Category / Uncategorized

Ingenuity launches at BU: sign up today to help drive the UK’s recovery and rebuild a better society after Covid-19

The Ingenuity 2022 Programme is now live and open to Bournemouth University staff, students and alumni

Ingenuity exists to tackle the UK’s major social and environmental challenges through the creation of innovative start-ups. Registration is open to everyone, no matter your background or experience. If you have an idea or are motivated to see change, Ingenuity is ready to help. Find out more at ingenuityimpact.org.

Register today: forms.office.com/r/m39e80f2Rw. Deadline: 2 December 2021.

What is Ingenuity?

The Ingenuity Programme helps you turn your ideas for change into a business that creates impact. If you want to build stronger, more inclusive communities, improve the physical or mental health of those around you, or are interested in tackling climate change, then register for the Ingenuity Programme today.

Participants will hear from industry experts and gain support from specialist mentors to develop their idea into a business plan. They can submit the idea to a competition and be in with a chance of winning significant investment and support.

Ingenuity Summit

Ingenuity’s ‘state of the nation’ summit will explore the following three areas of focus from local, national, and lived experience perspectives:

  • Building Stronger Communities
  • Improving Health
  • Tackling Climate Change

The summit takes place 6 – 8 December 2021 and brings together industry experts, regional panellists, and the local community to share their insights on how to build stronger communities, improve health, and tackle climate change.

Reflections on examining a PhD by Publications or hybrid PhD

Writing for publication in peer-reviewed journals is increasingly recognised as important for postgraduate students’ career development.   To encourage PhD students to write and submit during their thesis research, more and more UK universities has formally started to accept PhD theses by publication, or a hybrid model of both academic papers and purposely written chapters in a PhD thesis.  For example, both the University of Bath and Bournemouth University offer a hybrid thesis [1-2], whilst Bournemouth University offers separately the opportunity to submit a PhD by Publication.   The paper included in such theses can be: (1) published; (2) accepted/published online first; (3) submitted; or (4) in final draft form for submission.  Published papers, due to the nature of journal word limits are usually much shorter and less detailed than traditional PhD chapter.  The specifically written chapters, of the Introduction, Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations chapter, and occasionally a Methods chapter will provide the reader (read ‘the examiner’) with further insights into the background of the research and offer details the student had to omit from published papers due to word limit restrictions.  Students may also opt to offer a short explanatory text before or after individual paper.  The overall Discussion chapter should aim to fully contextualise and integrate all papers into the thesis.

It is easy to see that these new format theses may require some adjustment from UK academics examining them.  Below I have listed some of the key issue a PhD examiner may want to consider in a PhD by Publication, such as the notion of integration and repetition, how the critique published papers, especially in quality peer-reviewed journals, and the nature and content of purposely written chapters.

Integration/duplication

Individual papers are free-standing, i.e. they must give enough information about the research question and methods to make sense to the reader.  This means that four papers from the same study in a thesis may appear as both disjointed and repetitive at the same time.  Moreover, details on background and methods are often minimal in papers presenting results.  This offers the examiner an opportunity to ask questions such as:

  • How do the included papers relate to each other in terms of subject matter or theoretical underpinning?
  • Do the included papers together result in a cohesive narrative?

It is worth looking at difference between the included papers.  One of my former students included two qualitative papers, both originating from the same dataset (i.e. the same interviewees) but each paper presented the data analysed in a different way.  The reviewers of the second paper had suggested a different approach to the analysis and the candidate had decided that it was worth the considerable amount of extra work.  This was obviously a topic for debate in the viva.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

It can be daunting for a less experienced examiner to critique an included paper that has been peer-reviewed and published in a prestigious journal in one’s discipline.  Perhaps a starting point could be to ask the candidate what the peer reviewers said when the manuscript was first submitted.  Did you receive and conflicting comments from reviewers or the editor?  The examiner may want to ask for further details of published paper, e.g.  “I know you probably had word-length issues for paper X, but why didn’t you expand on the detailed analysis in the Discussion chapter you included in the thesis?”  Interestingly, the University of Bath states that “Examiners are entitled to specify corrections to any part of the thesis… including parts submitted for publication, or already published” [1].  The latter does not mean changing the published paper, but perhaps adding a comment or explanation to the Discussion chapter or to the text introducing that particular paper.

In many discipline academic papers as co-authored, hence you would expect co-authored papers in a PhD by Publication.  This offers to examiner the opportunity to ask about the candidate’s unique contribution to that paper.  Occasionally, one of the included papers may not list the candidate as first author.  If this is the case in one of the four or five included papers this is not problem per se, but worth asking the same question to the candidate: “What is your unique contribution to the paper?”

