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New Nature paper by IMSET researchers

An internationally significant and ground-breaking paper has appeared in the journal Nature, led by Dr Phil Riris of the Institute for the Modelling of Socio-Environmental Transitions.

The work investigates 30,000 years of population resilience, with contributions from collaborating scholars from 14 institutions in 7 countries. The paper marks a watershed in our understanding of how people in the past adapted to, and overcame, disturbances. It is available in open access.

A schematic diagram of disturbances and population responses

Left: A sketch of an archaeological population time series with downturns and metrics obtained during the analysis. Right: Example types and groups of disturbances noted in the literature.

The key finding of the paper is that land use – the kinds of subsistence practices, mobility regimes, and extent of infrastructure investments – enhanced both how often a population experienced downturns and their ability to recover from them. In particular, agricultural and agropastoral societies in prehistory were especially likely to suffer demographic busts. However, they also displayed an improved ability over time to “bounce back”.

This result has wide-ranging implications for the development of sustainable land use practices, as traditional lifeways may have intrinsic rates of failure “baked into” their function and operation. The paper speculates that, similar to resilient ecosystems or ecological communities, such localised, small-scale, or short-term failures in human socio-environmental systems may contribute to building improved long-term resilience for the system as a whole.

Artistic impression of some of the types of disturbances experienced by ancient societies.

Importantly, these patterns only reveal themselves in the macro-scale comparison of independent case studies, and take multiple decades or even centuries to unfold. Archaeology is the only field able to tackle these timescales systematically, and underscores the value and contribution of the historical sciences to resilience-building and sustainability challenges in the present.

URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-024-07354-8

The research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AH/X002217/1).


New eBook published in April

Two weeks ago our eBook Evidence-based approaches in aging and public health was published online by Frontiers Media [1].  This ebook is co-edited by BU Visiting Faculty Dr. Brijesh Sathian (based in Qatar), Prof. Padam Simkhada (based at the University of Huddersfield) and Prof. Edwin van Teijingen in the Centre for Midwifery & Women’s Health (CMWH) as well as Drs. Russell Kabir and Hanadi Al Hamad.  This eBook started life as a Special Issue for the journal Frontiers in Public Health.  We wrote the accompanying editorial for 15 selected articles in this Special Issue [2].  This publication raises the interesting question when does a Special Issue become an eBook.


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen




  1. Sathian, B., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Al Hamad, H., Kabir, R., eds. (2024). Evidence-based approaches in aging and public health. Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA. doi: 10.3389/978-2-8325-4780-9
  2. Sathian, B., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Kabir, R., Al Hamad, H. (2024) Editorial: Evidence-based approaches in Aging and Public HealthFrontier in Public Health 12 2024 https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2024.1391432

RKEDF: Innovate UK Marine and Maritime Launchpad Future Funding


Join us on Wednesday 8th May – 8am – 12pmDG06, Dorset House, Talbot Campus.

For the Innovate UK Marine and Maritime Launchpad Future Funding event, tailored specifically for Dorset’s marine and maritime businesses. The event will delve into the latest funding opportunities and initiatives aimed at businesses involved in Clean Maritime, Digital Oceans and Marine Autonomy in Dorset.

Who should attend?

This event is a must-attend for Dorset-based marine and maritime businesses looking to innovate and grow. Whether you’re a seasoned industry player, a start-up or a support organisation looking to collaborate on projects, if your business involves Clean Maritime, Digital Oceans, and Marine Autonomy, this event is tailored just for you. Connect with like-minded peers, industry and academic experts plus funding specialists to explore the opportunities available.

Why should I attend?

Discover opportunities to secure funding and support for your innovative projects.

Gain invaluable insights into future funding opportunities and learn how to navigate the funding landscape effectively.

Forge strategic partnerships, access tailored guidance and position your business for accelerated growth.

Don’t miss out on this chance to drive innovation, sustainability, and success in Dorset’s marine and maritime sectors.

Spaces are limited so reserve your spot here



RKEDF: Introduction to RED – The Research and Enterprise Database

This 30-minute session is aimed at all academics to provide an overview of the Research & Enterprise Database, including how to access the system, the information available to view, budget management via RED, and how to use RED to identify your supporting pre and post award officers.

