Category / BU research

AECC Participant Event

The Anglo European College of Chiropractic (AECC) are hosting a research event where participants are invited to feedback to the college and hear short presentations about the results of the studies they have taken part in and to find out about other up-coming projects. The event will take place on July 24th 11am-1pm and  7-9pm at the AECC. More details including how to register can be found on the Event Flyer.

 ‘We’re really excited about having the opportunity to thank our research participants in this way, without their time and support we couldn’t complete our research’ AECC Research Fellow Emily Diment.

Publish empirical or experimental data early whilst letting theory mature?

My colleagues and I have written several papers to help budding researchers about the process of writing and publishing academic papers (Hundley, & van Teijlingen 2002; van Teijlingen 2004; Pitchforth et al. 2005; van Teijlingen et al. 2012; Simkhada et al. 2013). For all researchers – students and staff alike publishing research findings is important as new insights will add to the existing knowledge base, advance the academic discipline and, in the case of applied research, perhaps improve something in the lives of others such as, well-being, the economy or the environment. Apart from this general/altruistic drive to add to knowledge, the advice academics give our postgraduate students is: to get your study published as soon as possible. The two main reasons for publishing early are: (a) getting into print to potentially help your careers; and (b) staking once claim as an authority in the field and/or publishing your findings before someone else does.
As always there are exceptions to the rule. As academics we agree that trying to get into print early is a good personal strategy for an early researcher or a postgraduate student especially for those working with empirical or experimental data. However, occasionally it is better to wait and give the underlying idea in the paper time to develop and mature. The kind of paper that often improves with time is one based on theory. Let me share a personal example: a theoretical paper from my PhD (awarded by the University of Aberdeen in 1994). This paper started life as a theory chapter in my PhD thesis (van Teijlingen 1994). This chapter on models of maternity care was not the strongest part of my thesis and it took me another decade of fine-tuning to get it into a state worth publishing. The paper ‘A Critical Analysis of the Medical Model as used in the Study of Pregnancy and Childbirth’ was finally published in Sociological Research Online, the original online-only Sociology journal in the world (van Teijlingen 2005). The wait was worthwhile as the paper is today (May 2013), eight year after publication, the seventh ‘most viewed articles during the past eight weeks’ in the journal (see:
In conclusion, it is generally sound advice to new researchers and postgraduate students to publish early. Occasionally though, waiting and giving your paper time to improve through discussion with colleagues, presenting the ideas at conferences and on blogs may lead to a better final product.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health
School of Health & Social Care

Hundley, V., van Teijlingen E. (2002) How to decide where to send an article for publication? Nursing Standard 16(36): 21.
van Teijlingen (1994) A social or medical comparison of childbirth? : comparing the arguments in Grampian (Scotland) and the Netherlands (PhD thesis), Aberdeen: University of Aberdeen. Available online in the British Library (search for: ).
Teijlingen van, E. (2004) Why I can’t get any academic writing done, Medical Sociology News 30 (3): 62-6.
van Teijlingen, E. (2005) A Critical Analysis of the Medical Model as used in the Study of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Sociological Research Online 10(2) Freely available online at:
Pitchforth, E., Porter, M., Teijlingen van, E.R., Forrest Keenan, K. (2005) Writing up and presenting qualitative research in family planning and reproductive health care, Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care 31 (2): 132-135.
Teijlingen van, E., Simkhada. P.P., Simkhada, B., Ireland, J. (2012) The long and winding road to publication, Nepal Journal Epidemiology 2(4): 213-215.
Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V. (2013) Writing an academic paper for publication, Health Renaissance 11 (1): 1-5.

Celebrating diversity of women: a theme day provided for Level C student midwives

Undergraduate pre-registration first year midwifery students were enthralled at a recent theme day which formed part of their Intrapartum unit. The day is designed to celebrate diversity of women’s experiences during labour where students get to listen to stories of women and midwives. This year’s gathering was no exception.  First up was Rachel Arnold, a PhD student from BU. Her rich story, supported by beautiful photographs of Afghanistan, highlighted the plight of women in that country, where maternal mortality is amongst the highest in the world. Rachel in her role as a midwife has worked with Afghan people for many years and as she shared her experiences we began to see that Afghanistan is more than ‘suicide bombers and conflict’, it is about ordinary people who struggle to survive each and every day. Rachel’s talk inspired the whole audience and many students were interested to find out if they could go to Afghanistan for their elective which occurs in the 3rdyear of their training.

