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Phenomenology Special Interest Group

Utrecht Reflections

Utrecht Reflections

Reflections from Utrecht…

…Heidegger by ice cream!                                                              

You are warmly invited to the fifth meeting of the Phenomenology Interest Group

Thursday 14th November 2013

1.00 – 2.30

Venue: EB303, Executive Business Centre

We are fortunate to host Vanessa Heaslip from HSC and Phil James from the School of Tourism who have freshly returned from a workshop in Holland. They will be sharing their thoughts and experiences. This will last about one hour including discussion and questions. You are also invited to stay on for a further half hour to participate in more general discussion of mutual interests and the planning of further directions.

Here is a more personal invitation from Vanessa:

Both Phil and I were lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to the Netherlands during the summer to attend the Utrecht summer school on the Phenomenology of Practice.

During this lunchtime session we plan to:

         present the main areas we studied in the programme

         outline our perspectives on the differences between the approaches of Hermeneutic Phenomenology (Max van Manen), Descriptive Phenomenology (Andy Giorgi) and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Jonathan Smith)

         present our reflections on the two week programme

         highlight the key lessons we learnt

         share the opportunities it has provided for us (and maybe you…) at an international level

We look forward to seeing you.

Vanessa Heaslip (HSC – Senior Lecturer and part time PhD student)

Phil James – (PGR at ST and proud of the fact that he has both a Student ID and a Bus Pass! Phil is a retired businessman who thought that studying for a PhD might be more fun than cruising in the Bahamas. He’s having second thoughts.)

Opportunities for BU Researchers in Ecuador

The Ecuadorian government has recently launched the Prometeo Project, an initiative designed to bring top scholars to the country to develop research and teaching for periods of 2-12 months.  Proposals in all areas of research and teaching are currently being accepted on a rolling basis and generally take a couple of months to process in total.  Once the application is submitted, assistance in adjusting the initial research proposal is available from the Prometeo office.

Prometeo fellows are assigned to public institutions. These generally include universities, government offices and research institutes. Although Spanish knowledge is recommended, it is not a pre-requisite for doing research in Ecuador.  Research grants range from $4000-6000 USD/month and teaching grants range from $2000-$4000/ month.  Return airfare and orientation sessions are also included as part of the Prometeo package.

 Applications are assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Publications (indexed papers, not indexed, books, articles)
  • Hirsch Index
  • Research projects (led or coordinated / assistant)
  • Academic experience / teaching
  • Conferences, seminars, workshops, discussion panels (speaker, moderator)
  • Consultancies
  • Scholarships, awards and recognitions
  • Letters of recommendation -optional (two letters in digital format)

For further information, visit the Prometeo website or email:

The Journal of Promotional Communication – Inaugural Issue and a Call to Action!

We are delighted to launch the first edition of the Journal of Promotional Communication, an open-access; peer-reviewed, online journal edited by Corporate and Marketing Communications (CMC) academic group in the Media School, which publishes original research produced by undergraduate and postgraduate students. We welcome you to read the six papers selected for publication in the inaugural issue after a rigorous review process, and share them with your students, academic colleagues and practitioner contacts.

 Manuscripts published in Volume 1, Issue 1 of the Journal of Promotional Communication broadly speak to the theme of ‘People and Promotional Communication’, including an exciting mix of methodological and conceptual approaches which bring to the fore the humanness and everydayness in the production and consumption of promotional communications.

Our aim with this journal is to provide a platform for students from BU and other universities to publish work that demonstrates a critical understanding of their subject, whilst being creative, imaginative and interesting to read for academic and practitioner audiences alike. We are looking for examples of work which has the potential to challenge existing ideas and practices and seeks to inspire new ways of understanding and practising promotional communications.

The Journal of Promotional Communications is published two times per year (April, October) and the call is now open for papers for the next issue – deadline Friday March 7th, 2014. Submissions should be made online via, where full ‘Author Instructions’ can also be found. If you have recently supervised work that you think should be considered for publication in the journal, why not encourage your students (UG, PG or PhD) to submit a manuscript for review? Diverse perspectives and approaches to the study of promotional communication are welcomed. Papers published in the Journal of Promotional Communication will draw on a variety of disciplinary areas covering, but not exclusive to, Marketing, Advertising and PR theory as well as Consumer Culture and Behaviour, Political Communications, Media Studies, Sociology, Cultural Studies and Management. From within BU, students submitting papers might come from a broad range of Academic Schools and subject areas; the Journal of Promotional Communication is not Media School exclusive!

