Category / Research Centres

The provision of nutritional advice and care for cancer patients

Prof Jane Murphy from the ADRC and Lead of the Professionals Workstream for the NIHR Cancer and Nutrition Collaboration Research has just published the largest UK survey looking at the provision of nutritional care for cancer patients across a wide range of health care professionals has just been published in Supportive Care in Cancer. See below for details:

https://rdcu.be/b68QL

Writing Week – support from BUCRU and RDS

Writing Week in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences is coming up next week and we wanted to highlight some of the expertise within BUCRU and NIHR RDS (Research Design Service) and remind you that we’re available to provide support for your health or social care research.

Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) supports researchers in improving the quality, quantity and efficiency of research across the University and local NHS Trusts.

We do this by:

  • Helping researchers develop high quality applications for external research funding (including small grants)
  • Ongoing involvement in funded research projects

How can we help?

BUCRU/RDS can provide help in the following areas:

  • Formulating research questions
  • Building an appropriate team
  • Study design
  • Appropriate methodologies for quantitative research, e.g. statistical issues, health economics
  • Appropriate methodologies for qualitative research, e.g. sampling, analytical strategies
  • Advice on data management and data analysis
  • Identifying suitable funding sources
  • Writing plain English summaries
  • Identifying the resources required for a successful project
  • Critical reviews of proposed grant applications can be obtained through our Project Review Committee before they are sent to a funding body.
  • Patient and public involvement in research
  • Trial management
  • Ethics, governance and other regulatory issues
  • Linking University and NHS researchers

Over the coming weeks we’ll cover some of these areas in more detail in future blogs and how we can help you.

Our support is available to Bournemouth University staff and people working locally in the NHS, and depending on the support you require, is mostly free of charge. There are no general restrictions on topic area or professional background of the researcher.

If you would like support in developing your research please get in touch through bucru@bournemouth.ac.uk or by calling us on 01202 961939. Please see our website for further information, details of our current and previous projects and a link to our recent newsletter.

BUCRU (Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit) – Bulletin

Please see the latest BUCRU Bulletin from the Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit. We hope you find it interesting.  Featuring details on our online NIHR Grant Applications Seminar next week (28th July) and how to register.

BUCRU supports researchers to improve the quality, quantity, and efficiency of research locally by supporting grant applications and providing on-going support in funded projects, as well as developing our own programme of research.

Don’t forget, your local branch of the NIHR RDS (Research Design Service) is based within the BU Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) staff are working remotely at present so please call us on 01202 961939 or send us an email in the first instance.

Racism and the Criminal Justice System: a roundtable contribution

Last month colleagues and I in the Department of Social Sciences and Social Work, and members of the Seldom Heard Voices Research Centre, convened a round table discussion on racism, the impact of Covid-19 on minority groups and the rise of #BlackLivesMatter following the murder of George Floyd. As someone who teaches intersectionality to social science students, I presented background information on racism within the criminal justice system as well as on my own research experiences on hate crime. Today’s blog considers the first of these areas, and I hope colleagues will join me in sharing their own stimulating presentations in the coming days.

As students in my classes will be aware, there is a long history of marginalisation, discrimination and prejudice against minority groups in the UK. I only have the space here to briefly consider the particular relationship of Black and Asian minority groups with the criminal justice system but hope it will encourage wider debates. Although this is an area that we have seen awareness raised around in recent weeks, following the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests here and overseas, these issues are not new.

The contributory factors surrounding the murder of Mr Floyd are not specific to the USA and given its history of colonialisation has many similar features to the UK also.  As we wait to hear the outcome of the charges and trial of the police officers involved in Mr Floyd’s death, we must bear in mind that in the UK there have been no successful prosecutions for deaths in British Police custody since 1969 – that is, over 50 years.  That is not to say there have not been deaths in police custody since that time – there have been hundreds – and they have been proportionately more likely to involve the death of a black man than any other ethnic group.

What is the relationship between race and crime? Criminology students start by considering the groundbreaking work of Stuart Hall and colleagues in Policing the Crisis: Mugging the State and Law and Order, originally published in 1978, exposing a socially constructed moral panic around young black ‘muggers’.

