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Bronwen Thomas keynote on Lockdown Reading

Professor Bronwen Thomas, head of the Narrative, Culture and Community Research Centre was a keynote speaker at a Digital Humanities conference hosted by the Basel/Zurich cluster of the Swiss National Science Foundation Digital Lives project from 23-25 November. Bronwen’s paper was on lockdown reading, and explored the various ways in which readers used lockdown to take stock of their reading alongside many other aspects of their lives, and included discussion of online reading events, bookstagramming and digital author Michael Joyce’s bedtime reading.

The conference, which took place online, featured papers on contemporary digital reading, writing and evaluative practices and methodologies including computational approaches, distant reading, video ethnography and corpus linguistics. The conference made use of Slack, a messaging app for group discussion, and participants were also able to take part in a virtual tour of Basel.


The conference was originally scheduled for the summer of 2020, and so had to be redesigned for the online format. While nothing can compensate for the chats over coffees and dinner at conferences, the organisers did a really good job of creating a convivial atmosphere, as well as ensuring that the programme provided a fascinating insight into the latest cutting edge research at the intersection of linguistics and the digital humanities.

New interdisciplinary COVID-19 paper

An evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach on risk zoning, personal and transmission risk assessment in near real-time, and risk communication would support the optimized decisions to minimize the impact of coronavirus on our lives. This interdisciplinary paper [1], pubished today in Scientific Reports, offers a framework to assess the individual and regional risk of COVID-19 along with risk communication tools and mechanisms. Relative risk scores on a scale of 100 represent the integrated risk of influential factors. The personal risk model incorporates age, exposure history, symptoms, local risk and existing health condition, whereas regional risk is computed through the actual cases of COVID-19, public health risk factors, socioeconomic condition of the region, and immigration statistics. A web application tool ( has been developed, where anyone can assess their risk and find the guided information links primarily for Nepal. This study provides regional risk for Nepal, but the framework is scalable across the world. 

The authors comprised researchers from the University of Bristol, Science Hub (Nepal), University of the West of England, Public Health Perspective Nepal, Nepal Open University, Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, the University of Huddersfield and Bournemouth University.



  1. Parajuli, R.R., Mishra, B., Banstola, A. Multidisciplinary approach to COVID-19 risk communication: a framework and tool for individual and regional risk assessment. 21650 (2020).

The Bournemouth Protocol on Mass Grave Protection and Investigation goes live on Human Rights Day

Mass graves contain evidence that is essential to the effective realisation of truth, justice and perpetrator accountability. Effective rules and procedures for the protection, maintenance and investigation of mass graves are therefore vital. The Bournemouth Protocol on Mass Grave Protection and Investigation is defining standards on this crucial issue.

In her foreword, Her Majesty Queen Noor, Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons, reminds readers of this crucial “premise that standards of investigation and protection applied to mass graves must support efforts to establish the truth about what happened and facilitate the pursuit of justice.” UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard echoes this sentiment, admonishing past handling of mass graves that might be “inappropriate, discriminatory or, quite simply, indifferent. This has to stop. We can and must do far better and more, to respect and protect the diverse interests and concerns of families, survivors, communities and societies. It is our shared duty to our common humanity.”

The Protocol is anchored in international law to help meet those interests and needs. Mass graves from their discovery through to commemoration efforts deserve protection and investigation. Such efforts involve extensive engagement: From the legal, investigative and scientific disciplines to community liaison and family support, each with their own rules and standards of professional practice, they all have to come together for respectful, indiscriminate and dignified handling of mass graves and human remains.

The Protocol is inspired by, and greatly indebted, to the many participants and reviewers who generously shared their knowledge, time and expertise. Special thanks are owed to the AHRC for funding the project, the International Commission on Missing Persons, project partner and supporter of the Protocol and the wonderful support shown by the Steering Group to the project (including BU’s Prof Dinusha Mendis and Prof Roger Brownsword), student helpers Nan Sheppard, Samantha De Simone and Luke Nwibo Eda, the Faculty of Media & Communication’s Marketing Team and the Design Unit for its patient formatting, editing and revising.

