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Daniel Hills (FMC PGR) has recently returned from the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) European Media and Communication Doctoral Summer School. This year it was held at Tartu University, Estonia between 9th to 16th July.
Taken from the ECREA website, the summer school brings together members of the European research community to this summer school in order to debate contemporary issues in media, communication and cultural studies. The summer school aims to provide a supportive international setting where doctoral students can present their ongoing work, receive feedback on their PhD-projects from international experts and meet students and academics from other countries, establishing valuable contacts for the future.
It is a full on conference including a variety of back-to-back workshops, lectures, group feedback sessions and consultation every day for 8 days, and is extremely intense. To qualify for this conference, I had to supply an initial 500 word abstract of my PhD, and following being successfully shortlisted for the next round, produce an expanded 3,000 word introduction and summary of my research project, as well as a 10 minute presentation summarising my research plans as they were prior to the summer school.
There were 40 delegates selected and I was lucky enough to be one of them. The conference commenced at 09:30 on the 8th with a half day meet and greet so we could all get to know one another and our personal areas of research. This was followed by lunch and then into an afternoon of interactive workshops taking us to 6PM. This was followed by a welcome drinks party where we could discuss our first day over a glass of wine and provided a great opportunity to bond with my new peers. Over the following days, we would cover a further 16 workshops, 5 lectures and most importantly for me, individual feedback sessions. Our large group was broken into 2 groups or 14 and 1 or 13, and over the course of the work were give an hour dedicated to presenting our research (10 minutes) maximum and then to receive a structured feedback from lecturers and peers whom had already read my 3,000 word paper. This delivered invaluable feedback for me and gave me a plethora of new perspectives which I had hitherto not considered.
I gained a great deal of insights, useful techniques and a re-ignition of enthusiasm towards my research throughout the 8 days, and would encourage anybody whom is more than a year into their research to apply for the 2020 version. I graduated with 10 ECTS points on the final day, but more importantly new-found knowledge and a new direction to progress with my PhD, and a whole lot of new friends and peers. I am planning on writing a paper with one of my new friends whom is interested in a similar field to my own. All in all, the ECREA European Media and Communication Doctoral Summer School has been one of the most useful academic experiences of my career to date.
Daniel Hills is a PhD researcher in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University, and is focusing his research in advertising planning and practice theory, aiming to complete in 2020.
On Thursday 4 July CsJCC and NRG supported a one-day workshop that demonstrated and explored database use in Humanities Research. This was a two-part day that aimed to introduce participants to the possibilities of this approach, and then moved to discuss potential collaborative projects. It was attended by FMC colleagues and doctoral students researching multiple subjects (including English, Marketing, Advertising, Law, Journalism, Computer Animation, and Radio), and two external scholars.
Ian Stephenson (Senior Lecturer in Computer Animation and Faculty Data Champion) led the morning session, a gentle introduction to using standard query language (SQL) to ask complicated questions of multiple existing data tables. Research generates data, either during primary research or in the form of meta-data where we annotate and organise existing media. While simple notetaking can work at first, greater structure often becomes necessary as projects grow and evolve. Ian demonstrated how small, free programmes such as Postgres can easily be installed (without cost) on a laptop, providing the same power and flexibility as that of commercial datacentres to store and organise essentially unlimited amounts of data. This allows data to be securely stored, well organised, and shared between researchers, allowing us to ask new questions of the data, beyond the scope of the initial investigation.
This workshop grew out of Ian’s development of Julia Round’s database of Misty stories (available at www.juliaround.com/misty). Julia’s project explores the nature of the stories in the British girls’ comic Misty, and also contains supporting information on their creators, origins, and so forth (courtesy of online communities of scholars and fans). Her online database is searchable and will help interested readers find information on these things, but by its nature it’s not capable of asking more complicated questions. Ian developed this research into a relational database or series of interlinked tables, each focused around a subject such as stories (type, length, themes, character, etc), people (artist, writer, letterer, colourist, editor, etc), publication details (title, co-title, issue date, price, cover image, tagline, free gift, etc.), and so forth.