Since that prosecution in 1969 of two Leeds officers for the death of David Oluwale, we have seen repeated evidence of prejudice and discrimination by the CJS towards our black communities. There was the Scarman report of 1981, focussed on responding to undercover officers targeting BAME communities in Brixton, which involved hundreds of people being stopped and searched on the basis of ‘suspicion’ and subsequent public disorders (note: I refuse to use the term ‘riot’). In 1995 Sir Paul Condon, then Commission of the Met Police, said young black men were committing 80% of muggings in high crime area, implying that it was colour of skin rather than socio-economic backgrounds and structural conditions that were a factor in criminality, showing little had changed.

We have seen the MacPherson report of 1999 investigating police response to the murder of Stephen Lawrence, which was the genesis of hate crime legislation and victim-focussed policing in the UK. We have witnessed disorders or ‘riots’ from 1985 in Birmingham, Brixton, Broadwater Farm, Meadow Well Estate, and Tottenham again in 2011. As with recent reports, the actions of minority members resulted in heavy handed or excessive police responses, and further undermined the fragile community relations between police and minority communities.

Despite the introduction of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act in 1984, communities continued to complain about increasing numbers of discriminatory targeting of black men through the use of stop search – particularly young black men.

Consistently, Black men were more likely to be stopped and searched than white men.

Consistently, Black people were more likely to be arrested and charged compared to other ethnic groups.

Throughout the criminal justice system, as the Lammy Report (2017) shows us, a BAME man was more likely to be stopped, arrested, charged, denied bail, convicted and sentenced to prison than a white man with the same previous history, and the same offence.

So racism is not new. Outrage is not new. And no wonder our communities are tired of peaceful protests and not being heard.  This prejudice exists both within our CJS structurally, and within our communities.  It is fuelled by processes of dehumanisation and racialisation. What bothers me most about these recent events is that we are still having to debate and argue about the extent of racism within our societies today, and as this brief overview has shown, lessons have not been learnt.

All of this comes within the embedded dehumanising, stigmatising and Othering of minority communities. From Ben Bowling’s work on racism in the police in 1998, Kathryn Russell’s call in 1992 for a Black criminology to investigate the over-representation of race and ethnicity in crime statistics – as well as victim statistics – to Alpa Parmer in 2017 who highlights there is still too little criminological research on the nexus between race, gender and crime… I add to their calls for action. We all have a responsibility for action.

Jane Healy

New BU publication on birth centres in Nepal

Congratulations to Dr. Preeti Mahato in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perintal Helath (CMMPH) on the acceptance of the  paper ‘ Evaluation of a health promotion intervention associated with birthing centres in rural Nepal’.   This paper is part of Dr. Mahato’s PhD work and will appear soon in the international journal PLOS ONE.   The journal is Open Access so anyone across the world may copy, distribute, or reuse these articles, as long as the author and original source are properly cited.

The research in this thesis used a longitudinal study design where pre-intervention survey was conducted by Green Tara Nepal a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) in year 2012.  The health promotion intervention was conducted by the same NGO in the period 2014 to 2016 and the post-intervention survey was conducted by Dr Mahato in the year 2017.

The intervention was financially supported by a London-based Buddhist charity called Green Tara Trust.   The results of the pre- and post-intervention surveys were compared to identify statistically significant changes that might have occurred due to the intervention and also to determine the factors affecting place of birth.   This study is co-authored by Professors Edwin van Teijlingen and Vanora Hundley and Dr Catherine Angell from CMMPH and FHSS Visiting Professor Padam Simkhada (based at the University of Huddersfield).

 

 

A tool to identify the risk of malnutrition in older people

Research validating a tool to identify the risk of malnutrition, in older people, is among the top 10% most downloaded papers in 2018-19, published in Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics!

The research was led by Prof Jane Murphy, working in collaboration with the Wessex Academic Health Science Network and The Patients Association.

Identifying older people at risk of malnutrition and treatment in the community: prevalence and concurrent validation of the Patients Association Nutrition Checklist with ‘MUST’

Malnutrition is already a huge issue in the UK and current national policy for the Covid-19 crisis means that social isolation and loneliness in older people will significantly impact on food intake and in turn increase the risk of malnutrition. However in the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of the validated Patients Association Nutrition Checklist has increased given its simplicity,  ease of use and can be carried out remotely so that people can access appropriate help and support where needed.

