Category / Research news

Staff Survey – An investigation into cyber crime threats against Universities

Staff Survey – An investigation into cybercrime threats against Universities

Hello all, as part of my MSc in Cybercrime Investigation studies, I am conducting a staff survey regarding the perceptions of cybercrime amongst Bournemouth University staff.

Participation in the survey is voluntary. If you would like to take part in the survey, it will take around 15 minutes to complete. To be eligible, participants must be current Bournemouth University staff members. Your survey responses will be submitted anonymously.

You do not need to be an expert in cybercrime/cyber security to complete the survey. More information can be found on the survey, or by contacting Catherine Charles (Assistant TEL Developer, Centre for Fusion Learning Innovation & Excellence) – ccharles@bournemouth.ac.uk, 01202 961303.

Thank you,

The link to the survey is accessible here:

https://uclan.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8nLLvIOdStkdLc9

Royal Society Visit

Wednesday February 5th

11:00 – 13:00

7th floor of the Executive Business Centre

 

 

The Royal Society is the independent scientific academy of the UK, dedicated to promoting excellence in science. The Society performs a number of roles including influencing policymaking, promoting public engagement with science and funding leading scientists.  Over £40 million is spent annually by the Royal Society across the grant-making schemes.

This event, presented by the Royal Society’s Grants Operations Manager and the Grant Impact and Promotions Officer, will deliver an overview of the society’s funding schemes and provide advice on putting together a successful funding application. Academics with a successful track record will also discuss their personal experiences, and there will be a Q&A session followed by a networking lunch.

The intended learning outcomes of this session are:

  • To learn about the Royal Society, its remit and the type of funding offered
  • To be able to determine whether or not the Royal Society is an appropriate funder for your research project

For more information and to book, please see the staff intranet. If you have any queries, please contact RKEDF@bournemouth.ac.uk.

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!

Staff Survey – An investigation into cybercrime threats against Universities

Staff Survey – An investigation into cybercrime threats against Universities

Hello all, as part of my MSc in Cybercrime Investigation studies, I am conducting a staff survey regarding the perceptions of cybercrime amongst Bournemouth University staff.

Participation in the survey is voluntary. If you would like to take part in the survey, it will take around 15 minutes to complete. To be eligible, participants must be current Bournemouth University staff members. Your survey responses will be submitted anonymously.

You do not need to be an expert in cybercrime/cyber security to complete the survey. More information can be found on the survey, or by contacting Catherine Charles (Assistant TEL Developer, Centre for Fusion Learning Innovation & Excellence) – ccharles@bournemouth.ac.uk, 01202 961303.

Thank you,

The link to the survey is accessible here:

https://uclan.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8nLLvIOdStkdLc9

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.

HE Policy Update for the w/e 10th January 2020

Welcome to all our new readers! Parliament is back in the swing, the Labour leadership contest kicks off and the OfS has been VERY busy.

Parliamentary News

Daniel Zeichner, Labour MP for Cambridge, has been elected the new chair of the all-party parliamentary group for universities.

The Budget has been scheduled for Wednesday 11 March 2020.

Parliamentary Questions

Now that Parliament is regaining its stride relevant parliamentary questions will become more frequent (albeit on the usual topics).

Working Class | Educational Standards

At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday Rt Hon Sir David Evennett raised concern about the lack of educational achievement amongst working class boys. He asked whether the Government would prioritise ensuring that “all school children are given the opportunities to maximise their talents.” PM Boris stated the Government were investing “record sums” in early education and would shortly be setting up a National Skills Fund. Local MP Michael Tomlinson (Mid Dorset and North Poole) welcomed the additional funding for education, but noted that equally important were disciplines and standards, and asked whether there will be a continuous focus on most disadvantaged, especially on literacy and numeracy. Boris agreed more needed to be done and that was why they were investing more.

Free Speech

Q – Dr Matthew Offord: Secretary of State for Education, what steps he will take to promote (a) diversity of thought and (b) freedom of expression on university campuses.

  • A – Chris Skidmore: This government will ensure that our universities are places where free speech can thrive, and will strengthen academic freedoms. The freedom to express views openly, challenge ideas and engage in robust debate is crucial to the student experience and to democracy. Individuals should never be in a position where they can be stopped from, or are made to feel inhibited in, expressing an opinion perfectly lawfully. Similarly, universities should be places where students are exposed to a range of views, including those which may be controversial, and are encouraged to debate and challenge them.
  • Free speech is protected in universities by law and is embedded in the Office for Students’ Regulatory Framework. Under the Education (No 2) Act 1986, universities have a specific duty to take reasonably practicable steps to secure freedom of speech within the law for staff, students and visiting speakers. The government worked with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, who published new guidance in February 2019 on freedom of speech in higher education to support higher education providers and students’ unions in delivering their duties.
  • The government will be looking closely at how well higher education providers are meeting these obligations and will consider whether further action is needed, working with a range of partners.

Admissions/Productivity

Q – Lord Patten: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what analysis, if any, they have conducted into whether there is any relationship between increases in the number of university students in the UK and levels of productivity over the last 20 years; and what were the results of any such analysis.

  • A – Lord Duncan Of Springbank: The Office of National Statistics estimates that around a fifth of the rise in productivity between 1994 and 2019 can be attributed to improvements in the quality of the workforce. This is largely as a result of an increase in the share of overall hours worked by people with higher education qualifications. That is to say: more graduates in the labour market has led to an increase in productivity. This is consistent with other studies.
  • Productivity is the main driver of long-run economic growth, and a key determinant of standards of living; in the long-run, the UK’s ability to improve living standards is almost entirely dependent on its ability to raise productivity. The Government’s Industrial Strategy sets out a long-term plan to boost productivity by backing businesses to create good jobs and increase the earning power of people throughout the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure. The Government recently published the Business Productivity Review in response to the Industrial Strategy’s core priority of addressing the UK’s productivity issue.
  • The Government is investing £406 million in STEM and technical education and an additional £400 million in further education; the Government is also considering the recommendations of the Post 18 education funding review panel chaired by Sir Phillip Augar. This looked at how the post 18 education system can help deliver the skills the economy needs and improve UK productivity.

