Category / BU research

Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) Consultancy Service

What is the Consultancy Service?

BUCRU has developed a consultancy service aimed at organisations that have an interest in health and wellbeing. Members of the team have many years experience of providing consultation services to the NHS, public bodies, charities and businesses. In addition to research projects we can also advise on audit projects, clinical evaluations, service evaluations and other areas where the collection and analysis of good quality data is important.

How can it help?

The service is flexible and tailored to the client’s requirements. Typically an initial meeting will involve finding out about the client’s needs and discussing the ways in which we can help. Our involvement could range from a single meeting to discuss a particular issue, through to conducting a project on behalf of the client.

Some examples are:

¨                  Advising on or conducting clinical trials, surveys, epidemiological studies, pilot and feasibility studies

¨                  Study design

¨                  Advice on sample size

¨                  Questionnaire design and validation

¨                  Outcome measures

¨                  Data collection and management

¨                  Statistical analysis and interpretation

¨                  Qualitative and mixed methods approaches

¨                  Design and evaluation of complex interventions such as found in medicine, psychology, nursing, physiotherapy and so on.

¨                  Managing and running studies

¨                  Advice on ethics and governance approval processes.

¨                  Involving patients and the public in research

¨                  Troubleshooting

How do I find out more?

For further information about, and access to, our consultancy service please contact:

Louise Ward (administrator):

Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit

R505 Royal London House

Christchurch Road

Bournemouth BH1 3LT

BUCRU@bournemouth.ac.uk

Tel: 01202 961939

http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/bucru/

Research within the Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU)

In previous blogs we have described how BUCRU can help in developing grant applications. In this blog we describe some of the funded projects we are involved in.

BUCRU led research

Fatigue management in multiple sclerosis (MS):  We have just completed a multi-centre randomised trial of a cognitive behavioural approach to fatigue management in people with multiple sclerosis1. This project was funded by the MS Society (http://www.mssociety.org.uk).

Improving activity and wellbeing in people with MS: We are just starting a MS Society funded pilot study to look at the Nintendo Wii home gaming system as a method of helping people with MS increase their activity levels and wellbeing.

Systematic review of psychological interventions for people with MS: A small grant to update our existing Cochrane review2

BUCRU collaborative projects

IDvIP: A National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) (http://www.ccf.nihr.ac.uk/RfPB/Pages/home.aspx) funded project. This is a multi-centre trial comparing 2 methods of pain relief for women in labour; diamorphine and pethidine3. The Chief Investigator is a Consultant in one of the local hospitals and a member of the Bournemouth University Visiting Faculty. BUCRU staff were involved in the design of the study, applying for the grant, data management, statistical analysis and interpretation, and advice on project management.*

WEIGHTED: A small grant from the College of Emergency Medicine held by a local Consultant/ member of the Visiting Faculty. This study is about to start and aims to develop a robust method of estimating the weight of patients attending a hospital emergency department. Many patients require a weight dependent dose of potentially life saving medication, but are too ill to be actually weighed.  BUCRU were involved in designing the study and securing funding, and will be involved in ongoing advice on project and data management, statistical analysis and interpretation.

PEARLS: A large multi-centre trial of training maternity staff in assessing and repairing tears to the perineum acquired during labour and delievery4. This project is funded by the Health Foundation (http://www.health.org.uk) and run under the auspices of the Royal College of Midwives. BUCRU has been involved in data management, statistical analysis and interpretation.

PREVIEW: A pilot randomised trial comparing two methods of looking after tears to the perineum. The Chief Investigator is based in Birmingham, and the study is funded by the NIHR RfPB funding scheme. This study has recently started, and BUCRU was involved in the design of the study and the funding application. Further involvement will be in advising on project management, data management and statistical analysis.

Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship: (http://www.nihrtcc.nhs.uk). Award held by BU and won by a radiographer based at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic. The project involves tracking and measuring spinal motion. The research may have important implications in diagnosing people with chronic lower back pain. BUCRU were involved in the study design and funding application, and 2 members of staff are supervisors for her PhD.

