Skip to main content

Category / BU research

News from White Sands, New Mexico

Jet lagged and dazed Professor Bennett is just back from another session of fieldwork in New Mexico at the newly created White Sands National Park.  Previously a National Monument it was transformed into a Park by President Trump in December 2019 becoming the 62nd National Park in the USA.  Not only does the name change involve an exchange of various land parcels with its military neighbours (White Sands Missile Range), but it also adds the words palaeontology and archaeology into the founding legislation and mission.  This is in part a result of the research that we have been doing at White Sands since 2017.  This was my tenth trip since January 2017 which is a huge investment of time, with more to come in the future.  We have shown that fossil human footprints from the Late Pleistocene exist just below the surface at White Sands, how these humans may have hunted giant ground sloth, as well as pioneered the application of ground penetrating radar to the prospection of Ice Age footprints.  We are currently examining a potential mammoth kill site, the early use of transport-technology and also resolving some outstanding issues with respect to dating these tracks work we are doing in conjunction with the USGS.  Watch out for exciting updates in 2020.

The change in designation Monument to Park has huge implications for visitor numbers, federal resources and the local economy which will benefit annually by over $6 million dollars.  Last year our work was captured in a French/German documentary made by ARTE as part of the Terra X series.  Interest in the site remains high and this season we had a TV crew from PBS America and Nova with us in the field.  They are following our research team throughout the next nine months and will be filming here in Bournemouth at some point in the near future.  The Director of the Smithsonian Dr Kirk Johnson is leading this programme and is now a fan of the site.  The technological aspects of our work at White Sands are also due to feature on Ancient Mysteries Decoded available via the Discovery Science channel later this year.

You may also have read about White Sands just before Christmas since it is the landing site for the new NASA Starliner.  The missile range is also home to the Trinity Nuclear Test site. A few pictures ‘of my other office’ give you a flavour of the environment in which we are working.

Research Training Events – Coming Soon

Research Training Opportunities

We have some great events coming up to help support you in your research activities.

January

Friday 31st January RKEDF: Environment Narrative Writing Day

February

Tuesday 4th February RKEDF: EndNote Desktop for Managing References and Writing for Publication
Tuesday 4th February RKEDF: Good Clinical Practice ‘Lite’
Tuesday 4th February RKEDF: Building Evidence for REF Impact Case Studies
Wednesday 5th February Royal Society Visit
Wednesday 5th February RKEDF: Introduction to Impact
Tuesday 11th February RKEDF: Overview of NIHR, CRNs and NIHR portfolio
Thursday 13th February RKEDF: Writing Day – Systematic and Scoping Reviews
Wednesday 19th February RKEDF: Advanced Literature Search Techniques
Thursday 20th February RKEDF: Environment Narrative Writing Day
Tuesday 25th February RKEDF: Research Ethics @ BU
Wednesday 26th February RKEDF: Measuring the Impact of Your Research with Advanced Citation Tools

 

You can see all the Organisational Development and Research Knowledge Development Framework (RKEDF) events in one place on the handy calendar of events.

Please note that all events are now targeted, so look closely at the event page to ensure that the event is suitable for you. In addition, most RKEDF events now require the approval of your Head of Department (or other nominated approver). Please follow the instructions given on the event page and the template email for you to initiate the booking request.

If you have any queries, please get in touch!

BRIAN is unavailable today and tomorrow

BRIAN is being upgraded and will be unavailable for use on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th January.

The main improvements from this upgrade include:

  • New Assessment module for REF2021 functionality
  • More User Friendly Navigation

The new and improved features will make BRIAN easier and simplier to use for everyone, whilst also providing a valuable tool to academics helping them record the impact of their research.

We will communicate on the blog as soon as BRIAN is up and running again.

Participation in Horizon 2020 following EU Exit

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has published new information about UK scientists, researchers and businesses’ ability to continue to participate in, bid for and lead projects in the European Union’s (EU) flagship programme Horizon 2020.

Following the Second Reading in parliament of the Withdrawal Agreement on 20 December, the UK has now stepped down its preparations for leaving the EU without a deal, with confidence that it will ratify the EU Exit deal by 31 January.

This means that EU award holders should continue to participate in their projects in the same way as they currently do, in line with the terms of their grant agreement.

The full article is available here – UKRI News

Guidance available to support researchers attending an NHS REC meeting

Two new links have been added to the Clinical Governance blog under the ‘Useful Links and Documents’ section which give further information and guidance as to attending an NHS Research Ethics Committee meeting for your project. The links are also provided below-

Remember – support and guidance is on offer at BU if you are thinking of conducting clinical research, whether in the NHS, private healthcare or social care  – get in touch with Research Ethics. You can also take a look at the Clinical Governance blog for resources and updates.