Q – Lord Taylor Of Warwick: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with UK universities about combating the student wealth divide in those applying to university.

  • A – Baroness Berridge: This government believes that a university education should be available to everyone who has the potential to benefit from it, and that higher education providers must continue to take steps to level the playing field for those from disadvantaged backgrounds and other under-represented groups. All providers wishing to charge tuition fees above the basic fee level must have an access and participation plan agreed by the higher education regulator, the Office for Students. Through these plans, providers set out the targets and their planned activity to support improved access and successful participation for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and under-represented groups.
  • The current student finance system removes financial barriers for those hoping to study and is backed by the taxpayer. The government provides maintenance loans and supplementary grants to help with the costs of living, targeting the most support at those from the lowest income families. Living costs support increased by 10.3% for eligible students on the lowest incomes in 2016/17 compared to the previous system. Further inflationary increases in living costs support have been made in each academic year since with a further increase of 2.9% announced for the 2020/21 academic year taking the support available for the lowest income students to record levels. Student loan repayments are linked to income, not to interest rates or the amount borrowed. The repayment system is designed to be progressive and borrowers on lower incomes are not obliged to repay their loans, with outstanding debt written off after 30 years

OfS updates

The OfS have confirmed they will develop a new framework for the TEF during 2020. The new framework will take account of the forthcoming recommendations in Dame Shirley Pearce’s independent review of the TEF (not yet released), the government’s response to it, and the findings of the latest subject-level TEF pilot. There will be a consultation following the publication of the new framework (expected in April) and there will not be a TEF round in 2020.

OfS have also confirmed they will publish their Insight Briefs on student information, regulation and mature students within the next six months. In addition there will be a January report covering the Access and Participation Plan commitments, a consultation on student protection plans, and the subject level TEF findings will be published.

February will see the OfS student engagement strategy, more reports on Access and Participation – particularly surrounding financial support, and an admissions call for evidence.

A highlight in March will be the OfS report into grade inflation, a student contract consultation in April, the future (recurrent) funding review, the OfS Business Plan, and a report into unconditional offers. In June OfS will report on the Access and Participation Plan monitoring outcomes and publish their OfS annual report and accounts.

Buckle up it’s not just Boris who is making changes!

Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

The OfS has been particularly active this week including publishing new expectations on how universities and colleges should deal with harassment and sexual misconduct relating to students. The published expectations form part of a consultation which is open for response until 27 March. The expectations have been shaped considering input from NUS and UUK. They cover the definition, policy and process standards, and the support expected across the cycle – before, during and after disclosure and formal investigation. They also state the OfS powers to intervene when a provider fails to handle a complaint or investigation adequately.

Wonkhe have a blog and a range of media have covered the release – ITV, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Independent, and TES. Later in the week The Guardian published a series of letters by academics responding to the report and the OfS ran a blog by Ann Olivarius (American lawyer focusing on sexual assault) which discussed the Equality Act 2010.

Erasmus

The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement was read in Parliament this week and one of the amendments selected for debate sought to enshrine within law a compulsion for the Government to make staying part of the Erasmus scheme a priority within the Brexit negotiations. The amendment was not successful however as Wonkhe state “Chris Skidmore clarified on Twitter that this does not necessarily end or prevent the UK participating in the Erasmus+ scheme after Brexit, instead stating that the UK’s participation in the scheme will be part of future negotiations with the EU.”  And that…he noted later that participation in the scheme is protected under the Withdrawal Agreement until 2021. In essence Erasmus participation will still be negotiated but not as a priority measure. Wonkhe have compiled the media coverage: BBC, the Guardian, the Independent, the Metro, Channel 4, the New European, and TES. The Guardian and i News also publish pieces by Erasmus alumni about how the scheme affected their lives.

Funding Cuts

The Government have informed the OfS that there will be a reduction in the HE teaching funding allocation of 0.5%, which the OfS administer, and they set out the Government’s priorities for provision and providers that the OfS should continue to fund, namely:

  • High cost subjects (clinical years for medicine, dentistry and veterinary)
  • World leading small and specialist institutions
  • The student premium (supporting WP students identified through the POLAR metric)

“all of which have an important role to play in maintaining the high quality of teaching and in supporting successful participation for underrepresented students”

  • RE: value for money protect those areas of the grant where the evidence base for need is strongest, and where there is clear alignment with priority activities, working closely with the DfE to identify these areas.
  • Consider how to fund London premium costs in the fairest and most efficient way (especially high-cost subjects within inner London).

OfS released a statement explaining how they will handle the reduction and explained that there are some areas this year where additional funds are needed:

  • increases in intakes to pre-registration medical degrees and the continuing effects of the transfer of funding responsibility for pre-registration courses in nursing, midwifery and allied health professions. This means the underlying cut in recurrent funding is greater – at around £70 million (5 per cent) in cash terms, although this should be viewed alongside an increase in capital funding of £50 million.
  • The OfS has already allocated the large majority of our funding for academic year 2019-20 and wishes to avoid as far as possible having to reduce grants already announced. Instead, we believe we can secure the savings required in academic year 2019-20 from as yet unallocated funds and by deferring some activities into academic year 2020-21.

OfS are launching a consultation next week to gather opinion on their proposed approach to implement the required savings. They have also confirmed there will be a full review of the funding method from 2021-22 financial year in April 2020. Remember the Budget will take place on 11th March. The timing of the full review is unlikely to be coincidental.

