Posts By / Julie Northam

Changes to the BU Bridging Fund Scheme

In summer 2015, we launched the BU Bridging Fund Scheme which aims to provide additional stability to fixed-term researchers who are often employed on short term contacts linked to external funding. This situation may impact on continuity of employment due to breaks in employment, job security and can result in a costly loss of researcher talent for the institution.

The Scheme aims to mitigate these circumstances through early career planning, forward research project planning, redeployment where possible, or where feasible, by providing ‘bridging funding’ for the continuation of employment for a short-term (usually up to three months, but up to six months can be considered in exceptional situations) between research grants. It is intended to permit the temporary employment, in certain circumstances, of researchers between fixed-term contracts at BU, for whom no other source of funding is available, in order to:

(a) encourage the retention of experienced and skilled staff, and sustain research teams and expertise;

(b) avoid the break in employment and career which might otherwise be faced by such staff;

(c) maximise the opportunity for such staff to produce high-quality outputs and/or research impact at the end of funded contracts/grants.

The Scheme was updated in 2020 to:

  1. Update the process to link the funding model with the conditions at the point of application:
      1. Sufficient external funding has been secured to retain the researcher but there is an unavoidable gap between funding (usually up to three months, but up to six months can be considered). If these conditions are met at the point of application and the application is approved then the central budget will cover 100 per cent of the salary and employers’ on-costs during the bridging period.
      2. The researcher is named on a submitted application for research funding and the decision is pending with an outcome expected before the end of the bridging period. If these conditions are met at the point of application and the application is approved then the central budget will cover 50 per cent of the salary costs during the bridging period. The Faculty will be required to meet the remaining 50 per cent of the salary and employers’ on-costs during the bridging period.
  2. Employment legislation updates.
  3. Add an additional financial approval to the application process.

To find out more about the scheme, including how to apply for bridging funding, see the scheme guidelines.

 

The Bridging Fund Scheme is an action from our Athena SWAN action plan (which aims to create a more gender inclusive culture at BU) and our EC HR Excellence in Research Award (which aims to increase BU’s alignment with the national Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers).

RDS advice to academics during COVID-19

RDS have created a blog page to give up-to-date advice on research activity affected during COVID-19.

Each working day the advice will be updated, which will include official notifications from funders, RDS operations during the quarantine, delays to the REF, ethics, and any other useful information. The date of the latest updates from the funders will be shown against each funder name. This will only show the major funders that BU applies to.

Today’s (6/4) update includes:

  • The deadlines on all UKRI open funding opportunities will be extended to give applicants more time to submit their applications. These extensions will be managed on a case by case basis by the appropriate Council or fund. Follow this link for a list of all open and coming calls with their current deadlines and their extensions: Calls April – May (PDF, 103KB).
  • Research England has published some FAQs about their contingency planning for REF 2021, in light of the impact of the pandemic –https://www.ref.ac.uk/faqs/.
  • The link to UKRO’s slides from their webinar held on 3/4/20 on the topic of ‘COVID-19 and EU Funding update‘.

Please click here for further information.

Reminder: Expressions of Interest invited from senior academics to join the BU REF Appeals Panel

Our BU REF 2021 Code of Practice states that in the event of an appeal the Vice-Chancellor will convene and chair the BU REF Appeals Panel to undertake a review of each case. The role of the Panel is to:

• Review and consider all appeals submitted by appraising all documentation pertaining to the REF Steering Group decision and the case for appeal.

• Decide on whether or not an individual should be referred back to the REF Steering Group and/or the REF Circumstances Board for further consideration.

• Ensure final decisions are communicated to the Head of RDS who will report to the REF Steering Group and notify the individual of the outcome of the appeal.

The Panel is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor with support from a member of Research Development & Support (RDS). Membership will include at least three senior academics.

We are now seeking expressions of interest from senior academic colleagues (G10+) who are interested in joining the REF Appeals Panel. Successful applicants will be required to attend one or more meetings of the REF Appeals Panel (to be held in late September 2020), have a thorough knowledge of the REF guidance and the BU REF Code of Practice, and undertake REF-focussed equality and diversity training. We therefore ask for your commitment, active contribution and, most importantly, confidentiality due to the sensitive work of the Panel. In return you will be involved in an important cross-University committee, gain an insight into the REF and equality and diversity (both highly topical issues in the sector), and be engaged in academic citizenship.

