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New Publication: Doctoral Supervision Review Paper

A new review of Doctoral Supervision has been published in Encyclopedia 2023 by lead author Dr Martyn Polkinghorne (Associate Professor, BUBS/FLIE), in collaboration with co-authors Dr Julia Taylor, Dr Fiona Knight and Natalie Stewart from the Doctoral College. Encyclopedia is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal and the paper entitled Doctoral Supervision: A Best Practice Review [1] provides a summary of academic literature relating to doctoral supervision and considers the dimensions of good supervisory practice, discussing the relevant implications and impacts which can occur.

The paper considers the relationships between supervisors and the doctoral students; key facets of supervision from recruitment to completion, as well as pastoral aspects such as mentoring, and protecting the doctoral student’s mental health and wellbeing. This entry relates primarily to the UK model of supervising; practices concerning doctoral programmes in other countries may differ.

This overview provides an excellent introduction for any academic new to doctoral supervision on which to reflect before attending the New Supervisors Development sessions at BU. It may equally be of interest to those who are more established doctoral supervisors and are considering submitting an application for national recognition via the UKCGE Research Supervision Recognition Programme.


[1] Polkinghorne, M., Taylor, J., Knight, F. and Stewart, N. 2023. Doctoral Supervision: A Best Practice Review. Encyclopedia, 3(1), 46-59.

New Frontiers in Neuroscience: Neuroimaging and Integrative Multi-Sensing Methods (room update -Inspire LT)

We would like to cordially invite you to the 2nd symposium of the BU’s Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Research Centre on next Monday the 16th of January 2023 from 9:00-13:00 at the Inspire Lecture Theatre, Fusion Building first floor (room updated).

The symposium is entitled “New Frontiers in Neuroscience: Neuroimaging and Integrative Multi-Sensing Methods”.  We will focus on these two themes from a cross-disciplinary angle, leveraging synergies between different departments at BU and our collaborators in other universities, industry, charities, and at the NHS. We think that this is a good opportunity to have informal discussions on grant proposals, also to explore shared interests with our external guests.

The schedule is:

9:00-9:15 Welcome and coffee.

9:30. Keynote talk: Prof. Mavi Sanchez-Vives, Biomedical Research Institute IDIBAPS, Barcelona (Leader of Human Brain Project Work Package 2 -Networks underlying brain cognition and consciousness-). “Brain States and Consciousness Studies in the Human Brain Project”.  This talk will be online, projected on the screen. All the rest of the talks will be presential.

10.20-10:40. Coffee.

10:40-11:40. Session I. Integrating Multi-sensing approaches and Industrial Applications.

  • Prof. Fred Charles (Creative Technology, FST, BU). “Multimodal Immersive Neuro-sensing approaches -introduction to the MINE cluster”.
  • Dr. Ifigeneia Mavridou (EmteqLabs, Sussex Innovation Centre). “Investigating affective responses to VR environments”.
  • Dr. Federica Degno (Psychology Department, FST, BU). “Co-Registration of Eye Movements and EEG”.

11.40 -12.00. Coffee and grants discussion.

12.00-13:00. Session II. Neuroimaging and Clinical Neuroscience. Concluding remarks.

  • Dr. Ruth Williamson (Deputy Chief Medical Officer, UHD; Consultant Radiologist). “The effect of cold-water immersion on brain function”.
  • Prof. Carol Clark (Rehabilitation and Sport Sciences, HSS, BU). “Measuring the brain structure, function and cognition of women currently engaged in sporting activities”.
  • Prof. Brigitte Vollmer (Southampton General Hospital, Southampton University). “Neurodevelopmental trajectories and neural correlates in children with neonatal Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy”.

Please, feel free to forward this email to any colleague/students who may be interested. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact any of us (Ellen Seiss,, Emili Balaguer-Ballester For those of you who cannot make it, we will use Zoom, and it will be recorded (please see the Zoom link below this post).

