Category / BU research

So…on Monday I was in the Kremlin!!

but no worries I’m out and back in the UK!!

I had the privilege of being invited to represent the British Geriatric Society (BGS) Nurses and AHP Council to talk about Dementia and the nurse’s role at the Scientific and Practical Conference Long Term Care Focus on Dementia in St Petersburg last week. What struck me most as I listened to the presentation interpreted from Russian or Hebrew into English is that when it comes to talking about dementia we have more in common than divides us. Nurses, academics, physicians, psychiatrists, and nutritionists all talked about wanting to provide a person centred approach to care, seeing the person not their diagnosis and in essence wanting to offer a humanised approach to care. They discussed the importance of preparing nurses to work with older people and people with dementia and the challenges this poses for the curriculum. They emphasised the need for more research into what is ‘living well with dementia’ and how we can provide it. The presenters spoke with a passion that was inspiring.

I was able to offer the UK perspective and highlight examples from the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) at BU about our innovative approaches to education, research and practical examples of enabling people with dementia to live richer lives. My talk was being translated from English to Russian so as I started my talk I invited everyone to stand up to relieve their pressure areas (we had been sitting still for 2 hours and I am a nurse after all), I do not know what was translated but everyone did stand up, looking a bit bemused. Fortunately when I said to sit down again they all did – hand gestures helped! I felt like I was at the UN with my earpiece carefully in place, but was in awe of the eagerness to learn from others. I was the only person from the UK, but there were speakers from Norway, Israel and of course Russia all presenting. We have so much in common that I hope our conversations will continue.

I was able to stay the weekend and did a mini tour, that included the Hermitage Museum, the ballet (wow!), an overnight sleeper train to Moscow (I felt like I was in a Agatha Christi film), and of course go in to the Kremlin.  It was a fascinating conference and trip.

UKRO Visit (and Brexit)

As usual, RDS will host an annual UK Research Office visit to BU in 2019. This year’s event has been scheduled for November; the reason is obvious – Brexit!

 

All academic staff interested in EU funding are invited to attend the event:

Monday 18th November Fusion Building – FG06 from 11:00 – 14:30. Lunch will be included.

Dr Andreas Kontogeorgos, European Advisor of the UK Research Office will be discussing with us the impact of Brexit on EU funding opportunities. Academics are welcome to submit any other EU funding related topics for discussion to Ainar Blaudums by the end of October.

UKRO delivers subscription-based advisory service for research organisations and provides MSCA and ERC National Contact Point services in the UK. As part of UKRO services, BU members of staff may sign up to receive personalised email alerts and get early access to EU funding related publications on UKRO portal.

Please contact Organisational Development to book a place.

Postgraduate Researcher Development Steering Group – Call for Members (Academics, PGRs and ECRs)

Do you want to contribute to a University Steering Group?

Last month, approval was provided by the University’s Research Degree Committee for a brand new Postgraduate Researcher Development Steering Group to provide direction to postgraduate researcher development at BU, and I am recruiting members.

There will be 2 meetings per academic year and ad-hoc if required. Some of the main responsibilities include:

  • Develop and enhance the strategic direction, nature, quality, development and delivery of the University’s provision of researcher development for postgraduate research students (PGRs) which reflect the needs of all PGRs.
  • Guide centrally and faculty provided researcher development provisions promoting complimentary support of both increasing the personalisation of support for PGRs.
  • Evaluate University-wide PGR researcher development provisions, to ensure all programme content is maintained at a high standard and aligns with the university strategic priorities under BU2025.
  • Promote the benefits of facilitation of researcher development to staff and the benefits of engaging with researcher development to PGRs.
  • Enhance the overall PGR student experience at BU.

See the full Terms of Reference for details on the Steering Group if you are interested in becoming a member.

Please submit your Expression of Interest, including a half-page as to why you are interested, the knowledge, skills and experience you can bring to the group, via email to Natalie at pgrskillsdevelopment@bournemouth.ac.uk by midday, Friday 1 November.

Membership available:
PGR Student Champion: 1 per Faculty (open to all PGRs)
Academic Champion: 1 per Faculty (ideally an active PGR supervisor)
Early Career Researcher: 1 representative

Expressions of Interest will be assessed by the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Steering Group, we look forward to receiving them.

