Category / BU research

Mental Health Research and Community Programmes

As part of Mental Health Week here at BU Dr Andrew Mayers from DEC has highlighted some of the work he is undertaking with local groups.

FirstPoint (Winton)

Run by Bournemouth Borough Council, FirstPoint work with community residents who have a range of mental health problems. Many of these individuals are not cared for by health services, often by choice. Using the ‘recovery model’ for mental health, the trained staff work to re-engage individuals and help them rebuild their lives. In the recovery model, individuals are shown how to regain enough self-confidence to find the coping skills and resources to return to better mental health. I am working with FirstPoint on a number of projects. We are evaluating outcomes in one-year longitudinal study, with BU students collecting and analysing the data. We aim to publish the outcomes in 2012/13. We also are working on arranging a series of work-experience placements for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Over the last months, FirstPoint have been working on a DVD that illustrates the benefits of the recovery model for mental health. The DVD will be used to inform mental health workers; I have made a contribution to that DVD. We will be launching the DVD for FirstPoint at BU in November.

Bournemouth and District Samaritans

The work undertaken by the Samaritans across the UK and Ireland is well known. The central focus of their work is to be a ‘listening ear’ to anyone experiencing despair, loneliness, or feeling suicidal. They are available 24-hours a day, every day of the year, via telephone, text, e-mail, letter, or face-to-face. I work very closely with the Bournemouth and District branch, acting as their Patron and I organise their publicity. We are working on a number of local projects, not least looking to establish closer ties between BU and the Samaritans. A number of our students volunteer to work at the Branch. The Samaritans have a presence at several BU events. We are currently working with several people at BU to establish a crisis nightline, and training (any) staff who have contact with students who may need emergency help (we have already had some crises with the current BU student intake). We are also looking to work closely with other agencies and charities locally. Some of this may lead to research opportunities, exploring ways in which mental illness, stress and despair can be reduced in our community. I am planning a number of projects focusing on suicide and mental health (including the particular problems faced in rural communities).

Barnardo’s (and Bournemouth Borough Council)

I am working with Barnardo’s Family Centres, in conjunction with Bournemouth Borough’s education services, to investigate the impact of maternal mental illness on young children. We are particularly interested in exploring attachment and mother-child interactions. We will be evaluating current programmes and working together on new ones. We have established a working party, with a view to design several research studies, and to explore sources of grant funding.

Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust

I am supervising a PhD project (Research student – Lauren Kita), working with the perinatal team within Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust. We are exploring the extent that poor sleep may pose a risk factor for postnatal depression. We will be examining sleep objectively, using state-of-the-art EEG equipment, and subjectively, using sleep diaries. Women with a history of depression will compared to women without such a history, during pregnancy and at weeks 4 and 12 after the baby is born. The mother’s mood and other mental indicators will also be measured.

International Cultic Studies Association /New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling

I am working with a Chartered Counselling Psychologist to explore mental health of individuals who were born into exclusive cults (i.e. they did not decide to join that cult). Through this contact, and the International Cultic Studies Association (ISCA) we have access to several hundred former members. We will be using a series of questionnaires that measure key factors such as current mental illness, trauma, self-efficacy, coping skills, and general life function. We will present the findings at the Annual ISCA Conference in Montreal next summer. Several papers will be published soon afterwards.

If you would like to find out more about this work please contact Andrew Mayers.

Tourism, Climate Change & Sustainability top of BU’s agenda

BU’s International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research (ICTHR) is delighted to be hosting the second global conference to explore real-world issues.

The international conference: ‘Tourism, Climate Change and Sustainability will take place from 13-14 September 2012. The emphasis of the event is to discuss and disseminate conceptual ideas and contested relationships between climate change, sustainability and tourism and examine worldwide responses and exchange cutting-edge research.

Dr Maharaj Vijay Reddy and Dr Keith Wilkes are the organisers of this conference, who are also editing a book jointly on this title for Earthscan London. The book launch will also take place during the conference next year.

