Category / BU research

Research Professional – all you need to know

Every BU academic has a Research Professional account which delivers weekly emails detailing funding opportunities in their broad subject area. To really make the most of your Research Professional account, you should tailor it further by establishing additional alerts based on your specific area of expertise. The Funding Development Team Officers can assist you with this, if required.

Research Professional have created several guides to help introduce users to Research Professional. These can be downloaded here.

Quick Start Guide: Explains to users their first steps with the website, from creating an account to searching for content and setting up email alerts, all in the space of a single page.

User Guide: More detailed information covering all the key aspects of using Research Professional.

Administrator Guide: A detailed description of the administrator functionality.

In addition to the above, there are a set of 2-3 minute videos online, designed to take a user through all the key features of Research Professional. To access the videos, please use the following link: http://www.youtube.com/researchprofessional

Research Professional are running a series of online training broadcasts aimed at introducing users to the basics of creating and configuring their accounts on Research Professional. They are holding monthly sessions, covering everything you need to get started with Research Professional. The broadcast sessions will run for no more than 60 minutes, with the opportunity to ask questions via text chat. Each session will cover:

  • Self registration and logging in
  • Building searches
  • Setting personalised alerts
  • Saving and bookmarking items
  • Subscribing to news alerts
  • Configuring your personal profile

Each session will run between 10.00am and 11.00am (UK) on the fourth Tuesday of each month. You can register here for your preferred date:

14th July 2020

8th September 2020

10th November 2020

These are free and comprehensive training sessions and so this is a good opportunity to get to grips with how Research Professional can work for you.

Have you noticed the pink box on the BU Research Blog homepage?

By clicking on this box, on the left of the Research Blog home page just under the text ‘Funding Opportunities‘, you access a Research Professional real-time search of the calls announced by the Major UK Funders. Use this feature to stay up to date with funding calls. Please note that you will have to be on campus or connecting to your desktop via our VPN to fully access this service.

PGR Virtual Poster Showcase | Ogochukwu Ann Ijezie

Taking us into July’s PGR Virtual Poster Showcase:

Ogochukwu Ann Ijezie, PhD student in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences with this poster entitled:

‘Quality of life of adults with Down Syndrome: A systematic review.’

Click the poster below to enlarge.

Most research on people with Down Syndrome is in the context of health needs and treatment. There is a dearth of literature focusing upon their quality of life (QoL). The purpose of this review was to synthesize the evidence relating to the assessment and experience of QoL for adults living with Down syndrome and to identify measures of QoL for adults with Down syndrome. Searches were carried out in eight online scientific databases (January 1990 – August 2019) and supplemented with grey literature searches to identify relevant primary studies. This review is registered on PROSPERO (registration number – CRD42019140056). A total of 2112 studies were identified and screened against the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria (ten qualitative and two quantitative study designs). The poster will present the findings from this review.


If this research has inspired you and you’d like to explore applying for a research degree please visit the postgraduate research web pages or contact our dedicated admissions team.

Health and Science Mis/Disinformation Thematic Issue, with a Covid-19 Flavour

The top-tier open-access journal, Media and Communication, has released a timely bumper thematic issue on heath and science controversies in the digital world, edited by Associate Professor An Nguyen of BU and Dr Daniel Catalan of University Carlos III of Madrid.

In addition to nine full research articles covering a range of health and science controversies (e.g. anti-vaccine movements, climate change denial, Flat Earth doctrine, anti-5G vandalism, nanotechnology, green energy), the issue features ten rapid-response commentaries on the Covid-19 infodemic from Africa, China, Japan, Vietnam, Italy, Spain, Germany and the US.

“Digital media, especially online social networks, open a vast array of avenues for lay people to engage with news, information and debates about important science and health issues,” said Dr Nguyen.

“But, as the Covid-19 infodemic shows, they have also become a fertile land for various stakeholders to spread misinformation and disinformation, stimulate uncivil discussions and engender ill-informed, dangerous public health and science decisions.” 

(more…)

Conversation article: Sierra Leone faces coronavirus as rainy season hits – local disaster planning will be key

Sierra Leone faces coronavirus as rainy season hits – local disaster planning will be key

Local coroanvirus awareness raising in Funkia Market, Sierra Leone.
Trocaire/Flickr, CC BY

Lee Miles, Bournemouth University

The government of Sierra Leone called a state of emergency on March 25, seven days before the first case of COVID-19 was even confirmed. The virus has spread steadily since then, with 1,272 cases confirmed and 51 deaths as of June 19.

