Category / PG research

This part of the blog features news and information for postgraduate research students and supervisors

New paper by recent BU Sociology graduate

Dr. Andrew Harding and his BU PhD supervisors just published a new paper from his Ph.D. research [1].   This interesting paper ‘Suppy-side review of the UK specialist housing market and why it is failing older people’ reviews the supply-side of policies and practices that impact on the shortage of supply in the contemporary specialist housing market for older people in the UK.  Andrew is currently based at Lancaster University.

Congratulations!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Reference:

  1. Harding, Andrew, Parker, Jonathan, Hean, Sarah & Hemingway, Ann (2018) Supply-side review of the UK specialist housing market and why it is failing older people. Housing, Care and Support

 

New BU publication on maternity care and culture in Afghanistan

Congratulations to Dr. Rachel Arnold on the acceptance by Social Science & Medicine (published by Elsevier) of the second paper based on her PhD on maternity care in Afghanistan [1].  This interesting ethnography explores the experiences, motivations and constraints of healthcare providers in a large public Afghan maternity hospital. Arnold and colleagues identify barriers and facilitators in the delivery of care. Under the surface of this maternity hospital, social norms were in conflict with the principles of biomedicine. Contested areas included the control of knowledge, equity and the primary goal of work. The institutional culture was further complicated by pressure from powerful elites. These unseen values and pressures explain much of the disconnection between policy and implementation, education and the everyday behaviours of healthcare providers.

Improving the quality of care and equity in Afghan public maternity hospitals will require political will from all stakeholders to acknowledge these issues and find culturally attuned ways to address them.  The authors argue that this notion of parallel and competing world-views on healthcare has relevance beyond Afghanistan.   The paper co-authored by (a) Prof. Kath Ryan, Professor of Social Pharmacy at the University of Reading and Visiting Professor in FHSS, and BU’s Professors Immy Holloway and Edwin van Teijlingen.

 

References:

  1. Arnold, R., van Teijlingen, E., Ryan, K., Holloway, I. (2018) Parallel worlds: An ethnography of care in an Afghan maternity hospital, Social Science & Medicine [online first] doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.09.010.

 

NIHR and World Health Organisation joint statement – have your say!

There is an increasing emphasis on the need for researchers and sponsors to publish, and disseminate, the results of the clinical studies that they conduct. Timely disclosure of results is important ethically, morally, in the interests of research integrity and from a waste reduction perspective.
Dissemination of results, whether favourable or not, also achieves transparency – increasingly important from the perspective of the recent introduction of the GDPR.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have signed-up to the WHO’s joint statement on public disclosure of results from clinical trials. The policy sets out the expectations and support on offer in order for research communities to comply. The draft policy is available to read, with a quick survey open until 21st September, for you to have your say.

BU has access to the ClinicalTrials.gov system – get in touch for access and for the opportunity to register your study and results in the public domain.

Dr Gavin or: how I stopped worrying and learned to love research

A lesson on patience

It apparently took J.D. Salinger 10 years to write his first novel, The Catcher in the Rye. J.K. Rowling spent about 6 years writing and re-writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (I suspect publisher pressure accelerated things thereafter). As an early career researcher, I feel that since graduating from my doctorate and becoming independent, I can be less patient and eager for instant results – a feeling encouraged by social media and continuous metricisation.

My own current project, inspiratory muscle training for care home residents at risk of falling, can’t be compared to great achievements like those novels. But it is my ambition to undertake my own research project as principal investigator – and so I intend to savour the experience (i.e. be task oriented), rather than just chasing the outputs (i.e. being outcome oriented). I have learned to value iterative research designs, in that, the initial study’s outcomes inform the subsequent study’s methodology, and so on. However, this method presents its own uncertainties, as the researcher has to relinquish their control over the study.

Several lessons on managing myself

That said, I am beginning to see the need to set regular targets to keep the momentum on a project like this going. Taking my research beyond the controlled ‘safety’ of the physiology laboratory (satisfying internal validity), into a brave new world of the care home setting (satisfying external validity), requires working with research ‘end users’, be it: service managers, staff or residents. I’m finding the process: i) slow, care providers have additional administrative requirements, ii) essential, in laying trusted foundations for a long-term project, and iii) rewarding, by implementing research into the real world and establishing impact from the outset.