The Bournemouth Protocol on Mass Grave Protection and Investigation will enable greater cooperation among actors and organisations in a broad array of settings and ensure that mass graves and sites where horrific violence and human loss have occurred are effectively protected and investigated to standards that are lawful and respectful.

Dr Melanie Klinkner & Dr Ellie Smith

Business School staff won Emerald Publishing’s Literati Award

Dr Sachiko Takeda, together with her co-authors Dr Marta Disegna and Dr Yumei Yang, won Emerald Publishing’s 2020 Literati Award for Excellence. The publisher states, “it is an honour to be able to celebrate and give global recognition to those who have made a significant impact within their field. We would like to congratulate all of this year’s winners, all of which have been selected based on their research excellence, rigour and relevance.”

The authors’ paper, “Changes in Chinese Work Values: A Comparison between the One-Child, Social Reform and Cultural Revolution Generations” published in Evidence-based HRM, was chosen as the Highly Commended Paper.

The paper investigates the changes in Chinese workers’ values by comparing the work-related values of the One-Child Generation, the Social Reform Generation and the Cultural Revolution Generation. China’s unprecedented generation of only-children as workers is an unknown factor, and the paper is one of the first studies to include this generation in the investigation of work value changes in Chinese society

As a token of winning the award, the publisher has now made the paper open-access.

The team is grateful for the support they received, which made this research possible.


Qualitative Report

Hello all qualitative researchers,
you may be interested in this open access issue of the QR.

We are happy to inform that the Volume 25 – Issue 13 – 4th World Conference on Qualitative Research Special Issue of The Qualitative Report is available at

Policy Influence Opportunity – Forestry, land management & environmental

Call for potential oral witnesses for EFRA Committee tree planting inquiry

  • The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee secretariat is looking for potential oral witnesses for the Committee’s inquiry into Tree Planting and Woodlands. please see the background to the inquiry and Call for Evidence for further information.
  • The Committee would be particularly interested to hear from researchers with expertise in forestry relating to some of the following issues: woodland management, land management, agroforestry, climate change mitigation and adaptation, biosecurity, biodiversity, economics and/or policy analysis of UK Government and Devolved Administrations’ policies and funding on forestry and tree planting.
  • Researchers who are interested must nominate themselves by 15 December. Please inform your BU Impact Officer and the BU policy team ( if you nominate yourself.
  • The Committee is committed to improving the diversity of the witnesses it hears evidence from because this provides a broader evidence base for its inquiries, so would also particularly want to hear from women researchers and researchers from minority ethnic communities.
  • The secretariat currently expects the evidence session to take place in early February.
  • Please complete your nominations on this form.

Working with the Brazilian Tourism Research Community – H2, 2020 in review

Hello BU community,

I am Dr. Miguel Moital, a Principal Academic in Events Management within the Department of Sport & Events Management (BUBS).

As the year comes to an end, I take the opportunity to summarise my involvement in 5 events and initiatives with the Brazilian tourism research community during the second half of 2020.


ANPTUR workshop, December 3

Yesterday I co-led a 2 hour workshop about ‘Academic writing an international publication’, one of the training events within the official programme of the 17th Annual Congress of the Brazilian Association for Research and Post- Graduate Studies in Tourism (ANPTUR).

The workshop, Co-delivered with Dr. Verônica Feder Mayer, Associate Professor of Tourism at the Fluminense Federal University, focused on the role of theory in research. It is well acknowledged that Brazilian tourism research is often too focused on context with limited extent of theorisation. Myself and Dr. Mayer, who has published several articles in top tourism journals, felt that this would be a good opportunity to further developed the community’s skills and knowledge around theory and theorisation. Over several weeks we prepared a range of materials which explained the differences between context- and theory- focused research, while at the same time clarify the scope and characteristics of theory based research.

The workshop was a success attracting over 200 participants, many of which provided extremely positive feedback.

ENACT Seminar, November 27

I was the featured speaker at the November ENACT Seminar. These monthly seminars bring together around 40 Brazilian tourism researchers with an interest in economics, business and consumer behaviour. During the 90-minute workshop, the featured speaker highlights key elements in the research and publication process behind one of his articles, with substantial time left for Q&A.