We look forward to receiving submissions.

Dr Janice Denegri-Knott

Dr Carrie Hodges

Dr Dan Jackson

Dr Richard Scullion



FIF-backed PR History network launched in Barcelona

The European Public Relations History Network (EPRHN), which has been supported in its formation by FIF, was launched at European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) Congress in Barcelona on October 3-5. The event, held on Friday October 4, was attended by 29 delegates from 12 countries.

“After more than a year’s planning, EPRHN is now in operation and has 50 active supporters from 18 countries across Europe”, said Prof Tom Watson of the Media School. “FIF has enabled it to get to the take-off stage and aided the very positive response found in Barcelona.”

Prof Watson also organised a panel session (the only one approved for the Congress) on developing the history of PR in Europe. It drew leading scholars from universities of Leipzig (Germany), Bucharest (Romania), Pompeu Fabra (Spain), as well as Prof Watson. It was chaired by the Italian practitioner/commentator Toni Muzi Falconi.

Refereed papers from Prof Watson and Drs Tasos Theofilou and Georgiana Grigore, also Media School, were presented at the Congress in well-attended sessions with several requests for copies of the papers afterwards, especially for the research on engaging employees with organisational Corporate Social Responsibility planning.

EUPRERA PR History Panel: (l-r) Toni Muzi Falconi (Italy); Prof Adela Rogojinaru (Romania); Prof Tom Watson (BU), Prof Jordi Xifra (Spain) and Prof Gunter Bentele (Germany)

Dr Tasos Theofilou (l), Dr Georgiana Grigore (c) and Prof Tom Watson (r) at EUPRERA Congress, Barcelona

AiMM Research Series

The Advances in Media Management (AiMM) research group continue their series of research presentations on Wednesday 30th October between 1-2pm (CG09). Dr John Oliver will present the findings of his research into how media organisations BSkyB and ITV have adapted to the New Media Environment. 

Researchers interested in areas such as new media,organisational adaptation and dynamic capabilities will find this presentation of particular interest.

Early Career Researchers – interested in working with policymakers?

AHRC-funded Early Career Researchers (ECRs) now have the opportunity to apply to join a training programme on Engaging with Government. The three day course will take place in February 2014 and is intended to offer insights into the process of policy making, help ECRs make links with policymakers, and aid in the development of skills needed to engage with policy. Specifically, the course will:

* Help you to see where your research could impact on and contribute to public policy
* Challenge you to consider the policy making process in detail, and how research fits into it
* Improve your influencing and communication skills that are needed to contribute to policymaking.

Eligible researchers are invited to submit applications; further information is available at Be quick though, the deadline for applications is 21 October 2013.

Economic Downturn affecting wellbeing of “Asset Rich, Cash Poor Older People.”


Interesting press coverage of Bournemouth University Research on wellbeing of older people.

Older people who are asset rich but cash poor are turning to health and social care providers rather than accredited professionals for financial advice, new research has suggested.

Research commissioned by ICAS (a professional body of Chartered Accountants) which involved interviewing sample groups of retired homeowners on modest incomes, care professionals and financial advisers found that none of the older people surveyed had heard of the Money Advice Service (MAS) and that the lack of trust in financial advisers was widespread.

Instead, many of the older people participating in the research admitted to asking friends, family members and health and social care workers – rather than accredited financial advisers – for advice on managing their income, pensions, investments and savings.

Cyber Security Seminar: “Will people use this? Will they comply?” – Can we answer these questions (Chris Porter, UCL)

I am delighted to announce that our first Interdisciplinary Cyber Security Seminar will take place on Tuesday, 15th October at 5pm.  The seminar will take place in EB202 in the Executive Business Centre, and will be open to all.  As promised in my previous post, these seminars will be approachable, and require nothing more than a general interest in security, and an enquiring mind.

Our speaker will be Chris Porter from University College London. Chris Porter is a PhD candidate within the Information Security Research Group in the Department of Computer Science at University College London. His research focuses on the design process of identity-centric e-government services together with associated collaborative tools.

