Category / Research communication

Systematic review training to dentistry students at Kantipur Dental College, Nepal


Last week I was invited by a Nepalese colleague to do an introductory lecture on systematic reviews.  We have conducting various training sessions over the years in Nepal (with BU Visiting Faculty Prof. Padam Simkhada) and in the UK.   At Bournemouth University Prof. Vanora Hundley and I have conducted several two-day Master Classes over the past few years we are currently preparing for the next one in early Sys review methods2016 (15-16 Feb.).

This morning I run this introductory session at Kantipur Dental College in Kathmandu.  The session resulted in an interesting set of questions and comments from both staff and students.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen




A Hub for Sporting Excellence and Research

I have been fortunate enough to have been accepted to present two of my recent studies at the British Association of Sport and Exercise Science (BASES) conference on 1st and 2nd of December this year. Not only am I lucky enough to have been chosen to present, I get to visit the scientific hub of English football. The conference is being held at St George’s Park in Burton-upon-Trent, the brand new national centre for English football. State of the art facilities make it a playground for sports and exercise scientists, one that I most definitely will enjoy.

Shoulder counter-rotation

One issue I address in this study is quantifying the relationship between three-dimensional spinal movement and shoulder counter-rotation. Shoulder counter-rotation is the max rotation of the shoulders in the opposite direction to the batsman after the back foot has landed. This counter-rotation is used by bowlers to help generate pace on the ball, however, high counter-rotation values have been shown to place bowlers at increased risk of lower back injury. The mechanism by which this occurs still remained unclear, as shoulder counter-rotation values only takes rotation at the shoulders into account (which could be caused by spinal rotation or whole body rotation). My study aims to fill in the gaps in this knowledge by looking at the relationship between shoulder counter-rotation values and three dimensional movement of the lumbar and thoracic spine.

The technology I have used in the above study is inertial sensing technology and is a novel method of measurement for spinal movement in fast bowling. Therefore, I am also presenting research looking at the reliability of these sensors and how they may offer a more portable alternative to the camera based systems that are used at present. Once again, I would like to thank Bournemouth University for supporting me with the dissemination of this research.



St George’s Park, Burton-upon-Trent

From research proposals to job applications: Writing tips from the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants workshop

Yesterday I attended an ERC Starting Grants session at the London School of Economics. Although I may never reach the heady, research heights of submitting a proposal to the prestigious, ERC Starting Grants Call (let alone progressing past Step 1, with 9% success rate!), the workshop provided a range of advice equally applicable to preparing: i) funding proposals and, ii) job applications. From the background search to the interview presentation, in many ways job applications are similar to research funding applications.

Firstly, the background search: if possible, find out who has recently received funding in your field. If applying for a position, identify previous successful candidates. What skills and experience did they have? Appreciating these will allow you write your application accounting for your own capabilities, whilst also identifying how the project or position can further your professional and personal development. Awareness of how the project/position can create opportunities to turn your weaknesses, to strengths, is an important advantage at the interview stage. Next, what are the priorities of the funder, company or institution? Does your CV fit the job roles and responsibilities? Does your project proposal satisfy the call?

Secondly, the writing: be ambitious, but avoid sounding unrealistic. Adhere to the application criteria and submission guidelines (even font-size, line-spacing, etc). Provide evidence of how your project is innovative, what makes you stand out, or what specific skills you can contribute. These should relate to the criteria of the position advert or the research call. Preparation is key; start writing as soon as possible, and expect multiple drafts. Build your proposal (or Personal Statement) logically, based on your previous research (or experiences and skills). Make the application a pleasure to read, but stick to the specific guidelines. If preparing a research proposal, use data and graphs; if preparing a Personal Statement, tell a story expanding on your CV. Ask friends and/or colleagues for comments on your application – informal peer-review in preparation for formal peer-review (the same applies when practicing your interview presentation). Importantly you want to convince those outside of your field how you (or your study) can provide a long-lasting difference.

If you are invited to interview, do your research, again. What are the values of the funder, institution or company? Who is on the panel? What is their background? Next, structure a convincing presentation aligned to your application; support each claim with an example, but be succinct and to-the-point. Maintain focus and momentum, but communicate your enthusiasm. Once finished, expect a range of technical and non-technical questions. Ultimately, interview questions will relate to the application criteria, and range from your subject-specific knowledge to transferable skills (i.e., project management skills). Finally, use questions as an excuse to show your audience what you know; view your ‘weaknesses’ as opportunities. If successful, celebrate; if unsuccessful, view as an opportunity. As the ERC Officer mentioned ‘many successful applications come from investigators who were unsuccessful with a previous application and subsequently improved their submission’.

So regardless as to whether you are an undergraduate looking to secure a placement/ postgraduate position, or a Senior Lecturer applying for research funding, translate what you have learnt from previous writing experiences to the opportunities presenting you here and now.

