The Doctoral College Newsletter provides termly information and updates to all those involved with postgraduate research at BU. The latest edition is now available to download here. Click on the web-links provided to learn more about the news, events and opportunities that may interest you.
If you would like to make a contribution to future newsletters, please contact the Doctoral College.
Maria Abdel Karim, Postgraduate Research student in the Faculty of Media & Communication has been shortlisted for the final round of the prestigious Student Widescreen Film of the Year Competition.
Maria’s film ‘Two Women Can Tango’ has been picked from hundreds of entries from around the world to be screened alongside five other short films on Thursday 10 October 2019 at the Widescreen Weekend festival.
The narrative short film, shot in London, was presented as Maria’s Masters film for BU. Maria believes her film carries a strong humanitarian message behind it and a clear message that love is able to connect humans despite all their differences. It tells the story of Reem, a Palestinian young woman living in London on a sponsored visa who only has a couple of months before her visa expires when she meets Alma, a British-Jewish Tango instructor who sweeps her off her feet the moment they have their first Tango dance together. As the Tango between the two women escalate, Reem’s days in London become countable. She is left with only one choice to make.
The Student Widescreen Film of the Year Competition is one of the premier international events for showcasing young, emerging talent working with widescreen filmmaking technology. This unique competition strives to celebrate widescreen film and technologies within all genres. Previous entrants have spanned a range of methods including documentary, animation and short clips.
Daniel Hills (FMC PGR) has recently returned from the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) European Media and Communication Doctoral Summer School. This year it was held at Tartu University, Estonia between 9th to 16th July.
Taken from the ECREA website, the summer school brings together members of the European research community to this summer school in order to debate contemporary issues in media, communication and cultural studies. The summer school aims to provide a supportive international setting where doctoral students can present their ongoing work, receive feedback on their PhD-projects from international experts and meet students and academics from other countries, establishing valuable contacts for the future.
It is a full on conference including a variety of back-to-back workshops, lectures, group feedback sessions and consultation every day for 8 days, and is extremely intense. To qualify for this conference, I had to supply an initial 500 word abstract of my PhD, and following being successfully shortlisted for the next round, produce an expanded 3,000 word introduction and summary of my research project, as well as a 10 minute presentation summarising my research plans as they were prior to the summer school.
There were 40 delegates selected and I was lucky enough to be one of them. The conference commenced at 09:30 on the 8th with a half day meet and greet so we could all get to know one another and our personal areas of research. This was followed by lunch and then into an afternoon of interactive workshops taking us to 6PM. This was followed by a welcome drinks party where we could discuss our first day over a glass of wine and provided a great opportunity to bond with my new peers. Over the following days, we would cover a further 16 workshops, 5 lectures and most importantly for me, individual feedback sessions. Our large group was broken into 2 groups or 14 and 1 or 13, and over the course of the work were give an hour dedicated to presenting our research (10 minutes) maximum and then to receive a structured feedback from lecturers and peers whom had already read my 3,000 word paper. This delivered invaluable feedback for me and gave me a plethora of new perspectives which I had hitherto not considered.
I gained a great deal of insights, useful techniques and a re-ignition of enthusiasm towards my research throughout the 8 days, and would encourage anybody whom is more than a year into their research to apply for the 2020 version. I graduated with 10 ECTS points on the final day, but more importantly new-found knowledge and a new direction to progress with my PhD, and a whole lot of new friends and peers. I am planning on writing a paper with one of my new friends whom is interested in a similar field to my own. All in all, the ECREA European Media and Communication Doctoral Summer School has been one of the most useful academic experiences of my career to date.
Daniel Hills is a PhD researcher in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University, and is focusing his research in advertising planning and practice theory, aiming to complete in 2020.
Dr Paul Whittington pictured front far left
Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park
Cumberland Lodge – an educational charity which tackles social divisions by promoting creative thinking and inclusive dialogue – held its 11th annual ‘Life Beyond the PhD’ conference.
Held over 5 days, the conference brought together PhD students and early career researchers for thought-provoking workshops, presentations and activities which explored the value of doctoral research both inside and outside of academia. Underpinning each of the activities was the Cumberland Lodge’s ethos of inclusivity, and insightful, interdisciplinary discussion.