 

 

BU researcher explores how people who have had a stroke can be supported to return to work

The 8th edition of BU’s annual research magazine – the Bournemouth Research Chronicle – has now been published.  This year’s edition focuses on the work of our Early Career Researchers (ECRs). Read on to find out more about research being undertaken in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences.

At least 100,000 people in the UK have a stroke each year and around a third of them are of working age. In 1990 only a quarter of strokes were experienced by people aged between 20-64 years old, meaning that the average age of stroke victims is falling. BU’s Dr Kathryn Collins, a Lecturer in Physiotherapy, noticed this trend emerging while working as a physiotherapist in Chicago and while undertaking her PhD at the University of East Anglia.

“My PhD explored neural plasticity, and the corticospinal tract which connects our brain to different muscle groups. I was really interested in the way our brains can change: whether from learning a new skill or from being damaged through a stroke,” explains Dr Collins, “For example, in someone who has had a stroke, we might see an undamaged area of the brain developing differently in order to compensate for an area that has been damaged.

“Through both my practice and my research, I noticed that my patients were becoming much younger. Not only were this group trying to recover from their strokes, they were also trying to get back to work. Working gave them a purpose as well as enabling them to provide for themselves and their families.”

There are a number of reasons why people are at risk of having a stroke at a younger age. Some may be more susceptible to blood clotting because of a pre-existing condition, such as sickle cell anaemia, while others may be at risk because of certain lifestyle factors. These could include stress, poor diet or lack of physical activity.

Now at Bournemouth University, Dr Collins has been continuing her research into the facilitators and barriers to returning to work. Her research was funded by BU’s Acceleration of Research & Networking (ACORN) grant scheme, which provides promising Early Career Researchers with the opportunity to lead and manage their own research project.

“The funding enabled me to carry out a systematic review with two of our physiotherapy students. It was a really good opportunity for them to get involved in research and for them to broaden their skills. Through this review, we have been exploring hidden impairments which were seen as a significant barrier to returning work.”

Dr Collins also worked with BU’s Public Involvement in Education and Research (PIER) Partnership to run a number of focus groups with stroke survivors. The PIER Partnership put her in touch with the local Stroke Association, who were keen to be involved. Through these focus groups Dr Collins was able to identify a number of barriers and facilitators to returning to work.

“Peer support was big factor in helping people back to work, as it gave stroke survivors the opportunity to learn from someone else who had been in the same position,” says Dr Collins. “Learning to listen to their bodies was also important. If they felt fatigued, for example, then they needed to learn that it was OK to take a break and rest.

“Workplace support made a big difference too. Being offered a phased return to work, having a flexible working pattern or having adjustments to help them carry out tasks they now found difficult were all examples of the kinds of support people found beneficial.”

In addition to this, training, longer rehabilitation, family support and returning to or learning new hobbies were seen as facilitators to help people return to work. The latter often helped to increase confidence which would then spill over into other areas of life“One of the biggest barriers to returning to work were hidden impairments, such as emotions. People experience a huge range of emotions after a stroke; anxiety about having another stroke, frustration at not being able to do things they could do before or guilt that they were no longer able to support their families in the same way. These emotions could then lead to changes in their behaviour or their personalities,” explains Dr Collins.

“Fatigue was also a significant barrier. Some people had returned to work, only to have to give it up altogether shortly afterwards as they hadn’t realised how fatigued they would be. In addition to this, some stroke survivors might face physical barriers such as finding it difficult to drive, climb stairs or get out of their chair easily.”

Changes in cognition were also recognised as a barrier. Some stroke survivors reported no longer being able to process information in the same way, finding that they felt overwhelmed or were facing ‘information overload’ if faced with too much to process at once.

“The final set of barriers centred on perceptions; both of their employers and colleagues. Some people found that there was a lack of understanding about the effects of a stroke, which meant they didn’t have the right support at work. It was felt that employers were better at making adaptations for people with visible, physical disabilities, but less so for people who might have hidden impairments.”

As the project draws to a close, Dr Collins is now considering what her next steps will be and how she can ensure that her research findings can make a difference to stroke survivors.

