Category / BU research

COVID-19 funding and research

To support the response to COVID-19 the Research Design Service South West (RDS SW) has put together a useful resource page to help researchers. This includes relevant funding calls as well as more general information about the pandemic.

Don’t forget, your local branch of the NIHR RDS is based within the BU Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU)

The BUCRU/RDS office is currently closed due to Coronavirus.  Staff are still working and able to offer research advice remotely, call us on 01202 961939 or send us an email.

PGR Poster Showcase

Over the next few months we were due to showcase postgraduate research posters from The 11th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference in the Lees Gallery on Talbot Campus however, due to the lockdown we can no longer highlight the incredible research our students are undertaking in this way.

So, like many other activities across the University, we are taking it virtual. Look out over the coming weeks for a showcase of posters from PGRs across all four Faculties.

I will be sharing on Twitter (@NatStewartBU), Facebook (@BUDoctoralCollege) & on here.

PGRs Library & Learning Support

Message from Tim Calvert (Doctoral College Librarian Contact & Faculty of Health & Social Sciences Librarian)

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I hope you are finding everything you need from the library, and know where to go for any extra support or guidance in your research. We just wanted to draw your attention to some of the help offered to researchers, and let you know who to get in touch with if you have any questions – we’re always happy to help, especially if it saves you time and energy later on when you want to submit your thesis and move on to the next thing.

  • Copyright: This can be an issue for students writing a thesis which is going to be published on the university’s repository (BURO), especially if you are using any images from journal articles, books, websites etc. If you are using images you may need permission to use them if they are not made available on a Creative Commons licence, as theses are published online. You can read the library’s guidance here, or book a session with your specific Faculty Library team (see contact details below).
  • Referencing: It’s important to deal with any issues here before you come to submitting your work to the library so that you don’t experience any delays. Using EndNote can speed things up for you (check out our guide here), but the references it produces do still need to be checked, and it can produce incorrect references.
  • Researcher Guides: We have guides to help you with the research process. The Guide for Postgraduate Researchers has lots of useful information and is a good starting point for many queries.
  • Research Data: It’s becoming more and more important for the data supporting research findings to be made openly available to verify results and to encourage the discovery of new knowledge. Many funders and publishers, to promote the integrity and value of the research they fund or publish, have made this a requirement. The library supports researchers to adopt best practice data management (which ultimately saves you time and energy!) and looks after BORDaR, our research data repository. All Postgraduate Research Students are required by BU to produce a Data Management Plan (DMP) and to deposit their research data in the repository. You can access the library’s guide for more information.
  • Getting in touch. You can contact your Faculty Library team to make a one-to-one appointment if you want to discuss any of the areas raised above, or you’d like support with another area such as finding literature or using databases.
  1. Faculty of Management Library Team
  2. Faculty of Media & Communication Library Team
  3. Faculty of Science & Technology Library Team
  4. Faculty of Health & Social Sciences Library Team

BU midwifery paper cited in WHO report

Last week the Regional Office for South East Asia of the WHO (World Health Organization) published its strategy for strengthening midwifery [1].  The report highlights how Bangladesh, India and Nepal have recently introduced midwifery education. They joined DPR Korea, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and TimorLeste in establishing midwives as an independent cadre of the health workforce.

This report cited our 2015 paper on midwifery developments in Nepal which appeared in the Journal of Asian Midwives [2].  The lead author Jillian Ireland is a Visiting Faculty in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) and Professional Midwifery Advocate at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, my other co-author, Joy Kemp, is Global Professional Adviser at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).  The paper reflects on the RCM Global Midwifery Twinning Project in Nepal.  The paper argues that the presence of a strong professional association of midwives in a country yields double benefits. On one side, the association provides inputs into framing policies and developing standards of care, and on the other, it ensures quality services by continuously updating its members with information and evidence for practice.

Bournemouth University’s work in Nepal is ongoing with a project run by CMMPH helping to develop midwifery education and training the trainers funded by the German aid organisation GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit).

