The University of Cape Town will be hosting an International Summit which seeks to accelerate progress towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and mobilise action behind the African Union’s ‘Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want’ framework.
This three-day virtual Summit will connect stakeholders from across the world and foster meaningful and lasting relationships among government, business, academia and civil society, to develop new solutions and approached for meeting the continent’s development needs.
More information about this free event can be found here.
BU’s collaboration with the University of Cape Town has been formalised through a partnership agreement in early 2020. The partnership with the University of Cape Town is based on a longstanding collaboration between the BU Orthopaedic Research Institute (ORI) through Professor Rob Middleton and Associate Professor Tom Wainwright and Dr Delva Shamleyat the Division of Clinical Anatomy and Biological Anthropology at the University of Cape Town.
Yesterday we had the pleasure of running an Academic Writing Workshop for academics and postgraduate students in the Department of Health & Physical Education based at the Sanothimi campus of Tribhuvan University. Tribhuvan University is the oldest and largest university of Nepal. We base these training session on our various publications on academic publishing, [1-14] and we used the opportunity to advertise our forthcoming textbook on the matter .
Prof. Padam Simkhada, Professor of Global Health and Associate Dean International at the School of Human and Health Sciences at the University of Huddersfield and FHSS Visiting Professor.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen, Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)
van Teijlingen, E, Hundley, V. (2002) Getting your paper to the right journal: a case study of an academic paper, J Advanced Nurs 37(6): 506-11.
Pitchforth, E, Porter M, Teijlingen van E, Keenan Forrest, K. (2005) Writing up & presenting qualitative research in family planning & reproductive health care, J FamPlannReprod Health Care 31(2): 132-135.
van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada, PP, Rizyal A (2012) Submitting a paper to an academic peer-reviewed journal, where to start? (Guest Editorial) Health Renaissance 10(1): 1-4.
van Teijlingen, E., Ireland, J., Hundley, V., Simkhada, P., Sathian, B. (2014) Finding the right title for your article: Advice for academic authors, Nepal J Epidemiol4(1): 344-347.
van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Bick, D. (2014) Who should be an author on your academic paper? Midwifery30: 385-386.
Hall, J., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E. (2015) The journal editor: friend or foe? Women & Birth28(2): e26-e29.
Sathian, B., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Roy, B, Banerjee, I. (2016) Grant writing for innovative medical research: Time to rethink. Med Sci4(3):332-33.
Adhikari, S. D., van Teijlingen, E. R., Regmi, P. R., Mahato, P., Simkhada, B., & Simkhada, P. P. (2020). The Presentation of Academic Self in The Digital Age: The Role of Electronic Databases. International J Soc Sci Management, 7(1), 38-41. https://doi.org/10.3126/ijssm.v7i1.27405
Pradhan, AK, van Teijlingen, ER. (2017) Predatory publishing: a great concern for authors, Med Sci5(4): 43.
van Teijlingen, E (2004), Why I can’t get any academic writing done, Medical Sociol News30(3): 62-63. britsoc.co.uk/media/26334/MSN_Nov_2004.pd
Wasti, S.P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Hundley, V. with Shreesh, K. Writing and Publishing Academic Work, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books
Congratulations to Dr. Shanti Shanker in BU’s Department of Psychology and Dr. Pramod Regmi in the Department of Nursing Science on their paper ‘The Interdisciplinary Team Not the Interdisciplinarist: Reflections on Interdisciplinary Research’ which was accepted over the weekend by the journal Europasian Journal of Medical Sciences. This interesting paper is co-authored with two BU Visiting Faculty, Ms. Jillian Ireland, Professional Midwifery Advocate in Poole Maternity Hospital (University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust) and Prof. Padam Simkhada based at the University of Huddersfield. Co-author Dr. Sharada Wasti is also based the University of Huddersfield.
With interdisciplinary research growing in popularity, researchers, lecturers, journal editors and funders to consider how this is going to work in reality. This paper argues that interdisciplinary working is with in the team, not ‘in a person’. Multidisciplinary teams provide unique opportunities for researchers from different disciplines (and hence different ways of working and thinking) to collaborate with one another. We need to be careful not to try to create interdisciplinarists, or at least, not too many. We need people who are strong in their discipline and open-minded/flexible/reflective enough to see the value of other people’s disciplines.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)
Shanker, S., Wasti, S.P., Ireland, J., Regmi, P., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2021) The Interdisciplinary Team Not the Interdisciplinarist: Reflections on Interdisciplinary Research, Europasian Journal of Medical Sciences3(2):1-5.