“I’d like to broaden my research to speak to more stroke survivors to make sure that I’ve correctly identified all the barriers and facilitators to returning to work. I’d also like to speak to employers to find out what their perceptions are,” says Dr Collins. “Ultimately, I want to be able to use my research findings to inform the support that physiotherapists and other health professionals provide to stroke survivors. My goal is to make sure that we’re providing the right kind of support and interventions to enable stroke survivors to get the most out of their lives.”

To find out more about the research of BU’s Early Career Researchers, visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/brc.

If you would like a printed copy of the magazine, please email research@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Understanding and improving media literacy among unaccompanied refugee youth

The 8th edition of BU’s annual research magazine – the Bournemouth Research Chronicle – has now been published.  This year’s edition focuses on the work of our Early Career Researchers (ECRs). Read on to find out more about research being undertaken in the Faculty of Management.

In 2018, according to UNICEF, European countries recorded the arrival of 602,920 new asylum seekers, a figure which includes 20,325 unaccompanied child refugees. The successful integration of refugee children poses a number of policy and practical challenges for both the child and host country. Research carried out at Bournemouth University suggests that providing children with media literacy education can help them learn to navigate their new media-centric environments and make decisions which protect their wellbeing.

While many refugee children have good IT skills, they often lack the skills needed to make critical choices and informed decisions about their wellbeing. Media literacy education can go some way to combat this. It can also help to provide them with the skills that will help them to find employment later in life, as well as protecting them from risks, such as identity theft or radicalisation.

In 2015, at the start of Europe’s migrant crisis, Dr Annamaria Neag was finishing her PhD research into media literacy education. Budapest’s Keleti Railway Station had become a de facto refugee camp, and among the chaos and squalor of the crowds Dr Neag noticed the importance of smart phones to people in this desperate situation.

“Their phones were their guide through Europe, their connection to home and their tool for building new relationships and a new life,” explains Dr Neag. “This was what sparked my idea to combine my research into media literacy with refugee studies.”

To bring this idea to fruition, Dr Neag teamed up with Bournemouth University’s Dr Richard Berger, to pursue funding for her research idea. Using the assistance of BU’s Research Development & Support team, Dr Neag and Dr Berger submitted a successful proposal for the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme funding. As a result of this funding, Dr Neag was appointed as a Marie-Curie Fellow at Bournemouth University’s Centre of Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP), where she began the research that had been inspired by her observations at Keleti Railway Station two years’ previously.

The aim of Dr Neag’s research is to provide an in-depth description of unaccompanied refugee children’s media use. This will enable her to design and develop educational tools that will support unaccompanied refugee children to develop their media literacy skills and become more connected to their new home countries.

Fieldwork has been carried out in the Netherlands, Sweden and Italy – the three countries with the highest number of refugee children at the time of grant application. Research consisted of informal semi-structured interviews with unaccompanied asylum seeking children, refugee mentors, participant observation, and digital ethnography (the study of online communities and cultures).

Dr Neag has also undertaken participatory action research in the UK. This was conducted with London based NGO ‘Young Roots’ who provide support and activities for young refugees. Here, data was collected about unaccompanied asylum seeking children’s knowledge of fake news, fake profiles and mental health risks associated with phone addiction.

Her research has found that access to smart phones has great benefits for unaccompanied asylum seeking children who are using their mobiles to check their bank balances, order online goods, or communicate using language translating tools or social media. However, research also shows the associated risks.

Though social media offers a route to meet new people, usage may also restrict someone to a particular community, thus creating an echo chamber of ideas. Additionally, the unintended consequences of exposure to phone addiction, fake news and online community pressures can expose vulnerable children to higher risks.

Dr Neag found that unaccompanied asylum seeking children were using social media applications, such as Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram, which were consistent with young people in their new host countries. However, Dr Neag discovered that these children were also downloading simplified versions of the same applications which worked in their home countries.

“Applications such as ‘imo’ or ‘Facebook Lite’ can be used with in areas with poor internet connections, which is often the case for their relatives living in their home countries,” says Dr Neag, “It was very interesting to see that some children, who were illiterate, were using these apps to communicate by using functions such as voice messages.

“My research also showed that there were similarities in the ways in which young Europeans and unaccompanied asylum seeking children use social media. It showed that there was a shared desire to present a beautified version of their lives on social media. For example, selfies were very popular with refugee children, who often enjoyed sharing photos of themselves in front of landmarks such as the Milan Cathedral.”