Introduction to Impact Workshop 5th February

The societal and economic impact of research is becoming increasingly important in academia, not only for REF purposes, but in funding applications. UKRI announced this week that they are removing impact pathways from their funding applications because impact should be embedded into the research process.

Together with Dr Katey Collins, Impact Champion for HSS, I am running a two hour workshop to explain what impact ‘outside of academia’ means, why it’s important, how to create pathways to impact, and how to evidence the impact your research has created.

If your research is already having an impact, the workshop will give you tools to help accelerate and capture that impact.

If you would like to attend the workshop, you can book here.

RKEDF – Overview of NIHR, CRNs and NIHR portfolio

On Tuesday 11th February, Research Development & Support are running a 2 hour workshop to give an overview of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Clinical Research Networks and the NIHR ‘portfolio’.

This workshop is designed to raise awareness of the benefits of the NIHR’s portfolio of research studies to BU and NHS partners.  It will also explore the role of the NIHR Clinical Research Networks (CRN), with an emphasis on the set-up and work of our local network, Wessex.

The workshop will cover the requirements to be eligible for the NIHR portfolio, how to apply so that your study may be considered for adoption, and how to access the support of the NIHR CRN.

By the end of this workshop you will have an understanding about:

  • The work of the NIHR and layout of the CRNs
  • How to apply for and the requirements for portfolio adoption
  • The benefits of having a study on the NIHR portfolio

If you’re interested in attending then reserve your place via Organisational Development.

RKEDF – Good Clinical Practice ‘Lite’

On Tuesday 4th February, Research Development & Support are running a 2 hour workshop on the standards of Good Clinical Practice. If you’re running your own clinical research, or are planning to in the future then this workshop is for you.

This workshop is designed to ensure that Researchers are equipped to conduct clinical research in accordance with the international standard.

The workshop will cover other standards and regulations, roles in clinical research, participant eligibility and data collection, safety reporting and closing down your study.

By the end of this workshop you will have an understanding about:

  • The importance of protecting the rights, safety and wellbeing of research participants
  • The importance of ensuring that research data are reliable
  • The roles and responsibilities of those involved in clinical research
  • The different stages of the clinical research pathway

If you’re interested in attending then reserve your place via Organisational Development.

New article published Stamolampros, P., Korfiatis; N., Chalvatzis, K., Buhalis, D., 2020, Harnessing the “Wisdom of Employees” from Online Reviews,

Annals of Tourism Research, Vol.80, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2019.02.012

Download FREE Now https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1aSE6aZ3ER7Ql

The informational value of online employee reviews in tourism and hospitality research and practice. Online reviews can complement existing approaches offering access in a pool of opinion highly representative of the industry. The results of our analysis reveal that the unstructured form of reviews through topic analysis can efficiently capture important topics for employees and is in agreement with previous literature. As such it opens new avenues for researchers and practitioners since the intangible and heterogeneous nature of tourism and hospitality services can be measured with more direct data sources available to the decision makers, than cross-sectional questionnaires.
An interesting insight for managers in these industries is that the adaptation of management practices and improvement initiatives needs to be adjusted vertically (across business units) rather than horizontally (across the organization). The results of the analysis also provide an argument against the “one size fits all” approach (Hom, Lee, Shaw, & Hausknecht, 2017) in the management of service employees across tourism and hospitality industries and as such the incorporation of insights from satisfaction surveys in managerial practices need to be adjusted accordingly.

RDS Academic and Researcher Induction

The Research Development and Support (RDS) invite all ‘new to BU’ academics and researchers to an induction.

Signpost with the words Help, Support, Advice, Guidance and Assistance on the direction arrows, against a bright blue cloudy sky.This event provides an overview of all the practical information staff need to begin developing their research plans at BU, using both internal and external networks; to develop and disseminate research outcomes; and maximising the available funding opportunities.Objectives

  • The primary aim of this event is to raise participants’ awareness of how to get started in research at BU or, for more established staff, how to take their research to the next level
  • To provide participants with essential, practical information and orientation in key stages and processes of research and knowledge exchange at BU

Indicative content

  • An overview of research at BU and how RDS can help/support academic staff
  • The importance of horizon-scanning, signposting relevant internal and external funding opportunities and clarifying the applications process
  • How to grow a R&KE portfolio, including academic development schemes
  • How to develop internal and external research networks
  • Key points on research ethics and developing research outputs
  • Getting started with Knowledge Exchange and business engagement

For more information about the event, please see the following link.  The twelfth induction will be held on Wednesday, 25th March 2020 in Melbury House, 5th Floor, Garden Room.

