Category / RKE development framework

Influencing Policy Workshop with Professor Mark Reed

If you would like your research to have an impact on government policy, or would like to influence the policy of large organisations, then this half day workshop by impact expert, Professor Mark Reed, of Fast Track Impact, is for you.

This online half-day workshop is open to all academics and there are limited places, so book via OD now! Once booked, you will be sent a Zoom link to join the session nearer the time.

The workshop is running on 1st March from 13:00-16:30 and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

During this workshop, you will discover quick and easy tools you can use immediately to:

  • Prioritise which policy actors to engage with first and how to instantly get their attention.
  • Create a powerful impact plan that will guarantee your research makes a difference without wasting your time.
  • Learn how to design an effective policy brief.
  • Pitch evidence-based policy options powerfully in meetings and seminars.
  • Learn how to get your research into policy, wherever you work in the world, by building trust and working with intermediaries.
  • Track, evaluate and evidence policy impacts, discovering time-efficient ways to keep track of impacts as they arise, and design an impact evaluation that convincingly attributes impacts to your research.
  • Be inspired by primary research and case studies that illustrate each point.

For more information, please contact Amanda Lazar.




Sign up Sign up: British Academy ECR Network Southwest Hub

Are you an ECR who wants to start 2022 with an awesome opportunity??

Please sign up to the newly established British Academy ECR Network Southwest Hub. Led by the GW4 Alliance, in partnership with the British Academy and nine Southwest universities (including Bournemouth University). This is building an inclusive and researcher-led network to support the needs and interests of researchers in the humanities and social sciences – including subjects from Social Psychology and Anthropology to Law and History.
There will be events and activities both in the region and at the Academy that will provide an opportunity for capacity building, knowledge exchange and networking. Researcher interests will inform the activities and opportunities the network will offer.
For those that join, you will be invited to attend an Early-Career Researcher Network Welcome session, where you will learn more about the Network, meet and engage with other Early-Career Researchers and address any questions or concerns you have about the Network.
The Welcome session will take place on Thursday 20th January 2022 between 14:00 – 15:00pm on Zoom.
The Network is being piloted across the Southwest and is for researchers who identify as early-career. Although the Network does not have a strict definition of an ECR, it is anticipated you will be within 10 years of your PhD experience but recognise this will not be the case for all, given career breaks for MAT, PAT, sick leave, and other exceptional circumstances.
Further information can be found via the British Academy Early Career Researcher Network webpage.
To sign-up follow this link to register your interest to join the Network:

Online training workshop: Impact and funding applications

Impact and Funding Applications Training: Wednesday 16th February 15:30-16:30 Online

How to write about impact in your funding bids

Writing about impact in a grant application can be challenging. However, a strong description of the benefits you hope your project will have on society and the economy, and the means you will take to get there, can make all the difference between getting funded or not.

Book your place now on the online training session Impact and Funding Bids on 16th February at 3.30pm and we will help you understand what you need to include for the best chance of success, and look at the different ways impact may be considered within each call.

Although the session will include a brief look at definitions of impact, it is advised that you watch the 10-minute introduction to impact video on Brightspace beforehand to get the most out of the training.

Book your place.

ACORN Round 4 Is Closing Soon

Dear ECRs,

this is a reminder that ACORN Round 4 is closing on 10 December 2021 at 5pm.

As advertised earlier, this round slightly differs from previous rounds. Two options for ECRs are available – Standard Grants up to £5,000 that can be delivered before the end of July 2022 and Large Grants up to £10,00 for projects to be completed within 12 months.

Each applicant is allowed to only submit one proposal for Round 4 and should use one of the supplied templates accordingly. The closing date is Friday, 10th December 2021 (5pm); to be considered eligible, all applications must be submitted to the email account before the deadline.

For more details, refer to full text of advertisement.

Calling all Humanities and Social Sciences ECR’s

Do you want to super charge your skills development?  

Do you want access to a range of training and mentoring? 

Do you want to engage in networking opportunities? 

Take a look at this……  



The British Academy has expanded its Early-Career Researcher (ECR) Network via a pilot programme aimed at UK-based postdoctoral researchers in the humanities and social sciences – into the Southwest region with a new hub comprising the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Bath Spa, Bournemouth, Gloucestershire, Plymouth and UWE. 

This two-year pilot programme aims to establish an inclusive, UK-wide Network for ECRs in the humanities and social sciences, providing opportunities for skills development and networking across the whole country. 

As you can imagine we are all very BU Proud to be part of this consortium so please make the most of this opportunity and sign up to super charge your trajectory…. 


How to ensure your research has impact: new online workshop for 2021/22

Planning for impact: Thursday 2nd December: 9:30-11:30 Online

If you want to ensure your research makes a real-world difference, book now onto this RKEDF interactive online workshop. This training is also useful for anyone applying for this year’s call for the Research Impact Fund (closing date: 10th December). Early career researchers are welcome to attend, and the session is suitable for any career stage.