Dr Neag believes that educating the mentors and guardians of unaccompanied asylum seeking children may be the most effective way to improve media literacy skills among this large and hugely diverse group. Her findings are now being collated into an app called Mentor+Media which will offer help to refugee mentors and guardians about media literacy. The app development team consists of Dr Neag, Dr Berger and Kyle Goslan, a BU demonstrator in digital media design. NGO experts are also helping to inform the app’s content.

“The purpose of the app is to communicate the importance of being critical of various forms of media,” explains Dr Neag. “This knowledge can then be passed on to unaccompanied asylum seeking children on an individual basis – in a way that suits their needs.”

To find out more about the research of BU’s Early Career Researchers, visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/brc.

If you would like a printed copy of the magazine, please email research@bournemouth.ac.uk.

BU Academic Targeted Research Scheme

In recognition of the important contribution that early career academics play in driving research for the future, we are delighted to continue the BU Academic Targeted Research scheme to attract and recruit talented individuals in targeted research areas. Following the successful recruitment of three new posts, we will employ up to another three new Senior Lecturers with significant postdoctoral expertise (or of comparable experience) with outstanding potential in alignment with one of three targeted research areas:

  • Technology for behavioural change
  • Sustainability, consumption and impact
  • Sport and Sustainability

We wish to recruit a diverse cohort of individuals with the motivation to become future academic leaders in their field. As an academic at BU, successful candidates will develop their career in exciting work environments, be provided with a high level of dedicated time to drive research activity and build capacity, and have the freedom to develop their research interests within the targeted areas. BU is committed to Fusion and as such successful candidates will also have the opportunity to contribute to the education and professional practice activities within their Department.

To support these roles and accelerate their careers, BU will provide three years of full-time salary (or part-time equivalent) and reasonable costs directly related to the proposed programme of research activities (up to £10k per year). The standard Academic Application Form must be completed and in all cases accompanied by the BU Academic Targeted Research scheme application form, which will propose the research activities and request funding.

To find out more about these exciting opportunities, please read the scheme guidance and visit the BU website.

The deadline for applications is Monday 4 November.

Any enquiries should be directed to researchfellowships@bournemouth.ac.uk.

 

Reducing re-offending through hospitality training

The 8th edition of BU’s annual research magazine – the Bournemouth Research Chronicle – has now been published.  This year’s edition focuses on the work of our Early Career Researchers (ECRs). Read on to find out more about research being undertaken in the Faculty of Management.

There is a population of around 82,000 prisoners in the UK, according to the Ministry of Justice. Statistics from the Prison Reform Trust suggest that 48% of adult prisoners reoffend within one year after release, with rates rising to 64% for those serving sentences of less than 12 months.

The National Audit Office has estimated that crimes committed by recent offenders costs the economy £9.5 billion to £13 billion per year. However, evidence suggests that those who go into work after leaving prison are less likely to reoffend, but this can be difficult without the right training and support.

The Clink Charity aims to reduce reoffending rates by training prisoners in hospitality skills (predominantly in fine dining restaurants) which they will be able to use in meaningful employment on release. The charity offers prisoners the chance to achieve NVQ qualifications, with the added incentive of a job opportunity and accommodation upon release. They operate five training restaurants in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service. Since the Clink Charity initiative was launched in 2009, their programmes have helped to reduce reoffending by 50% among those who have graduated from their schemes.

As part of a team of researchers, BU’s Dr Charalampos Giousmpasoglou has been collaborating with the charity to critically assess the quality of training they provide. As well as being an active researcher in the area of hospitality and human resources management, Dr Giousmpasoglou has over 20 years’ experience as a hotelier in luxury hospitality and fine dining restaurant management.

“Training prisoners is always challenging. The Clink Charity is unique because there is no other fine dining training restaurant in a prison globally. As a concept, it’s very innovative, original and interesting, which is why I wanted to get involved,” says Dr Giousmpasoglou.

“My PhD research focused on people management in a luxury hospitality context, which gave me a better insight into a general manager’s job in luxury hotels. I’ve also explored the ways in which an individual’s cultural identity, occupational and organisational culture can affect their ability to succeed in the sector.

“It is really helpful to be able to use my industry experience in class, as it helps my students to develop a better understanding of the real world. It is also an advantage to be able to present myself as a former colleague to practitioners. Through carrying out research with those working in industry, I have found that even in very high-class establishments, poor management still exists.”