Title Date Time Location
Research Development & Support (RDS) Research Induction Wednesday 25th March 2020 9.00 – 12.00 Lansdowne Campus

9.00-9.15 – Coffee/tea and cake/fruit will be available on arrival

9.15 – RDS academic induction (with a break at 10.45)

11.25 – Organisational Development upcoming development opportunities

11.30 – Opportunity for one to one interaction with RDS staff

12.00 – Close

There will also be literature and information packs available.

If you would like to attend the induction then please book your place through Organisational Development and you can also visit their pages here.

We hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you.

Regards,

The RDS team

BRIAN will be unavailable due to upgrade – 28th & 29th January 2020

BRIAN will be unavailable to users next week on Tuesday 28th January and Wednesday 29th January for a scheduled upgrade.

If you need any help using the new system or if you encounter any problems after the upgrade, please do send an email to BRIAN@bournemouth.ac.uk and a member of staff will be able to assist you.

Staff are reminded that the REF Mock Exercise 2020 author outputs nomination on BRIAN will take place between 24 Feb and 8th March. For more information and guidance, please get in touch with ref@bournemouth.ac.uk.

In the meantime, if you do have general queries relating to the upgrade, please get in touch with BRIAN@bournemouth.ac.uk

Further information will be available once BRIAN is up and running again following the scheduled upgrade.

Science Fiction at the Royal Society

Science has a long history of inspiring writers to imagine and write about what could be possible in the future, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Asimov’s Foundation series. Explore the blurring lines between scientific fact and fiction at the Royal Society’s late-night opening event at their headquarters at Carlton House Terrace in London on February 10th.

The Royal Society is the independent scientific academy of the UK, dedicated to promoting excellence in science, spending over £40 million annually across a range if the grant-making schemes. If you would like to find out more about them and their funding, there’s an opportunity here at BU on Wednesday February 5th , from 11:00 – 13:00, on the 7th floor of the Executive Business Centre.

The Royal Society’s Grants Operations Manager and the Grant Impact and Promotions Officer will deliver an overview of the society’s funding schemes and provide advice on putting together a successful funding application. Academics with a successful track record will also discuss their personal experiences, and there will be a Q&A session followed by a networking lunch.

For more information and to book, please see the staff intranet. If you have any queries, please contact RKEDF@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships internal expression of interest

The Leverhulme have launched their Doctoral Scholarships scheme offering UK universities funding of 15 Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships in a priority research area for that institution. As a university we may submit one application only and therefore the university will be coordinating expressions of interest from Academic Staff.

Those who are interested in making an application to the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships are invited to submit the following expression of interest – Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships EOI  to Alexandra Pekalski by 11th February 2020.

Further information about the scheme is available from the Leverhulme Trust. Applicants are advised to check the eligibility criteria very carefully.

Purpose of funding

The Leverhulme will fund 15 doctoral scholarships in a priority research area for that institution. Each award funds 15 Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships at that institution, with 5 scholarships to be offered in each year of the first three years of the grant.

Each scholarship is for a fixed sum of £90,000 for each student for up to 48 months of full-time doctoral study. This covers:

  • maintenance (at research council levels)
  • tuition fees

Any remaining funds are to be used for the Leverhulme Scholar’s research and training expenses.

While the scholarships may be held by students of all nationalities, the Trust has a particular interest in supporting UK or EU students.

Process for selecting applications to be submitted

Should you be interested in applying, please note that your expression of interest application will be assessed by Doctoral Funding Panel. Further details of the assessment criteria can be found within the  Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships EOI . Candidates can expect feedback by 25th February 2019.

Timetable

21-01-2020 RDS advertise Expression of Interest (EoI)competition for call
11-02-2020 EoI deadline (EoIs to be sent to RDS)
13-02-2020 Papers (applications) sent to Doctoral Funding panel (RDS to administer)
20-02-2020 Doctoral Funding panel meeting (virtual)
25-02-2020 Doctoral Funding panel decision and feedback disseminated to applicants
25-02-2020 RDS to contact Leverhulme to provide the Trust with the principal applicant’s name, departmental affiliation and email address. Access will then be granted to the Leverhulme Trust Grants Management System
March/April/May-2020 Applicants develop proposals with the support of RDS and Doctoral College
22-05-2020 Application finalised for APF financial sign-off by UET
05-06-2020 Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Deadline

If you have further questions or queries please contact Alexandra Pekalski (apekalski@bournemouth.ac.uk) and/or Lisa Andrews (andrewsl@bournemouth.ac.uk  ). For queries relating to Doctoral colleague support please contact Fiona Knight (fknight@bournemouth.ac.uk) and/or Julia Taylor (jtaylor@bournemouthac.uk).

