Category / BU research

BU Academic Targeted Research Scheme – closing this week

BU2025 sets out ambitious plans and targets for research at BU. In support of these, an exciting new opportunity has been developed.

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

  • Technology for behavioural change
  • AI – with a focus on medical imaging
  • Evidence-based persuasive communication for public health
  • Immersive environments for disaster
  • 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.

Any enquiries about the scheme should be directed to If your enquiry is about applying under one of the targeted research areas and you want to know more about this then please go to our website to find the academic contact for each area.

Please note that the closing date is 11th August 2019. No late applications will be accepted.

Training opportunity – completing and submitting your IRAS application

Are you currently in the process of designing, setting up or planning your research study, and would like to extend your project into the NHS?

Yes? Then you may want to take advantage of this training opportunity.

Oliver Hopper (Research & Development Coordinator, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital) and Suzy Wignall (Clinical Governance Advisor, RDS)  will be running a training session on how to use, and complete your own application within the IRAS system.

IRAS (Integrated Research Application System) is the system used to gain approvals from the NHS Research Ethics Committee and Health Research Authority, before rolling out your study to NHS Trusts. To support this, the session will include the background to research ethics and the approvals required for NHS research.

The session will also be interactive, and so as participants, you will have the opportunity to go through the form itself and complete the sections, with guidance on what the reviewers are expecting to see in your answers, and tips on how to best use the system.

The training will take place in Studland House – Lansdowne Campus, room 103 Tuesday 20th August at 09:30am – 12:30pm.

Get in touch with Research Ethics if you would like to register your interest and book a place.

BU PhD student Peter Wolfensberger has article accepted in Brit J Mental Health Nursing

Congratulations to FHSS PhD student Peter Wolfensberger whose article ‘Uncertainty in illness among people living with mental ill health – a mental health nursing perspective’ was accepted yesterday by the British Journal of Mental Health Nursing [1].   The paper introduces the concept of ‘uncertainty in illness’, which is a well-known concept in health care literature  and a considerable volume of research has investigated how people adapt to different health conditions and how the concept of uncertainty in illness relates to those populations. However, while there is substantial literature focusing on coping strategies and personal recovery, there is a paucity of research about uncertainty in illness among people living with mental ill health. 

This paper therefore, explores uncertainty in illness among mental health nurses and to provide an understanding of its relevance to people living with mental ill health.  The paper concludes that even though mental health nursing does not directly address uncertainty, the concept and its implications need to be considered and raised further among mental health professionals in order to improve support for people living with mental ill health in their process of personal recovery.

This paper originated from Peter’s PhD research on insights into mental health nursing in Switzerland, which has had input from Prof Fran Biley (before he passed away) and Dr. Zoe Sheppard (before she moved to her new job in Dorchester).  His current BU supervisors are: Dr. Sarah Thomas and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen and his Swiss supervisor is Prof. Sabine Hahn (Berner Fachhochschule/ Bern University of Applied Sciences).



  1. Wolfensberger P. Thomas, S., Sheppard, Z., Hahn, S, van Teijlingen, E.  ‘Uncertainty in illness among people living with mental ill health – a mental health nursing perspective’  British Journal of Mental Health Nursing (Accepted)





Congratulations on academic paper by BU PhD student Orlanda Harvey

Congratulations to Orlanda Harvey, PhD student in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences on her PhD publication “Support for people who use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: A Systematic Scoping Review into what they want and what they access” in the Open Access journal BMC Public Health [1].  Since there is a paucity of research on support for people using Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS), this article searched and synthesised the available evidence in this field. Gaining an understanding of the support both accessed and wanted by recreational AAS users will be of use to professionals who provide services to intravenous substance users and also to those working in the fields of public health and social care, with the aim to increase engagement of those using AAS.

This systematic scoping review identified 23 papers and one report for review, which indicated that AAS users access a range of sources of information on: how to inject, substance effectiveness, dosages and side effects, suggesting this is the type of information users want. AAS users sought support from a range of sources including medical professionals, needle and syringe programmes, friends, dealers, and via the internet, suggesting that, different sources were used dependent on the information or support sought.

