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Book now – BU Research Conference 2023: Embracing Failure, Building Success

We all shy away from using the ‘F’ word – failure. But whether it’s a funding bid not being successful, a journal article being rejected, or findings not being as hoped, problems and setbacks are a normal part of the research journey. Understanding how to overcome and learn from these moments of ‘failure’ is key to a successful academic career.

The BU Research Conference is back for 2023 and this year’s event will explore the concept of failure in academia and building the resilience to learn from setbacks and overcome obstacles that may be in your path.

The conference will take place in the Fusion Building (Talbot Campus) on Wednesday 14 June, with a mix of inspirational speakers and practical workshops.

The day will run from 10am – 4.30pm, with lunch and refreshments included. It will be followed by a drinks reception to network with colleagues and chat to your peers about your own experiences.

We’re finalising the schedule but already have an exciting mix of internal and external speakers confirmed.

Our first keynote speaker for the conference will be Dr Jan Peters MBE. Jan is an engineer, consultant and campaigner for diversity and inclusion in STEM. A former president of the Women’s Engineering Society, her background is in materials research and hi-tech manufacturing, before helping academics build relationships with industry partners. In 2017 she was awarded an MBE for services to women and engineering and an honorary doctorate from Bournemouth University.

Jan’s talk, Embracing failure my way, will explore the impact of failure and how we each respond differently. And how, by knowing what drives us, we can harness our energy to bounce forwards.

BU’s very own Professor Ann Hemingway and Professor Sam Goodman will give the second conference keynote, Reckoning with Reviewer 2: Experiencing (and overcoming) Academic Rejection.

Closing the day will be Robert Seaborne, who founded Inside Academia – an online platform dedicated to positively changing the culture of mental health, wellbeing and mindset within academia.

Robert is currently a postdoctoral fellow at University of Copenhagen whose own experiences struggling with pressures and stressors during his PhD and early post-doc years had a big impact on his wellbeing.

Robert’s talk will delve into his personal reflections, the mental health landscape in academia and what tools and strategies could help equip us to navigate this journey more positively.

We’ll also have a range of practical workshops, covering topics including building resilience, repurposing failed funding applications, and improving writing practices.

We’ll be sharing more details over the coming weeks and months but you can book your place for the conference now via Eventbrite to be kept up-to-date with all the latest information.

Book your place

Anthropology Meets Criminology – special international guest lecture

The Centre for Seldom Heard Voices – Marginalisation and Societal Integration at FHSS will be hosting a special, international guest lecture by Professor Thomas Bierschenk of Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz (Germany), titled Anthropology Meets Criminology: Policing as Practice of Categorization on Thursday, 23rd March, 15:00 to 17:00 at Lansdowne Campus. To register, please drop me a mail at 

This talk will present selected results from research on how police officers and migrants, in a German context, translate between different languages and, further, between different normative ideas in these everyday interactions. By the act of translation, actors verbalize, negotiate, validate, and question such ideas and beliefs. While actors and media often understand ‘culture’ in these interactions as a pre-existing framework that determines or shapes interactional outcomes, the project asks how cultural difference in everyday police work is repeatedly produced, but also sometimes dissolved. Cultural difference is thus not examined as a determining factor of interaction, but as a possible, dynamic result of these interactions, alternatively to other categories of differentiation like gender and class. The focus is on innovative methodological approaches we used – role play, video recordings and team ethnography. The presentation will also briefly refer to the conflicts around a urban hot-spot which during summer 2021 was heavily frequented by young people, provoking neighbours to frequently call the police. It will end by pointing to a recent book publication (Policing race, ethnicity and culture. Perspectives across Europe, MUP 2023) which deals with these issues in more depth and breath.

Thomas Bierschenk is professor emeritus at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at the Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. He has widely published on development, the state and bureaucracy in French-Speaking West Africa, and more recently on bureaucracy and policing in Germany. His many publications include, most prominently, the co-edited book States at Work. Dynamics of African Bureaucracies (2014) and the co-authored article How to study bureaucracies ethnographically (2019; see also video presentation). The co-edited book Policing Race, Ethnicity and Culture. Ethnographic Perspectives across Europe (Manchester University Press 2023) is just off the press.

Looking forward to seeing interested colleagues and PGR students there,

Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers

(Associate Professor in Applied Anthropology)

Bierschenk announcement

COVID-19 research – Participants Needed!

Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 12 weeks? 

We are looking for participants to take part in a dissertation project investigating the impact of acute COVID-19 on symptoms of fatigue. 

If so please contact either or for more information.

Charlotte Clayton speaks at Maternity & Midwifery Hour

Charlotte Clayton, a PhD student supervised by Professor Ann Hemingway, Dr Mel Hughes and Dr Stella Rawnson, recently spoke about her doctoral research with Professor Trixie McAree as part of a Maternity and Midwifery Hour.  Charlotte’s research is exploring the Pregnancy and Postnatal Experiences, and birth outcomes of women and babies Living on a Low-income, and the role of continuity models of midwifery care in the reduction of health inequalities.  A recording of the Charlotte’s contribution to the meeting can be viewed HERE.  Congratulations Charlotte.

CfACTs Research Fellow – machine learning, computer vision, computer graphics (Fixed-Term, Multiple Positions Available)

The Centre for Applied Creative Technologies (CfACTs) is recruiting three research fellows to form the second CfACTs cohort. The research fellow will be an employee of Bournemouth University UK, and embark on a two-year programme of world-leading digital creative technology research and training, provided by CfACTs and its industry Partner Organisations (POs) including SIE- Playstation and FramestoreFind out more about specific research themes provided by CfACTs POs.