Impact consultant Saskia Gent, director of Insights for Impact, explains: “This is a hands-on, practical workshop with exercises supporting researchers to build a draft impact plan.” You will learn how to create a strategic plan for embedding impact in your research at any stage in the research lifecycle by:

  • identifying relevant stakeholders
  • developing impact goals
  • understanding the different types of impact that can arise from your research
  • identifying evidence sources.

Book your place.


Introducing the Early Career Researcher Network

Our established network of Early Career Researchers extends across the faculties. It provides support to Early Career Researchers from the experienced academic leaders of the network, Dr. Sam Goodman, and Prof. Ann Hemingway, as well as from peers, and highlights the support available from the Research Development and Support department and other BU teams. It also, as the name suggests, provides a forum for networking and making connections that can be of great benefit to an academic’s research career.

We have monthly networking events. We plan to continue holding them online for the time being, with a view to trialling at least a couple of hybrid events later in this academic year. We have a mix of themed discussions, (on topics like career planning, dealing with imposter syndrome, managing your profile as a researcher), plus open surgeries with more general Q&A.

For a more animated introduction, here is a short video of Sam and Ann talking about the network.

If you are not already a member of the network but would like to be, or if you have any queries, please contact No restrictions apply, as long as you identify yourself as someone in the early stages of their research career.

To have a look at what sessions are on, and to book onto any of them, please see here.

Introduction to ACORN

What is ACORN fund about?

ACORN funding provides central investment to the most talented Early Career Researchers (ECRs) to support them in gaining experience in managing and leading their own pilot research projects. The name ACORN stands for ACceleration Of Research and Networking. These awards support BU’s commitment to the Concordat to Support to Career Development of Researchers.

It is increasingly common in the sector for universities to provide a central fund for research development activities, with funds allocated via an internal competitive process. The decision-making body is a panel, technical project implementation support, including financial management, is provided by faculties.

ACORN funding is managed by one of the internal funding panels; the ACORN panel consists of ten panel members representing all faculties, Doctoral College and Professional Services. The panel is led by the Chair Professor Jan Wiener, Vice-Chair Professor Julie Turner-Cobb and supported by Secretary and Clerk  from RDS.

There is a strong link between the ACORN Fund and the ECR Network (ECRN). Both were launched in 2018, with the ECRN having monthly meetings and a Brightspace community. Award holders are expected to engage with the ECRN and present at an ECRN event. In this way, those who do not benefit directly from the ACORN scheme by receiving funding, benefit indirectly though interaction with those ECRs who receive support via this scheme.

There are some key eligibility requirements applicants have to consider before applying for ACORN funding:

  • applicants must have completed their PhD;
  • applicants must have a post at BU (established or fixed term) for the full duration of the award;
  • applicants should have held a 0.2 or above research contract for no more than six years in total;
  • ACORN award holders cannot hold more than one ACORN award concurrently;
  • applicants are required to secure at least one mentor to provide support and advice through the application process and beyond.

Funded projects

Since ACORN funding started, 23 grants have been awarded.

Round 1

  • Return to Work after Stroke, PI Dr Kathryn Collins (HSS);
  • Enhancing Educational Practice Through 3D Pedagogy Workshops, PI Dr Deborah Gabriel (FMC);
  • Building BU-Brazil partnerships: self-managed breathing training for falls prevention, PI Dr James Gavin (FMC);
  • Training prisoners as hospitality workers: The Clink Charity case, PI Dr Charalampos Giousmpasoglou (FMC);
  • Minimising disorientation in care homes: Experiences of care home staff, PI Dr Michelle Heward (HSS);
  • Virtual Reality for supporting dementia care, PI Dr Ben Hicks (FST).

Round 2

  • The Beach Bots – preliminary study, PI Dr Rashid Bakirov (FST);
  • Contemporary Issues in Fertility Control, PI Dr Jeffrey Wale (FMC);
  • Women’s Sport Governance: Merger-Takeovers in the 1990s and beyond, PI Dr Rafaelle Nicholson (BUBS);
  • Using the power of the creative arts in supporting dementia care, PI Dr Amanda Adams (HSS);
  • Equity Based Online Crowdfunding Platforms and Gender Bias in Decision Making, PI Dr Sukanya Ayatakshi-Endow (BUBS);
  • Factors affecting access to mental health services in the Nepali and Iranian communities living in UK, PI Dr Bibha Simkhada (HSS);
  • Accessible Emoji, PI Dr Benjamin Gorman (FST).

Round 3

  • Turning Your Film Into Mine: Filmmaking and the Quotation Exception, PI Dr Claudy Op Den Kamp (FMC);
  • Neonate simulators and digital stories: enhancing social work practitioner’s knowledge of problem substance use during pregnancy, PI Dr Humaira Hussain (HSS);
  • Drawing Lines across Virtual Spaces: Nigerian Political Cartooning in the Digital Age, PI Dr Malcolm Corrigall (FMC);
  • Exploring pathways from suicide ideation to attempts in autism, PI Dr Rachel Moseley (FST);
  • Reliability and Development of Normative Data of the Total Faulty Breathing Scale, PI Dr Vikram Mohan (HSS).