The SoS also mentioned the full review in his letter and asked the OfS to prioritise:

  • Streamlining the grant allocations to be more efficiently targeted and to represent an overall strategic approach to supporting priorities such as the Industrial Strategy, access and participation and specialist institutions;
  • Consideration of how to make sure the Student Premium is best targeted to support access, participation and successful outcomes for disadvantaged students, using the most up-to-date and relevant metrics;
  • Developing a new framework for evaluation and assurance of the Teaching Grant, working closely with the DfE over the coming months to agree this.

Wonkhe have a blog on the funding reduction – David Kernohan predicts that cuts are likely to come from the £51 million national facilities and regulatory initiatives pot (such as the Learning Gain pilot, phase 3 of the Catalyst Fund, and pilot metrics work). The one David doesn’t mention that will presumably escape the hatchet is NCOP.

Research

The House of Commons Library has published figures on the rise in research and development spending. In 2017 total R&D expenditure was £34.8bn (1.7% of GDP) from £17.6bn in 1981. This is a real terms increase of 94% but in 1981 the £17.6bn represented 2% of GDP. The library publication projects what is needed to reach the Government’s R&D target of 2.4%.

Key facts:

  • 251,000 people in UK are employed in R&D related roles.
  • The UK R&D expenditure of 1.7% of GDP is below the OECD average of 2.4%.
  • R&D expenditure in Germany is the equivalent of 3.0% of GDP, in the US it is 2.8% and in France it is 2.2%.

Worklessness – An Educational Story

The Resolution Foundation have published an interesting briefing on adults who have never held a stable paying job (holiday and casual work is discounted). While population employment levels are currently at a record high it still remains that 8.2% of the adult population have never had paid employment. 60% of this figure are young students, and as the statistic counts from age 16 to 64, a percentage of the never worked is skewed by those understandably within full time study. Yet this doesn’t explain all – there has been a rise in those aged 25+ that have never worked and are not currently studying.

The report pulls out several ‘key shifts’ that are interesting for the student population.

  • The death of the Saturday teenage job – the employment rate of 16-17 year olds has almost halved over the past two decades – from 48.1% 1997-99 to 25.4% in 2017-19. Increased participation in education only explains a small part of this decline – two-thirds of the fall is driven by a declining employment rate among 16-17 year olds studying full time at school or college. The types of work done by this age group have changed too.  52% of 16-17 year olds now work within catering, waiting tables or as retail assistants. In the past this age group did a wider range of work and the jobs that have declined most sharply are as retail cashiers, shelf stackers, factory packing work and as postal workers. Previous research by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills into the ‘death of the Saturday job’ confirmed that focusing on their studies was the main driver of the decline in earning while learning. Other reasons were that fewer young people wanted a job than in the past and some cited a lack of suitable jobs that fitted around study commitments. This ran alongside the strong opposition from schools and colleges who frowned on their students doing paid work – and raised that employers were similarly opposed to employing young people who are trying to juggle work and studying. The report highlights this as a concern stating the decline is despite evidence of clear benefits for teenagers who work while studying. Those who combine work with full-time education are 4-6% less likely to be not in employment, education or training – and earn 12-15% more – five years down the line than those just in education.
  • Less work whilst studying (FE & HE) – there has been a sharp fall in the employment rate of 18-24 year olds in FE and HE. A 25% fall in the employment rate of 18-19 year olds working while studying for degrees from the early 2000’s peak, a 15% per cent fall among 20-21 year old university students, and a 33% fall among 18-19 year olds studying for non-degree qualifications. Later the report acknowledges that most groups of students are less likely to be in employment post-financial crisis. The report continues with familiar themes: “again, this is despite evidence that working while studying at university improves long-term educational and labour market outcomes. (However, above a certain number of hours – perhaps 15-20 – work becomes an impediment to good grades, and students working only for financial reasons are less likely to get the best degrees. What explains this decline in working while in further or higher education? It’s possible that the growth in tuition fee and maintenance loans has improved university student incomes such that they don’t feel the need to work. Alternatively, tuition fees may have increased the salience of the individual costs of higher education and driven an increased focus on getting the best educational outcomes, at the expense of paid employment. Another potential factor – which would also relate to the decline in work among 16-17 year olds discussed above – may be the introduction of minimum wages reducing employers’ appetite or ability to make jobs available to those with the least experience. While there is little evidence that the UK minimum wage has harmed employment overall, there is some limited evidence that minimum wages reduce the employment prospects of the youngest and least experienced workers. Beyond these suggestions, it is possible that the social and cultural expectations among students, parents, employers and educational institutions are mitigating against earning while learning, as they have at sixth-form age.”
  • Getting a first paid job after completing full-time education takes longer than it used to. In the late 1990s, 56% of young education leavers who had never previously worked got a paid job within the first year after leaving. Today that figure has fallen to 44%.Again the report suggests more negative employer attitudes (as described above) alongside less work at sixth-form age, declining geographic mobility and an increase in living within the parental home as a young adult have an influence.The report goes on to discuss how delaying employment to focus on studies can be dangerous for future employment prospects
  • Motherhood and ill-health in early adulthood effectively ‘lock in’ a lack of paid work experience for those who have not had any up to that point. The proportion of 25-39 year old mothers who have never worked has increased from 3.3% in the late 1990s to 6.5% today.
    The proportion of 25-39 year old men with health problems who have never worked has increased from 4.8% to 7.6%. This triggers alarm bells because there have been big increases in health issues (particularly mental health) among young adults.