Nomination procedure:

We are seeking to recruit a diverse group of at least six senior academics to potentially be called upon in the event of an appeal. Colleagues who are interested should submit an expression of interest stating your interest in being a member of the BU REF Appeals Panel and summarising the experience, skills and attributes you could bring to the Panel (max 250 words).  Your nomination should state your name, job title, Faculty and Department.

The deadline for expressions of interest is Friday 27th March 2020. Nominations should be emailed to ref@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Expressions of interest will be reviewed by a panel of reviewers who are responsible for agreeing on which applicants to invite to serve on the BU REF Appeals Panel.

Eligibility:

Applications are invited from senior BU academic staff (Grade 10+). You must be independent from REF preparations (for example, applicants cannot be UOA Leaders, impact champions or output champions and cannot be members of the REF Steering Group, REF Committee or REF Circumstances Board).

If you have any queries, please speak with Julie Northam (Head of RDS)  in the first instance.

Expressions of Interest invited from senior academics to join the BU REF Appeals Panel

Our BU REF 2021 Code of Practice states that in the event of an appeal the Vice-Chancellor will convene and chair the BU REF Appeals Panel to undertake a review of each case. The role of the Panel is to:

• Review and consider all appeals submitted by appraising all documentation pertaining to the REF Steering Group decision and the case for appeal.

• Decide on whether or not an individual should be referred back to the REF Steering Group and/or the REF Circumstances Board for further consideration.

• Ensure final decisions are communicated to the Head of RDS who will report to the REF Steering Group and notify the individual of the outcome of the appeal.

The Panel is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor with support from a member of Research Development & Support (RDS). Membership will include at least three senior academics.

We are now seeking expressions of interest from senior academic colleagues (G10+) who are interested in joining the REF Appeals Panel. Successful applicants will be required to attend one or more meetings of the REF Appeals Panel (to be held in late September 2020), have a thorough knowledge of the REF guidance and the BU REF Code of Practice, and undertake REF-focussed equality and diversity training. We therefore ask for your commitment, active contribution and, most importantly, confidentiality due to the sensitive work of the Panel. In return you will be involved in an important cross-University committee, gain an insight into the REF and equality and diversity (both highly topical issues in the sector), and be engaged in academic citizenship.

Nomination procedure:

We are seeking to recruit a diverse group of at least six senior academics to potentially be called upon in the event of an appeal. Colleagues who are interested should submit an expression of interest stating your interest in being a member of the BU REF Appeals Panel and summarising the experience, skills and attributes you could bring to the Panel (max 250 words).  Your nomination should state your name, job title, Faculty and Department.

The deadline for expressions of interest is Friday 27th March 2020. Nominations should be emailed to ref@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Expressions of interest will be reviewed by a panel of reviewers who are responsible for agreeing on which applicants to invite to serve on the BU REF Appeals Panel.

Eligibility:

Applications are invited from senior BU academic staff (Grade 10+). You must be independent from REF preparations (for example, applicants cannot be UOA Leaders, impact champions or output champions and cannot be members of the REF Steering Group, REF Committee or REF Circumstances Board).

If you have any queries, please speak with Julie Northam (Head of RDS)  in the first instance.

Reminder: Expressions of Interest invited from senior academics to join the BU REF Appeals Panel

Our BU REF 2021 Code of Practice states that in the event of an appeal the Vice-Chancellor will convene and chair the BU REF Appeals Panel to undertake a review of each case. The role of the Panel is to:

• Review and consider all appeals submitted by appraising all documentation pertaining to the REF Steering Group decision and the case for appeal.

• Decide on whether or not an individual should be referred back to the REF Steering Group and/or the REF Circumstances Board for further consideration.

• Ensure final decisions are communicated to the Head of RDS who will report to the REF Steering Group and notify the individual of the outcome of the appeal.

The Panel is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor with support from a member of Research Development & Support (RDS). Membership will include at least three senior academics.