Round 3.5

  • Using Game-based learning and Gamification to develop reflective practice in social work students and practitioners, PI Dr Louise Oliver (HSS);
  • Study into best inpatient ward bed layout at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust, PI Dr Nirmal Aryal (HSS);
  • ‘Out-of-Commerce: Out-of-Mind’: Finding the Lost Films, PI Dr Melanie Stockton-Brown (FMC);
  • Filling the Gap: Investigating past and present socio-ecological resilience to aid future sustainability in the Poole Harbour Catchment, PI Dr Kimberley Davies (FST);
  • Smartphone-assisted automated grape disease diagnosis and remedial system, PI Dr Avleen Mahli (FST).

Round 4

The ACORN Fund Round 4 is now open for applications, so your name may be here in the future; all ECRs working at BU are welcome to submit their applications by 5pm on Friday, 10th December 2021.

Two options for ECRs are available – Standard Grants up to £5,000 that can be delivered before the end of July 2022 and Large Grants up to £10,00 for projects to be completed within 12 months.

The Panel and RDS are grateful for grant holders’ commitment and wish success to all Round 4 applicants.

How to plan for impact from your research: sign up now for new training!

Planning for impact: Thursday 2nd December, 9.30-11.30

Do you want to ensure your research has real-world impact? Would you like to understand how to integrate impact into your project plan to enhance the chance of getting funding? This new online impact training session provides the tools and insights you need.

Impact consultant Saskia Gent, director of Insights for Impact, explores how to plan for impact throughout the research lifecycle.  The session addresses the key elements of impact planning by asking five questions:  why, who, what, how and how do we know?

This approach enables you to consider your impact goals, identify relevant beneficiaries and stakeholders, plan engagement activities and consider evidence requirements and opportunities.

Sign up here.

This session is useful for you, whichever stage of your research career you are at, and ECRs are welcome to attend.  You are also encouraged to attend if you are considering applying for the Research Impact Fund (which closes 10th December).


The ACORN Fund Round 4 is Now Open for Applications!

The ACORN Fund (Acceleration Of Research & Networking) for Early Career Researchers Round 4 is now open for applications.

This round slightly differs from previous rounds. Two options for ECRs are available – Standard Grants up to £5,000 that can be delivered before the end of July 2022 and Large Grants up to £10,00 for projects to be completed within 12 months. For more details, refer to the ACORN Fund Policy Autumn 2021 document.

Each applicant is allowed to only submit one proposal for Round 4 and should use one of the supplied templates accordingly. The closing date is Friday, 10th December 2021 (5pm); to be considered eligible, all applications must be submitted to the email account before the deadline.

This scheme will provide c. five awards, of up to £5,000 each and up to two awards, of up to £10,000 each, to support BU’s ECRs, with the most promising talent, to gain experience of managing and leading their own pilot research projects. These awards support BU’s commitment to the Concordat to Support to Career Development of Researchers and are made possible by BU’s QR (Quality Research) allocation for 2021/22 financial year.

For eligibility, you must be able to comply with the following:

  • Applicant must have completed their PhD;
  • Applicant must have a post at BU (established or fixed term) for the full duration of the award and the post-award commitments or longer;
  • To be considered an early career researcher (ECR), applicant should have held a 0.2 or above research contract for no more than six years in total, excluding periods where the applicant was involved in non-research employment or not at work (e.g. caring responsibilities);
  • ACORN award holders cannot hold more than one BU internal award concurrently.

Note that open access publication costs are not eligible, but these can be requested from the BU Open Access Publication Fund (OAPF). Any planned travel expenses are subject to COVID restrictions and, generally, are not recommended.

Following links, you can find ACORN Large Grant and Standard Grant application forms. In addition, to assist with the budget section, please refer to the RKE Internal Funding Sample Costs. As this does not require Full Economic Costing, you should not contact your faculty’s Funding Development Officer to complete the costing for you. Please address any queries as below.

Applications require support from faculty and mentor, so please start your application early and obtain all approvals as soon as possible. Applicants are responsible for obtaining faculty sign-off before submitting the application.

For those interested to find out more, we will be running a workshop led by the ACORN Panel Chair Prof Jan Wiener on Tuesday 23th November 2021 from 2pm to 4pm. Workshop will take place in a face-to-face setting, please come to F106 (Fusion Building) with your questions.

Please address any further queries to RDS via

Putting the ACORN Fund into strategic context, under BU2025, the following funding panels operate to prioritise applications for funding and make recommendations to the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC):

  1. HEIF Funding Panel
  2. Research Impact Funding Panel
  3. Doctoral Studentship Funding Panel
  4. ACORN Funding Panel
  5. Research Fellowships Funding Panel
  6. Charity Support Funding Panel
  7. SIA Funding panel

These panels align with the BU2025 focus on research, including BU’s Research Principles. Specifically, but not exclusively, regarding the ACORN Fund, please refer to:

  • Principle 5, which sets of the context for such funding panels;
  • Principle 6 and Outcome 9, which recognise the need for interdisciplinarity and the importance of social science and humanities (SSH);
  • Outcomes 4 and 5, where ECRs are provided with the mechanisms for support such as mentors and, through schemes including the ACORN fund, gain budgetary responsibility experience.