The report recommends that

  • Policy makers should pay more attention to the factors that have driven a rising likelihood of working-age adults in Britain never having had a paid job. Rather than cutting benefits, they should consider the extent to which earning while studying is encouraged (given evidence that, if not excessive, doing so improves long-term educational and labour market outcomes); the systems that support education-to-work transitions; and the factors driving the growth in ill-health among younger working-age adults.
  • Rather than cutting benefits, we need to explore and perhaps challenge the economic, social and cultural drivers mitigating against earning while learning at school, college and university, while boosting evidence on the types of work that are complementary to studying rather than detrimental. Our evidence underscores the particular challenge that the new T level qualifications are seeking to address for those taking the non-university route, and the importance of getting the work experience component of these right. In particular, this means ensuring that sufficient numbers of employers are willing and able to deliver work experience. And this analysis suggests that a much sharper focus on the advice and support systems that help people move from full-time education to the first stage of their career is required. Finally, our findings underscore the need for continued policy action to address the labour market disadvantages that women face when they have children, and to better understand how the growing group of relatively young adults with health problems and disabilities can be supported to actively participate in the labour market.
  • Lazy interpretations related to workshy Brits are clear very far wide of the mark. Instead, a full investigation of the rise in the proportion of working-age adults who have never had a paid job tells us much about the challenges of parenthood and disability, but above all about the complex choices many young people are facing in trying to get the most out of a perhaps increasingly high-pressured education.
  • …In conclusion, the story of a rising likelihood of working-age adults never having had a paid job is a lifecycle story that is strongly related to what happens during the education years.

Labour Shadow Cabinet

After the Government’s very minor reshuffle which kept most of the major ministers in their pre-election posts (see previous policy update) we are not anticipating any further changes until after Brexit. Other parties are reshuffling and Labour has announced several of the Shadow Cabinet roles. Most notable is that Emma Hardy has been appointed Shadow Minister for HE and FE (previous Shadow HE Minister Gordon Marsden lost his seat). TES cover her background and experience nicely including her membership of the Commons Education Select Committee, her support for scrapping tuition fees and restoring the EMA (Educational Maintenance Allowance), alongside her 10-year teaching career and time at the NEU teaching union. She supports the Augar proposals to increase the funding levels of FE colleges.  TES report Emma stated:

  • “This is going to be an interesting Parliament, and this Parliament even more so than the last, we are going to need to really strongly hold the government to account and expose what they’re doing and the impact they’re having.”

In other roles:

  • Former Shadow Minister for Early Years, Tracy Brabin has been appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
  • Luke Pollard has been appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
  • Rachel Maskell has been appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights.
  • Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi has been appointed PPS to Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Opposition.

Leadership Contest

The Labour leadership contest has kicked off and the winner is to be announced on 4 April 2020. Six contenders have already announced their intention to stand – Clive Lewis, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips, Sir Keir Starmer; Emily Thornberry; and Rebecca Long Bailey. The candidate nomination process remains open until 13 January so more MPs could still make a leadership bid. However, candidates have to be backed by a minimum of 10% of the Labour MPs/MEPs. Following this hurdle the candidates have to receive support for their leadership bid from either 5% of the constituency labour parties or three affiliate organisations such as a trade union or socialist society associated with the party. As 2 in 3 affiliate organisations are trade unions this gives them significant influence over the selection process. Following this round the final ballot opens on 21 Feb (until 2 April). The voter ranks the candidates in order of preference and any candidate securing 50% of the votes wins. If no candidate secures 50% the lowest scoring candidate is eliminated and the second choice on the ballot paper is allocated the vote instead. The elimination of the lowest scoring candidate continues until a candidate receives over 50% of the vote. A special Labour conference will take place on Saturday 4 April to announce the new Labour leader.

YouGov have already begun polling on the outcome of the contest, their results:

  • 36% of the membership said their top preference was Keir Starmer
  • 23% Rebecca Long Bailey
  • 12% Jess Philips
  • Emily Thornberry, Lisa Nandy, Yvette Cooper, and Clive Lewis all poll in single figures.

Note – 12% of party members did not respond to the survey. And the affiliate organisation round will affect which candidates progress to the actual ballot. YouGov also found that Kier Starmer benefited from the preferential voting system (see the chart here).

Private Members’ Bills

We’ve been here before…excitement at the fresh legislation that individual MP’s have the opportunity to introduce to Parliament…then the election was called and all Private Members’ Bill (PMBs) action  was over before it began. A new ballot has taken place and we’ve a new crop of 20 providential MPs who have the opportunity to introduce their legislation. The top seven are the most likely to succeed as they have the most parliamentary time. The new PMBs will be first read (presented) on Wed 5 Feb, and then further considered during the first seven sitting Fridays within the House of Commons. When the PMBs are debated on the sitting Fridays a minimum of 40 MPs must vote for the Bill to progress. Often the Government or the Opposition vote PMBs down. However, during the 2017-19 parliamentary session 9 PMBs became law.

(We explained the private members’ bill process and purpose in these policy updates: 11 Oct 2018 and 25 Oct 2018 (page 5).)

  1. Mike Amesbury (Labour) interests: leaseholder reform, effective public transport.
  2. Darren Jones (Labour) interests: NHS anti-privatisation, job creation for local economy, tech, climate change, clean growth and human trafficking. Darren is a lawyer, has already rebelled and voted against the party whip, and is the first ever Darren in Parliament!
  3. Anna McMorrin (Labour) interests: climate change, sustainable development, dementia, mental health.
  4. Laura Trott (Conservative) – new MP – political interests not known but previously worked for David Cameron focussing on education and family policy.
  5. Chris Loder (Conservative) – new MP – replaced Oliver Letwin as West Dorset MP. Has a background in the rail industry and publically took time away from his election campaign to volunteer as a platform manager to keep trains running during the South West train strikes. He has welcomed suggestions from the West Dorset constituents for his PMB. His political interests are rural economy, transport, and the environment – all as expected given his constituency demographics.
  6. Paula Barker (Labour) – new MP – interests: green spaces, council housing. Paula is a long term trade unionist and has family ties to the NHS and her regional clinical commissioning group.
  7. Philip Dunne (Conservative) has a personal interest in diabetes and stated political interests in agriculture, small business, economics and financial services.
  8. Dame Cheryl Gillian (Conservative) previously introduced the Autism Act as a previous PMB (2008). Recently she has been outspoken against High Speed 2 and environmental concerns.

