Category / BU research

Our strategic research clusters: introducing Fish Ecology and Conservation at Bournemouth University (FishE@BU)

Professor Robert Britton - Bournemouth University Staff Profile PagesThe Research Cluster for Fish Ecology and Conservation at Bournemouth University (FishE@BU) is being established to address a significant current global challenge: how can we manage and respond to rapid environmental change to prevent the collapse of aquatic ecosystems that is being driven by the dramatic declines in fish biodiversity? These biodiversity declines are global, from sharks in the open ocean to migratory fishes that use both marine and freshwater habitats – and even include endemic fishes in the monsoonal rivers of Southern Asia. These declines threaten ecosystem functioning, food security and income streams globally.  They are driven by the interactions of anthropogenic pressures that include exploitation, invasive species, climate change and habitat fragmentation. Decoupling how these pressures interact to drive these declines is complex, which then inhibits the generation of the information required to formulate sustainable solutions.

Correspondingly, FishE@BU is being established to help resolve this global crisis through the application of state-of-the-art spatial, behavioural, trophic and molecular ecology approaches to create significant new knowledge to increase contemporary understandings of, and help manage, the underlying causes of the on-going global loss of fish biodiversity. Previously endorsed as an Institute of Aquatic Sciences by the University Board in February 2020, it was delayed in its launch by the Covid-19 Pandemic, with subsequent revision of the Institute to a strategic research cluster focused on fish ecology and conservation. The work of FishE@BU is intended to strongly inform policies and practices at regional, national and global scales in order to secure the sustainable utilisation of fish, fishery and aquatic resources that no longer imperil their biodiversity.

FishE@BU will be hosted by the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (LES) of the Faculty of Science and Technology. It will be directed by Professor Robert Britton, in collaboration with Dr Demetra Andreou (LES) and Dr Adrian Pinder (BUG Enterprise Unit). Their roles will include driving the RKE activities of the Cluster so that bidding for substantial funding opportunities can be increased, which in turn will generate increased income and permit the undertaking of cutting-edge research and the production of high-quality RKE outputs and associated impact generation. This will increase the international profile of BU, directly contribute to the BU2025 Strategic Vision, provide new ways for BU staff and students to engage with Fusion, and help improve BU’s ranking in various frameworks and league tables. Opportunities to develop new income education schemes will be investigated, such as through developing a new Level 7 programme on aquatic ecology and conservation, and developing a CPD programme with the potential for including accredited options.

FishE@BU will use the existing RKE activities within LES and BUG as its platform for launching its activities, where RKE on the impact of global environmental changes on fish biodiversity has been established during the last decade, where considerable work has been completed on critically endangered species that are of imminent risk of extinction (e.g. European eel, hump-backed mahseer). This investment in new technology, including state-of-the-art biotelemetry equipment, and in new opportunities for postgraduate research students, will not only ensure that FishE@BU is equipped with the tools needed to deliver its vision, but will provide it with the technologies needed to make substantial progress in halting this biodiversity decline.

IMSET Seminar: How archaeologists can contribute to a Green New Revolution

BU are delighted to welcome Erika Guttman-Bond tomorrow,  Thursday October 28th, at 4.30pm for a hybrid seminar, held in F306 and on line.

There has been a lot of interest in the failures of the past and the environmental disasters that have ensued because of poor land management practices. Erika will be arguing that the successes of the past are of equal importance. Her research focuses on pre-industrial techniques that have been rediscovered, either through archaeology or anthropology, and put back to work. Such systems often prove to be not only more sustainable than modern approaches, but more resilient in the face of environmental extremes.

Tickets are available from https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/imset-seminar-how-archaeologists-can-contribute-to-a-new-green-revolution-tickets-186916160267?fbclid=IwAR14hzCKSgvIz0k8G6lRU1NcezC4mewjCzJV1M4fSQfclXhq-BXiW5BixFM

Our strategic research clusters: introducing ADDISONIC

Summary

The Faculty of Science and Technology has successfully led a joint submission with the Faculty of Media and Communication and the Business School that is being supported by the March 2021 call for ‘game-changing’ research concepts to enable growth of BU2025 Strategic Investment Areas (SIAs).