I presented a paper co-authored with Sabine Toppig, a BA Events Management graduate, which was on circulation management at exhibitions. Sabine was the recipient of the 2019 Vice Chancellor Fusion Prize, and our joint paper was published by the International Journal of Event and Festival Management.

After briefly presenting the results of the paper, I highlighted 5 key methodological features / challenges and explained how they were addressed and why. Participants said that at first they found the topic ‘strange’ and that they couldn’t see how you could research circulation at exhibitions, but once they read the paper (the paper is sent in advance to participants) they felt that everything made sense, at that the student had chosen a very relevant area of research. They also felt that the paper was extremely well designed and written.

International expert – Revalidation of post-graduate programme, August

At the end of August I submitted my report as an international expert assessing the revalidation of the Postgraduate Programme in Tourism of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (PPGTUR-UFRN). Current regulations in Brazil require all postgraduate programmes to develop a self-assessment report every four years. Once completed, the report is then sent to a national and an international examiner for comment.

External examiner, PhD transfer, August 26

Similar to the UK process, doctoral programmes in Brazil have a mid-programme progress assessment, called ‘Qualificação’. I was invited by the PhD Programme in Tourism from UNIVALI – Universidade do Vale do Itajai (Santa Catarina state) to be the external examiner for a thesis on Paradoxes in Tourism Experiences.

LiveTUR panel, July 9

LiveTUR was a series of live events organised by the Postgraduate Programme in Tourism of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (PPGTUR-UFRN). The last one focused on the “The 2020 global crisis and changes in the tourism and events sector”, and featured myself and two Brazilian professors: Professor Guilherme Lohmann (Griffith University) and Professor Luis Godoi Trigo (São Paulo University).

The event was expertly chaired by Dr. Ricardo Lanzarini. Given the relevance of the topic and the high profile of the LiveTUR initiative, more than 200 participants attended the event.

The 2 hour event saw the speakers sharing their views on the nature of the changes as a consequence of the events of 2020, as well as answering questions that the audience asked ahead of the event, or during the event. The event was organised very professionally as it resulted from a collaboration between UFRN and DataShow, a local company which provides technological solutions for live events.


Sustainability teach in

The World Sustainability Teach-in day organised by University of Hamburg is happening Friday 4th December.

Details here:
You can freely access the presentation materials as well as engage in the Sustainability Lecture Marathon series, where we will have one expert talk every hour of the day on 4 December, from 00:00 to 24:00 CET time.
Here is how it works:
1. Register (STEP1) at the central website and enroll (STEP2) to the World Sustainable Development Teach-In Day 2020. You are free to use any presentation to suit your very own needs and can use them as they are or tweak them to fit your exact requirements.
2. You can also connect with us over social media through the below links:

Dedicated hashtag #WSDTeachInDay
The WSD-TID is organized by the European School of Sustainability Science and Research (ESSSR) and the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme (IUSDRP), the Hamburg Open Online University, SOS-UK, Galileo University, FOM University, The University of Passo Fundo, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná and further partners.

Self-help toolkit for surgeon well-being following adverse surgical events

The ‘supporting surgeon well-being’ research project team based in the Department of Psychology at BU and at the Royal Bournemouth Hospitals NHS Trust has led on the creation of an online toolkit to help surgeons deal with the consequences of an adverse surgical event for their well-being. The toolkit, called SAEFAR (Surgical Adverse Events First Aid Response), was devised in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS) by drawing upon national best-practice guidance and the experiences and views of surgeons. The toolkit will not only help surgeons with managing their well-being but can also guide surgeons’ employers on how best to deal with the aftermath of an adverse surgical event (e.g., an operation that goes wrong due to a medical error) on their staff.