UK Hospitality estimates that around 6 million people are directly or indirectly employed through the hospitality industry, making it the third biggest sector in the UK economy. Although the industry faces challenges in terms of the uncertainty of Brexit and changes from the use of new technologies, it remains a thriving sector of the economy.

“I hope that my research will help to better inform staff selection and increase the standards of management within the sector, so that more staff can be better trained and retained,” explains Dr Giousmpasoglou. “By applying these insights to the challenges being addressed by The Clink Charity, I hope that we will be able to improve job retention and further reduce re-offending by former prisoners.”

The collaboration between Dr Giousmpasoglou’s research team and The Clink Charity began in early 2018, when he attended Hotelympia (a trade show), which included a presentation about the charity’s work. This gave Dr Giousmpasoglou the opportunity to discuss his research idea and potential for a collaboration with the charity’s Chief Executive, Christopher Moore.

Thanks to the Bournemouth University’s Acceleration of Research & Networking (ACORN) grant scheme, Dr Giousmpasoglou was able to carry out a pilot study with The Clink Charity to assess trainee prisoner satisfaction and their reasons for joining the skill building programme.

“The aim of the project was to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the programme and make recommendations regarding the programme curriculum and the participants’ wellbeing,” explains Dr Giousmpasoglou, “We focused on how the training has been implemented and received, rather than the way the restaurants are run.”

Initial results have been very positive, with the research team finding that participants reported increases in self-confidence (91.6%), in their desire to learn (83.3%), their chances of getting a job (80.6%) and their ability to cope with prison (75%).

“We found that participants wanted to take part in the programme because they were keen to usefully occupy their time, challenge themselves and increase their employment opportunities on release. As well as boosting their confidence in a number of ways, our research suggested that it was also changing their future plans. 91.7% of people reported wanting to get a job once they left prison, while 52.8% said they were interested in starting their own business or being self-employed.

“The project was only possible because of the ACORN fund and the support of the Research Development & Support team’s training and seminars. It’s given me an opportunity to test the waters, share knowledge with The Clink Charity and find out if a larger research project would be worthwhile,” concludes Dr Giousmpasoglou.

To find out more about the research of BU’s Early Career Researchers, visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/brc.

If you would like a printed copy of the magazine, please email research@bournemouth.ac.uk.

It’s INTERNATIONAL OPEN ACCESS WEEK!!

Yes it’s here again that joyful time of the year when we highlight and discuss all things open access. First up is a quick reminder…

 

What is Open Access?

Open access is about making the products of research freely accessible to all. It allows research to be disseminated quickly and widely, the research process to operate more efficiently, and increased use and understanding of research by business, government, charities and the wider public.

There are two complementary mechanisms for achieving open access to research.

The first mechanism is for authors to publish in open-access journals that do not receive income through reader subscriptions.

The second is for authors to deposit their refereed journal article in an open electronic archive.

These two mechanisms are often called the ‘gold’ and ‘green’ routes to open access:

  • Gold – This means publishing in a way that allows immediate access to everyone electronically and free of charge. Publishers can recoup their costs through a number of mechanisms, including through payments from authors called article processing charges (APCs), or through advertising, donations or other subsidies.
  • Green – This means depositing the final peer-reviewed research output in an electronic archive called a repository. Repositories can be run by the researcher’s institution, but shared or subject repositories are also commonly used. Access to the research output can be granted either immediately or after an agreed embargo period.

Article first published – http://www.hefce.ac.uk/rsrch/oa/whatis/

To encourage all academic communities to consider open access publishing, Authors Alliance has produced a comprehensive ‘Understanding Open Access‘ guide which addresses common open access related questions and concerns and provides real-life strategies and tools that authors can use to work with publishers, institutions, and funders to make their works more widely accessible to all.

To access and download the guide, please follow this link – http://authorsalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/Documents/Guides/Authors%20Alliance%20-%20Understanding%20Open%20Access.pdf

More information on Open Access Week and activities happening across the world can be found here – http://www.openaccessweek.org/ 

Understanding gender differences in autism

Dr Rachel Moseley

The 8th edition of BU’s annual research magazine – the Bournemouth Research Chronicle – has now been published.  This year’s edition focuses on the work of our Early Career Researchers (ECRs). Read on to find out more about research being undertaken in the Faculty of Science & Technology.

