Category / BU research

Congratulations to Dr. Mariam Vahdaninia

Congratulations to Dr. Vahdaninia in FHSS on the publication of her PhD paper ‘ω-3 LCPUFA supplementation during pregnancy and risk of allergic outcomes or sensitisation in offspring: a systematic review and meta-analysis’ which has been accepted by the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. This journal is published by Elsevier and has an Impact factor of 2.6.

This paper addresses the increasing global trend in allergic diseases over the past last two decades with children suffering the highest burden. The increasing burden of allergic conditions is an important public health concern and understanding how to prevent the development of allergic diseases is a vital area of research. In this paper, the authors have assessed the effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acids in randomised controlled trials that have supplemented pregnant women during pregnancy for prevention of allergic diseases in children. Their results have shown that intake of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy can reduce the risk of sensitisation to egg and peanut in children. These findings have important implications in research since food allergies are common in children and are a key risk factor for developing sensitisation to aero-allergens and allergic respiratory diseases later in life.

The publication is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anai.2018.12.008

Congratulations!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Create: Share: Inspire: working with our students in global contexts

Professor Debbie Holley addresses an international audience at the World Education Conference (hosted by London International Education Conference) in Cambridge on 12th December. Invited to keynote, her talk covers the possibilities and affordances offered by global collaborations. Drawing on the extensive knowledge of working with the ‘digital’ to engage staff, student and communities, Debbie covers the pleasures and pinchpoints of scaling up innovation, and suggest design based learning as a possible framework for exploring and sharing concepts.

Abstract:

How can we break down barriers and encourage and inspire our students to communicate, collaborate and create together? At time when the ‘global’ is offering ever more affordances to learners, how can we as educators respond to the challenges posed by a fast moving technology sector, yet ensuring that we are delivering robust, evidence based teaching? At Bournemouth University we are exploring some of the opportunities and challenges and this talk will offer some insights as what may be possible, and some strategies for overcoming the barriers we face to make the possible happen in our own classrooms.

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Documenting scenes & events that did not exist: Rutherford’s photographic projects

Rutherford’s practice-based research explores the ability of photography to document scenes and events that did not exist ‘out there’ in the world – but were created by the act of photographing them.

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In my previous photographic projects (1982- to present), I have explored the various ways in which the medium can be invited to provide an ‘unanticipatable’ contribution to the resulting artwork. I have done this mostly through photography, but an earlier project (Word processing as an act of collaboration) explored the use of word processing software to generate texts.

My current photographic project explores the ability of the camera to document scenes and events that did not exist ‘out there’ in the world – but were created by the act of photographing them.  The works in this series are all ‘straight’ photographs.  While in some cases, I have adjusted the brightness and contrast of the original files, these images have not been otherwise manipulated or ‘Photoshopped’.  This project developed through three phases:

The first phase Submarines exploited the combination of two factors: i) the reflective-refractive properties of water and ii) the way in which the monocular view of the camera interprets and renders the effect of these reflective-refractive properties on the appearance of those who agreed to undergo the ordeal of posing for me. As a consequence of the constant motion of the water and the ‘delay’ in the release of the shutter of the digital camera, it was not possible to determine the composition of the frame or to anticipate or choose with intent the ‘moments’ recorded, these photographs were the result of an active (an act of) collaboration between photographer and the medium of photography.

In the second phase of the project Supermarines, I held a waterproof camera below the surface and pointed it upwards (diagonally) through the surface of the water towards figures whose heads and torsos were above the surface of the water.

In addition to the factors of the previous Submarines series (in which the camera position, the constant changes in the surface texture of the water and the delay in the release of the shutter made it impossible to determine the composition of the frame or choose with intent how the figures would be rendered or depicted), as a result of holding the camera underwater, I was unable even to predict with any certainty what elements might be in the frame when, following the delay, the shutter released.