Last night I misread a call from BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth. To be fair the email included two different request to contribute to two different kinds of blog posts with different set of instructions. Of course, I managed not to simply to swap these instructions around, but mix them up properly. The result is the text below that does not fit either of the two calls, I think.
The question I tried to address was: “Tell us how your research published in BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth has links to wider issues than health!. The actual call in the email was: “Tell us about your contribution to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) – We invite our Editorial Board Members who have research or personal interests related to the SDGs to contribute a blog post to our BMC Series Blog network discussing your work/interests as these relate to the SDGs”.
My adopted question explains the title ‘Health is not a vacuum’. The short overview of the blog I drafted focused on all the papers I have published in this journal over a fifteen-year period from 2006-2021 [1-11]. Not surprising for a sociologist of health & illness, my argument is that there are nearly always issues wider than SDG 3 ‘Good health and well-being’ in the way health care/service or health policy factors affects maternity care and midwifery. Social, cultural and economic factors affect the way maternity services ares provided, used and perceived. SDG 5 ‘Gender equality’ springs to mind first, but also important is SDG 4 ‘Quality education’, especially of girls, and SDG 1 ‘No poverty’, of course strongly linked with SDG 10 ‘Reduced inequalities’.
Gender is highlighted or at least part of the argument in many of our papers in low- and middle income countries [2,3,5, 7,10,11], but also in a high-income context [1,6]. Education, both health education and education more generally, for example education levels of maternity service users, appears in several papers [1,6,8-11] whilst poverty is a key factors in several papers based on our work in Nepal [2,3,5,6,11]. Several of our papers address issues wider than health that are not strictly speaking SDG, such as paper on cultural differences in postnatal quality of life among German-speaking women living either side of the Swiss-German border , and of course, our paper on media and childbirth .
Last, but not least, all papers published in BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth are Open Access and freely available online!
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)
Milne, L, van Teijlingen, E, Hundley, V., Simkhada, P, Ireland, J. (2015) Staff perspectives of barriers to women accessing birthing services in Nepal: A qualitative study BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth15:142 biomedcentral.com/1471-2393/15/142 .
Symon, A., Pringle, J, Cheyne, H, Downe, S., Hundley, V, Lee, E, Lynn, F., McFadden, A, McNeill, J., Renfrew, M., Ross-Davie, M., van Teijlingen, E., Whitford, H, Alderdice, F. (2016) Midwifery-led antenatal care models: Mapping a systematic review to evidence-based quality framework to identify key components & characteristics of care, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 16:168 http://rdcu.be/uifu
Ladur, AN, van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2018) `Whose Shoes?’ Testing educational board game with men of African descent living in UK, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 18:81.http://rdcu.be/JXs0
Arnold, R., van Teijlingen, E., Ryan, K., Holloway, I. (2019) Villains or victims? An ethnography of Afghan maternity staff and the challenge of high quality respectful care, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 19 :307 https://rdcu.be/bPqlj
Yesterday Dr. Pramod Regmi, Dr. Shovita Dhakal Adhikari, Dr. Nirmal Aryal and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen, all based in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, presented at the tenth Annual Kathmandu Conference on Nepal & the Himalaya. Their paper ‘Moral panic and othering practices during Nepal’s COVID-19 Pandemic (A study with returnee migrants and Muslims in Nepal)’ was co-authored by Dr. Sharada Prasad Wasti from the University of Huddersfield and Shreeman Sharma (Department of Conflict, Peace & Development
Studies, Tribhuvan University, Nepal). The presentation was partly based on research funded by the British Academy.
Yesterday the international journal Midwifery (published by Elsevier) announced that our paper “Male Involvement in Promotion of Safe Motherhood in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. A Scoping Review” has been published online.  This paper is based on Dr. Alice Ladur’s innovative PhD thesis on men’s involvement in their partners’ maternity care in Uganda. This is Alice’s second PhD paper, her first one was published in BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth. 
The second international midwifery paper that came out last week is ‘Slovenian midwifery professionalization: Perception of midwives and related health professions’ which appeared in the European Journal of Midwifery.  This paper is written with colleagues from Slovenia: Polona A. Mivšek, Majda Pahor, and Valentina Hlebec.