Since being awarded ACORN funding, my summer has been spent: writing for ethical approval, satisfying HR admin, recruiting care home partners, revising protocols, creating Plan B, writing Plan B ethical approval, piloting testing, revising participant selection criteria, and being trained by my PhD student (a lesson in humility, if nothing else). Even supported by an industrious research assistant this has felt a slow journey, with weekly peaks and troughs. I have even begun an 8 week period of inspiratory muscle training myself, to understand how care home residents can improve, feel challenged, and require further support. This has been equally useful to highlight practicalities – my challenges have been fitting 30 breaths, morning and night, into my daily routine; in contrast care residents’ challenges are likely to relate to effort, guidance, and motivation for training.

 

 

 

 

 

Research is an intellectual and logistical marathon

My initial participant selection criteria excluded all people with: dementia, COPD and respiratory difficulties, and cardiovascular diseases. My journey has presented three worries thus far: i) the funding expenditure deadline, ii) recruiting care homes and, iii) the selection criteria. In academia, the deadlines, targets and metrics are omnipresent, arguably more so since the increase in tuition fees.

Following the joy of being awarded research funding, comes the deadlines of expenditure (simple, if it were not for standard processes – ethical clearance, securing HR contracts, recruitment, and piloting) and the deliverables. I’m highly grateful of the ongoing support I receive, however I strongly believe that HE institutions must be realistic when financing projects and staff. Research is a slow process; outcomes cannot always be constrained to exact dates, as much as quality research cannot be established in rushed expenditure.

Mostly recently my challenge has been in recruiting care homes, particularly due to my selection criteria. This presents the methodological conflict between internal validity (i.e. the controlled laboratory) and external validity (i.e. the unpredictable care environment). Should I maintain my exclusion criteria, even though the majority of care home residents have dementia and/or COPD? Or relax the criteria to reflect the real environment and achieve recruitment? The former would make for more publishable data; the latter would support a Research Council funding bid (ah, I nearly forgot…must submit one of those by April 2019). Again, tempus fugit.

Self-experimentation

In this this social media age, time can appear condensed; two days can seem like an age, an afternoon of no replies, an epoch. A study in the 2017 Altmetric Top 100 provides compelling evidence that regular Smartphone use impairs cognitive performance by re-orienting attention. I’ve ‘disconnected’ from using a Smartphone and Facebook; this works for me. Regardless, I still have to exercise discipline in unnecessary email checking and now time-block my diary for: education, research or practice. I seriously recommend, as an academic, experiment on yourself. J.B.S. Haldane was a notable and prolific example of a self-experimenting physiologist. Yet whether it’s inspiratory muscle training or reducing Smartphone use, experiment on yourself – assess how you respond, identify influential variables and intervene if you wish.

 

 

 

 

How my ACORN grows

The simple truth is I don’t have a study finish date. The logic is if I am flexible on time, and put lots of my own effort in, then I will ultimately be able to generate both output and impact. There’s the psychological advantage too: by not having a finish date, I also stop the project becoming ‘work’. Pressures, missed opportunities, worrying others are publishing – these would stop research being fun. Academic success is not proportional to effort alone, however developing partnerships beyond academia is.

Being an academic is great – relative freedom, interesting colleagues, working with students, and contributing to societal value. Personally I’m not sure I’ll ever stop worrying, nevertheless, I have learnt to expect challenge on a near daily basis. This is notably relevant for the early career researcher looking to develop into an independent researcher, capable of sustaining their own work. Academia will always have a mountain to climb. I learnt to relax, stop worrying and love research by:

  1. Indulging in ‘quiet time’ – think, talk and share ideas
  2. Accepting failure
  3. Avoiding perfectionism
  4. Prioritising – day by day, week by week, time-block based on what tasks arise
  5. Avoiding distraction – e.g. social media detox / only read emails after late morning

Dr James Gavin

Dept. Sport & Physical Activity

Faculty of Management

Email jgavin@bournemouth.ac.uk

Phone 012029 66303

CQR starts the seminar year with a Round-up

The first CQR Seminar of the academic year will be a CQR members, assocs, and doc students Round-up! 

