Category / BU research

Opportunity to join the NERC Advisory Network

NERC is adapting its governance and advisory structures to provide increased agility and broader expertise. From September 2019, a new NERC Advisory Network will provide a retained, agile and flexible pool of expertise that can be drawn on for strategic or policy advice on specific issues. This new network will increase access to expertise across a wider remit, with the capacity to advise on interdisciplinary and cross-sector opportunities to support both sustained and agile action.

This is a great opportunity to develop your skills and experience in a new setting and work flexibly across discipline and industry to tackle the cross-sector challenges of the 21st century; and to support an excellent and sustainable UK environmental science community that seizes opportunities in UK Research & Innovation and international contexts.

NERC is now looking to appoint members to the NERC Advisory Network. The network will comprise a mix of researchers, from professors and early career researchers representing core environmental science disciplines with specific capabilities in training, capital / research infrastructure and business engagement, to users of research, including business and UK national government, and others including international partners and representative bodies (for further details, please see the person specification section in the application pack below).

The successful candidate will be appointed for a period of three years.

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 21 July 2019.

The member shortlisting is scheduled to take place in August 2019 and applicants will be informed of outcomes in August 2019.

Please note that they will not be holding interviews. The office will notify all candidates once the panel have made their selection.

Further information and details of how to apply can be found in the application pack below.

Application pack (PDF, 165KB)

Application form (Word, 77KB)

The total time commitment for NERC Advisory Network members is expected to be up to eight days per year; this will include meeting as a group annually at a network meeting / retreat, which members will be expected to attend.

NERC is committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion, and welcomes applications from all. Applications from women, those with a disability, and members of minority ethnic groups who are currently under-represented, are especially encouraged.


If you are interested in applying and have any questions, please contact:

Gemma Davies
Science Committee Secretariat Officer
01793 411742

EPSRC are looking for new members for Early Career Forum in Engineering

EPSRC logoEPSRC is seeking applications from Early Career industrialists, academics and from individuals working in the third sector and government organisations to join their Early Career Forum in the Engineering theme.

The Engineering theme aims to identify and tackle fundamental engineering research challenges with the potential for lasting academic, social and economic benefit to the UK. These challenges are often inherently interdisciplinary, cutting both across EPSRC‘s portfolio and across the Research Councils more widely. Engaging with early career stakeholders from academia, industry and policymaking is a crucial part of achieving these aims, helping to set the direction for engineering research in the near future.

The Engineering Early Career Forum acts as an informal advisory stream to EPSRC. Members are advocates for EPSRC within the community, and provide a broad perspective of the needs and views of the engineering community, offering opinion across the breadth of the Theme.

They are looking to recruit around eight new members in this exercise, and they have a particular aspiration to improve the diversity of the Forum.

Further information on the Forum and its current membership is available on the Engineering Early Career Forum page.

Submitting an Application

The expression of interest form can be found at the bottom of this page.

Applicants should submit their form response by the deadline of 16:00 on 1 August 2019.

Please note: You will not receive a receipt of submission of the expression of interest.

Visit the EPSRC website for more information and the full call document.

BU Academic Targeted Research Scheme launch

BU2025 sets out ambitious plans and targets for research at BU. In support of these, an exciting new opportunity has been developed.

In recognition of the important contribution that early career academics play in driving research for the future, we are delighted to be launching the BU Academic Targeted Research scheme to attract and recruit talented individuals in targeted research areas. We will employ up to six new Senior Lecturers with significant postdoctoral expertise (or of comparable experience) with outstanding potential in alignment with one of six targeted research areas:

  • Technology for behavioural change
  • AI – with a focus on medical imaging
  • Evidence-based persuasive communication for public health
  • Immersive environments for disaster
  • Sustainability consumption and impact
  • Sport and Sustainability

We wish to recruit a diverse cohort of individuals with the motivation to become future academic leaders in their field. As an academic at BU, successful candidates will develop their career in exciting work environments, be provided with a high level of dedicated time to drive research activity and build capacity, and have the freedom to develop their research interests within the targeted areas. BU is committed to Fusion and as such successful candidates will also have the opportunity to contribute to the education and professional practice activities within their Department.

To support these roles and accelerate their careers, BU will provide three years of full-time salary (or part-time equivalent) and reasonable costs directly related to the proposed programme of research activities (up to £10k per year). The standard Academic Application Form must be completed and in all cases accompanied by the BU Academic Targeted Research scheme application form, which will propose the research activities and request funding.

To find out more about these exciting opportunities, please read the scheme guidance and visit the BU website.

Any enquiries about the scheme should be directed to If your enquiry is about applying under one of the targeted research areas and you want to know more about this then please go to our website to find the academic contact for each area.