After the event and having some lunch (can be bought in the same building) there are follow-up activates, if you wish to:

  • In the same lecture theatre, at 14h, there will be a very interesting talk, sponsored by the MINE cluster-Department of Psychology seminars, by Dr. Benjamin Schoene (Universität Osnabrück), entitled “The Brain in Virtual Reality: A Novel Perspective on Psychological Science”.
  • The talk will be followed by a visit to the Multimodal Immersive Neuro-sensing lab for natural neuro-behavioural measurement, which is just next to the Fusion Building (MINE lab, Tolpuddle Annex 1, TAG02) .

Thank you very much, we are looking forward to seeing you on Monday.

Kind regards,

Ellen and Emili






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Supervisor Lunchbite | Avoiding PGR Plagiarism & Copyright Breaches

Hosted by the Doctoral College, these one hour online lunch bite sessions supplement the regular New and Established Supervisory Development Sessions and are aimed at all academic staff who are new to, or experienced at, supervising research degree students and are interested in expanding their knowledge of a specific aspect or process in research degree supervision.Each session will be led by a senior academic who will introduce the topic, and staff will benefit from discussions aimed at sharing best practice from across BU. Bookings are arranged by Organisational Development.

The Library Staff are increasingly identifying issues with referencing in research degree thesis at the final submission stage. This is particularly problematic now theses are available online or for integrated theses. This session is focused on providing guidance for supervisors on how to advise PGRs on avoiding plagiarism and copyright breaches. This discussion will be led by Tim Calvert, Academic Services.

Staff attending this session will:

  • have gained additional knowledge of how to avoid common referencing and copyright errors

Further details on the session as well as information on future lunchbite sessions can also be found on the staff intranet.

Date: Tuesday, 10 January 2023

Time: 12:00 – 13:00

To book a place on this session please complete the booking form.

Further details and future sessions can also be found on the Supervisory Development Lunchbite Sessions staff intranet page.

Conversation article: Terrorist recruitment now happens mainly online – which makes offenders easier to catch

BU’s Chris Baker-Beall co-authors this article for The Conversation around new research into the different journeys and patterns of extremist offending…

Terrorist recruitment now happens mainly online – which makes offenders easier to catch


Jens Binder, Nottingham Trent University and Chris Baker-Beall, Bournemouth University

It is notoriously difficult to work out how and why someone becomes a terrorism risk. While attacks cause immense pain and suffering, the actual number of terrorist incidents in the western world is small. That makes it difficult to arrive at reliable, quantified evidence.

But in our research, we’ve started to identify important patterns when it comes to different journeys into extremist offending. Most notably, we’ve found that in recent years, people who go on to be convicted of terrorist offences are far more likely to have been radicalised online – without any offline interactions at all – than was the case in the past.

While the seeming ease with which this can happen is worrying, we’ve also found that people recruited purely online are less likely to commit violent attacks and less committed to their extremist causes than those recruited via in-person meetings. While face-to-face radicalisation continues, the process is now found to take place primarily online.

Our work, which uses detailed risk assessment reports on people sentenced for terrorist offences in England and Wales, draws on 437 cases between October 2010 and December 2021. These reports, written by trained prison and probation professionals, focus on the pre-history of an offence and the current circumstances of the offender. As well as a detailed narrative, they also contain estimates of the levels of risk that the individual poses.

The shift online

We wanted to look into how people became radicalised in the outside world before they committed an extremist offence. We found that, over time, it is less and less the case that people are radicalised offline, such as at local meeting places or via direct contact with peers and relatives.

Mixed radicalisation, where extremist offenders are subject to both online and in-person influences, has also been declining. It is now much more common for people to be radicalised online. They might learn from online sources or engage with extreme views on social media. They might also use internet forums and chat groups that provide easy access to like-minded others.

Our findings show that despite current perceptions about the growth of encrypted messaging services, online radicalisation is not necessarily happening predominantly through one-to-one communication channels. The most commonly named platform is YouTube.

While encrypted applications will always play their role, monitoring and regulating the more public online spaces is likely to make the most difference.