Contact us:

In the first instance please contact

Louise Ward (administrator):

Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit

R505 Royal London House

Christchurch Road

Bournemouth BH1 3LT

BUCRU@bournemouth.ac.uk

Tel: 01202 961939

 http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/bucru/

1 Thomas, P.W., Thomas, S., Kersten, P., Jones, R., Nock, A., Slingsby, V., et al., 2010. Multi-centre parallel arm randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a group-based cognitive behavioural appoach to managing fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis. BMC Neurology, 10:43

2 Thomas, P.W., Thomas, S., Hillier, C., Galvin, K., and Baker, R. (2006). Psychological interventions for multiple sclerosis. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Vol. Issue 1, pp. Issue 1. Art. No.: CD004431. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004431.pub2): John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

3 Wee, M.Y.K., Tuckey, J.P., Thomas, P., Burnard, S. 2011. The IDvIP Trial: A two-centre randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing intramuscular diamorphine and intramuscular pethidine for labour analgesia. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 11: 51

4 Bick, D.E., Kettle, C., MacDonald, S., Thomas, P.W., Hill, R.K., Ismail, K.. 2010. PErineal Assessment and Repair Longitudinal Study (PEARLS): protocol for a matched pair cluster trial. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 10:10.

TSB Planning to increase number of KTPs

KTP diagramEstablished in 1975, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) is one of the world’s leading knowledge transfer mechanisms, which provides academics with the unique opportunity to apply their knowledge and expertise to important problems facing businesses. The programme provides Government grants to fund joint projects with business or third sector organisations lasting from 6 months to 3 years.

Following the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, the budget for new KTPs was reduced to £25m per annum. While this is sufficient to fund between 600 and 800  KTPs per annum, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is seeking other ways of funding additional KTPs. At a meeting between a number of universities, including Bournemouth University, and the TSB held on the 17th January, Debbie Buckley-Golder, the TSB’s Head of Knowledge Exchange said this additional funding is being sought from major charities and industry. While the £25m core funding will continue to be available on an any time, any topic basis, the new funding is likely to be targeted at particular subject areas with set response timescales.   Subject areas will driven by business needs and are likely to be published in March 2012.

The current success rates for KTP applications is above 80%, however, the grant rate for multiple KTPs from the same company is likely to be reduced. Due to the significantly larger impact, most KTPs (75%) will be granted for projects with Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). However, to facilitate the continued involvement of large organisations, the TSB are investigating a reduced grant rate KTP where the organisation will fund most of the project but continue to receive support from the TSB, for example KTP Advisers and associate training.

Bournemouth University has been very successful in assisting businesses through the KTP programme, see article on this link.

If you require any further information on this meeting or KTPs in general please contact Peter Delgado, Commercialisation and KTP Officer, e-mail Peter Delgado.

Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) Events and Services

BUCRU incorporates the Dorset Office of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service – South West (RDS-SW). This means that in addition to the support outlined in previous blogs, we can also provide access to the following:

RDS Grant application workshop.

This workshop is going to be held at Bournemouth University on the 29th February 2012 (http://www.rds-sw.nihr.ac.uk/grant_workshop.htm). Although the official deadline for applying has recently passed, it is worth contacting us to see if there are any remaining places. The workshop will also be held in other locations in the South-West region in the near future.

This is a one-day workshop for researchers who are developing proposals with the intention of applying for a grant. The workshop does not provide detailed training in research methodology; rather it more generally covers the full range of issues inherent in developing a successful grant application. It will be of relevance to researchers applying to any of the major health research funders, but particularly the NIHR funding schemes.

Researchers will need to send in advance the latest draft of their research proposal. As a minimum they should have a plan for a project but, ideally, a worked up proposal, perhaps even one that has been previously rejected. All proposals will receive detailed written feedback from the RDS team.

Topics include

  • The application as a marketing document, selling the topic, selling the method, and selling the team;
  • The balanced team;
  • Clarity of description and explanation;
  • Feasibility issues;
  • Identifying and avoiding potential pitfalls

 

RDS Residential Research Retreat

The Residential Research Retreat (http://www.rds-sw.nihr.ac.uk/rrr_home.htm) provides an opportunity for research teams to develop high quality health related research proposals suitable for submission to national peer-reviewed funding schemes. The aim of the Retreat is to provide the environment and support to promote rapid progress in developing proposals over a relatively short time period.