ERC Starting Grant Call

ERC Starting Grant – Funded Projects

EU Funded Projects – Host Countries

James Gavin, Lecturer (Exercise Physiology) – Faculty of Management

Piirus – top five ways to find collaborators

The Piirus Blog is discussing the top five ways to find collaborators to further your research.

ideasAccording to their research Piirus found that 85% of researchers said collaboration with others helps drive research excellence and 79% of researchers think international research collaboration increases research productivity. In their recent survey, however, research managers ranked developing collaborations as one of their top challenges.

So what can you do?

  1. Decide the types of collaboration activities you seekPiirus
  2. Get tips on how to make collaborations in these areas work
  3. Find collaborators in your research field or from other disciplines
  4. Find people by research methodology or technique
  5. Find collaborators with experience in the equipment you need

Interested? Read more about this topic on the Pirrus Blog.

Piirus can help you make these connections. It is easy to sign up!


Arjan Gosal one of our RKEO Research Reflections event presentation joint winners!

At our recent RKEO Research Reflections event at the Festival of Learning it was really interesting to hear about the amazing variety of research taking place at BU and to have them presented with such enthusiasm and different styles.

A big congratualtions to Arjan Gosal who was one of the joint winning presenters – please see below for a taste of his presentation – ‘Losing sight of the trees for the honey’.Arjan Gosal photo (2)

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment highlighted the importance of quantifying ecosystem services as being pivotal to the allocation of environmental resources though robust policy creation and implementation. Whilst biophysical and economic values are often used in conservation planning by decision makers, community ecosystem values are rarely quantified or defined clearly. Recreation, aesthetics and cultural ecosystem services are primary to this work.


Arjan Gosal Slide (2)A multifaceted approach using various techniques, including participatory GIS, spatial mapping, GPS tracking of visitors and use of existing data sets are explored in relation to the New Forest. Situated on the South Coast of England, it is a prime example of a historic natural landscape, from being a medieval hunting ground to a commoning system that survives to the current day. England’s most recently designated national park has over 34,000 residents and many more visitors each year. With a clear need to understand the dynamics of how people value the various habitats and areas of this national park; this work aims to provide a strong methodology for inclusion of peoples shifting views on habitats and changing landscapes.

Although a substantial amount of research has examined the connections between biodiversity, ecosystem processes and ecosystem services, much of this has been conducted at relatively Arjan Gosal Presenting at Research Reflections (2)small scales, and with a limited number of species. There is therefore a need to understand how these relationships translate to a landscape scale, at which environmental management decisions need to be undertaken. Thus it is important we don’t lose sight of the wider landscape when assessing cultural services, not just looking at the honeypot sights, so that we do not lose sight of the trees.

Please contact Arjan if you would like to receive further information relating to his research.


International Society of Biomechanics Conference Glasgow 2015

As the biggest conference of it’s kind, and by far the biggest conference I have attended, I really didn’t know what to expect with regards to the structure of the week, level of work being presented and what I could hope to get out of it. With over 1000 biomechanists from all over the world presenting their work and sharing thoughts and ideas, I was apprehensive to how my research and personal interests would fit into the vision of the wider biomechanics community. This apprehension was short lived. It was clear after the first day of presentations, that there is a clear vision to develop new technologies to enhance the way we can collect and interpret biomechanical data. It was encouraging to see other researchers making use of inertial sensing technologies, in a similar fashion to my current PhD research and to receive interest in my work from researchers in a similar position.

After the first few days of learning from others, good and bad, it was my turn to take the stage. As mentioned in my previous post, I was presenting research looking at the effect of playing surface on front-foot tibial acceleration during fast bowling in cricket . Although my initial apprehensions were placated by this point, the nerves of putting your research open to public appraisal from some of the top experts in the field, is an experience I’m not sure will ever be easy. Nonetheless, the amount I’ve learnt from this is something you can’t put a value on. The experience of presenting work you have put so much time and effort into, is both highly enjoyable and terrifying; but an experience I would love to repeat.

This week has taught me a lot about my field, it’s aims and aspiration and where my research fits into this vision. It has been immensely valuable not only from an intellectual point of view but in helping me develop into a well-rounded researcher, all the while meeting some lovely people along the way! An experience I would highly recommend to all researchers at any point in their career.

I would like to thank my supervisors Jonathan Williams and Raymond Lee for their support in this endeavour, and all the post-graduate support staff that have helped fund the trip; without them this trip would not have been possible.


ISB 2015

Introducing Jo George, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Hello, I will be working within the Health and Social Sciences Faculty with Impact Champion, Zoe Sheppard, over the next six weeks on the endeavour to monitor and measure the impact of research.

My work will involve:

  • Exploring methods of dissemination
  • Conducting literature searches to investigate the demonstration of impact
  • Working on two research case studies from the Health and Social Social Sciences Faculty

I can be found in R613 and contacted at if you have any ideas or challenges you’d like to discuss. I will be sharing my findings towards the end of my six weeks here.

I look forward to meeting you,