SQL thus enables us to ask questions that link all of this information. For example:
– In what months were new titles launched?
– When did price hikes take place and how does this look if adjusted for inflation?
– How long did merged comics titled usually last?
– Were boys and girls titles different in terms of pricing, story length, or other factors susceptible to numerical analysis?’
– Which artists’ work appeared on the covers most frequently?
– Which artists’ work appears in the internal colour (centre) pages most frequently?
– Which writers and artists most frequently worked together?
In his brief demonstration, Ian showed us some interesting statistics on a number of subjects. These included identifying patterns in story crossover points, i.e. where serials overlapped; the price rises in comics (which prior to the 1980s were not significant in the context of inflation and as compared to newspaper periodicals); and that almost all new titles were launched in February or at the end of the summer. In this way, participants saw how reconstructing simple spreadsheet data as a relational database allowed it to be expanded, interrogated and repurposed. By sharing such datasets, the borders of existing research projects can be extended and interdisciplinary and collaborative projects can be taken to new levels.
The afternoon session invited interested participants to discuss how we might collaborate on developing such a project. Discussion points included a review of what is out there already (sites such as the Grand Comics Database, Jinty blog, Girls’ Comics of Yesterday, Great News for All Readers, Down the Tubes, and so forth), and identification of what these sites do and don’t offer. It was felt that even the most inclusive sites such as the GCD don’t allow complex searches and that most sites/blogs are set up with a singular aim in mind. We thus agreed there was a demonstrable need for a live shared resource that would provide students, researchers and fans with access to a much wider dataset along with the ability to ask complex, interlinked questions of this data.
We were lucky enough to have a brief discussion with a colleague from the Law Department who advised us on copyright issues when including quotations and images, and also IP rights when incorporating data gathered by other people or the templates created to contain this. Images in particular will need to be kept within private circulation and database rights will need to be explored further to ensure we have the correct permissions from contributors.
To develop this project, first steps will be to find some server space to host this dataset. In the longer term, we will reach out to the academic and fan communities for the spreadsheet data currently held by individuals, using our existing networks and also through conference presentations demonstrating the value of this potential resource. Later steps will include expanding the scope of the database to a global level, and developing tools to allow contributors to directly add data, via funding bids or other initiatives.
The proposed database has clear benefits as a data discovery tool, with a demonstrable need from the community of comics scholars at multiple levels. It will have impact as a teaching aid and a source of primary data that will lead to research outputs.
BU is going through a process of re-commissioning its research centres this month. Existing centres, like ours CMMPH (the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health) were required to submit evidence of their contribution to BU’s research capacity to deliver our strategic plan BU2025.
This process was an interesting stock-take exercise and offered an opportunity to reflect on our successes. Our friends and associates will be aware of some of our work through our collaborations, joint publications, posts on BU’s award-winning Research Blog as well as our newsletter three times a year. The phrase commonly heard on the television programme Love Island, “You’re my type on paper”, reflects the notion here that a description on paper never quite reflects reality. The same goes for the research centre description of CMMPH, on a structured application form some of the subtle success can be overlooked. First of all, being a research centre is the main function of CMMPH, but certainly not the only one.
CMMPH is much more a university centre in the sense of FUSION, bringing together and creating a synergetic effect between research, Education and Practice. This FUSION enables research to be meaningful and has the ability to impact on the student experience through education as well as ‘real life’ issues and challenges in midwifery practice. This notion of being more than a research centre is reflected in our newsletters which always have sections on Research, Education and Practice.
To highlight this synergetic effect of being a properly fused centre, CMMPH has built a reputation for developing innovative student-led clinics: i) Student Midwife integrated Learning Environment (SMiLE) postnatal clinic in collaboration with Portsmouth NHS Trust; and ii) Newborn infant feeding clinic, in collaboration with the AECC University College. These clinics are underpinned by a growing body of evidence (=Research) from studies undertaken within CMMPH, which identifies their effectiveness in terms of a unique learning environment (=Education) to offer women better maternity care (=Practice). Both student-led clinics are being evaluated by PhD students at BU, one being match-funded with Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the other a self-funded chiropractic student.
