Congratulations to Dominique Mylod, clinical doctoral student in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health , Faculty of Health and Social Sciences.
Dominique was awarded a Midwives Award from the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust for her research into early labour, which explores whether using a birth ball at home in early labour improves birth outcomes. She is supervised by Professor Vanora Hundley, Dr Sue Way, and Dr Carol Clark.
The picture shows Dominique receiving her award from Baroness Julia Cumberlege CBE, Patron of the Trust.
We would like to invite you to the first of a new series of research seminars of the Creative Technology Research Centre featuring external speakers.
Speaker: Dr Kurt Debattista
Dr Debattista is an Associate Professor at the University of Warwick specialising in Visualisation Research. His research interests include Interacting rendering, High-fidelity graphics, Perceptually-based rendering, High Dynamic Range Imaging, Parallel Computing, and Serious Games.
Title: Perceptually-Motivated Rendering – Frame Rate Vs. Resolution
Date: Wednesday 18th October 2017
Room: Lawrence LT, Poole House, Talbot Campus
Abstract: High-fidelity graphics permit the visualisation of complex scenarios for applications such as simulation, engineering, archaeology, entertainment etc. Unfortunately, high-fidelity graphics can be computationally expensive and therefore scenarios cannot always be rendered to their highest fidelity. However, the human visual system (HVS) is not infallible and if well understood could be used to develop and implement rendering systems that best exploit its characteristics resulting in perceptually better graphics. Maximising performance for rendered content requires making compromises on quality parameters depending on the computational resources available. Yet, it is currently unclear which parameters best maximise perceived quality. In this talk this is illustrated by recent work attempting to harness the relationship between frame rate and resolution on perceived quality to obtain more cost-effective virtual experiences.
We hope to see you there.
InnovateUK have announced the opening of the Innovation in health and life sciences, round 3. All projects must be led by a business and have the involvement of at least one SME on the project. Research organisations may participate in applications as collaborators. All submissions must demonstrate plans for significant innovation in at least one of the priority areas:
- increasing agricultural productivity
- improving food quality and sustainability
- advanced therapies (cell and gene therapies)
- precision medicine
- medicines discovery
- preclinical technologies
- advanced biosciences
Applications will also need to address at least one of the competition themes. Applications for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are also welcome. Total project costs should be between £50k and £2m and last from six months to three years.
For information on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, please contact Rachel Clarke (email@example.com). For discussing how to developing a research collaboration with industry, please contact Ehren Milner (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Congratulations to Dr. Hyun-Joo Lim Senior Lecturer in Sociology at BU who has just written an interesting piece on human rights issues faced by North Korean female defectors in China in The Conversation. You can access this article by clicking here!
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Dr. Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences has just co-published a comprehensive study on state-building in Kosovo. The study has be co-created with colleagues and postgraduate students from the wider region and funded by the Open Society Foundation, Kosovo.
The report is freely available here! This study critically explores the background to success and failure of different aspects of international policy interventions and local civic capacities for development. Aspects covered included: unintended consequences and dilemmas around the internationally facilitated processes of institution-building and ‘good-governance’ reform; reconciliation; cultural heritage protection; and educational reform.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Jane Murphy from the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) was invited to join the ‘Fifth Annual Wessex Clinical Research Network Ageing Research Meeting’ on 13th September 2017 at Royal Bournemouth Hospital. There were a wide range of interesting and insightful presentations by clinicians of mostly NIHR funded research in ageing including frailty, dementia and neurodegenerative disorders and stroke. The Specialty National Lead for Ageing, and Lead for Ageing and Dementia Theme NIHR CLAHRC Professor Helen Roberts chaired the morning session followed by Dr Divya Tiwari, Clinical Research Network (CRN) Wessex Ageing Specialty Lead who chaired the afternoon session.
Martine Cross, The Research Delivery Manager for Ageing at the Wessex CRN presented a key update on projects and plans. Please note that Martine will be coming to BU and for academics with an interest in ageing research and considering applying to NIHR, it would present an ideal opportunity to meet Martine and know more about the Wessex CRN and discuss your plans.