Ladur, AN, van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2021) Male Involvement in Promotion of Safe Motherhood in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. A Scoping Review, Midwifery 103 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0266613821001698
Ladur, AN, van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2018) `Whose Shoes?’ Testing educational board game with men of African descent living in UK, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 18:81.http://rdcu.be/JXs0
Mivšek, AP, Hundley V, van Teijlingen, E, Pahor, M, Hlebec V. (2021) Slovenian midwifery professionalisation: Perception of midwives and related health professions, European Journal of Midwifery:30 https://doi.org/10.18332/ejm/137664
Over the 15 months many academics have learnt to use online tools to communicate with colleagues, students, the media, politicians and the general public. The COVID-19 pandemics forced us to introduce (more) virtual classrooms, internet-based tutorials, online marking, Zoom and Teams meetings (and other platforms!) as well as online conferences and workshops, albeit each with their own limitations. In general, we often marvel about the internet and online conference technology as well as value the reduction of our carbon foot print, reaching global audiences and so on.
The past three weeks I attended three international conferences in three countries without leaving my living room, including the postponed 2020 ICM (International Confederation of Midwives) conference. Perhaps there is an element of online-working fatigue, but I am beginning to see more and more disadvantages of online conferences. First, the contact with fellow presenters, chairs and the audience is more superficial than at a physical conference. At a conference held in person you meet people over lunch or coffee or people simply stop you in the corridors of the conference centre to discuss or challenge your paper or express their ideas for future studies.
Secondly, many conferences seem to use two online systems and have different ways of running online conferences, at one of the recent conferences the presenters and the audience were in different cyber spaces, so as a presenter you had no idea how many people attended or how the audience reacted to what you have just said. Moreover, in one conference any questions people in the audience had written in the chat box were invisible to the speakers. These questions had to be read out by the chair, who was tasked with linking the two cyber spaces, that of speakers and that of the audience. At another conference the chair largely let the speakers deal with questions in the chat without any direction or guidance, as a consequence I was still answering questions in the chat long after the next speaker had started.
Thirdly, because I was not physically away I didn’t attend as many of the sessions at any of the three recent conferences as I would have liked to. This issue is similar in nature as the ‘old’ problem of attending a face-to-face conference at your own institution. Since you are not away your students, colleagues, etc. manage to find you and expect you to do something else instead of attending the conference. Fourthly, you don’t meet up in person with international colleagues, therefore, you don’t get a chance to discuss long-term ideas, plans, problems over a meal and a beer.
I am still positive about online conferences, but perhaps not as enthusiastic as I was in a BU Research Blog in April last year! In this blog I pointed out that Donald Nicolson in his book Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commoditiesraised the question about return of investment of a conference [1-2] not just for the conference organisers (and funders) but also for individual academics. Internet-based conferences are cheaper than face-to-face conferences although often not free, two of my three international conferences had a registration fee, moreover there is the opportunity cost for the academic in attending a conference, especially if one does not receive the traditional benefits of meeting like-minded people in person.
The ReSpace Symposium will take place this week at the InsideOut & OutsideIn – international AHRC-GCRF festival on arts-based, participatory learning. The international festival focuses on arts-based, participatory pedagogies aimed at dealing with difficult, silenced or contested pasts and presents; and for imagining new futures. It is co-organized by Nita Luci and Linda Gusia, University of Prishtina, and Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, Bournemouth University, PIs on the the four-year multi-disciplinary AHRC-GCRF project ‘Changing the Story’. Registration is free; the full programme and registration link available here: https://changingthestory.leeds.ac.uk/.
The ReSpace Symposium sets out to present a discussion on how art and architecture engages with place and history and how we can use these methods to encourage young people to explore cultural heritage.
Chaired by Dr. Oliver Gingrich, post-doctoral researcher at the National Centre for Computer Animation, this symposium offers a chance to hear from a range of different stakeholders across Rwanda, Kosovo and the UK involved in the ReSpace project about their work.
This panel is structured into two parts and features artists and researchers who recontextualize space, place and memory in their practice: Bekim Raku recently featured his project Prishtina Public Archipelago at the Venice Biennale and will present this project at the ReSpace symposium here. Ayọ̀ Akínwándé is an artist, activist, researcher, curator and writer who will be presenting his projects Face-Me-I-Face-You, Ogoni Cleanup and Sacred Grove; Dr. Paula Callus, the ReSpace project lead, will provide an introduction of the ReSpace project, followed by Ntigulirwa Marie Amelie and the esteemed sociologist Assumpta Mugiraneza, who will discuss aspects of the ReSpace project in the context of architecture. The artists Susan Sloan and Alfred Muchilwa will discuss their creative practice working with students across three countries.
The international festival focuses on arts-based, participatory pedagogies aimed at dealing with difficult, silenced or contested pasts and presents; and for imagining new futures. Registration is free; the full programme and registration link available here: https://changingthestory.leeds.ac.uk/.