Dr Paul Whittington, who completed his PhD in 2017 in the Faculty of Science & Technology, attended and benefitted greatly from presentations which included a variety of topics: Research Culture in the UK, Self-Leadership for Researchers, Techniques for Impact through speaking and writing, Public Engagement and Writing Interdisciplinary Research Proposals. These were presented by a variety of academics from institutions, including The University of Cambridge, Guardian Higher Education Network, Government Equalities Office and the University of London.
Paul also had the opportunity to collaborate with PhD students from around the country and to discuss and present his research to other delegates. On one day, he participated in an interdisciplinary team project which involved producing and presenting a research proposal tackling some form of social exclusion to a panel followed by a Q&A session. Paul presented a slide and subsequently his team won the challenge and received the “funding” – a box of chocolates that was then shared amongst the other teams.
Paul said: “Thank you very much to the Doctoral College for providing me with the opportunity to attend the Life Beyond the PhD Conference at Cumberland Lodge. It was very valuable to me and greatly appreciated.”
This one hour lunchbite session is aimed at all academic staff who are new to, or experienced at, supervising research degree students and are interested in expanding their knowledge of a specific aspect or process in doctoral supervision.
Lunch and refreshments provided.
Tuesday 5th June 2018
12.00 – 13.00
Examining & Chairing Research Degree Viva Voce Examinations
Click here for further details and to book your place
through Organisational Development
This session will be led by a senior academic who will introduce the topic, and staff will be free to participate in discussions aimed at sharing best practice from across BU. It will be focused on expanding knowledge on the processes and responsibilities involved in examining & chairing research degree viva voce examinations.
Bookings can also be made for upcoming sessions covering different aspects of research degree supervision including:
These sessions will run again at intervals in the next academic year.
On Wednesday 7 March 2018 the Doctoral College hosted the 10th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference which brought together and recognised the excellence of BU’s postgraduate research.
Meet this year’s winners:
||Mark Stevens, Faculty of Management
Research topic: A social identity approach to understanding physical activity.
Why I chose this research topic: As a regular runner, and someone who engages in a lot of physical activity myself, I am a strong believer that being active should be a priority for us all. Having also seen first hand the issues being inactive can cause, and being aware of the scale of the inactivity crisis we are facing on a global scale, I am passionate about understanding the factors that influence people’s physical activity levels and devising effective ways of getting—and keeping—people more active.
Example of how research at BU has changed things for me: My PhD has given me the opportunity to learn a wide variety of new skills and develop my existing skills in several areas. For example, working closely with my supervisors, collaborating with researchers around the world, and working to publish journal articles has helped me learn several advanced methods of statistical analysis and develop my academic writing.
Quick quote: Following on the physical activity theme, but also a good thought about working hard: “Nobody ever drowned in their own sweat!”
||Stephen Allard, Faculty of Media & Communication
Research topic: When does Page become Stage: Exploring Evolving Poetic Practices in Digital Spaces.
Why I chose this topic: The growth and popularity of social media sites, especially within the last decade, has arguably forever changed the way that we imagine, interact with, and relate to, each other. With increasing cynicism towards these new social worlds of words, with terms such as ‘fake news’ ingrained in the public consciousness, I am fascinated by how poets might add their voices to these new social frontiers. If a search for truth about online interaction is currently only revealing something increasingly seen as fake, then can perhaps poets, using something fictional, reveal new truths about ourselves, and each other, online?
Example of how research at BU has changed things for me: Bournemouth University has a rich, diverse, and interactive postgraduate research community, that actually feels like a community. Through events, workshops, and talks, I have gained the opportunity to work with a range of talented and passionate researchers, working across many fields and in many disciplines. This has not only pushed the boundaries and possibilities of my own research, but also opened up new opportunities, and completely new ways of thinking about the postgraduate experience.
Quick quote: Oscar Wilde: ‘Everything in moderation, including moderation’
||Louise Oliver, Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
Research topic: Family Narratives of Child-to-Parent Violence and Abuse: Lifting the Veil of Secrecy
Why I chose this topic: I have worked within Children’s Social Care for over a decade, with a focus on working with family violence and abuse. As part of my practice, it became apparent that there was a dearth of research about children who are controlling, aggressive and/or violent towards their parents, as well as limited targeted support for families experiencing child-to-parent violence and abuse. This motivated me to study this form of family violence and abuse in order to further prevent, intervene and support families experiencing this.