This conference will feature keynote presentations from high-level policy makers from international agencies UNWTO and UNESCO MAB, the European Commission, leading research institutions and the private sector. Among these distinguished speakers are:

  • Mr Luigi Cabrini, Director UNWTO Sustainable Tourism, Madrid.
  • Dr Ishwaran Natarajan, Director UNESCO Division for Earth & Ecological Sciences, Paris.
  • Dr Richard Butler, Emeritus Professor, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.
  • Dr Stephan Harrison, University of Exeter & Oxford University Centre for the Environment.

Breakout sessions are planned to enable speakers to interact on a more personal level with delegates as well as for attendees to present their research on these important topics. In addition, leading publishers will be present throughout the duration of the conference to meet with delegates and discuss future publishing opportunities.

Dr Maharaj Vijay Reddy commented “we are pleased to announce this event on a globally crucial title. It will facilitate cutting-edge debates, timely knowledge exchange and networking”.

Dr Keith Wilkes says hosting the second ‘Tourism, Climate Change and Sustainability’ conference is “very exciting and, coupled with the high-calibre keynote speakers, is further evidence of the position of BU as a driving force at the forefront of global tourism research, teaching and professional practice”.

The first call for abstracts was released recently.

Research bid do’s and don’ts

The Do’s of writing a good research bid:

C – O – M – P – E – T- E

Clarity: avoid the overuse of technical jargon, spelling/grammatical errors and being overly descriptive or long-winded. Ensure that the bid is systematically structured and you make clear your aims and why these are important.

Other’s work: ensure that you present a balanced appraisal of the relevant literature in your field; that the research questions you identify are novel; that you exhaust any existing data rather than duplicate in your own plan of work.

Methods & workplan: ensure that you have a sufficient sample size; consult stakeholders; have clear interpretation plans; address ethical issues; have a realistic timeline; be clear on the coordination of co-investigators.

Potential impact & outcomes: state expected outcomes and impact and dissemination plans beyond the academic community.

Explain your costings: justify staff of requested grade; the need for equipment/travel.

Tune into the Funder: ensure the proposal fits with their aims, that you are eligible to apply and that the funder will cover the resources you request.

Expertise: if you are not experienced in winning bids, involve an experienced colleague/approach a collaborator and submit your proposal to RORP (where available)

The Don’ts of writing a good research bid

  • Do not rush it; take time to plan and prepare
  • Do not bid for a large grant if you are relatively new to grant bidding
  • Do not proceed with work up to full bid and submission if you have any doubts about strategic fit or your eligibility
  • Do not work in isolation
  • Do not ignore the internal peer review scheme RPRS
  • Do not assume that the funder will understand all acronyms or technical jargon
  • Do not mistake a research bid for a literature review of the subject area when writing the background to your proposal
  • Do not ignore difficult issues whether they are technical or ethical
  • Do not promise the earth!
  • Do not submit final bid without having an experienced colleague read over it first
  • Do not propose referees (if invited to do so) who you have published/worked with

Checklist to Complete Prior to Proposal Submission

  • Does your research fit the funders remit?
  • Do you meet the eligibility criteria for the funding scheme?
  • Is the research question/hypothesis you are asking an important one?
  • Are the research aims clearly stated?
  • Have you provided a bibliography and appraisal of current work in the field that demonstrates your familiarity with the subject?
  • Is the novelty value of the proposed research argued well?
  • Have you demonstrated the potential social and economic impact of the proposed research?
  • Have you demonstrated that the approach you will use is the best way to address the research question?
  • Have you documented a contingency plan in case of unexpected controls/lack of participants etc?
  • Have you included any pilot data to help the funders gain confidence?
  • Are the roles of the co-PIs clearly defined and their expertise demonstrated?
  • Have you eliminated technical jargon and spelled out any acronyms?
  • Have you ensured there are no grammatical or spelling errors in your application?
  • Have you ensured you are within the word limit for the application?
  • Does your Research Director/experienced colleague think it reads well?

Who can I ask for further help?

Contact Caroline O’Kane in the Research Development Unit for advice on what makes a good proposal.  

Caroline also runs the University’s Research Proposal Review Service (RPRS).  In addition to your proposal being peer reviewed, Caroline can advise on funding criteria, funders and eligibility issues.  