Students and project leaders at University of Prishtina, together with their global colleagues in Bournemouth, Rwanda and elsewhere, co-created, and experimented with innovative, arts- and research-based methods of learning, including animation, architecture, music, video, and poetry. The festival brings together project participants to explore some of the mutual learning and reflect on questions such as, why, and how, arts-based methods can enhance civic education and critical thinking.
Changing-the-Story is a four-year international, multi-disciplinary project which supports the building of inclusive civil societies with, and for, young people in post-conflict settings, now coming to its completion. It was a collaborative project between universities, INGOs, artists, grassroots civil society organisations and young people across the world. It asked ‘how the arts, heritage, and human rights education can support youth-centred approaches to civil society building in post-conflict settings across the world.’
The DRIVE project (Digital Reading for Inclusivity, Versatility and Engagement) was funded by the UKRI under its Digital Innovation for Development in Africa (DIDA) strand. Full details of the project can be found here. The second phase of this funding has been withdrawn following the UK Government’s revision of its ODA budget.
The project was led by BU Professor Bronwen Thomas, and Jess Ruddock (a PGR from FMC) was appointed as a Research Assistant from January onwards.
The project had to be substantially revised due to the COVID crisis. This meant all project meetings had to be held online but perhaps the biggest impact was on the digital storytelling part of the project. Initially, the plan was for DigiTales, a participatory media company based in the UK and Portugal to deliver a workshop in Nairobi, with 10-12 participants. Instead, we redesigned this part of the project, providing training for three Kenyan based facilitators to deliver the workshops in three different regions of Kenya – Nairobi, Chavakali (close to the Ugandan border) and Loita (home to Maasai tribespeople). Jess Ruddock also took part in the training. Following this we held three workshops in the different locations, producing 13 stories in total. The stories can be viewed on the project website. They represent a wide range of experiences, from Alan’s account of the stigma he suffered as a child in literature classrooms because of his visual impairment, to Faith’s account of the impact that the book Blossoms of the Savannah had on her as a young Maasai girl facing the prospect of female circumcision. In addition to learning how to create and produce digital stories, the participants were also given training on accessibility tools for the iPads that they received
Nalotwesha and Faith on a zoom call in Loita
Blog posts from one of the Nairobi participants, Alan Hebert, and from the Chavakali facilitator can also be found on the website, along with Jess Ruddock’s account of the training.
The Chavakali team
In addition to the digital stories, the project team produced a Toolkit for remote delivery of digital storytelling, co-authored by Kelvin Gwuma, Joseph Odhiambo and Scola Leuka, the three newly-trained facilitators. The Toolkit is available to view or download from the project website here along with video case studies produced by the facilitators. The website also features a preliminary project evaluation reflecting on the main findings and impact of the project so far, and how we managed to meet our objectives despite all the obstacles we faced.
Following the discovery of the unmarked graves of 215 children in Kamloops (British Columbia, Canada) sees BU expertise on mass grave policies published:Overarching principles ought to be applied in Kamloops for a careful, considerate, culturally appropriate investigation into the unmarked graves of 215 children
Mass graves are a worldwide phenomenon that exists on a shocking scale, but they are usually identified with conflict and gross human rights violations, typically in countries ravaged by poverty and inequality. Yet the discovery of the unmarked graves of 215 children in Kamloops, British Columbia has made global headlines, triggering a variety of emotions, reactions and questions.
Overarching principles for protection and investigation efforts
Although mass graves vary enormously, the consequences of not protecting and investigating mass graves are significant. Relatives continue to suffer because they do not know what happened to their loved ones (in itself a form of inhumane and degrading treatment), and evidence essential to identification, documentation and, where relevant, prosecution efforts may be contaminated, disturbed or lost. The careful, considerate, culturally appropriate yet legally compliant and scientifically robust protection and investigation of mass graves is therefore paramount, and has been the subject of significant research and deliberation, as evidenced by the 2020 publication of the Bournemouth Protocol on Mass Grave Protection and Investigation (also available in French).
As further details and information emerge on the discovery in Kamloops, it seems apt to reflect on the overarching principles that ought to apply during grave protection and investigation efforts in this particular context.
From the outset, the complexity of mass grave investigations should not be underestimated. Such investigations are lengthy and expensive processes, requiring significant planning, co-ordination, resources, official authorization and, at times, political will. All this means that there will be a wide range of individual, collective and societal interests and needs that must be considered but may not all be compatible or readily reconcilable. In addition – and this may sound distressing – in situations of significant scale or absence of the relevant data from relatives, it may not be possible to identify and return all victims from a mass grave. It is therefore vital that, despite the inevitable pressure of a highly charged emotional context, expectations are carefully managed.
