Science Center, Bard College, Rhinebeck, New York State.
Bard College, Rhineback, New York State.
L-R: Dr Andrew Gallup; Dr Simon Thompson.
Most people can relate to yawning as all of us have done this at some time, with some of us being prolific yawners. However, little is known about the reasons for us yawning or the mechanisms involved.
My work on the link between cortisol and yawning has been published and is gaining momentum in the scientific community with presentations at the First International Conference on Yawning in Paris in 2010 and a forthcoming symposium being planned by me at Bournemouth University.
My travel scholarship enabled me to visit key workers in the field in upstate New York and with affliations with Prinecton University and Bard College (see photos). This has been so successful that we envisgae research collaboration between BU and the USA. I was even able to meet with the assistant to the world famous Professor Oliver Sack’s to discuss my resaerch and to “put it on the map” in the neurological community!
A bonus of my trip was to encounter first hand an extremely rare circada that hatches in the region I visited only every 17 years! What a privilege!
I am most grateful to Santander for their generous support and I believe this trip will help me make significant steps forward in my clinical research i yanwing and multiple sclerosis at BU.
I am delighted to report that the Centre for Media History together with the University of Lund and the Hans Bredow Institute at the University of Hamburg, has won a research grant from the Swedish ‘STINT’ fund. The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT) was set up in 1994 by an act of the Swedish Parliament to promote the internationalisation of Swedish higher education.
My colleague, Kristin Skoog and I helped write a successful bid together with our partners in Lund and Hamburg. Out of 95 applications to the fund only 10 were awarded grants.
The aim of the award is to establish a network of media historians to study aspects of European media history and in particular the idea of historical ‘entanglement’. Another aim is to focus on sometimes neglected European influences in the media and indeed to reflect the European turn in media and cultural studies away from an over-emphasis on North America.
The Bournemouth part of the network currently comprises of Kristin Skoog, Maike Helmers and me as well as three of our PhD students, Tony Stoller, Kathryn McDonald and Gloria Khamkar. The network will meet in Bournemouth, Lund and Hamburg and the events will be in the spring and autumn each year. The award runs from 2014 to 2018.
By the end of our networking activity we hope to have learned a great deal more about each other’s research and ideas and together we will be in a strong position to bid for a larger European grant.
If you would like to know more about the STINT project please get in touch with me.
Hugh Chignell email@example.com
Presentation – Birth in the UK to the 1st year Swedish Student Midwives at the Karolinska Institiute
Sue Mant (left), Helena Lindgren (Our Host representative), Sara Stride (right)
A colleague and I participated in an exchange visit to the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Sweden in May 2013 thanks to an Erasmus Mobility award. During the trip we visited several clinics and hospitals and had the opportunity to meet and talk with many Midwives, Student Midwives and Nurses working in different settings. When spending time at the KI with the Student Midwives we were able to provide an overview of Birth in the UK, where Waterbirth provision was of great interest and provoked much discussion.
During a visit to the Kista Barnmorskemottagning (a Midwife clinic) it was evident that as the Midwives are based in the clinics, they are able to provide good continuity of care. Midwives complete electronic records for every episode of care, there are no paper records or hand held notes for women to carry; in fact they are only issued with a printed copy of their blood group.
One of my objectives was to learn more regarding Group Antenatal Care provision in Sweden. A joint venture with a phd student from the KI enabled an exchange of information and a discussion of progress to date and to share ideas from a recent project regarding Group Antenatal Care in the UK.
During our many visits we were also introduced to the custom of “Fika” – or social time where work colleagues meet mid morning and mid afternoon for a drink and a chat. It is considered to be part of everyone’s daily routine, and is definitely a concept that might encourage staff in the UK to take regular breaks.
We also joined a social evening, where First year Swedish Student Midwives were each presented with a Pinnard’s ready for practice.
1st Year swedish students with Sara Stride(centre) and myself, Sue Mant (right)
Thanks to an Erasmus mobility award myself and a colleague were able to engage in a teaching exchange with the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Sweden. For the midwifery team, this is an annual reciprocal arrangement which fosters education/practice links and ensures the continuation of a programme of support for exchanges between Bournemouth University (BU) midwifery students and KI midwifery students. A very comprehensive itinerary allowed us to visit midwife led units, clinics, birthing units, and hospitals. We were enabled to spend time with student midwives in the classroom and with clinical teachers in practice.