For the best results please get in touch with Caroline as soon as you start developing a funding proposal – the RPRS can support your bid in more ways than you think.

Find out more:

BU staff making an impact with their publications

I am sure that you would wish to join with me in congratulating both Richard Shipway and Philippa Hudson from the School of Tourism on their papers being in the top 10 most downloaded papers in Perspectives in Public Health.

Together they have achieved 1,337 people who have looked at their work.

Richard’s paper is titled Sustainable legacies for the 2012 Olympic Games and is second in the table and Philippa’s Food safety issues and children’s lunchboxes is fourth in the table.

Well done to them! I was very proud in the meeting with Sage last week.

Dr Heather Hartwell  Honorary Editor


The Graduate School Needs You!

Historically the Graduate School has provided both generic research methods training as well as personal development programme for Postgraduate Research Students (PGRs) at BU.  In the future the research method training is to be provided on a more bespoke basis within Schools so that PGRs are equipped with the specific skills they need for their research.  Some Schools may wish to put on specific training course or alternatively encourage PGRs to attend relevant Masters units, for example.

In future, the focus of the Graduate School will be on more generic skills development using the Vitae Framework as the basis for this.  Fiona Knight of the Graduate School is currently putting together a development programme based on the Vitae Framework which will require new PGRs to collect a portfolio of evidence via attending events here at BU or elsewhere.  There will also be an opportunity to collect evidence from independent development activities as part of their research programme such as giving talks or attending project specific events.  This framework is being developed with both our PGR and ECR students in mind and is being implemented this Autumn.  A specific briefing for supervisors will follow.

In the meantime I am looking for your help in populating this framework.  Offers of assistance would be very much appreciated and we are looking for three levels of engagement: (1) Master Classes by an experienced researcher lasting less than 2 hours; (2) one day course on key events; and (3) offers of multi-day courses.  It seems such a shame to paying external consultants to run these events when we have so much research talent within BU.  As an incentive we are prepared to offer academic staff contributing one- or multi-day events modest payments (circa. £1k) to their personal research funds for research consumables, travel or conferences in recognition of the time taken to run these events.

We are looking for volunteers to run master classes on: Collaboration in Research; Intellectual Property in Research; Research Philosophy; Research Governance; Publisher’s Perspective on Publishing; Coping with Peer Review; Publishing in the Social Sciences; Publishing in the Sciences; Making your Mark at Conferences, Managing your Supervisor; Research Impact.

We are looking for volunteers to run short courses on: Introduction to Quantitative Research; Introduction to Qualitative Research; Languages for Researchers; Research Ethics; Managing Research Data; Time Management; Project Management Tools; Introduction to Statistical Approaches in the Sciences; Introduction to Statistical Approaches in the Social Sciences; Open Access Statistical Tools; Conducting Interviewing & Focus Groups; Perfect Academic Posters; Developing an Academic Career.

If you are interested in helping out then please contact Fiona Knight [] by Wednesday 12 October 2012.

Research Strategy: Initial Thoughts

Along with a few colleagues I am currently trying to identify the headlines of our new research strategy, one of several sub-strategies which which make up BU’s Fusion Strategy.  At this stage we are simply coping out ideas before putting pen to paper.  Once a draft is written it will be iterated through BU’s Research & Enterprise Committee and subject to much wider consultation.  The starting point is our new Vision & Values [] and the key statements around research.  These are:

C2 Create a world-class learning community

C3 Develop strategic local, regional, national and international partnerships

C4 Build strong professional and academic networks worldwide

S1 Fuse research, education and practice to create a unique academic experience where the sum is greater than the component parts. As part of that fusion…

S2 …undertake world-class research in recognised areas of academic excellence

S5 Be recognised internationally as a thought-leader

I5 Inspire our staff and students to enrich the world


These statements are underpinned by:

P1 Recruit, retain, recognise, and develop a high performing workforce;

P2 Engage and inspire staff to deliver an outstanding student experience and to fulfil their potential;

