed the Graduate Employment and Skills Guide, which signposts graduates to public, private and voluntary sector opportunities, to help them build employability skills and gain work experience or enter the labour market. The Guide also links to further study options and resources on graduate mental health and wellbeing

There are also the Graduate Employability Case Studies: these case studies showcase the breadth of innovative work and range of new measures university and college careers services have introduced to support final year students and recent graduates as they transition from university to graduate life.

There are also no guarantees that September will be a ‘normal’ restart. The letter notes the Government will issue guidance on the return to campus and support providers to respond in an agile way to any public health issues that we might encounter.

The Government’s press release covering all the above is here.

Parliamentary News

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer conducted a mini-reshuffle of his shadow cabinet. The full list of appointments can be viewed here. Notable moves are:

  • Rachel Reeves has been appointed Shadow Chancellor, with Anneliese Dodds becoming Party Chair and Chair of Labour Policy Review
  • Angela Rayner has become Shadow First Secretary of State, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work
  • Wes Streeting has become Shadow Secretary of State for Child Poverty
  • Rosena Alin-Khan promoted from Shadow Minister for Mental Health to Shadow Secretary of State for Mental Health
  • Alan Campbell is Shadow Chief Whip

Online learning

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) has published the outcomes of their latest project, ‘Learning from the Online Pivot’, which aimed to identify what worked well and what is likely to continue as part of HE sector practice beyond the pandemic.  The interim findings and case studies introduced in the briefing note form part of a wider set of insights and resources which will be made available to QAA Members in June 2021.

What matters? Reaffirming the role of outcomes-based approaches

  • Outcomes-based approaches sit at the heart of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (2018) – the sector-agreed reference point for the assurance of quality and maintenance of standards.
  • Drawing on a sector survey and case study evidence, this project offers insight into how the UK sector built on considerable expertise in outcomes-based approaches to ensure positive student outcomes and progression.

What works? Exploring preliminary sector survey findings.  A number of positive legacies have emerged from the pandemic period including:

  • developing confidence and skills for more flexible delivery
  • ensuring the content and wording of learning outcomes do not unnecessarily constrain modes of learning and assessment
  • re-establishing understanding and oversight of institutional portfolios
  • re-engaging with students about the importance and purpose of quality assurance
  • rethinking and redesigning regulations for greater future resilience
  • reflecting on, and embedding, inclusivity in courses
  • increasing engagement with the idea and use of authentic assessment

Inquiries and Consultations

Click here to view the updated inquiries and consultation tracker. Email us on policy@bournemouth.ac.uk if you’d like to contribute to any of the current consultations.

Other news

  • Access and Participation: UUK have a blog by Amatey Doku on closing the gap.
  • Mental Health: This link has information on the Government’s £17 million mental health support package and the £7 million Wellbeing for Education Recovery programme. Both funds are for schools and colleges.
  • Levelling up: Wonkhe – Andy Westwood has a blog on the tensions between economics and politics that underlie the government’s levelling up agenda
  • Polar bears: No ducks to cheer you with this week but here’s the plan to re-ice the Arctic.

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VC’s Policy Advisor                                                              Policy & Public Affairs Officer

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HEIF Small Fund – Round 4 Open For Applications

HEIF Small Fund – Round 4 Open For Applications

Bournemouth University has a small amount of funding available to facilitate and enhance research and development collaboration with external partners.

The purpose of the funding is to:

  • Enhance external collaborative engagements with industry partners to further the development of innovative projects
  • Increase the amount of available funds for research undertaken collaboratively with external partners to patent innovations, enhance technology readiness levels and/or commercialisation
  • Encourage future funding bids (such as from Innovate UK) with external partners

Please note: There is flexibility in the way that funds can be used, however due to the spending deadline of 31 July 2021,  this final round’s applicants must demonstrate that the spending can be completed by this date, allowing for the 3 week assessment period following the closing date. Any questions regarding funding options or timescales please contact us.