Wednesday, 12 Sept at 1 pm in RLH 409.

Nonetheless, those curious about CQR and how they might get involved are welcome to attend!

Agenda

  1. Brain-storming future Go Create! seminar ideas (We have the first half of the year covered, but need ideas and people for the second half.

  2. CQR and CEL are beginning a joint adventure!  We are developing an association with the Centre for Excellence in Learning, particularly around creativity.Come along and share your thoughts.

  3. Research Collaborations!  Many of you have ideas for projects, big and small, and just need that extra pair of hands (and creative input!) to make it happen. A chance to put your ideas forward, and see who might help make them happen!

  4. Any other business

Start the new academic year with camaraderie and conviviality.

We look forward to seeing lots of you at the Round-up 12 Sept.!

Updated HRA and HCRW Statement of Activities and Schedule of Events published

What is the significance of the Statement of Activities and Schedule of Events?

When the Health Research Authority (HRA) approval process was introduced in March 2016, the Statement of Activities (SoA) and Schedule of Events (SoE) documents were made mandatory for non-commercial studies – those initiated and managed by non-commercial organisations such as Universities, NHS Trusts, charities etc.
The two documents must be submitted alongside your study documents when seeking NHS Research Ethics Committee approval, and the approval of the HRA, as the ‘umbrella organisation’.

With the introduction of the new General Data Protection Regulations, the HRA and HCRW have amended the two documents. They may be found here.

Who is ‘HCRW’?

HCRW stands for Health and Care Research Wales, and they have recently aligned its processes and paperwork with the HRA’s, so as to streamline and make consistent the research application process within England and Wales. Until recently the HRA was the umbrella organisation in England only, and a separate process was required if you wished to include research sites in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland*.

*If you wish to include sites from Scotland and Ireland, then the ‘old process’ is still to be followed. Contact Research Ethics for guidance.

What do I need to do?

If you are currently awaiting your approvals from the REC and HRA/HCRW, you do not need to do anything unless otherwise instructed by the HRA/HCRW. If you are concerned please get in touch with your HRA assessor, or their queries line.

If you are simply thinking of introducing your research into the NHS, are at your beginning stages, or you are currently compiling your study documents, then please remember to use the new versions of the SoA and SoE.
Please get in touch with Research Ethics for guidance on any aspects of clinical research, guidance, and if not already obtained, to request sponsorship of your study. Guidance and useful documents may also be found on the Clinical Governance blog.

Doctoral College: Researcher Development programme

The Doctoral College would like to present the September monthly update. This September update brings the launch of the Researcher Development Programme for 2018-19. We would also like to highlight some Brightspace Researcher Development Programme training coming up for PGRs and Supervisors and we would like to open bookings for the highly successful pre-transfer/major review and post-transfer/major review inductions.

Also note that the brand new Doctoral College: Researcher Development Programme on Brightspace is now live. Workshop bookings, online resources and modules, plus much more are now accessible on this new platform. If you cannot access the platform, please get in touch.

Don’t forget to check out the Doctoral College Facebook page.

REGISTER NOW: 18th September 2018 – Sixth Annual Wessex CRN Research Meeting & Regional BGS

Click links for programme and registration form, spaces limited!

Programme for SIXTH Annual Wessex CRN and Regional BGS 18 Sept 2018 with sponsors v3

REGISTRATION FORM for 6th annual Wessex CRN Research BGS MEET

ING 18 09 2018

Writing About Methods- 3rd October 2018

Join Dr Patrick Brindle from INTO Content  on the 3rd October 2018 9:30-16:30 for Writing about Methods course. To book click here

The session will talk about a range of practical approaches they can adopt when writing about methodology in the social sciences. The course focuses on 20 or so writing strategies and thought experiments designed to provide more clarity and power to the often-difficult challenge of writing about methods. The course also looks at common mistakes and how to avoid them when writing about methods. The focus throughout is on building confidence and increasing our repertoire of writing strategies and skills.