The authors argue that AAS users tended to prefer peer advice and support over that of professionals , and access information online/specialist fora, reflecting the stigma that is experienced by AAS  users. These tendencies can act as barriers to accessing services provided by professionals.  The paper concludes that support needs to be specific and targeted towards AAS users. Sensitivity to their perceptions of their drug-use and the associated stigma of being classified in the same sub-set as other illicit drug users is relevant to facilitating successful engagement.



  1. Harvey, O., Keen, S., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E. (2019) Support for people who use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: A Systematic Literature Review into what they want and what they access. BMS Public Health 19: 1024



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 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:

27th August 2019

10th September 2019

12th November 2019

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.

Hair Rollers!

The service assessment sequence

The research

Dr Sae Oshima, a Senior Lecturer in Corporate Marketing and Communications, is researching the awkward moments at the end of a haircut: when the customer must give their feedback.

Dr Oshima calls these moments the ‘service assessment sequence’, a period where honest opinion is often suppressed by social rituals. To her best knowledge, no previous study explored this interaction between customer and stylist. Dr Oshima aims to both inform customers on ways to ask for the best haircut, and educate stylists on communicating with customers to ensure they’re satisfied.

During her MA studies at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr Oshima focused on examining video-recorded, naturally occurring interactions. Continuing to develop her interest in the micro-foundations of professional tasks through her PhD studies, she decided to investigate an interaction close to her heart.

“How do we end up with good and bad haircuts? Some have brought pure joy and happiness, and others even made me cry for an entire week! We tend to credit the quality of the service (good/bad haircuts) to the stylists’ skills alone, but becoming a student of social interaction has enabled me to question this assumption,” explains Dr Oshima.

The importance of this interaction analysis extends further than the hair salon. This research applies to any social interaction where work or services require evaluation. While some services may be assessed by a clear measure of whether something works or not, other service evaluations involve people’s perspectives. This work therefore has far reaching implications on how communication can impact final outcome.

The findings

Dr Oshima video-recorded 60 haircutting sessions in various types of salons in USA and Japan, ranging from slow-paced salons that offer complimentary alcoholic drinks, to high volume/low profit margin chain salons with their value-oriented pricing and speedy service.

Her research has found that many small actions, such as a pause of 0.7 seconds, a shift of gaze, or a slight head movement, can all change the outcome of a haircut, and subsequently affect whether the salon business succeeds or fails.

Above is the ‘Hair Rollers!’ board game which aims to present the variance in haircut outcome due to small actions and responses by a customer. It also highlights the importance of feedback in a service assessment sequence and how this can change the interaction.


The negotiation of professional identities and power is one uncovered issue, present in ‘Hair Rollers!’ Stylists juggle the roles of service-provider and hair expert. Dr Oshima believes that in caring for both body and minds of customers, stylists may yield to customer’s opinions which undermine their role as a professional – see tiles E2, E4 and E6, where the customer hints at an upcoming revision of the cut. Her video evidence and research paper shows how stylists and customers may harmonise the sometimes conflicting responsibilities of ‘service-provider/patron’ and ‘expert/novice’ through a combination of verbal and nonverbal communication.

She was surprised to find just how much work the customers are doing in this sequence to give an “authentic” assessment of the cut which the stylist will believe. For instance, as seen in tile C4, customers perform a physical inspection prior to verbal assessment. Conversely, when the customer says they like the cut too soon, without physical inspection, the stylist may ignore their response – as seen in tile D3. Findings also suggest stylists and customers are constantly dealing with the issue of when it is good enough, and how they can take enough time for inspection without taking too much time. This issue is addressed in this research paper.

A third research paper tackles an ever-challenging topic in the field of social interaction: the complex relationship of practical action and speech. Dr Oshima worked with Professor Jürgen Streeck, of the University of Texas at Austin, to examine how a customer’s physical inspection is coupled with verbal responses.

Finally, this research paper assesses the role of a specific action present during most assessment sequences – nodding. Video data was collected during Dr Oshima’s research in Japan where it is commonly thought that Japanese people are good at reading each other’s minds and nonverbal acts. Dr Oshima challenges this notion to further analyse mechanisms of synchronised nods and how they contribute to satisfactory closure of business.