Autism is a lifelong condition that affects an individual’s ability to communicate and relate to others, and how they experience the world around them. Research in autism covers a wide spectrum of issues, with gender differences currently a dominant point of conversation and investigation.

Numbers of people being diagnosed with autism are very unequal; research from 2017 suggests that boys are diagnosed at a rate three times higher than girls. It is now evident that autism presents quite differently and often more subtly in girls and women. With these findings now being brought to light, more and more women are being diagnosed with autism as adults. This makes it more important to understand why it is so difficult to detect autism in young girls, who are therefore more likely to miss out on support and interventions.

Dr Rachel Moseley is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology in the Faculty of Science & Technology. Her work centres on autism spectrum conditions, and has covered a range of sub-topics, including brain connectivity, cognition and language, and more recently, ageing, mental health, self-injury and suicidality. Female diagnosis of autism has been a strong element within her research, with a major focus on reasons why autism in women is underdiagnosed.

Findings from a study run by Dr Moseley and her colleague, Dr Julie Kirkby, suggest that the tools used for screening autism may play a part in the failure to detect autism in girls and women.

“It is really hard to know why there is such a disparity in diagnosis,” explains Dr Moseley. “It might be that autism does exist more in men, as men are more commonly diagnosed. On the other hand it might be that we just don’t recognise the symptoms in women. One paper I published looked at the screening tools that doctors use to check for red flags, and all of those instruments were designed through research studies with male participants.”

Women tend to be better at hiding their symptoms, something known as camouflaging. The likelihood of picking up ‘red flags’ in individuals who can mask their symptoms, when the screening measures are based upon surface behaviour, is slim and results in much later diagnosis.

“When people have very good cognitive abilities or high intelligence, they often learn to hide their symptoms,” says Dr Moseley, “The diagnostic instruments that we have tend to pick up surface behaviours. When observing autistic people, children or adults, medical professionals are expected to assess what is going on in front of them within the room.”

“Autistic women in particular are good at learning to hide their symptoms, as they are sometimes very good at picking up social rules and interactions. It might be costing them a great deal of mental energy to do this but on the surface you can’t detect that they are struggling.”

The later diagnosis of autism in women relates to two more recent aspects of Dr Moseley’s research into autism; mental health and autism within the ageing population. Due to later diagnosis, women often spend a lot longer not understanding why they behave and feel the way they do, resulting in a vulnerability to poor mental health.

“Very few studies are interested in autistic people as they age,” says Dr Moseley. “I am currently carrying out a study into ageing in autistic women, because women are a minority group in autism research. The majority of the research is based on men and boys. Autistic women are doubly marginalised as they age, because research into autism also nearly always focuses on children.”

Dr Moseley is also currently working on developing a better understanding of self-injury and suicidality in autistic people. This is a crucial goal given the very high rates of suicide in this population, which seem to be highest in autistic women. Dr Moseley’s forthcoming research on ageing in autistic women has indicated that many struggle with the changes in cognition, mental health and social communication associated with mid-life, and that these can make them feel too overwhelmed to carry on.

Between funding from the Department of Psychology and training workshops led by the Research Development & Support team, BU has provided support to Dr Moseley in her work, helping to ensure her research continues to make a positive impact in the wider community.

Her enthusiasm for working with external organisations, such as the National Autistic Society, and for sharing the results of her research with the autistic community has gained very positive feedback. This has highlighted to her the importance of the research she is conducting.

Dr Moseley says “I find it very important to share my work with the autistic community. I give talks at local support groups and I’ve recorded videos for my online participants, among other activities. I have received lots of lovely emails saying ‘this has changed my life’ and ‘I feel a lot better about myself now’. It means the world to me and gives me the encouragement I need to pursue my research.”

To find out more about the research of BU’s Early Career Researchers, visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/brc.