For more details see:

https://wessexahsn.org.uk/projects/325/nutrition-in-older-people

https://www.malnutritiontaskforce.org.uk/resources-and-tools/self-screening-pack

PBS America, Ichnology and Poole Harbour

Yesterday a film crew from Windfall Films spent the afternoon in Poole Harbour filming some experimental ichnology.  Ichnology is the study of trace fossils and is something that Bournemouth has an international reputation for.  The production company are working on a documentary for Nova and are currently following our research team as they bring forward new research at White Sands National Park.  As part of this they filmed a sequence yesterday involving the use of primitive transport technology.  Think of a wheel-less wheel barrow used to transport butchered mammoths and giant ground sloth remains and you have the idea.  We were experimenting with different designs and trying to work out what the trace fossil record looks like for each.

The Bournemouth team consisted of Hannah Larsen a PhD student who braved the bitter cold to go shoe less on the mudflats and a first year undergraduate student Gary Packwood who volunteered to help.  It was a nice example of fusion in action.

Gender in Conflict Conference: WAN-funded event

On Wednesday 9 October 2019 Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers and I hosted an international and intersectional conference involving staff, students and Erasmus colleagues to debate issues of gender, violence and conflict in contemporary societies. We were very fortunate to receive funding from the Women’s Academic Network for this event, and for additional guest speakers who will be visiting BU in the coming months to contribute to discussion on this theme.

The focus of our ‘Gender in Conflict’ conference was to provide a platform for discussion and reflection on conceptualisations of gender and violence that have heightened visibility in post-conflict environments. We asked contributors to consider what we can learn from questions of gendered violence in a fragile international context and whether international lessons can be applied to social environments in the UK.

The aims were:

  1. To de-colonise and de-exoticise knowledge about gendered violence in war and post-conflict contexts abroad by going beyond stereotypical assumptions and representations;
  2. To interpret contemporary UK conceptualisations of gendered violence through an alternative lens inspired by international experience.

We were fortunate to have the opportunity of the Erasmus-funded presence of two visiting Kosovar colleagues who presented at this event.  Dr Linda Gusia and Assoc. Prof. Nita Luci are the founders and directors of the Programme for Gender Studies and Research at University of Prishtina, Kosovo. They are highly visible women’s rights activists in Kosovo. The post-conflict situation in Kosovo poses unexpected challenges to equal rights not only arising from classic patriarchal cultural legacies but also from masculinity reiterations in the totalising field of international intervention.

We were also joined by two BU criminologists of our own Department for Social Sciences who are working in related fields: Jade Levell on gang crimes in the UK and Dr Shovita Dhakal Adhikari on agency and interventions within human trafficking in Nepal. This conference emerged from our own academic interests in questions of gendered hate crime in the UK (Dr Jane Healy) and on questions of social justice in transnational and post-conflict settings (Dr Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers).

Stephanie welcomes participants

Stephanie opened the conference by encouraging contributors and audience members to reflect upon the transferability of interpreting phenomena we often consider in their specific contexts alone and the limitations arising from differences in our epistemological framings of analyses, contingent on such context and distinctions such as ‘the Global South’. Questions of cultural translation, power, language and positioning can be perceived or experienced as barriers to engagement, rather than opportunities to share best practice. The aims of the conference were to critically re-envisage our contemporary conceptualisations of such concepts on the basis of comparison and shared reflection.

Jade Levell was our first speaker, with a paper entitled:  “The competing masculinities of gang-involved men who experienced domestic violence/abuse in childhood”. Jade’s presentation, drawn from her PhD thesis, considers the conflicted and competing gender performances by marginalised men who have been drawn into gangs in the UK. She demonstrated how these men are performing hegemonic masculinity in an attempt to claim power where they have none. This is conveyed through a language and symbolic rhetoric of war and honour.

Jade Levell introduces her research

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nita Luci then spoke about “Researching Gender in the Balkans” as she traced the recent history of gender studies research in Kosovo. Her presentation began during a period where few academics were interested in looking at gendered experiences in the region to the emergence of the Programme for Gender Studies and Research in contemporary Kosovo. Through this timeframe, she highlighted the simultaneous re-framing and changing conceptualisations of masculinities in Kosovo.

 

 

Visiting scholar Nita Luci from University of Prishtina

 

 

 

Linda Gusia’s paper took this conceptualisation further. In “Recognition of Sexual Violence in Kosovo after the War” Linda highlighted the conflict between the hyper visibility of war-time sexual violence and a complete silencing of questions of gender and nationalism before the war. She considered how sexual violence against women was propagated by men, as an attack on the nation’s male gaze. Through a nationalist lens the concept of heroism was the prevailing public image and discourse. There was limited space for women’s own conceptualisation of the war as their stories were reframed through a narrative of sacrifice, martyrdom and atonement.