Of the rest  – at place number 10 Dr Ben Spencer (psychiatrist) has a particular interest in young mental health; number 11 Bim Afolami is focussed on education (pro-grammar schools and the meritocratic system); and number 15 Mary Foy has a background as a carer to her daughter and it is speculated her PMB may focus on the caring role.

Decline in language study

HEPI have published A Languages Crisis? discussing the drop in learning an additional language and how far the UK lags behind the rest of the world for languages. The key points are:

  • Only 32% of British 16-to-30-year olds feel confident reading and writing in another language (in Europe it is 89%).
  • A decreasing proportion of international research is published in English – the UK’s position as an academic and scientific world leader is at risk.
  • Traditional language uptake at HE level has declined. Between 2010/11 and 2016/17, student numbers for French declined by 45%, German declined by 43% and Italian 63%. Languages provision, particularly for heritage languages, is vulnerable to departmental closures and downsizing.
  • Additional language learning, such as facilitating students on all courses taking language modules to count towards course credits and / or as an extracurricular activity, is a key area that UK higher education should protect and expand.
  • The author believes part of the problem begins at school following the 2004 reforms repealing the compulsory requirement to study an additional language.

The report recommends:

  • GCSE and A-Level courses should be more varied and appealing, featuring coursework as well as examination assessment.
  • Learning an ancient or modern foreign language should be made compulsory up to Key Stage 4 (KS4), with accreditation (either a GCSE / National, or alternative vocational or community language qualification) encouraged but optional.
  • Policymakers should introduce measures to increase teaching staff numbers, such as conditional financial incentives, and including all language teachers on the Shortage Occupations List.
  • Where tuition fees exist, they should be supplemented with additional government funding to safeguard provision of minority languages, and facilitate free additional language learning for any students and staff members.

The Times, the Guardian, ITV, and the Mail cover the report.

Megan Bowler, the author of the report, is a third-year Classics undergraduate at the University of Oxford. She said: The cultural and political implications of Brexit mean it is more urgent than ever that we re-evaluate our attitudes towards languages. Learning a language develops an analytical and empathetic mindset, and is valuable for individuals of all ages, interests and abilities. It was a big mistake to scrap compulsory foreign languages at GCSE. Rather than continuing to present languages as not suitable for everyone, we need to include a broader range of pupils learning through a variety of qualifications geared to different needs. Given the shortage of language skills in the workforce, we should safeguard higher education language courses, particularly those involving less widely-taught languages, and prioritise extra-curricular language learning opportunities for students from all disciplines”.

Responding to the report, Professor Neil Kenny, Languages Lead at the British Academy, said: Last year…we called on Government to adopt and implement a UK-wide languages strategy to revive modern language learning (coordinating with existing strategies in Scotland and Wales). With Brexit just around the corner, we need linguists more than ever. Languages are vital for effective trade, diplomacy and soft power, for social cohesion, social mobility, and educational attainment, all of which will be essential to the UK’s future success”.

T Levels

The successful election majority enables the Government to push ahead with the introduction of T Levels. They have announced that another 8 new T Levels will be introduced and taught from 2022 (10 currently planned to be introduced in 2020 and 2021 across 100 FE providers). A Government press release invites ‘high performing’ providers to apply to teach the third wave of the new 8 programmes. These include Legal, Accounting, and Manufacturing, Processing and Control. To recap – T levels are technical qualifications presented as an alternative to A levels which combine classroom taught theory, practical learning and a 45 day industry placement. They are aimed to establish a parity of esteem for the vocational route against the academic A level route and to meet Britain’s industry and employment needs and skills gaps.

Other news

Emotional Fitness: Wonkhe write about a new app being trialled at several universities which draws on positive psychological principles by focusing on mentally healthy processing (called emotional fitness) from the outset rather than reacting to poor mental health after it occurs. The Fika app divides emotional fitness into seven areas:

  • motivation, purpose, stress, confidence, connection, positivity and focus, all of which are linked, in theory, to overall life satisfaction, wellbeing and success. The aim is to improve students’ personal agency, and avoid “self-efficacy spirals” in which, for example, a period of low motivation leads to non-submission of work, which creates stress and panic, which leads to avoidance of issues, which then multiply until they are beyond the student’s powers to bring back under control.

The creator believes starting with HE is the mechanism to bring about real change within wider society

  • HE partners have a big part to play in how wider culture is shaped. Influencing this generation of students means shaping future culture, new businesses, expectations of society and being in society. And that, if successful, the principles can be weaved throughout university life: Longer term, the plan is to integrate more closely with university curricula through developing exercises for personal tutoring, peer mentoring or group work. Focused work on particular issues and student groups – including BAME, international and commuter students, and student employability, is also on the cards. The article concludes by stating the app isn’t a substitute for specialist mental health services.

Medical Science research: Wonkhe cover a report by the Academy of Medical Sciences which highlights the growing number of research active NHS staff who struggle to fit research in among other responsibilities. A widening gap between universities and the NHS is suggested as a possible cause. The report offers six recommendations:

  • the integration of research teams between academia and the NHS
  • providing dedicated research time for research active NHS staff
  • incorporating flexibility into postgraduate pathways
  • ensuring undergraduate studies equip healthcare graduate staff with skills to engage with research
  • streamlining research through joint research and development offices
  • creating a healthcare system that truly values research

Links to download the full documents are on the left hand side of this page.