On a different note, in the past four years our academics have been involved in organising five international conferences. CMMPH held two, high profile, international conferences focusing on research in midwifery education (2015, 2018); it organised the BNAC (British-Nepal Academic Council) conference at Bournemouth University in April 2017 (https://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/2017/03/24/nepal-conference-at-bu/ and CMMPH staff co-organised a conference in India on Mixed-Methods Research at the Mahatma Gandhi University (2019), and an education conference in Nepal (2018). Prof. Steve Tee, FHSS Executive Dean and National Teaching Fellow, gave a key note speech at the 2018 International Conference on ‘Challenges and Prospects of Quality Education in Nepal in Federalism Era in Nepal’.
CMMPH was on the BU Research Blog this week celebrating its latest media and midwifery publication (to see click here!). This paper is paper of a growing body of interdisciplinary research at BU across faculties and across the UK (see photo left). In addition last month Dr. Chris Chapleo from the Faculty of Management submitted a grant application to the ESRC under the title ‘Rebranding childbirth: understanding the role of marketing in influencing uptake of health services’, a joint application with CMMPH staff (Hundley & van Teijlingen) and Dr. Ann Luce in the Faculty of Media & Communication.
CMMPH is internationally recognised for its midwifery and maternity care research, education and publications. It has strong international links which includes active partnership agreements (MoA) with the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences (MMIHS) in Nepal and University of Texas Health Science Centre, School of Nursing in the USA.
Did I mention that CMMPH academics sit on the editorial boards of (or are editors of) all top four world-leading midwifery research journals: Birth, Midwifery, Women and Birth and BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth. Not only is this unique in the UK, as no other midwifery research group can claim this, it is also unique at BU as no other research centre can claim this kind of global coverage! And, last but not least CMMPH staff can claim to have written the eighth most quoted article in the international journal Midwifery (out if 2,626 published papers over the past 35 years).
All in all, on paper, 100% a centre to be proud of.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
The Doctoral College plays a central role in the development of the postgraduate research community, culture and environment here at BU. On 1st & 2nd July 2019, the Doctoral College Research Skills and Development Officer (Natalie Stewart) attended the UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE) Annual Conference with this year’s theme ‘enhancing postgraduate research cultures’ hosted at the University of Salford, MediaCity, Manchester.
The conference had a strong focus on how institutions can support positive PGR cultures and communities in which students can realise their potential. We explored the value of PGR education, listened to experiences of PGR students and discussed what a thriving PGR culture looks like. We also heard from Dr Mark Bennett from FindAUniversity who surveyed prospective PGRs on their expectations of a research degree, findings of which could help inform future provisions.
Day 2 was filled with thought-provoking oral presentation and workshops facilitated by colleagues from Heriot-Watt University, Birmingham City University, Imperial College London and University of Bath. They had us discussing and reflecting on our institutional support for PGRs in particular the activities and events we offer and whether these are actually what students want, how we measure event success, how we support PGRs ‘writing up’ and those PGRs approaching their Viva Voce examination. (If you would like to know how the Doctoral College currently supports these areas please get in touch). For further conference highlights you can view the #UKCGE19 twitter feed.
I look forward to working closely with PGRs and colleagues to further enhance the PGR research culture here at BU.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts or ideas you would like to discuss regarding PGR support. PGRs can freely submit feedback and suggestions via the anonymous RDP Feedback Survey which remains open year round.
On behalf of Bournemouth University Dr Shanti Shanker and Prof Edwin van Teijlingen signed a research collaboration with Dr Anita Patankar of Symbiosis School of Liberal College (SSLC) in India. This collaboration is part of a Research England GCRF-funded project. Our collaborators in rural Ratnagiri District (Maharashtra) include Dr Shrutika Kotkunde, Dr Sachin Yadav and Dr and Mrs Reelkar to name a few.
Sheetal Astitva (meaning Calm Identity) is the name of our project which aims to understand the maternal health and state of neuropsychological rehabilitation in rural India.