At the same time, the country has begun the rapid countdown to the full onset of the annual rainy season, which raises challenges of its own, especially for the flood-prone local communities in the capital, Freetown. In mid-2019, Freetown and other major Sierra Leonean cities were engulfed in major flooding. Before this, in 2017, more than 1,000 people died in major mudslides in the capital.

This year, there has been recognition that more forthright action is required. My colleagues and I are currently working with Sierra Leone’s Department of Disaster Management and Freetown City Council to create disaster preparedness guides for district councillors, disaster managers and local volunteers. The goal is to have several guides and handbooks available by July 2020 across four major cities of Sierra Leone to improve scenario planning if multiple disasters happen at once.

In recent years, there has been a strong focus among those who plan for disasters to build more robust forms of resilience in local communities. Not least in Sierra Leone, where – like most of Africa – disaster management relies heavily on local volunteers and traditional forms of community leadership.

Across Africa, there are many poverty-stricken slums and informal settlements. These are vulnerable to natural hazards such as flooding, suffer from overcrowding, and often lack running water and electricity.

As past experiences of Ebola in west Africa demonstrated, it’s also important to focus on the local communities. Poor handling of pandemics and other natural disasters by national governments and international institutions can lead to resistance, inertia and non-compliance among communities and influential community leaders. In the case of the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak, there were many instances where local communities did not trust or were slow to heed advice that ultimately delayed responses to the disease and ended up costing further lives.

Today, local communities in Sierra Leone could be confronted with a perfect storm when it comes to preparing for future disasters and events. Better disaster management is an imperative, particularly in the face of three inter-linked challenges.

Coronavirus transmission

First, there is the impact of COVID-19. Community transmission is becoming a stark reality. The situation in both Sierra Leone and elsewhere in Africa remains highly challenging given the fragile state of many African health services and the limitation of bringing external humanitarian assistance on the ground during the crisis. It’s possible that overcrowded urban communities in some parts of Africa will become sources of future COVID-19 outbreaks and even be an endemic source of reoccurring COVID-19 incidents in the future.

Current COVID-19 prevention tools, such as social distancing and the prevention of mass gatherings to reduce the spread of the disease, are highly challenging to administer in such areas. In many ways, the local communities in Sierra Leone – and Africa more widely – often do the best they can with what is available. Yet, the reality is that COVID-19 is likely to have an impact on the local communities.

Climate threat

Second, the practical, discernible impacts of climate change mean that many local communities are already facing worsening dry seasons with increased fires and droughts, followed by more unpredictable and erratic rainy seasons. Cities in west Africa, such as Accra in Ghana or Freetown in Sierra Leone, or central African cities such as Yaounde in Cameroon, now endure almost annual experiences of flash flooding and landslides that threaten to overwhelm poverty-stricken communities.

There is a growing paradox of frequency here. Local disaster managers and volunteers must meet public expectations to handle ever more frequent disaster. But they also recognise there is very little real time to build this local knowledge and review capacity before the onset of the next deluge, flood or fire.

Overlapping disasters

Third, local communities in Africa are increasingly aware that they also face multiple hazards that are very likely to overlap over the rest of 2020.

There will be major difficulties in delivering effective responses to flood and pandemics such as COVID-19 simultaneously. The standard response to flooding in Freetown is to move those affected to the safety of a large stadium or hall or school, placing them out of harm’s way in often large, robust locations. Yet this poses challenges for carrying out measures needed to contain COVID-19, such as avoiding large gatherings or social distancing.

Local communities need to think more deeply through how they plan for these combinations of possible disasters to save lives in the future. And yet, as my own research is finding, this raises a very serious challenge in that the local areas often lack even the most basic and accessible documentation, guidance and training in risk assessment and disaster management plans.

It’s often said that all disasters are local. The rest of 2020 is likely to prove this point more than ever for resource scarce, often poverty-stricken local communities in Africa. There is an urgent need here that must be addressed as quickly as possible.The Conversation

Lee Miles, Professor of Crisis & Disaster Management, Bournemouth University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Building Strong Primary Health Care in Nepal

New  BU co-authored article ‘Building Strong Primary Health Care to Tackle the Growing Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in Nepal’ will be published soon [1].  This paper has been accepted by the international journal Global Health Action (published by Taylor & Francis).  The international authorship comprises Nepal, Denmark and the UK.