It was also interesting to note that those radicalised online consistently showed the lowest level of estimated risk. They were less engaged with extremist causes than those radicalised offline. They were also the most likely to have committed a non-violent offence, such as inciting and encouraging others to commit terrorism or possessing terrorist material, and to have committed their offences solely online.

Police caution tape sectioning off an area of a street.
Police were more likely to thwart online plots.

They were also far less intent on committing further offences after leaving prison than those who were radicalised offline – and they appeared to have the lowest capacity to commit further crimes because of having less access to the knowledge, networks or materials they might need.

So it seems that while online radicalisation is the most pervasive form at the moment, it is not overly effective at permanently immersing people in an extremist mindset. Nor is the online approach particularly successful for conveying the skills and knowledge necessary to commit graver offences.

Disrupting online plots

In order to check for potentially more dangerous sub-groups, we also focused on those offenders classed as attackers. These were people who did not necessarily carry out full attacks but had, at the very least, cast themselves in such a role and had pursued attack plans.

The online group showed the lowest frequency of attack-related activities, and attackers in this group were least successful in progressing plots for attacks. Only 29% of these plots moved from planning to the execution stage and only 18% were successfully carried out.

All the plots we studied, which were not successful, had been disrupted by the police or other security services. The online world is, after all, not a perfect hiding place. Online activities often leave traces that can be detected by counter-terrorism practitioners.

While this could all mean that online radicalisation is comparatively harmless, there is a thin line between a relatively ineffective online-only radicalisation and a much more effective mixed radicalisation that includes both online and in-person influences. Online communication can slide into real-life interactions, and people radicalised via the latter technique were assessed as being highest in engagement and intent.

So while the switch to online radicalisation appears to make people easier to catch and less likely to commit violent attacks, this form of radicalisation should still be taken seriously and be recognised as a potential stepping stone towards more dangerous behaviour.The Conversation

Jens Binder, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Nottingham Trent University and Chris Baker-Beall, Senior Lecturer In Crisis and Disaster Management, Bournemouth University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Research reflections 2022 – Your highlights: The SPEED project

Dr Deniz Cetinkaya, Principal Academic in Computing, writes about the SPEED project, an EU project to use advances in technology and data science to support new port ecosystems, which has just been completed… 

The SPEED project (Smart Ports Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development) is funded by the EU European Interreg 2 Seas program, run for the European 2 Seas region (Belgium, France, Netherlands and the UK).

The project has been running for over four years now, since 2018, and we have completed it successfully and managed to deliver all expected outputs in our work package. BU has been one of the leading partners together with Antwerp Management School in Belgium.

A port at sunset The SPEED project aimed to develop and support the growth of a connected port solutions ecosystem backed by data science and IoT technologies. It helped to empower a cross-border community of port authorities, port stakeholders, data science and IoT entrepreneurs and knowledge centres to become a leading smart ports innovation ecosystem and hub for smart port application development.

The project was shortlisted for the 2021 IAPH (The International Association of Ports and Harbours) Sustainability Awards by The World Ports Sustainability Program in the category ‘Resilient Digital Infrastructure’. We have published and presented a conference paper in the 20th International Conference in E-Society in March 2022 and another paper in the 24th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction in June 2022.

SPEED Smart Ports Innovation Portal is an open community platform to connect and bridge the worlds of port operations and smart technologies. You can check the SPEED Portal for more information and to register. SPEED Portal is one of the deliverables of the SPEED Project, and is developed and maintained by BU. Major events, outputs and some deliverables are shared on the portal.

We had the dissemination and closure event for the SPEED project as well as a networking opportunity for future collaborations on 25th of November 2022. The one-day event was very successful with several presentations and discussion sessions, and many BU students, colleagues and external guests from different disciplines attended the event.

More information is available on the SPEED website and

You can also contact the project’s PI Dr Deniz Cetinkaya or Co-I Dr Gernot Liebchen if you have any questions.