E2 Provide world-class facilities


Over the last few months I have trailed a range of ideas on the blog and elsewhere but the key one is the importance of societal relevance and impact; the research that we do should have an impact on the world and society in which we live.  To be clear this is not to say that we should only do applied research, but that we should focus our energy however abstract or applied on tackling the societal challenges of our day.  Using this context it is possible to frame a strategy that is  shaped by societal challenges and through the impact of our research  in turn shapes society’s future agenda.  One could summarise this via the strap-line: driven by societal need, shaping societies future.   In order to deliver on such a mission we would need to create a world-class learning community focused on research excellence and through knowledge exchange enter into a dialogue with society.  The model shown below is a way of illustrating this and identifying the key elements which need attention within the strategy, if you prefer the key sections within the strategy.  I am very interested in hearing your views on this; for example things that are missing or different perspectives?  I am also keen to know your views on where the ‘levers for change’ are within this model, or put another way where should we focus or energy?  Either post a comment or e-mail me directly, I would also be happy to arrange to meet with indivdiual research centres or groups of staff to discuss this if you would like.

Reminder of the Open Access event on 26 October

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceCome and find out all about open access publishing!

To celebrate the launch of BU’s new Open Access Publication Fund we’re holding an open access (OA) publishing event on 26 October between 10am-12:30pm in the EBC (7th floor).

The aim of the event is to dispell some of the myths surrounding OA publishing and alleviate concerns about publishing through this route, whilst discussing the benefits and opportunities of making your work freely available.

The event will open with a keynote presentation from one of the world’s leading OA experts Dr Alma Swan, followed by a presentation from Willow Fuchs from the Centre for Research and Communications at Nottingham University who will be speaking about the SHERPA open access projects. The event will also feature talks from two BU academics: Prof Edwin van Teijlingen who has published via OA journals and is an OA journal editor, and Prof Peter Thomas who has also published via OA outlets. There will also be the opportunity to find out more information about the new BU Open Access Publication Fund, and how you can access funds for OA publication costs.

Dr Alma Swan is one of the leading figures in the field of OA publishing. She is the co-founder and director of Key Perspectives Ltd, a consultancy firm specialising in scholarly communication, and holds honorary positions with the University of Southampton and the University of Warwick. Alma is Convenor for Enabling Open Scholarship, the global organisation of universities promoting the principles of open scholarship in the academic community. It is a great honour to welcome her to BU!

The event will take place on Wednesday 26 October between 10:00-12:30. It is free for BU staff and students to attend. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

To reserve a place at the event please contact Anita Somner by email.

We look forward to seeing you there! 😀

Head of Graduate School Appointed

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Tiantian Zhang as the new Head of the Graduate School.  Professor Zhang will take up her new post in January 2012 when we will also have a formal launch of the new Graduate School.  She is currently Director of LIRANS at the Bedfordshire University.  As a researcher she focuses on cryopreservation of reproductive cells and embryos of aquatic species; effect of cryopreservation on genome and metabolic activities of reproductive cells; and fish stem cell culture development and cryopreservation. Her research also includes ecotoxicological studies using fish cell lines and other biological materials. Professor Zhang has presented at over 60 international conferences leading to over 120 publications. She has supervised 18 PhD and 6 Research Masters students.  She is an outstanding scientist with exciting ideas of how to take the Graduate forward over the next few years shaping Postgraduate Student experience.  You can find further details about Professor Zhang at:

ARMS conference 2011

Corrina and I are finally back from the land down under after attending the excellent Australasian Research Management Society conference in Sydney in September. The conference theme this year was Transformation and we presented a session on the work we have done with business partnering techniques to transform research culture at BU. We also presented a poster about the fabulous BU Research Blog!

Both of our presentations went well and we received good feedback from other delegates. On the back of our sessions we have made some good contacts with peers at Australasian universities, some of whom have also subscribed to the blog.

In addition we also attended a number of other sessions which were extremely useful and informative. We will be adding posts to the blog about these sessions in due course.

We used the amazing Prezi for our presentation and you can access our slides by clicking on the blue image:

To watch the slide show simply click on ‘more’, then ‘full screen’, then use the arrow to pan through the slides.