“It was wonderful to have a midwifery perspective from this country and the lecture was inspiring and passionate”

“Very interesting and thought provoking talk which has made me think about my own attitudes on diversity”

Jane Evans, an independent midwife, spoke about breech birth as a normal event during pregnancy.  She shared a number of photographs showing how a breech birth should be facilitated with the mantra “hands off”,  and students were able to see how the baby rotated , flexed and birthed itself with the help of his/her mother adopting a variety of positions. The mechanisms were reinforced through Jane using a doll and pelvis to further enhance student understanding. Many midwives are losing their skills within breech birth as women are often opting for caesarean section, but Jane was fortunate in that she was taught the craft of breech  (bottom down) birth by Mary Cronk, who specialised in independent midwifery practice with a keen interest in breech presentation. Mary is now retired but thankfully her many years of experience were passed onto Jane who shares her knowledge widely through study days and of course with the midwifery students at BU.  Many of the students’ views were changed following Jane’s presentation, as the following quotation demonstrates: “It was a privilege to hear this lecture. It offered a contrast to other breech perspectives and gave me more confidence as a student midwife to educate women that breech is merely another type of normal”

Sheetal Sharma, another BU PhD student provided the students with her insight into midwifery care in Nepal. She warned us that she was not a midwife, and was observing and recording midwifery practice as part of her doctoral studies. She provided a fascinating insight into how pregnancy and childbirth are perceived in Nepal where women have no rights within their own homes and are subject to the control, whims and superstitions of their ‘mother-in-laws’.  There were also parallels with Afghanistan in relation to maternal mortality, as around 4,500 Nepalese women die in childbirth due to a paucity of adequate healthcare or even skilled birth attendants.  Sheetal’s presentation included fabulous photographs of idyllic scenes in Nepal, but also of women and children where smiles were abundant and hope was evident. Nepal has made significant strides to reduce maternal mortality and is now on track to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG)4.

Sheetal explaining her photograph where a woman is shown holding a scythe. Not only is this a tool used in the field to cut vegetation but also as an implement to cut the baby’s cord at birth.

The last presentation by Vanora Hundley, BU’s Professor of Midwifery, focused on the global picture of maternal and child health, where some of the key interventions that save mothers and babies lives were highlighted. Vanora reminded the audience that, for example, having a skilled attendant at birth may not always be thought of as ‘intervention’,  but evidence shows that countries where women have access to midwives or an attendant with midwifery skills have significant lower maternal mortality rates. Finally, a note of caution was provided by Vanora around the challenges faced in high income countries, as the over-use of interventions by health professionals are having a damaging impact on mothers and babies.

The students really enjoyed the day as the following quotes illustrate:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the theme day, it has been very informative and insightful – more so than I had anticipated”.

“Fantastic to have a (nearly!) whole day of the wider context of midwifery. Inspirational – thanks”.

“Absolutely superb day. Reignites the fire in your belly!”

“Really insightful day. Demonstrated the importance of the midwife and our roles, not just at home but around the world. It’s nice to see the bigger picture”.


Daily Echo report on BU research into wellbeing of older people

The economic downturn is having a marked impact on the wellbeing of ‘asset rich, cash poor’ older people in Dorset, Bournemouth University (BU) researchers have found.

The study looked at the financial challenges facing retired older people, who are often considered to be asset rich but cash poor, owning property but not receiving a large monthly income.

As well as the economic downturn affecting their social, mental and physical wellbeing, researchers found that the income many older people expected when planning for retirement had not come to fruition, and they felt poor in relation to their previous lifestyle and expectations.

Read more at…..



Student co-authors to be captured on BRIAN

It is now possible to capture on BRIAN if a BU student has co-authored your publication.  This information is important in monitoring our strategic KPIs. 

If you have any publications which you know a BU student has co-authored, please can you ensure that not only are they in the list of authors for that publication, but that they are also added to the ‘co-author student’ field (it’s as simple as adding a name)?  This will enable the student details to be captured in the publication reports.

Many thanks for your assitance.

Congratulations and Good Luck

April had a high level of activity around bids being submitted and awarded, with Schools winning consultancy contracts, research grants and organising Short Courses.