European study tour: Wonkhe and five student union representatives visited a number of universities across Europe (Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia). There are four blogs covering the learning tour.

Mental Health: The House of Commons Library published a briefing on English mental health policy.

Admissions: Wonkhe report on the new HEPI blog on the debate about academic selection, asking why many experts wish to abolish grammar schools while strengthening selection at the university level.

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Opportunity to Contribute to two new books :Smart Cities and Sharing Economy CALL FOR BOOK CHAPTERS

Contribute to two new books :

Smart Cities and Sharing Economy CALL FOR BOOK CHAPTERS

Published by Goodfellow Publishers

Smart Cities: Co-creating experiences, challenges and opportunities |
Editors: Dimitrios Buhalis, Babak Taheri, and Roya Rahimi https://easychair.org/cfp/SC1

The Sharing Economy: Perspectives, Opportunities and Challenges
Editors: Babak Taheri, Roya Rahimi, and Dimitrios Buhalis https://easychair.org/cfp/SE1

Important dates:
Abstract Deadline: 15th Jan 2020
Chapter Submission Deadline: 12 June 2020
Feedback deadlines: 8 August 2020
Submitting revised chapters: 30 October 2020
Review by editors: October to December 2020
Submitting final chapters: 18 December 2020
Submitting to Publisher: 12 February 2021

Action required – Guidelines for proposal submissions:

  • A 500-1,000 word proposal
  • Title page: title of the paper, full name of the author(s), affiliation and contact information
  • One diagram describing your contribution to the topic.
  • A short bio (around 150-250 words) for each author
  • Soft copy as Word document attachment should be uploaded to the links

_____________________________________________________________________Smart Cities: Co-creating experiences, challenges and opportunities
Editors: Dimitrios Buhalis, Babak Taheri, and Roya Rahimi
https://easychair.org/cfp/SC1

This book will provide a new insight for the current issues and opportunities on smart cities and related concepts in the next generation of urban evolution. It will provide a better understanding of city services but also the enhancement and evaluation of locals’ (and visitors) experience and city decision making processes by creating liveable environments and business solutions. The book will serve as a main reference point for smart cities researchers, scholars, students and practitioners state-of-art knowledge depository on marketing management (and related areas e.g., urban studies) from a new modern perspective within the smart cities.

PROVISIONAL AND INDICATIVE LIST OF CHAPTERS (SUGGESTIONS WELCOME!)
Ch 1. Introduction to Smart Cities: Co-creating experiences, challenges and opportunities
Ch 2. Co-creating smart experiences (defining co-creation of value and related concepts in contemporary age)
Ch 3. Current challenges for smart cities, tourism and urbanisation (challenges in cities which leads to need to smart cities opportunities)
Ch 4. Value co-creation in smart cities (defining smart cities and related concepts)
Ch 5. Digital transformation (in relation to smart cities and digital world)
Ch 6. Smart sustainable environment and cities (CSR and sustainability)
Ch 7. Smart people (Human capital: issues and opportunities in smart cities)
Ch 8. Smart economy (Investment: issues and opportunities in smart cities)
Ch 9. Smart mobility (Transportation: issues and opportunities in smart cities)
Ch 10. Smart living (Community engagement: issues and opportunities in smart cities)
Ch 11. Smart governance (Politics and government engagement)
Ch 12. Smart Business models, co-creation of experiences and smart cities
Ch 13. Smart trends in the tourism and hospitality industry
Ch 14. The Smart future: stakeholders, catalysts, opportunities and challenges
Ch 15. Case studies (this chapter will have a case study for each of 14 chapters)

_____________________________________________________________________The Sharing Economy: Perspectives, Opportunities and Challenges
Editors: Prof. Babak Taheri, Dr. Roya Rahimi, and Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis
https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=se1

This book will focus on the sharing economy from a marketing and managerial perspective and will explore implications area of tourism marketing and management, services marketing and urban studies. It will encourage new theoretical and empirical development on sharing economy studies in the service industries field and offers a new insight to indicate potential research opportunities and areas of interest different aspects of sharing economy. Target readership will be higher level undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG).

PROVISIONAL AND INDICATIVE LIST OF CHAPTERS (SUGGESTIONS WELCOME!)
Ch 1. Introduction The Sharing Economy: Perspectives, Opportunities and Challenges
Ch 2. Exploration of service platforms and marketplaces (defining platform services, adventuristic start-ups)
Ch 3. Sharing economy (defining sharing economy and related concepts)
Ch 4. Application of co-creation of value: Two-sided markets (locals vs. visitors)
Ch 5. Gig economies (defining gig economy and related concepts)
Ch 6. National culture and sharing economy (matchmaking, and studies within other culture/context)
Ch 7. Overarching theories on sharing economy (e.g., social exchange theory, complexity theory, norm activation model, etc)
Ch 8. Models of platform-based sharing economy businesses (defining customer lifetime value (e.g., business to customer model; P2P: peer to peer model, etc.); plus for-fee models (e.g., Uber, Airbnb) or no-fee models (e.g., TripAdvisor, Instagram, Wikipedia)
Ch 9. Big data and digital marketing (the importance of digital marketing within the sharing economy)
Ch 10. Operations management in sharing economy (operations and process in sharing economy)
Ch 11. The law of sharing economy (regulations, licensing, roles of state governments etc)
Ch 12. Ethics and sustainability in sharing economy (CSR and sustainability issues)
Ch 13. Future of sharing economy
Ch 14. Case studies (this chapter will have a case study for each of 13 chapters)

SURE Conference 2020 : Encourage your students

The SURE (Showcasing Undergraduate Research Excellence) conference is returning for its 5th year, taking place on the 18th March 2020.​

You can encourage your dissertation students and/or students whose work you have marked already to submit a 250 words abstract to the SURE conference with the deadline of 20th January.  Work can be from individuals or groups (including alumni students) but must be undergraduate. Further information can be found here .