A do no harm approach in these circumstances will actively seek to avoid undermining existing structures and relationships that are essential for community cohesion. It is important to avoid creating inequalities or perceptions of bias or to entrench existing inequalities. It will include a clear respect for and, where possible, adherence to cultural sensitivities, beliefs and norms of victims and/or their families to the extent they do not adversely affect the achievement of an effective investigation.
The physical and emotional safety of all involved, the relatives and the investigation team alike, are paramount. In the context of mass graves, safety, dignity, privacy and well-being of victims and their families should be a key concern for all actors without distinction. While the actual grave may have been created decades ago when the Kamloops Indian Residential School was in operation, initiatives to support physical and psychological safety should be in place.
Investigations must be independent and impartial
That an investigation should be independent and impartial is a rather obvious point to make. And yet, since the investigation will relate to an era of systematic state-instigated discrimination, it is poignant and relevant: without a non-discriminatory and impartial approach to the grave protection and investigation process, the legitimacy of the work may be questioned by the affected community. To enhance public trust, investigations must be independent and impartial and must be seen to be so.
For mass grave investigations to result in identification, it will be critical to acquire personal details and other identifying data, and confidentiality, consistent with national legislation, has to be assured. Investigative processes often entail the need for data sharing but any data sharing should be limited only to those individuals and bodies necessary to ensure the achievement of the objectives of the exhumation process and to the extent agreed by the individuals concerned. Similarly, at all stages of the process (the preliminary investigation, the actual excavation, identification and return of human remains) transparency of processes is key.
Clear and ongoing communication will help provide the platform for transparency. Communication strategies should ideally envisage and accommodate a two-way flow of information between the investigative team and the families, and incorporate regular updates.
Commitments to families must be kept
Finally, all parties involved in the protection and investigation of the mass grave should avoid making commitments to families that they may be unable to keep.
In addition to these overarching principles that ought to apply to all phases of mass grave protection and investigation, careful planning for the actual physical investigation is essential. Meticulous planning, particularly in relation to the actual excavation is critical for all subsequent phases of the process, including identification efforts, return of human remains and continued community liaison.
But in the long term beyond the investigative phase, there are also justice and commemorative aspects to consider from a policy perspective. Alongside potential accountability processes and claims for remedies, a further question arises: What will happen to the original site at the school? An excavated mass grave may become a memorial site in its own right, deserving of that recognition and potentially long-term legal protection. Conversely, a newly created burial site or place for commemoration will hold great significance for individual and/or collective commemoration and may also constitute a form of reparation.
Mass graves are a stark reminder of recent history and memory; they may form part of educational materials and national discourse on the past; they may also become a site for community support. These graves in particular may symbolize the start of more searches into unknown graves and resting places. As reported in the media, many more children died in residential schools with few bodies returned home.
Co-ordination and collaboration required
Since it is predicted that more such graves are to be found, their resolution and investigation will require the co-ordination and collaboration of a multitude of experts to implement early protection measures, facilitate, where possible, the investigation and exhumation of the grave for identification purposes and the return of human remains to family members. All this, in turn, must be overseen by relevant authorities, with due regard for the applicable law.
If there is suspicion of more such graves, the establishment of a mass grave management role or office that assumes overall responsibility for the operational management of mass graves including adherence to standard operating procedures; maintenance of community liaison, health, safety and well-being on-site; implementation of reporting structures and communication strategy; and co-ordination of the identification and return of human remains process might be beneficial.
In short, mass graves are incredibly complex features placing investigative duties on the state. This in turn requires extensive practitioner engagement, resources and careful consideration of individual and societal needs to ultimately advance their rights to truth and justice.
On Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 9-11 AM, Bournemouth University will host a virtual STEAMLab event on Global Challenges, attended by staff from the Northeastern University (NEU) in China.
We’re seeking to come up with novel research that relates to UN Sustainable Development Goals, which underpin BU2025 strategy and much of the technological research at NEU.
So, who should attend?
We want anyone who thinks they might have something to contribute, to come along. We will also be inviting relevant external attendees to contribute to the day. We welcome academics, NGO/business/government representatives who wish to contribute to having a positive impact through addressing the world’s global challenges.
What do I need to prepare in advance? What will the sandpit entail?
Absolutely nothing in advance. During the STEAMLab, you’ll be guided through a process which results in the development of research ideas. The process facilitates creativity, potentially leading to innovative and interdisciplinary research ideas. These ideas will be explored with other attendees, and further developed based on the feedback received.
What if I don’t have time to think about ideas in advance?