This was my first visit, and a personal objective was to explore practice education. Student midwives in Sweden study midwifery for 18 months prior to qualification and this contrasts with the three year course mainly offered at home. Notably, the direct entry route to midwifery is not yet available in Sweden and even though this is an approach that KI is considering for the future, current applicants to the course have to be qualified nurses. KI student midwives move around various placements and student support mechanisms there were very similar to BU. Where things begin to differ is that there is no formally recognised mentor system. At the Sodra BB birth unit I learned from the Chef Barnmorska (Lead Midwife), that clinical teachers have often been qualified for a minimum of 5 years and though very experienced, they receive no formal preparation for their clinical teaching role. This perhaps reflects the lack of any formal ongoing post-registration development programme. At Danderyds birth centre we met a midwife who has recently taken on a role similar to that of Practice Educator. She has adopted a progressive programme of regular meetings between clinical teaching midwives and the Institute link allowing them an opportunity to discuss individual student’s needs and achievements. Attending one meeting, we were invited to contribute to the discussion and as a cohesive group we were able to discuss strategies and share ideas. Issues arising with learners seem to bear common threads internationally
Helena Lindgren (our host representative) with Sara Stride
Finally, if you are wondering what ‘Come to the Cabaret’ has to do with this blog…. Our visit happily coincided with end of course celebrations, a chance for the cohort to dress as characters from that very musical. I learned….. Swedish midwives know how to party!
I’ve been awarded a HEA grant to run a one day workshop at Bournemouth University on ‘Smart futures: practical use of technology in psychology learning and teaching’ on 2nd July 2013. Although focussing on psychology, some sessions may also be useful to those from other related disciplines wanting to develop their practice in using technology to enhance their students’ experience. I will be presenting my own research and reflecting on my practice. Other speakers include Dr M Coxon (York St Johns) on ‘Tweeting, Twittering and Twitterdom’ and Dr C Senior (Aston) on ‘Technology and Student Teams in Learning’. Bookings are open at http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2013/02-July-Smart-futures-Bournemouth
We are holding an additional Grants Academy, 2 Day Grant Writing Workshop in June with Martin Pickard on the:
Monday the 10th and Tuesday the 11th of June 2013
However on this workshop we have only a few spaces left and these are available on a first come basis so we urge you to act fast if you wish to secure a space.
By clicking on the Grants Academy page on the Research Blog you can find further details about the Grants Academy, what assistance is available to you and the expectations from you going forward.
Please note: if you would like to attend we will need you to bring a draft proposal you are currently working on. Please also be aware as a member of the Grants Academy you will be required to work on a proposal after the session, using the resources available to Grants Academy members, and to submit this proposal for external funding within six months of completing the training programme. Membership of the Academy is for a maximum of 18 months during which time you will be expected to have submitted a minimum of three external bids.
If you would like a place on this workshop please email me (Dianne Goodman) and confirm you are able to bring a proposal. Please also forward an email from your line manager supporting your membership of the Grants Academy. We look forward to hearing from you shortly.
My recent visit to Paris via the Erasmus Teaching Mobility scheme has been most useful, not only as it continues to strengthen the links I have made with like-minded researchers and clinicians, but also because it exposes you to raw student talent. This is important to help you keep up to date with current views and research with the assistance of an eager and interrogative French audience! Such visits are quite intellectually challenging, partly because my level of French is constantly under scrutiny! The collaborative research links I have made are invaluable and I hope to submit some reasrch bids in the area of Multiple Sclerosis and yawning soon.
We have been recently awarded an EC FP7 Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (CIG) for a project entitled Social Adaptation: When Software Gives Users a Voice (SOCIAD). The project will provide engineering framework to develop software which will get users’ feedback at run-time and then use this feedback to adapt services and improve quality.
The total contribution of the EC is 100K Euros and the duration of the project is 4 years. Marie Curie CIG is a competitive grant. 912 proposals were submitted in our call which had the deadline of 18 September 2012 (read more..). Only 22% of the evaluated proposals have been selected for funding under this call.
The project team includes Dr. Raian Ali, Professor Keith Phalp, Associate Professor Jacqui Taylor and 3 existing PhD students and 2 new PhD students, the latter to start and be funded partially by this grant. The application for the first position is now open so please help us and circulate details of the post, so that we can attract excellent candidates: http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AGH143/phd-studentship/
CIG could be particularly useful funding mechanism for researchers / lecturers who recently joined BU. The next deadline is 18 September 2013 (read more..). CIG applicants must be experienced researchers from any country in the world, with at least 4 years’ full-time research experience or a doctoral degree. CIG is meant to encourage Experienced Researchers to settle in / return to Europe. To apply, you must have been actively engaged in research, but you cannot have carried out your work in the country of your host organisation for more than twelve months over the last three years. Finally, you must have never benefitted from a European or an International Reintegration Grant (ERG or IRG) nor from a Career Integration Grant.