In the most recent phase, Technical Images of Flux, my starting point was the observation by Flusser:

The world reflects the sun’s and other rays which are captured by means of optical, chemical and mechanical [digital] devices on sensitive surfaces and as a result produce technical images, i.e. they appear to be on the same level of reality as their significance. […] This apparently non-symbolic, objective character of technical images leads whoever looks at them to see them not as images but as windows. Wilém Flusser. Towards a Philosophy of Photography. (Flusser, 1983)

As argued in my article Is This Photograph Taken?, the assumptions which follow from the widely accepted conception of photographs as “windows” which provide an “accurate and objective record” (Genoni 2002: 137) and “a truthful account” (Fosdick and Fahmy, 2007: 1) of the world ‘out there’ hinder our ability to imagine the possibility of an active (or, an act of) collaboration between the medium and photographer.

In an effort to reduce further my conscious control over the final result, rather than photograph those people willing to pose for me, I began to point the camera (which was still underwater) in the general direction of people I passed in the water, as well as nearby buildings, clouds and other features.

In an effort to reduce further my conscious control over the final result, rather than photograph those people willing to pose for me, I began to point the camera (which was still underwater) in the general direction of people I passed in the water, as well as nearby buildings, clouds and other features.

 

For more information, please contact Rutherford (Programme Leader – MA Advertising, Faculty of Media and Communication).

Previous projects and articles can be found on Rutherford’s website: http://www.theshadowofthephotographer.co.uk/

RKEO alternative 12 days ‘to’ Christmas – 8 Outputs a milking

On the eighth day to Christmas, my RKEO friend gave to me, 8 Outputs a milking (apologies that this sounds really odd).

The University recognises that research publications, as one of the main outputs of research, are a key asset. Click here to find out more about how RKEO can support you with your outputs. This includes the Writing Academy, Open Access, BRIAN, and much more.

There’s a Place Left for You at Creative Writing for Academics…if you hurry!

There are a very few places left for the two-day workshop in Creative Writing for Academics.

11 & 12 January at EBC.

Further info

It is FREE but you need to commit to the two days.

Email Kip Jones NOW if you would like to reserve one of last places.

Transparency in research: Health Research Authority survey results

The HRA recently carried out a survey which aimed to establish some of the current obstacles to transparency, and to identify future opportunities to improve practices.
The survey was advertised to researchers, researcher managers, sponsors and funders in order to collate views surrounding research transparency.

You can see the results here on the HRA website.

It’s vital that research participants are informed about the results of research, and in the beginning they are told about the research and implications, in a transparent fashion.

BU has access to the ClinicalTrials.gov system so get in touch if you would like access. This is a great opportunity to register your study and study results in the public domain.
Despite the name, the system may be used for other clinical research projects.

BU composer’s music in concert in Bangor, Brussels and Beijing

This autumn I have been fortunate to have had my music played in international concerts and festivals in Bangor, Brussels, and Beijing.

My composition ‘Traces of Play’ featured in the Musicacoustica Festival, Beijing, on 26th October, and was peer reviewed and selected by the British Electroacoustic Network to represent the UK at this international festival. Musicacoustica is run by CIME (International Confederation for Electroacoustic Music), and it was an honour to be selected and included in this concert.

On Wednesday 24th October the same composition was a finalist in the Métamorphoses International Acousmatic Music Composition competition, which is part of the L’Espace du Son festival run by Musiques et Recherches, Belgium. This is one of the most esteemed competitions in the field, so it was amazing to be selected as a finalist and to be able to attend the festival.

And on Tuesday 20th November my music featured in the Electroacoustic WALES concert at Theatre Bryn Terfel, Pontio, Bangor, Wales, alongside works by esteemed composers Prof David Berezan and Prof Andrew Lewis. Again, it was an honour to be involved and invited to perform, and we look forward to welcoming David Berezan for a concert here at BU on 27th March 2019.

RKEO alternative 12 days ‘to’ Christmas – 7 Development options to swim in

On the seventh day to Christmas, my RKEO friend gave to me, 7 development options to swim in.

Some of the verses aren’t quite flowing but you get the idea.