 

References:

  1. World Health Organization. Regional Office for South-East Asia (2020) Regional Strategic Directions for strengthening Midwifery in the South-East Asia Region 2020–2024, Delhi: World Health Organization. Regional Office for South-East Asia.
  2. Ireland, J., van Teijlingen, E, Kemp J. (2015) Twinning in Nepal: the Royal College of Midwives UK and the Midwifery Society of Nepal working in partnership, Journal of Asian Midwives 2 (1): 26-33. http://ecommons.aku.edu/jam/vol2/iss1/5/

 

COVID-19 and the rise of Virtual Conferences

Yesterday we had a conference paper accepted by the EUPHA (European Public Health Association) International Conference.  When the paper was originally submitted to the EUPHA Health Workforce Research Section Mid-term Conference we had opted for an oral presentation in person at the conference in Romania this summer.  However, with the COVID-19 pandemic travelling to Romania to attend this conference is not an option for many (if not most) academics.  Therefore the organising committee took the initiative to re-arrange it as a virtual meeting.   Further good news for us is that participation will be free.

Of course, I am aware that some of the strengths of attending conferences include having unexpected discussions (often in the bar) with fellow academics and being away from the day job.  At the moment being forced to choose between postponing or cancelling a conference or changing to a virtual meeting conference organisers may want to reflect on  “… ask how conferences make a difference.”  This question was  originally raised in the book Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commodities by Donald Nicholson [1].

We should have moved to more virtual meetings and  online conferences much sooner, but it is easy to say with hindsight!  The COVID-19 crisis has thought us that virtual classrooms, internet-based tutorials, Zoom meetings and online conferences can work, albeit with their limitations.  It is worth considering the return of investment of a conference [2] not just for the conference organisers (and funders) but also  individual academics as less travel will be saving time  and society as reducing  travel, especially international flights, will improve our carbon foot print.

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)

 

References

  1. Nicholson. D.J. (2017) Academic Conferences as Neoliberal CommoditiesPalgrave Macmillan.
  2. Nicholson. D.J. (2018) Guest post by Donald Nicolson: The problem of thinking about conferences and Return on Investment (ROI) 

 

Opportunities to engage with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

COVID-19 Outbreak Expert database

A number of you have already signed up to POST’s database. It aims to provide policymakers and civil servants with information on researchers’ specialisms to help them identify experts across the UK whose work might inform responses to the pandemic. It is also a fantastic opportunity to obtain greater reach with your research and connect with networks that may not have been as accessible previously. The database is live and still accepting entries, so do take a look and see if there is an area you can contribute to. POST has outlined a number of topics but it is not exhaustive – if you think you can provide useful input in a relevant area not listed, you can still sign up. Please remember to notify the policy office and your faculty impact officer if you do so.

Survey on impacts, concerns and issues around COVID-19

If you sign up to the database, you will also have the opportunity to fill in a 15-minute survey sharing expert insights  into the short, medium and long-term concerns and issues you perceive relating to COVID-19 and its impacts. The results will be shared within Parliament and used to help inform POST’s work. POST will publish anonymised responses and/or a public synthesis of these insights with a list of acknowledgements to contributors (not directly attributed to individuals). The first set of responses is due to be analysed Tuesday 14th April and there may be a further round of analysis after this deadline if required.

Learn more about engaging with Parliament to achieve policy impact

POST aims to maximise Parliamentary engagement with academic research and has produced a useful video describing how Parliament uses expert research in its work, whether it’s scrutinising Government, debating important issues, or passing legislation. You can also access general resources, advice and information on how you can work with Parliament as a researcher here.

Free training webinars 

POST will soon be running a series of free 90-minute webinars, Parliament for COVID-19 outbreak experts. They will:

  • provide a brief overview of what Parliament is, does and how it uses research;
  • explore the different ways you might engage with Parliament through your research over the coning months – both in the context of COVID-19 and its impacts, as well as other areas; and
  • share tips about communicating with Parliamentarians and those who support them.