The academic expertise underpinning CfACTs is sourced from BU’s world-class National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) and as required, other BU centres of research excellence including the Centre for Games and Music Research; the Orthopaedic Research Institute; the Centre for Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Institute of Medical Imaging and Visualisation.

CfACTs is co-funded by European Union Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 900025.

The CfACTs fellowships follow the specification and requirements of the standard fellowships of the MSCA.

To be eligible to apply an applicant must meet the requirements outlined and;

  • Be in possession of a doctorate or have at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience.
  • Not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the United Kingdom for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before the call deadline.

Please share these Post Doctoral Opportunities with your research network.

For more information click here.  

For application support or additional questions please email quoting Ref FMC303.

Research process seminar: Verbatim film dramatization of health research as a method of research dissemination and impact. 17th Jan at 2pm on Zoom

You are warmly welcomed to this week’s research process seminar. Hosted by FMC but open to all.

Verbatim film dramatization of health research as a method of research dissemination and impact – by Dr. Trevor Hearing, Fran Toye (Oxford University Hospitals Trust) & Stephanie Farmer (BU Red Balloon)


This talk reflects on the experience of applying a verbatim film dramatization technique to a qualitative evidence synthesis using mega-ethnography to understand and communicate the experience of people living with chronic health disorders. The examples cited will include films about back pain and osteoarthritis and illustrate the process of collaboration between Oxford University Health Trust and Bournemouth University.

Tuesday 17th January at 2pm on Zoom

Meeting ID: 929 210 3478

Passcode: rps!4fmc

We hope to see you there

Dan and Sae

It is all about experience

This week we published a paper on the experience of conducting fieldwork in the public health field in the Journal of Health Promotion[1] Fieldwork is usually a crucial part of PhD research, not only in the health field. However, few researchers write about this, often challenging, process. This paper highlights various occasions where fieldwork in the area of public health, health promotion or community health was more difficult than expected or did not go as planned. Our reflections on working in the field are aimed at less experienced researchers to support them in their research development. Moreover, this paper is also calling upon health researchers to share more details about the process of doing fieldwork and its trials and tribulations. Our key advice is to be inquisitive and open-minded around fieldwork, followed by: be prepared for your fieldwork, conduct a risk assessment of what might go wrong, and consider your resources and options to overcome such trials and tribulations. Fieldwork can be unpredictable.  We believe it is important to share practical lessons from the field which helps other to better understand these tribulations, and learn from them. Finally, sharing such information may guide new researchers and help them identify strategies that can address those issues and challenges in their future studies.

Dr. Preeti Mahato (at Royal Holloway, University of London), Dr Bibha Simkhada and Prof. Padam Simkhada (both based at the University of Huddersfield) are all BU Visiting Faculty.  Moreover, I have had the pleasure of acting as PhD supervisor for five of my co-authors.  I have included in this blog what is probably my favourite fieldwork photo taken a decade ago by former BU PhD student Dr. Sheetal Sharma.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)



  1. Mahato, P., Tamang, P., Simkhada, B., Wasti, S. P., Devkota, B., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E.R. (2022) Reflections on health promotion fieldwork in Nepal: Trials and tribulations. Journal of Health Promotion 10(1): 5–12.

Studentship Funding Panel: call for Chair, Deputy Chair & Panel Members

***DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 6 FEBRUARY 2023***  The Studentship Funding Panel is responsible on behalf of the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC) for providing internal funding and support to ensure the University maximises opportunities for investing the University’s QR RDP Supervision grant in match funded studentships, in line with the BU2025 Research Principles.

We are seeking expressions of interest (EoIs) for the Chair, Deputy Chair and Panel members for the new panel.

Chairs should be members of the Professoriate – this is extended to Associate Professors for the Deputy Chair role. Applications from underrepresented groups (minority ethnic, declared disability) are particularly welcome.

EoIs for Panel members are open to the wider academic community, not just the Professoriate.

Application: EoIs will be reviewed against selection criterion which includes knowledge and experience of knowledge exchange, innovation and impact, experience of chairing meetings and plans for leading the research agenda across the university.

EoIs for the Chair and Deputy Chair roles should consist of a short case (maximum length of one page) on the form provided outlining suitability for the role. These should be submitted to the Doctoral College mailbox by the deadline of 5pm on 6 February 2023.

EoIs for Panel member roles should consist of a short case (maximum length of half a page) on the form provided outlining suitability for the role. These should be submitted to the  Doctoral College mailbox by the deadline of 5pm on 6 February 2023.

Please note: EoIs should specify to which role the applicant is applying.

There will be a delay in response to Panel member applications until the Chair and Deputy Chair roles are appointed by 6 March 2023. After this the Panel Members will be contacted about their appointment.

There will be an orientation meeting on at 10am on 9 March 2023 for the Chairs and Deputy Chairs. This will be with Deputy VC Tim McIntyre-Bhatty.

Full details are available here:

BU Studentship Funding Panel – ToR.pdf

BU Studentship Funding Panel – Chair & Deputy Chair Role Descriptor

BU Studentship Funding Panel – Panel Member Role Descriptor

BU Studentship Funding Panel – Expressions of Interest