Another potential issue to look out for in a PhD by Publication is so-called salami-slicing [3], especially if the candidate has published several small parts of the thesis study in different small papers where a single paper would have been more appropriate.

Written chapters

The examiner may want to start by focusing on the candidate’s Introduction, Discussion, or Conclusion chapters.  Or the overall Methods chapter if there is one.  Typically, a PhD by Publication has an Introduction, four or more papers, an overarching Discussion perhaps a short Conclusion.  What is often missing is a Methodology and Methods chapter.  Since individual papers have only basic methods section of a few hundred words, there is little detail in each paper, let alone nuance in the methods. Often methodological issues and reflections are missed, as are more subtle aspects of research ethics.  These are key topics to raise in the viva.

 

Professor Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)

 

Acknowledgements: I would like to thank my colleague Dr. Ann Luce, Associate Professor in Journalism and Communication at Bournemouth University for her encouraging me to write this blog post.

 

References:

  1. University of Bath: https://www.bath.ac.uk/publications/guidelines-for-research-examiners/attachments/Guidelines_for_Examiners_of_Doctoral_Degrees_Nov19.pdf
  2. Bournemouth University (2021-22) 8A Code of Practice for Research Degrees (Policy, Procedure and Guidelines). https://intranetsp.bournemouth.ac.uk/pandptest/8a-code-of-practice-for-research-degrees.pdf
  3. Tolsgaard, M.G., Ellaway, R., Woods, N. et al. Salami-slicing and plagiarism: How should we respond?. Adv in Health Sci Educ 24, 3–14 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-019-09876-7

Midwifery paper co-produced with BU students

Congratulations to Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (FHSS) staff and students on their latest publication in the international journal Midwifery (published by Elsevier).   FHSS Professors Carol Clark and Vanora Hundley, undergraduate student researcher Guste Kalanaviciute and CMMPH PhD student Vanessa Bartholomew and Professor Helen Cheyne from the University of Stirling recently had the following paper accepted: ‘Exploring pain characteristics in nulliparous women; a precursor to developing support for women in the latent phase of labour’ [1].

 

Reference:

Clark C, Kalanaviciute G, Bartholomew V, Cheyne H, Hundley VA (2021) Exploring pain characteristics in nulliparous women; a precursor to developing support for women in the latent phase of labour. Midwifery (in press) 

Life and Environmental Science Student Zach Boakes reaches public vote for seagrass restoration project in Bali

Zach Boakes, a PhD student in Life and Environmental Sciences has reached the final public vote for a project he has designed with the NGO North Bali Reef Conservation. The project will restore seagrass -which is both an effective climate sink and important for marine biodiversity, including threatened sea cows or dugongs – in Bali. The project will incorporate and benefit local communities in the poorest section of North Bali, through eco-tourism, improved fisheries catches and paid work in restoring the seagrass and protecting the seagrass in the future.

You can vote for the project to receive funding here:

https://www.eocaconservation.org/project-voting-category.cfm?catid=1

Image from Geoff Spiby (Wikimedia Commons) released under CC BY-SA 3.0 licence. 

Writing references: The hidden work of academics

Halfway through October I have written several academic references for three people already.  This is one of the more hidden aspects of an academic job.  Writing a good reference is often time consuming for good reasons, including: the reference needs to be tailor-made for the specific job and the candidate; you may not have seen the candidate for several years and finding relevant details, such as ‘when did the candidate work for your organisation?’ takes time;  and last but not least, the employer asking for a reference has its own system.  The latter is a more recent addition to the burden of writing a reference.  Gone are the days of writing a structured letter about the candidate, a letter which you could tweak for different jobs the candidate applied for.  Most employers have their own reference system which may make the job easier them but creates far more work for the writer of the reference.

To illustrate each these points with an example.  One reference I write on an online form automatically assumed I was writing as the most recent employer, the electronic form ‘forced’ me to write as if I was the most recent employer and then explain in the text box for another question that I had worked with the candidate some years ago.  Another request was for a reference for a former colleague whom I had worked with 15 years ago in Aberdeen.  She was returning to a research post and had looking after children and working in clinical practice in the intermediate period.  Lastly, a former BU M.Sc. student  is applying to several universities for a Ph.D. place and each university offered a different thesis topic and required me to complete its own online form, and, of course, each form is slightly different!