Research reflections 2022 – Your highlights: The RaNTrans project

Dr Dan Franklin, Associate Professor in Environmental Science, and Annesia Lamb, Post-Doctoral Research Assistant/Senior Research Associate, write about RaNTrans, an Interreg project addressing the issues of excess nutrients in coastal waters… 

The Interreg (Rapid Reduction of Nutrients in Transitional Waters) project is a partnership of several UK and French organisations addressing the issues of excess nutrients (particularly nitrogen) in coastal waters. Human modification of the nitrogen cycle is recognised as one of the “planetary boundaries” beyond which humanity currently operates. Excess nitrogen in coastal ecosystems can cause dramatic ecological changes and significantly alter how ecosystems function.

The surface of Holes Bay covered in a green algae with three people wading in it

Seaweed collection in Holes Bay, Poole Harbour

RaNTrans has had a strong focus on the use of seaweeds and oysters to mitigate excess nitrogen conditions. Seaweeds and oysters take up and store nutrients in their tissues and when harvested can act as a removal mechanism to offset human nutrient discharges from agriculture and wastewater treatment works. They are also the subject of large-scale ecosystem restoration projects through European coastal waters.

Green seaweeds (such as Ulva) are often very abundant in high-nutrient estuaries. They can form “mats” and shade other species of seaweeds, potentially change dissolved oxygen conditions, and can also change the amount of food available to wading birds in the underlying sediments. Improving our understanding of mat species and biochemical composition, mat dynamics and computer modelling, and mat detection with remote sensing are other aspects of the project.

An aerial image showing areas of algae at Holes Bay

Holes Bay algal mat detection

This year RaNTrans successfully completed a large-scale seaweed collection trial in Holes Bay, Poole Harbour, which removed several hundred kilos of seaweed mat. This effort involved up to 10 project personnel working at our Hole’s Bay experimental site.

We are now monitoring the impact of this collection effort on bird ecology, sediment macrofauna (the clams, worms etc that live in the mud) and we are quantifying how fast the seaweed mat returns to the harvested plots. We have found that the growth conditions for green mat-forming species of seaweeds in Holes Bay are especially benign, resulting in an almost single-species mat which is relatively straightforward to harvest.

The project runs until June 2023 and we hope that our findings will lead to a better understanding, and greater innovation, in how we manage an environmental issue that is significant throughout the coastal waters of the world.

Find out more on the RaNTrans project website 

Research reflections 2022 – Your highlights: DONATION project

Dr Rounaq Nayak, Lecturer in Sustainability, writes about the DONATION project, which explored the impact of the cost of living crisis on food aid programmes… 

The research success I have had is with a project that I started at the beginning of the year, titled ‘Design of a social sustainability and food utilisation matrix for food banks (DONATION)’, using the Charity Impact fund (internal call).

The fund helped me explore the impact of the cost of living crisis on various food aid programmes in the UK (including food banks and community markets in Dorset, Leicestershire and Shropshire).

I would term this project a success due to 3 reasons: it gave me the chance to carry out research in a new topic area, it allowed me to network both within the university as well as with key stakeholders outside the University, and apply successfully for seed funding from the British Academy.

Findings from the study were published in a Call for evidence on the UK Parliament website, which is a first for me. Detailed findings will also be published as a peer-reviewed paper in a special issue journal that is widely read by audiences in the sector.

Vegetables in packaging in a food bankWhat started out as a small project that was awarded £2500 at the start of the year has led to a larger project with a defined theme (£7900) that is attracting interest from various stakeholders such as BCP, Bristol City and Oxfordshire Councils, key stakeholders associated with food aid programmes in the UK, and charities that work with vulnerable populations.

The findings have also led to the identification of a new group of clients that need access to food banks due to food and fuel poverty – people working full-time jobs and on an annual salary. Based on these findings and the gravity of the situation identified through this project, I am aiming to apply for a UKRI New Investigator Grant in the autumn of 2023.