Most of this content is usually only available via paid-for training courses in London, and won’t only be relevant to COVID-19. Please share this opportunity with colleagues and we will let you know when registration is open.

COVID-19 competition: BU call for Expressions of Interest

On 6 April, BU launched a COVID-19 internal competition, with a call for EoIs. This opportunity is open to all staff. The EoI deadline is at 23.59 on Tuesday, 14 April, and the winners will be announced on Tuesday, 20 April.

There are three modest cash prizes available, sponsored by the National Research Centre for Computer Animation in the Faculty of Media and Communication. Successful ideas will be selected to go forward to a second competition in conjunction with the universities of Southampton and Portsmouth. Building on our close regional relationships with an aligned response to the COVID-19 crisis and attendant calls for relevant research is a priority for all institutions right now. We at BU are committed to joining forces with our neighbours at this time.

BU staff can find more details about the call on the expression of interest form.

RDS advice to academics during COVID-19

RDS have created a blog page to give up-to-date advice on research activity affected during COVID-19.

Each working day the advice will be updated, which will include official notifications from funders, RDS operations during the quarantine, delays to the REF, ethics, and any other useful information. The date of the latest updates from the funders will be shown against each funder name. This will only show the major funders that BU applies to.

Today’s (6/4) update includes:

  • The deadlines on all UKRI open funding opportunities will be extended to give applicants more time to submit their applications. These extensions will be managed on a case by case basis by the appropriate Council or fund. Follow this link for a list of all open and coming calls with their current deadlines and their extensions: Calls April – May (PDF, 103KB).
  • Research England has published some FAQs about their contingency planning for REF 2021, in light of the impact of the pandemic –https://www.ref.ac.uk/faqs/.
  • The link to UKRO’s slides from their webinar held on 3/4/20 on the topic of ‘COVID-19 and EU Funding update‘.

Please click here for further information.

COVID-19 Outbreak Expert Database – update

According to Parliament’s Knowledge Exchange Unit (KEU), more than 3,500 researchers from across the UK have signed up to its  COVID-19 Outbreak Expert Database, which includes a number of BU academics across all faculties.  

The KEU reports that it is already making use of the database and, later this week, will be directly contacting experts to ask them to share their insights into the COVID-19 pandemic and its short, medium and long-term impacts. Where possible, the KEU aims to acknowledge researchers’ contributions publicly.

If you haven’t already signed up, it’s not too late, as it is a live database. Follow the link and please email your faculty impact officer to let them know, so we can track BU involvement.

Signing up does not commit you to contributing in any way, it’s simply so that Parliament has your details to hand and can contact you very rapidly; if they contact you and you aren’t able to respond, they will fully understand.

The topic areas where Parliament may need to be able to access research expertise are listed below, and found on the sign up page. If you identify an area that has not been listed, please do feel free to give details on the sign-up form in ‘other’:

Agriculture and farming, Airlines/airports, Arts, Behavioural science, Burial and cremation, Brexit, Business, Charities, Children and families, Civil contingency planning and management, Climate change, Communicating uncertainty, , Consumer protection, Coronavirus, Coroners, Countryside, Courts, Criminal justice, Criminal law, Crisis communications, Critical national infrastructure, Data protection, Death, Defence, Economics, Education – higher and further, Education – schools, Elections, Emergency planning, Emergency services, Employment, Employment law, Energy, Environment, European Union, Financial services, Financial systems and institutions, Foreign policy, Government, Health economics, Health services, Housing, Human rights, Immigration, Immunology / vaccinology, Industry, Infection control, Inflation, Insolvency, International law, IT, Law, Legal aid, Leisure and tourism, Local government, Medicine, National security, Package holidays, Pandemics, Pensions, Police powers, Ports and maritime, Prisons, Public expenditure, Public finance, Public health, Public order, Railways, Registration of deaths, Religion, Social security and tax credits, Social services, Sports, Surveillance , Taxation, Trade, Transport, Unemployment, Virology, Waste, Water, Welfare, Welfare benefits.