We are very excited that, through our existing state-of-the-art advanced materials and manufacturing facilities at the Design and Engineering Innovation Centre, BU now reunites all the conditions required to becoming World-leader in ultrasonic fatigue testing of advanced materials. Our wish is that this will ultimately impact in the World’s eco-economy and sustainable development.

Our Mission

Having as primary SIA Sustainability, Low Carbon Technology & Materials Science, the ADDISONIC (Advanced Manufacturing Ultrasonic Fatigue Prediction and Life Extension) mission is to contribute to reducing global waste by extending the life and enhancing the optimisation of any engineered systems through incorporating novel advanced materials tested under ultrasonic fatigue for quick and reliable predictability of properties to extend their lives. Therefore, the project addresses the UN sustainability goals of Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Responsible Production and Consumption; and, Climate Action.

The project also aims at contributing to fostering networking between BU and local or national businesses and industries, whether in this research area or in any other field where BU academics have strengths.

What industries partnering up with us will find

Making use of the Design and Engineering Innovation Centre at Bournemouth University, our partners will find cutting-edge laboratories and workshops featuring industry-standard facilities and the latest rapid 3D printing, prototyping, and manufacturing equipment. We also have long-lasting collaborations with other UK-based and international Universities to access additional expertise, such as the University of Hertfordshire or the University of Lisbon.

Why is this research a priority?

With up to 4x lower scrap material generated in parts manufactured, metal additive manufacturing is more eco-friendly. The market is estimated to grow by £4.42bn between 2016 and 2024 with an annual growth rate of 14%. However, little is known about the lifetime properties of novel advanced materials, such as metal additive manufactured ones. Knowing that approximately 90% of all metallic failures are due to cyclic loadings, we will lead global research into the application of ultrasonics for fatigue testing of advanced materials as it is the only method to quickly determine the predictability of material properties that will be subjected to cyclic loading. Ultrasonic fatigue testing machines enable tests to be extended to 1 billion cycles in just a few days compared to months or years (figure 1), which has as growth driver the adoption of “just-in-time” processes.

Figure 1. Comparison between the duration different fatigue testing methods need to be completed, assuming tests can run uninterruptedly.

Furthermore, recent developments show it is possible to carry multiaxial testing too, including with different biaxiality ratios. The PI, Dr Diogo Montalvão, was the first researcher in the World to adapt specimens being loaded in two directions (known as ‘cruciform biaxial specimens’) to ultrasonics. This is important because most fatigue testing still uses ‘uniaxial loads’ (loading in one direction), although real components are exposed to ‘multiaxial loads’ (loading in multiple directions), which means new products will see enhanced optimised designs that will contribute to less waste. In terms of future developments, the project will also allow tackling the ‘enigma’ of experimentally reproducing, in a lab, 3D cyclic stresses that more accurately replicate what happens in real engineered components (figure 2). With new materials being developed every year, we believe ultrasonic fatigue testing will be the standard testing procedure in the future as it is estimated that it can lead to savings of between £13k and £71k per ASTM E379/ISO12107 material test programme.

Figure 2. Multiaxial ultrasonic fatigue testing: (a) System; (b) equibiaxial specimen; (c) pure shear specimen; (d) thermographic image; (e) fatigue crack; (f) Idealised (future) triaxial specimens – equibiaxial (top) and shear (bottom).

 

 

Our strategic research clusters: introducing Multimodal Immersive NEuro-sensing (MINE)

Our proposal titled “Multimodal Immersive NEuro-sensing (MINE) for natural neuro-behavioural measurement” is one of the three successful research concepts to be supported by BU’s Strategic Investment Area scheme. It aims at developing a pioneering multimodal and immersive system for the measurement of human behaviour and neural activities in realistic and controlled environments.