Research reflections 2022 – Your highlights: ECHO project showcase event

Dr Jane Henriksen-Bulmer, Principal Academic in Computer Science, writes about a three-day event that took place at BU in early December to mark the end of the ECHO project, which aims to strengthen the proactive cyber defence of the European Union…

This is the largest event we have ever arranged and the culmination of the H2020 pilot programme (consisting of only 4 projects, including ECHO) on Cybersecurity. BU is the one of only 3 universities involved in the project, with most of the partners being from industry (44 partners in all). We are the only project partner from the UK, so we have a lot to be proud of.

Presentations took place as part of the ECHO dissemination event

This event was the showcase for all the outputs from the ECHO project and we had an impressive line-up of prominent guests and speakers, both local and from Europe. On top of that, we involved 4 cohorts of students in the event, from L5 through to L7, so this truly is a fusion exercise where learning, teaching and industry come together to showcase the best of what we can do when we ‘fuse’ the three aspects.

The 3 days were jam-packed with excitement starting on the Monday with a kick-off event where we had talks from a number of prominent speakers from across Europe including ENISA, DG CNECT, Accenture, DSTL and ESET.

This was followed by a series of student-led workshops run by our final year undergraduate and master’s students (Huseyin’s Human Factors unit) where they interviewed the ECHO partners and conducted Human Factors evaluations on the Early Warning System, which went really well.

On Tuesday, we and our ECHO guests spent the morning recording some footage on the Green Screen in the Faculty of Media and Communication, which they are going to turn into an animation that we hope to use for dissemination. This was followed by a visit to BAE Systems’ STEP facility in Christchurch, where my final year business IT students presented their ideas for how the various plug-ins created as part of ECHO can be commercialised, which went down really well.

Students sat at computers

Students take part in an exercise as part of the ECHO event.

Then, on Wednesday we had the Incident Response Scenario where a group of second year students (Cagatay’s Ethical Hacking Unit) played blue team, defending multiple systems under attack. They then used the Early Warning System to raise tickets to warn of the attack as it was happening. It was a real eye-opener for them to see how this might play out in real life and they had a fabulous day, as did the observers and guests.

Overall, the whole 3 days were a resounding success, we have really enjoyed the experience (although we now must sleep!) and are hoping to host similar events in the future, watch this space!

Research reflections 2022: Your highlights

As we come to the end of 2022, we’re taking a look back at some of our research and knowledge exchange successes from across the year.

In today’s blog post, Professor Jane Murphy, Deputy Dean for Research and Professional Practice in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, shares some of her highlights… 

“I started this role on 1st April 2022 – April Fool’s Day, ironically! At the same time, I started a new funded project – the DIALOR ( DIgitAL cOaching for fRailty) project, which has been funded by the NIHR ARC Wessex and is a digital health coaching project for people in the early to moderate stages of frailty.

Starting a new role and a project on the same day was quite interesting and there was lots to prepare and get up and running but I was really fortunate to have a huge amount of support from my predecessor.

It’s been brilliant to join such an inspiring and forward-thinking leadership team and also great to work with colleagues across the Faculty in a different role.

It’s been a really exciting year for the Faculty in terms of research. We obviously had the REF results in May, with lots to celebrate from our submission, and some major research successes and funding awarded – such as Professor Edwin van Teijlingen’s NIHR grant for drowning prevention work in Bangladeshi children.

We’ve also had a lot of new staff join us this year and, in particular, early career researchers (ECRs) within the Faculty, and I’ve started work this year on understanding how we can better promote a positive research culture.

One of the initiatives that I’ve implemented is a new ECR Community Hub, which I’m running in partnership with Professor Lee Ann Fenge so we have both the health and social care perspectives. We’ve had a couple of meetings to date and will have more in the New Year but it gives our new ECRs and research staff an opportunity to come together, have a conversation, and meet with myself and Lee Ann.

We’ve also established a new Professoriate Group which is going to be chaired by Professor Vanora Hundley for professors and associate professors.