Visiting scholar Linda Gusia

In her paper entitled “Exploring Child Vulnerabilities: pre- and post-disaster in Nepal”, Shovita Dhakal Adhikari demonstrated similar patterns of silencing of women’s and girl’s experiences of human trafficking in Nepal. Shovita critiqued the application of Westernised concepts and labels to Nepalese society, particularly in regard to discourses of vulnerable victims in need of ‘rescue and protect’. Here again, women’s bodies are being controlled as a method of protection.

BU’s Shovita Dhakal Adhikari shares her research on child trafficking narratives in Nepal

 

Lastly, Stephanie chaired a panel discussion of all of the speakers, entitled “Inverting the gaze: Juxtaposing gender and conflict in transitional societies abroad and the UK”. This produced a lively debate around concepts of competing masculinities, vulnerabilities and visibilities of marginalised voices that could be drawn from all case studies presented. The conference drew to a close with contributors and audience members agreeing that this was an energising and engaging series of papers that showcased similarities in constructions of gender and gendered violence, both in the UK and abroad.

Participant contributions

Two further speakers who were unable to attend this conference at short notice were re-scheduled to visit BU this academic year:

  • Dr Emma Milne from Plymouth presented on Criminal Justice Responses to Maternal Filicide: Judging the failed mother on 13 February 2020.
  • Dr Hannah Mason-Bish will visit on 23 March 2020 to discuss Gender and Hate Crime.

For further details or discussion please contact: jhealy@bournemouth.ac.uk or sssievers@bournemouth.ac.uk

New publication by NCCA academics and students in the top journal

The SIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences (“SIIMSa broad authoritative source for fundamental results in imaging sciences, with a unique combination of mathematics and applications”), an influential Q1-journal with a significant Impact Factor and SJR indicator, has just published the paper “Automatically Controlled Morphing of 2D Shapes with Textures” authored by NCCA academics and students. This multidisciplinary paper proposes a novel theoretical and practical framework resulting in a suite of mathematically substantiated techniques important in the context of 2D imagery, artistic design, computer animation, and emerging streaming and interactive applications.

The paper has a rather long and non-trivial history related to the fusion of academic and student research. Initially, NCCA UG student Felix Marrington-Reeve (“Computer Visualisation and Animation” course, Level 6) undertook his R&D project within the “Innovations” unit and got some interesting results. The 8-page paper written on the basis of his project and co-authored with his supervisors Dr Valery Adzhiev and Prof Alexander Pasko, was, however, rejected in 2017 by two international conferences (they were prepared to accept a short version but the authors thought the work deserved a better fate).

After Felix’s graduation (he started working in a leading production company Framestore) Dr Oleg Fryazinov and PhD student Alexander Tereshin joined the project team. A lot of additional theoretical and practical work had been done, and in February 2019 the radically modified and extended 30-page version was submitted to SIIMS. After two-stage rigorous peer-reviewing process, in October 2019 the paper was accepted by this prestigious journal.

References:

  • Tereshin, A., Adzhiev, V., Fryazinov, O., Marrington-Reeve, F., Pasko, A. (2020). “Automatically Controlled Morphing of 2D Shapes with Textures”, The SIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 78-107. DOI: 10.1137/19M1241581
  • Full text of the paper: http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/33366/

International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research

ICTHR has recently been re-approved for another three years. If your research is in (or partly overlapping with) tourism or hospitality or related subjects such as events and leisure, join with other researchers in this centre.

What does membership involve?

  • addition of your details to the ICTHR website,
  • addition to the ICTHR email list, giving you news and updates from the centre, for example on meetings, seminars and workshops.

What does it give you?

  • collaboration across BU with other tourism and hospitality researchers,
  • workshops and seminars relevant to your research,
  • use of the centre membership, e.g. on grant applications as appropriate.

Simply email Adam Blake to be included.

NCCR Research Seminar. Britain: the myths we learn and the myths we tell ourselves

The latest NCCR seminar took place on 15 January when we welcomed the Head of the Comparative Politics and Media Centre, Professor Darren Lilleker.

