Category / BU research

Postgraduate Researchers and Supervisors | Monthly Update for Researcher Development

Postgraduate researchers and supervisors, hopefully you have seen your monthly update for the researcher development e-newsletter sent last week. If you have missed it, please check your junk email or you can view it within the Researcher Development Programme on Brightspace.

The start of the month is a great time to reflect on your upcoming postgraduate researcher development needs and explore what is being delivered this month as part of the Doctoral College Researcher Development Programme and what is available via your Faculty or Department. Remember some sessions only run once per year, so don’t miss out.

Please also subscribe to your Brightspace announcement notifications for updates when they are posted.

If you have any questions about the Researcher Development Programme, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Natalie (Research Skills & Development Officer) 

Training on the Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping technique

A 3-day training on the Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM) technique has recently taken place, led by Dr Gonzalo Nápoles of Tilburg University, The Netherlands. Five BUBS academics belonging to the Digital Marketing Research Group participated in the training: Dr. Miguel Moital (organiser), Dr. Elvira Bolar (Leader of the group), Dr. Ediz Ackay, Dr. Danni Liang, and Dr. Kaouther Kooli. The training was funded by QR funds and was an opportunity to develop skills on a versatile and upcoming research technique, which is expected to be welcomed by high quality journals.

The FCM technique is a cause-effect relationship knowledge-based method for modelling complex decision-making systems of humans. It emerges from a combination of cognitive mapping and Fuzzy logic and artificial neural network, and this method is increasingly used in social sciences and humanities research. FCM is suitable to both data generated by the researcher as well as big data. The technique can be applied to a variety of research settings, such as consumer behaviour, organisational decision making and social/public policy decision-making.

Participants unanimously considered to have learned a lot over the three days. Dr Nápoles was able to explain the complexity of FCM principles in an accessible way, with engaging discussions taking place around how the technique can be used in social sciences / marketing research. Participants agreed that the ability of FCM to answer different research questions while enabling looking at the data in different ways opens up many opportunities for research. Plans for future collaboration with Dr. Nápoles at both individual and institutional level were discussed.

Dr Gonzalo Nápoles, from the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences (Department of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence), is a leading contributor to the development of the technique, having several publications on it. He is the lead developer of the FCM EXPERT software tool which can be used to carry out FCM analysis.

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:

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 two 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 second Tuesday of every other month. You can register here for your preferred date:

12th July 2022

13th September 2022

8th November 2022

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. Previous recordings can be found here if you can’t attend a session.

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.

Reminder – Spotlight on Future Leaders Fellowships TODAY

The RDS Funding Development Briefings occur weekly, on a Wednesday at 12 noon.

Each session covers the latest major funding opportunities, followed by a brief Q&A session. Some sessions also include a spotlight on a particular funding opportunity of strategic importance to BU.

Today, Wednesday 29th June, there will be a spotlight on the UKRI Future Leader Fellowships. 

We will cover:

  • Overview
  • Internal process
  • Q & A

For those unable to attend, the session will be recorded and shared on Brightspace here.

Please join the briefing by clicking the link below.

Click here to join the meeting

Research Facilitator focus change – 1st August 2022

Exciting changes are coming to you from August 2022 in terms of the support provided by RDS’ Research Facilitators.

As agreed at the December 2021 Research Performance and Management Committee, the focus of the Research Facilitators will change from Faculty-facing to funder specialisms, based on the major funders. The current post titles will change to ‘Research Facilitator for…’ and the contacts for each post are detailed below:

The focus of the Research Facilitator support will remain largely unchanged, which is:

  • to identify potential funding opportunities through horizon scanning and cascade these across BU via the weekly funder briefings
  • to provide support to researchers within the Research Facilitators funder specialisms, to develop their bids through building research teams (including external collaborators as well as inter/multi-disciplinary teams within BU)
  • to advise on bid content and structure to ensure a high-quality bid is submitted to external funders.

Support for all other types of bids/funders will be provided through Faculty Leadership and Research Mentors.

The change to funder specialisms will mean that we can provide support to a larger number of academics through funder focussed briefings, scramble events, STEAMLabs (to form interdisciplinary ideas linked with external collaborators), and training through the RKEDF. We have already started transitioning to funder-focussed training this academic year, and these opportunities will also be available next academic year.

In addition to Research Facilitators, there are several support options in place to support you through the pre-award process and finding funding opportunities tailored to you. BU have invested in Research Professional, which enables you to target opportunities specifically for your research area. If you are new to Research Professional, this link provides you with help guides and bi-monthly webinars to help you get started. In addition, weekly funder briefings will continue this academic year, and the programme for 2022/23 will ensure a greater focus on specific opportunities each week. We will also be trialling a user-friendly ‘funding opportunities’ newsletter shortly.

More information will be communicated in July to help you navigate the pre-award process. Further communications will outline the changes leading up to August 2022. Stay tuned!