We’re making the most of our new fantastic new building – it’s made such a difference being able to walk down the corridors and bump into people and make those connections. Next year, we’ll be looking at ways to use the building to bring our research to life and thinking creatively about how we can bring people into our lovely building and show them what we’re doing.

We’re also building exciting partnerships, such as our links with University Hospitals Dorset. We had the research event in October, which was really successful, and we’ll be having more engagement events to help develop new pathways to grow research and support clinical academics who want to conduct research in partnership with us.

We’re building similar models with Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Dorset County Hospital as well, so it’s very much a Dorset-wide approach, strengthening and growing the region as a place to engage with education and research, with the capability to improve patient care and public health.

I think as a Faculty, we’re in a really strong position. We have ambitious targets for our research income and knowledge exchange but underpinning that, we’re thinking our strategy and processes and what we need to put in place to help us grow and develop and help us achieve those targets. I’m looking forward to continuing to build on this work in 2023!”

Postgraduate Researchers and Supervisors | Monthly Update for Researcher Development

Postgraduate researchers and supervisors, hopefully you have seen your monthly update for researcher development e-newsletter sent earlier this month. If you have missed it, please check your junk email or you can view it within the Researcher Development Programme on Brightspace.

The start of the month is a great time to reflect on your upcoming postgraduate researcher development needs and explore what is being delivered this month as part of the Doctoral College Researcher Development Programme and what is available via your Faculty or Department. Remember some sessions only run once per year, so don’t miss out.

Please also subscribe to your Brightspace announcement notifications for updates when they are posted.

If you have any questions about the Researcher Development Programme, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Natalie (Doctoral College Programme Manager) 

Research reflections 2022: Your highlights

As we come to the end of 2022, we’re taking a look back at some of our research and knowledge exchange successes from across the year.

In today’s blog post, members of the BU community share some of their highlights…

In 2022, we celebrated the REF 2021 results (and associated increase in QR funding) and our increase in performance in KEF2. We also supported BU to successfully retain the HR Excellence in Research Award for the 8th year.

We had a successful internal research audit and we received positive feedback from the Senate review on URPPC management, administration and advice.

We supported the launch of the Strategic Narratives, including organising the Online Public Lecture Series, and we ran our first research conference in several years, which was a great success. We also re-started our in-person Café Scientifique series and delivered several events as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.

We established the Research Excellence Team and welcomed the Business and Knowledge Exchange Managers to BU, as well as launching the RCaTS scheme.

We made further improvements to the RKE processes by working with the BU Transformation Team, such as the implementation of the enquiry management system, the eItB, and the launch of a new process for Research Centre memberships.

We’ve increased our number of bids compared to the previous year, which has led to some exciting new awards, such as Dr Philip Riris’ AHRC grant and a Knowledge Transfer Partnership led by Professor Marcin Budka.

RDS moved into Studland House and Joelle Fallows, RDS Operations Officer, has been instrumental in linking a new charity (Story Works, set up by Dee Hughes in FMC) with a local primary school, launched with a visit from Michael Rosen (the charity patron) to BU – pretty cool!

Julie Northam, Head of RDS

The work being undertaken by myself and Henry Bang from the BUDMC has had major impacts through projects such as AFRICAB, EVALDIS and ELIED, working with governmental organisations in preparing for, responding to, and recovery from crisis.

Elsewhere in the Faculty, Professor Mike Silk has concluded his big grants around the Paralympics, with major coverage in the year of the Paralympic Games; Professor Dimitrios Buhalis’s achievement of being the most cited academic in terms of individual papers in the field of Tourism and Hospitality; Professor Janet Dickinson and her exciting e-drones project; and Professor Chris Chapleo has been supporting local business Actisense, enhancing and automating their customer service through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

Professor Lee Miles, Deputy Dean for Research and Professional Practice, BU Business School

As part of the BOU (British Ornithological Union) panel that records fossil and archaeological birds from the last 2.6 Million years for the official British list (category F) we published a paper in Ibis detailing our database. This can be used to inform policy decisions on native status of British birds. The paper includes a discussion of some of the more interesting and controversial records like the mandarin duck, pigmy cormorant etc.