This Research Retreat is open to health professionals and academics working within the South West. Applications to attend the Retreat should be submitted by a team of three people with varied skills. Applications are reviewed competitively and places awarded to the most promising team proposals. The deadline for the next Research Retreat has passed, but it is anticipated that applications will be invited again later in the year.  

At the retreat participants are supported by a range of experts while developing their research proposal. They work intensively on their proposal, while learning how to maximise its chances for successfully securing a grant.

In addition, the Residential Research Retreat helps participants develop the key skills needed to conduct research in a clinical setting as well as nurturing presentation skills and giving them the confidence to tackle research problems. 

 

RDS Scientific Committee

The RDS Scientific Committee (http://www.rds-sw.nihr.ac.uk/scientific_committee.htm) provides an excellent opportunity for researchers in the south-west to obtain a critical review of a proposed grant application before it is sent to a funding body. The Committee brings the benefit of seeing the proposal with “fresh eyes”, replicating as far as possible the way the real funding committee will consider the application. Committee members include senior research consultants who have considerable experience of obtaining research funding, resulting in comprehensive comments and advice fed back.

Committee meetings take place approximately 9 times per year. To submit a study for review at the meeting, study paperwork must be provided to the Committee via BUCRU two weeks prior to the meeting date, and preferably a couple of months before the intended funding deadline.

 

Centre of Postgraduate Medical Research and Education (CoPMRE) Annual Symposium

In addition to events aimed at supporting the development of grant applications we also host an event geared towards dissemination. The CoPMRE Annual Symposium will be held on the 11th September 2012 at the Bournemouth University Talbot Campus. These successful annual conferences have been running for the past nine years and have featured themes such as ‘Professionalism and Collaboration’, ’Research Innovation’ and ‘Interprofessional Learning’. This year’s theme will be on using ‘Social media techniques in healthcare research and education’.  The conference is open to all healthcare professionals and academics.  More information will be posted on our website in due course and you will be able to register online nearer the time.  For further information on the symposium please contact Audrey Dixon, Conference Manager (adixon@bournemouth.ac.uk ).

Contact us: For further information about, and access to, the Grant applications workshop, the Residential Research Retreat and the Scientific Committee please contact:

Louise Ward (administrator):

Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit

R505 Royal London House

Christchurch Road

Bournemouth BH1 3LT

BUCRU@bournemouth.ac.uk

Tel: 01202 961939

http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/bucru/

Psychology Research Seminars

Thursday 19 January

Dr Martin Corley (University of Edinburgh) speaking on “To ‘er’ is human”

 Thursday 16 February

Dr Erik Reichle (University of Southampton) speaking on “E-Z Reader: A model of eye-movement control during reading”

 Thursday 15 March

Dr Falko Sniehotta (Newcastle University) speaking about behaviour change and health (title to be announced).

 All the seminars are held in room K101, Kimmeridge House, Talbot Campus, and start at 4pm (lasting about an hour including discussion). They are free to attend and no pre-booking is required – just turn up on the day. Full details and abstracts can be found at: http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/prc/seminars.html

The ocean colour scene: How plant pigmentation changes in response to nutrient levels

A diatom

Recent research has suggested ocean nutrient levels are affected by human activities. But what does mean for tiny single-celled marine plants at the base of the food chain?  Can they adapt when faced with decreased nutrient levels, or do they simply die? And what impact will this have on the rest of the food chain?

These are some of the big questions currently being asked by environmental scientists at Bournemouth University.

A new researcher in the department, Dr Daniel Franklin, has just published A coccolithophorea study on cell productivity under nutrient-restricted conditions, examining two important single-celled marine plants (a coccolithophore and a diatom).

The study is in response to growing concerns that the rise in ocean temperatures will restrict nutrient supplies to the marine plants at the base of the food chain.

Dr Daniel Franklin commented: “As the surface ocean warms, we know there will be an increase in stratification, whereby a warm skin of water lies over a colder, denser layer, which might restrict nutrient supply from the deeper water to shallow water and result in decreased productivity.”

The study just published in Limnology and Oceanography examined growth of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, often found in the subtropical open ocean, and the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana which is often found in coastal seas.