Research Ethics Panel meetings in August

Research EthicsA Reminder for Staff and Postgraduate Researchers

There are NO Research Ethics Panel (REP) meetings held during August, so if you’re hoping to start data collection activities over the summer and are in the process of completing your research ethics checklist, please keep this in mind when planning your research activities and submit your checklist in time for the final REP meetings to be held in July.  Checklists received during August which need to be reviewed by a full Panel will be deferred until September (dates to be advised).

REPs review all staff projects and postgraduate research projects which have been identified as high risk through the online ethics checklist.  Details on what constitutes high risk can be found on the research governance, research ethics & integrity website.

There are two central REPs:

  • Science, Technology & Health
  • Social Sciences & Humanities

Staff and PGR ‘high risk’ projects are reviewed by one of the central REPs and Researchers (including PGR Supervisors) will normally be invited to Panel for discussions.

Staff Projects which are ‘low risk’

Reviews for low risk projects will continue as normal during August (via email), although turnaround may take longer than normal due to Reviewer availability during this month.

PGR Projects which are ‘low risk’

There are no changes to the review and approval process for low risk PGR projects and reviews will continues as normal throughout August, again subject to Supervisor and the Ethics Champions availability.

More details about the review process and REP meeting dates can be found on the governance, research ethics & integrity website.  Email enquiries should be sent to

Panel recruitment: EoI for Deputy Chair (Science, Technology & Health Panel)

Research EthicsThe closing date for Expressions of Interest is approaching soon!

Expressions of interest are invited from members of the Professoriate, for the prestigious and honorary role of Deputy Chair, Science Technology Research Ethics Panel. The central research ethics panels work across the University to champion the highest ethical standards in research undertaken by staff and students (PGR).

This document provides further information about the role and the application process. The opportunity is open to Professors and Associate Professors.

Expressions of interest should consist of a CV and brief statement outlining your suitability for the role. These should be submitted to the RDS ( by 5pm on Friday 1 July 2022.

For an informal discussion about the role please contact:

– Prof Sam Porter, Chair of the Science, Technology and Health Ethics Panel

If you have any questions regarding the process, please email Sarah Bell or Suzy Wignall by email to

What might it be like with delivery drones flying overhead?

The E-Drone project is exploring this using virtual reality (VR) and you are invited to try this out on the Talbot Campus on the 27th and 28th June.


The project is investigating how drone logistic fleets can be successfully integrated and managed to improve customer service, reduce energy demand and also address urban traffic congestion. Part of our work involves helping stakeholders, including the general public, understand the environmental and governance implications of introducing logistics drones. The challenge is helping people envisage logistics drones when this transport future is yet to exist beyond discrete trials. This is where VR comes in.


The project team has created a VR experience to show what delivery drones will look and sound like as they fly over the Talbot Campus. We will be in the space between Dorset House and the Library on Monday 27th 1.30pm onwards and Tuesday 28th 10am onwards. We’re seeking volunteers to try the VR and provide feedback. Please join us by either dropping by or booking a slot by contacting Angela Smith (



Vitae Conference – Career Development of Researchers

On 29th June, Vitae are visiting BU and running a series of events in one day to promote the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

It’s an exciting day, with sessions including:

  • An introduction to the Concordat, why it matters, and what BU is doing to engage with the agenda
  • Training for researchers on the value of professional development and how to maximise your performance
  • Training for managers of researchers on the role of professional development
  • An informal discussion about where a PhD and a post-doc position can take you career wise (spoiler alert, it’s not just a traditional academic pathway!) and networking.

The Eventbrite sign-up page can be found here –

It’s a great opportunity for many colleagues, and we hope too a moment to consider the all round amazingness of research and to take some time to celebrate life as a researcher!

We look forward to seeing you there!  

Institute of Medical Imaging and Visualisation (IMIV) MRI Pump Priming Research Scheme Round 2 – Call Re-opens

The Institute of Medical Imaging and Visualisation (IMIV) has re-opened its call for innovative MRI research projects.

The aim of the scheme is to support projects that will lead to competitive external funding applications for MR imaging studies.  Applications are therefore required to demonstrate a clear plan for progressing preliminary studies to grant applications and larger studies.

  • All projects must have a Bournemouth University researcher as lead or co-lead applicant (see application form).
  • The IMIV MRI Pump-Priming Scheme Round 2 has a rolling 3-month window for applications, rather than a single deadline, and up to 200 hours of scanning time to be awarded in total in 2021/22.
  • There is no limit on the number of scanning hours that can be applied for, but projects applying for an award of more than 20 hours may be subject to external peer review. Awards will not cover any additional expenses related to scanning, or other aspects of the project.
  • Projects must be deliverable within 12 months, including ethical approvals. Projects with ethical approvals already in place will be prioritised.

The latest window for applications is now open, and closes on Friday 9th September 2022.

To receive the application form, please email