Professor John Stewart, Professor of Evolutionary Palaeoecology, Faculty of Science and Technology

The launch of the Research Excellence Manager role, full stop; having a role which has specific responsibilities for BU’s research environment and research culture is pretty brilliant. Equally, the launch of the Research ‘Most Excellent’ team – having a team with this lens brings a lovely perspective to the work we do.

Our REF results and QR funding increase was a massive achievement and testament to the hard work everyone has been putting in for years. We’ve been rejuvenating connections among the UOA teams, with a large number of expressions of interest from staff wanting to get involved (50 plus), ranging from ECRs to Professors. We’ve also been working with academic colleagues to achieve 100% compliance on our Research Outcomes submission.

We have lively, active and full research leadership programmes, ECR network and almost fully represented Research Staff Association, and the research conference had a large number of attendees and great speakers – cracking!

It’s been great to reconnect our RDS team after a few unsettling and disjointed years and move into our new home on the 8th floor of Studland House (complete with sea views!) Finally, a special shout out to Peng Peng Hatch for being awarded the Doctorate in Education!

Shelly Anne Stringer, Research Excellence Manager, RDS

A paper published by Dr Laura Renshaw-Vuillier, Dr Rachel Moseley and Dr Maddy Greville-Harris (entitled “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals with eating disorders: the role of emotion regulation and exploration of online treatment experiences”) was selected for the Best COVID-19 2022 Research Paper award in the Journal of Eating Disorders.

Professor Jan Wiener, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science and Technology

Research reflections 2022: the year in numbers

2022 has been another great year for research and knowledge exchange at BU. From receiving our excellent REF 2021 results to securing prestigious external funding and supporting new research activity, there’s a lot to celebrate.

Across the coming days, we’ll be featuring stories and reflections from across the BU community, sharing some of their highlights from across the year.

To get us started, here are just some of the numbers that make up the year in research at BU…

We received 171 new awards, representing over £7.5 million in research income

94% of BU research was found to be internationally-recognised or above, with 19% world-leading in quality (REF 2021)

95.7% of our research was found to be delivering considerable impact or above. Nearly one third of our impact case studies achieved an outstanding (4*) impact score. (REF 2021)

We held 20 public engagement events (as part of our regular events series) – attended by 1,231 people

16 positions were funded in 3 new research clusters through the Research Capacity Transformation Scheme (RCaTs)

36 new academic members of staff joined BU

2 new research centres were established – the Centre for Sustainable Business Transformations and the Computing and Informatics Research Centre

27 articles were written by BU academics for The Conversation, which had over 987,000 reads across the world

We’d love to hear from you – please share your reflections, successes and stories from across 2022 in the comments or by emailing

Reflections on the 14th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference


Thank you to all of our presenters, poster exhibitors, session chairs and of course delegates who supported the 14th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference. It is always a highlight on the Doctoral College events calendar and we hope you all enjoyed the day.

The conference had an amazing buzz and vibrancy about it, and it was so nice to see so many PGRs and colleagues turn up to show their support and promoting our positive PGR research culture across BU.

Here is what some of our presenters and delegates had to say about the day:


Research Capacity Transformation Scheme: investing in the research teams of the future

Three new BU research clusters have received funding to appoint teams of postgraduate researchers (PGRs) and postdoctoral research fellows (PDRFs) for the next three years, as part of our Research Capacity Transformation Scheme (RCaTS).

Postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers are critical to a high-performing research environment, providing research capacity which enables the production of research outputs, research impact, and an increase in bidding.

Funding has been made available to appoint three clusters of PGRs and PDRFs, supported by experienced BU academic teams and external industry partners, to undertake pioneering interdisciplinary research intended to have a transformative impact on society.

This comprises a number of match-funded studentships for PGRs and three-year fellowship awards for PhD graduates and early-stage researchers.

The researchers will also receive training, development and mentorship from high-performing members of BU’s Professoriate, supporting their career progression.