For expressions of interest to join the meeting, please email Michelle O’Brien, ADRC administrator (email@example.com) and we will send further details.
Things can go wrong in surgery, and dealing with the consequences of complications and errors is part and parcel of a surgeon’s life. Last week a conference was held at BU’s Executive Business Centre which explored the impact that adverse events have on surgeons and examined how these effects can be ameliorated. Eminent presenters from across the UK shared insights from their surgical careers and personal experiences, presented the latest research in the area, and considered how better support and training could be provided for surgeons.
The conference was organised by the Bournemouth Adverse Events Research Team, a joint research venture between psychologists at BU and surgeons at Royal Bournemouth Hospital, who are currently researching the impact of complications and errors which inevitably arise during surgery on surgeons. Professor Siné McDougall, one of the research team, said: “Today is about trying to think about what we can do to support surgeons. When things do go wrong, the focus is rightly on patients and their family. However, surgeons are also dealing with their own feelings, particularly if they have made a mistake which they deeply regret.”
It was clear that the conference had touched on a key issue for surgeons. This was summed up by the keynote speaker, Professor Sir Miles Irving, Emeritus Professor of Surgery at Manchester University, who said “The proceedings were excellent and clearly demonstrated that you have latched on to a problem which has the potential to become even more significant if not addressed.” The Bournemouth Adverse Events Team is looking forward to continuing research in this area which will address this issue.
There will be an EU Societal Challenge 1 Health & Wellbeing Info day on 8 December 2017, in Brussels. As you can see form the outline below, there are opportunities for BU across all four faculties within this part of the Work Programme for 2018-2020, due to be released in October.
With the principle of better health for all at its core, Horizon 2020’s Societal Challenge 1 (Health, demographic change and well-being) focuses on personalised health and care, infectious diseases and improving global health, innovative and sustainable health systems, decoding the role of the environment (including climate change) for health and well-being, digital transformation and cybersecurity in health and care. Horizon 2020′ Societal Challenge 1 Work Programme 2018-2020 will be expected to offer calls for proposals with an overall budget of about €2 billion.
Draft programme and registrations are to follow at the end of September.
Related to the Health Open Info Day, the Directorate-General for Research & Innovation supports the following two events which will be organised on 7 December 2017, also in Brussels
Partnering Event – organised by the EU-funded project Health-NCP-Net 2.0 – the event aims at helping you find the right project partners for the upcoming 2018 health calls. Registration opens on 8/10/17.
Satellite event on Innovation Procurement in health care – Limited to 80 participants – First come, first served basis, with booking already open.
Booking links and further information are on the main Info Day page.
Please let Emily Cieciura, RKEO Research Facilitator: EU & International, know if you plan to attend.
Jan Wiener, Ramona Grzeschik and Chris Hilton represented the Ageing & Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) at the 40th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP) 27–31 August 2017 in Berlin and the 20th Conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCoP) 3-6 September 2017 in Potsdam.
The ECVP is an annual meeting that brings together researchers from Psychology, Neurosciences, Optics, Computational Sciences and more. Besides vision, other modalities are represented as well as their interaction (multisensory perception). The conference of the ESCoP is being held once every two years. The society’s mission is “the furtherance of scientific enquiry within the field of Cognitive Psychology and related subjects, particularly with respect to collaboration and exchange of information between researchers in different European countries”.
Ramona represented the ADRC at both conferences with her ESRC-funded project on Dementia-friendly environments. In particular, she presented a poster with the latest results of her wayfinding experiment where she investigated the route learning abilities and eye movements of young and old participants.
At the ESCoP conference, Jan gave a talk on “What can eye-tracking tell us about the cognitive mechanisms underlying successful navigation?” where he introduced a couple of experiments that investigated eye movements during route and place learning in Virtual Environments.
Chris presented his results at the ESCoP as well. His poster titled “An exploration into the effects of ageing on general control of attention during route learning in a complex environment.” escribed his experiment using a natural looking virtual environment called “Virtual Tübingen”. He investigated attentional engagement during a route learning task in young and old participants.