Funding could be used in various ways, for example for consumables, staff, and for travel/events/meetings, provided that a strong case can be made, the assessment criteria is met, and the spending deadline adhered to.

Eligibility/What we can fund

The HEIF Small Fund is open to all researchers across Bournemouth University, including those who are already working with industry partners and those who would like to build up new networks. In particular, the panel would welcome the following types of applications:

  • Projects of up to £5,000 which will either facilitate new relationships with external partners or build on existing research collaborations with external partners, support initial prototyping, project/product feasibility and/or market research.
  • Subject to the lifting of current restrictions, small travel grants of up to £500 to help facilitate relationship development with organisations. This could be travelling to potential partner sites or networking/funding briefing events Please note, the HEIF Funding Panel will not fund applications relating to conferences.

Due to the nature of this fund, we particularly welcome applications;

  • from Early Career Researchers (ECRs)
  • that incorporate social sciences and humanities
  • that demonstrate research interdisciplinarity

In line with BU2025, we will positively encourage applications from under-represented groups.

Application process

To apply, please read the guidance and complete the application form

Applications must be submitted to heif@bournemouth.ac.uk

Applications will be reviewed by the HEIF Funding Panel (see Panel Information below), with recommendations submitted to the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC) monthly. Once a decision has been made, this will be communicated to applicants. We aim to confirm the outcomes within two to three weeks of the closing date for that month.

The closing date is Wednesday 16 June

BU’s Funding Panels and Research Principles

The following funding panels operate to prioritise applications for funding and make recommendations to the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC).

There are eight funding panels:

  1. HEIF Funding Panel
  2. GCRF Funding Panel
  3. Research Impact Funding Panel
  4. Doctoral Studentship Funding Panel
  5. ACORN Funding Panel
  6. Research Fellowships Funding Panel
  7. Charity Impact Funding Panel
  8. SIA Funding panel

These panels align with the BU2025 focus on research, including BU’s Research Principles

The following BU2025 Principles are most relevant to the HEIF Panel:

  • Principle 1 – which recognises the need to develop teams
  • Principle 5 – which sets of the context for such funding panels

If you have any questions please email heif@bournemouth.ac.uk

HEIF Proof of Concept Strand: Open for Applications

HEIF Proof of Concept Strand: Open for Applications

BU actively supports staff turning their research into technology opportunities or businesses and is offering awards of a maximum of £5,000. The principal objective of the Proof of Concept Strand is to accelerate the BU research pathway, supporting the maturation of innovations towards commercial exploitation.

This funding is designed to progress BU research projects such that the individual project can attract further funding and/or provide support to expedite the exploitation of the target opportunity.

Eligibility

The HEIF Proof of Concept Strand is open to academic staff across BU.

Due to the nature of this fund, we particularly welcome applications from the following:

  • Early Career Researchers (ECRs)
  • Proposals that incorporate social sciences and humanities
  • Proposal that demonstrate interdisciplinarity research approaches and/or include collaborations with other departments.

In line with BU2025, we will positively encourage applications from under-represented groups.

What we can and cannot fund

The HEIF Proof of Concept Strand will only support development of innovations that have arisen from BU research.

Funding will be available to support activities including but not limited to the following:

  • Key translational activities that cannot proceed with current funding such as prototyping, specific market research, accreditation attainment, IP protection, IP strategy/landscaping, equipment purchases, demonstration events for marketing and connection to later stage investment.
  • Development of the project such that it addresses a specific barrier that is preventing the attainment of translational funds or will run in parallel to existing translational funds, adding value to the overall development of the project.
  • Further develop existing technology/acquire new data to identify other routes for exploitation or obtain additional data or information to determine a specific capacity.
  • General early market assessment activities to value the innovation/technology position and determine the most optimal routes for exploitation.
  • Focussed market assessment to provide guidance on how to refine the position of an innovation/technology.

Application Process

Please read the following documents before completing the application form:

All applicants are also advised to familiarise themselves with BU2025 strategy as part of the application process.