If you are not familiar with Prezi, it is a cloud-based presentation software application that is free to use and which creates much more exciting presentations than simply using PowerPoint. You can access Prezi at:

In addition to the workshop presentation we also presented a poster about the blog for which we won 2nd prize in the poster competition. You can access a copy of our poster here:


World Premier of Rufus Stone the movie

Back in May the BU Research Blog bought you the news about the impending Rufus Stone movie, directed by Josh Appignanesi, and based on research undertaken by Dr Kip Jones (see the previous post here: BU research based film to be directed by Josh Appignanesi).

The World Premier of the film will be held at BU:

16 November 2 pm at the Kimmeridge Theatre, Talbot Campus

Red carpet, Celebs, Glitz and Glamour all guaranteed!

Places are limited.  The Eventbrite mechanism will be live shortly for registration.

More information on the background research and the making of the film at:

Development for Doctoral Supervision at BU

It is essential that new supervisors are provided with the necessary development opportunities to supervise at doctoral level and that established supervisors regularly maintain these skills and have continuing awareness of BU’s Codes of Practice.

To date supervisor development opportunities for new staff have been provided via the PG Cert in Postgraduate Research Supervision and all new staff, who have not supervised to completion, must attend this programme before they are able to join a supervisory team.  There has been no provision for refreshing the skills of existing supervisors which was an omission identified by the Research & Enterprise Committee last year.

The PG Cert in Postgraduate Research Supervision was well received by the majority of those who were involved with it and was highly commended externally in the last Institutional Audits, and by other HEI’s several of whom have followed the model in developing their own accredited programmes.  It is important to note however that not all staff undertook the assessment or completed the PG Cert and there is a feeling amongst some (although not all) staff that they would prefer the option of a more flexible non-credit rated alternative.  The Graduate School review concluded that the role of supervisor development was more appropriately located within Staff Development than in the Graduate School and that a more flexible approach should be adopted.  Unit 1 of the PG Cert which under the current model must be completed by new supervisors before they are able to join a supervisory team has in previous years run bi-annually, but did not do so in 2010/11 due to staffing changes.  Unit 2 of the PG Cert was optional and allowed those completing it successfully to become first supervisors in their own right.  There is currently a large waiting list of staff needing/wanting supervisory training which needs to be catered for.  We do, however, need to be clear that this is not necessarily demand for the PG Cert since there is currently no alternative route to become a qualified supervisor.

Following the Graduate School Review in the spring of 2011 entry into the PG Cert in Postgraduate Research Supervision is currently on hold while its future is evaluated.  The waiting list and demand for supervisor training is considerable and we need urgently therefore an alternative development strategy for supervisors pending any future changes.  We also need a basic framework in which supervisor development can be viewed.  This framework needs to: (1) cater for demand for supervisor development of new staff in a flexible and timely fashion; and (2) maintain the credibility of existing supervisors and ensure they are well versed in the current Codes of Practice and also have an opportunity to share good practice.

In light of this it is proposed that we introduce a ‘Certificate of Doctoral Supervision’ which must first be acquired before staff can join a supervisory team and then be maintained via regular refresher courses every three years thereafter.  While this may seem very formal to many it will ensure that our supervisors are well versed in current issues, are encouraged to share best practice and are well versed in the continual changes and enhancements made to BU’s Codes of Practice for Doctoral Studies.

Supervisors who have previously undertaken the PG Cert in Postgraduate Supervision in the last three years will be issued with a Certificate of Doctoral Supervision automatically back dated to their graduation date.  The Graduate School will issue these certificates in due course and maintain a database of staff eligible to supervise.

This scheme will be introduced in 2011/12 and current supervisors will need to acquire a Certificate of Doctoral Supervision before the end of July 2012 or they will be removed from supervisory teams by the Graduate School.  To comply existing supervisors will need to book-on and complete the half-day course entitled ‘Research Supervisor Development: Established Supervisors during the current academic year which will run at least four times during the year.

New supervisors will have two opportunities to attend the more intensive two-day course entitled Research Supervisor Development: New Supervisors during 2011/12.  This course will not be credit bearing although in future years subject to deliberations around the future of the PG Cert in Postgraduate Supervision it may be possible to achieve a Certificate of Doctoral Supervision via this route.