‘I’m Her Partner, Let Me In!’ Bringing the Narrative to Academic Papers
Lee-Ann Fenge and Kip Jones
A blog recently requested by the editor of Sage Publications’ Methodspace highlights an article representing focus group data in a new way. In a recent report, two BU Academics, Lee-Ann Fenge and Kip Jones (FHSS), took an inventive approach in writing up their findings in the online journal, Creative Approaches to Research. The Sage editor said, “I thought your paper brought up some good methodology issues”.
The authors believe that as narrative researchers and storytellers we should be promoting narrative in the content and styles of our publications. We can no longer afford to ignore the great advances that have been made in representation of qualitative data in recent history. As narrative researchers, we are natural storytellers and need to keep this in focus when reporting studies, particularly in publications. In this way, as researchers, we move to the background, and the research participants are foregrounded.
Congratulations to Jane Fry, Janet Scammell and Sue Barker in the Faculty of Health & Social Science on the publication of their latest paper ‘ Drowning in Muddied Waters or Swimming Downstream?: A Critical Analysis of Literature Reviewing in a Phenomenological Study through an Exploration of the Lifeworld, Reflexivity and Role of the Researcher’.
This innivative paper proceeds from examining the debate regarding the question of whether a systematic literature review should be undertaken within a qualitative research study to focusing specifically on the role of a literature review in a phenomenological study. Along with pointing to the pertinence of orienting to, articulating and delineating the phenomenon within a review of the literature, the paper presents an appropriate approach for this purpose. How a review of the existing literature should locate the focal phenomenon within a given context is illustrated by excerpts from the literature review within a descriptive phenomenological study. This article was recently published in the Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology. Click here for freely available copy online.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
After recent media exposure about overcrowding at tourist destinations and local-tourist conflict, destination authorities have sought to introduce codes of conduct across European tourist destinations. From Hvar in Croatia, towns near Amsterdam, and Venice, there is a belief that the tourism system, like the financial system, is not working for everyone. Local residents are starting to feel like they’re receiving less than they’re giving. Therefore, authorities have stepped in with codes, with the aim to assign rules to make tourists more sensitive to local residents and protect natural, cultural, historical and other resources.
Tourists planning to go to the beach
Venice Code of Conduct
Michael O’Regan, PhD from the Department of Events & Leisure, is exploring whether these codes work, and whether the introduction of these measures really protect tourism resources. Taking a critical approach, Michael argues that such codes work at different levels, from marketing strategies, as local politicians and businesses gain reputational capital by scapegoating tourists to their role in smarter governance models. Read more on the Conversation UK.
Last week saw the publication of a piece by BU Professors Vanora Hundley and Edwin van Teijlingen in The Conversation under the title: “Why UK midwives stopped the campaign for ‘normal birth’”. The editor of The Conversation invited the authors to write in reply to the statement: “According to media reports, women will no longer be told they should have an intervention-free birth and midwives will be encouraged to use terms a “physiological birth” rather than “normal birth”. We are looking for an expert to comment on this.”
The resulting article is the result of a quite long process of writing a draft, which was initially edited by The Conversation in a way the authors did not feel represented what they wanted to say. In our original submission we raised the role of the media with regard to responsible reporting, but it seems this was a step too far. In submitting a re-written version, which was edited again before it came back to the authors, we were advised that academics should not ‘blame the media’ since that avoids addressing the issue, but what if the media really does have a role? After seven or eight major alterations we reached and an agreed version that we think is a balance and fairly easy to read newspaper article. Our new book Midwifery, Childbirth and the Media due to be published by Palgrave Macmillan will cover these media issue in greater detail.
Professors Vanora Hundley & Edwin van Teijlingen
“My enriching experience as a research assistant on the Whiplash Prognosis Project 2017”
Department of Psychology
With my master’s dissertation due in a month’s time, I decided to take up another research assistantship, given my profound interest in research. This project which was led by supervisors Dr. Jonny Branney and Dr. Ellen Seiss was mainly aimed at conducting a literature review to gather evidence relating to the prognostic factors following acute whiplash injury in adults. After getting well acquainted with my supervisors during the first meeting, I got thoroughly briefed on the aims and objectives of the project and a detailed plan on how to go about it. During the entire course of the project, there was good communication, interaction and flexibility where I was given the autonomy and freedom to come up with innovative ideas to work around the project. With regular weekly face to face meetings and briefings on the progress of the project from my side, we successfully completed the project and tabulated necessary evidence on the research area.