If you would like a printed copy of the magazine, please email research@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Powerless Responsibility: A feminist study exploring women’s experiences of caring for their late preterm babies

A new publication by Dr. Luisa Cescutti-Butler (FHSS) and her co-authors (Professor A Hemingway & Dr. J. Hewitt-Taylor) which explores women’s experiences of caring for a late preterm baby using feminism as a research methodology has just been published in the Australian Women and Birth Journal (October 2019). Her research found that women who become mothers’ of late preterm babies have a complex journey. It begins with separation, with babies being cared for in unfamiliar and highly technical environments where the perceived experts are healthcare professionals. Women’s needs are side-lined, and they are required to care for their babies within parameters determined by others. Institutional and professional barriers to mothering/caring are numerous. For example: some of the women who were separated from their babies immediately after birth had difficulties conceiving themselves as mothers, and others faced restrictions when trying to access their babies. Women described care that was centred on their babies. They were allowed and expected to care for their babies, but only with ‘powerless responsibility’. Many women appeared to be excluded from decisions and were not always provided with full information about their babies. The research concludes by recommending that women whose babies are born late preterm would benefit from greater consideration in relation to their needs, rather than the focus being almost exclusively on their babies.

Luisa is Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) and Lead for Examination of the Newborn in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences. If you would like any further information please email Luisa on lcbutler@bournemouth.ac.uk

References: 

Cescutti-Butler, L.D. Hewitt-Taylor, J. and Hemingway, A., 2019. Powerless responsibility: A feminist study of women’s experiences of caring for their late preterm babies. Women and Birth, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2019.08.006

Cescutti-Butler, L.D., Hemingway, A., and Hewitt-Taylor, J., 2018. “His tummy’s only tiny” – Scientific feeding advice versus women’s knowledge. Women’s experiences of feeding their late preterm babies. Midwifery, DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2018.11.001

EPSRC reopens applications for strategic advisory bodies

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has reopened applications for membership of two of its Strategic Advisory Teams (SATs).

Further applications are welcomed for the Physical Sciences and Engineering SATs in order to draw upon as wide a pool of candidates as possible.

Applicants are sought from academia, industry and other stakeholders to advise the organisation on research and training strategy as members of the Strategic Advisory Teams (SATs).

The recruitment process for SAT applications is open until 16.00hrs on Friday 25 October 2019. Applications will be through an online form. The two vacancies are:

  • Engineering: Mechanical Engineering (Industry/ User Only)
  • Physical Sciences: Physical Scientist with Expertise in using Large Data (Academic only)

Those who submitted an application during the previous call in the summer do not need to submit a further application now. Applicants can still only apply to a maximum of two vacancies across both calls.

Appointments for SAT members will begin on 01 January 2020, and will run for three years, with the possibility of an extension for up to a further three years. SAT members are paid a fee for each activity they are involved in, and are reimbursed for travel and subsistence expenses when attending meetings.

The SAT member often looks at the recommendations of EPSRC or the strategies of EPSRC and asks questions such as: how have you arrived at this recommendation? Have you been universal in your application of approach, so that the outcomes and recommendations have been arrived at through research, analysis and evidence gathering? A SAT member needs to be open to broader consensus across strategic thinking for EPSRC.

Applications from the initial round of recruitment for all vacancies are still being processed, and applicants can expect to hear from EPSRC from late November/ early December.

For further information please see the vacancies webpage.

Further information on Strategic Advisory Bodies membership.

Doctoral College Newsletter | October 2019

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.

Postgraduate Researcher Development Steering Group – Call for Members (Academic, PGRs and ECR)

Last month, approval was provided by the University’s Research Degree Committee for a brand new Postgraduate Researcher Development Steering Group to provide direction to postgraduate researcher development at BU, and I am recruiting members.

There will be 2 meetings per academic year and ad-hoc if required. Some of the main responsibilities include:

  • Develop and enhance the strategic direction, nature, quality, development and delivery of the University’s provision of researcher development for postgraduate research students (PGRs) which reflect the needs of all PGRs.
  • Guide centrally and faculty provided researcher development provisions promoting complimentary support of both increasing the personalisation of support for PGRs.
  • Evaluate University-wide PGR researcher development provisions, to ensure all programme content is maintained at a high standard and aligns with the university strategic priorities under BU2025.
  • Promote the benefits of facilitation of researcher development to staff and the benefits of engaging with researcher development to PGRs.
  • Enhance the overall PGR student experience at BU.

See the full Terms of Reference for details on the Steering Group if you are interested in becoming a member.