The SAEFAR toolkit was launched at a webinar hosted by the RCS on 3 December that was open to all surgeons in the UK. The launch was delivered by BU Visiting Professor, Mr Kevin Turner, a Consultant Urological Surgeon at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, who is part of the ‘supporting surgeon well-being’ research project team. To find out more about the work of the team, please visit its website at:

Sixteen Days of Activism: end violence against women

The start of 16 days of activism against Gender-based Violence commenced on 25th November 2020 on the day known as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. A report: UK Femicides 2009-2018 published on the 25/11/20 has revealed that the number of women killed each year by men has stayed the same at between 124 and 168. From 2009 to 2018 at least 1,425 women were killed by men in the UK. What do these figures mean? Sadly it translates as :

  • a man killed a woman every three days and
  • a woman was killed by a male partner or ex-partner every four days.

In addition, the methods used, the contexts in which women are killed and their relationship with the men who kill them have changed little over the ten-year period. Women are killed by their husbands, partners and ex-partners; by sons, grandsons and other male relatives; by acquaintances, colleagues, neighbours and strangers. The rate at which men kill women shows no sign of reducing. The report is dedicated to all those women with each one named. Every single woman and girl in this report mattered. The Femicide Census is a call to action for change.     

During these 16 days of activism what can we do? What is in no doubt is that ending violence against women is mine and your business, it’s everybody’s business. UN Women have ten suggestions in which we can make a difference:

  • Listen to and believe survivors
  • Teach the next generation and learn from them                                           
  • Call for responses and services fit for purpose
  • Understand consent
  • Learn the signs of abuse and how you can help
  • Start a conversation
  • Stand against rape culture
  • Fund women’s organizations
  • Know the data and demand more of it

Maternity Action Report

I attended a zoom meeting on the 25/11/20 hosted by Maternity Action (MA), which is the UK’s leading charity committed to ending inequality and improving the health and wellbeing of pregnant women, partners and young children – from conception through to the child’s early years. Part of their remit is the delivery of free, specialist advice through their telephone helplines, on employment rights, maternity pay and benefits. Maternity Action responds to 2,000 calls to their Maternity Rights Advice Line each year from women facing pregnancy discrimination at work or needing help understanding their employment rights. Shockingly, pregnant women or new mums experience high levels of discrimination and harassment, with circa 54,000 women losing their jobs each year as a direct result of pregnancy discrimination. One in 20 new mothers are made redundant during pregnancy, maternity leave or on their return to work.

The purpose of zoom meeting was to launch their latest report: Insecure Labour: the realities of insecure work for pregnant women and new mothers. The charity worked closely with University and College Union (UCU) and UNISON in the production of the report. For both these unions the recent growth in insecure work has been a major issue for their members. They and MA have defined insecure work to include zero hours contracts, short term/fixed term contracts, short hours contracts, agency, casual and seasonal workers and low paid ‘self-employed contracts. From a higher education sector perspective, the use of fixed term contracts has increased in recent years and described by them as ‘endemic’.

Insecure contracts are prevalent in many female dominated sectors such as social care work, education and retail. Men are not exempt from insecure work, however, overwhelmingly, women workers are hugely impacted, due to the effect that pregnancy and maternity leave have on women’s job security and incomes and the unequal sharing of care and domestic labour in the home. The gender pay gap continues because of the impact on women of insecure work and associated low pay

This research report therefore explores the impact of insecure work on the rights of pregnant women and new mothers at work. Qualitative interviews were undertaken with ten pregnant and or new mothers who were in insecure work and their occupations ranged from a postgraduate research fellow, a teaching associate at a HEI, an advertising agency and another working for the NHS. Their lived experience of seeking to negotiate a safe working environment, a secure income and fair treatment is explored and reported on. The full report is available below:

One of the attendees on the MA zoom session was from the TUC and she brought our attention to a report they published in June this year: Pregnant and precarious: new and expectant mums’ experiences of work during Covid-19. In this report the TUC surveyed over 3,400 pregnant women and mums on maternity leave exploring their experiences of work during the pandemic.