The RKEDF provides a whole host of opportunities for academic development. Here’s seven ways to find out what’s on offer for you:

BBC South filming of Assistive Technology research

On Friday 30th November 2018, BBC South visited the Faculty of Science & Technology at Talbot Campus, to film the Assistive Technology research being conducted by Dr Paul Whittington, Dr Huseyin Dogan and Professor Keith Phalp.

Assistive Technology has been identified as one of the key strategic investment areas in the BU2025 vision. The filming focused on the use of different technologies for people with reduced physical and cognitive abilities and the use of alternative methods of interaction to control Dr Paul Whittington’s car.

Briony Leyland interviewed Dr Huseyin Dogan who discussing the importance of Assistive Technology research and raising awareness of potential benefits to improve the quality of life for people with reduced abilities. Dr Dogan also demonstrated the different technologies that have been purchased by the Faculty, including smartglasses, an iPad with a Switch Control feature to enable interaction through head movements and EEG headsets.

The SmartATRS system

Following the filming of students working in one of the computing labs, BBC South then proceeded to film outside. Dr Whittington demonstrated SmartATRS (Automated Transport and Retrieval System) to control the motorised driving seat, the automated tailgate and platform lift in the vehicle, as well as the autonomous docking of the powerchair through LiDAR technology. Dr Whittington was then interviewed to discuss his personal experience and motivations behind the research he is conducting at BU, “To transmit my knowledge to help others improve their quality of life and see the benefits that technology can bring.”

South Today Evening News reported on the advantages of using smartphone interface, compared to the original keyfobs that are challenging for people with reduced finger dexterity.

Dr Huseyin Dogan was also interviewed later in the afternoon, by Louisa Hannan, Drivetime Presenter on BBC Radio Solent. Assistive Technology research at BU was discussed further, explaining the future developments and examples of our research.

BBC filming the Faculty of Science & Technology was a great experience and we were very fortunate with the weather as there were clear blue skies and the cameraman commented that it was too sunny! It was an amazing opportunity to highlight and promote the Assistive Technology research being conducted at Bournemouth University.

This publicity coincides with the International Day of Disabled Persons (3rd December) and we are keen to empower persons with reduced abilities to ensure inclusiveness and equality.

If you would like for further information about our assistive technology research or a link to the South Today feature, please contact us:

Dr Paul Whittington (whittingtonp@bournemouth.ac.uk)

Dr Huseyin Dogan (hdogan@bournemouth.ac.uk)

RKEO alternative 12 days ‘to’ Christmas – 6 funding panels to join on

On the sixth day to Christmas, my RKEO friend gave to me, six funding panels to join on.

To help us further develop our research capacity in line with BU2025, a new Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC) has been established to oversee research investment and performance. Under the auspices of the RPMC, funding panels are being established to have oversight of funding allocations, in order further to build the research environment, our external engagement and the quality and impact of research endeavours. Funding panels will demonstrably operate in an academically robust, fair and transparent manner.

We are now seeking expressions of interest (EoIs) from BU staff to be members of six funding panels. Please click here to find out which panels seek members and how to apply.

2019 Good Clinical Practice training dates

Good Clinical Practice, or ‘GCP’, is a requirement for those wishing to work on clinical research projects in a healthcare setting.

GCP is the international ethical, scientific and practical standard to which all clinical research is conducted. By undertaking GCP, you’re able to demonstrate the rights, safety and wellbeing of your research participants are protected, and that the data collected are reliable.

The local dates for the 2019 Good Clinical Practice full day and half day refresher training are now on the Clinical Governance blog!

Get in touch with Research Ethics to find out how to book.

RKEO alternative 12 days ‘to’ Christmas – 5 Ethics gold rings

On the fifth day to Christmas, my RKEO friend gave to me, five ethics gold rings.

Bournemouth University (BU) is committed to promoting and upholding the highest quality academic and ethical standards in all its activities. All research undertaken by BU staff and students must have ethical approval. Please ensure you consult the Research Ethics Code of Practice and gain ethical approval before commencing research.