If you are interested in applying to this grant and / or would like to know more please let us know and we will be happy to share our experience with you.
Studying yawning has the potentially benefit of identifying underlying neurological disorders. Strong evidence of a link between yawning and fatigue, and with multiple sclerosis, is known. Mechanisms involved in excessive yawning are not understood and my work has shown a definitive link between yawning and cortisol levels in normal people. However, since people with multiple sclerosis often yawn excessively, it is important to establish whether or not their cortisol levels rise as with normal people since prolonged rises in cortisol levels indicate stress and may also indicate adverse neurological symptomatology. My work has generated a new hypothesis to explain the occurrence of excessive yawning and is complementary to Dr Gallup’s theories on thermoregulation in multiple sclerosis, which is pioneering. I am meeting Dr Gallup (Princeton University) in New York to discuss further studies in order to stay ahead of research progress. This is an excellent opportunity for kudos for Bournemouth University in being the first to carry out such research.
Well, not only did I not get my pocket ‘picked’, but I also did not fall drunk from a balcony (an activity known as ‘balconing’ apparently) – despite the risk assessment warnings to the contrary. These were the main dangers against which I had to sign a disclaimer for on my recent Fusion funded (SMN) trip to Barcelona. Once there (and how nice to actually see the sun!) I actually spent most of the daytime meeting people and learning stuff – at the European Conference on Politics and Gender.
There were two major issues and outcomes of this trip for me. The first was information about gender becoming an integrated part of the Horizon 2020 research agenda. Work being done under the COST programme is promoting the agenda that all research bids submitted under the Horizon 2020 umbrella have a gendered dimension; that research must consider the impacts on women as well as men. (This has also recently been noted in the THES). This is important and significant progress for both scientific innovations and more broadly, for anyone who has a sense of social justice!
The second aspect and outcome for me, was to the opportunity to meet potential contributors for a forthcoming issue of European Political Science that I am co-editing. The symposium concerns the status of women in political science, who, like other disciplines in the UK, are highly under-represented at senior levels. For example, despite over 50% of undergraduate students being female, recent stats by HESA show that women represent only 20.5% of the professoriate. These statistics suggest that we really need to be asking – what is going on? How does such a disparity exist? I have already done some qualitative research around this area – (for a popular summary see women universities and zombies). The main focus of our co-edited journal symposium however, is the status of women in political science across Europe. Contributions will come from Scandinavia, Italy, Germany and Spain, as well as the UK. Our aim is to first map where women are in the discipline, to consider cultural differences and similarities, and to discuss what we can do to increase equality of representation between men and women across all levels of political science (with lessons for academia more widely and beyond). If you are interested in this work either directly, or in terms of the broader issues it raises, please do contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
My experience of the BU peer review scheme for research bids – Dan Jackson
Constructing a credible research bid is not an easy process. Anyone who has experienced this will attest to the headaches, confidence crises, as well as the very practical obstacles of application forms that include boxes that defy common sense! Building an internal deadline and peer review process into this might seem like another unnecessary headache.
Our experience of putting a Higher Education Academy (HEA) collaborative teaching grant included all of the above. As a relatively inexperienced grant consortium, we requested internal peer review, and found it to be an invaluable process. We submitted a draft version of the whole bid document to the reviewers and got very useful feedback from two colleagues who were familiar with the funding body. Not only that, we continued the dialogue with the internal reviewers over the next few weeks leading up to the grant deadline.
This is what I would recommend to anyone undertaking the internal peer review process:
- Build it into your bid deadline from an early stage.
- Give them as much of the bid document to comment on as possible. The more feedback the better.
- Choose your peer reviewers carefully – RKEO can help here – you ideally want people with experience of the particular funding body so as to give you the inside line.
- If necessary, continue the dialogue with the reviewers after you receive the feedback.
Who can I ask for further help?
- Caroline O’Kane in the Research and Knowledge Exchange Development team manages the RPRS and will answer any questions you have.
A new Fusion fund travel grant has been awarded to Dr. Hongchuan Yu, lecturer in the Media School (National Centre for Computer Animation, NCCA) in order to help develop an important strategic relationship with the Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The hope is that through collaboration and the sharing of academic resources both institutions will be able to deliver a high quality research work.