This project has several aims. Firstly, conducting human behaviour and neuroscience research traditionally requires laboratory-based settings and well-controlled environments. However, this reduces the ecological validity of research studies because the laboratory environment and the experimental stimuli are not realistic, and natural social interactions are often difficult, if not impossible.

To embrace high ecological validity, one solution is to go out of the laboratory and conduct studies in real natural environments. However, these natural environments are very uncontrollable due to all the random events happening constantly. This dilemma can be bridged by using VR technologies. VR can exert high experimental control while keeping a high ecological validity. The virtual environments can be of high realism and fidelity, for example, for social interactions (thus immersive) or scenes with affective content.

Secondly, the MINE team proposes to combine virtual reality (VR) and various neural and physiological measures in an easier to use and mobile integrated platform (see the figure below). Electroencephalography (EEG), the recording of brain activities from scalp surface to reveal neural underpinnings of human behaviour (thus neuro-sensing). Mobile EEG allows users to carry all equipment components in a backpack and walk around in a natural manner, maximally allowing natural social interactions. For instance, in the figure, a human user interacts with a virtual character while EEG is being recorded. Other measures that will be combined with VR and/or EEG setups are eye tracking, facial muscular activity, head and body motion, heart rate and skin conductance recordings (thus multimodal). This integrated platform allows researchers to have a complete picture of human behaviour and physiological responses and it opens up many possibilities to expand experimental design possibilities in natural settings. Overall, the MINE concept allows researchers to study human-environment and human-human interactions during neural measurement in controlled and realistic virtual environments.

The MINE concept greatly promotes interdisciplinary research across all faculties and with external industry partners in research fields such as mental health, way finding, healthy ageing, consumer behaviour, neuromarketing, social and affective neuroscience. The leading MINE research team (Dr Xun He, Prof Fred Charles, Dr Ellen Seiss, Dr Emili Balaguer-Ballester) are based in Faculty of Science and Technology, and also members of Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Research Centre (INRC). There are nine other collaborating team members from Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, BU Clinical Research Unit, Faculty of Media & Communication, Institute of Medical Imaging & Visualisation, and Ageing & Dementia Research Centre.

We very much look forward to the journey ahead of us!

If you would like to collaborate with the project team, please contact Dr Xun He directly. For any other queries in relation to the SIAs, please contact the RDS team on sia@bournemouth.ac.uk

Academic publishing and numbers

Yesterday our team published new paper on academic writing, this time the focus was on the various indices in the field.  Academics from three different departments in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences collaborated on the paper ‘Publishing, identifiers & metrics: Playing the numbers game‘ [1].  The three BU scholars, Dr Shovita Dhakal Adhikari, in the Social Sciences and Social Work Department, Dr. Pramod Regmi in the Department of Nursing Sciences, and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen in the Department of Midwifery and Health Sciences co-authored the paper with former BU staff Dr. Nirmal Aryal, now researcher at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Alexander van Teijlingen, PhD student at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow), and Dr. Sarita Panday, Lecturer in Public Health in the University of Essex.

This a the latest paper in a long line of publications on aspects of academic writing and publishing [2-16].

References:

  1. van Teijlingen, E.R., Dhakal Adhikari, S., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, A., Aryal, N., Panday, S. (2021). Publishing, identifiers & metrics: Playing the numbers game. Health Prospect20(1). https://doi.org/10.3126/hprospect.v20i1.37391
  2. Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Simkhada, BD. (2013) Writing an Abstract for a Scientific Conference, Kathmandu Univ Med J 11(3): 262-65. http://www.kumj.com.np/issue/43/262-265.pdf
  3. van Teijlingen, E, Hundley, V. (2002) Getting your paper to the right journal: a case study of an academic paper, J Advanced Nurs 37(6): 506-11.
  4. Pitchforth, E, Porter M, Teijlingen van E, Keenan Forrest, K. (2005) Writing up & presenting qualitative research in family planning & reproductive health care, Fam Plann Reprod Health Care 31(2): 132-135.
  5. van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada, PP, Rizyal A (2012) Submitting a paper to an academic peer-reviewed journal, where to start? (Guest Editorial) Health Renaissance 10(1): 1-4.
  6. van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada. PP, Simkhada, B, Ireland J. (2012) The long & winding road to publication, Nepal Epidemiol 2(4): 213-215 http://nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/7093/6388
  7. Hundley, V, van Teijlingen, E, SimkhadP (2013) Academic authorship: who, why and in what order? Health Renaissance 11(2):98-101 www.healthrenaissance.org.np/uploads/Download/vol-11-2/Page_99_101_Editorial.pdf
  8. Simkhada P, van Teijlingen E, Hundley V. (2013) Writing an academic paper for publication, Health Renaissance 11(1):1-5. www.healthrenaissance.org.np/uploads/Pp_1_5_Guest_Editorial.pdf
  9. van Teijlingen, E., Ireland, J., Hundley, V., Simkhada, P., Sathian, B. (2014) Finding the right title for your article: Advice for academic authors, Nepal Epidemiol 4(1): 344-347.
  10. van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Bick, D. (2014) Who should be an author on your academic paper? Midwifery 30: 385-386.
  11. Hall, J., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E. (2015) The journal editor: friend or foe? Women & Birth 28(2): e26-e29.
  12. Sathian, B., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Roy, B, Banerjee, I. (2016) Grant writing for innovative medical research: Time to rethink. Med Sci 4(3):332-33.
  13. Adhikari, S. D., van Teijlingen, E. R., Regmi, P. R., Mahato, P., Simkhada, B., & Simkhada, P. P. (2020). The Presentation of Academic Self in The Digital Age: The Role of Electronic Databases. International J Soc Sci Management7(1), 38-41. https://doi.org/10.3126/ijssm.v7i1.27405
  14. Pradhan, AK, van Teijlingen, ER. (2017) Predatory publishing: a great concern for authors, Med Sci 5(4): 43.
  15. van Teijlingen, E (2004), Why I can’t get any academic writing done, Medical Sociol News 30(3): 62-63. britsoc.co.uk/media/26334/MSN_Nov_2004.pd
  16. Wasti, S.P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Hundley, V. with Shreesh, K. Writing and Publishing Academic Work, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books

Our strategic research clusters: introducing Virtual Production

Today’s blog post, written by Dr Richard Southern, introduces one of our new strategic research growth clusters, which is building on BU’s existing excellence in computer animation to forward research in the pioneering field of virtual production: 

Project Summary

This 3-year project establishes a Multi-Disciplinary Cluster of Excellence for Research in Virtual Production to develop the game-changing idea of Remote Production through strategic investment, enabling research to widen access, enhance sustainability, and explore applications, reducing barriers to entry and putting visual content creation in the hands of a wider range of storytellers and innovators.

Figure 1: Pre-Visualisation Demonstration. Image credit: Paolo Mercogliano, Diana Pelino, Anna Semple, Miguel Pozas, Joseph Adams and Nathalie Puetzer

Figure 2: LED Wall Demonstration. Image credit: Richard Southern.

Introduction

Virtual Production (VP) defines a set of new production practices where practitioners work in and interact directly with a virtual set. VP reduces the need to move crews and equipment to location and enables remote working in VR, reducing CVD-19 risks, the environmental footprint, slashes production costs and upends the traditional production process by blurring the lines between production departments.

Evidence of sustainability of VP practices is already emerging studios and technology providers:

The logical next step in is to transition production in film, TV and broadcast media practices from those that are mainly facilities-bound to working environments that are remotely collaborative and thereby making the practices more sustainable. Examples of new technologies in this are virtual cinematography and VR puppeteering.