The interesting aspect of the project to me was categorising the prognostic factors according to the biopsychosocial model since I got to apply the learnings of psychological principles and theories to diverse fields. This facilitated improved learning on a range of topics like role of organisational factors of physical and mental health, public health system and compensation, subjectivity of pain threshold and clinical statistics to name a few. I am glad to have been a part of this preliminary research which is ultimately aimed at filling the gap in literature concerning evidence on prognostic factors immediately following acute whiplash, and eventually developing effective interventions and treatment plans in the future.
This research project has personally given me insights into doing a thorough evaluation of evidence based on different statistical models, and also conducting independent literature review on a specific research area. I strongly feel that theoretical knowledge in research methodologies and statistics can be put into effective use only when taken part in research projects. This gives the practical experience of working alongside supervisors or a research team, meeting deadlines and promotes collaborative work in a multi-disciplinary team. Overall, my experience as a student research assistant has given me a clear vision into research in a real world and practical setting, enhanced my ability to critically evaluate and sum up evidence, improved my scientific writing skills and has ultimately driven me to pursue my future goal of becoming a PhD laureate.
The Centre for Qualitative Research presents its annual Lunchtime “In Conversation” Seminars on the first Wednesday of each month at 1p.m. in Royal London House.
This year’s theme is “LISTEN MAKE SHARE”. Each month two CQR members will present their experiences to the audience ‘in conversation’ with either Narrative Methods (listening to stories), Arts-based Research methods (making stories), or Dissemination methods (sharing stories).
Most seminars will involve two conversants and plenty of opportunity for audience participation in listening, making, and sharing. Not lectures, they are two presenters ‘In Conversation” about a topic or method. No PPT and plenty of time for audience interaction and feedback!
The first lunchtime seminar, however, will take place on the second Wednesday, 13 September.
CQR Seminars for the Coming Year
Following our Industrial Strategy update last week, as expected Sir John Bell has published his report for the government on Life Sciences and the Industrial Strategy. There are 7 main recommendations under 4 themes, which are summarised below.
Some interesting comments:
- “The key UK attribute driving success in life sciences is the great strength in university-based research. Strong research-based universities underpin most of the public sector research success in the UK, as they do in the USA and in Scandinavia. National research systems based around institutes rather than universities, as seen in Germany, France and China, do not achieve the same productivity in life sciences as seen in university-focussed systems.” (p22)
- “The decline in funding of indirect costs for charity research is coupled to an increasing tendency for Research Councils to construct approaches that avoid paying indirect Full Economic Costs (FEC). Together, these are having a significant impact on the viability of research in universities and have led to the institutions raising industrial overhead costs to fill the gap. This is unhelpful.” (p24 and see the recommendation about charitable contributions under “reinforcing the UK science offer” below)
- “It is also recommended, that the funding agencies, in partnership with major charities, create a high-level recruitment fund that would pay the real cost of bringing successful scientists from abroad to work in major UK university institutions.” (see the proposal to attract international scientists below).
- On clusters “Life sciences clusters are nearly always located around a university or other research institute and in the UK include elements of NHS infrastructure. However, evidence and experience suggests that governments cannot seed technology clusters28 and their success is usually driven by the underpinning assets of universities and companies, and also by the cultural features of networking and recycling of entrepreneurs and capital.” And “Regions should make the most of existing opportunities locally to grow clusters and build resilience by working in partnership across local Government, LEPs (in England), universities and research institutes, NHS, AHSNs, local businesses and support organisations, to identify and coalesce the local vision for life sciences. Science & Innovation Audits, Local Growth Funds and Growth Hubs (in England), Enterprise Zones and local rates and planning flexibilities can all be utilised to support a vision for life sciences. “ (see the proposal on clusters under “Growth and Infrastructure” – this was a big theme in the Industrial strategy and something we also covered in our Green Paper response)
- On skills: “ The flow of multidisciplinary students at Masters and PhD level should be increased by providing incentives through the Higher Education Funding Council for England.2 and “Universities and research funders should embed core competencies at degree and PhD level, for example data, statistical and analytical skills, commercial acumen and translational skills, and management and entrepreneurship training (which could be delivered in partnership with business schools). They should support exposure to, and collaboration with, strategically important disciplines including computer and data science, engineering, chemistry, physics, mathematics and material science.”