We are now seeking expressions of interest from senior academic colleagues (G10+) who are interested in joining the REF Appeals Panel. Successful applicants will be required to attend one or more meetings of the REF Appeals Panel (to be held in late September 2020), have a thorough knowledge of the REF guidance and the BU REF Code of Practice, and undertake REF-focussed equality and diversity training. We therefore ask for your commitment, active contribution and, most importantly, confidentiality due to the sensitive work of the Panel. In return you will be involved in an important cross-University committee, gain an insight into the REF and equality and diversity (both highly topical issues in the sector), and be engaged in academic citizenship.

Nomination procedure:

We are seeking to recruit a diverse group of at least six senior academics to potentially be called upon in the event of an appeal. Colleagues who are interested should submit an expression of interest stating your interest in being a member of the BU REF Appeals Panel and summarising the experience, skills and attributes you could bring to the Panel (max 250 words).  Your nomination should state your name, job title, Faculty and Department.

The deadline for expressions of interest is Friday 6th March 2020. Nominations should be emailed to ref@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Expressions of interest will be reviewed by a panel of reviewers who are responsible for agreeing on which applicants to invite to serve on the BU REF Appeals Panel.

Eligibility:

Applications are invited from senior BU academic staff (Grade 10+). You must be independent from REF preparations (for example, applicants cannot be UOA Leaders, impact champions or output champions and cannot be members of the REF Steering Group, REF Committee or REF Circumstances Board).

If you have any queries, please speak with Julie Northam (Head of RDS)  in the first instance.

Expressions of Interest invited from senior academics to join the BU REF Appeals Panel

Our BU REF 2021 Code of Practice states that in the event of an appeal the Vice-Chancellor will convene and chair the BU REF Appeals Panel to undertake a review of each case. The role of the Panel is to:

• Review and consider all appeals submitted by appraising all documentation pertaining to the REF Steering Group decision and the case for appeal.

• Decide on whether or not an individual should be referred back to the REF Steering Group and/or the REF Circumstances Board for further consideration.

• Ensure final decisions are communicated to the Head of RDS who will report to the REF Steering Group and notify the individual of the outcome of the appeal.

The Panel is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor with support from a member of Research Development & Support (RDS). Membership will include at least three senior academics.

We are now seeking expressions of interest from senior academic colleagues (G10+) who are interested in joining the REF Appeals Panel. Successful applicants will be required to attend one or more meetings of the REF Appeals Panel (to be held in late September 2020), have a thorough knowledge of the REF guidance and the BU REF Code of Practice, and undertake REF-focussed equality and diversity training. We therefore ask for your commitment, active contribution and, most importantly, confidentiality due to the sensitive work of the Panel. In return you will be involved in an important cross-University committee, gain an insight into the REF and equality and diversity (both highly topical issues in the sector), and be engaged in academic citizenship.

Nomination procedure:

We are seeking to recruit a diverse group of at least six senior academics to potentially be called upon in the event of an appeal. Colleagues who are interested should submit an expression of interest stating your interest in being a member of the BU REF Appeals Panel and summarising the experience, skills and attributes you could bring to the Panel (max 250 words).  Your nomination should state your name, job title, Faculty and Department.

The deadline for expressions of interest is Friday 6th March 2020. Nominations should be emailed to ref@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Expressions of interest will be reviewed by a panel of reviewers who are responsible for agreeing on which applicants to invite to serve on the BU REF Appeals Panel.

Eligibility:

Applications are invited from senior BU academic staff (Grade 10+). You must be independent from REF preparations (for example, applicants cannot be UOA Leaders, impact champions or output champions and cannot be members of the REF Steering Group, REF Committee or REF Circumstances Board).

If you have any queries, please speak with Julie Northam (Head of RDS)  in the first instance.

BU REF 2021 Code of Practice – staff feedback exercise – deadline Friday 2 May

The deadline to provide feedback on the BU REF 2021 draft code of practice is 5pm on Friday

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing research in UK higher education institutions HEIs. Institutions making a submission to the REF 2021 are required to develop, document and apply a code of practice on identifying staff with significant responsibility for research, determining who is an independent researcher and the selection of outputs in their REF submissions.