Wednesday 9th May 2024 – 10:00-10:30      Online session

Book your place here under ‘Introduction to RED – The Research & Enterprise Database – 09/05/2024 – in the drop-down menu.

RKEDF: Principal Investigation – Post Award for RKE

Principal Investigation – Post Award for RKE – Wednesday 8th May – 14:00 – 15:00

This session is aimed at any researcher who is, who plans to be, a Principal Investigator for an externally funded research or knowledge exchange project. Topics covered include:

• What is post award?
• Roles and responsibilities
• Systems
• Key policies
• Starting your awarded project
• Making changes to your project and reporting
• Hints and tips

By the end of the session, attendees will have a strong foundation of what to expect when being responsible for their awarded projects.

Book your place here – under “Principal Investigation – Post Award for RKE – 08/05/2024 – in the drop-down menu

For any queries regarding this workshop, please contact Alex Morrison, Post Award Programme Manager RDS morrisona@bournemouth.ac.uk

RKEDF: ECRN – Drop in session – May

Early Career Researchers Network (ECRN) Surgeries – Wednesday 8th May – 13:00-14:00

This is an open session for all BU ECRs and PGRs, to discuss any issues around career development, or the ECR experience with the peer network, and receive advice and guidance from the network’s academic leads.


Book your place here – under “ECRN Surgeries” in the drop-down menu

For any queries regarding this workshop, please contact RKE Development Framework

REF role: opportunity to champion the impact of BU’s engineering research

We are looking to recruit an impact champion to help support our REF submission in UOA 12 (the Unit of Assessment for Engineering). The deadline for expressions of interest is Friday 24th May 2024.

This role is recruited through an open and transparent process, which gives all academic staff the opportunity to put themselves forward. Applications from underrepresented groups (e.g. minority ethnic, declared disability) are particularly welcome.

We are currently preparing submissions to thirteen UOAs. Each UOA has a leadership team with at least one leader, one output champion and one impact champion. They are supported by a panel of reviewers who assess the unit’s research, including both outputs and impact case studies.

All roles require a level of commitment, which is recognised accordingly, with time to review, attend meetings, and take responsibility for tasks.

Undertaking a UOA role can be enjoyable and rewarding, as one of our current impact champions can testify:

“I work closely with the UoA 17 impact team to encourage the development of a culture of impact across BUBS… Sometimes it can be tough to engage people with impact – understandably; everyone is busy – so it’s important to be enthusiastic about the need for our BU research to reach the public. Overall, the role is about planting the seeds to get researchers thinking about the impact their work might have in the future (as well as the impact they have already had, sometimes without realising!)”

Dr Rafaelle Nicholson – UOA 17 Impact Champion

How to apply

All those interested should put forward a short case (suggested length of one paragraph), explaining why they are interested in the role and what they believe they could bring to it. This should be emailed to ref@bournemouth.ac.uk by Friday 24th May 2024.

Further details on the impact champion role, the process of recruitment and selection criteria can be found here:

Role Descriptor

Process and criteria for selection

For more information, please contact ref@bournemouth.ac.uk, or UoA 12 Leader Professor Zulfiqar Khan.

Health Innovation Wessex and UoS Intellectual Property Event

Understanding Intellectual Property to Create Health Impact (in-person)

Hosted by Health Innovation Wessex and University of Southampton

Axis Centre, Southampton Science Park, SO16 7NP

9am – 5pm

Friday 17 May 2024

Book your place here

Join us for a whole day in-person free event discussing Intellectual Property (IP) and applying it to health and medtech researchers. Expert speakers will explore how to protect IP and how to discuss inventions with unprotected IP. They will also cover implications for entrepreneurs and how to work within organisational requirements and the local support available.

Teaching will include tailored workshops. The event is funded by University of Southampton and organised by Health Innovation Wessex, and is open to:

  • Academic staff and researchers
  • Clinical staff, operational leads, and researchers from healthcare organisations within Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Dorset, who either hold or whose work may result in creation of IP.