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

Ada Lovelace Day 2021 at BU: celebrating women in STEM

Ada Lovelace

Tuesday 12th October is Ada Lovelace Day: an international celebration of women’s achievements in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Often referred to as the ‘first computer programmer’, Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) inspired Alan Turing’s work on the first modern computers in the 1940s. Find out more about her here.

All week we are profiling a selection of  the women who work in STEM disciplines at BU,  in areas as varied as games technology, sport psychology, electronics and clinical nutrition. Today we feature Dr Roya Haratian, Dr Vanessa Heaslip and Dr Michele Board.

Dr Roya Haratian

Dr Roya Haratian, Assistant Professor in Electronics in the Department of Design and Engineering. Roya works in multidisciplinary topics such as Mechatronics, Signal Processing and Control System Design applied across different industries. Roya is the co-lead for Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) in her department and submitted their application for the SWAN bronze award with the aim of supporting women in their career development. They have also formed an inclusivity committee to address diversity and equality.

Dr Diogo Montalvao, Deputy Head of the Department of Design and Engineering, who nominated her, says: “Roya has led the department’s submission to Athena Swan and championed the Women in Engineering Society at BU, [launched in 2019]. Her contribution to raising the profile of women in engineering aT BU has therefore been of the utmost importance. She has been challenging gender stereotypes by being the most qualified engineering professional we have in Electronics. She is our ‘in-house’ specialist in a range of fields… traditionally dominated by men, namely mechatronics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, with applications to biomechanics.”

Please tell us a little about your area of work/research

“My research is currently focused on, but not limited to, on-body sensing and signal processing systems for the development of new algorithms to improve the quality of life… [The aim is] to bring awareness to the early signs of issues and provide biofeedback for stress management by collecting physiological signals. My research looks at how awareness of user experience affects the human-machine interaction (HMI), in areas such as utility, ease of use, and efficiency. The machine’s ability to recognise users’ experience during user-machine interaction would improve the overall HMI usability and such machines could adapt their speed, for example, based on the user experience.”

What would you like to change as a result of your research?

” My research is mainly centred on the design and development of assistive technologies for long-term monitoring of mental well-being.”

What would your advice be to girls looking at STEM subjects as a possible career?

“My advice to women who are considering a career in STEM is to believe in their abilities and power to break the gender stereotypes which still exist in the 21st century. Although now it is more subtle in comparison to decades ago, we need to be aware that still it exists.”

 

Dr Vanessa Heaslip

Dr Vanessa Heaslip, Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the Department for Nursing Science. Vanessa was nominated by her colleague Professor Steven Ersser, Head of Department for Nursing Science, who describes her as an “amazing leader in nursing related to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups [especially] that of the health of the Romany/travelling community.”

In 2019, she was honoured as a Woman of the Year at the prestigious annual Women of the Year Lunch and Awards held in London. She was named for her commitment in ensuring health and educational equity for individuals from marginalised communities. Vanessa’s educational research in widening participation and fair access in higher education, alongside her clinical research in vulnerability and vulnerable groups in society, whose voices are not traditionally heard, is nationally and internationally recognised.

Her current and recent research includes her role as principal investigator on a project funded by the Burdett Trust to co-produce a technological solution to support rough sleepers to self-care by locating and accessing services, and leading a systematic review exploring experiences of vulnerability among adult male prisoners. She also worked with BU archaeology colleague Professor Tim Darvill on the Human Henge project at Stonehenge, which investigated the impact of immersive experiences of prehistoric landscapes on the well-being of participants with mental health issues.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career in a STEM subject? 

“My research interests in health equity and addressing health disparities faced by many socially excluded groups derived from my clinical experience as a nurse working in both hospitals and community settings. I find it simply unacceptable that those who need healthcare services the most often face the most barriers in accessing it, and feel compelled to raise this educationally, clinically and politically.

“I am honoured to be recognised in this way and recognise I stand on the shoulders of women like Ada. who came before me, those who dared to follow their passion and ask questions of the world in which we live.”

Dr Michele Board

Dr Michele BoardAssociate Professor and Deputy Head of the Department for Nursing Science. Michele, who is the deputy lead for the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre.  was also nominated by colleague Professor Steven Ersser, who says: “[Michele] is an “amazing leader in gerontological nursing, with specialist expertise in the field of dementia care and frailty.”

Michele describes herself as being “passionate about caring for the person, not the diagnosis”.  She has been an adult nurse since 1985 and has had a broad range of clinical experience, with a specific focus on nursing the older person. She started lecturing in 2003, and has also led the development of dementia education programmes for health and social care staff working in the NHS and the private sector.