Applications must be submitted to heif@bournemouth.ac.uk.

The HEIF panel will assess all applications received. Applications are initially subject to a pre-screen check. Applications that pass the pre-screen will be forwarded to the HEIF Funding panel to review. Following the panel assessment process, the HEIF Funding panel will make recommendations for funding to RPMC. RPMC will review these recommendations, check alignment with internal/external strategies and make final decisions.

PoC Strand Closing Date

Applications will be regularly evaluated by the HEIF Panel until 16 June 2021, provided funds remain available until that date.

BU’s Funding Panels and Research Principles

The following funding panels operate to prioritise applications for funding and make recommendations to the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC).

There are eight funding panels:

  1. HEIF Funding Panel
  2. GCRF Funding Panel
  3. Research Impact Funding Panel
  4. Doctoral Studentship Funding Panel
  5. ACORN Funding Panel
  6. Research Fellowships Funding Panel
  7. Charity Impact Funding Panel
  8. SIA Funding panel.

These panels align with the BU2025 focus on research, including BU’s Research Principles.

The following BU2025 Principles are most relevant to the HEIF Panel:

  • Principle 1 – which recognises the need to develop teams
  • Principle 5 – which sets of the context for such funding panels

If you have any questions about your application, the process or requirements, then please email heif@bournemouth.ac.uk.

COVID-19 vaccine uptake among the ethnic minorities in Dorset

In a collaboration with the NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and support from the Dorset Race Equality Council (DREC), Bournemouth University has completed a study on ‘Covid-19 vaccine uptake, hesitancy and barriers among the ethnic minorities in Dorset’ [1]. The study explored the perspectives of community health ambassadors from ethnic minorities in Dorset on (i) the impact of COVID-19 (ii)  provision of health care services during the pandemic (iii) COVID-19 vaccine uptake level, and (iv) challenges and barriers to vaccine uptake. Six interviews were conducted with community health ambassadors affiliated with the DREC.

Mental health problems were reported as the key impact of COVID-19 among the ethnic minority communities in Dorset. Participants stated that COVID-19 infection, losses of jobs and income, and disruption in their tightly knit community culture could have triggered mental health issues among these community groups. Many of them were unable to use remote health consultations due to their lack of technical knowledge, equipment and education level. However, younger members were reported to have used it frequently and efficiently.

Initially, there was a greater level of suspicion and reluctance towards the COVID-19 vaccine in these communities in Dorset coupled with rumours and misinformation. However, as more ethnic minority community members, including the influential leaders (such as Imams of the Muslim community), took the vaccine and conveyed positive messages after vaccination, people had started to accept it. Ethnic minority community groups also invited doctors and other health care professionals from their community to present factual information regarding COVID-19 and its vaccine-related issues which had encouraged people for vaccination.

Participants pointed out three key challenges for the COVID-19 vaccination; (i) the lack of trust and confidence in government messages and the vaccination campaign, (ii) rumours and misinformation, and (iii) a lack of clarity regarding the reasons behind the increased risk of COVID-19 in ethnic minority community members. This study identified an urgent need for evidence-based interventions to improve trust and confidence in government health messages and health initiatives (such as the COVID-19 vaccination) in these communities.

The study team comprised Dr Nirmal Aryal (Principal Investigator), Prof Vanora Hundley, Prof Edwin van Teijlingen, Dr Rebecca Edwards (all from Faculty of Health and Social Sciences), and Sara Bonfanti (Senior Insight Lead, NHS Dorset CCG). The previous work from this team for the project ‘The Dorset Recovery Insights’ informed to shape this study [2].

References

  1. Aryal N, Hundley V, van Teijlingen E, Edwards R, Bonfanti S. (2021) COVID-19 vaccine uptake, hesitancy and barriers among the ethnic minorities in Dorset. Bournemouth University: Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
  2. Aryal N, Hundley V, van Teijlingen E, Edwards R, Bonfanti S. (2020) The Dorset Recovery Insights. Bournemouth University: Bournemouth, United Kingdom.