Parenting Through Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This is a worrying time, and not how pregnant women and families had planned to start their parenting journey. Women and families may have concerns about their pregnancy and their children. They may be wanting to access helpful parenting information. The PATH project consortium has been carefully putting together links and resources from trusted organisations and websites to support them over the coming months, during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond.  These links and resources are reviewed by iHV,  Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust and in discussion with Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

The COVID-19 repository  http://path-perinatal.eu/uk/covid.html is accessible in four project partner countries, France, Belgium, Netherland, and the UK  http://path-perinatal.eu/.

PATH is an EU Interreg 2Seas funded project led by the Europe Health Centre aiming to enable women, families and healthcare professionals to prevent, diagnose and successfully manage mild and moderate perinatal mental health issues. The project runs from February 2019 to September 2022. The PATH project supports the emotional and mental health of expectant and new parents. It receives funding from the European Regional Development Fund, has a budget of over £7.3 million and involves partners from the four partner countries.

The PATH team at BU, Dr Ricardo Colasanti, Dr Zequn Li, Mr Nicholas Lindfield, Mr Karsten Pedersen and Professor Wen Tang are based in the Department of Creative Technology in FST. The Team is focusing on technological innovations to support both online and offline healthcare and social care innovations through creative digital technology (VR, digital games and interactive digital learning).

RDS advice to academics during COVID-19

RDS have created a blog page to give up-to-date advice on research activity affected during COVID-19.

Each working day the advice will be updated, which will include official notifications from funders, RDS operations during the quarantine, delays to the REF, ethics, and any other useful information. The date of the latest updates from the funders will be shown against each funder name. This will only show the major funders that BU applies to.

Today’s (1/4) update includes:

  • a dedicated Corona Platform from the European Commission on its Funding & Tenders Portal to make information related to the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on Horizon 2020 grants available in a single place;
  • registration details for a one hour UKRO webinar to be held on 3/4 to give you the latest information in relation to funding;
  •  an update in the clinical guidance to researchers section with regard to Undergraduate and Master’s student research;
  • and an update from the Royal Society, who have also created a dedicated page for applicants and award holders. They have also drawn together a list of their resources, activities and videos that could be used to support home learning in science, technology, engineering and maths whilst schools are closed.

Please click here for further information.

 

Research Professional – all you need to know

Every BU academic has a Research Professional account which delivers weekly emails detailing funding opportunities in their broad subject area. To really make the most of your Research Professional account, you should tailor it further by establishing additional alerts based on your specific area of expertise. The Funding Development Team Officers can assist you with this, if required.

Research Professional have created several guides to help introduce users to Research Professional. These can be downloaded here.

Quick Start Guide: Explains to users their first steps with the website, from creating an account to searching for content and setting up email alerts, all in the space of a single page.

User Guide: More detailed information covering all the key aspects of using Research Professional.

Administrator Guide: A detailed description of the administrator functionality.

In addition to the above, there are a set of 2-3 minute videos online, designed to take a user through all the key features of Research Professional. To access the videos, please use the following link: http://www.youtube.com/researchprofessional

Research Professional are running a series of online training broadcasts aimed at introducing users to the basics of creating and configuring their accounts on Research Professional. They are holding monthly sessions, covering everything you need to get started with Research Professional. The broadcast sessions will run for no more than 60 minutes, with the opportunity to ask questions via text chat. Each session will cover:

  • Self registration and logging in
  • Building searches
  • Setting personalised alerts
  • Saving and bookmarking items
  • Subscribing to news alerts
  • Configuring your personal profile

Each session will run between 10.00am and 11.00am (UK) on the fourth Tuesday of each month. You can register here for your preferred date:

12th May 2020

14th July 2020

8th September 2020

10th November 2020

These are free and comprehensive training sessions and so this is a good opportunity to get to grips with how Research Professional can work for you.

Have you noticed the pink box on the BU Research Blog homepage?

By clicking on this box, on the left of the Research Blog home page just under the text ‘Funding Opportunities‘, you access a Research Professional real-time search of the calls announced by the Major UK Funders. Use this feature to stay up to date with funding calls. Please note that you will have to be on campus or connecting to your desktop via our VPN to fully access this service.