Michele’s general research interests are in the field of nursing older people and people with dementia. As a qualitative researcher she uses creative approaches to collect and present research data. A recent grant from Alzheimer’s Research UK enabled her to evaluate their app, A Walk Through Dementia – designed to put people in the shoes of someone living with dementia – for its effect on learners’ understanding of the lived experience of dementia.

Her other research work includes widening participation and nurse education, as well as consideration of the impact of changes to nurse education funding on recruitment and retention of staff. She also works one day a month with the Dorset Memory Advisory Service, contributing to the assessment of people with a cognitive impairment.

Open Day: IMIV

The Institute of Medical Imaging and Visualisation (IMIV) has been established to support high quality research and education in the fields of medical imaging and medical visualisation.

We would like to take the opportunity to invite BU staff to visit on the Thursday 14th October, when we will be hosting an IMIV Open Day from 9 am to 4 pm. IMIV staff will be on hand throughout the day to show people around the department and discuss our work. We’d be delighted to discuss any educational uses or research projects using the MRI scanner and other IMIV investments. The Faculty/RDS have kindly put on some refreshments – do join us for a cup of tea or coffee!

IMIV is based on the ground floor of the new Bournemouth Gateway Building and details of the centre can be found at the link below: https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/centres-institutes/institute-medical-imaging-visualisation

Restart a Heart Day 13th October at Talbot Campus

Some of you may know that 16th October is the #Restart a Heart Day. This is part of an international campaign to raise awareness to cardiac arrest and teach people how to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). BU is taking part in this initiative!!! We are organising our own #Restart a Heart Day event!!!

This will happen on Wednesday 13th October from 10am to 3pm in the outdoor area at Talbot Campus (weather permitting). We will be demonstrating/teaching Basic Life Support skills to BU students, members of staff and visitors. We will also have CPR videos, VR (virtual reality) gadgets with cardiac arrest themed activities, our new range of manikins (Lifecast manikins), Laerdal manikins (adult, child and infant) for practising the skills, defibrillators, monitor with real-time feedback, etc.

We would like to invite you and the students to come round and take part. This is open to the BU community and we would like as many people as possible to learn this life saving skills 🙂 It only takes 5 minutes and you may be able to save a life!!!!

 

First face-to-face Science event in over 2 years!

 

 

On the 3rd October, Genoveva Esteban and Katie Thompson from the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Interreg EU-funded project SAMARCH (http://theceesresearchgroups.org/samarch) took part in the first ever Weymouth Family Science Festival. They ran three interactive activities at the spectacular location: The Nothe Fort. These included learning about insects, the wonderful life cycle of the Atlantic Salmon as well as the microbial world. They were delighted with the turnout and look forward to more face-to-face events. If you have any questions, please email Katie on thompsonk@bournemouth.ac.uk or Genoveva on gesteban@bournemouth.ac.uk

Genetics Society Award Ceremony 2021

The Genetics Society is pleased to invite you to an afternoon of talks celebrating our 2021 medal winners.
On Thursday 14th October, the birthday of our co-founder Edith Rebecca Saunders, the Genetics Society celebrates with an afternoon of talks by our 2021 medal winners. This will be our first hybrid event and you will be able to attend in person in the Auditorium, Robinson College, Cambridge or join us online via Zoom. This event will be hosted by our President, Professor Anne Ferguson-Smith.

Programme
14.00 – Welcome by Prof Anne Ferguson-Smith, President of the Genetics Society
14.15 – Balfour Lecture 2021 – Dr Alison Wright, University of Sheffield
The evolution and genomics of sexual dimorphism
14.45 – Q&A
15.00 – Mary Lyon Medal 2021 – Professor Julian Knight, University of Oxford
Multi-omics and the host response to infection: challenges and opportunities to advance personalised medicine
15.30 – Q&A
15.45 – Coffee break
16.00 – Genetics Society Medal 2021 – Professor David Sherratt, University of Oxford
Going round in circles: the Journey of a Molecular Detective
16.30 – Q&A
16.45 – Mendel Medal 2021 – Professor Dame Linda Partridge
Genetics of Healthy Ageing
17.30 – Q&A

Booking
This event is free and open to all. Advance registration is essential, follow this link to register

Contact
For specific event enquiries, please contact Cristina Fonseca at comms@genetics.org.uk
For booking and website queries, contact Matt Webb at theteam@genetics.org.uk

If you need any information about the Genetics society and their activities like  students funding opportunities please contact the BU local ambassador Dr. Anna Mantzouratou, amantzouratou@bournemouth.ac.uk