Book your place here

Any further questions, please contact claire.martin@hiwessex.net

Dr Rachel Arnold on Appreciative Inquiry

In March of this year I had the pleasure of announcing in a BU Research Blog the publication of Dr. Rachel Arnold’s contribution to the book Appreciating Health and Care: A Practical Appreciative Inquiry Resource for the Health & Social Care Sector  [1].  There is also a supplementary eBook, called Appreciating Health and Care: AI in practice [2], which introduces more professional experiences of using AI (not Artificial Intelligence, but Appreciative Inquiry) in the health and care sector.  Rachel is the lead author of the contribution ‘Let’s get messy! Where to start with using Appreciative Inquiry’ and her co-authors are Dr. Jo Hartley, Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen and Dr. Preeti Mahato.  ‘Let’s get messy! Where to start with using Appreciative Inquiry’ is a case study which reflects on our experiences of using Appreciative Inquiry to explore staff well-being in an NHS maternity service during the COVID-19 pandemic. We explain how we adapted and overcame some of the challenges, strategies that worked, and practical ideas for anyone interested in using Appreciative Inquiry in health or social care.



  1. Hodgkiss, D., Quinney, S., Slack, T., Barnett, K., Howells, B. (2024a)  Appreciating Health and Care: A practical Appreciative Inquiry resource for the Health and Social Care sector, Forres: Appreciating People; ISBN: 978-1-9160267-6-6
  2. Hodgkiss, D., Quinney, S., Slack, T., Barnett, K., Howells, B. (2024b) Appreciating Health and Care: AI in practice, Forres: Appreciating People.



Read and sign up to BU’s Policy Influence Digest

If you’re looking to have an impact on local, national and international policy with your research, you may find the BU policy influence digest email useful.

Read the latest edition on our Sharepoint site to get a sense of what is included.

The policy influence digest highlights policy influencing opportunities and tips. The digests are usually circulated weekly and contain information on expert calls, specialist or committee advisor opportunities, areas of research interest issued by the Government departments, fellowship opportunities, the notable sector reports and Government announcements from the week, events and training as well as a range of other opportunities to share your expertise (including responding to consultations or select committee inquiries).

If you’d like to receive the digest by email, sign up in two clicks or scan the QR code below (BU login required).

Methods or Methodology?

Yesterday our latest methodological paper ‘Methods or Methodology: Terms That Are Too Often Confused’ appeared online. [1]  We recently published a methods paper outlining the difference between Methods and Methodology as so many postgraduate students manage to get it wrong or don’t understand the distinction between the two.  There is a distinct difference between methodology and methods in research. However, too many students, researchers, and authors of academic papers do not seem to pay attention to the crucial difference. This is true not only in education research but also in many other academic disciplines. In simple terms, the term methods refers to the research tools and techniques; for example, in the qualitative field, interviews are a tool to collect data, and in the quantitative field, a questionnaire-based survey is an example of a data collection tool. Methodology is a broader concept as it refers to the overall approach to the research, includes a justification for this approach, and links to research philosophy, i.e., how we produce knowledge. This methodological note aims to explain the confusion, drawing on examples from the published literature in education research and beyond. It also considers the complexities and crossovers. The final section ends with key advice to researchers and authors on key mistakes to avoid regarding the difference between methods and methodology, including covering this in early supervision discussions.

Our interdisciplinary team, based in the UK and Nepal, comprises Dr. Orlanda Harvey in BU’s Department of Sociology & Social Work, Dr. Pramod Regmi in BU’s Department of Nursing Science, Dr. Preeti Mahato from Royal Holloway, University of London, Dr. Shovita Dhakal Adhikari, London Metropolitan University, Dr. Rolina Dhital, based at Health Action & Research in Nepal and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen in BU’s Department of Midwifery & Health Sciences.  In addition it is worth mentioning that both Preeti and Shovita are both former member of staff in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (FHSS) at BU.  Finally, although the official publication date is Sept 2023, it only appeared online yesterday.  This new methods paper is part of growing series of methods papers by members of this team of academics [2-12].