The State Key Laboratory of Intelligent Technology and Systems, attached to Tsinghua University, China, was in July, 1987. It is the most prestigious State class Laboratory in Artificial Intelligence field in China. On the meeting for celebrating the 10th anniversary of the State Key Lab Development in October, 1994, State Key Laboratory of Intelligent Technology and Systems won “Gold Cattle” Prize. In 1997, it was selected as the experimental lab.
The laboratory consists of a central lab (the intelligent technology and systems), and three branch labs (intelligent signal processing, intelligent image processing, man-machine interaction and media integration). They are mainly engaged in basic research on the principles and methods of artificial intelligence, including, intelligent information processing, machine learning, intelligent control and artificial neural network theories; and the research on the applications relating to artificial intelligence, mainly including intelligent robots, speech, graphic, image, word and language processing.
The talent researchers at Tsinhua are very important to BU as the staffs and research postgraduate students of NCCA need much more chances to collaborate/exchange with international colleagues in depth. This will further benefit the REF activity of NCCA (UoA34, Art and Design) as well.
It is hoped that this relationship will include research collaboration with the activities of NCCA. The initial discussion focuses on a potential project of “3D facial expression editing system”, which delivers a prototype system of 3D facial expression editing based on video and 3D scanning data for potential game market.
It is intended that Tsihghua PhD students and academics will visit BU regularly under the banner of the NCCA for research projects, seminar presentations and to discuss further research and academic.
The further development of partnerships between conservation research and ecotourism is highly desirable. However it is reliant on attracting willing participants to go on conservation expeditions. Understanding the motivational and experiential aspects of such travel is therefore fundamental to devising research volunteering opportunities and marketing that provoke necessary tourist applications. There is much cynicism in the tourism literature about the desire to ‘travel with a purpose’ mostly on the assumption that volunteering merely eases developed-world middle class guilt. A counter view, however, is that this type of travel not only supports worthy causes but also leads to learning and personal development where tourism is based on being, doing, touching and seeing rather than just seeing.
Due to my continued interest and publications in wildlife tourism and conservation, I was selected to join a scientific expedition to Bardia National Park in Nepal to participate in a study of the regions’ unique population of wild elephants. The expedition was led by the well-known explorer and author Colonel Blashford-Snell, the founder of Operation Raleigh and the Scientific Exploration Society, whilst the research is under the supervision of Professor Adrian Lister of the Natural History Museum.
I travelled with twenty individuals who brought various skills to the team. My fieldwork consisted of semi-structured, in-depth interviews with fellow participants during the expedition. The interviews explored their motivations for joining the team, what the expedition meant to them, their experiences of travel and transformation, and their notions of adventure and altruism. A travel diary was also kept which logged observations of the day’s activities, logistics, the teams’ thoughts on what they had encountered and achieved, the sharing of significant stories, and the hopes and personal challenges of living and ‘working’ in the jungle.
I had a number of duties which have been assigned to me beyond the logging, measurement and photography of elephants. These included providing an advisory role to the local naturalists / guides wishing to expand and develop ecotourism in Bardia National Park, and keeping a species list of birds and butterflies. Part of the expedition also included visiting and helping the villages near base camp as well as involving them in elephant conservation. I am currently writing up the study and findings will eventually be disseminated at a special interest / nature based tourism conferences and published in a peer reviewed journal. The raw data presents a number of recurring themes namely that:
- The place itself is less important than the volunteer activity
- There is a search for like-minded people and meaningful friendships
- This type of travel is a quest to ‘join a community’, i.e. that the co-volunteers become a family or a community with shared memories and experiences
- Traditional travel is perceived as ‘islands in time’ whilst expeditions are different as friendships, contacts, reunions and fund-raising activities stretch into the future.
- It is not the places that are visited, it is more the thoughts and feelings that are brought back to everyday lives following an expedition
Dr Susanna Curtin, School of Tourism
Nicole Ferdinand, Senior Lecturer in Events Management in the School of Tourism has been awarded a research grant from the King’s Cultural Institute for a research project entitled “Carnival Futures: Notting Hill Carnival 2020” which seeks to engage cultural organizations along with other stakeholders in proactively planning for the future of the Notting Hill Carnival. Nicole will be working closely with Carnival Village and other organizations within the carnival community to engage stakeholders in the process of scenario planning. Using scenarios the carnival community will consider how their external relationship portfolio and internal capabilities need to be adapted to match future requirements. The project builds on research Nicole is conducting as part of her PhD. which she is currently completing at King’s College London. Her project is being funded by the Creative Futures Fund.
Dr. Mary Beth Gouthro, Programme Leader Events Management, also from the School of Tourism has been engaged through the Research & Knowledge Exchange Office to conduct an external evaluation of the project.