For ApSci, congratulations are due to Pippa Gillingham for her award from the Royal Entomological society, to David Parham for his contract with English Heritage for SWASH post-excavation, to Emilie Hardouin for her award from The Fisheries Society of the British Isles, to Mark Maltby for his consultancy with Central Bedfordshire Council, to Jonathan Monteith for his consultancy with Barbara Farquharson, to Richard Stillman for his consultancy with Natural Resources Wales, and to Miles Russell for his short course introducing Roman Britain.  Good luck to Luciana Esteves for her application to the Royal Society, to Paola Palma for her contract to English Heritage, to Anita Diaz and Demetra Andreou for their individual applications to the European Commission and also to Anita for her application to the EU Lifelong Learning Programme, to Jonathan Monteith for his consultancy to the Forestry Commission, to Fiona Coward for a short course introducing World Prehistory, and to Kate Welham for a short course introducing Archaeology.

Congratulations to the Business School for Andy Mullineux’s AHRC award on responsibilities, ethics and the financial crisis.  Good luck to Yasmin Sekhon for her British Academy application, to Ruth Towse and Maurizio Borghi for their joint application to AHRC, as well as Maurizio’s second application to AHRC, to Hiroko Oe for an application to the Japan Foundation Endowment Committee, to Fabian Homberg for his application to the SWIFT Institute on gender diversity in the finance industry, to Isaac Ngugi and Gordon Liu for their application to ESRC, and also to Juliet Memery, Dawn Birch, Chris Chapleo and Jeff Bray for their application to ESRC on the perceptions of the High Street retailing experience.

For DEC, congratulations to Hongnian Yu for his successful European Commission award for RABOT, and to Marcin Budka for his consultancy with Western Union Financial Services Inc.  Good luck to Sarah Bate and Nicola Gregory for their application to the British Academy on the role of eye movements in the recognition of moving faces, also to Jane Elsley and Andrew Johnson for their individual applications to the British Academy, to Christopher Richardson for his short course on Digital Economy and Assurance for UKUD International Education Consultants, to Simon Thompson and Biao Zeng for their contract to Chongqing University, to Katherine Appleton for her application to The Humane Research Trust, to Siamak Noroozi, Philip Sewell and Mihai Dupac for their application to Remedi.  There were a number of applications to the European Commission, and so good luck goes to Hongnian Yu for his two applications, as well as Zulfiqar Khan for his, and Abdelhamid Bouchachia and Hammadi Nait-Charif for theirs.

For HSC, congratulations are due to Keith Brown for his KTP with Dorset County Council, to Caroline Ellis-Hill for her short course Masterclass on action research, to Jane Murphy and Joanne Holmes for their short course on nutrition for older people living in the community, to Clive Andrewes for his short course from the Strategic Health Authority, to Edwin Van Teijlingen for his short course for a Masterclass in interviewing in semi-structured interviews, to Sarah Hean for her contract from Offender Health South West, and to Anthea Innes for her contract with the Alzheimer’s Society. Good luck to Jonathan Parker for his application to the British Academy, to Rosie Read for her application to NORFACE, to Vanora Hundley, Zoe Sheppard and Jennifer Leamon for their application to National Institute for Health Research, to Peter Thomas for his contract to Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, and to Les Todres and Caroline Ellis-Hill for their contract to the Burdett Trust for Nursing for a strategy for improving ‘what matters to people’ to enhance dignity in care.

Congratulations to the Media School for Liam Toms and Mike Molesworth for their individual consultancies with Work Research Limited, and to Janice Denegri-Knott for her two consultancy contracts with Work Research Limited, to Laura Hampshaw and Matt Northam for their short course with the RBCH on WordPress, to Sofronis Efstathiou for a conference with SKILLSET, to Stephanie Farmer for her consultancy contracts with the National Trust and Grapevine Telecom Ltd, and to Heather Savigny for an annual conference for Media and Politics Specialist Group.

For the School of Tourism, congratulations go to Nicky Pretty for her contract with Godolphin Company, to Crispin Farbrother for his short course in wines, to Lisa Stuchberry for her contracts with Bournemouth and Poole College, Borough of Poole, and Holburne Museum, to Jon Hibbert for his contract with Liz Lean PR Ltd, and to Richard Gordon for his conference on International Disaster Management.  Good luck to Keith Hayman and Simon Thomas for their short course to Hall & Woodhouse Ltd, to Nicole Ferdinand and Mary Beth Gouthro for their contract to King’s College London to research Carnival Futures: Notting Hill Carnival 2020, to Neelu Seetaram and Stephen Page for their application to the British Academy, to Miguel Moital for his application to the European Commission.