Staff are invited to read and comment upon the BU REF 2021 draft code of practice, prior to the final draft being submitted to UKRI for approval.

The draft code of practice, a briefing paper (including equality analysis) and a feedback form are available from the BU Staff Intranet: https://staffintranet.bournemouth.ac.uk/news/news/thismonth/buref2021codeofpractice-stafffeedbackexercise.php

BU REF 2021 Code of Practice – staff feedback exercise

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing research in UK higher education institutions HEIs. Institutions making a submission to the REF 2021 are required to develop, document and apply a code of practice on identifying staff with significant responsibility for research, determining who is an independent researcher and the selection of outputs in their REF submissions.

Staff are invited to read and comment upon the BU REF 2021 draft code of practice, prior to the final draft being submitted to UKRI for approval.

The draft code of practice, a briefing paper (including equality analysis), a feedback form and details of the open Q&A sessions are available from the BU Staff Intranet: https://staffintranet.bournemouth.ac.uk/news/news/thismonth/buref2021codeofpractice-stafffeedbackexercise.php

The exercise is open for feedback until Friday 3 May.

BU Bridging Fund Scheme – updated

In summer 2015 we launched the BU Bridging Fund Scheme which aims to provide additional stability to fixed-term researchers who often rely on short-term contracts usually linked to external funding. This situation may impact on continuity of employment and job security and can result in a costly loss of researcher talent for the institution.

The Scheme aims to mitigate these circumstances by redeploying the researcher where possible, or where feasible, by providing ‘bridging funding’ for the continuation of employment for a short-term (maximum three months) between research grants. It is intended to permit the temporary employment, in certain circumstances, of researchers between fixed-term contracts at BU, for whom no other source of funding is available, in order to:

(a) encourage the retention of experienced and skilled staff, and sustain research teams and expertise;

(b) aconcordat to support the career development of researchersvoid the break in employment and career which might otherwise be faced by such staff;

(c) maximise the opportunity for such staff to produce high-quality outputs and/or research impact at the end of funded contracts/grants.

The Scheme has recently been updated to:

  1. Increase the potential bridging period to a maximum of six month in exceptional cases (from the max of three months as it is currently).
  2. Update the application criteria so that applications will only be considered when one of the following conditions has been met at the point of application:
          1. Sufficient external funding has been secured to retain the researcher but there is an unavoidable gap (usually up to three months, but up to six months can be considered) between funding.
          2. The researcher is named on a submitted application for research funding and the decision is pending with an outcome expected before the end of the bridging period.

To find out more about the scheme, including how to apply for bridging funding, see the scheme guidelines.

The Bridging Fund Scheme is an action from our Athena SWAN action plan (which aims to create a more gender inclusive culture at BU) and our EC HR Excellence in Research Award (which aims to increase BU’s alignment with the national Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers).

National Research Landscape Survey

Research England is interested in understanding how researchers think the research landscape (i.e. research outputs, impacts and the research environment) might change over the next 5 to 10 years, in order to inform their planning for future research assessment (post 2021). This survey is intended to collect information on these issues and is part of a wider study being conducted by RAND Europe on behalf of Research England.

This survey is for researchers within English Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

It should take 8-12 minutes to complete and can be accessed here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/nationalresearchsurvey/

If you have any questions about the survey please contact the RAND Europe project team at research_landscape_survey@rand.org.

Athena SWAN – February Newsletter

In the latest Athena SWAN newsletter you can read the news and events relating to gender equality, as well as why Athena SWAN is important to everyone at BU. There are lots of interesting articles in this edition, including information on the key institutional SWAN actions planned for 2019, an introduction to Professor Sarah Bate (the new chair of BU’s Athena SWAN Steering Group), and a link to BU’s career development fact sheet.

Deadline today: Research funding panels – call for Chairs and Deputy Chairs

Today (Wednesday 19 December at 5pm) is the deadline for expressions of interest from the professoriate to act as Chairs / Deputy Chairs for the new Funding Panels:

  • Acorn Funding Panel
  • Charity Impact Funding Panel
  • Doctoral Studentship Funding Panel
  • GCRF Funding Panel
  • HEIF Funding Panel
  • Research Impact Funding Panel

In line with our organisational value of inclusivity, we particularly welcome female applicants and those from an ethnic minority, as they are often under-represented within BU management committees.

