Category / Research communication

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!

NIHR resources – Patient and Public Involvement and Social Media Toolkit

Two resources are now available on the NIHR Learn website for researchers –

  • Patient and Public Involvement: Inspiring New Researchers – an online course developed by the Department of Health and NIHR. It is intended to help researchers to understand the benefits of good Patient and Public involvement into their research.
  • Social Media Toolkit – a combination of practical resources on how to get started and real case studies from how colleagues across the NIHR Clinical Research Network are currently using social media to support their work.

To access the above resources you will need to have access to the NIHR Learn website. Once you have an account select the tab ‘Health Research Innovations’ and then click on ‘NIHR Endorsed Learning’. Both courses are free and do not require an enrolment key.

Remember – support and guidance is on offer at BU if you are thinking of conducting clinical research, whether in the NHS, private healthcare or social care  – get in touch with Research Ethics. You can also take a look at the Clinical Governance blog for resources and updates.

Consultation – REF 2021 Codes of practice complaints and investigation process

This week Research England launched a consultation on the draft REF 2021 Code of Practice Complaints and Investigation process.

A summary document of the process being consulted on is accessible here, full documentation is available here.

If you would like to offer any feedback for potential inclusion in BU’s response. Please email  ref@bournemouth.ac.uk by noon 21st January 2020. 

Community-Based Research Event – register your interest

An exciting opportunity to attend a workshop, please see below for further details –

‘A team from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) are working on a project looking at how we recruit research study participants from commercial High Street health care providers (e.g. Boots, SpecSavers etc), or organisations that support health in some way (e.g. gyms, slimming clubs etc).

The project is titled Community-Based Research and we are looking to answer two specific questions:

  1. How can people with known health issues being seen only ‘on the high street’ access research?
  2. How can people with known health risk factors, who are pre-disease diagnosis, access research?

These two groups could miss out on research opportunities currently because they don’t come into the standard health system until they are either considered to be too severe for High Street treatment (in the case of group 1) or they already have a health problem (in the case of group 2).  We are looking to develop a process by which we can actively recruit participants at scale for trials before they need to access the health service, thus enabling better recruitment of milder disease and pre-disease phenotypes.  We are aware that research is happening in these two groups and would like to pull together researchers who have this experience in order to learn from their successes and challenges.

To support this ETI we are running a workshop on January 31st, 10.30-3.30, at The Wesley Euston Hotel & Conference Venue, London, which will bring together the research community to discuss:

a)      Examples of how we currently recruit from these settings, identifying successes and challenges

b)      Based on these, identifying the key elements of a recruitment strategy that the Clinical Research Network could use

We would like to invite researchers to attend if this would be of interest. Please could nominated representatives complete this Eventbrite registration page (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nihr-crn-community-based-research-event-tickets-83954384825) including indicating which Specialty they are representing.’

Community-Based Research Event – register your interest

An exciting opportunity to attend a workshop, please see below for further details –

‘A team from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) are working on a project looking at how we recruit research study participants from commercial High Street health care providers (e.g. Boots, SpecSavers etc), or organisations that support health in some way (e.g. gyms, slimming clubs etc).

The project is titled Community-Based Research and we are looking to answer two specific questions:

  1. How can people with known health issues being seen only ‘on the high street’ access research?
  2. How can people with known health risk factors, who are pre-disease diagnosis, access research?

These two groups could miss out on research opportunities currently because they don’t come into the standard health system until they are either considered to be too severe for High Street treatment (in the case of group 1) or they already have a health problem (in the case of group 2).  We are looking to develop a process by which we can actively recruit participants at scale for trials before they need to access the health service, thus enabling better recruitment of milder disease and pre-disease phenotypes.  We are aware that research is happening in these two groups and would like to pull together researchers who have this experience in order to learn from their successes and challenges.

To support this ETI we are running a workshop on January 31st, 10.30-3.30, at The Wesley Euston Hotel & Conference Venue, London, which will bring together the research community to discuss:

a)      Examples of how we currently recruit from these settings, identifying successes and challenges

b)      Based on these, identifying the key elements of a recruitment strategy that the Clinical Research Network could use

We would like to invite researchers to attend if this would be of interest. Please could nominated representatives complete this Eventbrite registration page (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nihr-crn-community-based-research-event-tickets-83954384825) including indicating which Specialty they are representing.’

