Category / REF Subjects

The PhD examiner

Being asked to examine a PhD thesis is a honour for most academics.  As an examiner you always learn something new.  If not about the topic itself, you may learn different ways of applying a research method or new theoretical explanations or even new ideas for supervising your own PhD students.  It is a joy to have an in-depth scientific discussion with a dedicated and motivated candidate. Usually the candidate is a little nervous, especially at the start of the viva, and I see it as one of my tasks as an examiner to help the candidate to relax a little.

Today I had the pleasure of being one of the examiners for a PhD at the University of Maastricht (the Netherlands).   The PhD candidate (now Dr.) Franka Cadée was a little nervous according to her supervisors, although it did not show during the viva.

Interestingly, enough I also felt nervous!  Before today I had examined 50th PhD thesis in seven different countries.  However, I probably had not felt this nervous since my own viva nearly three decades ago.  Why was I nervous?  First, although I am Dutch and I have studied in the Netherlands and the UK, I had never attended a PhD examination in the Netherlands.  And PhD examinations really do differ between the UK and most northern European countries, especially the public defence of the thesis by the candidate in front of examiners, colleagues, friends and family.  Secondly, the candidate today is the president of the ICM (the International Confederation of Midwives).  Of course, this does not make any difference in the examination process, this candidate was treated the same as any other student would have been.  Thirdly, and most importantly, the ICM had globally advertised the public defence of Dr. Cadée’s thesis to midwives, maternity policy-makers, member of International Non-Governmental Organisations and maternity care providers and invited ‘everybody’ to watch on ZOOM.

I really think it was the latter that made me more nervous than the much more private UK PhD viva with perhaps five or six people in a small class room, or, these days, on ZOOM.

Finally, my congratulations to Dr. Franka Cadée on the successful defence of her thesis Twinning, a promising dynamic process to strengthen the agency of midwives.

 

Professor Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)

 

OAPEN Open Access Books Toolkit Launched

The OAPEN Foundation (Online Library and Publication Platform) has launched a new open access (OA) books toolkit for researchers and academic book authors. The toolkit is a free-to-access, stakeholder-agnostic resource that aims to help authors better understand OA for books, increase trust in OA book publishing, provide reliable and easy-to-find answers to questions from authors, and to provide guidance on the process of publishing an OA book.

The toolkit was created in collaboration with Springer Nature and The University of Glasgow and has been written by a global and diverse group of stakeholders from the academic community and scholarly communications organisations.

You can access the toolkit here: www.oabooks-toolkit.org

To learn more about the toolkit or get involved, please contact Tom Mosterd, Community Manager at OAPEN: t.mosterd@oapen.org. You can also sign up to the toolkit newsletter: http://eepurl.com/g5fuFr.

NIHR Grant Applications Seminar ONLINE

  

Dear colleagues

– Do you have a great idea for research in health, social care or public health?
– Are you planning to submit a grant application to NIHR?

Our popular seminar has now moved online and will take place on Tuesday 24th November 2020 from 10.00am – 12.30pm.

The seminar provides an overview of NIHR funding opportunities and research programme remits, requirements and application processes. We will give you top tips for your application and answer specific questions with experienced RDS South West advisers.

Find out more and book a place.

Your local branch of the NIHR RDS (Research Design Service) is based within the BU Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU)

We can help with your application. We advise on all aspects of developing an application and can review application drafts as well as put them to a mock funding panel (run by RDS South West) known as Project Review Committee, which is a fantastic opportunity for researchers to obtain a critical review of a proposed grant application before this is sent to a funding body.

Come as early as possible to benefit fully from the advice

Feel free to call us on 01202 961939 or send us an email.

 

COVID-19 affects research into other diseases

A systematic review published late last week assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on on-going and new clinical trials and research on a range of diseases [1]. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a series of public health policies, including lock down, that have crippled the healthcare systems of many countries. These measures hugely impact on study participants, care providers, researchers, trial sponsors, and research organizations conducting clinical trials. This pandemic has a substantial impact on the trial sites as they experience difficulty in the continuation of trial activities which eventually hampers the progress of the trial and delays study timelines. Most sites are struggling due to delayed subject enrolment, shortfalls in monitoring, and risks of compromised data integrity, and this situation also has a negative impact on the start of future. Researchers are also concerned regarding the delay or cancellations of trials in the pandemic, which will have financial consequences for research organizations/human resources.

According to one survey, about two-thirds of the respondents have stopped or will soon halt subject enrolment in ongoing clinical trials, one-third halted randomization, and fifty percent of respondents are delaying or planning to delay the studies.  Adopting new approaches and understanding the key risk indicators will help managers support trial sites with flexibility and ingenuity. For instance, switching patient site visits to new-trial virtualization, and telemedicine to interact with patients will help manage current clinical trials also beneficial for the post-pandemic era.