Full details are available on the Staff Intranet – https://staffintranet.bournemouth.ac.uk/news/news/thismonth/researchfundingpanelscallformembers.php

 

Latest information about gender equality and SWAN

Here is the latest BU SWAN newsletter containing a summary of the information, activities and progress related to gender equality and SWAN work at BU from July to October 2018 . This includes information about the Department of Media Production’s Bronze SWAN Award, the work being undertaken to develop a BU Menopause Policy, and information about our high-profile research-active women in STEMM (celebrated as part of Ada Lovelace Day).

SWAN summary Jul-Oct 18

You can also access BU’s Career Development Factsheet

 

Recent SWAN information on the Staff Intranet:

Department of Media Production achieves a Bronze SWAN Award

Information about BU’s flexible working policies

An article about Prof Sara Ashencaen Crabtree’s passion for gender equality

Dr Paola Vizcaino explains how she had benefitted from the career support on offer at BU for an ECR

EoIs invited for BU Ethics Panel Chairs and Deputy Chairs

Expressions of interest are invited for the Chairs and Deputy Chairs of the Social Science and Humanities Ethics Panel and the Science, Technology and Health Ethics Panel. These prestigious and honorary roles work across the university to champion the highest ethical standards in research undertaken by staff and students.

This document provides further information about the roles and the application process.

Expressions of interest, consisting of a CV and brief statement outlining suitability for the chair/deputy chair role, should be submitted to RKEO (researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk) by 5pm on Wednesday 14 November 2018 (please note the deadline has been extended).

For an informal discussion about the roles please contact one of the current Chairs:

  • Dr Sean Beer, Chair of the Social Science and Humanities Ethics Panel
  • Prof Holger Schutkowski, Chair of the Science, Technology and Health Ethics Panel

If you have any questions regarding the process, please email Sarah Bell/Suzy Wignall using the researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk email address.

Have you been involved with an event designed for the external community?

Then we want to hear from you!

The University is currently compiling the data for the annual Higher Education – Business & Community Interaction survey (HE-BCI) due to be submitted to HESA shortly. Data returned is used to calculate our HEIF grant.

We are asked to submit details of social, cultural and community events designed for the external community (to include both free and chargeable events) which took place between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.

Event types that should be returned include, but are not limited to:

  • public lectures
  • performance arts (dance, drama, music, etc)
  • exhibitions
  • museum education
  • events for schools and community groups
  • business breakfasts

We cannot return events such as open days, Student Union activity, commercial conferences, etc.

All events that we ran as part of the Festival of Learning, ESRC Festival of Social Science and Cafe Scientifique series are likely to be eligible for inclusion and we will collate this information on your behalf centrally.

If you have been involved with any other event which could be returned, please could you email your contact as soon as possible (see below) and confirm: the event name and date, whether it was free or chargeable, the estimated number of attendees, and an estimate of how much academic time was spent preparing for (but not delivering) the event:

  • SciTech – Norman Stock
  • FoM – Rob Hydon
  • HSS – Deirdre Sparrowhawk
  • FMC – Laura Hampshaw
  • Professional Service – Julie Northam (RKEO)

The data returned is used by Research England to allocate the HEIF funding so it is important that we return as accurate a picture as possible.

EoIs invited for BU Ethics Panel Chairs and Deputy Chairs

Expressions of interest are invited for the Chairs and Deputy Chairs of the Social Science and Humanities Ethics Panel and the Science, Technology and Health Ethics Panel. These prestigious and honorary roles work across the university to champion the highest ethical standards in research undertaken by staff and students.

This document provides further information about the roles and the application process.

Expressions of interest, consisting of a CV and brief statement outlining suitability for the chair/deputy chair role, should be submitted to RKEO (researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk) by 5pm on Friday 9 November 2018.