Details of the courses are provided below and bookings can be made via the Staff Development website

Supervisor Training: New Supervisors

Aim: To provide participants with the necessary knowledge to supervise doctoral Postgraduate Research Students at BU placing this knowledge within both the internal and external regulatory framework.

Durations: The course consists of two one-day sessions a month apart.  With the compulsory completion of a reflective narrative (circa. 1000 words) between the two sessions which will be used within the second session.  The course will run once in the first term and for a second time in the second term please book via the Staff Development website.

On completion of the course participants will receive a Certificate of Doctoral Supervision allowing them to supervise doctoral students at BU for three years.  As is currently custom and practice newly qualified suspervisors would need to gain experience as part of strong supervisory teams, but this would not necessarily preclude them from taking on the role of first supervisor.  To maintain this Certificate of Doctoral Supervision staff must undertake the top-up course once every three years entitled: ‘Supervisor Training: Established Supervisors’.  Note that this course no longer contributes credits to the PG Cert Postgraduate Supervision at BU which is currently not running.

Content: The course will cover the following areas:

  1. Nature and scope of doctoral study & role of supervisor
  2. Finding funding: what makes a successful bid?
  3. Codes of Practice at BU purpose & operation
  4. Monitoring, progression, completion& process of research degrees at BU
  5. Importance of diversity, equality & cultural awareness
  6. Student recruitment & selection
  7. Research ethics: considerations and implications
  8. Understanding IP
  9. Keeping students on track: motivation & guidance

10.  Examination process: preparation, roles & responsibilities

11.  Trouble shooting: problems, issues, rules & regulations


Supervisor Training: Established Supervisors

Aim: To provide participants with the necessary knowledge to maintain their skills in supervising doctoral Postgraduate Research Students at BU and to share best practice between peers.

Durations: The course consists of a half-day session. The course will run on several occasions throughout the year please book via the Staff Development website

On completion of the course existing supervisors will receive a Certificate of Doctoral Supervision allowing them to supervise doctoral students at BU for a further three years.

Content: The course will focus primarily around the sharing of experience and good practice between established supervisors but will also cover the following areas:

  1. Review of the Codes of Practice at BU purpose & operation
  2. Focus on funding for doctoral students & building research teams
  3. Trouble shooting: problems, issues, rules & regulations
  4. Sharing of good practice





Santander Scholarships Announced

The results of the Santander Scholarships have been announced.  The University received 14 applications and 5 were successful.  Each successful applicant has been awarded up to £5,000 to travel to a university in the Santander Overseas Network to build or develop relationships.  The successful applicants are a mixture of PhD students and early career researchers.

Dr Cheryl Martens, a lecturer in the Media School, is planning on travelling to 3 universities in Argentina to explore the government response to media monopolies in South America.

Ivis Chan, a PhD student in Applied Sciences, will be visiting Yale University (USA) and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain) to explore the possibility of developing a model which could identify areas of high species turnover to assist in the targeting of conservation efforts.

Sheetal Sharma is aiming to build relationships between research institutes in Buenos Aires, Barcelona and BU alongside gaining valuable experience in evaluating health promotion for the PhD she is undertaking in HSC.

Dr Simon Thompson from the Psychology Group in DEC will be spending time with researchers in the psychology and physiology labs at New York University (USA)  to explore the link between cortisol and yawning as a potential diagnostic tool for neurological disorders.

Rami Mhanna will be travelling to Russia, Brazil and visiting London universities.  As a PhD student in the School of Tourism Rami is interested in the planning requirements of major sporting events such as the London Olympics 2012, the Rio de Janeiro Olympics 2016 and the FIFA World Cup.

What do funders look for in a research application?

  • Funders look for a research application that is novel and that addresses an important research question pertinent to their strategic aims.  Check funder’s websites and research their current priorities.
  • They need to be convinced of the Principal Investigator’s ability to deliver and are thus keen to see clearly described aims and a well thought through project plan.
  • Funders are also increasingly looking for a clear indication of what the likely impact of the research will be.

How does the funding decision process work?