Prestigious Visiting Professorship at Oxford

Congratulation to BU’s Prof. Tiantian Zhang who has been awarded at Visiting Professorship at the University of Oxford.  Her research area is cryopreservation of biological materials for medical applications.  Tiantian is now affiliated with the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research, which is the University of Oxford’s first overseas centre for advanced physical and engineering science research.

Well done!

Prof Edwin van Teijlingen

Photo of the week

The photo of the week series is a weekly series featuring photos taken by our academics and students for our Research Photography Competition, which provides a snapshot of some of the incredible research undertaken across the BU community.

This week’s photo of the week, ‘Digital Virtual, the Liminoid Space,’ is by Nurist Ulfa, who came second in this years research photography competition and is a PGR student in the faculty of Media and Communications.

Digital virtual space (Shields 2003) is a ‘liminoid’ zone (Turner 1982), the locale mediated by technology that combine aspects of materiality and imagination. This space is characterised by the removal of physical boundaries and the interwoven sociocultural norms, codes and rules, and thus offer freedom for individual to carry out various practices, adopt different subject positions and actualise fantasises and daydreams beyond what is possible in the materially real (Denegri-Knott and Molesworth 2010; 2012). In the context of Jilbab girl, the digital virtual space in video games has enabled them to move away from the physical, social, cultural and religious contexts of everyday life, facilitating experimentations of practices that are inconsistent with their Islamic beliefs, including wearing non-veiled fashions, consuming non-halal foods, performing excessive shopping and practicing non-Muslim lifestyles, including dating and flirting, etc.

Creative Research Methods

Tuesday 18th June 09:00 – 16:30 Talbot Campus

Let loose your inner creativity!

This workshop explores creative and arts-based research methods, research using technology, mixed methods, transformative research frameworks,  creative data analysis, and will involve designing research and preparing a presentation.

The aim of the workshop is to provide you with an increased awareness of the four pillars of creative research methods;  help you assess which methods may be most appropriate in your research practice; and give you increased confidence in the use of creative research methods .

More information and the link for bookings are on the staff intranet.

Dr. Helen Kara has been an independent research since 1999. She has a background of employment in the private, public, and voluntary sectors, and now undertakes commissioned research and evaluation, mainly for public and voluntary sector organisations and partnerships. Her research areas are social care, health, and the voluntary/third sector.

Key role of volunteers in the health system

This week saw the publication of ‘Perceived barriers to accessing Female Community Health Volunteers’ (FCHV) services among ethnic minority women in Nepal: A qualitative study’ [1].  This article in the Open Access journal PLoS ONE highlights the key role volunteers play in delivering health services to minorities/the poorest people, especially in low-income countries like Nepal.

This paper studies community health workers in Nepal, who are known as Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs). To address this issue, we conducted a qualitative study to explore perceived barriers to accessing maternal and child healthcare services among ethnic minority groups in two different parts of Nepal with varying degrees of access to local healthcare centres. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty FCHVs, 26 women service users and 11 paid local health workers. In addition, 15 FCHVs participated in four focus group discussions.

A thematic analysis of the data identified five major themes underlying barriers to accessing available maternal and child healthcare services by ethnic minority groups. These themes include: a) lack of knowledge among service users; b) lack of trust in volunteers; c) traditional beliefs and healthcare practices; d) low decision-making power of women; and e) perceived indignities experienced when using health centres.  The paper concluded that community health programmes should focus on increasing awareness of healthcare services among ethnic minority groups, and the programmes should involve family members (husband and mothers-in-law) and traditional health practitioners. Both the FCHVs and local healthcare providers should be trained to communicate effectively in order to deliver respectful care among ethnic minorities if we want to achieve universal healthcare coverage for maternal and child health in low- and -middle income countries.

The paper is based on the PhD research conducted by Dr. Sarita Panday in ScHARR at the University of Sheffield.  Dr. Panday is currently affiliated with the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Centre (APARC) at Stanford University in the USA.  Her co-authors are Prof. Paul Bissell at the University of Huddersfield, FHSS’s Visiting Prof. Padam Simkhada at the Liverpool John Moores University and BU Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen.  This is the second paper from Dr. Panday’s excellent thesis, the first paper was also published in an Open Access journal BMC Health Services Research [2].



  1. Panday S, Bissell P, van Teijlingen E, Simkhada P (2019) Perceived barriers to accessing Female Community Health Volunteers’ (FCHV) services among ethnic minority women in Nepal: A qualitative study. PLoS ONE 14(6): e0217070.
  2. Panday S, Bissell P, van Teijlingen E, Simkhada P (2017) The contribution of female community health volunteers (FCHVs) to maternity care in Nepal: a qualitative study. BMC Health Services Research 17(1):623.

Assistive Technology Symposium 2019

Dr Huseyin Dogan and Dr Paul Whittington have organised an Assistive Technology Symposium on Monday 24th June 2019 in Share Lecture Theatre, Fusion Building, Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University, 09:00 – 17:00.