“We showed that E. huxleyi cells adapt to declining nutrients in order to wait for more nutrients, and don’t die” said Dr. Franklin. “T. pseudonana, however, which is known to grow quickly in response to increased nutrients, did not adapt, and quickly died. These two types of response reflect the ecology of the two organisms in their natural habitat.”

But in addition to understanding how sensitive cells are to nutrient changes, these findings could inform how we measure ocean productivity in the future.

“Measuring the amount of photosynthetic pigments, mainly chlorophyll, is how we assess phytoplankton productivity on the macro-scale. We measure pigments from satellites. As part of this work we have been looking at how pigments alter during cell decline so that we can refine our understanding of how productivity can be measured at the macro-scale,” said Dr. Franklin.

Satellite data

The full paper, entitled ‘Identification of senescence and death in Emiliania huxleyi and Thalassiosira pseudonana: Cell staining, chlorophyll alterations, and dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) metabolism’ can be viewed through the Limnology and Oceanography website.

Engaging Undergraduates with Research

BournemouthUniversity’s Associate Professor,Heather Hartwell, took part in a lively online debate on Friday, discussing how to engage undergraduates in research.

Screen grab of online debateHosted by the Guardian Higher Education network, Dr Hartwell joined panellists from the Universities of Leeds,Central Lancashire,East LondonandLincolnamong others, to provide expertise and advice on how to develop undergraduate research programmes and ensure they are successful.

Dr Hartwell explained BU’s ‘fusion’ concept, describing ‘a community where research is part of core business and where both undergraduates and post graduates are engaged in that activity so becomes part of the ‘daily’ business’.

The British Conference for Undergraduate Research was widely considered by panel members to be an excellent initiative. This takes place at theUniversityofWarwickin March, with ten BU students from theSchoolofTourismpresenting posters.

Fellow panellists and participants in the web chat were also impressed by Dr Heather HartwellDr Hartwell’s own experiences engaging undergraduates with research; notably her work with theUSarmy. “We were awarded a contract by theUSarmy to study food and emotions,” she said. “This was with the demographic of their ‘war fighters’, so young adults. During a first year lecture I asked for volunteers to help me, and the sea of hands was amazing. In fact recruiting students to help was beneficial because they were the same age group as the sample.”

But it’s not only the students who benefit from engaging with research. Dr Hartwell commented that sometimes dissertation data is of such high quality that she has been known to use it to form the basis of a short co-authored paper.

Inevitably the issue of peer ‘snobbery’ was raised, questioning the status of published undergraduate research. Dr Hartwell suggested that if ‘published work was blind peer reviewed and therefore the ‘process’ did not know where the work had come from – it was accepted on its merit’.

The full debate can be viewed via the Guardian Higher Education Network.

Leverhulme Trust visit – 1st Feb – booking now open

Booking is now open for the Leverhulme Trust  visit (1st February).

Places are limited, and are going like hotcakes –   to book your place please click here.

What’s happening?

Jean Cater from the LT is coming to BU, and its a great opportunity to find out more about how the Leverhulme works,  what they are looking for in a proposal and what they fund.    

The Leverhulme Trust offers a range of funding opportunities – across all disciplines.   This includes research grants, international networks, early career fellowships, research fellowships and more. 

The session will cover:  

  • where the Leverhulme sits in the funding spectrum
  • schemes and application procedures
  • things to bear in mind if applying
  • plenty of time to ask questions too.  

This session is for you if:

  • you have a research idea and wonder if the Leverhulme Trust might be an appropriate funder
  • you are developing a funding proposal for the Leverhulme Trust
  • you don’t know much about the Leverhulme Trust and would like to find out more

Details:

  • Date: Wednesday, 1st February 2012
  • Time: 2-4pm
  • Place:  Thomas Hardy Suite – PG 146
  • Refreshments will be available.

** To book your place please click here. ** 

If you have any questions please contact Caroline O’Kane

Radio heritage digitised and available on the British Universities Film & Video Council website

Watch this excellent short video from BU’s Professor Hugh Chignell who has worked with London Broadcasting Company’s independent radio news archive to digitalise over 8,000 tapes, creating a live history account which is now available on the British Universities Film and Video Council’s website: http://radio.bufvc.ac.uk/lbc/

To see other BU videos on YouTube go to the BU YouTube page.

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svdm_2f4V24