Find out more here, including how to apply for ethical approval, guidance on the ethics checklist, and much more.

Health Research Authority releases eLearning for student researchers

The HRA have improved the information provided on their website for student researchers and those who support them, in planning to conduct research within the NHS.

The organisation has provided three bite size eLearning modules with a focus on the following topics:

  • Sponsors’ and supervisors’ role in educational research
  • Applying for HRA and HCRW (Health and Care Research Wales) Approval
  • Setting up research sites in England and Wales.

You can see the update here, and access the modules here.

Remember that support is on offer at BU if you are thinking of introducing your research ideas into the NHS – email the Research Ethics mailbox, and take a look at the Clinical Governance blog.

Reminder: A Few Places Left for Creative Writing Workshop

The Creative Writing for Academics Workshop on 11 & 12 January is filling up very quickly!

There are only a few places left. If you can commit to attending both days, email Kip Jones now to hold your place.

Read all about a previous Creative Writing for Academics workshop here: https://goo.gl/3fz2Yu

…then get ready for the next one coming in January! https://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/2018/12/05/two-day-workshop-in-creative-writing-for-academics-now-open/

VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE (FACEBOOK LIVESTREAM): Digital media and the Syrian Crisis.

VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE (FACEBOOK LIVESTREAM):
Digital media and the Syrian Crisis. How development organisations leverage digital technologies to support Syrian refugees & Internally Displaced People.

December 13, 3pm-5pm (GMT)

You are warmly invited to participate to a virtual roundtable/debate on how organisations use digital media to promote peacebuilding, reconciliation and community reconstruction in the Syrian crisis. The following organisations will present their experiences, and discuss challenges and opportunities opened up by digital media for supporting peace-building and reconciliation in the Syrian crisis:

  • Nabil Eid, Strategic Disability Inclusion – Syria
  • Joel Bergner, Artolution.
  • Ali Sheikh and Aida Hussein, Syrian Eyes.
  • Mohammed Al Dbiyat, Salamieh Friends Association.
  • Suha Tutunji, Jusoor Organization.

The event will be live-streamed on the e-Voices: Redressing Marginality facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BUevoices/

The virtual roundtable is part of the AHRC International Network eVoices: Redressing Marginality. To know more about the network please check our website: http://evoices.cemp.ac.uk/

RKEO alternative 12 days ‘to’ Christmas – 3 more months in the EU

On the third day to Christmas, my RKEO friend gave to me, 3 more months in the EU.

Or will it be? Who knows with Theresa May quoting The Jam with ‘the public gets what the public wants’ and the rest of her Cabinet quitting.

Assuming it’s all still going ahead, get your Horizon 2020 application in quickly.  Find out what’s on offer here. If you want advice on any of the H2020 calls, please contact Ainar Blaudums for more information. If you don’t know Ainar, see the second day of Christmas blog post to find out all about him.

Education Research with Impact: Introducing the 3D Pedagogy Framework

My research, teaching and professional practice have always been centred on equality and social justice, especially in relation to race, ethnicity, culture and gender.

Prior to joining BU in 2014, I established an influential network of intellectuals and scholar-activists committed to the cause of race equality – Black British Academics. A primary consultancy activity we’ve been involved in over the past few years is addressing the lack of ethnic and cultural diversity in the higher education curriculum.

It was from these origins that I developed the final year optional unit in the Faculty of Media and Communication – Media Inequality in 2014/15. The unit centres on critical engagement with historical and contemporary issues around race, ethnicity and culture and their relationship with power across the media and in communications practice. It aims to facilitate the development of cultural competencies that can be applied in a professional context to a range of communication industries.

