Category / BU research

Academic Targeted Research Scheme (Health & Science Communication): Interactive Digital Narratives for Health and Science Education

Portrait - Lyle SkainsI’m the last of the Academic Targeted Research Scheme appointments; I took up my post last month (September) in Health & Science Communication. My home base is in the Faculty of Media & Communication, though my project will span numerous departments across arts and science disciplines.

My research is centred in an interdisciplinary and ubiquitous communication method that can be employed for multiple UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals: interactive digital narrative (IDN). IDNs can be used in schools, GP waiting rooms, on tablets and smartphones; interactivity significantly increases retention, particularly when incorporated into media that audiences voluntarily and eagerly devote attention to. As a practice-based practitioner/researcher composing IDNs and evaluating their efficacy on multiple projects, I aim to develop a model for health and science communication through reading and writing IDNs that can be implemented in a wide array of scenarios and topic areas.

I came to this work through a serendipitous process, as I earned an undergraduate degree in science and did some postgrad study in evolutionary biology. I quickly discovered, however, that I’m more interested in reading and writing about science than I am in doing it (it was a lot of pipetting DNA!), so I changed tack. Amongst various professional endeavours, I started over, culminating in a PhD in Creative Writing and Digital Media.

You and CO2

My research is largely practice-based, as I compose various creative writing experiments in order to explore how new technologies such as hypertext, scripting, and multimodality affect the creative act and artefact. More recently, I have engaged in two Welsh Crucible-supported projects that brought me back to my science roots, combining interactive storytelling and science communication. You and CO2 examines using interactive digital narratives as bibliotherapy and expressive writing to effect positive attitude and behaviour change regarding the current climate crisis.

Likewise, the Infectious Storytelling project explores the efficacy of interactive digital narratives as persuasive media for educating the public about behaviours that lead to antibiotic microbial resistance. This project incorporates practice-based research, medical humanities, archive research, media analysis, ethnographic research in focus groups, and literary and art criticism, and is based on the historical treatment of tuberculosis in art, media, and literature, using insights Cover image from IDN "Only Always Never"gained from archival research and textual analysis to inform approaches to communicating the importance of proper antibiotic use to patients, farmers, and the general public.

Here at Bournemouth, I’m excited to expand these experiences into a wider “IDNs for SciComm” project. I’m going to be reaching out to colleagues across arts and sciences disciplines at BU, fostering collaborations and new avenues to explore the use of interactive narratives for health and science communication. The aim of this research is to identify and address a number of science and health communication needs through the increasingly ubiquitous digital technology in our lives, including the possibility of ongoing communication about the current COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’re interested in collaborating with me or with others on interdisciplinary arts-science health and science communication, please get in touch!

SWEEP EXPO event 20-22 October 2020

The South West Partnership for Environmental and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) is now 3 years into its 5-year NERC-funded programme. With over 20 diverse projects under its umbrella, the SWEEP team are keen to share some of the results and success they have achieved to date in their mission to support the adoption of natural-capital led strategies and investments in the South West and beyond.

 

SWEEP are hosting a virtual ‘Natural Capital in the South West’ Expo over 3 days, 20-22nd Oct 2020, where attendees can ‘pick and mix’ from a range of themed sessions focusing on Natural Capital approaches for marine, land, coastal change and whole-catchment settings. There’s also a session which will explore the importance of Natural Capital for a green recovery. The event will be of interest to all those involved in managing the natural environment, and specifically how it can be protected and enhanced whilst also producing gains for business, government and society. Register for this free online event.

COVID-19 affects research into other diseases

A systematic review published late last week assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on on-going and new clinical trials and research on a range of diseases [1]. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a series of public health policies, including lock down, that have crippled the healthcare systems of many countries. These measures hugely impact on study participants, care providers, researchers, trial sponsors, and research organizations conducting clinical trials. This pandemic has a substantial impact on the trial sites as they experience difficulty in the continuation of trial activities which eventually hampers the progress of the trial and delays study timelines. Most sites are struggling due to delayed subject enrolment, shortfalls in monitoring, and risks of compromised data integrity, and this situation also has a negative impact on the start of future. Researchers are also concerned regarding the delay or cancellations of trials in the pandemic, which will have financial consequences for research organizations/human resources.