Previous Work

Virtual Production reframes games, virtual reality, and computer graphics technology in the context of production practice, allowing us to leverage our existing excellence and industry expertise in a booming sector. A myriad of applications stem from this including sustainable production, immersive storytelling, networking, ethics, digital heritage, collaborative visualisation and military, which broadens opportunities for collaboration across the wider the University. This project applies and develops research into areas for which BU is recognised internationally:

This project focuses BU’s existing research portfolio, supports ECRs and develops new research aligned with the identified themes to establish BU as a key partner in future industry and academic collaboration. Existing institutional resources include:

  • Thousands of students in complementary discipline areas who will collaborate and co-create content and undertake research with this technology, while entering the sector with a deep understanding of the sustainability implications of their practice.
  • Multi-disciplinary and industry-relevant skills and knowledge base in film, VFX and games production directly relevant to Virtual Production.
  • Current multi-million pound externally funded research projects aligned with applications in the Creative Industries (Centre for Digital Entertainment (EPSRC), Centre for Applied Creative Technologies (Horizon 2020), AniAge (Horizon 2020), VistaAR (Interreg)).
  • Industry standard facilities, including film studios, VR labs, motion capture technology, strengthening our research capacity in enabling experimentation and validation of production ready research projects to delivery high impact research.
  • Strong regional and national partnerships and alumni network in the Creative Industries.
  • Members are represented on BFI Albert, the National Standards Working Group in Virtual Production, and the StudioUK Skills Group. The NCCA is an Unreal Academic Partner.

 

Project Goals

After 3 years we envisage a Centre of Excellence in Virtual Production to deliver:

  • Impactful research outputs in virtual and remote production for enhancing productivity and sustainable working practices,
  • Grant capture with industry collaborators to tackle industry-relevant challenges,
  • A consortium of industry partners to advise activity in research, teaching and enterprise,
  • World-class research-informed teaching in this highly sought-after discipline area,
  • A demonstration facility showcasing our research and new technologies.

 

Background

The Creative Industries contributes 6% of UK GVA, with estimated year on year growth estimated at 7.1%, and constituting 7% of global output in this sector. Global Virtual Production Market size is expected to reach £2.2b by 2026, rising at a rate of 14.3%. UK studios and core technology providers are global leaders in this space, leading to the Digital Catapult and Screenskills to identify this as a critical growth area. As of November 2020, there were 150 Virtual Production studios in the world, and 70 new sound stages have been designated for construction across the UK until 2023. This demonstrates strong commercial and UK government interest in leading advances in TV and film production, and has already attracted significant productions to move to the UK.

The Creative Industries have rapidly embraced this technology, and vendors and studios are moving swiftly to meet this new demand. Commercial R&D ranges from the cameras, tracking and LED walls to the software needed to drive the displays. Production companies are actively investing in R&D to gain competitive advantages, such as Mo-Sys Star Tracker, ILM’s Stagecraft and Bournemouth-based Tree House Digital’s custom drive train for filming vehicles.

Bournemouth has been classified as a high growth area in the Creative Industries, fuelled by access to talent from local Universities and geographic advantages. BU has ranked in the bottom 30% in terms of local growth and regeneration, and bottom 50% of working with business in the recent KEF exercise, presenting an opportunity for significant impact through regional growth.

This proposal seeks to address internal and external priorities: sustainability in the creative industries is an identified priority of BU, BFI and the Creative Industry Pact; production costs and finance are identified as one of the four key challenges facing the sector; innovative immersive applications are a UKRI priority; and post-pandemic business and production models are critical research questions currently facing the immersive technologies, particularly virtual production.

Scheme for salary support for ECR Fellowships

This scheme is for ‘Salary support for ECR Fellowships‘ to support the next generation of talented researchers delivering novel, fundamental research. The scheme provides support for salary shortfalls on early career researcher (ECR) fellowship applications to prestigious funders, if awarded.