The impact

Dr Oshima has shared her findings with the stylists and clients who participated in the study, to help improve the quality of service. Her findings have also been shared with organisations and publics in the USA, Denmark and the UK. She has showcased not only hair salon data, but also various other video recorded data from other interactions (such as lunchroom gatherings, flamenco rehearsals or start-up project meetings) to reveal how the small things that people do drastically change what happens next in their interactions with others, and impact outcome.

Dr Oshima concludes: “If we start seeing these micro moments as the opportunity to make choices, then we can turn unconsciousness into consciousness. This is what I want to continue doing with my research – to spread awareness and appreciation for the massive power of micro-actions.”

The future

Dr Oshima currently has two research papers in progress. The first is on the role of emotion in service evaluations. This paper will have a particular focus on the customer’s presentation of surprise, which Dr Oshima finds to be a key form of emotional display in service evaluations. The second paper will include an analysis of service-assessment sequences between a software designer and his clients. This research will aim to address a common problem feared by design practitioners termed the ‘design-by-committee pitfall’. Dr Oshima has collected around 15 hours of video-recorded interactions between a designer and his clients with which she will now determine how verbal and nonverbal practices shape design outcome.

New page on the Clinical Governance Blog – Public Involvement in Research

Involving the public in your study is important, especially at the research design stage, this is known as ‘Public Involvement’ or ‘Patient & Public Involvement’ (PPI). This involvement can greatly improve the quality of your study design and documentation.

To better support researchers with this process (in particular for the purposes of clinical research), there is now a dedicated space for guidance, resources and wider reading, on the Clinical Governance blog space.

You can find the page here – as always if there are any specific queries, please get in touch with Research Ethics.

FoM Academics – article readership milestone!


Congratulations! Michael O’ Regan, PhD and Jaeyeon Choe,PhD,  from the Faculty of Management, published an article on peer-to-peer accommodation platform use in 2017, and has over a short period of two years, become one of the most read articles in the journal Anatolia – becoming one of its top ten “most read” in July 2019.

Despite the growing fear-filled sociopolitical rhetoric and moral hand-wringing about peer-to-peer accommodation platforms such as Airbnb, the paper argues that these platforms are under-researched and undertheorized.

Utilising Airbnb as an example, the paper explores this ‘disruptive’ collaborative consumption (sharing) platform within the prism of cultural capitalism to examine the ratio of freedom to estrangement it has created within cultural, economic, political, and consumer worlds.

Thanks to the Organisational Development team at BU,  the papers impact was primarily brought about through social media, blog posts and even a link to a page on collaborative consumption in Wikipedia.




Next wave of industry and society challenges announced!

The next wave of major industrial and societal challenges to receive investment through the government’s modern Industrial Strategy have been confirmed.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund brings together the UK’s world-leading research base with our best businesses to transform how we live, work and move around. It will put the UK in the best position to take advantage of future market opportunities.

The fund is delivered by UK Research and Innovation and is part of government’s £4.7 billion investment in R&D over 4 years that will support the delivery of its modern Industrial Strategy.

The details of the next wave of challenges are confirmed as below:

In addition last month the Government confirmed an investment in Quantum Technologies  – a £153 million Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund which will be matched by industry with over £200 million of investment expected from the private sector.

Please see this link for more information.

Good Clinical Practice refresher – Wednesday 14th August 2019

Are you currently undertaking research within the NHS, and your Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training is due to expire? Or has it expired recently?

GCP certification lasts for two years, so if your training is due to expire, has expired, or you want to validate your learning, then take advantage of the upcoming refresher half day session, taking place at Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester on Wednesday 14th August, 9am – 12:30pm.

Spaces are still remaining, so if you’d like to enrol, get in touch with Research Ethics.

Photo of the week

The photo of the week series is a weekly series featuring photos taken by our academics and students for our Research Photography Competition, which provides a snapshot of some of the incredible research undertaken across the BU community.

Below: Some eggcellent results obtained from the VMD developing latent fingermarks on a chicken egg using gold and zinc.

This week’s photo of the week, Fingermarks on a chicken egg developed by Vacuum Metal Deposition, is by Alex Otto and Nicola Jones, demonstrators in Forensic Science.

This past October Bournemouth University Forensic department welcomed its newest piece of latent fingermark development equipment to the Crime Scene Training Facility…the VMD 360!  Following delivery, Demonstrators in Forensic Science Alex Otto, Nicola Jones and Christopher Dwen received bespoke training from West Technology Forensics over a two day period. 