According to one survey, about two-thirds of the respondents have stopped or will soon halt subject enrolment in ongoing clinical trials, one-third halted randomization, and fifty percent of respondents are delaying or planning to delay the studies.  Adopting new approaches and understanding the key risk indicators will help managers support trial sites with flexibility and ingenuity. For instance, switching patient site visits to new-trial virtualization, and telemedicine to interact with patients will help manage current clinical trials also beneficial for the post-pandemic era.

 

Reference:

  1. Sathian B, Asim M,  Banerjee I, Pizarro AB, Roy B, van Teijlingen ER, Borges do Nascimento IJ, Alhamad HK.  Impact of COVID-19 on clinical trials and clinical research: A systematic review. Nepal J Epidemiol. 2020;10(3); 878-887

 

Bringing change to women’s artistic gymnastics

Over the last few months, numerous stories have emerged from the world of gymnastics which have exposed the darker side of the sport.  Sexual abuse, bullying, harassment, fear and body-shaming are just some of the conditions that gymnasts from around the world have spoken out about.

BU’s Dr Carly Stewart, together with 22 other scholars from a number of countries, have published a manifesto proposing eight actions to be taken.  The manifesto is about changing the culture of women’s artistic gymnastics and seeking to address deep seated power that operates against athletes, often transferred from the coaches and other officials. By doing so, they hope to disrupt and prevent physical, psychological and emotional abuse.

The group of scholars are known as the International Socio-Cultural research group on Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (ICSWAG), which was established in 2016 following an international conference held at the University of Gothenburg.  Research from network members highlights problematic coaching behaviours and practices and the need for change.  Many of the network’s members are former gymnasts and several have coached, judged, and been officials with gymnastics organisations.  The ISCWAG body of research is extensive and has recently culminated in the book ‘Women’s Artistic Gymnastics: Socio-Cultural Perspectives’.

The need for change has been clearly demonstrated over the summer following the launch of the documentary Athlete A on Netflix about systematic abuse and a culture of silence within gymnastics in the USA. National team physician Larry Nassar was one of the perpetrators, sentenced to several hundred years in prison for abusing hundreds of women gymnasts.

“Athlete A” caused women gymnasts from other countries to come forward during the summer, speaking out about similar abuse and is gaining momentum.

Since this summer, this group of gymnastics scholars been interviewed in the international media, including Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden and are in discussion with national gymnastics federations and other organisations to discuss how change can be made possible.

BU researchers contribute to POST report about life beyond Covid-19

In March 2020, the Knowledge Exchange Unit in the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology launched the COVID-19 outbreak database and over 5,500 experts signed up.  With the launch of the House of Lords COVID-19 Committee inquiry on Life beyond COVID, a survey was sent to all of these experts to find out what implications from the COVID-19 outbreak in the next 2 to 5 years they would most want to draw to the Committee’s attention.  366 academics, including six from Bournemouth University responded.

POST have now analysed all of the responses and has summarised patterns and trends in the data under the following themes:

  • Work and employment,
  • Health and social care,
  • Research and development,
  • Society and community,
  • Natural environment,
  • Education,
  • Economy,
  • Arts, culture and sport,
  • Built environment,
  • Crime and justice.

The full analysis can be read here.

New CMMPH nutrition paper published

Congratulations to FHSS authors on the publication of their paper “A Priori and a Posteriori Dietary Patterns in Women of Childbearing Age in the UK” which has been published in the scientific journal Nutrients [1].  The authors highlight that a poor diet quality is a major cause of maternal obesity. They investigated investigate a priori and a-posteriori derived dietary patterns in childbearing-aged women in the United Kingdom. An online survey assessed food intake, physical activity (PA), anthropometry and socio-demographics.  A poor diet quality was found among childbearing-aged women; notably in the younger age category, those of white ethnicity, that were more physically inactive and with a lower socioeconomic background.