The unit has run for two academic years in 2016/17 and 2017/18 and during this time I collected quantitative data via an end of unit survey through which students reported high levels of critical consciousness and agency and perception of greater levels of cultural competence. It attracted praise from the external examiner and two SUBU ‘You’re Brilliant’ awards that mention the unit and its focus on social justice. In 2018/19 I won the Academic Excellence Award in the Dorset Ethnic Minority Awards and I was presented with Staff Member of the Year Award by SUBU at their BME Awards last week.

The sector, student and community recognition of my pedagogies around social justice and equality created a strong motivation for me to extend impact beyond my own teaching practice. Over the years I have shared my teaching strategies with the international academic community through education conferences in Hawaii, Washington DC, New York and Austin, Texas, between 2016 and 2018. The positive feedback and engagement I received led me to develop the 3D Pedagogy Framework; an inclusive teaching strategy that aims to decolonize, democratize and diversify the higher education curriculum.

In May of this year I applied for ACORN funding through the Early Career Researcher Network and was successful in gaining a major award. This enabled me to develop and pilot a 3D Pedagogy workshop that I delivered at BU, De Montfort University and the Canada International Conference on Education in Toronto to a total of 27 participants.

The findings from this study documented in a forthcoming journal article suggest 3D Pedagogy is an effective approach to enhance the cultural competencies of educational practitioners and promote critical reflection; important steps towards transforming the curriculum and the student learning experience.

My teaching, research and professional practice on issues around race and equality over the past few years have occurred during an era of increased media and political focus on the curriculum and student outcomes. Proportionally, more students of colour attend university and with increased competition for student recruitment, ignoring longstanding racial disparities in higher education has financial implications for HEIs.

It is within this climate that the Office for Students recently announced plans to publish national data on attainment gaps by institution to incentivise HEIs to develop concrete measures to address ethnic disparities in progression and attainment. Access and Participation Plans require HEIs to demonstrate how disparities in progression and attainment are being tackled and evaluated with documented evidence.

The Access Excellence and Impact Committee (AEIC) was formed in 2017/18 in response to these sector changes to lead education activities, replacing the Fair Access Group.  Membership includes all Executive Deans and relevant Heads of Professional Service, the Head of the Centre of Excellence in Learning (CEL), and SUBU representation.

In July this year the AEIC put out a call for projects aligned with its priority themes of access, success and participation and especially strategies to address gaps in progression and attainment. Having just completed my ACORN project, with preliminary findings of the 3D Pedagogy Workshop being extremely positive; I applied and was successful in gaining an award.

As a result, 3D Pedagogy (which is fully endorsed and supported by SUBU), is to be embedded across BU through delivery of the workshop to all 20 departments, as part of a two-year project. The workshop will be integrated into the PG Cert in Academic Practice offered through CEL and embedded into Academic Quality through future revision to 2B: Programme Structure and Curriculum Design Characteristics. It is being developed as a case study for BU2025 (inclusivity) and will also be promoted through the HEA Fellowship route as an opportunity to develop a case study that meets the UKPSF across Activity (A1, A2), Core Knowledge (K2, K3) and Professional Values (V2, V4).

In addition to a forthcoming paper in the International Journal of Technology & Inclusive Education that documents my pilot study funded by the ACORN award; I have also secured a book contract with Routledge for a forthcoming title that incorporates 3D Pedagogy centred on media education. The book is part of a series on media literacy co-edited by Prof Julian McDougall, Head of the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP), of which I am a member and through which I have been developing my education research.

*My AEIC Award provides funding for a research assistant at grade 6 to support the project, working one-day a week for the duration. The role will involve data collection and analysis as well as administration of the project, including assistance in the development of electronic resources. While this post is being advertised externally, internal applications are welcome, ideally from PGRs with an understanding of issues around race, ethnicity and culture in higher education as well as experience of handling quantitative and qualitative data.

I’m pleased to have the opportunity to lead a major project driving changes to education practice at BU, which was facilitated by the ACORN Award, enabling me to pilot the 3D Pedagogy Workshop, and look forward to developing more research in this area.

*Interested parties should contact Dr Deborah Gabriel for further information about the post by email to: dgabriel@bournemouth.ac.uk