Category / BU Challenges

Australia endorses “New Learning and Teaching Standards for Environment and Sustainability Higher Education”

As colleagues will be aware, I have been a passionate advocate of education for sustainability (EfS) and global citizenship. I have worked across the sector to support change, and within BU have contributed to such things as the People and Planet Green League, Eco-campus and many other iniatives to enhance our environmental credentials but also to ensure that through education, we prepare students to lead (and make a difference) in a context that is global but also has to be sustainable.

We have more to achieve at BU in relation to the educative agenda, so in this regard I am sharing this work from Australian colleagues. I would not suggest that we need to impose standards but I would suggest that we might all consider how we could do more to ensure that the learning we provide enables our graduates to become better custodians of the world.

New Learning and Teaching Standards for Environment and Sustainability Higher Education

New national standards for tertiary qualifications in Environment and Sustainability have now been released. The standards are endorsed by the Australian Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (ACEDD) and have been developed through an intensive twelve month process, including consultation with the broad Australian and international stakeholder community of tertiary educators and researchers, employers and practitioners, students, indigenous people and other environmental educators. These standards can be used to design and deliver innovative environment and sustainability higher education in Australia. The standards are included in the Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Statement for Environment and Sustainability, available from or via the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching website ( For more information about the standards and the process of their development please contact the project co-leaders:

Dr Bonnie McBain ( or

Dr Liam Phelan (



EU Radar – Excellent Science

The following calls have been announced on the Participant Portal, within the Excellent Science pillar of Horizon 2020:

ERC Advanced Grant – this call is open and closes on 2/6/15 at 17:00 (Brussels local time)

Advanced Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are already established research leaders with a recognised track record of research achievements. Applicant Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.

MSCA Individual Fellowship – this call is open with a deadline of 10/9/15 at 17:00 (Brussels local time)

The goal of Individual Fellowships is to enhance the creative and innovative potential of experienced researchers. Please see information about BU’s workshop and external training provided by UKRO

Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)

FET-Open – novel ideas for radically new technologies (Research & Innovation Action)  – this call is open with a closing date of 29/9/15 at 17:00 (Brussels local time)

Supporting a large set of early stage, high risk visionary science and technology collaborative research projects is necessary for the successful exploration of new foundations for radically new future technologies. Nurturing fragile ideas requires an agile, risk-friendly and highly interdisciplinary research approach, expanding well beyond the strictly technological disciplines. Recognising and stimulating the driving role of new high-potential actors in research and innovation, such as women, young researchers and high-tech SMEs, is also important for nurturing the scientific and industrial leaders of the future.

FET-Open – novel ideas for radically new technologies (FET Take-Up Coordination and Support Activities) – this call is open with a closing date of 29/9/15 at 17:00 (Brussels local time)

The challenge is to make Europe the best place in the world for collaborative research on future and emerging technologies that will renew the basis for future European competitiveness and growth, and that will make a difference for society in the decades to come, by actions for stimulating take-up of FET research results towards impact and innovation, in ways that are complementary to and beyond the capacity of single research projects. Examples include outreach to investors and entrepreneurs, use of unconventional channels (like NGOs or artists), or targeting of new audiences and purposes (e.g. for social innovation, global development or peace).

FET-Open – novel ideas for radically new technologies (FET Exchange Coordination and Support Activities)

The challenge is to make Europe the best place in the world for collaborative research on future and emerging technologies that will renew the basis for future European competitiveness and growth, and that will make a difference for society in the decades to come. Applicants should address structuring an emerging FET-relevant topic and the interdisciplinary communities around it. This shall include research roadmapping, stimulating learning and exchange (possibly with related initiatives worldwide) involving the appropriate range of disciplines and actors such as young researchers and high-tech SMEs, and broader stakeholder engagement.

ERC Proof of Concept – this call is open with two forthcoming deadlines – Intermediate deadline: 28/5/15 and Final deadline: 1/10/15, both due at at 17:00 (Brussels local time)

Frontier research often generates unexpected or new opportunities for commercial or societal application. The ERC Proof of Concept Grants aim to maximise the value of the excellent research that the ERC funds, by funding further work (i.e. activities which were not scheduled to be funded by the original ERC frontier research grant) to verify the innovation potential of ideas arising from ERC funded projects. Proof of Concept Grants are therefore on offer only to Principal Investigators whose proposals draw substantially on their ERC funded research.