Please submit your Expression of Interest, including a half-page as to why you are interested, the knowledge, skills and experience you can bring to the group, via email to Natalie at pgrskillsdevelopment@bournemouth.ac.uk by midday, Friday 1 November.

Membership available:
PGR Student Champion: 1 per Faculty (open to all PGRs)
Academic Champion: 1 per Faculty (ideally an active PGR supervisor)
Early Career Researcher: 1 representative

Expressions of Interest will be assessed by the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Steering Group, we look forward to receiving them.

 

Photo of the Week: Malnutrition Awareness Week

Telling a story of research through photography

The ‘photo of the week’ is a weekly series featuring photographs taken by BU academics and students. These provide a snapshot into some of the incredible research taking place across the BU community. 

As part of Malnutrition Awareness week, we’re featuring photographs taken by Dr Emmy van den Heuvel, Prof. Katherine Appleton and Prof. Jane Murphy

‘BU researchers show that providing new recipes can encourage older adults to eat more eggs’

‘We invited some older adults to Bournemouth University to try out our recipes. We have previously completed a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) for which older adults received high-protein egg-based recipes. We showed that by providing these new ideas for high protein meals, we could increase egg intake up to 12 weeks after the intervention. Eggs are a good source of protein, and are relatively easy to prepare, easy to chew, have good value for money and a long shelf life. We know that older adults need more protein, but tend to eat less, so it is very important to find ways to increase protein intake using interventions that people can keep up at home.

This week is Malnutrition Awareness Week, and with the rapid increase in British older adults, it is increasingly important to focus on finding strategies to maintain and improve good health and well-being in the older population.

Find out more about the project here

If you have any questions about the Photo of the Week series please email: research@bournemouth.ac.uk

BU Research Supervisors’ good practice recognised in national pilot programme

Earlier this year, the UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE) ran a pilot scheme exploring the feasibility of a Research Supervision Recognition Programme to set a benchmark for good-practice in research supervision and to shine a light on this under-appreciated area of academic practice.

BU was one of 13 HEIs invited to participate in the pilot and, to recognise and celebrate good practice in research supervision here at BU, three supervisors from three faculties (FHSS, FM, FST) was asked to take part. Each participant wrote an extended reflective statement on their supervisory experience and practice, focusing on all areas of the role.  All applications were successfully assessed by the UKCGE review panel and participants were commended for the commitment and enthusiasm they demonstrate for the role, and are now able to use the title “UKCGE Recognised Research Supervisor”.

The Doctoral College led the institutional participation in the pilot and Dr Fiona Knight reported to UKCGE that “Bournemouth University is continually identifying mechanisms to improve the experience of our PGRs and recognise that the quality of the supervisory relationship is central to this. We welcome this scheme as a way of encouraging our new and established supervisors to reflect on their practice whilst engaging with continuing professional development.”

UKCGE has now launched the Good Supervisory Practice Framework which acknowledges, for the first time at a national level, the wide-ranging, highly complex and demanding set of roles involved in modern research supervision. The framework is designed to set expectations for all supervisors and sets out the criteria used to define good supervisory practice are based on the substantive body of academic literature. Professor Stan Taylor of Durham University, who was instrumental in developing the criteria, was External Examiner for the former PG Cert Research Degree Supervision at BU. It is UKCGE’s ambition that, ‘in addition to enabling supervisors to demonstrate their ability to colleagues and candidates, the criteria underpinning the programme will create a benchmark that becomes the standard for effective supervisory practice the programme’ (Dr Gill Houston, Chair of the UK Council for Graduate Education).

Recent Advance HE PRES results for BU indicate that the majority of PGRs feel very positive about their supervisory experiences, however, it is acknowledged that supervisors can feel undervalued and overwhelmed by the scale of their task that is often undertaken in addition to many other academic responsibilities.

Roll out of programme 

The Doctoral College plans to formalise BU’s engagement with the programme through its on-going programme of supervisory development activities in a process akin to TeachBU. This will enable individuals to demonstrate that they have met the good supervisory criteria and duly receive recognition. Not only will this provide encouragement for supervisors to engage with continuing professional development but it will also provide a structured process to support the development of high quality research supervision and public evidence of the quality of supervision across BU, whist aligning with a number of BU’s strategic goals that are articulated in BU2025.

Further details will be made available in due course however, if you are interested in learning more, please contact Doctoral College .