Finally, congratulations to Colleen Harding in HR for her award from the Leadership Foundation for HE for transformative approaches to career progression for academic staff aspiring to leadership roles, and good luck to Bogdan Gabrys, Hongnian Yu, Dimitrios Buhalis, Ross Hill, Keith Phalp, Ben Parris, Kate Welham, Alexander Pasko and Dean Patton for their EPSRC application for a Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Science.

BU KTP Associate presenting a paper at the KTP Associates’ Conference in June

Are you interested in exploring the possibilities of KTPs? Then, the KTP Associates’ Conference will provide an excellent networking opportunity for current and former KTP Associates, their academic and industrial supervisors and all those involved with, or who would like to be involved with, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.  Also, we can proudly confirm that one of BU’s own KTP Associates will be presenting a paper at the conference in June…..

Celia Beckett, is a HSC – KTP Associate based in Five Rivers Child Care Ltd.  The subject of the paper is her pilot study that is identifying ways of improving the assessment of the psychological needs of children who are looked after in residential care. Working with other leading experts in this area, she is hoping that the scheme will result in improved interventions and outcomes for looked after children. If successful with future funding, Dr Beckett is hoping to roll this scheme out further for children in foster placements and to evaluate its effectiveness. This project is addressing the standards identified in the NICE guidelines for improving outcomes for this group of children, who are at very high risk of emotional and behavioural difficulties.

We wish Celia the best of luck with her presentation at the conference!

The conference will be held at the University of Brighton on Thursday 13th June – if you would like to attend, please book your place via the University of Brighton’s website.

Research funding: 10 tips for writing a successful application

The following post was first published on The Guardian’s Higher Education Network in April this year.  If you are thinking about developing a funding proposal, it would be worth having a quick read through the following useful tips.  

Read the eligibility rules

It’s important to understand what can be funded and what can’t on a particular call, says Ken Emond, head of research awards at the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Take a hard look at the priorities of the funding body you are applying to. It is the knack of linking what you want to do, with what they want to know, adds Mel Bartley, a medical sociologist.

Leave plenty of time to prepare

Most people would be better off submitting fewer grants but putting far more effort into the ones that they do, says Rebecca Steliaros, strategist, facilitator and REF (research excellence framework) impact advisor to eight UK institutions. It’s important to remember individual behaviour versus what the rest of the crowd is doing.

No unexplained jargon

The review is conducted by your peers, so advice we give on grant writing is about getting your message over in the clearest way in the available space, says Adam Staines, head of policy at Research Councils UK. Make sure the reviewer “gets it” and is excited about what is proposed, rather than infuriated by having to wade through to find the nub of the idea, adds Rebecca Steliaros.

Get other people to read it

Having the application read by someone you trust who is not a specialist in your field often helps to highlight areas where the application could be better expressed, says Ken Emond. Mock funding panels are very effective in helping people understand how hard it is to communicate in writing, adds Andrew Derrington, executive pro vice-chancellor of humanities and social sciences at the University of Liverpool. This exercise takes less than 90 minutes and helps researchers understand what happens to their applications as they pass through the grants’ committee process, and how they need to structure and write an application to succeed.

Explain why research is needed

It’s good to explain why it is important for a piece of research to be done now (at the time of application), for example to take advantage of the opportunity to interview people alive now who won’t be around forever, says Ken Emond. Explain why we need to know the things that your sub-projects will discover, and make sure in every paragraph you write, the message of the paragraph is contained in the first sentence, adds Andrew Derrington.

Network effectively

Networking both within your university and subject area allows you to develop the support that you need to work your way up the research funding ladder, says Andrew Derrington. It’s mostly applied common sense but there are several good blogs. The best way in is Phil Ward’s blog which has an excellent blogroll. If you are inexperienced in getting funding from a particular body, collaborate with people who have that experience, adds Adam Staines.

Justify extra time or resources

You have to justify the time and cost of any additional specialist staff, says Adam Staines. I have seen many panels supportive of 10% – 20% time of a bioinformatician or technician. Things tend to go wrong when you ask for 100% time and don’t need it, or ask for any time and don’t justify it in the case for support.

Participate in funding panels

It can be a real eye-opener in terms of what you need to do to stand out. You should develop a style that communicates your proposed work quickly and effectively, a contributor advises. It’s also a good idea to get your proposal reviewed internally by someone you trust to give good feedback, particularly on the summary sections which will be read first.