COFUND Doctoral Programme – the call will open on 14/4/15 and has a deadline of 01/10/ 2015 at 17:00 (Brussels local time)

Doctoral programmes address the development and broadening of the research competencies of early-stage researchers. The training follows the EU Principles on Innovative Doctoral Training ( Collaboration with a wider set of partners, including from the non-academic sector, which may provide hosting or secondment opportunities or training in research or transferable skills, as well as innovative elements of the proposed programme, will be positively taken into account during the evaluations. Each researcher must be enrolled in a doctoral programme. Attention is paid to the quality of supervision and mentoring arrangements as well as career guidance.

COFUND Fellowship Programme – the call will open on 14/4/15 and has a deadline of 01/10/ 2015 at 17:00 (Brussels local time)

Proposed fellowship programmes are encouraged to cover all research disciplines (“bottom-up”), but can also focus on specific disciplines. In this case the range of covered disciplines should allow reasonable flexibility for the researchers. Programmes that prioritise specific research disciplines based on national or regional Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3 strategies) will also be supported.

For further information on EU and International funding calls, please contact Paul Lynch or Emily Cieciura in the RKEO Funding Development Team

Opportunity to engage with UK Science Landscape Project for the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology

The Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology is looking at the UK Science Landscape. The aim of this project is to build a picture of the whole research landscape in the UK and to develop a stronger evidence base. This evidence base will help to inform future strategic decision-making and help the UK to maintain and develop its excellence in research.

As part of this project, the Council for Science and Technology (CST) wish to understand better how the UK’s research community defines itself and the links and interconnections that exist between research disciplines. To help to do this, the UK Knowledge Landscape Tool has been developed and has been designed to gather data from researchers on the disciplines, dependencies and key infrastructure they think make up modern research.

To be part of this and experimental approach, users can log on and create an account on the UK Knowledge Landscape website.

CST are interested in crowd-sourcing a large amount of data which will be analysed for statistically significant patterns across the whole body of responses and then used to produce outputs such as taxonomies or maps. The more responses the tool has, the better the mappings are likely to be, therefore, they would welcome your input.

Firsthand: HEFCE’s Open Access Policy

A few weeks back we were privileged to welcome experts on the topic of Open Access to speak at BU in an event well attended by delegates from HEIs across England, Scotland and Wales. The event was enjoyed by all who attended and over a series of blog posts I hope to summarise some of the key points raised by each of the speakers. We also filmed the event so hope to be posting this soon for all to watch, enjoy and comment upon. 

A few days a go, I summarised Alma Swans Introductory Address on ‘The benefits of Open Access’. Today, I look at Ben Johnson’s presentation ‘Open Access in a Post-2014 REF’.

Ben Johnson is a policy adviser at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), where he has worked for the past five years. He has a first class honours degree in music from the University of Southampton, and ten years’ experience working in strategic planning, process improvement and risk management. Since joining HEFCE, Ben has focussed on developing the Council’s thinking in novel, emerging and cross-cutting policy areas. Recently, these have included examining how technological advancements can drive openness in education and research. In 2013, Ben joined the research policy team to lead HEFCE’s work on open access, research information and infrastructure.

In April, HEFCE and the other three UK funding bodies published details of a new policy for open access relating to future research assessments after the current 2014 REF. To read this item in full visit: In his presentation, Ben talked through this policy and answered questions from delegates throughout the day.

He opened his presentation by outlining Open Access its flavours and routes. GOLD being the journal making the work immediately and freely accessible online under a CC-BY licence and GREEN by the author depositing their work into an intuitional or subject repositories at point of acceptance – further information can be found in earlier blog posts (How to deposit to BURO, Green & Gold).

HEFCEs core principle behind the policy is that outputs submitted to a post-2014
REF should be Open Access and they have three objectives in implementing the policy:

  • Significantly increase the uptake of open access options
  • Protect author choice as much as possible
  • Stimulate the deposit of work in repositories


  The minimum requirements of the policy are that:

  1. The final peer-reviewed draft of your paper is deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance
  2. The repository record must be discoverable ASAP
  3. The full text must be accessible ASAP (or once an embargo has elapsed)

 This will apply to all journal articles and most conference proceedings (those with an ISSN), he also stipulated that the maximum embargoes to be allowed will be:

  • REF main panels A and B – 12 months
  • REF main panels C and D – 24 months

An analysis of the REF 2014 submissions found that 96% of outputs could have been Open Access based on this criteria and the remaining 4% would be covered in the exceptions of the policy.