 

Professor Lilleker’s talk drew on analysis of the lexis used on social media to argue that an embedded underlying myth of Britishness informed much of the debate around the EU Referendum. The Leave EU lexicon was characterised by terms such as ‘free’ and ‘rule’, with words such as ‘traitor’ and ‘betray’ attached to Jeremy Corbyn by the Brexit Party. Links with traditional British anthems such as ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, and ‘Rule Britannia’ were explored (alongside reference to ‘Jerusalem’) and analysed against a model of British particularism (Dowling) which privileges qualities such as strength, superiority, benevolence, and exceptionality. The way that this set of qualities is reinforced through British secondary school curriculum (textbooks such as Crowther, The History of Britain) was discussed, noting that the GCSE history curriculum is fragmented and one-sided, with key moments in British history being explored devoid of context, and framed to sustain a view of empire (such as Henry VIII who ‘freed us from the Church of Rome’, Elizabeth I who ruled the waves, or the Pilgrim Fathers who established the USA). Without linkage or linearity, British schooling thus provides a selective view of its history. Similarly, the adoption of an ‘Anglo Saxon’ origin excludes all the other nationalities that form the British ancestry, and allows for clear linkages to be made with Germany (relevant to the British Royal family) as well as oppositions with countries such as France. These elements sustain the presence of myths of empire, particularism, and power.

 

The session was very well-attended and produced some thoughtful discussion, which explored various definitions of myth (Barthes, Levi-Strauss) and its role as a mediating narrative or therapeutic alternative to history, debated why people might feel compelled to identify with these (dignity, history), noted the essential nature of a mythic past to fascist ideology (Stanham), and the consistent recirculation of such myths (e.g. in war films), the relevance of the manner in which an empire ends and the subject status of British citizens, the role of the literary market in selling textbooks that must appeal to the buyer, and reflected on the etymology of ‘Great’ Britain, which in other languages also carries traces of particularism, such as Chinese where it is directly translated as ‘brave’.

Learning to Observe: Approximating Human Perceptual Thresholds for Detection of Suprathreshold Image Transformations

We would like to invite you to the next research seminar for the Centre for Games and Music Technology Research.

Title: Learning to Observe: Approximating Human Perceptual Thresholds for Detection of Suprathreshold Image Transformations

Speaker: Dr Carlo Harvey (Birmingham City University)

Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM

Date: Wednesday 29 January 2020

Room: F310 (Fusion Building)

Abstract: Many tasks in computer vision are often calibrated and evaluated relative to human perception.

This talk presents a technique to directly approximate the perceptual function performed by human observers completing a visual detection task. Specifically, we present a novel methodology for learning to detect image transformations visible to human observers through approximating perceptual thresholds. To do this, we carry out a subjective two-alternative forced choice study to estimate perceptual thresholds of human observers detecting local exposure shifts in images. We then leverage transformation equivariant representation learning to overcome issues of limited perceptual data. This representation is then used to train a dense convolutional classifier capable of detecting local suprathreshold exposure shifts – a distortion common to image composites. In this context, our model is able to approximate perceptual thresholds with an average error of 0.1148 exposure stops between empirical and predicted thresholds. It can also be trained to detect a range of different pixel-wise transformation.

We hope to see you there!

NCCR Book Launch Next Wednesday

To celebrate the achievements of several Centre members who have had books published over the last year, we are holding a Book Launch next Wednesday 11 December in Fusion F104 from 4-6. Authors will be on hand to introduce their work and there will also be an opportunity to find out more about the work of the Centre.  Refreshments including mince pies will be provided.

 

CoPMRE Visiting Faculty bi-annual event

Yesterday CoPMRE welcomed 30 colleagues to our Visiting Faculty bi-annual event showcasing the exciting medical developments at BU from the new Bournemouth Gateway Building to the Institute of Medical Imaging and Visualisation. The key priorities to support delivery of BU2025 were presented by Dr Clare Wedderburn, Interim Head of Department of Medicine & Public Health presented.  Juan Campos-Perez, Clinical Research Co-ordinator, BUCRU spoke about Biobanks which were highlighted in Professor Emma King’s research presentation on immunotherapy.  Professor Jeffrey Wale, Lecturer in Law encouraged innovative medical cross faculty collaboration demonstrated by his recent research collaboration with Professor Sam Rowlands, Visiting Professor resulting in four co-authored papers. The main focus of the meeting centred around Visiting Faculty engagement in research and education to help us achieve our aims.  The audience reported that they were ‘very excited’ about these new developments at BU and were keen to support this vision.