The article is Open Access and freely available (click here!).

 

 

Reference:

  1. Khaled, K.; Hundley, V.; Almilaji, O.; Koeppen, M.; Tsofliou, F. (2020) A Priori and a Posteriori Dietary Patterns in Women of Childbearing Age in the UK. Nutrients 202012, 2921.

SciTech Postgraduate Research Conference 2020

The SciTech PGR Conference Committee are delighted to announce they will be hosting this year’s SciTech PGR Conference virtually via Zoom on Friday 9 October 2020, from 10:00 to 15:00.

PGRs are encouraged to join us, either for the full conference or just for particular sessions, to support their peers and learn about the exciting PGR research in the SciTech Faculty.

 

Conference programme is available!

 

The details for the virtual sessions are as follows:

Session 1: 

Topic: SciTech PGR Conference. Session 1.

Time: Oct 9, 2020 10:00 AM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://bournemouth-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/87388217262?pwd=c0I4d1FzQVRNU2R5ajYyUUVwaUJsQT09

Meeting ID: 873 8821 7262

Passcode: 9y$u=t6P

 

Session 2:

Topic: SciTech PGR Conference Session 2.

Time: Oct 9, 2020 11:00 AM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://bournemouth-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/85894954499?pwd=YkF1SGh1NXk4NDRKVS9WZ0phUS9oUT09

Meeting ID: 858 9495 4499

Passcode: 5V@.5X.M

 

Session 3:

Topic: SciTech PGR Conference Session 3.

Time: Oct 9, 2020 01:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://bournemouth-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/87814459247?pwd=MHdqUUsvaDNhbHJjRVdveEpaVEZ6UT09

Meeting ID: 878 1445 9247

Passcode: 7z$^9.pi

 

Session 4: 

Topic: SciTech PGR Conference Session 4.

Time: Oct 9, 2020 02:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://bournemouth-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/89129286359?pwd=MHJ2WWZoaERLdkxVV3lVSHdQYnNNdz09

Meeting ID: 891 2928 6359

Passcode: 5n#A^u9C

 

We look forward to seeing you all.

All the best,

On behalf of the SciTech PGR Conference Committee,

Call for Abstracts | The 12th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference

I am delighted to announce that the call for abstracts for The 12th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference is now open.

The Annual Postgraduate Research Conference is an opportunity for postgraduate researcher to showcase and promote their research to the BU community whether they have just started or are approaching the end of their journey at BU and this year we are going virtual.

Attending the conference is a great opportunity to engage and network with your PGRs and the wider PGR community and find out more about the exciting and fascinating research that is happening across BU.

For our 12th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference we will be hosting oral presentations via Zoom and showcasing research posters virtually on the website and the research and Faculty blogs.

How to apply guidance and the application form can also be found on the conference webpage.

I look forward to receiving the applications and hopefully seeing many of you at the conference.

Keynote speaker and registration coming soon. 

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:

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.

Academic Targeted Research Scheme (Sustainability, Impact and Consumption): Predator ecology and conservation

As part of the Academic Targeted Research Scheme, I started my new role as Senior Lecturer in Sustainability, Impact and Consumption on the 1st of July this year.

 

My research will focus on predator ecology and conservation and the project funded by the scheme is specifically centred on the porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus). The UK has several species of shark that call our waters home for at least part of the year and many are in dire need of conservation management. Highly mobile, migratory top predators like the porbeagle are important to understand and manage as they play vital roles in nutrient cycling, ecosystem linkage and maintaining food web stability as well as just being incredible species in their own right. Such species are also pretty difficult to study, especially in the marine environment!

Porbeagles are included on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as critically endangered in Europe and the Northeast Atlantic, largely due to overfishing in commercial fisheries. They are closely related to great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) and share their more mammalian-like features of being warm-bodied and giving birth to live young, though they ‘only’ grow up to roughly 3.5 meters as opposed to the 6-meter white shark. Dorset is emerging as a hotspot for these elusive animals, which migrate to our shores in the summer months. They are proving to be a popular target in the catch and release recreational fishery, which provides a valuable opportunity to learn more about them.