You don’t need to do this. Some inspiring speakers with a range of backgrounds will be coming along to give you ideas…
What about afterwards? Do I need to go away and do loads of work?
Well… that depends! The STEAMLab will result in some novel research ideas. Some of these may be progressed immediately; others might need more time to think about. You may find common ground with other attendees which you choose to take forward in other ways, such as writing a paper or applying for research funding. Support will be available to progress project ideas after the day.
What if my topic area is really specific, such as health?
Your contribution will be very welcome! One of the main benefits of a STEAMlab event is to bring together individuals with a range of backgrounds and specialisms who are able to see things just that bit differently to one another.
So, is this just networking?
Definitely not! It is a facilitated session with the primary intention of developing innovative research ideas, which also enables the development of networks. It gives you the opportunity to explore research ideas which you may develop over time, together with the chance to find common ground with academics from across BU and beyond.
The national health ethics organisation in Nepal, the Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC), invited Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen to be part of its week long training programme next week. Edwin will be running a session on Focus Groups as qualitative on Bank Holiday Monday (31 May) and a session on Publishing Qualitative Research on Friday 4th June. As part of BU’s International Partnerships our staff help build research capacity in a number of low- and middle-income countries, such as Nepal.
The invitation came through Prof Madhusudan Subedi, one of his Nepali collaborators on a research project on ‘The impact of federalisation on Nepal’s health system: a longitudinal analysis’. The project, funded under the DFID/ESRC/MRC/Wellcome Health Systems Research Initiative, examines the consequences for the health system of Nepal’s move to a federal government structure. The PIs for the project, Dr. Simon Rushton and Dr. Julie Balan , are based at the University of Sheffield, further collaborators include: Prof. Padam Simkhada (BU Visiting Faculty) who is based at the University of Huddersfield, Dr. Pratik Adhikary (BU Visiting Faculty & BU PhD graduate) who is based at PHASE Nepal and Prof. Sujan Marahatta, who is based at Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences in Kathmandu (MMIHS). BU has a further collaboration with MMIHS as we currently have an Erasmus+ student & staff exchange.
Welcome to theBournemouth University Research Staff Association (RSA).
What is it?
An association run by BU researchers from all faculties who want to make BU a great place to work and do research. We aim to ensure that researchers are supported to realise their full potential and to develop and produce research of the highest quality. (There are Research Staff Associations throughout UK universities and one of our BU RSA representatives is also a member of the UK RSA).
Who is it for?
Almost everyone! Postdoctoral researchers, research fellows, research assistants as well as anyone else who is actively engaged in research (or planning to be): postgraduate researchers; staff on teaching and research, or teaching contracts; clinicians; professional support staff; technicians.
What are our aims?
To help make BU a great place for researchers to work and progress in their careers.
To support BU researchers to produce excellent research by enabling them to thrive, personally and professionally through informal peer support / friendship with other researchers and encouraging BU to provide
a well-designed induction
a caring and helpful mentor
support to develop research and professional skills
increased job security
a university culture of inclusion, kindness, care, and support
opportunities to network, collaborate, share, and learn
How do we do that?
We support researchers through:
Signposting you to the BU teams or individuals who can help you with issues such as: employment and contracts, work conditions, fairness and equity, discrimination, unions, professional development, careers advice, support for mental health and well-being.
Offering peer support – opportunities to meet, socialise, network, share ideas, and collaborate with researchers from different faculties. We run informal online get-togethers and coffee mornings in faculties. We are also developing a series of university-wide events (in partnership with the Early Career Network) on topics such as career progression, funding, wellbeing.
Representing you – raising concerns, lobbying, and advocating for researchers at the:
Research Concordat Steering Group. This group is responsible for helping BU translate the ideals of the Researcher Development Concordat (that BU has signed) into improved researcher career development and effective policies. The steering group can then highlight responsibilities across university departments from line managers and HR to the Vice Chancellor and the Executive Team.
Faculty Research & Professional Practice Committees (FRPPC) – where we can highlight specific initiatives and the vital role that line managers and senior academics play in facilitating the development of researchers in their department.
University Research & Professional Practice Committee (URPPC) where we can share the combined voice and experiences of research staff to shape the development of University wide research-based policy and procedures.
What do we need to succeed?
You! We need to know what the important issues, concerns, challenges, and aspirations of BU researchers are. We can then try to provide informative sessions which address the issues that are important to you, advocate for change – as well as letting BU know when they are getting it right! We would also like to get to know you and learn from your experiences – doing research can be lonely and being in contact with other researchers enriches our day.
When does the RSA meet?