Supporting ECRs is a key priority under BU2025. ECR fellowships provide important and strategic opportunities for ECRs to undertake a significant research project, increasing their research independence and providing development opportunities for them as future research leaders.

The scheme provides funding to make up salary shortfalls and by doing so aims to:

  • Provide support and development opportunities for ECRs
  • Encourage talented ECRs to join and develop a research career at the University
  • Build research capacity and capability in areas of strategic importance
  • Enhance the sustainability of the University’s research culture and environment

The RDS Funding Development Officers (FDO) will advise all eligible applicants of this opportunity when early career academic staff have identified the external funder fellowship call on an intention to bid (ItB) form.

This used to be a pathway under the ‘Prestigious Research Funders Scheme’ (PRFS). The PRFS has now been withdrawn as BU are looking to introduce a different scheme for providing internally funded postdoctoral research fellows in 2022. Watch this space.

SCRAMBLE EVENT : Come along to the ESRC Explore people’s relationships with digital technologies session

The ESRC have pre-announced the following call: Explore people’s relationships with digital technologies, discussed at the funding development briefing this week.

Who should attend?

All are welcome with an interest in exploring relations with digital technologies. This call should be social science-led, with at least 50% of the programme falling within ESRC’s remit. But to enable approaches to the challenge of understanding our relationships with technology, it should also look widely across disciplines, drawing on expertise from fields such as:

  • the humanities
  • computer science
  • software engineering
  • mathematical sciences.

RDS will be running a brainstorming session on the 10th November 13:00 -14:30. It will be an opportunity to identify potential collaborators/ themes for this network funding call. The session will be hosted on Zoom here

ACTION REQUIRED: Ahead of the event, we invite you to discuss your interests, potential collaborators, project ideas on Padlet. As ideas get added we can start to identify potential themes prior to the session. You can access the Padlet here.

Agenda:

13:00- 13:30      Information on the call and ESRC delivery plan overview.

13:30 – 14:15    Discussion around emerging themes from Padlet and potential collaborations.

14:15 – 14:30    Discussion about next steps.

If you have any queries or are unsure as to whether you ought to come along, please email your faculty facilitator in the first instance or Alexandra Pekalski apekalski@bournemouth.ac.uk .

Midwifery paper co-produced with BU students

Congratulations to Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (FHSS) staff and students on their latest publication in the international journal Midwifery (published by Elsevier).   FHSS Professors Carol Clark and Vanora Hundley, undergraduate student researcher Guste Kalanaviciute and CMMPH PhD student Vanessa Bartholomew and Professor Helen Cheyne from the University of Stirling recently had the following paper accepted: ‘Exploring pain characteristics in nulliparous women; a precursor to developing support for women in the latent phase of labour’ [1].

 

Reference:

Clark C, Kalanaviciute G, Bartholomew V, Cheyne H, Hundley VA (2021) Exploring pain characteristics in nulliparous women; a precursor to developing support for women in the latent phase of labour. Midwifery (in press) 

Are you a peer reviewer or a funding panel member?

Research Development and Support (RDS) would like to understand more about BU academics’ expertise in reviewing external grant applications and funding panel experience. As part of this we are collecting information about the external funding panels that BU academics are members of.

We will use the information gathered through this survey to create a database of funding panel expertise, which may be used to approach relevant academics for their expertise in particular funding calls for internal initiatives.

If you are a reviewer or external funding panel member, we would be extremely grateful if you could please complete this brief survey by Friday 5th November:

Complete the survey here

2022 BU Studentship Competition

The BU Matched Funded Studentship Competition, which has run annually since 2006, provides an important role in growing our PGR numbers, building and strengthening a greater number of external relationships, and providing a stronger Fusion learning experience for our PGRs.