Vacuum Metal Deposition (VMD) is widely recognised as one of, if not the most powerful latent fingermark development techniques currently available. The technique is commonly used to develop latent fingermarks on porous, semi-porous and non-porous exhibits using metals such as gold, zinc and sterling silver. Latent fingermarks developed using VMD are frequently found to be superior quality, and with excellent ridge clarity and higher contrast than fingermarks developed using alternative forensic methods.

The VMD 360 is currently the only table-top vacuum metal deposition unit available in the world and is compact and aesthetically pleasing. Furthermore, with an abundance of potential forensic research still to be undertaken using VMD, such as development of fingermarks on eggs in cases involving rare wild bird egg theft, exciting times lay ahead!

New CMMPH publication on health promotion in post-earthquake Nepal

Today saw the publication of a new paper from an international research team from the UK, Japan and Nepal.  Our research article ‘Assessing knowledge and behavioural changes on maternal and newborn health among mothers following post-earthquake health promotion in Nepal’ has been published in the Open Access journal PLoS ONE [1]. 

The paper reminds us that natural disasters often disrupt health systems affecting the whole population, but especially vulnerable people such as pregnant women, new mothers and their babies. Despite the global progress in maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) programmes over the years, emergency responses after a disaster are often poor. Post-disaster health promotion could play an important role in improving MNCH outcomes. However, evidence remains limited on the effect of post disaster health promotion activities in low-income countries such as Nepal.

The paper reports on an post-disaster intervention study aimed at women in Nepal following the 2015 earthquake. In total, 364 mothers were recruited in the pre-intervention group and 377 in the post-intervention group. The post-intervention group was more likely to have knowledge of at least three danger signs in pregnancy (AOR [Adjusted Odds Ratio] = 2.96, P<0.001), at least three danger signs in childbirth (AOR = 3.8, P<0.001), and at least five danger signs in newborns (AOR = 1.56, P<0.001) compared to the pre-intervention group. The mothers in the post-intervention group were also more likely to ever attend ANC (AOR = 7.18, P<0.001), attend a minimum of four ANC sessions (AOR = 5.09, P<0.001), and have institutional deliveries (AOR = 2.56, P<0.001).

Religious minority groups were less likely to have knowledge of all danger signs compared to the majority Hindu group. Mothers from poorer households were also less likely to attend four ANC sessions. Mothers with higher education were more likely to have knowledge of all the danger signs. Mothers whose husbands had achieved higher education were also more likely to have knowledge of danger signs and have institutional deliveries.  The paper concludes that the health promotion intervention helped the disaster-affected mothers in improving the knowledge and behaviours related to MNCH. However, the authors also comment that vulnerable populations need more support to benefit from such intervention.



Dhital R, Silwal RC, Simkhada P, van Teijlingen E, Jimba M (2019) Assessing knowledge and behavioural changes on maternal and newborn health among mothers following post-earthquake health promotion in Nepal. PLoS ONE 14(7): e0220191.

Opportunity for post-doctoral researchers at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) run several fellowship schemes, a number of which are open to post-doctoral researchers. There are currently two fellowship roles with open applications.

These are 3-4 month placement fellowships, to experience working within a research and policy environment. 

You can read the experience and viewpoints of outgoing POST intern, Fabiola Creed, here.

STEM for Britain 2020 – Call for Posters

STEM for Britain, hosted by the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, is a poster competition for early-career researchers, and will take place in the Houses of Parliament on Monday 9th March 2020.

Applications for posters will open on Monday 23rd September 2019 to early career research scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians to exhibit posters in one of the following five areas:

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Physics

Prizes will be awarded for the posters presented in each discipline which best communicate high level science, engineering or mathematics to a lay audience.

BU is inviting expressions of interest from those who would like to apply by Thursday 12th September. Please email Lisa Andrews, RDS Research Facilitator with two sentences on what your poster would cover. Applicants will be shortlisted on Monday 16th September. Those chosen to apply, will be supported to do so ahead of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee’s external deadline of 2nd December.

Full details of the competition and exhibition, including the application form will be made available on from 23rd September.