The funding has been awarded through an open, competitive process to the below research clusters:

  • Resolving the extinction crisis: sustainable and technological solutions for biodiversity and society(Led by Professor Rob Britton) – Awarded funding for 4 match-funded PGRs and 4 PDRFs
  • The Centre for Applied Creative Technologies PLUS – Transforming Healthcare and its Training with Digital Technologies (Led by Professor Jian Chang) – Awarded funding for 2 match-funded PGRs and 2 PDRFs
  • The Future of Hybrid Spaces: Developing Interdisciplinary Research Capacity and Building Critical Mass to Pioneer an Emerging Discipline on Human Interactions and Behaviours in Hybrid Physical-Virtual Spaces (Led by Professor Wen Tang) – Awarded funding for 2 match-funded PGRs and 2 PDRFs

 Dr Rebecca Edwards, Senior Research Development and Support Manager in RDS, said: “We’re investing in the research teams of the future through this scheme, building capacity to undertake cutting-edge research and secure external funding.

“Providing funding for clusters of researchers over the next three years, as opposed to individual appointments, means that we can develop sustainable and high-performing teams in these important areas of research.”

Fiona Knight, Head of BU’s Doctoral College, added: “For our postgraduate researchers, being part of such dynamic teams will provide an exciting opportunity to develop their research skills and launch their academic careers.”

You can find out more about the positions and apply on the jobs section of the BU website

Supervisor Lunchbite | Clinical Research Governance and the role of the PGR supervisor

Hosted by the Doctoral College, these one hour online lunch bite sessions supplement the regular New and Established Supervisory Development Sessions and are aimed at all academic staff who are new to, or experienced at, supervising research degree students and are interested in expanding their knowledge of a specific aspect or process in research degree supervision.

Each session will be led by a senior academic who will introduce the topic, and staff will benefit from discussions aimed at sharing best practice from across BU. Bookings are arranged by Organisational Development.

This session is focused on expanding individuals’ knowledge on the research governance processes and supervisory responsibilities for supporting their PGRs. This discussion will be led by Suzy Wignall, RDS.

Staff attending this session will: 

  • have gained additional knowledge of the research governance approval process
  • have gained an understanding of the role of the Supervisor in supporting PGRs

Further details on the session as well as information on future lunchbite sessions can also be found on the staff intranet.

Date: Wednesday 7 December 2022

Time: 12:00 – 13:00

To book a place on this session please complete the booking form.

Further details and future sessions can also be found on the Supervisory Development Lunchbite Sessions staff intranet page.

Tomorrow – The 14th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference


Register to attend the 14th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference. We will be hosting a PGR poster exhibition in FG06 with over 40 research posters on display (our biggest exhibition yet!).

The conference will also see oral presentations presented via Zoom with a screening room in Create LT (spaces limited).

You can see the full programme with presentation and poster abstracts  in our conference brochure.

Online training opportunity: Writing for The Conversation

Would you like to build a media profile and take your research to a global audience?

Find out more about writing for The Conversation and have the chance to pitch your article ideas to one of their editors in an online training session on Wednesday 7 December.

BU is a partner of The Conversation, a news analysis and opinion website with content written by academics working with professional journalists.

The training session will run by one of The Conversation’s editors and will take place from 2pm – 3pm over Zoom.

It is open to all BU academics and PhD candidates who are interested in finding out more about working with The Conversation.

Learn how to consider the news potential of your expertise, make your writing accessible and engaging to a diverse range of audiences, and pitch your ideas.

Why write for The Conversation?

The Conversation is a great way to share research and informed comment on topical issues. Academics work with editors to write pieces, which can then be republished via a creative commons license.

Since we first partnered with The Conversation, articles by BU authors have had over 8.8 million reads and been republished by the likes of The i, Metro, and the Washington Post.

Book your place via Eventbrite

Find out more about our partnership with The Conversation on the Research Impact, Engagement and Communications Sharepoint site