Through Sheetal Astitva we will be developing a model of lay counsellors (LC) with focus to improve: a) Maternal mental wellbeing; and b) Neuropsychological rehabilitation and integrating a collaborative step care (CSC) intervention. The training will be adapted on empirical evidence and methods developed for India by Sangath (Shine et al., 2013).
One of intermediate outcomes of the project is to co-create a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in India with the partners to be ensure longer-term sustainability. Sheetal Asthitva will be working in India to improve maternal wellbeing and integrate neuro-rehabilitation in the community to enhance the quality of life and mental health.
If you are interested to know the updates, follow us on twitter: @AstitvaSheetal
We welcome Dr Gayatri Kotbagi as local collaborator, who will soon be joining BU as a post-doctoral research fellow on this project!
BU’s Dr. Bibha Simkhada’s paper ‘Factors affecting the utilisation of antenatal care in developing countries: a systematic review of the literature’  is currently the 27th most cited paper in the Journal of Advanced Nursing. This is great achievement considering that the journal has published nearly ten thousand articles since its inception (to be precise 9,847). The Journal of Advanced Nursing (published by Wiley) is one of the prestigious journals in the nursing field. This extremely well-cited paper was part of Bibha’s Ph.D. study at the University of Aberdeen. Dr. Bibha Simkhada is Lecturer in Adult Nursing in the Department of Nursing and Clinical Sciences. One of her co-authors also works at BU, Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen and a second co-author, Prof. Padam Simkhada from Liverpool John Moores University is Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences. The third co-author Dr. Maureen Porter retired a few years ago.
- Simkhada, B., van Teijlingen E., Porter, M., Simkhada, P. (2008) Factors affecting the utilisation of antenatal care in developing countries: a systematic review of the literature, Journal of Advanced Nursing 61(3): 244-260.
Professor Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)
- MacKenzie Bryers H., van Teijlingen, E. (2010) Risk, Theory, Social & Medical Models: critical analysis of the concept of risk in maternity care, Midwifery 26(5): 488-496.
The Charity Impact Showcase is an opportunity to find out more about the research being undertaken across Bournemouth University with charities and third sector agencies.
The showcase will take place on Monday the 13th of May and run from 10am until 12 noon in Kimmeridge House, Talbot Campus, room K101.
Academic staff and post-graduate researchers are openly invited to the event to discover the innovative research taking place at BU and to learn about how to develop their own research with the help of charities. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network with other researchers as well as national and international charities to spark the possible future research collaboration.
The event will host a wide array of research tables, each dressed and accompanied by research academics from a variety of faculties, including Media and Communications (FMC), Science and Technology (SciTech), Management (FM) and Health and Social Science (HSS).
Dr Fiona Cownie, from FMC, and Professor Lee-Ann Fenge, of HSS, will be facilitating the event while presenting their own research. Professor Fenge is excited about event’s possibility for research fusion with attending charities.
“Colleagues from across all faculties will be sharing their research and it is an opportunity to informally discuss their projects whilst exploring ways of developing research with some amazing and willing charities.”
Some examples of attending academics include Professor Edwin van Teijlingen (HSS) who will be discussing his research in Nepal highlighting charities he has worked with there. From FMC, Dr Anna Feigenbaum will showcase info-graphics and invite participants to engage with developed board-games which relate to her charity involved research. Also from FMC, Dr Joyce Costello will talk about her work with two charities and showcase her published book ‘Public Service Motivation and Civic Engagement’.
Though not able to attend, Professor Michael Silk has provided a new video and a fresh look into the daily reality for Brazilian sex workers who are affected by major sporting events. This video will be shown throughout the event. Professor Silk’s project, ‘Sexual Spaces’, has collaborated with multiple charities (as listed in the video credits below) and is an excellent example of research partnership leading to real world impact.
It is also encouraged that you to please invite academic staff and post-graduate researchers to the event. We hope to see you there.
If you have any queries about attending the event, or you would like to showcase your own research, please email Connor Tracy at email@example.com
Over 70 students took part in BU’s fourth annual undergraduate research conference: Showcasing Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE).