In addition to this, extra credit will be given in the research environment component of the post-2014 REF where an HEI can demonstrate that:

  • Outputs are presented in a form that allows re-use of the work, including via text-mining
  • Outputs not in the scope (books etc.) are made open access

 The prediction is that this will lead to:

  • Significantly greater uptake of open access (even within publishers’ current policies)
  • Increased visibility and usage of repositories
  • Many more immediate deposit mandates
  • Later: author-driven moves to faster and more permissive access
  • Later: open access is ‘solved’ for books etc.

Full slides from Ben Johnson’s presentation at Bournemouth University’s Open Access Event on the 7th May 2014 are available here internally.

If you would like to deposit your full text articles into BURO you can do this easily via BRIAN, full guidance can be found on the staff intranet pages.

The UK Goes International!

One of BUs priorities for 2018 is to increase our presentations at international conferences. Previously, only conference presentations that take place overseas were being considering in this calculation however, this week it has been agreed that the definition can be amended to include international conferences which are hosted in the UK, which is excellent news!

So, if you’ve presented at a conference (international or otherwise) remember to add these to your Staff Profile Page via BRIAN .

If you have any queries about BRIAN or the Staff Profile Pages then please direct these to

Your chance to influence research and knowledge exchange support at BU – deadline looming

The deadline is looming for your chance to influence how you receive research and knowledge exchange support! The RKE Operations team are implementing improvements to the way we work and we want your feedback. Contribute by completing this short survey by 9th February 2014 – and we’ll do our best to make sure you receive the kind of support you want.

Jenny Roddis

Under-grad Midwifery Students and Examination of the Newborn – a pilot project.

Five pre-registration midwifery students were successful in their application to take part in a pilot project which will equip them with the knowledge, skills and competency to undertake  examination of the newborn prior to qualification as a midwife. Midwives have always undertaken an initial examination of a baby soon after birth and the 24 hour ‘medical’ examination was traditionally undertaken by junior doctors or GP trainees. Following a change in doctor’s hours and a call for more holistic midwifery care, midwives began to take on the role of examining newborns following a period of rigorous training and education delivered through universities throughout the UK. Bournemouth University, for many years now, has been actively involved in educating midwives into this role, both locally and as far a field as Brighton and Gloucester. Currently the under-graduate midwifery curriculum does not offer this learning to its midwifery students although there is a strong push nationally for students to qualify with the skills. Two universities have already embedded the skills into their three year curriculum and BU will begin to educate and train students with the necessary skills/competencies in 2014 with a brand new midwifery curriculum. In the meanwhile we are fast tracking five motivated students. The students (Bex, Jenna, Katie, Luzie and Jeanette (not in photograph)  have to access all the post grad teaching and learning days (x5) which started last week. As well as undertaking an assessed presentation (6th day) with their qualified colleagues, they will have to undertake 30 newborn examinations under the watchful eye of their midwifery mentor who already has the qualification.  The unit leader (myself) will undertake their final assessment in practice in conjunction with their mentor. If successful the students will be awarded with 20 CPD credits for use after qualification.

Undertaking the pilot will be demanding for the students as they will still have to obtain their EU midwifery numbers, but it will not be at the expense of the pilot. Their under-grad training takes precedence.Furthermore a number of conditions were attached to the offers of a place:  the pilot cannot be used as mitigation for any referred  unit  in their 3rd year and the credits cannot be used to top up their degree should they not achieve the requisite 120 credits for completion.  All the students expressed strong commitment to obtaining the necessary skills and they have until September 2014 to complete. The pilot will pave the way for the new curriculum and will help with exposing any shortfalls in practice. I am immensely proud of the students for taking on this extra work. They have so many competing demands on their time and this will be just another. However it will provide the students with the skills to examine newborn babies when they are newly qualified midwives, which in turn will benefit women and their babies.  If anybody is interested in knowing more about the pilot please contact me on:

Prof. Ben Azvine, Global Head of Security Research and Innovation at BT. Monday the 11th of November, PG16

The next of our research seminars will take on Monday, the 11th of November, PG16 at 15:00.
Our distinguished guest is Professor Ben Azvine, the Global Head of Security Research and Innovation at BT; invited by our colleague Prof. Bogdan Gabrys.