The 11th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference

Wednesday 4 December played host to The 11th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference which took place in the Fusion Building. To view highlights of the day visit #BUPGRConf19 on twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live Research Exhibition

The day commenced with the live research exhibition where delegates had the opportunity to learn and practice infant CPR using a modified infant manikin and received novel real-time feedback via a monitor being used as part of Debora Almeida’s PhD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Denyse King offered visitors to her live research exhibition the opportunity to immerse themselves in demos of virtual reality learning environments being developed as part of her cross-faculty EdD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helen Slater shared with delegates a visualisation and sound installation of forest biodiversity and wildlife she is monitoring as part of her PhD.

Poster Presentations

The event saw nearly 30 posters on display with PGRs presenting and discussing their research with peers and colleagues from across the university. The live research exhibition and poster presentation room had a wonderful energy all morning and we also had the pleasure of being visited by the Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney.

 

Oral Presentations

Create Lecture Theatre was the venue of choice for our oral presentation session this year. The variety of research being presented was fascinating and inspiring and the room was alight with discussion, there was a real buzz for all sessions. What really stood out was how PGRs engaged with the audience, getting us all involved, making us laugh and the discussions that followed demonstrated the engagement from the audience. I can confidently say that each presenter showed immense passion for their research which shone through in all presentation styles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would like to take this opportunity to also thank our fantastic session chairs Samreen Ashraf and Duncan Ki-Aries who made presenters feel comfortable and helped with the very smooth running of the four oral presentation sessions.

 

Keynote Speaker

Following lunch, we were joined by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim McIntyre-Bhatty who came along to introduce the conference keynote speaker Professor Genoveva Esteban. Genoveva shared with us her experience of engaging the public (of all ages) in her field of research, microbial ecology. Genoveva was passionate and motivating, highlighting the benefits of public engagement for research and the wide range of opportunities that PGRs could get involved in, while sharing some tricks of the trade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This interdisciplinary conference truly highlights the variety of research being undertaken by PGRs at BU, it is a fantastic opportunity for networking and enhancing postgraduate research community and culture.

Congratulations to all presenters, and thank you to all attendees and those that showed support in many other ways. If you would like to leave some feedback, the feedback form will be open until Sunday 15 December.

Sustainability@BU

This year we made steps to improve the sustainability of the conference by reducing the brochure printing through making use of QR codes to access abstracts; encouraging delegates to bring their [Doctoral College] reusable bottles; provided free UniBus travel between campuses on the day of the conference and will re-display printed posters throughout the year to showcase PGR researcher wider.

 

If you have any questions, or would like to be involved in The 12th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference please get in touch.

 

 

Talk/session with the Wessex Clinical Research Network Study Support Service

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation’s largest funder of health and care research – the NIHR oversee 15 Clinical Research Networks (CRN) and these CRNs work alongside NHS Trusts, primary care providers and Universities. Each CRN has a dedicated Study Support Service.

The NIHR have a portfolio of research studies that are eligible for consideration for support from the CRN in England.  Portfolio status is usually vital to participating NHS Trusts when considering undertaking a proposed study.

Information on the NIHR portfolio is present on the research blog, but at this session our local CRN’s Study Support team will provide you with an opportunity to hear about and discuss the network and the service, and how it could benefit you.

This session is aimed at those planning on conducting clinical research.
It is also designed to raise awareness at BU about the benefits and importance of the NIHR portfolio, so if you’re just interested in learning more, please book on.

The session will take place next week on Tuesday 10th December at 2:30pm until 4:00pm on Lansdowne Campus.

To register your interest or if you have any queries, please get in touch with Research Ethics.

New UK Standards for Public Involvement

Involving the public in your study is important, especially at the research design stage. This is called ‘Public Involvement’ (also known as ‘PPI’ [Patient and Public Involvement]). Public involvement in research means research that is done ‘with’ or ‘by’ the public, not ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them.

By seeking the opinions and recommendations of the public, it is a great way to ensure that your study is designed and set-up in a way that will be relevant to participants, and of good quality.
This can also help to avoid any setbacks once the project is underway.

The new UK Standards for Public Involvement have now been released and were developed over three years by a country-wide partnership between the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Chief Scientist Office (CSO) Scotland, Health
and Care Research Wales, and the Public Health Agency Northern Ireland

They describe what good public involvement looks like and encourage approaches and behaviours that are the hallmark of good public involvement such as flexibility, sharing and learning and respect for each other.

You can see the six UK standards and supporting materials, as well as further details about the partnership, project and the piloting of the new standards, here.

Further guidance is available via the Clinical Governance section of the Research blog and via the Health Research Authority and NIHR pages.