As part of the Fusion in Action conference on Thursday 18 April, the Fusion Investment Surgery drop-in sessions will provide an excellent opportunity to talk about your potential applications to the Fusion Investment Fund (FIF). The FIF scheme reopens in April/May with an application deadline of 3 June, so why not take the opportunity to discuss your ideas and get advice about eligibility and assessment criteria now, as well as gaining inspiration from the showcase of the best of Fusion in Action at BU over the last 12 months!
The conference features a range of engaging presenters and two of these will be discussing their successful FIF bids so it’s a fantastic opportunity to find out more from those with the knowledge.
The following committee members will be on-hand with advice about the different funding schemes and how to ensure your applications have the best possible chance of being successful:
Study Leave – Debbie Sadd
Staff Mobility & Networking – Feng Tian
Co-Creation and Co-Production – Hong Bui and Richard Scullion
Book now to attend the conference (via the Staff Development Webpage) and come along for this great opportunity to learn more about how you can get involved and secure funding for activities that matter to you!
Fusion in Action Conference:
On Thursday 18 April, Kimmeridge House
Begins at 12pm with a networking lunch
Ends at 5pm with wine and nibbles
Presentations, posters, drop-in sessions and a Q&A Panel
Hosted by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Tim McIntyre-Bhatty and Chief Operating Officer Jim Andrews
Bookings are essential
A three-member Media School research team has been awarded a grant for research into Corporate Social Responsibility communication amongst employees.
Dr Tasos Theofilou, Dr Georgiana Grigore and Prof Tom Watson (L-R) gained the grant from the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, a research center at the Penn State College of Communications.
They will be conducting a study in the UK and Romania to link with a previous study undertaken in Greece by Dr Theofilou. The study supports travel and the employment of research assistants for research in summer this year. Prof Watson, the project PI, has been named as a Page Legacy Scholar for 2013.
“Within the Media School’s Public Relations Research Group (the PRRes Gang), there is considerable expertise in CSR,” said Prof Watson.
“Dr Grigore is an organiser of an international CSR conference to be held at BU in the autumn, whilst Dr Theofilou is pioneering research into harnessing ‘scepticism’ as a factor in developing effective CSR communication within corporate organisations.
“This grant is very positive recognition of BU’s standing internationally within public relations and corporate communications research.”
# Arthur W. Page was a highly respected pioneer of public relations and corporate communications in the US from the late 1920s to the late 1940s at the telecoms giant, AT&T.
(L-R) Dr Tasos Theofilou, Dr Georgiana Grigore and Prof Tom Watson
The website is now live and features all the details of how to enter the competition.
The competition has already been presented to students at BU and AUB – we go on the road next week to start promoting it at other UK universities.
Details of both the competition and the festival can be found at www.bfxfestival.com
A new Fusion fund travel grant has been awarded to Dr. Ben Thomas, lecturer in the School of Design, Engineering and Computing (DEC) in order to help develop an important strategic relationship with the University of Applied Sciences (UAS) in Wurzburg, Germany. The hope is that through collaboration and the sharing of important engineering resources both institutions will be able to deliver an improved experience to their students.
UAS was founded in 1971 as an Institute of Technology with departments in Würzburg and Schweinfurt, its focus is on business, design and engineering education, with a well-developed reputation for knowledge transfer and professional industrial research partnerships. With nearly 8,000 students UAS is the third largest of the 17 state run universities of applied sciences in Bavaria. UAS is notable for having excellent laboratory resources with over 20 dedicated research labs in the Faculty of Industrial Design alone, covering research topics from microwave engineering to dedicated polymer testing, with an emphasis on materials testing.
The facilities and expertise at UAS are very important to BU as these will support current DEC activities, particularly with the adoption of the new MEng course and the laboratory resources for the experimental final year projects this will require. The business and enterprise expertise at UAS will also directly benefit the existing BA course in Design Business Management.
It is hoped that this relationship will include research collaboration with the activities of the Sustainable Design Research Centre (SDRC), with initial discussions including existing BU research looking at RNLI marine engine oil condition monitoring, and two newly awarded match funded studentships entitled ‘Recyclable Materials Applied to Small Marine Leisure Craft’ and ‘An Optimised Tidal Energy Design for Poole Harbour’. These will benefit greatly from the extensive materials testing facilities available at UAS allowing greater research detail to be developed.
It is intended that UAS students and academics will visit BU regularly under the banner of the SDRC for research projects, seminar presentations and to discuss further research and academic collaboration.