There are up to 20 matched funded PhD projects and up to 3 matched funded MRes projects available, which, in principle, will be split between the four faculties. There are no fully funded studentships on offer.

Application Process

At this stage, academic staff are invited to submit proposals for matched funded studentship projects which, if successful, will be advertised to recruit PhD candidates for a September 2022 start.

Full details, including the BU Studentship Allocative Process and Proposal Form, can be found on the Doctoral College Staff Intranet.

Submission Deadline:

Applications should be submitted to the Doctoral College via email to phdstudentshipcompetition@bournemouth.ac.uk no later than 5pm on Wednesday 05 January 2022.

If you have any questions about your application, please speak with your Deputy Dean for Research and Professional Practice (DDRPP) or the Heads of the Doctoral College: Dr Fiona Knight (for FST or FHSS enquiries) or Dr Julia Taylor (for FM or FMC enquiries).

Please ensure applications contain all relevant information (project proposal signed by Faculty DDRPP; letter of support from matched funder; Due Diligence form signed by Faculty DDRPP) as incomplete applications will not be considered.

BU’s Research Principles

Putting the BU Studentship Scheme into strategic context, under BU2025, the studentship funding panel will operate to prioritise applications for funding and make recommendations to the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC).

In line with the previous competition, allocation of the BU Studentships will be aligned to BU’s Research Principles (in particular, Principles 1, 2, 3 and 7):

Principle 1: encouraging the development of research team(s)

Principle 2: supporting research development, funding and impact that are both disciplinary and increasingly multi and inter-disciplinary as exemplified by the SIAs

Principle 3: focussing on the development of critical mass within the University, as per the honeycomb model

Principle 7: taking into account disciplinary norms when providing opportunities.

New Research Impact Fund call launching soon

The next round of the Research Impact Fund will be launched in early November

This funding is open to researchers at all stages of their careers, whether building relationships for future research projects, or seeking to realise the real-world changes their existing research could make.

The Research Impact Fund will:

  • Deliver support for developing impact
  • Improve the culture of research impact
  • Create a pipeline of potential case studies for future assessment exercises
  • Reward and recognise the efforts of those working towards developing the impact of their research.

For the 2021-22 call there will be two main strands:

Strand 1: Supporting the development of impact – aimed at early career researchers or those new to research / impact

The aim of this strand is to support the development of new partnerships and networks. These will lay the groundwork for future research projects which start with considering how to meet the needs of key stakeholders with proposed research questions.

Strand 2: Supporting areas of emerging impact

This will be used to support academic staff who have evidence of underpinning research and evidence of the impact potential of this research. The aim is to develop and accelerate research impact and support the creation of an impact pipeline in preparation for future REF exercises.

In addition, a small travel fund will be available throughout the year that will facilitate relationship building with external stakeholders such as policymakers or industry contacts, and can lead to impact development.

Details of the full call will follow early next month. In the meantime, for any informal enquires about the fund, please email Research Impact.

You can watch a short video introduction to impact here.

“Research impact is the good that researchers can do in the world.”
Mark Reed, Fast Track Impact

Funding Development Briefing. Spotlight “Getting Started at BU”.

Reminder: The RDS will be Funding Development Briefing  Wednesday at 12 noon. The spotlight will be on the “Getting started at BU”.

We will cover:

  • Overview of the process, explain acronyms, highlight resources available etc.
  • Q & A

For those unable to attend, the session will be recorded and shared on Brightspace here.

Invites for these sessions have been disseminated via your Heads of Department.

Ada Lovelace Day 2021 at BU: celebrating women in STEM – Professor Jane Murphy and Dr Sue Green

A portrait of Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace

 Tuesday 12th October is Ada Lovelace Day: an international celebration of women’s achievements in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Often referred to as the ‘first computer programmer’, Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) inspired Alan Turing’s work on the first modern computers in the 1940s. Find out more about her here.