Health Advanced Research Programme (HARP) proposal – with the goal to create 2-3 entirely new industries over the next 10 years.
- Establish a coalition of funders to create the Health Advanced Research Programme to undertake large research infrastructure projects and high risk ‘moonshot programmes’, that will help create entirely new industries in healthcare
- Create a platform for developing effective diagnostics for early, asymptomatic chronic disease.
- Digitalisation and AI to transform pathology and imaging.
- Support projects around healthy ageing.
Reinforcing the UK science offer
- Sustain and increase funding for basic science to match our international competition – the goal is that the UK should attract 2000 new discovery scientists from around the globe
- The UK should aim to be in the upper quartile of OECD R&D spending and sustain and increase the funding for basic science, to match our international competitors, particularly in university settings, encouraging discovery science to co-locate.
- NIHR should be supported, with funding increases in line with Research Councils
- Ensure the environment remains supportive of charitable contributions through enhancing the Charity Research Support Fund (see above for the context for this).
- Capitalise on UKRI to increase interdisciplinary research, work more effectively with industry and support high-risk science.
- Use Government and charitable funding to attract up to 100 world-class scientists to the UK, with support for their recruitment and their science over the next ten years.
- Further improve UK clinical trial capabilities to support a 50% increase in the number of clinical trials over the next 5 years and a growing proportion of change of practice and trials with novel methodology over the next 5 years.
- Establish a working group to evaluate the use of digital health care data and health systems; to evaluate the safety and efficacy of new interventions; and to help ICH modernise its GCP regulations.
- Improve the UK’s clinical trial capabilities so that the UK can best compete globally in our support for industry and academic studies at all phases.
- Design a translational fund to support the pre-commercial creation of clinically-useable molecules and devices.
Growth and infrastructure – the goal is to create four UK companies valued at >£20 billion market cap in the next ten years.
- Ensure the tax environment supports growth and is internationally competitive in supporting long-term and deeper investment.
- Address market failures through Social Impact Bonds and encourage AMR research.
- Consider how UK-based public markets can be used more effectively in the sector.
- Support the growth of Life Sciences clusters.
- Government, local partners and industry should work together to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support the growth of life sciences clusters and networks.
- UK’s existing clusters should work together and with government to promote a ‘single front door’ to the UK for research collaboration, partnership and investment.
- Attract substantial investment to manufacture and export high value life science products of the future. – the goal is to attract ten large (£50-250m capital investment) and 10 smaller (£10-50m capital investments) in life science manufacturing facilities in the next five years.
- Accept in full the recommendations of the Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Action Plan and apply its principles to other life science manufacturing sectors.
- A programme in partnership with industry to develop cutting-edge manufacturing technologies that will address scale-up challenges and drive up productivity.
- Optimise the fiscal environment to drive investment in industrial buildings, equipment and infrastructure for manufacturing and late-stage R&D.
- Consider nationally available financial incentives – grants and loans, or capital allowances combined with regional incentives – to support capital investment in scale-up, and prepare for manufacturing and related export activity.
- Make support and incentives for manufacturing investment and exporting available to business through a single front door, provide a senior national account manager accountable for delivery and simplify the customer journey.
NHS collaboration – the Accelerated Access Review should be adopted with national routes to market streamlined and clarified, including for digital products. There are two stated goals:
- The NHS should engage in fifty collaborative programmes in the next 5 years in late-stage clinical trials, real world data collection, or in the evaluation of diagnostics or devices.
- The UK should be in the top quartile of comparator countries, both for the speed of adoption and the overall uptake of innovative, cost-effective products, to the benefit of all UK patients by the end of 2023.