The RSA meets regularly throughout the year. Everyone is welcome to attend or share issues that you would like raised with your faculty rep
How do I get involved/get in touch with the RSA representative for my faculty?
Come and meet us and tell us how the RSA could support you at:
As part of a 4-year Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF, Bournemouth University & Research England ) Project Output (supporting mental health and wellbeing in India) Edwin van Teijlingen and Dr Shanti Shanker have supported the creation of an Indian Charity (also known as a Non-Govt. Organisation (NGO) in India) called Sheetal Astitva
On Sunday 22nd May 2021, we hosted the first Circle of Emotions or Well-being which we refer to as Spandan. This was hosted by Dr Gayatri Kotbagi (the PDRA on this project), Dr Sandip Ravindra &
This circle of emotions offers a safe non-judgemental space for people to be in. How does it work? We host a free call (frequency dependent on the people interested to participate). Individuals are invited to walk in share some of your stories – some share their difficulties around the uncertainty, feelings of guilt, and hopelessness associated with the Covid-19, while some resonated with others’ experience and also shared some stories of resilience. As part of the first group, we had 10 participants who joined the circle and at the end did mention that it was useful.
Spandan (in Devanagari: स्पन्दन) is a word with Sanskrit origin, which literally means pulsation, or a quick movement and motion.
If you are interested in learning more please email email@example.com or find us at Sheetal Asitiva Website (which is being developed and updated regularly).
“Mass graves are not lone incidents in human history; they exist across the globe and as a journalist I have witnessed and reported on them. But despite their diverse nature, mass graves are likely to have something in common: a family anxious to know what happened, next of kin needing to offer a dignified burial to their loved one, survivors longing to mourn the dead and a community wishing to pay respect.”
The Chancellor recognises the importance of meeting those needs and with it the aim of the Bournemouth Protocol.
“Mass graves from their discovery through to commemoration efforts deserve protection and investigation. Such efforts involve extensive engagement: From the legal, investigative and scientific disciplines to community liaison and family support, each with their own rules and standards of professional practice, they all have to come together for respectful, indiscriminate and dignified handling of mass graves and human remains.”
Bournemouth University has been instrumental in collaborative research to shape mass grave investigative practice and has been training the next generation of Forensic Archaeologists and Anthropologists, through simulation exercises at Trigon Estate, Wareham for many years. The Bournemouth Protocol, led by Dr Melanie Klinkner, are another important milestone through providing clarity on international norms and standards.
It is a great honour and privilege to have Kate Adie voice the introduction of the audio version of the Bournemouth Protocol. Special thanks go to Alastair Danson, radio and screen actor, for voicing the remainig text of the Protocol; Alex Wegman, demonstrator in film and television at Bournemouth University for his expert recording; and Rudy Noriega, freelance radio producer and Lecturer in Journalism at Bournemouth University for producing the audio version of the Bournemouth Protocol. The Audio and Protocol can be found here.
To commemorate Mass Graves Day in Iraq, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) presented the recently published Bournemouth Protocol on Mass Grave Investigation and Protection to Iraqi authorities involved in efforts to account for missing persons.
In 2007, the Iraqi Council of Ministers designated 16 May as the National Day of Mass Graves to draw attention to the fate of individuals who were killed and disappeared during decades of conflict and human rights abuse and buried in mass graves. Iraqi authorities estimate that between 250.000 and 1 million persons have gone missing in the country.
To commemorate Mass Graves Day, ICMP presented to Iraqi stakeholders Arabic- and Kurdish-language copies of The Bournemouth Protocol on Mass Grave Protection and Investigation, a joint product of Bournemotuh University research led by Dr Klinkner and the ICMP that defines legal and practical standards of the protection and investigation of mass graves. Recipients include the Mass Graves Directorate, the Ministry of Health’s Medico-Legal Directorate and the National Coordination Committee in Federal Iraq as well as the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs in the Kurdistan Region.
“Properly protecting and investigating mass graves are key steps in Iraq’s work to find the high number of missing persons and secure the rights of their families,” said Alexander Hug, head of ICMP’s Iraq Program. “The Bournemouth Protocol is an important tool that benefits the various Iraqi institutions involved in the missing persons process.”