All week we are profiling a selection of the women who work in STEM disciplines at BU, in areas as varied as games technology, sport psychology, electronics and clinical nutrition. Today we feature Professor Jane Murphy and Dr Sue Green.

Professor Jane Murphy, Professor of Nutrition and co-lead for the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre

Prof Jane Murphy

Prof Jane Murphy

Jane’s work focuses on key nutrition-related problems in older adults and how to translate nutrition science into practice. At a national level, she has led knowledge exchange projects commissioned by Health Education England to provide innovative education and training to improve dementia care across the health and social care workforce.

Dr Susan Dewhurst, Head of Department and Principal Academic in Exercise Physiology, who nominated her, says:

“Jane is a role model as a research leader committed to solving key nutrition problems in older adults. She has won funding from prestigious organisations like the Burdett Trust for Nursing and NIHR. Jane’s research has direct impact in practice through her clinical lead role in the Wessex Academic Health Science Network. She influences high standards in education and practice in her role as an elected council member for the Association for Nutrition and is a recognised mentor.”

What does Ada Lovelace mean to you?

Ada Lovelace was clearly a mathematical genius, ahead of her time and a trailblazer for women in science in the 19 century, working with scientists much better-known at the time, such as Babbage and Faraday.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career in a STEM subject?

Good nutrition is fundamental to support health and wellbeing and live a long and rewarding life. Through some early influences, I developed a keen interest in nutrition, and recognising how it related to ill-health and preventing disease thus paved the way towards my career in a STEM subject.

Moreover, learning about Elsie Widdowson – a pioneer nutrition scientist and dietitian – inspired me. She pushed boundaries to advance the science of nutrition in so many respects, including how the UK population could live with food rationing through the challenges of WW2 and creating the first UK food composition tables.

What would your advice be to girls looking at STEM subjects as a possible career?

Go for it! Research in science works best (and is more fun!) in collaboration and when working in partnership, regardless of gender, to solve fascinating problems and co-create real-world solutions. Keep focused on doing the best you can.

What would you like to change as a result of your research?

I’d like to see a better appreciation of the role of good nutrition across society to optimise health and wellbeing, particularly as we age and for older people, ensuring everyone receives evidence-based nutrition advice that’s appropriate to their needs.


Dr Sue Green, Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Department for Nursing Science

Dr Sue Green

Dr Sue Green

Sue has held funded clinical academic posts combining research and clinical work and has been at the forefront of developing clinical academic careers for nurses.

Sue’s research programme focuses on aspects of clinical nutrition, particularly nutritional care by nurses. Her initial research focused on laboratory-based approaches to study appetite. She has since focused on research to develop evidence for nursing practice, including nutritional screening, and how to apply that evidence to patient care.

A registered nurse with experience in acute and continuing care environments, Sue continues to work clinically as a nutrition nurse seconded to Solent NHS Trust.

Prof Stephen Ersser, Head Of Department For Nursing Science and Professor Of Nursing And Dermatology, who nominated her, says:

“Sue is an amazing leader in clinical nutrition related to nursing, especially nutritional screening and is recognised in her field.”

What does Ada Lovelace mean to you?

Ada Lovelace’s reputation supports efforts to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering, and maths.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career in a STEM subject?

A childhood spent observing animal behaviour and organisms’ responses to different environments inspired me to study a STEM subject. I followed my first career as a registered nurse by studying for a Zoology degree, before focussing on nutrition and health at masters and PhD level.

Have you faced any challenges in your chosen field because you’re a woman?

It is very difficult to be recognised as a woman in science if you are also a registered nurse. The two are seen as different fields, where in fact there is great synergy between the two.

What would your advice be to girls looking at STEM subjects as a possible career?

Go with your passion and your curiosity. Studying a STEM subject can lead to a wealth of career opportunities.

What would you like to change as a result of your research?

My hope is that my research will improve patients’ nutritional care and care delivery.