Nepal is currently facing a double burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and communicable diseases, with rising trends in the former. This situation will add great pressure to already fragile health systems and pose a major challenge to the country’s development unless urgent action is taken. The paper argues that while the primary health care approach offers a common platform to effectively address NCDs through preventive and curative interventions, its potential is not fully tapped in Nepal. In line with the Alma-Ata and Astana declarations, the authors propose an integrated approach for Nepal, and other low-and middle-income countries, including six key reforms to enhance the primary care response to the increasing burden of NCDs.  These six key areas are: (1) Life-course approach to addressing NCDs; (2) Task shifting for NCD risk factor management; (3) Strengthening informal care givers; (4) Strengthening quality of PHC and health systems;  (5) Establish strategic information management system; and (6) Healthcare financing.

Publication Cover

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Reference:

  1. Gyawali, B., Khanal, P., Mishra, S.R., van Teijlingen, E., Meyrowitsch, D.W. (2020) Building Strong Primary Health Care to Tackle the Growing Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in Nepal, Global Health Action (accepted) https://doi.org/10.1080/16549716.2020.1788262

 

PGR Virtual Poster Showcase | Ismail Can Kurtuk

This week in our PGR Virtual Poster Showcase:

Ismail Can Kurtuk, PhD student in the Faculty of Management with this poster entitled:

‘The butterfly effect of decisions: Enhancement of teaching-decision making in project management within UK higher education.’

Click the poster below to enlarge.

This research is investigating how to improve the teaching in UK Higher Education of decision-making related to project management. Decision-making is a core element of effective project management, but practitioners have reported that without extensive experience of real-life project management, the decision making of newly qualified professionals is inadequate. As a result, projects are delayed, resources are used ineffectively, risks are increased and opportunities are overlooked. Using an inductive approach based upon interviews and focus groups, this research study will investigate the experience of project managers to develop a better understanding of what how decision-making can be taught more effectively, and from this new perspective, a decision-making teaching framework will be developed and validated for application across UK Higher Education.

 


If this research has inspired you and you’d like to explore applying for a research degree please visit the postgraduate research web pages or contact our dedicated admissions team.

Doctoral College Newsletter | June 2020

The Doctoral College Newsletter provides termly information and updates to all those involved with postgraduate research at BU. The latest edition is now available to download here. Click on the web-links provided to learn more about the news, events and opportunities that may interest you.

If you would like to make a contribution to future newsletters, please contact the Doctoral College.

RDS advice to academics during Covid

Three months ago, RDS created a static blog page to give advice to academics during Covid-19. This rapidly grew and so to help you navigate through the information, we created a main page and then links to the following sections for further information:

  • UK Funder news
  • International Funder (mainly European) news
  • Funding Development Team Guidance to applicants to external funding
  • Project Delivery Team Guidance for Principal Investigators (PIs) of Research and Knowledge Exchange Projects + Ethics Approval
  • Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
  • Guidance for clinical researchers – amendments to existing projects

These pages have been updated every time there is an update available from the various funders or when RDS advice changes. This tends to be ~twice a week. This weeks’ advice (22/6/20) has been amended as follows:

  • UKRI have created a ‘UKRI Coronavirus Hub‘, which covers everything you need to know and more; we are expecting new advice on funding call deadlines next week
  • Wellcome Trust continue to update advice for their grant holders
  • UKRO continue to provide daily updates on all EU activities, including access to Covid related webinars
  • RDS Funding Development Team are almost back to ‘normal’ working levels and you can see changes to our service here
  • RDS Project Delivery Team are organising the ‘resume to research’ for awarded projects. The most up-to-date advice can be found on the BU staff intranet
  • And last, but definitely not least, there is an important update on the Research Excellence Framework!

Please visit the main Covid-19 page for all your advice needs.

Free online course! – Improving Healthcare Through Clinical Research

Interested in clinical research and what’s involved? Are you contemplating a career in healthcare or the life sciences, or, do you want to find out more about the role of clinical research in improving healthcare?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, then why not sign up to FutureLearn’s Improving Healthcare Through Clinical Research course?

The course has been developed by the University of Leeds and is be available from Monday 29th June, via this link.

It is completely free and all online, lasting 4 weeks.

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. By completing the course you will have achieved 16 hours of CPD time.

Remember – support is on offer at BU if you are thinking of introducing your research ideas into the NHS – email the Research Ethics mailbox, and take a look at the Clinical Governance blog.