Example of how research at BU has changed things for me: This research has helped in many ways, it has helped develop my practice by improving my theoretical understanding of family violence and abuse, and I have been able to incorporate this within my practice. I am also in a position that I am able to offer advice and guidance to my colleagues.
Quick quote: “…a moment of silence, a question without answer, provokes a breach without reconciliation where the world is forced to question itself” (Foucault 1967)
||Amal Musa Almoualed, Faculty of Media & Communication
Research topic: Saudi Women Journalists—An Exploration of Their Role and Practice in an Age of National Transformation
Why I chose this topic: The advancement, development and empowerment of women is a lifelong interest of mine, something I wish to study and achieve in my personal and professional life. This motivated me to approach my research from both sides—‘journalism’ and ‘women’—in order to combine my joint passions for journalism research and the advancement of women.
Example of how research at BU has changed things for me: Being a researcher in Women and Journalism at Bournemouth University has developed my personal and professional skills and exposed me to other cultures. This has helped broaden my horizons and also helps me communicate more effectively with professionals and colleagues from different cultures.
Quick quote: These are two of my own quotes, which I always recall whenever I need to encourage myself to continue pursuing my dreams:
‘Being a woman means to have patience, determination, enthusiasm and confidence as you challenge any barriers that limit your success in your personal and professional life.’
‘Some women seek to be pretty and work hard to remain pretty their entire life; however, I believe my prettiness is determined by being mindful, ambitious, and successful in achieving my goals.’
||Ejike T. Ezeh, Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
Research topic: Shared decision-making: investigating the potential of an interactive, web-based information tool to support treatment choice of people with advanced pancreatic cancer
Why I chose this topic: I have always been interested in the impact of information technology in healthcare, and when the opportunity became available, I applied and was selected. Also, being able to help people in making important decisions about their health is a rewarding experience for me.
Example of how research at BU has changed things for me: Research has taught me that you have to be very thorough and systematic even in the most basic things in life. Someone may build on your work in the future. I am more careful in my utterances as well. There must be sufficient evidence to support them.
Quick quote: When the going gets extremely tough, then you are close to a breakthrough.
|| Nurist Surayya Ulfa, Faculty of Media & Communication
Research topic: I am undertaking a PhD on ‘the digital virtual consumption practices and commercial enculturation among Indonesian Muslim girls’. In particular, the work aims to account for how Indonesian Muslim girls’ engagement with DVC in Girls games shapes both their literacy of and desire for Western consumer culture and the role of Islam in the process. By doing this, enables me to shed light on the interplay between market and religion under the consumer culture theory traditions.
Why I chose this topic: Since 2009, as an academia in Diponegoro University Indonesia, I have been interested in studying children and marketing communication themes in Indonesia. My PhD problematization derived from my previous finding on Muslim children engagements with local and global media practices.
Example of how research at BU has changed things for me: Undertaking PhD in Bournemouth University is a journey that I have thoroughly enjoyed so far. The reliable and supportive supervisory team is obviously the best part of my PhD journey. By way of their guidance, I have learned a lot about my research area and had valuable opportunities to develop myself.
||Giulia Levi, Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
Research topic: Between silence and agitation. Coping strategies and third-party interventions in divided societies: a comparison between post-conflict Bosnia and post-referendum UK.
Why I chose this topic: The Brexit referendum has favoured the emergence of new lines of division in the British society. After years working in civil society organisations operating in divided contexts I have seen how initiatives to bridge societal divisions often apply standardised models overlooking the specificities of the contexts and of the people they work with. My project looks at how such initiatives are experienced by beneficiaries in order to develop a more socio-culturally sensitive approach.
Example of how research at BU has changed things for me: Since I started my PhD I’ve had the chance to participate in workshops and conferences, meeting researchers I could discuss my ideas with. As part of my research I am exploring the cultural diversity of Dorset collaborating with civil society organizations on the ground that work on hate crime prevention and victims’ support.
Quick quote: ‘Every culture is always on a nomadic path’ (M. Engelke)