Ask a sample of natural scientists and conservation workers – especially female ones – why they became interested in the natural world, and one name comes up time and time again: Dr Jane Goodall. Dr Goodall’s incredible trail-blazing work with the chimpanzees of Gombe – flying in the face of expected gender roles and established academic and scientific practice in the field at the time – led directly to the game-changing discovery that chimpanzees used tools, kickstarting a revolution in the way that we think about our closest living relatives and ourselves. This was a change in thinking that goes much deeper than simply ‘learning new things’ about another species; the extremely close evolutionary relationship between us and chimpanzees and the many shared behavioural and cognitive characteristics that Jane Goodall was among the first to document in the 1960s changed the way we think about animals and about ourselves, and how we perceive the relationship between us and the other animals with which we share the world. Dr Goodall’s work has been central to re-imagining that relationship, moving from the entitled assumption of a stark divide between ourselves and the natural world – there to be exploited by our own evolutionarily unprecedented species – to the realisation that despite all our much-vaunted intelligence, our lives are still fundamentally entwined with those of other species, and indeed to the natural world more generally. Perhaps it is no surprise, then, that Dr Goodall’s pioneering primatological and ethnological work has evolved to include developing community conservation programmes in many African countries (TACARE), launching the Jane Goodall Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian programme Roots & Shoots which empowers young people to become involved in hands-on programmes for the community, animals and the environment, and her appointment as a UN Messenger of Peace.
Certainly Dr Goodallhas been an inspiration for all of us here at IMSET, and her family roots in Bournemouth are simply the icing on the cake as far as we’re concerned, so we’re incredibly excited to announce that in conjunction with theJane Goodall InstituteUK,IMSET is delighted to host (albeit virtually!) ‘Reasons for Hope with Dr Jane Goodall DBE’. After this year, we can probably all use some reasons for hope, and if anything can provide them it will be hearing Dr Goodall speak about her inspiring work, her belief that our daily actions make a difference, and that it is up to us the kind of difference we want to make. Interested in the natural world, in understanding what makes us human, in working with young people from all cultures and societies to inspire and build a better future? Register for free on Eventbrite now and come along on Thursday 27 May 4-5pm (BST): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/reasons-for-hope-with-dr-jane-goodall-dbe-tickets-147675793273.
The THET (Tropical Health & Education Trust)-funded project ‘Mental Health Training for Rural Community-based Maternity Care Workers in Nepal‘, led by Bournemouth University, has been showcased on the webpages of Public Health England (PHE). PHE hosts the WHO (World Health Organization) Collaborating Centre for Public Health Nursing and Midwifery. A WHO collaborating centre is an institution designated by the Director-General of the WHO to form part of an international collaborative network set up by WHO in support of its programme at the country, intercountry, regional, interregional and global levels. In line with the WHO policy and strategy of technical cooperation, a WHO collaborating centre also participates in the strengthening of country resources, in terms of information, services, research and training, in support of national health development.
This THET project was organised by Tribhuvan University in collaboration with Bournemouth University and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). Mental health is high on the global agenda and this project raised the importance of the issue in Nepal. The three universities collaborated on an education intervention training Auxiliary Nurse Midwives in Nawalparasi on mental health issues and mental health promotion. The project was supported by Green Tara Nepal, an Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) with whom BU has been working for over a decade. More details on this exciting project can be found in previous BU Research Blogs written in 2016 (see here) and 2017 (see here) and 2018 (see here)! The project has resulted in several academic publications including Dr. Preeti Mahato in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH), Dr. Catherine Angell (CMMPH), Dr. Bibha Simkhada (formerly BU lecturer in Nursing) and FHSS Visiting Faculty Prof. Padam Simkhada and Jillian Ireland. Jillian is Professional Midwifery Advocate at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust. [2-6].
Simkhada, B., Sharma, G., Pradhan, S., van Teijlingen, E., Ireland, J., Simkhada, P., Devkota, B. & the THET team. (2016) Needs assessment of mental health training for Auxiliary Nurse Midwives: a cross-sectional survey, Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences 2(1): 20-26. http://www.nepjol.info/index.php/JMMIHS/article/view/15793/12738
Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen E., Winter, R.C., Fanning, C., Dhungel, A., Marahatta S.B. (2015) Why are so many Nepali women killing themselves? A review of key issues Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences 1(4): 43-49. http://www.nepjol.info/index.php/JMMIHS/article/view/12001
van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Devkota, B., Fanning, P., Ireland, J., Simkhada, B., Sherchan, L., Silwal, R.C., Pradhan, S., Maharjan, S.K., Maharjan, R.K. (2015) Mental health issues in pregnant women in Nepal. Nepal Journal of Epidemiology 5(3): 499-501. http://www.nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/13607/11007
Ireland, J., Havelock, D., Lawrie, A., Ghimire, S. (2021) Facilitating Learning for Auxiliary Nurse Midwives around Maternal Mental Health in Southern Nepal, Journal of Midwifery Association of Nepal (JMAN)2(1): 105-108.
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