Supporting the Global Society Restart Tourism

Supporting the Global Society Restart Tourism

Academia is not just about teaching students or writing papers. It is about engaging with the widest range of stakeholders, creating and disseminating knowledge and create solutions for the global society. It is all about RELEVANCE and IMPACT, especially at the time of CRISIS. JOIN US ON THESE WEBINARS in the next few days where ever you are and engage in the conversations towards #RestartTourism #ReigniteTourism

GREECE Thursday 18 June 14:15 LondonTime / 16:15 Greek EMEA.gr time IN GREEK

Η πανδημία του COVID-19 και ο ελληνικός τουρισμός

Dimitris Basiliou, Michalis Toanoglou, Dimitrios Buhalis

BRAZIL Thursday 18 June 16:00 Brazil time / 20:00 London time BRAZIL on LiveTur DATASHOW BRASIL IN PORTUGUESE

Impactos do uso das tecnologias de informação na atividade turística durante e pós pandemia

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis with Dr. Luiz Mendes Filho and Dr. Alexandre Augusto Biz

IRAN Sunday 21 June London time 18:30 pm – 20:30pm / Tehran, Iran 10:00pm – 12:00am (GMT+430)

Mohammad Shirkavand discussion – Connecting Cultures & Preserving Heritage: Create Future by Connecting Minds

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis to talk about ”How eTourism could help the industry to survive after the crisis

NEW ZEALAND Wednesday 24th June 21:30-22:30 London Time / Thursday June 25th, 8.30-9.30AM NZ time

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis Smart Tourism in the New Era of Tourism

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington School of Business and Government | Ōrauariki

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology publishes all 15 reports based on its Covid-19 Expert Survey

In March, POST launched the Covid-19 outbreak expert database, inviting anyone who wanted to support Parliament in its work, and had expertise in COVID-19 and/or its impacts to sign up. In April, more than 1,100 experts on this database – including a number of BU researchers – responded to POST’s survey, asking for their immediate, short, medium and long term concerns relating to COVID-19 and its impacts.

All 15 reports arising from this survey have now been published, and you can read them here:

  1. Economy and finance
  2. Business and trade
  3. Work and employment
  4. Virology, immunology and epidemiology
  5. Research and innovation
  6. Health and social care system
  7. Public health
  8. International affairs
  9. Law and human rights
  10. Society and community
  11. Media and communications
  12. Crime, justice and policing
  13. Education
  14. Infrastructure
  15. Environment

POST will also be publishing a report summarising what data or information the experts want to see the UK Government release relating to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The following BU researchers were among those responding to the survey: Professor Katherine Appleton; Dr Emily Arden-Close; Professor Christopher Hartwell; Professor Ann Hemingway; Dr Sarah Hodge; Dr John Oliver; Dr Karen Thompson; Dr John McAlaney; Professor Lee Miles; Dr Andy Pulman and Professor Barry Richards.

Conversation article – Coronavirus: the future of women’s football is under threat

England’s Nikita Parris and US’s Crystal Dunn at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Semi Final match in France.
Jose Breton- Pics Action/Shutterstock

Beth Clarkson, University of Portsmouth; Alex Culvin, Durham University; Keith Parry, Bournemouth University, and Stacey Pope, Durham University

Women’s football has made great strides in recent years. Attendances at the women’s FA Cup final continue to set new records. One survey suggested that one-third of adults are interested in the women’s game and 69% of those believe it deserves the same profile as men’s football.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has left the game in a precarious position. Although the suspension of elite football in England was initially applied evenly to both men’s and women’s competitions, there will be deeper and more far-reaching consequences for the women’s game.

The Football Association’s (FA) 2017 Game Plan for Growth, which included doubling the number of women and girls taking part in football by 2020 and improving commercial prospects, has largely been left unfulfilled. Such promises of equality (football for all) by the FA are starting to sound hollow. The Women’s Super League (WSL) and Championship seasons have now been cancelled. In contrast, plans to resume the men’s Premier League and Championship advance at pace.




Read more:
There are plenty of female superstars in football, but very few women coaches – here’s why


In our recently published research – the first academic study on this topic – we have highlighted why the pandemic is impacting men’s and women’s football differently.

Significant challenges

Prior to the pandemic, elite women’s football was already facing poor pitches, lower wages and prize money and conditions far behind men’s clubs. The biggest challenge for women’s football is that elite women’s teams rely on sponsorship for income. For example, 80% of Manchester City Women’s turnover is from commercial activity, most of which is sponsorship.