 

Reference:

  1. Sathian B, Asim M,  Banerjee I, Pizarro AB, Roy B, van Teijlingen ER, Borges do Nascimento IJ, Alhamad HK.  Impact of COVID-19 on clinical trials and clinical research: A systematic review. Nepal J Epidemiol. 2020;10(3); 878-887

 

New CMMPH nutrition paper published

Congratulations to FHSS authors on the publication of their paper “A Priori and a Posteriori Dietary Patterns in Women of Childbearing Age in the UK” which has been published in the scientific journal Nutrients [1].  The authors highlight that a poor diet quality is a major cause of maternal obesity. They investigated investigate a priori and a-posteriori derived dietary patterns in childbearing-aged women in the United Kingdom. An online survey assessed food intake, physical activity (PA), anthropometry and socio-demographics.  A poor diet quality was found among childbearing-aged women; notably in the younger age category, those of white ethnicity, that were more physically inactive and with a lower socioeconomic background.

The article is Open Access and freely available (click here!).

 

 

Reference:

  1. Khaled, K.; Hundley, V.; Almilaji, O.; Koeppen, M.; Tsofliou, F. (2020) A Priori and a Posteriori Dietary Patterns in Women of Childbearing Age in the UK. Nutrients 202012, 2921.

Academic Targeted Research Scheme (Sustainability, Impact and Consumption): Predator ecology and conservation

As part of the Academic Targeted Research Scheme, I started my new role as Senior Lecturer in Sustainability, Impact and Consumption on the 1st of July this year.

 

My research will focus on predator ecology and conservation and the project funded by the scheme is specifically centred on the porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus). The UK has several species of shark that call our waters home for at least part of the year and many are in dire need of conservation management. Highly mobile, migratory top predators like the porbeagle are important to understand and manage as they play vital roles in nutrient cycling, ecosystem linkage and maintaining food web stability as well as just being incredible species in their own right. Such species are also pretty difficult to study, especially in the marine environment!

Porbeagles are included on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as critically endangered in Europe and the Northeast Atlantic, largely due to overfishing in commercial fisheries. They are closely related to great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) and share their more mammalian-like features of being warm-bodied and giving birth to live young, though they ‘only’ grow up to roughly 3.5 meters as opposed to the 6-meter white shark. Dorset is emerging as a hotspot for these elusive animals, which migrate to our shores in the summer months. They are proving to be a popular target in the catch and release recreational fishery, which provides a valuable opportunity to learn more about them.

Under Home Office licence, I’ll be joining recreational fishing trips and collecting small muscle biopsies from porbeagles and other sharks for stable isotope and fatty acid analyses. These analyses will provide insights into the relatively long and short-term diet and habitat use of the sharks, telling us more about their trophic ecology and movement patterns and providing information on how to best manage and protect them.

In addition to joining the angling trips, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of York, I’ll be conducting a survey of recreational shark anglers to gain insight into their perceptions of and attitudes towards UK shark populations and their conservation. In partnership with other external experts, I will also be running best-practice shark handling workshops with the aim of building capacity in the angling community and improving the sustainability of the fishery by maximising the health of released fish.

I am aiming to develop a suite of complementary projects alongside my work on the UK shark recreational fishery and am delighted to have already won some funding for a project on kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) trophic ecology, using stable isotope analysis of feathers to update our understanding of their contemporary diet. Furthermore, I am developing projects on small mustelids and big cats and am very excited to work on such a diverse group of species, conducting high quality research that will result in tangible conservation benefits for biodiversity and society. I am very open to interdisciplinary collaboration and would welcome anyone with ideas to get in touch!

Eating more eggs to increase protein intake in older adults

It is estimated that around 1.3 million older people in the UK are living with malnutrition or are at risk of being malnourished, with 93 per cent of these living in the community. With the rapid increase in British older adults, it is increasingly important to find strategies to maintain and improve good health and well-being in the older population. As people get older they tend to eat less, and specifically less protein. This could negatively affect health because protein intake is particularly important as we age. With age, people are less able to use the protein they eat to build muscles and perform other important biological processes. Moreover, many protein sources – such as meat, fish and nuts – become more difficult to eat or are expensive and time-consuming to prepare. As a result, people tend to eat less while they need more protein. Low protein consumption has been found to result in increased illness and infection and increased chances of falls, fractures and hospital stays. It can also lead to reduced mobility, independence and wellbeing, and increased early death. Dr Emmy van den Heuvel, Prof. Katherine Appleton and Prof. Jane Murphy have conducted research investigating the barriers to consuming high-protein foods in older adults. One research study examined whether finding new and interesting ways to eat eggs could be a way to encourage older adults to consume more protein.

Eggs are a good source of protein, and are soft, they are easy to prepare, they are relatively cheap and have a long shelf-life compared to other protein rich foods, and therefore may help to increase protein intake in older adults. In a randomised control trial with 100 participants, older adults were given six high-protein egg-based recipes every fortnight for three months, along with herb and spice packets. The study found that by providing these new ideas for high protein meals, participants who were given the recipes increased their egg intake for up to 12 weeks after the intervention.

The study is now published online ahead of print in Public Health Nutrition at http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980020002712.

The work was funded by Bournemouth University and the British Egg Industry Council.

https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/news/2019-10-16/eating-more-eggs-increase-protein-intake-we-age?