  • On receipt of a grant proposal, funders will identify UK and/or international academics with appropriate expertise to provide written assessment of it.
  • On the day of decision-making, there is rarely enough money to fund every grant considered to be fundable and so often a ranking/scoring system is adopted such that only those ranked in the top grouping get funded.
  • How far the bar comes down depends on the committee’s budget – you just have to present the best case you can to catch the eye of the funding committee.

What are the typical reasons for proposal rejection?

  • Applicant is not eligible to apply/exceeding the page limits/missing documentation
  • Uninvited/undeclared resubmissions which fail to meet the criteria after revision
  • Lack of clearly stated hypothesis/research question
  • Research question not considered to be novel
  • Insufficient reference to previously published research
  • Importance of research question not well argued
  • Project too vague in its objectives
  • Not clear how the methodologies/work plan will provide the answer to the question posed
  • Unconvincing track record of applicant
  • Proposal is over-ambitious
  • Lack of sound methodology
  • Not value for money (i.e. a quicker/cheaper way to answer question exists)
  • Outcome unlikely to have much impact on the field or impact of outcomes not explained
  • Proposed research would be run in isolation/in an unsupported environment

Who can I ask for further help?

Contact Caroline O’Kane in the Research Development Unit for advice on what makes a good proposal.  

Caroline also runs the University’s Research Proposal Review Service (RPRS), and can advise on funding criteria, funders and eligibility issues.   For the best results please get in touch with Caroline as soon as you start developing a funding proposal – the RPRS can support your bid in more ways than you think.

Find out more:

Tourism Week – ESRC Research on Sport Tourism and International Sports Events

The Sport Tourism Opportunities for Research, Mobility and International Networking Group (STORMING) Initiative awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ERSC) to Dr. Richard Shipway offered seventeen travel and conference bursaries for UK-based early career researchers to each attend one of three international networking events. This grant scheme formed part of the ESRC’s ‘International Training and Networking Opportunities Programme’. The project utilised the bursaries to both increase international mobility and provide networking opportunities for emerging early career researchers with a commitment to supporting and further developing sport tourism research. Bursaries were awarded across eleven higher education institutions. The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games also acted as a catalyst for this project, highlighting the impacts of sport events.

The main objective of the STORMING Initiative was to deliver a series of international sport tourism networking events across four continents. These events were aligned with existing conferences in the area of sport, tourism, events, and leisure studies. The first event, in Australia in February 2010, was aligned with the annual CAUTHE (Council for Australian University Tourism and Hospitality Education) conference in Hobart, Tasmania; the second event was aligned with the annual NASSM (North American Society for Sport Management) conference in June 2010 in Tampa, Florida, USA; whilst the third event was aligned with the 11th World Leisure Congress and World Games in ChunCheon, Korea in August 2010. A one-day concluding networking event was held at Bournemouth University in November 2010. This final event brought together all seventeen bursary recipients and several international research mentors and provided the opportunity to outline their research findings, and to engage in a wider debate on the future directions of sport tourism research.

In summary, the STORMING Initiative acted as a catalyst for larger research projects within the context of sport and society, the 2012 Games, and internationalisation. The vision for the project was to leave a tangible legacy in the form of seventeen UK based early career researchers with established research profiles in sport tourism and sport event studies, who are now well positioned to benefit from the increasing economic importance of the tourism industry and the enhanced profile of sport as an agent of positive social change in society.

PhD Success in the School of Tourism

Congratulations are due to Viachaslau Filimonau of the School of Tourism who successfully defended his thesis this September. Dr Filimonau, who was in receipt of a BU studentship, conducted research titled: Reviewing the carbon footprint assessment of tourism: developing and evaluating Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to introduce a more holistic approach to existing methodologies.

Dr Filimonau (known to many of us as Slava) not only completed his PhD within three years but was also awarded the PhD with no corrections. The external examiner, Professor Andrew Holden, commented: “This was one of the best thesis I have examined. To have completed a PhD within three years and have two journal articles in print is a significant achievement.” His supervisors (Dr Janet Dickinson, Derek Robbins and Dr Vijay Reddy) are very proud of his achievement.