Under Home Office licence, I’ll be joining recreational fishing trips and collecting small muscle biopsies from porbeagles and other sharks for stable isotope and fatty acid analyses. These analyses will provide insights into the relatively long and short-term diet and habitat use of the sharks, telling us more about their trophic ecology and movement patterns and providing information on how to best manage and protect them.

In addition to joining the angling trips, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of York, I’ll be conducting a survey of recreational shark anglers to gain insight into their perceptions of and attitudes towards UK shark populations and their conservation. In partnership with other external experts, I will also be running best-practice shark handling workshops with the aim of building capacity in the angling community and improving the sustainability of the fishery by maximising the health of released fish.

I am aiming to develop a suite of complementary projects alongside my work on the UK shark recreational fishery and am delighted to have already won some funding for a project on kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) trophic ecology, using stable isotope analysis of feathers to update our understanding of their contemporary diet. Furthermore, I am developing projects on small mustelids and big cats and am very excited to work on such a diverse group of species, conducting high quality research that will result in tangible conservation benefits for biodiversity and society. I am very open to interdisciplinary collaboration and would welcome anyone with ideas to get in touch!

Eating more eggs to increase protein intake in older adults

It is estimated that around 1.3 million older people in the UK are living with malnutrition or are at risk of being malnourished, with 93 per cent of these living in the community. With the rapid increase in British older adults, it is increasingly important to find strategies to maintain and improve good health and well-being in the older population. As people get older they tend to eat less, and specifically less protein. This could negatively affect health because protein intake is particularly important as we age. With age, people are less able to use the protein they eat to build muscles and perform other important biological processes. Moreover, many protein sources – such as meat, fish and nuts – become more difficult to eat or are expensive and time-consuming to prepare. As a result, people tend to eat less while they need more protein. Low protein consumption has been found to result in increased illness and infection and increased chances of falls, fractures and hospital stays. It can also lead to reduced mobility, independence and wellbeing, and increased early death. Dr Emmy van den Heuvel, Prof. Katherine Appleton and Prof. Jane Murphy have conducted research investigating the barriers to consuming high-protein foods in older adults. One research study examined whether finding new and interesting ways to eat eggs could be a way to encourage older adults to consume more protein.

Eggs are a good source of protein, and are soft, they are easy to prepare, they are relatively cheap and have a long shelf-life compared to other protein rich foods, and therefore may help to increase protein intake in older adults. In a randomised control trial with 100 participants, older adults were given six high-protein egg-based recipes every fortnight for three months, along with herb and spice packets. The study found that by providing these new ideas for high protein meals, participants who were given the recipes increased their egg intake for up to 12 weeks after the intervention.

The study is now published online ahead of print in Public Health Nutrition at http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980020002712.

The work was funded by Bournemouth University and the British Egg Industry Council.

https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/news/2019-10-16/eating-more-eggs-increase-protein-intake-we-age?

New book on tourism and gender-based violence

 

Tourism and Gender-based Violence, Challenging Inequalities. Edited by Paola Vizcaino, Heather Jeffrey, Claudia Eger

A new book edited by Dr Paola Vizcaino (Department of Sport & Events Management, Bournemouth University), Dr Heather Jeffrey (Middlesex University, Dubai) and Dr Claudia Eger (Copenhaguen Business School) has been published by CABI. Link here

First of its kind, the book focuses on the multiple and interconnected manifestations of violence that women and girls encounter in tourism consumption and production, such as physical, sexual, emotional or socio-economic abuse. It brings together work by scholars who are engaging with the concept of gender-based violence (GBV) in a wide range of tourism settings and practices. Includes profiles of organisations and initiatives that are attempting to tackle GBV in tourism, hospitality and beyond.