In brief the survey highlighted the following points:

  • One in four pregnant women and new mums experienced unfair treatment or discrimination at work including being singled out for redundancy or furlough.
  • Pregnant women’s health and safety rights are being routinely disregarded, leaving women feeling unsafe at work or without pay when they are unable to attend their workplaces.
  • Low-paid pregnant women are almost twice as likely as women on median to high incomes to have lost pay and or been forced to stop work (either by being required to take sick leave when they were not sick or to take unpaid leave, start their maternity leave early or leave the workplace altogether) because of unaddressed health and safety concerns. 
  • 71 per cent of new mums planning to return to work in the next three months are currently unable to find childcare to enable them to do so.

For the full report please click on the link:



BU PIER contribute to research bid

Last week, A COST Action bid was submitted for consideration. It brought together 33 proposers from 21 countries to Reframe the dominant social narratives around Migration, Access to Health and Social Care, Democracy and Climate Action, using Care Ethics Philosophy, Theory and Practices. The network plans to centralise people with experience in partnerships with academics, arts practitioners and the media. PIER were asked to contribute as part of that process, funded by FHSS Pump Prime.

At Bournemouth University on 25th April 2019, a community meeting brought together people from BU PIER and volunteers from Hope for Food to talk about major societal challenges. The meeting was a demonstration of community involvement for a European network funding bid meeting to the COST Action stream. The application is based around renewing how major societal challenges are framed by using a different way of seeing and thinking about them with care. That application is a partnership between members of CERC: BU Dr Tula Brannelly, and Professor Carlo Leget at Utrecht University of Humanistic Studies and Professor Petr Urban from Prague.

If you would like to read more visit the Care Ethics Research Consortium website:

Reflections following publication milestone

I feel very fortunate to have reached a significant milestone in publishing; 50 peer reviewed articles. I thought I would stop and reflect as over the years I have learnt a great deal. I don’t remember my first publication…why? Well I was one of a number of authors and didn’t complete the final write up, or submission process. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fantastic time for celebration, but I wasn’t aware of ‘the struggle’. My second I remember clearly. A systematic review as part of my PhD. A horrendously verbose, difficult to read and overall, poorly written article. The science was robust but the writing – fit for insomnia. It was also my introduction to peer reviewers. This paper took 6 submissions before it was fit for publishing (was the science robust?) and really tested resilience and perseverance. How could they not value/understand, or even just ‘get’ the importance of my article! Now some years older and perhaps wiser I have come to understand that this lack of valuing/understanding of the work comes from how I have written it. This realisation has very much changed my ‘approach’ to reading peer reviewed comments. The often personal feelings that are rattled by the comments, I believe should be taken as a lack of clarity in the writing – how can this be made clearer for potential non-experts in the field. This is the essence of my second learning point. When I stated writing for publication, I believed the aim was to try and sound as clever/intellectual as possible (was this imposter syndrome coming through?). This resulted in, again, poorly written articles with complex concepts made more complex, moving them further from the reader’s understanding of the work. Therefore, I believe that the simpler the writing the better, for clarity and understanding by the readers. I try to think how I can explain complex concepts in the simplest way to make the work more accessible to many more readers. The experts will always ‘get’ it. My final thoughts are to celebrate the success of each and every publication and any publication milestones, be it numbers, citations or impact. With that in mind I’m off for a beer. Cheers.

Research Assistant Post

A short-term position is required to help support a British Academy funded project. This is a BU contracted, part-time position, starting in early January 2021. It is essential that you have a very good working knowledge of NVivo.

Key duties include: the collection and analysis of corporate annual report; generating ‘word frequency’ analysis of reports using NVivo 12; presenting analysis using NVivo and Excel. Additional analysis may include gathering financial indicators from the Thomson Reuters database.

If you would like to find out more, please contact Dr John Oliver (FMC) at

Congratulations to HSS doctoral students

Dear Colleagues,

It has been an amazing year for our doctoral students in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences. In spite of all the challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, we have had 13  students successfully complete their studies. We are so proud of them and at this time of year we would normally be celebrating at our Graduation ceremony in the Bournemouth International Centre. As graduation has been delayed, we thought we would celebrate with a “Wall of Success” – please follow the link to hear from our new ‘doctors’ about their experiences and from our supervisors about why these graduands are such great ambassadors for Bournemouth University.

With best wishes,

Professor Vanora Hundley