The course covers:

  • A range of practical writing strategies for handling methodology
  • The challenges of writing a PhD methodology chapter or a methods section in a research paper
  • Writing for qualitative and quantitative research approaches
  • Understanding different audiences and the needs of different academic markets

By the end of the course participants will:

  • Better understand who and what ‘methodology writing’ is for
  • Know the differences and similarities between PhD methods chapters, research paper methods sections and methods books
  • Understand and reflect on 21 principles (or starting points) of best practice in methodology writing
  • Focus writing on audience needs and expectations
  • Be aware of common mistakes and misunderstandings and so avoid them
  • Reflect on the relationship between methodology writing and other parts of your manuscript
  • To develop learning and best practice through exercises and examples

This course would be suitable for PhD students, post-docs and junior researchers in the social sciences. To book click here

Dr Paul Whittington attends Life Beyond the PhD 2018 Conference

Dr Paul Whittington pictured front far left

Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cumberland Lodge – an educational charity which tackles social divisions by promoting creative thinking and inclusive dialogue – held its 11th annual ‘Life Beyond the PhD’ conference.

Held over 5 days, the conference brought together PhD students and early career researchers for thought-provoking workshops, presentations and activities which explored the value of doctoral research both inside and outside of academia. Underpinning each of the activities was the Cumberland Lodge’s ethos of inclusivity, and insightful, interdisciplinary discussion.

Dr Paul Whittington, who completed his PhD in 2017 in the Faculty of Science & Technology, attended and benefitted greatly from presentations which included a variety of topics: Research Culture in the UK, Self-Leadership for Researchers, Techniques for Impact through speaking and writing, Public Engagement and Writing Interdisciplinary Research Proposals. These were presented by a variety of academics from institutions, including The University of Cambridge, Guardian Higher Education Network, Government Equalities Office and the University of London.

Paul also had the opportunity to collaborate with PhD students from around the country and to discuss and present his research to other delegates. On one day, he participated in an interdisciplinary team project which involved producing and presenting a research proposal tackling some form of social exclusion to a panel followed by a Q&A session. Paul presented a slide and subsequently his team won the challenge and received the “funding” – a box of chocolates that was then shared amongst the other teams.

Paul said: “Thank you very much to the Doctoral College for providing me with the opportunity to attend the Life Beyond the PhD Conference at Cumberland Lodge. It was very valuable to me and greatly appreciated.”

Design, Manufacture and Commissioning of a New Adapter Design for the Reciprocating Tribometer

Design, Manufacture and Commissioning of a New Adapter Design for the Reciprocating Tribometer

A tribometer is used to measure the coefficient of friction between a pair of specimens in contact. Locally manufactured test specimens necessitated the exploration of carrying out modifications to the tribometer adapter.  This poster, which was presented at the 10th Annual BU PGR Conference held in March 2018, addresses the importance, problem definition and novelty aspects of the modified adapter design for holding the fixed specimen in a reciprocating tribometer. Click the title to see the full poster.

Doctoral College: Researcher Development Programme

The Doctoral College would like to present the August monthly update.

In this August update we would like you to be reminded that the Doctoral College is open all summer and we are still holding one-to-one support sessions, so if you are not sure where to begin with your researcher development or where to go, come along and speak to one of us. Also, remember that the August Summer School Masterclass is now bookable click here.

Be aware that the brand new Doctoral College: Researcher Development Programme on Brightspace is now live. Workshop bookings, online resources and modules, plus much more are now accessible on this new platform. If you cannot access the platform, please get in touch.

Don’t forget to check out the Doctoral College Facebook page.

BU PGR Aishah Selamat in the running for IoD’s Student of Year 2018

Picture source: iodawards.com

BU PGR Aishah Selamat a third year PhD student from the Creative Technology Department has been shortlisted for the Institute of Directors (IoD) Student of the Year Award 2018. The award is aimed at recognizing students who have shown directors qualities in a project they have worked on in a business, employment or academic capacity. The IoD is the UK’s longest-running organization for professional and business leaders.

Aishah has recently pitched her project, alongside, her additional contributions to travelmanagement4u.com, UK Data Service, Global Blockchain Consortium and academic visiting lectureship to a group of judges at IoD’s main office in London. The winner of the Student of the Year Award 2018 will be announced at the prestigious Director of the Year Awards on the 18th October 2018 at the Royal Horticultural Halls.