The conference is an excellent opportunity for undergraduates and recent graduates to share their work and develop their presenation skills. This year’s contributions highlighted the great range of outstanding undergraduate research taking place across BU.
The conference allows students to to present their work to peers, academics, staff and attendees from external organisations. As well as demonstrating their academic successes, it gives students the opportunity to take part in a professional conference and network with individuals who could help to develop their research on a greater scale.
Dr Mary Beth Gouthro, co-chair of the conference said: “In its fourth year, SURE is a powerful uni wide platform where high quality undergraduate research is showcased. It’s also a chance for students and staff alike to collaborate and incubate on future research ideas that also feed into BU 2025. The potential reach of their work also builds their confidence and overall impact in their subject areas”
Dr Fiona Cownie, co-chair of the conference followed with “SURE gives students the opportunity to share their opportunity to share their ideas with a broad academic audience. It connects education with research reflecting BU’s Fusion agenda. The confidence students build in participating in SURE enhances their employability; SURE is a great edition to students’ CV.”
There were a number of prize winners as part of the conference, including £20 amazon vouchers for best faculty presentations and posters, and over 16 funded spots to participate at BCUR 2019 for students across each faculty. The overall winner, has been offered a Masters fee waiver.
Winner of the prize for best overall contribution, final year physiotherapy student Eleanor Daniel commented on her experience of the whole day saying;
“I’m still completely in shock, I didn’t expect to hear my name announced. Presenting at the conference was a good experience for developing my presentation skills and it was nice to receive positive feedback about my own research.
It was also exciting to have the opportunity to engage with research undertaken by other students across various BU faculties – there was such a high standard of presentations and posters showcased throughout the day.”
More details including the student abstracts about the conference can be found on the SURE 2019 website. See also #SURE2019 on twitter.
SUBU prize winners:
|HSS winner||Isobel Butler|
|FMC winner||Balint Bruner
|FM winner||Olly Anibaba|
|FST winner||Bethan Bailey
|HSS winner||Laura Heveram|
|FST winner||Bethan Bailey|
|FMC winner||Kari A Noriy|
Best original research via oral presentation:
|HSS winner||Natalie Burdett et al|
|FMC winner||Frieda Gehardt|
|FM winner||Joseph Arundel
|FST winner||Rebecca Fowell|
Best overall contribution:
|Masters fee waiver||Eleanor Daniel|
Good news – BU has been successful in retaining the European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award and is now one of 97 Vitae UK member institutions in the UK who hold this award. In this current round of assessments, BU is one of four universities who have retained their award following the 6 year review. We offer our congratulations to all the other universities who have retained their award during this round.
The Award demonstrates BU’s commitment to aligning process and practice to the UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and, therefore, improving the working conditions and career development for research staff. In turn, this will improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy. The six year review required BU to highlight the key achievements and progress we have made since we first secured this Award in January 2013 and the reviews in 2015 and 2017. The submission also outlined the focus of our strategy, success measures and next steps for the next two years, with much of this pertinent and aligned to BU2025 plans.
Key achievements made at BU since 2017, in support of this agenda include:
- Significantly enhanced maternity, adoption and paternity/partner leave benefits and the promotion of initiatives to support work/life balance for BU staff
- The establishment of biannual meetings for BU’s researchers with representatives from Vitae
- The increased development and targeting of BU’s Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework (RKEDF), which references Vitae’s Researcher Development Framework and, through the Acorn Fund, provides support to our Early Career Researchers (ECRs).
- That BU will, again, be participating in both the Careers in Research Online Survey and Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey (CROS / PIRLS). Please watch out for further announcements.
- Progressing with the implementation of e-recruitment
- Supporting the Research Staff Association
- The establishment of our ECR Network
- Development Opportunities & Resources for Researchers now available along with other initiatives to support researchers at BU, along with further signposting to make our researchers welcome.
You can read our progress review and future action plan (2019-2020) in full on BU’s web pages dedicated to the Research Concordat.