NCCR Research Seminar. Britain: the myths we learn and the myths we tell ourselves

The latest NCCR seminar took place on 15 January when we welcomed the Head of the Comparative Politics and Media Centre, Professor Darren Lilleker.

 

Professor Lilleker’s talk drew on analysis of the lexis used on social media to argue that an embedded underlying myth of Britishness informed much of the debate around the EU Referendum. The Leave EU lexicon was characterised by terms such as ‘free’ and ‘rule’, with words such as ‘traitor’ and ‘betray’ attached to Jeremy Corbyn by the Brexit Party. Links with traditional British anthems such as ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, and ‘Rule Britannia’ were explored (alongside reference to ‘Jerusalem’) and analysed against a model of British particularism (Dowling) which privileges qualities such as strength, superiority, benevolence, and exceptionality. The way that this set of qualities is reinforced through British secondary school curriculum (textbooks such as Crowther, The History of Britain) was discussed, noting that the GCSE history curriculum is fragmented and one-sided, with key moments in British history being explored devoid of context, and framed to sustain a view of empire (such as Henry VIII who ‘freed us from the Church of Rome’, Elizabeth I who ruled the waves, or the Pilgrim Fathers who established the USA). Without linkage or linearity, British schooling thus provides a selective view of its history. Similarly, the adoption of an ‘Anglo Saxon’ origin excludes all the other nationalities that form the British ancestry, and allows for clear linkages to be made with Germany (relevant to the British Royal family) as well as oppositions with countries such as France. These elements sustain the presence of myths of empire, particularism, and power.

 

The session was very well-attended and produced some thoughtful discussion, which explored various definitions of myth (Barthes, Levi-Strauss) and its role as a mediating narrative or therapeutic alternative to history, debated why people might feel compelled to identify with these (dignity, history), noted the essential nature of a mythic past to fascist ideology (Stanham), and the consistent recirculation of such myths (e.g. in war films), the relevance of the manner in which an empire ends and the subject status of British citizens, the role of the literary market in selling textbooks that must appeal to the buyer, and reflected on the etymology of ‘Great’ Britain, which in other languages also carries traces of particularism, such as Chinese where it is directly translated as ‘brave’.

REF 2021 Declaration of Staff Circumstances – Deadline Friday 17th January

The REF Guidance on Submissions sets out the measures that HEIs are required to put in place to support staff with individual circumstances, recognising that circumstances can have an impact on productivity. This includes creating safe and supportive structures for enabling staff to declare voluntarily any relevant circumstances, putting in place processes to adjust expectations of an individual’s contribution to the unit’s output pool (where the individual is entitled to a reduction), and ensuring staff are treated fairly.

BU’s REF Code of Practice (CoP) contains established procedures to ensure that individuals are able to voluntarily disclose their individual circumstances so that we can take account in preparing our submission. As a consequence we are contacting every REF eligible member of staff  to give them the opportunity to make a voluntary disclosure.

The Staff Disclosure Form for Individual Circumstances can also be downloaded here. We wish to encourage colleagues to submit a form if they believe individual circumstances have affected their ability to undertake research effectively during the period.

Completion and return of the form is voluntary; individuals will not be required to do so if they do not wish to. This form is the only means by which we will be gathering this information; we will not be consulting any hardcopy or electronic records held by Human Resources, contract start dates, etc. You should therefore complete and return the form if any of the circumstances apply and you are willing to provide the associated information.

The form provides guidance on the purpose for collecting the information, applicable individual circumstances, the steps we will take to ensure confidentiality and how to submit the form.

If you have any questions regarding individual circumstances you can email REFcirc@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Forms should be submitted to the REF circumstances mailbox at REFCirc@bournemouth.ac.uk no later than midnight Friday 17 January 2020. Alternatively the form may be posted, marked confidential and for my attention, to Human Resources, Melbury House, 1-3 Oxford Road, Bournemouth, BH8 8ES.

 If you wish to receive the form in an alternative format please email REFCirc@bournemouth.ac.uk or phone 01202 961133.

A second window for disclosing individual circumstances will open during 2020 and the dates for this will be confirmed in due course. This second window will be primarily aimed at capturing any disclosures from staff appointed between November 2019 and July 2020, and from staff whose circumstances have changed.

You can access information about BU’s REF preparation via the Research Blog and if you have any general enquiries regarding the REF you can email ref@bournemouth.ac.uk. For more information about the REF 2021 nationally please visit http://ref.ac.uk/.

 

Sally Driver, Human Resources / Chair of the REF Circumstances Board