For an informal discussion about the roles please contact one of the current Chairs:

  • Dr Sean Beer, Chair of the Social Science and Humanities Ethics Panel
  • Prof Holger Schutkowski, Chair of the Science, Technology and Health Ethics Panel

If you have any questions regarding the process, please email Sarah Bell/Suzy Wignall using the researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk email address.

Deadline extended – call for EoIs: Leaders for UOA 2 and UOA 3 to drive REF 2021 preparations

The deadline for expressions of interest for Leaders for UOAs 2 and 3 has been extended to Monday 16 April at 5pm. EoIs should be sent by email to Julie Northam (Head of RKEO).

BU is preparing submissions for units of assessment (UOAs) for REF 2021. Preparation for each UOA is led by a UOA Leader who is supported by an Impact Champion and an Output Champion. From March 2018, UOA Leaders are recruited via an open and transparent process. All academic staff have the opportunity to put themselves forward for UOA Leader roles. The roles are until December 2020.

We are currently seeking expressions of interest (EoIs) from academic staff interested in leading preparations for two UOAs:

  • Public health, health services and primary care
  • Allied health professions, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy

UOA Leaders serve a term up to December 2020, although they can choose to step down during this time. The UOA Leader undertakes a vital role in driving and delivering BU’s REF submission, influencing the University’s preparations, shaping optimal submissions for each UOA and ultimately having a significant effect on BU’s REF 2021 results.

Key responsibilities of the UOA Leader role include:

  • Providing leadership, advice and support on all issues relating to research planning, impact, performance metrics and published guidance relating to the UOA
  • Considering the widest available staff pool for the UOA and present these options to the REF Committee (being mindful of where this potentially impacts upon other UOAs)
  • Having an institutional outlook for the REF, i.e. aiming to optimise BU’s overall REF performance
  • Optimising the UOA submission and that of related UOAs by working to mitigate weaknesses and to highlight strengths across all aspects of the submission
  • Ensuring that outputs undergo rigorous review, internally and externally in order to assess quality prior to inclusion for REF
  • Working with Impact champions and the Impact Working Group to understand the interrelationship of case study quality, selection, placement and staff numbers for the UOA
  • Leading on REF communications within departments represented in the UOA and be the key point of contact and advice with regard to the UOA for Heads of research entities, DDRPPs and Executive Deans
  • Working closely with RKEO who are managing the central REF preparation and submission process
  • Attend the REF Committee meetings

Being a UOA Leader is a big commitment and is recognised accordingly. UOA Leaders are given time to attend meetings and take responsibility for tasks. As such potential applicants should discuss their workload balance with their Head of Department before applying.

 

Application process:

To apply for either role, please submit a short statement (suggested length 300 words) stating which role you are interested in and explaining your interest in the role and what you could bring to it. This should be sent by email to Julie Northam by 5pm on Monday 16 April 2018.

The EoIs will be reviewed by a gender balanced panel comprising a DDRPP and a member of the professoriate. Applicants successful at this stage will be invited to an interview with the same panel.

The selection criteria used at EoI and interview stage are outlined below. Each criterion carries a total possible score of 5. The role will be offered to the highest scoring applicant. A member of the panel will provide feedback to all applicants.

  • Commitment, motivation and enthusiasm (scored out of 5): Being a UOA Leader is a big commitment. UOA Leaders need to be willing and able to make this commitment. They need to be enthusiastic about the REF and boosting research performance.
  • Skills and knowledge (scored out of 5): UOA Leaders should bring with them skills and knowledge to optimise BU’s REF preparations and submission (e.g. knowledge of the REF process, expertise in research metrics, leadership experience, knowledge about impact, experience of writing and delivering research strategies, etc).
  • Plans for preparing the UOA submission and awareness of the potential challenges and opportunities UOA Leaders are responsible for driving and delivering the UOA’s submission to REF 2021 whilst also maintaining an institutional outlook to optimise BU’s overall REF performance. They should have ideas for how they will do this and the potential challenges and opportunities of this, specific to the UOA.

 

Questions:

Questions regarding the process should be directed to Julie Northam (Head of RKEO).

UOA-specific questions should be directed to Prof Vanora Hundley (Deputy Dean for Research in HSS) or to Prof Tiantian Zhang (Deputy Dean for Research in FST)