Category / Research news

New BU mental health publication

Congratulations to Faloshade Alloh (PhD student in Faculty of Health and Social Science), Dr. Pramod Regmi (Lecturer in International Health), Abe (Igoche) Onche (BU  graduate MSc in Public Health) and Dr. Stephen Trenoweth (Principal Academic and Leaded for BU iWell Research Centre) on the timely publication of their paper on mental health in developing countries [1]. 

Despite being globally recognised as an important public health issue, mental health is still less prioritised as a disease burden in many Low-and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). More than 70% of the global mental health burden occurs in poorer countries. The paper addresses mental health issues in LMICs under themes such as abuse and mental illness, cultural influence on mental health, need for dignity in care, meeting financial and workforce gaps and the need for national health policy for the mental health sector.  This exciting paper has 51 references including several linking to BU publications on research in Africa [2-3] and several papers related to South Asia [4-6], particularly highlighting the recently completed THET project that was led by BU [4-5].

The authors highlight that although mental health education and health care services in most LMICs are poorly resourced; there is an urgent need to address issues beyond funding that contribute to poor mental health. In order to meet the increasing challenge of mental health illness in LMICs, there is a need for effort to address cultural and professional challenges that contribute to poor mental health among individuals. The authors suggest that mental health should be integrated into primary health care in LMICs. Creating awareness on the impact of some cultural attitudes/practices will encourage better uptake of mental health services and increase the ease when discussing mental health issues in these countries which can contribute to reducing the poor mental health in LMICs.


Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health (CMMPH)


Click here to view the full publication.



  1. Alloh, F.T., Regmi, P., Onche, I., van Teijlingen E., Trenoweth, S. (2018) Mental health in low- and middle income countries (LMICs): Going beyond the need for funding, Health Prospect 17 (1): 12-17.
  2. Alloh F, Regmi P, Hemingway A, Turner-Wilson A. (2018) Increasing suicide rates in Nigeria. African Health Journal  [In Press].
  3. Alloh FT, Regmi PR. (2017) Effect of economic and security challenges on the Nigerian health sector. African Health Sciences. 17 (2):591-2.
  4. Acharya DR, Bell JS, Simkhada P, van Teijlingen ER, Regmi PR. (2010) Women’s autonomy in household decision-making: a demographic study in Nepal. Reproductive Health. 7 (1):15.
  5. Simkhada B, Sharma G, Pradhan S, Van Teijlingen E, Ireland J, Simkhada P, et al. (2016) Needs assessment of mental health training for Auxiliary Nurse Midwives: a cross-sectional survey. Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences. 2:20-6.
  6. Mahato, P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Angell, C., Ireland, J. on behalf of THET team (2018) Qualitative evaluation of mental health training of Auxiliary Nurse Midwives in rural Nepal. Nurse Education Today 66: 44-50.
  7. Regmi PR, Alloh F, Pant PR, Simkhada P, van Teijlingen E. (2017) Mental health in BME groups with diabetes: an overlooked issue? The Lancet389 (10072):904-5.

Health Research Authority – ‘helping student researchers get it right first time’

Project-based research taking part in the NHS requires Health Research Authority (HRA) approval, and BU will act as the ‘Sponsor‘ for studies undertaken by its students, postgraduate researchers, or staff.

The HRA realise that the process of applying for your approvals can be daunting, so they have created a working group, with the main goal of considering how best they can support student researchers, and ensure that the process is done correctly, the first time round.

Locally, you can email Suzy, Clinical Governance Advisor, on if you have any queries or need any advice.


MRC research staff announcement

MRC announced yesterday their new grant application status to recognise research staff contributions.

To support the development of researchers across different career stages, the MRC will introduce a new status to recognise the contributions of research staff as researcher co-investigators on grant applications from July 2018.

Currently many research staff do not receive the formal recognition they deserve for their contributions to writing grant applications, designing and carrying out funded research. By introducing the new status of researcher co-investigator, we are aiming to help provide them with the recognition needed for career progression.

For the full announcement, please visit the following link.