Women’s sport is also underfunded when compared to men’s in terms of things like marketing and prize money – see the tweet below. COVID-19 is also likely to hit many businesses’ profits hard, leaving companies who previously wanted to invest in women’s football unable to. If this causes the pool of sponsors to shrink – a pool that is already small – the future of women’s football will be under financial threat.

At the same time, financial strain on men’s football means women’s football could be one of the casualties. The majority of elite women’s teams are secondary sides under the umbrella of the professional men’s club. There are numerous examples in recent history where relegation or financial hardship for the men’s club has resulted in cutting ties with the women’s team.

For example, when the men’s club withdrew their financial support in 2017, Notts County women’s club collapsed the day before the new season, leaving their players jobless and, in some cases, homeless. When men’s teams cut their ties like this, women’s teams can be left with no choice but to fold.

Finally, elite women’s football is partially funded by the FA. The association has put significant investment into the women’s sport since professionalisation occurred in 2018, but historically, women’s football has been undervalued by the FA. It banned women’s matches from the grounds of FA-affiliated clubs between 1921 and 1971. And during earlier periods of financial insecurity, clubs and the FA cut investment to the women’s game.

Worryingly, the governing body has predicted a loss in excess of £100 million as a consequence of COVID-19. Grassroots and women’s football are not areas likely to be axed, but at present, there is no clear message that women’s football will continue to be invested in.

Steps to save the game?

Women’s football has gone through tough times before. It is resilient. So, COVID-19 may not be a fatal blow. However, swift and decisive action is needed to protect the recent momentum and growth of women’s football in England. Our recommendations are:

1) Clubs must shift their perspective so that women’s football is viewed as a core business and not as a goodwill gesture to the community.

2) Clubs should be entrepreneurial and innovative in their approaches to generating revenue for the women’s game, such as crowdfunding.

3) Women footballers are often on short-term contracts and juggle other jobs and family responsibilities alongside football careers. Issues surrounding wellbeing might be felt more acutely in women’s football. Clubs must work to actively support players.

4) The 12-month delay to the Women’s European Championship, now due to be held in England in 2022, should be seen as an opportunity. Leveraging mainstream interest in the Men’s 2022 FIFA World Cup, a “festival of football” could be created to attract fan interest in the women’s game.

5) When the game restarts, women’s football supporters must remain faithful in their support of the game. Visible advocates will show the governing body and clubs that there is a sustained demand for women’s football.




Read more:
Sing when you’re women: why it’s time to take female sports fans seriously


If we are to continue advancing a “new age” of women’s football, it is important that the women’s game is part of the conversation about football’s return. Without a clearly communicated strategy for the women’s game, the future of clubs and players’ health and wellbeing remain at risk.The Conversation

Beth Clarkson, Senior Lecturer in Sports Management, University of Portsmouth; Alex Culvin, Postdoctoral Researcher in Professional Women’s Football, Durham University; Keith Parry, Deputy Head Of Department in Department of Sport & Events Management, Bournemouth University, and Stacey Pope, Associate Professor in the Sociology of Sport, Durham University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

PGR Virtual Poster Showcase | Varshini Nandakumar

Center stage this week in the PGR Virtual Poster Showcase:

Varshini Nandakumar, PhD student in the Faculty of Science & Technology with this poster entitled:

‘Design of a functional electrical stimulation device adaptive to walking.’

Click the poster below to enlarge.

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) is a neuro-rehabilitation technique commonly used to aid walking in individuals suffering from Drop Foot (DF), a condition that limits ankle dorsiflexion leading to drag the foot while walking. FES devices make use of small electrical pulses to generate functional muscle contraction, enabling dorsiflexion to overcome DF. Existing FES devices are aiding mobility significantly, but one limitation in them is the inefficacy to allow the user to walk confidently in different walking scenarios. As reported by users, this is caused due to the inability to lift their foot sufficiently to ambulate on different walking scenarios. Hence this project proposes to overcome this limitation using machine learning algorithms to develop a predictive model to identify steps, ramps, and kerbs. The output of this model will then be used to control the stimulation levels to provide sufficient stimulation to enable the user to overcome the obstacle.


If this research has inspired you and you’d like to explore applying for a research degree please visit the postgraduate research web pages or contact our dedicated admissions team.