  1. Harvey, O., Regmi, P. R., Mahato, P., Dhakal Adhikari, S., Dhital, R., van Teijlingen E. (2023) Methods or Methodology: Terms That Are Too Often Confused. Journal of Education & Research, 13(2): 94-105.
  2. Regmi, P.R., Waithaka, E., Paudyal, A., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2016) Guide to the design and application of online questionnaire surveys. Nepal Journal of Epidemiology 6(4): 640-644. http://www.nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/17258
  3. Regmi, PR., Aryal, N., Kurmi, O., Pant, PR., van Teijlingen, E, Wasti, PP. (2017) Informed consent in health research: challenges and barriers in low-and middle-income countries with specific reference to Nepal, Developing World Bioethics 17(2):84-89.
  4. Mahato, P., Angell, C., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P.P. (2018) Using Mixed-methods Research in Health & Education in Nepal, Journal of Health Promotion Official Publication of Health Education Association of Nepal (HEAN), 6: 45-48.
  5. van Teijlingen, E., Regmi, P., Adhikary, P., Aryal, N., Simkhada, P. (2019). Interdisciplinary Research in Public Health: Not quite straightforward. Health Prospect, 18(1), 4-7. https://doi.org/10.3126/hprospect.v18i1.19337
  6. Dhakal Adhikari, S., van Teijlingen, E., Regmi,P., Mahato, P., Simkhada, B., Simkhada, P. (2020) The presentation of academic self in the digital age: the role of electronic databases, International Journal of Social Sciences & Management 7(1):38-41.
  7. Shanker, S., Wasti, S.P., Ireland, J., Regmi, P., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2021) The Interdisciplinary Team Not the Interdisciplinarist: Reflections on Interdisciplinary Research, Europasian Journal of Medical Sciences 3(2): 1-5. https://doi.org/10.46405/ejms.v3i2.317
  8. Arnold, R., Gordon, C., Way, S., Mahato, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2022) Why use Appreciative Inquiry? Lessons learned during COVID-19 in a UK maternity service, European Journal of Midwifery 6 (May): 1-7. https://doi.org/10.18332/ejm/147444
  9. Mahato, P., Tamang, P., Simkhada, B., Wasti, S. P., Devkota, B., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E.R. (2022) Reflections on health promotion fieldwork in Nepal: Trials and tribulations. Journal of Health Promotion 10(1): 5–12. https://doi.org/10.3126/jhp.v10i1.50978
  10. Khatiwada, S., Gautam, P., Koju, A., Niraula, B., Khanal, G., Sitaula, A., Lamichhane, J., Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E (2023). Patient and Public Engagement in Health Research: Learning from UK Ideas. Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences, 8(1): 28–35. https://doi.org/10.3126/jmmihs.v8i1.57268
  11. Thapa, R., Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E., Heaslip, V. (2023) Researching Dalits and health care: Considering positionality, Health Prospect 21(1): 6-8.
  12. Harvey, O., van Teijlingen, E., Parrish, M. (2024) Using a range of communication tools to interview a hard-to-reach population, Sociological Research Online 29(1): 221–232 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/13607804221142212

SETS Research Seminar – Global Recycling Crisis – Wed 24th April

SETS research seminar: Wednesday 24th April at 3 pm on Zoom

The theme of this SETS cycle is the public problem of waste and the global sustainability crises related to the consumption and disposal of commodities.

In this seminar, Manisha Anantharaman will present her recent book Recycling Class. The Contradictions of Inclusion in Urban Sustainability (2024, MIT press).

Manisha is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Center for the Sociology of Organisations, Sciences Po Paris (France). Manisha holds a PhD from the University of California Berkeley, and her research focuses on the politics of ecological transition and sustainability. 

Zoom details to join:

Meeting ID: 853 3457 0893

Passcode: SETS

SETS is a joint initiative between the Research Group on Collective Action, Change, and Transition at the University of Trento, the Centre for Sustainable and Socially Responsible Consumption at BU, and the Environmental Sociology Section at the University of Orebro. The seminars are open to a diverse audience, including academics, students, practitioners, social movements, and the non-specialist public.