Interpret referees feedback carefully

If you can get the funder to tell you how far your proposal was below those that got funded, it can help, says Andrew Derrington. Once you have calmed down from the disappointment of rejection, look at the application again and show a colleague what the referees’ comments were. Often colleagues who have experience on panels will spot things that might explain the result. One harsh reality is the UK is very good at research, so many excellent applications don’t get funded with the available funding, adds Adam Staines.

Plan applications in batches

 The best way to ameliorate the post-rejection blues is to have another application already under consideration when the rejection comes, says Andrew Derrington. Never get down to your last application. Given that rejection rates are very high and panels can be slightly capricious, you probably want to try out a set of ideas four or five times before you decide that they are unfundable and move on

 If you found this useful, you might be interested to learn that the The Guardian supplemented this information with a live, on-line question and answer session.


If you have any questions about research funding proposals and the support available to you please contact Caroline O’Kane in the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office.   

CEMP Research & Innovation Cluster: New Bulletin & Agenda

The updated CEMP R&I funding bulletin & cluster meeting agenda is here: CEMP Cluster bulletin and agenda 24.5.13

The meeting is on Friday 24th May from 1-3 in the CEMP office with the following two elements:

‘Thinktank’ discussion of reading 1 – 1.40          

Funding review and monitoring 1.40 – 3

All are welcome to attend either or both. If you see a funding opportunity in the bulletin that appeals for a collaboration with CEMP, but cannot attend the meeting, please email Julian McDougall.

The reading for the ‘Think-tank’ is provided this time by Pete Fraser.  It is ‘Making sense of young people, education and digital technology: the role of sociological theory‘ by Neil Selwyn and it’s here:  Neil Selwyn Making Sense



“More than half of academics are either not aware of their university’s knowledge transfer services, or do not use them…..” – Are YOU in that half?

Surprising figures of only 43% of academics recently surveyed were aware of their university’s knowledge exchange services!

Approximately, 22,000 academics were questioned in a recent survey which was carried out by the Centre for Business Research and the UK- Innovation Research Centre, and published in a report titled The Dual Funding Structure for Research in the UK.

The report also showed that 80% of external organisations contact academics directly, which means that if you are not in contact with your Knowledge Exchange Officer – you may be missing out on further knowledge engagement with the organisations you are already in touch with!  There are a number of funded knowledge engagement schemes available for organisations to tap into, such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) and Innovation Vouchers.  To find out more on these schemes please contact your Knowledge Engagement Officer – Lucy Rossiter.

Please do take advantage of the support on offer from your KE Officer.  Additionally, there is a lot to gain from touching base with them…. If they know a bit more about what you do, in turn it will help them direct any relevant business engagement KE opportunities your way…….

** The ‘engagement’ image used in this blog was sourced from **

Useful research ethics documents now available – participant information sheet and consent form

The University has produced two useful research ethics documents; the first is a helpful guide to preparing your participant information sheet and the second is a sample consent form. Both documents can be accessed on the Research Ethics page on the blog.

If your research involves human participation, please take a look at the documents and discuss them with your supervisor/ethics representative if you have any questions.

These documents were drafted in consultation with the school’s ethics representatives and they are meant to be guidelines of best practice.

eBU: Online Journal

Following on from my last post ‘Developing a Working Paper at BU’ in January of this year, we are now within sight of having an exciting new online journal at BU. eBU will provide both an internal and external forum for the development of research papers by undergraduate to Professor around the eight BU research themes:


–          Creative & Digital Economies

–          Culture & Society

–          Entrepreneurship & Economic Growth

–          Environmental Change & Biodiversity

–          Green Economy & Sustainability  

–          Health, Wellbeing & Ageing 

–          Leisure & Recreation

–          Technology & Design

Submissions will be open to immediate publication (in a safe internal environment) and open peer review by 2 appropriate BU academics. Authors will be encouraged to act upon these reviews by either reworking papers for submission to an external journal or by opting for publication on the external eBU site.

For BU academics this is a great opportunity to get critical appraisal on your research papers or ideas from colleagues. For academics it also an opportunity to encourage the submission of high quality student output, and possibly to facilitate the co-creation and co-production of publishable material to an external journal or to publish externally with eBU. For students, this is a fantastic opportunity to turn high quality essays or dissertations into scholarly outputs, which will be attractive to employers across many sectors and industries.

It is anticipated that author guidelines will be circulated in the coming weeks, and staff and students alike should begin to think about how they could submit to eBU.

If you have any questions or would like to become involved in this exciting venture, please get in touch with me via email or by telephone 01202 963025