The 2nd Assistive Technology Symposium at Bournemouth University will be a fusion of research domains: Digital Health, Educational Technologies, Human Computer Interaction, Inclusion, Learning Strategies through Metacognition, Smart Technologies, and User Experience. Download Assistive Technology Symposium 2019 Programme.
We have presentations from a range of speakers including academics, researchers and postgraduate students, including a keynote presentation from Steve Tyler, Assistive Technology Director of Leonard Cheshire. The Symposium will conclude with a Panel discussing collaborative projects and future Assistive Technology research.
There is no cost to attend the event, but delegates are required to register online through Eventbrite at:
Registration includes refreshments and a finger buffet lunch (please advise by email of any dietary requirements). Tickets will be available on a first come first served basis and there is a maximum capacity of 60 delegates.
If you have any questions regarding the event, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Paul Whittington by email:

Setting up clinical research – the ‘Organisation Information Document’

If you are currently conducting research within the NHS or Health & Social Care (HSC), then please bear in mind the following update if you wish/plan to add new NHS/HSC research sites to your study.

As of 5th June, the set-up procedure for clinical research projects involving NHS or HSC organisations changed (see blog post) –

  • If you applying for HRA/NHS REC approval you will be required to follow the new procedure using the Organisation Information Document (OID), as referenced in the above post;
  • If you are already conducting a study with HRA/NHS REC approval, in NHS/HSC organisations, and wish to involve new sites, then please be aware that the OID should be used, even if existing sites were set-up using the previous document, the Statement of Activities.

Further help and guidance

Guidance on the use of the new UK Local Information Pack has now been published in the Site Specific page of IRAS Help to help applicants with the change.

If you have any queries regarding any of the information provided above, information in the referenced blog post, or would like some guidance with regard to implementing your research in a healthcare setting – please get in touch with BU’s Research Ethics team.

You can also take a look at the Clinical Governance blog for documents, links and training opportunities.

CEH sandpit opportunity for advanced technology for water runoff

NEW date 22 & 23 October 2019

Penrith, Rheged Centre

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology is holding a 2-day sandpit in 2019, funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council. The sandpit will be held at Rheged, Penrith, which has the benefit of being co-located to a number of important field runoff experiments. Please apply by the end of August 2019.

The broad aims of the sandpit are to generate research proposals which can:

  • Build a better understanding of the problems and challenges posed by water runoff and allow these to be framed in a clearer way.
  • Address the key research challenges that are identified through use of STFC facilities , technology and expertise.
  • Facilitate interactions between key researchers and end-users in water and agriculture.

The sandpit will include demonstrations of scientific advancements in the area of rainfall runoff modelling, including the demonstrations of real time flood forecasting for arable environments from JBA, and novel sensor systems for measuring diffuse pollution. Following the sandpit, participants will be invited to apply for funding for ~10 projects at up to  £20k each. The aim is for projects to deliver advanced technology solutions to address the challenges identified by the community.

Over the next few weeks, CEH will be inviting expressions of interest from the rainfall-runoff research community.

If you would like to participate in the agri-runoff sandpit, please fill in this online questionnaire.

Research Communication Day

Thursday 20 June from 10.30am – 3.30pm, Talbot Campus

This event is a one-stop shop in assisting academics in finding out more regarding research communication and outreach to external audiences. The day will be particularly helpful for academics new to BU, or early career researchers of all levels who wish to increase their public profile and the impact of their research.

Nineteen workshops will be on offer in the afternoon, covering a wide range of topics vital to researchers and academics – from broadcast training to sharing research through social media. Included in these are two one-to-one sessions – one with the editor from the Conversation, and another with the Impact Officer team.

By the end of the day, attendees will understand the benefits of communicating their research, how to go about this, and who in BU can help them. The event is sure to be of great use to academics and researchers.

More information is available on the staff intranet.

Ethical Thinking and Decision-making in Practice

Monday 17th June 09:30 – 16:30 Talbot Campus

An exciting day’s workshop for academics who are new or relatively new to research, who would like to enhance their understanding and confidence in the application of ethical considerations to their research activity.

The aims of the day are to:

  1. Increase your awareness of the need for ethics compliance in research
  2. Develop a good understanding of your responsibilities and when you may need further assistance
  3. Develop your skills in the following key areas, within the context of ethical research:
  • Planning and design
  • Gathering data and data analysis
  • Reporting, including presentation and dissemination
  • Consideration of ethical dilemmas, based on real-world examples and participants’ experience

More information and the link for bookings are on the staff intranet.

Dr. Helen Kara has been an independent research since 1999. She has a background of employment in the private, public, and voluntary sectors, and now undertakes commissioned research and evaluation, mainly for public and voluntary sector organisations and partnerships. Her research areas are social care, health, and the voluntary/third sector.