Tourism Week – Co-locating a tourism and public health strategy

There are new and exciting developments within the School of Tourism with ground breaking research identifying the fusion between recreation, leisure and wellbeing. The rationale for co-locating a tourism and public health strategy is based on the recognition that creating a community culture where a tourist destination is seen to enhance and promote physical and mental health for both locals and tourists is desirable. A community that supports health creation can be a re-branding opportunity within a destination management approach, dovetailing health and wellbeing alongside a marketing and economic positioning. The concept of wellness tourism is emerging and is an area where strategic priority is being given in many European destinations. It is estimated that the market is currently worth $106.0 globally1 with predictions of major growth in the coming 5-10 years2.

Figures show that there are about 289 million wellness consumers’1 and trends due to an aging world population, failing conventional medical systems and increased globalization will ensure continued growth. Policy documents from the WHO, Health 2020 and data from the British Leisure Trends and Slow Tourism Report, 2011, the World Travel Market Global Trends Report, 2010,  VisitBritain Foresight, 2010 plus the launch of the international trade alliance, Wellness Tourism Worldwide (2011) dedicated to the development and promotion of wellness tourism, all adds corroborating evidence of currency.

With much debate on aspects of wellbeing, social tourism and inclusion prevalent at both national and local levels, most notably in Bournemouth with the town’s 2026 vision group, there is momentum building in this area3. Promoting public health is a complex task but one than can be aided by other professionals. The whole can be greater than the sum of the parts and where a lack of co-ordination can bring confusion and disharmony. People do not lead their lives in a vacuum; we are all products of our culture, media influences, and the services we consume. There is a complex interrelationship between the individual and wider society, sometimes for good, but often leading to poor health. Much interest was stimulated by our appearance in the Big Ideas for the Future Report4, where Bournemouth University’s research linking tourism and public health was featured. We intend to capitalise on this interest particularly as it represents pan-School collaboration with the School of Health and Social Care and therefore builds on current strengths and expertise. The research output will be of interest to those responsible for policy, strategy and operational practice within the tourism industry and will lead to a greater understanding of this discipline engaging with the wellbeing agenda.  Consequently, the societal impact extends beyond a public health perspective to also impact the ability of destinations to leverage health creation in re-branding and marketing, a potential synergy that can contribute to both sustainable health and economic gain.


1SRI International (2010) Spas and the Global Wellness Market,  (accessed 07 September 2011)

 2 Wellness Tourism Worldwide (2011) Wellness for whom, where and what? Wellness Tourism 2020 (accessed 07 September 2011)

3 Hartwell H., (2011) Can we bring tourism and public health strategy together?, Guardian Professional, Thursday 28 July

4 Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Universities UK (2011)

Tourism Week – The drivers of visitor enjoyment at heritage properties

This research project conducted during 2011 is part of a portfolio of research conducted for the National Trust, the UK’s major conservation charity. The organisation is committed to the aims of widening the appeal of the properties and countryside under its management, as well as providing meaning and inspiration as part of this broad appeal. The measurement of enjoyment, linked to meaning and inspiration is therefore a critical measure in the success criteria of individual properties and the organisation as a whole.

The aim of the research was to identify the ‘drivers’ or causes of enjoyment ratings; various approaches have been used to analyse the causal relationships in the data generated from a survey of 189 pay for entry properties and 11 countryside properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The data used for analysis was collected in 2010 and a survey running in 2011 will be used to further test the current findings.

One approach to analysing the data has used structural equation modelling where causal relations between enjoyment and factor analysed (principal axis factored), independent variables are examined by comparing the results of a series of hypothetical models. Fifteen key drivers  of the two main components of visitor enjoyment at National Trust properties, ‘Service & Relaxation’ and ‘Stimulation & Interest ‘ have been identified. A further 20 operational imperatives have been formulated which provide guidance for property managers to improve visitor enjoyment.

The research methodology draws upon previous research in the fields of psychology and applied statistics, specifically Batson, C.D., Shaw, L.L., Oleson, K.C., (1992) Emotion review of personality and social psychology, Bagozzi, R.P., & Yi, Y., (1988) On the evaluation of structural equation models, Szymanski, D.M. & Henard D.H. (2001) Customer satisfaction: A meta analysis of the empirical evidence and Ajzen, I., (1991) The theory of planned behaviour.