This also provides a great opportunity for the students to be considered for the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) which enables the students to showcase their research inside parliament at annual Posters in Parliament event. Further details can be found here .

The Royal Society – book now for the visit on 5th February 2020

BU will be hosting the Royal Society on Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 11:00 – 13:00, at the Lansdowne Campus.

The Royal Society is the independent scientific academy of the UK, dedicated to promoting excellence in science.

The Society is an independent, charitable body and performs a number of roles including influencing policy-making, promoting public engagement with science and funding leading scientists.  Over £40 million is spent annually by the Royal Society across the grant-making schemes. The Royal Society dates from the 1660s and supports a diverse programme of activities.

This session will deliver an overview of the Royal Society’s funding schemes and provide advice on putting together a successful funding application. Academics with a successful track record will discuss their personal experiences. There will be a Q&A session followed by a networking lunch.

The intended learning outcomes of this session are:

  • To learn about the UK’s Royal Society, its remit and the type of funding offered
  • To be able to determine whether or not the Royal Society is an appropriate funder for your research project

Please find out more and book now, giving any dietary requirements. You will receive a meeting request giving the confirmed Lansdowne Campus location.

If you have any queries, please contact the RDS team at RKEDF@bournemouth.ac.uk

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 last Christmas present

“On the twelfth day of Christmas ….” the editor  of the Journal of Health Research Ms Sunanta Wongchalee informed us that our paper ‘Silicone use in Nepali transgender women: The hazards of beauty’ has been accepted for publication [1].  That is nice belated Christmas present to receive on January 6th and a good start of the New Year.  The paper is written by FHSS’s Dr. Pramod Regmi and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen with Sanjeev Raj Neupane in Nepal.  This is the second paper from this unique study on transgender women in Nepal, the first one was published last year in BMJ Open [2].

References:

  1. Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E.,, Neupane, S. (2020) Silicone use in Nepali transgender women: The hazards of beauty, Journal of Health Research (accepted)
  2. Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E., Neupane, S., Marahatta, S. (2019) Hormone use among Nepali transgender women: a qualitative study, BMJ Open 9: e030464. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030464.

 

Nepal’s migrant workers & risk at the workplace

For nearly a decade BU researchers have published widely about the hazards and risk of Nepali migrant workers in Asia and the Middle East [1-9].  Despite the fact that most migrant workers end up in semi-skilled and unskilled jobs in their host countries, only a minority report poor working environments.  For example, in Pratik Adhikary’s PhD study in FHSS only just over a fifth of migrant workers reported that their work environment in the Middle East or Malaysia was poor or very poor [4].  This relatively high level of satisfaction appears to seems contradict reports in local media on the risks associated with Nepali migrants working abroad, especially focusing on the football world cup in Qatar [7], official reports that many hundreds of bodies of dead Nepali migrants return home every year [10], and the fact that many of these Nepali migrant workers end up doing the jobs the local populations finds too dirty, dangerous and demeaning (colloquially referred to as 3D-jobs).  Why do so many who travel abroad take to do risky, dirty and otherwise undesirable jobs, but still assess their working environment as not too bad?

More theoretical papers on the drivers of migration have referred to many interconnected factors and links [11-12].  Local drivers in Nepal include poverty, lack of employment opportunities, having a history of work-related migration, a growing culture of migration (i.e. it becomes more or less an expectation) and many more.  One local element that is perhaps too easily ignored is that many Nepali migrant workers would have ended up in dirty, dangerous and demeaning jobs at home too.  And the risk, on for example building sites in Nepal might be even greater than that in Qatar or elsewhere in the Middle East as some of the photos below illustrate.  These photos of an accident involving an external building lift were taken today on a building site in Kathmandu.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

  1. Adhikary P., Keen S., van Teijlingen E. (2011) Health Issues among Nepalese migrant workers in Middle East. Health Science Journal 5: 169-75. www.hsj.gr/volume5/issue3/532.pdf
  2. Adhikary, P, Sheppard, Z., Keen, S., van Teijlingen, E. (2017) Risky work: accidents among Nepalese migrant workers in Malaysia, Qatar & Saudi Arabia, Health Prospect 16(2): 3-10.
  3. Simkhada, P.P., Regmi, P.R.van Teijlingen, E., Aryal, N. (2017) Identifying the gaps in Nepalese migrant workers’ health and well-being: A review of the literature. Journal of Travel Medicine, 24 (4). https://doi.org/10.3126/nje.v9i3.25805
  4. Adhikary P, Sheppard, Z., Keen S., van Teijlingen E. (2018) Health and well-being of Nepalese migrant workers abroad, International Journal of Migration, Health & Social Care 14(1): 96-105 https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMHSC-12-2015-0052
  5. Regmi, P.van Teijlingen, E.Mahato, P.Aryal, N., Jadhav, N., Simkhada, P., Zahiruddin, Q.S., Gaidhane, A. (2019) The Health of Nepali Migrants in India: A Qualitative Study of Lifestyles and Risks. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16 (19). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193655
  6. Aryal, N., Regmi, P.R., Faller, E.M., van Teijlingen, E., Khoon, C.C., Pereira, A., Simkhada, P. (2019) Sudden cardiac death and kidney health related problems among Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia. Nepal Journal of Epidemiology, 9 (3), 788-791. https://doi.org/10.3126/nje.v9i3.25805
  7. Adhikary P, van Teijlingen E., Keen S. (2019) Workplace accidents among Nepali male workers in the Middle East and Malaysia: A qualitative study, Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health 21(5): 1115–1122. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10903-018-0801-y
  8. Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E., Mahato, P., Aryal, N., Jadhav, N., Simkhada, P., Syed Zahiruddin, Q., Gaidhane, A., (2019) The health of Nepali migrants in India: A qualitative study of lifestyles and risks, Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health 16(19), 3655; doi:10.3390/ijerph16193655.
  9. Regmi, P., Aryal, N., van Teijlingen, E., Adhikary, P. (2019) Nepali migrant workers and the need for pre-departure training on mental health: a qualitative study, Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10903-019-00960-z.pdf
  10. Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of Nepal. (2018) Labour migration for employment: a status report for Nepal: 2015/2016 – 2016/2017. In. Kathmandu, Nepal: Ministry of Labour and Employment.
  11. Van Hear, N., Bakewell, O., Long. K. (2018) Push-pull plus: reconsidering the drivers of migration, Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies, 44:6, 927-944, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2017.1384135
  12. Iqbal, M., Gusman, Y. (2015) Pull and Push Factors of Indonesian women migrant workers from Indramayu (West Java) to work abroad. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 6(5): 167   https://www.mcser.org/journal/index.php/mjss/article/view/7893