UKRO Webinar: COVID-19 and EU Funding Update – 3/4/20

UKRO is pleased to announce the latest in its series of webinars, which will take place at 10.30-11.30 (UK time) on Friday 3 April on the topic of ‘COVID-19 and EU Funding update’.

The webinar is intended to provide an overview of the current situation regarding COVID-19 in relation to EU Research and Innovation and will cover (in brief) areas such as:

  • UKRO services during the COVID-19 ‘quarantine’ period;
  • Known call updates and changes to call deadlines;
  • Project implementation issues and solutions in light of COVID-19 restrictions.

The webinar is intended for researchers and support staff currently engaged in projects or applying to forthcoming calls, to make them aware of the latest information on COVID-19 in respect to proposal development and project delivery.

The webinar will be delivered using the ‘Zoom’ online conference facility. No prior purchasing of software is necessary but registration via the event page is mandatory for participation.

The webinar is accessible to all individuals registered on the UKRO portal. BU has a subscription to UKRO and so all BU staff can register for an UKRO account through the UKRO site.

Free interactive training on impact and UKRI/Horizon 2020 funding bids

If you would like to take the opportunity of online impact training as it relates to the UKRI Case for Support or writing the impact sections of Horizon 2020 proposals, Professor Mark Reed of Fast Track Impact is offering free, interactive webinars, giving you access to his most popular training sessions. Due to a high level of interest, there are now a further 100 tickets available for each of the two courses below:

How to integrate impact into your UKRI Case for Support
A highly interactive opportunity to learn about research impact and discuss example proposals integrating impact into their Case for Support
14.00-15.00, UK time (BST), Wednesday 15th April 2020

  • Learn exactly what impact is (and is not) based on evidence from The Research Impact Handbook
  • Discuss two contrasting examples of applied research proposals that have integrated impact into their case for support, identifying which of the two is best and why (using the break-out room function in Zoom), and report back key features of good practice to the wider group
  • Get a masterclass in integrating impact to bids from Professor Reed
  • Get the option to join free follow-up training to learn more about impact via email over the next 5 weeks
  • Get a free PDF copy of Prof Mark Reed’s book, The Research Impact Handbook (second edition), and access to a video recording of the whole session (exclusive to those attending the webinar)
  • Access is on a first-come-first served basis, with up to 100 spaces available. Book now to avoid disappointment.

How to write the impact sections of a Horizon 2020 proposal
A highly interactive opportunity to learn about research impact and discuss impact sections of funded and rejected Horizon 2020 proposals
15.00-16.00, Central European Time (CET), Friday 3rd April 2020

  • Learn exactly what impact is (and is not) based on evidence from The Research Impact Handbook
  • Discuss two Horizon 2020 proposals (impact sections only) in small groups (using the break-out room function in Zoom), identifying key features of good practice to work out which one was funded
  • Get a masterclass in writing the impact sections of a Horizon 2020 bid by Professor Reed
  • Get the option to join free follow-up training to help you embed what you’ve learned via email over the next 5 weeks
  • Get a free PDF copy of Prof Mark Reed’s book, The Research Impact Handbook (second edition), and access to a video recording of the whole session (exclusive to those attending the webinar)
  • Access is on a first-come-first served basis, with up to 100 spaces available.  to avoid disappointment.

Research in the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic – HRA update

You may have seen an earlier blog post with regard to a halt on the review and approval of undergraduate and master’s clinical research projects. The HRA have released another update with regard to all other research and the state of play due to COVID-19.

To recognise the significant pressures on the NHS at this time, the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) announced that all new and existing studies supported through its Clinical Research Network would be paused to focus instead on COVID-19 research. You can read the full statement on the NIHR website.

The full HRA statement can be viewed here. If you have any queries mai in Research Development & Support.

Research Development & Support are also updating the following help page regularly for academics and researchers.

COVID-19: health and social care research projects for educational purposes