In 2018, the Concordat was reviewed, and we eagerly await the outcome of this review and the subsequent sector consultation.
Read the full announcement on the Vitae website.
Please note that not all links in this post can be accessed outside Bournemouth University.
Congratulations to Dr. Nirmal Aryal in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences has been selected to participate in an international workshop targeting early career researchers (ECRs) on ‘Engendering research and reframing policy debate on migration & health and intersectional rights’ to be held in Kathmandu (Nepal) from 25th to 28th April 2019.
This workshop is jointly organized by several universities in the UK, India as well as the International Organisation for Migration, as well as the Migration Health and Development Research Initiative(MHADRI). There will be 18 ECRs from South Asia and South East Asia and Nirmal is one for the six from the UK. The organizers will fund flight to and accommodation in Nepal.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
BU PGR Aishah Selamat from Creative Technology Department shares how her PhD research work has inspired her to create DataDenizens.com and eventually, clinching the Institute of Director (IoD) Student of the Year Award.
Entries are now open for the 2019 IoD Student Director of the Year Award!
Hunter Hines, a PhD student supervised by Dr Genoveva Esteban in the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (SciTech), has had a piece published by the prestigious journal Nature. Hines is the first author on an article about using social media in microbiology outreach at a global scale. Hunter’s Instagram account @microbialecology currently has 55,000 followers. At the end of 2018 his account received over 1.4 million views in a single week. Around this time this also went viral being picked up by ~30 international media outlets, including National Geographic (Russia). The Nature piece published this week can be read here: doi:10.1038/d41586-019-00493-3
Hunter’s Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/microbialecology
Hunter’s PhD research is on the global distribution of the single-celled organisms known as protists.
Presentation Skills Workshop
Facilitated by Dr Margaret Collins (Training for Universities)
Date: Tuesday 29 January Date: Friday 29 March
Time: 09:30 – 16:30 Time: 09:30 – 16:30
Surveys regularly reveal that public speaking is the most feared business activity and is dreaded even more than death!
Almost every research degree requires you to present your work to colleagues, at meetings, in seminars or at specialist conferences. At conferences, it can also be important to understand how these skills apply to the “business networking” opportunities that present themselves or to have and to use skills to chair a session effectively.
This workshop will begin by exploring the basic components of communication including listening skills, the power of body language, how to make an impact and strategies to hold the attention of your audience.
Participants are invited to deliver a short presentation and to receive coaching and feedback within the supportive workshop environment.
As a result of this workshop participants will:
- Understand the contributions of words, voice and body language
- Know four essential questions to answer when planning for a meeting
- Have structures to plan the content of a presentation
- Be clear about strategies to hold the attention of your audience
- Be prepared for dealing with questions
- Have effective strategies to deal with “presentation stress”
This workshop will be delivered to meet your specific needs.
To see comments from previous participants please visit: https://trainingforuniversities.com/workshops/presentation-skills.
This workshop is part of the wider Doctoral College: Researcher Development Programme.
Creative Thinking and Problem Solving
Facilitated by Dr Margaret Collins (Training for Universities)
Date: Monday 28 January Date: Thursday 28 March
Time: 13:30 – 16:30 Time: 13:30 – 16:30
Significant keys to success in research include being able to ask the right question, to interpret the data, to see new patterns, to make links between the not-so-obvious associations. These are skills that are developed to provide new and creative answers to your research challenges.
During this workshop we will develop your ability to ask questions, to think outside the box, to see things differently and generate a wider range of possibilities.
We will use a range of techniques including group discussion, group activities and targeted exercises to develop your creative thinking and problem solving skills.
Do come ready to work on your own research ideas, problems or challenges and be prepared to develop some surprising possibilities.
As a result of this workshop participants will
- Know the first step to solving a problem is to ask the right question
- Be able to use a range of techniques for stimulating creative processes
- Understand how learning styles and behaviour influence creative activity
- Have techniques to generate ideas and select solutions
- Access resources for creative thinking, problem solving and decision making
This workshop is part of the wider Doctoral College: Researcher Development Programme.