New book on tourism and gender-based violence

 

Tourism and Gender-based Violence, Challenging Inequalities. Edited by Paola Vizcaino, Heather Jeffrey, Claudia Eger

A new book edited by Dr Paola Vizcaino (Department of Sport & Events Management, Bournemouth University), Dr Heather Jeffrey (Middlesex University, Dubai) and Dr Claudia Eger (Copenhaguen Business School) has been published by CABI. Link here

First of its kind, the book focuses on the multiple and interconnected manifestations of violence that women and girls encounter in tourism consumption and production, such as physical, sexual, emotional or socio-economic abuse. It brings together work by scholars who are engaging with the concept of gender-based violence (GBV) in a wide range of tourism settings and practices. Includes profiles of organisations and initiatives that are attempting to tackle GBV in tourism, hospitality and beyond.

Join the editors, chapter contributors and grassroots organisations in a virtual introduction to the book this Wednesday 30th September 2020, from 4-6 pm (UK time). All welcome. Please register to see the full agenda and get the Zoom link and passcode: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tourism-and-gender-based-violence-virtual-book-launch-tickets-122680415425

New paper concerning COVID-19 and Advance Decisions by Bournemouth academics

Mike Lyne and Prof Jonathan Parker of the Department of Social Sciences and Social Work and Centre for Seldom Heard Voices have published new research arguing for clarity and greater knowledge of Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment as a means of increasing respect for people’s wishes at a time of urgency and uncertainty.

The full paper can be found on the Emerald Insight pages for advanced publication:

Lyne, M. and Parker, J. (2020), “From Ovid to COVID: the metamorphosis of advanced decisions to refuse treatment into a safeguarding issue”, The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAP-07-2020-0027

Academic Targeted Research Scheme (Sport & Sustainability): Women in Sports Leadership

Back in April I started my new post as Senior Lecturer in Sport and Sustainability – one of six appointments made under BU’s Academic Targeted Research Scheme. The Scheme has been designed to attract and recruit talented individuals to conduct research in specific, targeted areas which align with BU 2025.

My research under the scheme focuses on the area of sport and social sustainability, aiming to inform the work of National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs) in ensuring greater diversity on their boards, and to help create environments whereby women can fully and effectively participate in sports leadership. Attracting a more diverse workforce is a key aspect of making sports governance more socially sustainable.

The historical environment of sports governance in the UK shapes contemporary sport, providing a context in which women have often not been welcomed in positions of leadership in men’s sport – and women of colour doubly so. However, an examination of women’s sport shows that up until the 1990s many women were involved in sports governance at high levels – for example, the Women’s Cricket Association (who were the NGB running women’s cricket in England & Wales until 1998) was led entirely by women for its entire lifespan between 1926 and 1998.

The 1990s, however, seems to have been a particularly problematic period for women in sports governance. A push from the Sports Council (now Sport England) towards merged governance – that is, having women’s and men’s sport run by the same NGB – saw many of the women who had successfully run women’s sport for decades forced out of their governance roles.

My research aims to examine this process in more detail, asking:

  1. Why was a policy of merged governance introduced, and what impact has it had on women’s role and representation in the governance of sport?
  2. How can we learn from this process, to ensure that more women are represented in sports governance going forwards?

COVID-19 has inevitably affected my research plans: I am aiming to conduct interviews with those who were involved in the merger processes which took place in the 1990s, but may have to consider doing this via Zoom, instead of face-to-face.

I am also looking to create a new network which focuses on Sports Governance & Diversity, in order to bring together researchers in this area with key stakeholders including UK Sport, Sport England, NGBs, and charities like Women in Sport. It is crucial that academic research being conducted into the underrepresentation of certain groups in sport governance reaches those who are running sport, and informs their future policy.

Anyone who is interested in getting involved in this new network should feel free to email me – I’d love to hear from you.

New FHSS nutrition publication

Congratulations to Dr. Jib Acharya on the publication of his latest research paper ‘Exploring Food-Related Barriers and Impact on Preschool-Aged Children in Pokhara, Nepal: A Qualitative Review’ which is based on his PhD research [1].  Dr. Acharya has published several papers [2-3] from his PhD thesis in collaboration with his supervisors, Prof. Jane Murphy, Dr. Martin Hind and Prof, Edwin van Teijlingen.

Congratulations!

 

References:

  1. Acharya, J., van Teijlingen, E., Murphy, J., Hind, M., Ellahi, B., Joshi, A. (2020) Exploring Food-Related Barriers and Impact on Preschool-Aged Children in Pokhara, Nepal: A Qualitative Review, Participation 22(20): 98-110.
  2. Acharya, J., van Teijlingen E., Murphy, J., Hind, M. (2015) Assessment of knowledge, beliefs & attitudes towards healthy diet among mothers in Kaski, Nepal, Participation 17(16): 61-72.
  3. Acharya, J., van Teijlingen E, Murphy, J., Hind, M. (2015) Study of nutritional problems in preschool aged children in Kaski District Nepal, Journal of Multidisciplinary Research in Healthcare 1(2): 97-118. http://dspace.chitkara.edu.in/jspui/bitstream/1/560/1/12007_JMRH_Acharya.pdf