Useful resources for those involved in clinical research

If you are involved in, or wish to be involved in clinical research, then take a look at this link, where you will find useful resources to support colleagues in getting involved with research, to find out more for yourself, and to help you to encourage more patients to take part too.

If your study will recruit NHS patients or staff, then BU must ‘sponsor’ your project, so remember to involve the Research Ethics team within R&KEO on as early as possible in your study planning.

Innovate UK Grant Support Opportunity

Dear colleague

We understand that Innovate UK will be announcing a Digital Health Technology Catalyst (DHTC) fund competition in the Autumn (likely October). The sums of money available are likely to be significant (last call was looking for projects between £300K and £1M) and of course competition will be intense. The competition needs to be led by a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME), but these companies will need to partner with another organisation and this can be the University. We believe that locally we have the links to industry (SMEs), capability and expertise to be contenders for this award.

Attached below are the 10 questions that Innovate UK regularly ask in their applications.  We are giving you advance warning so that you could put yourselves on the front foot in the application process and give you time to seek and partner with an SME.

We would like to support you and have in place support from Dr Frank Ratcliff and Kevin Brooks of the Wessex AHSN for up to three to five bids which, based on their experience, have the ingredients for success. Kevin will be available to provide guidance throughout the application process and carry out a comprehensive check of your application, against the funder’s criteria, before the applications are submitted.

To registered your interest, and for us to check eligibility, there is a short expression of interest (EOI) form attached below for you to complete. Please send your EOIs to Audrey Dixon ( ) by Noon on Friday 29th June 2018.

We are told that the criteria for Round 2 of the DHTC grant is unlikely to change. For your information, and to check the eligibility and scope of your proposed project, click here to view details of the last (now closed) DHTC Round 1

DHTC Expression of Interest Application Form IUK 10 Application Questions

IUK 10 Application Questions

The inaugural Assistive Living Technologies Symposium 21st May 2018

On Monday 21st May 2018, Bournemouth University (BU) held the inaugural Assistive Living Technologies (ALT) Symposium at Talbot Campus. The Symposium was a fusion of research domains: Human Computer Interaction, Cyber‐Physical Systems, Robotics, Accessibility, Digital Health and Inclusion. The sponsor of the Symposium was EduWeb (EU Erasmus+ Project) which promotes digital inclusion within educational institutions, by providing a safe and creative web. The Symposium was organised by Dr Paul Whittington and Dr Huseyin Dogan from the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Research Group.

We were delighted to welcome Professor Nigel Harris from Designability, who develop products to increase dignity, confidence and independence for over 250,000 people with reduced abilities. The charity is supported by the University of Bath and Bath & North East Somerset Health and Wellbeing Board.

We also welcomed Martin Harman and John Heath from Southampton & South West Hampshire Remap Panel and Michael Garnish from Bournemouth Remap Panel. Remap is a national charity operating through local groups of skilled volunteers, who provide independence for people with reduced abilities, by designing and manufacturing bespoke equipment to assist with daily tasks. Designability and Remap delivered presentations on application of assistive living technologies to real world environments.

40 delegates attended the Symposium, representing the BU Faculties of Science & Technology, Health & Social Sciences and Media & Communications, as well as external organisations, including the NHS Dorset Clinical Commission Group, Possum Environmental Controls and Victoria Education Centre.

The Symposium was opened by Dr Paul Whittington and Professor Keith Phalp, followed by an interesting keynote presentation by Professor Nigel Harris, who introduced Designability’s Innovate UK CHIRON Project, which aims to provide a modular robotic system to support care at home. The system (branded JUVA) consists of a set of intelligent robotic systems in locations around the home, to help with personal care, including hygiene tasks and food preparation. The organiser of the Symposium, Dr Paul Whittington, presented his research, centred on the development of a SmartAbility Framework. The framework supports interaction for people with reduced physical ability through the application of built-in sensor technologies that automatically detect user abilities.