The recommended actions are
- Utilise and broaden the Accelerated Access Review to encourage UK investment in clinical and real-world studies. Deliver a conditional reimbursement approval, for implementation as soon as licensing and value milestones are delivered.
- Create a forum for early engagement between industry, NHS and arms-length bodies (e.g. NICE, MHRA) to agree commercial access agreements.
- Use the recommendations from the AAR to streamline the processes and methods of assessment for all new products.
- Value assessments should be evolved in the long-term with improved patient outcome measures, affordability and cost management data beyond one year timeframes.
- NICE’s funding model for technology evaluation should be set up in a way that does not stifle SME engagement
Data – Establish two to five Digital Innovation Hubs providing data across regions of three to five million people.
- The health and care system should set out a vision and a plan to deliver a national approach with the capability to rapidly and effectively establish studies for the generation of real world data, which can be appropriately accessed by researchers.
- ePrescribing should be mandatory for hospitals.
- NHS Digital and NHS England should set out clear and consistent national approaches to data and interoperability standards and requirements for data access agreements.
- Accelerate access to currently available national datasets by streamlining legal and ethical approvals.
- Create a forum for researchers across academia, charities and industry to engage with all national health data programmes.
- Establish a new regulatory, Health Technology Assessment and commercial framework to capture for the UK the value in algorithms generated using NHS data. A working group should be established to take this forward
- Two to five digital innovation hubs providing data across regions of three to five million people should be set up as part of a national approach and building towards full population coverage, to rapidly enable researchers to engage with a meaningful dataset. These regional hubs should also have the capability to accelerate and streamline CTA and HRA approvals. One or more of these should focus on medtech.
- The UK could host 4-6 centres of excellence that provide support for specific medtech themes, focussing on research capability in a single medtech domain such as orthopaedics, cardiac, digital health or molecular diagnostics.
- National registries of therapy-area-specific data across the whole of the NHS in England should be created and aligned with the relevant charity.
- A migration system should be established that allows recruitment and retention of highly skilled workers from the EU and beyond, and does not impede intra-company transfers.
- Develop and deliver a reinforced skills action plan across the NHS, commercial and third sectors based on a gap analysis of key skills for science.
- Create an apprenticeship scheme that focuses on data sciences, as well as skills across the life sciences sector, and trains an entirely new cadre of technologists, healthcare workers and scientists at the cutting-edge of digital health.
- Establish Institutes of Technology that would provide opportunity for technical training, particularly in digital and advanced manufacturing areas.
- There should be support for entrepreneur training at all levels, incentivising varied careers and migration of academic scientists into industry and back to academia.
- A fund should be established supporting convergent science activities including cross-disciplinary sabbaticals, joint appointments, funding for cross-sectoral partnerships and exchanges across industry and the NHS, including for management trainees.
- High quality STEM education should be provided for all, and the government should evaluate and implement additional steps to increase the number of students studying maths to level 3 and beyond
Today the journal BMC Health Services Research accepted our scientific paper ‘The contribution of female community health volunteers (FCHVs) to maternity care in Nepal: a qualitative study’ . FCHVs who form an integral part of community-based primary healthcare system of Nepal. Some 50,000 FCHVs working across the country distribute temporary contraception or refer for other methods of family planning in formal healthcare centres.
As the lowest level healthcare provider working in local communities, FCHVs deliver basic maternal healthcare services to pregnant women and mothers in rural communities. The paper concludes that no research to date has been able to demonstrate that the FCHVs roles themselves have an impact on maternal mortality or other health outcomes; quantitative studies are needed to do this.
The paper is based on Dr. Sarita Panday’s recently completed PhD at The University of Sheffield, Prof. Paul Bissell Dean of the School of Human and Health Sciences at the University of Huddersfield, Prof. Padam Simkhada, BU Visiting Faculty and Associate Dean for Global Engagement at Liverpool John Moores University and BU’s Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health.
- Panday, S., Bissell, P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P. (2017) The contribution of female community health volunteers (FCHVs) to maternity care in Nepal: a qualitative study BMC Health Services Research (accepted August 2017).