Join the editors, chapter contributors and grassroots organisations in a virtual introduction to the book this Wednesday 30th September 2020, from 4-6 pm (UK time). All welcome. Please register to see the full agenda and get the Zoom link and passcode: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tourism-and-gender-based-violence-virtual-book-launch-tickets-122680415425

New paper concerning COVID-19 and Advance Decisions by Bournemouth academics

Mike Lyne and Prof Jonathan Parker of the Department of Social Sciences and Social Work and Centre for Seldom Heard Voices have published new research arguing for clarity and greater knowledge of Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment as a means of increasing respect for people’s wishes at a time of urgency and uncertainty.

The full paper can be found on the Emerald Insight pages for advanced publication:

Lyne, M. and Parker, J. (2020), “From Ovid to COVID: the metamorphosis of advanced decisions to refuse treatment into a safeguarding issue”, The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAP-07-2020-0027

Academic Targeted Research Scheme (Sport & Sustainability): Women in Sports Leadership

Back in April I started my new post as Senior Lecturer in Sport and Sustainability – one of six appointments made under BU’s Academic Targeted Research Scheme. The Scheme has been designed to attract and recruit talented individuals to conduct research in specific, targeted areas which align with BU 2025.

My research under the scheme focuses on the area of sport and social sustainability, aiming to inform the work of National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs) in ensuring greater diversity on their boards, and to help create environments whereby women can fully and effectively participate in sports leadership. Attracting a more diverse workforce is a key aspect of making sports governance more socially sustainable.

The historical environment of sports governance in the UK shapes contemporary sport, providing a context in which women have often not been welcomed in positions of leadership in men’s sport – and women of colour doubly so. However, an examination of women’s sport shows that up until the 1990s many women were involved in sports governance at high levels – for example, the Women’s Cricket Association (who were the NGB running women’s cricket in England & Wales until 1998) was led entirely by women for its entire lifespan between 1926 and 1998.

The 1990s, however, seems to have been a particularly problematic period for women in sports governance. A push from the Sports Council (now Sport England) towards merged governance – that is, having women’s and men’s sport run by the same NGB – saw many of the women who had successfully run women’s sport for decades forced out of their governance roles.

My research aims to examine this process in more detail, asking:

  1. Why was a policy of merged governance introduced, and what impact has it had on women’s role and representation in the governance of sport?
  2. How can we learn from this process, to ensure that more women are represented in sports governance going forwards?

COVID-19 has inevitably affected my research plans: I am aiming to conduct interviews with those who were involved in the merger processes which took place in the 1990s, but may have to consider doing this via Zoom, instead of face-to-face.

I am also looking to create a new network which focuses on Sports Governance & Diversity, in order to bring together researchers in this area with key stakeholders including UK Sport, Sport England, NGBs, and charities like Women in Sport. It is crucial that academic research being conducted into the underrepresentation of certain groups in sport governance reaches those who are running sport, and informs their future policy.

Anyone who is interested in getting involved in this new network should feel free to email me – I’d love to hear from you.

Conversation article: Nurses are on the coronavirus frontline, so why are they being left out of the response?

More than 600 nurses worldwide have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic. This should not be a surprise: we are the largest group of healthcare workers in the world, dedicated to preventing the spread of coronavirus, and we are also engaged in caring for those who are suffering.

But although we are on the frontline of this crisis, nurses are too often being left out of responses to the pandemic.

Uniquely at risk

In the UK and other countries with high rates of coronavirus deaths, there are increasing inequalities in health outcomes for different income groups. In England and Wales, the mortality rates from COVID-19 in the most deprived areas are more than double the least deprived.

In general, the risk of ill health increases for people who live on a low income. Common health issues that affect these groups include high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, lung disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. All of these put people at higher risk of becoming sicker and dying from COVID-19. Death rates are highest among people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

These communities are also disproportionately represented among nursing staff some of whom are living on the lowest wages.

Lacking equipment

Nurses working in hospitals, care homes and within communities are often put at greater risk from COVID-19 because they have not been given adequate personal protective equipment, or PPE.

A study of nearly 100,000 health workers in the UK and US found that people working on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic were three times more likely to test positive for the disease than the general community. Health workers from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background were found to be five times more likely to test positive than white people who did not work in healthcare. Workers who reported a lack of adequate PPE in their healthcare institutions were at greater risk still.