The Remap charity presented their work to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, through the development of bespoke solutions to solve problematic everyday tasks. Examples included assisting with dog walking, playing golf and painting. John Heath (former IBM employee) presented an enlightening video of his Nellie robot, developed to assist people with disabilities to prepare and eat microwave meals. Remap also had a display outside the lecture theatre to promote their work. Professor Hongnian Yu from BU concluded the morning session by providing an insight into the current applications and future trends of robotics in assistive technologies, including prototype versions of robots developed by BU.

Following an opportunity to collaborate and network during the lunch break, the afternoon session began with a presentation from Dr Konstantinos Sirlantzis, Paul Oprea and Laura Day from University of Kent and the Kent, Surrey, Sussex Academic Health Science Network. They introduced their European funded project called ADAPT (Assistive Devices for empowering disAbled People through robotic Technologies), which is run in partnership with institutions in Southern England and Northern France. This included details of driving assistance technologies and a simulator for electrical powered wheelchairs.

The afternoon presentations included two BU Postgraduate Researchers, Mark Mosely and Asha Ward, on their research into an eye gaze controlled robotic arm and the use of music technology to assist users with complex needs respectively. This session provided an opportunity for the sponsors of the Symposium to present their EduWeb research in tackling the problem of digital exclusion, delivered by Zoe Carter (a final year Forensic Computing and Security student). The final presentation of the Symposium described the FACETS (Fatigue: Applying Cognitive behavioural and Engery effectiveness Techniques to lifeStyle) Digital Toolkit, developed by BU, to assist with managing fatigue for people with multiple sclerosis.

The day concluded with a Panel of experts in assistive technology; Professor Nigel Harris, Dr Konstantinos Sirlantzis, Dr Sarah Thomas and Eur Ing Martin Harman. The panel raised some interesting discussions regarding the uses and acceptance of assistive technology, as well as the potential establishment of an Assistive Living Technologies network for Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

The inaugural Symposium provided an excellent opportunity for the current research into assistive technologies to be presented. The delegates have expressed positive feedback about the Symposium, including; “Congratulations again to you and Huseyin for putting on a first class symposium”, “It gave us the opportunity to speak to various others working in this field”, “I enjoyed the day and met some very interesting people” and “It was great to hear about the wide range of research and positive work taking place.”

We will be organising similar events in the future as we further develop our research into assistive technologies. We would like to thank Professor Keith Phalp, all the presenters and delegates for their support with the Symposium.

The Symposium presentations can be viewed on the HCI Research Group’s website at:



Last CQR ‘In Conversation’ Seminar of the Academic Year Wed 1p.m.

Hope to see many of you on Wednesday at the last CQR lunchtime seminar of the season!

Wednesday, 6 June at 1 pm in RLH 201

with Jen Leamon and Jenny Hall “In Conversation” on

“Building Confidence through Creative Crafting”

They promise some hands on activities so do plan to come along and join in!

Open Letter to BMJ Editors on Qualitative Research

Led by MD and Qualitative Researcher, Trisha Greenhalgh from Oxford U.,  seventy six senior academics from 11 countries in an open letter invited The BMJ’s editors to reconsider their policy of rejecting qualitative research on the grounds of low priority. They challenge the journal to develop a proactive, scholarly, and pluralist approach to research that aligns with its stated mission. Read their letter here.

The Letter, first published in 2016, has been recirculating on social media recently, and deserves our attention.

Kip Jones, Director of BU’s Centre for Qualitative Research, also published a reply in the BMJ, supporting the letter and the health-related qualitative work being done at BU.

The Centre for Qualitative Research is always open to new members.

Patients across Wessex report positive experience of research

The National Institute for Health Research oversee 15 Clinical Research Networks (CRN) throughout England. Locally, NHS Trusts and Universities that are conducting health research will work alongside the Wessex CRN, based in Hedge End, Southampton.

In October of last year, Wessex CRN conducted a survey looking into patient experiences of research across the region.
The results are now available, and show an extremely positive response, with 91% of patients stating they would be happy to participate in another research study, and 94% stating they had a good experience of taking part in research.

The survey likewise raised shortfalls that are important to address going forward. You can view the report here.

If you are thinking of undertaking your own research within the NHS or have any queries related to clinical research, then get in touch with