Professor Azvine holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, an MSc in Control Engineering, a PhD in Intelligent Control Systems all from Manchester University and an MBA from Imperial College, London. Having held research fellowship and lectureship posts in several universities, he joined British Telecom Research in 1995 and set up a research programme to develop and exploit intelligent systems technologies within BT.
Since then he has held senior, principal and chief research scientist as well as head of research centre posts at Adastral Park, the head quarter of BT R&D. Ben has edited several books and published more than 100 scientific articles. He is an inventor on 50 patents, has won two BCS gold medals, and the IET award for innovation in IT, holds visiting professorships at Universities of Bristol, Cranfield and Bournemouth in the UK.

The title of his exciting talk will be “Industrial applications of novel Intelligent Systems”. Intelligent systems play an important role in industry for managing customer relationship, providing business intelligence, helping organisations analyse their data and protecting organisations against Cyber-attacks. In this talk I’ll present a number of case studies within BT where we have used intelligent system originating from within our research organisation and successfully downstreamed them into our operations.

I strongly encourage academics and PhD students not to miss the opportunity to attend to the seminar and to discuss potential collaborations.


CEMP Fellows? A Proposal for Fostering Innovative Education Research at BU

Many media studies professionals engaged in learning innovation first get introduced to Bournemouth University through CEMP, the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice. From attending annual summits to publishing in the Media Education Research Journal, before joining BU I was already connected to this unique community characterised by creativity, sharing and mentorship. Once I started working at BU I quickly realised that educational researchers interested in media and technology were not just in CEMP. From the School of Tourism to DEC, inspiring educational research can be found across BU.

As the Fusion vision expands and EdD programme grows, the time seems ripe to further foster innovative education research at BU, to use CEMP to bring our educational researchers together. Yet, as any of us who’ve scampered around to meet a grant deadline knows all too well, network building and collaborative bidding requires workload time and institutional support. This got some of us thinking about ways we might be able to foster educational research through CEMP. Borrowing a best practice employed at many research centres around the world, we asked ourselves: What if CEMP had internal fellows?

These CEMP Fellows could be culled from BU’s existing educational research community. Provided dedicated time in their schedules to meet together, they could share their previous scholarship and develop new collaborative projects. CEMP could create annual or bi-annual themes to guide this knowledge exchange and facilitate initiatives, offering a programmed series of meetings and events. For example, CEMP might run a Fellow programme on a topic like ‘Games and Education,’ bringing together researchers exploring the use of educational gaming across all schools.  As evidence that these fellows already exist amongst us, just two weeks ago at the VS Games conference hosted at BU by Dr. Christos Gatzidis and Dr. Jian Zhang of DEC, we saw BU participants from Tourism, the Centre for Digital Entertainment, Animation, Corporate Communication and more. Together we shared innovations in educational gaming.  Could CEMP Fellows be a way forward for fostering fusion?

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

The following opportunities have been announced. Please follow the links for more information:

  • As part of the RCUK Global Uncertainties Programme, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) wish to commission new, multi-disciplinary and innovative research projects to develop greater understanding of how questions of ethics and rights play out in a security environment, with a focus on governance. The total investment for this Call is £2 million – £2.5 million. A Town Hall meeting is scheduled for 23/09/13. Closing date: 21/10/13
  • The ESRC are offering c. 50 Training Bursaries to improve the standards of research methods and to stimulate the uptake of high quality training courses in research methods across the UK social science community. Bursaries are up to £1,000.
  • A three month secondment opportunity to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) is open to EPSRC funded PhD students. Closing date: 04/10/13
  • The US National Institutes of Health have opened their R01 (Research Project Grant) scheme. Closing date: 05/10/13
  • NERC have opened their Standard Research Grant call. There are special grants available for new investigators. Grants from £65,000 to £1.2m. Closing date: 21/01/14 with another date in July 2014.
  • Industry Fellowships are available from The Royal Society (with support from BBSRC, EPSRC, NERC and BP Ltd). Closing date 04/10/13
  • The Medical Research Council is inviting applications to their Integrative Toxicology Training Partnership (ITTP) PhD studentship scheme. Closing date: 20/11/13
  • The Royal Society is also offering University Research Fellowships. There are c.35 fellowships are available with a length of tenure of five years in the first instance, which may be extended for a further three years. Closing date: 17/09/13
  • The Technology Strategy Board is offering funding to support Unlocking the Hydrocarbon Energy Market. The aim of this competition is to support business-led innovation that leads to supply chain opportunities for hydrogen energy technologies and that addresses key market barriers to the use of hydrogen as an energy vector. The total cost of projects is expected to range in size from £250k to £1m. A briefing event for potential applicants will be held on 23/09/13. Applicants must register by noon on 23/10/13 and the deadline for expressions of interest is at noon on 30/10/13. 
  • The Wellcome Trust is inviting applications to their Postdoctoral Research Training Fellowships for Clinicians. The total cost of a Fellowship would not normally exceed £350 000. Closing date: 15/11/13

Please note that some funders specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your RKE Support Officer.

You can set up your own personalised alerts on ResearchProfessional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s RKE Officer in RKE Operations or see the recent post on this topic.


Festival of Learning – Testament to a Successful Morning (Dr Simon Thompson, DEC Psychology Research Centre)

‘Testamentary Capacity in Dementia’ (03 June 2013 10:00h – 13:00h) – Presentation followed by in-depth plenary session about the complexities of leaving an estate to beneficiaries following a diagnosis of dementia.

‘Dementia’ is an umbrella term used to describe many types of deteriorating diseases – the most common ones are Alzhiemer’s disease, Vascular dementia, and Lewy body dementia.

Many married couples own property as ‘joint tenants’. Upon death, ownership automatically passes to the survivor. If property is owned as ‘tenants in common’, one half of the estate belonging to the deceased is dealt with by their Will. Problems arise when there is no Will, when others make a claim, or when another Will is executed.

‘Testamentary capacity’ is a person’s legal and mental ability to make a
valid Will. There are three premises: Presumption of capacity; Requirements; Proof of testamentary capacity.

It is proposed that the law should allow testators alternative means of satisfying the testamentary capacity standard such as an option to validate a testator’s capacity during their lifetime through forensic assessment measuring cognitive elements of testamentary capacity.

It does not remove the difficulty of knowing the status of person at a specific time line. However, it goes some way to describing a person during their lifetime in terms of mental ability and capacity.

Thompson, SBN (2006). Dementia and memory: a handbook for students and professionals. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Thompson, SBN (2012). Dementia. In SBN Thompson (Ed), Psychology of trauma: clinical reviews, case histories, research (pp169-202). Portsmouth: Blackwell-Harvard-Academic.

Daily Echo report on BU research into wellbeing of older people

The economic downturn is having a marked impact on the wellbeing of ‘asset rich, cash poor’ older people in Dorset, Bournemouth University (BU) researchers have found.

The study looked at the financial challenges facing retired older people, who are often considered to be asset rich but cash poor, owning property but not receiving a large monthly income.

As well as the economic downturn affecting their social, mental and physical wellbeing, researchers found that the income many older people expected when planning for retirement had not come to fruition, and they felt poor in relation to their previous lifestyle and expectations.

Read more at…..



New PhD at HSC!

Colleen Deane has recently joined the School of Health and Social Care to commence a BU matched funded PhD studentship investigating novel mechanisms regulating muscle mass in the elderly. Colleen has just successfully completed her Masters (with distinction) in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health Promotion, where she investigated the effects of specific hormones (Testosterone) and polyphenols (Resveratrol) on artificially aged skeletal muscle cells, extracted from rodent mice. This PhD aims to enhance current understanding of the mechanisms regulating age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass (termed ‘sarcopenia’) and the associated reductions in mobility, general health and quality of life. Whilst exercise and nutritional interventions improve muscle size and function in young individuals, this response is attenuated in elderly muscle. Thus, using a combination of physiological and metabolic/molecular techniques these studies will investigate novel mechanisms underlying the blunted response of ageing muscle to exercise and nutritional growth stimuli. For further information contact Colleen on