Roberta Discetti, SETS co-founder

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships 2024

The 2024 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Postdoctoral Fellowships (PF) Call is expected to open on the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal on 23 April 2024, with a deadline of 11 September 2024. The appropriate information including guidance documents and Standard application form are available on the MSCA PF call page.

This will be the first MSCA call after the UK has joined the Horizon Europe programme, so the competition may even increase. From the last call BU got two fellowships awarded and we are looking forward to having other success stories.

As usual, the internal deadline for ItB submission is expected to be no later than mid-July. We would appreciate if potential BU supervisors inform their Funding Development Officers or Research Facilitator International about their intention to submit an application as soon as possible. As usual, we will have very busy period in August-September supporting your applications, so we need to plan resources to provide appropriate support.

Where necessary, we will provide individual support to BU academics starting from mid-June. In the meantime, please consider joining training sessions organised by our UK Research Office (UKRO) based in Brussels. UKRO, in its capacity as UK National Contact Point for the MSCA, will hold information webinars for prospective applicants. There have been two online webinars already announced:

The agenda for each webinar is to be confirmed shortly, however UKRO strongly advise participants to register for and attend both sessions. To access the above links, UKRO portal login details may be needed (if you do not have access to the portal, more details on how to register are provided here).

The webinars will be delivered using the ‘Zoom’ online conference facility, prior registration is mandatory. Upon registering, a confirmation email will be sent with joining instructions.

Please note that UKRO sessions usually cover all aspects of application, so specific BU-hosted training sessions will not be organised and we expect that BU applicants have basic understanding about the funding scheme.

With queries related to MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships 2024 Call please contact Research Facilitator International.

Upcoming opportunities for PGRs – collaborate externally

Sharing on behalf of Professor Fiona Cownie:

We have two opportunities for PGRs to collaborate externally.

On Wed 24 April we are launching our SUNRISE project in collaboration with Universiti Sains Malaysia to promote research around sustainability and collaborations moving forward.

On Thurs 25 April we hold our third SPROUT event – our PGR Sustainability network with PGRs from Universities of Cardiff and Newcastle. Our focus is Sharing our sustainability stories.

Join us online for either or both events or in person on Wed am – though we do start SUNRISE early at 8-10 am (DG06).

Sign up via Eventbrite:

SUNRISE Wednesday 24 April 8-10 am online or on campus DG06 – sign up here

SPROUT Thursday 25 April 1-2 pm online – sign up here

More details below – hope to see you at these events if you’re interested in sustainability and collaboration.


Would you like to attend our showcase event for sustainability projects from BU and our collaborator Universiti Sains Malaysia?  We will meet together online and on campus next Wednesday April 24th 8-10 am UK time (sorry it’s early – it’s because of the time difference with Malaysia).

We will offer coffee and croissants and share three projects from BU and three from USM at the event. We will think through possible collaborations going forward and introduce the SUNRISE British Council funded project.

BU speakers include: 

  • Dr Sukanya Ayatakshi Endow who explores gender bias in crowd-funding
  • Dr James Fair who explores sustainable developments within cinema

USM speakers include:

  • Dr Musfirah Zulkurnain who explores sustainable solutions to food security
  • Ms Nuri Izyani Ramlee who explores stingless bee farming for a healthier  future

At the event we will launch our SUNRISE sustainability showcase which brings together sustainability projects from both institutions from academics and PGRs. We aim to use this to inspire possible collaborations and student research around sustainability. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this. Please note, if you’re part of the showcase we’re not asking you to present on the 24th , unless I’ve been in touch, but to be part of the audience and discussion.

We would be delighted if you can join – we’re on campus, but you can also join us online through this link https://bournemouth-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/89705878993?pwd=cG1hWGVic3NKdE5jd205c1VnM1pEdz09 .

Please register via Eventbrite (above).


Join us for the April SPROUT event: Sharing our Sustainability Stories  

Hear from PGRs as they share their sustainability stories and engage in a writing taster session to begin articulating (or refining) your sustainability story.

This is an interactive session. Our PGR leads will share their sustainability stories. We will follow with a writing workshop taster ‘Writing your sustainability story’ in which you can write and share your sustainability story. We will finish by introducing our plans for Sprout online writing workshops

Please register via Eventbrite (above).