Another study by the UK’s Royal College of Nursing, meanwhile, found that more than half of Black, Asian and minority ethnic respondents have felt pressure to work without the correct PPE compared to just over a third of other respondents. These groups were also asked to reuse PPE more frequently than their white counterparts.

Denied a voice

It’s a painful irony that as nurses battle against the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 is the World Health Organization’s Year of the Nurse and Midwife which was supposed to raise the profile and perceptions of nurses globally.

But the response to the pandemic in the UK has starkly shown that our expertise and experience as a profession is not being called upon and our potential is not recognised. We are the biggest work force for health in the UK working in hospitals, care homes and community settings to care for those with COVID-19 and help prevent its spread yet we have no representation on the official scientific advisory group (SAGE), which advises the government on its coronavirus response. Nor are we represented on the rival Independent SAGE group.

Our role in policy development and planning is negligible despite the invaluable insights our unique position in health systems gives us. Our lack of representation and reward means that we are also suffering from the impacts of inequalities along with those we care for.

Given the chance, nurses could help guide coronavirus policy in a number of ways. First, by being a witness to the health impacts of COVID-19 on our local communities and staff, recording and researching inequity of access to services. Second, we can advise on how to provide prevention and treatment resources to those most at risk. Finally, we can set a positive example in terms of equality of opportunity, fair working conditions, protection from infection and pay. This could start with ensuring equal provision of PPE for all staff.

Nurses are at the forefront of trying to reduce existing health inequalities which are being made worse by COVID-19. We are also victims of those inequalities – a feminised, racialised workforce dealing with poor conditions and lacking a political voice. Care and prevention of disease are not perceived as being as important as finding a cure or a vaccine, but in the global recovery from COVID-19, all these elements are equally vital.

We have already lost too many colleagues in the fight against this disease. It’s time our work is recognised and we are given an official voice to help us all recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Ann Hemingway, Professor of Public Health, Bournemouth University

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

How to avoid being late

I published the updated late submissions procedure earlier this week.  I thought it might be useful to those applying for funding to have a few tips on how to avoid being late:

  • Plan out your research for the year, five years and even ten years – the RDS Research Facilitators can help you with this by discussing your career progression, the impact you want your research to have both short- and long-term, and opportunities available to support you with your research plans
  • Ensure your Research Professional searches are up-to-date and finding the opportunities for you – RDS Funding Development Officers can help you set up searchers that ensure you get the heads-up on what’s coming up
  • Look for schemes where there are multiple calls and plan realistically for the call deadline that suits you – you don’t have to go for the one in two weeks’ time when there is another in 3 months’ time
  • Look for opportunities to ‘attend’ funder town meetings/information days for specific calls/ schemes – not only are these great opportunities to get a heads up on what calls are coming out soon but it is also an opportunity to network and find potential research collaborations. Most of these will now be online, making attendance easier
  • If you require partners to support your research, ensure these are in place and on board with your plans before considering applying. Similarly, ensure your research team are in place and can support you with the application preparation
  • Don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure – start writing down your case for support and research ideas before looking for the right funding opportunity
  • Talk to your HoD and peers about what you want to achieve – they will be able to offer you support and can provide peer review
  • Take up the opportunities available under the RKEDF to help you with application writing
  • Get all those involved in a proposal on board before writing, especially if the funder has e-submission. Ensure investigators are registered on the e-submission sites; ensure CVs are updated for all those required; ensure letters of support from partners include a recent date, are on headed paper, and are signed; and make sure that any BU letters of support are drafted and that those who will sign it know what your application is about and what support you’re asking BU for.
  • TIME – this is the biggest thing you need! – to ensure your application stands a good chance of success you need to think through your objectives and ensure they’re well defined, make your hypothesis clear, consider the impact of your research, include relevant preliminary data, tell a compelling story, and justify your methods.  See the 12 top tips for writing a grant application provided by the MRC when they visited BU in 2017.

We’re here to support you and so do get in touch with your RDS colleagues as soon as you have an idea