Hear about NIHR Wessex Applied Research Collaboration – 13th January 09:30 to 12:00

Applied Health and Care research is essential in our region if we are to improve the care and operation of our health and care systems.

Professor Alison Richardson, Director of the NIHR Wessex Applied Research Collaboration (ARC), will be talking about the newly formed ARC Wessex, which is working across the region with its partner organisations to bring the best research into practice.

ARC Wessex aims to address the immediate issues facing the health and social care system. The research programme focuses on four areas:

  • Ageing & Dementia.
  • Healthy Communities.
  • Long Term Conditions
  • Workforce and Health Systems.

There are a number of initial projects underway – for further information see our website.

This event is open to everyone across Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and South Wiltshire – Our Wessex community. Please book your place: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nihr-arc-wessex-skills-and-implementation-in-health-and-care-research-tickets-86901836733 

New Year’s Eve Celebrations Without the Fizz? New Publication in BULR by Martine Hardwick

Martine Hardwick, Lecturer in Law and PhD Candidate in the Department of Humanities and Law, has published a timely commentary in the Bournemouth University Law Review looking ahead to a change in the law on 31 December 2019. On this date, opposite sex couples will finally be able to register their civil partnerships – which until now has been reserved for same sex couples.

However, this change in the law raises important questions for cohabiting couples. Despite longing for more protection and fairness from the law, co-habiting couples will not be presented with the opportunity as heterosexual couples to celebrate on New Year’s Eve. Instead, they will still be bound by the strict rules of formation and dissolution which mirror those of marriage.

Questioning whether the UK has missed an opportunity to provide more rights for cohabiting couples and highlighting a solution drawn from France in the form of Pacte Civil de Solidarité (PACS), Martine argues that learning lessons from the French legal system has to be the way forward in giving cohabitants protection while respecting their autonomy.

You can read Martine Hardwick’s full article here.

27th Managing Osteoporosis Conference – Prof Jane Murphy and Dr Susan Dewhurst

 

Both Dr Susan Dewhurst and Prof Jane Murphy from BU’s Ageing and Dementia Research Centre  were invited to speak at the 27th Managing Osteoporosis conference 2019 on 9-10th December 2019 at RBCH alongside a number of high profile speakers from across the UK.  There were over 200 delegates from across the South including consultants, nurses and other Allied Health Professionals.  Susan spoke about ‘Exercise for Fall Prevention: What Works?’, whilst Jane updated delegates on ‘Diet, Nutrition and Ageing’.

The talks garnered a lot of interest  with new insights for  bone health and managing osteoporosis and opportunities for collaboration.

 

 

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.’

Ten ‘rules’ for being creative in producing research

By Kip Jones

Since the changing of the year seems to be the time for lists, top ten lists, etc., I decided to compile mine about being creative whist producing cutting‐edge research. Not for the faint‐hearted! Here goes:

1. Be curious. Be a detective. Be ready to be surprised by answers you never expected. It should, in the end, be a good story that you can tell.

2. Insure that the method fits the question(s). This can often take some time. Be willing to investigate until you find the right method. This will save you a lot of grief later.

3. Explore methods. Combine them, expand them, reinvented them, but be prepared to then follow them.

4. If your research question is about people, find a way to really involve them in the process, not just answer some stupid questions.

5. Don’t panic if you method produces a lot of data. Swim in it. It’s fun and it is here that the surprises bubble up. Whatever you do, try to avoid reducing the amount of data by ‘categorizing’ it. (I detest little boxes.)

6. Think hard and long about how you want to share the results of your efforts. Text is only one of many possibilities. Really try to get your personal interests out of the way in this process and let the data lead you in selecting a format or art form.

7. Research is about discovery; Dissemination is about putting your findings into action. Ideally, we can be creative at both.

8. About half of your effort (and time) should be on producing the research, the other half on creating the outputs.

9. Creative outputs produce unexpected outcomes. Be willing to experiment, ‘go it alone’. ‘Doing’ and ‘making’ produce additional findings. Use them, they are rich and you’ve earned them.

10. Be willing to make 100 versions, then one more (Sister Corita Kent). It’s that last one that you will use.

Note: Remember, oh ye serious social scientists, that in Big Science, some of the greatest discoveries were made through mistakes and acknowledging the unexpected. Therefore:

Rule 11: Be curious about the history of your craft. Soak up as much as you can. It will both inspire and lead you.

This article by Kip Jones originally appeared on his

personal KIPWORLD blog and was then published by Creative Quarter and Social Science Space.