Talk Abstract: Design decisions have an impact on the end-user’s experience, and this could in turn influence the end user’s decision making process (e.g. on whether to use an e-service and/or comply with given security requirements). This talk will introduce Sentire, a technique that adapts and merges traditional software engineering techniques with UX (User Experience) and human-centric design principles. This technique, together with associated collaborative tools, helps designers and system developers quantitatively assess and compare the impact that various design decisions can have on the user’s experience (e.g. workload, willingness to complete the task). Persona Calibration, the driving technique behind Sentire, aims at eliminating the turn-around time (and costs) required to get feedback from end-users (required to pinpoint potentially risky decisions) and the concept of a re-usable persona library becomes central to the whole idea. Calibrated Personas are introduced as part of the requirements specification process. The technique has been applied to design decisions specific to e-government service enrolment processes, and some initial results will be presented giving us more scope for a general discussion/Q&A.

Where Has the Fun Gone?

Research is fun; fun is research!  Appraisal targets, REF, RKE income targets, online journal submission systems, conferences – just to name a few of my personal bête noirs – all squeeze the fun out of research for me.  They all matter, no doubt about it, but they are all terribly serious!  Give me a pair of boots, a spade and a note book in some distant field and the stress of the world disappears to be replaced by the intellectual puzzle before me, the banter of my colleagues and a story to tell of past events!  Now that is fun and that is what research means to me.  That is when research is at its most fun, an experience immortalised and crowned by a published paper with illustrations crafted by my own hand.  I would love to know when research is most fun for you?  In fact I am committing myself this autumn to the leading the research is fun campaign!  So why not join me and share your experiences?

CEMP Research & Innovation

      At the open forum last week, we agreed the following actions for the coming year:

Research & Innovation Bulletin – to continue for information only, once a fortnight, via the research blog, from October 10th;
CEMP meetings – for CEMP staff only, once a month, to include bidding and income monitoring;
CEMP Coffee Mornings – once a month, ‘drop in’ for anyone in the MS who wants to talk to us about funding applications or other research / innovation opportunities. The first of these will be Thursday October 17th;
CEMP workshops – a series of supportive events to help people get started with research, bid writing, publishing, networking;
CEMP Associates – a proposal will be submitted to facilitate more experienced colleagues working with CEMP in a more structured fashion – to collaborate on bid writing, projects and making connections across academic groups.

Women’s Academic Network Launched at BU

Thursday 26th September saw the launch at BU of the Women’s Academic Network (WAN). It seems rather timely that as I am sitting writing this, there is a discussion on the Today programme about the re-rise of feminism and feminist activism.    WAN’s aims and raison d’être have been spelled out previously on this blog, and on Thursday after some wine/light refreshments we Retreated (sorry) to the inauspicious surroundings of the newly revamped Mary Shelley lecture theatre for our inaugural address.

Head of ApSci and HSC, Gail Thomas eloquently introduced the aims of the network, the committee and gave details of our Fusion funded speaker programme (first event November 22nd Laura Bates from everyday sexism, lunchtime seminar, room tbc) and read out a message of support from a sister network at UEA (see below). The Vice Chancellor, John Vinney then welcomed the packed room to the Women’s Academic Network, and to the event. He also highlighted how WAN is just one of a number of initiatives here at BU, including the excellent work being led by Tiantian Zhang around Athena Swan. Gail then introduced our speaker, Dr Fiona Beddoes-Jones from the Cognitive Fitness Consultancy. There was a collective intake of breath when the keynote mentioned things that can cause tension in organisations…such as car parks, but that is real life I guess. Her talk was derived in part from work in neuroscience and in a good natured manner she humorously took us through the differing characteristics of authentic leadership. She was careful to not revert to the biological determinism which can characterise this work, and she generated some very thought provoking questions after. She asked the audience to write down their 3’top tips’ for women academics. These have been collected, will be collated and posted here at a later date.

Sue Sutherland (OBE, Chair of the Board) then gave a vote of thanks where she talked about her own experiences and background.  She talked of the relative absence of women at senior level, and stressed there was recognition and a will to tackle this. She also emphasised the importance of having and of being role models, to each other and to our students, closing the address on an important note.

Networking opportunities followed and which provided a great opportunity to meet women across the University who we may not normally have had recourse to come across.

Thanks are finally due to the massive audience, it was great to see the place full. Thanks too for those messages of support and interest from those who could not be there.

So what happens next?

Well there are Fusion funded speaker events planned which will be advertised in the usual way. If you wish to be added to the mailing list please contact Jo Downey and we will keep you posted as we move forward.

This is just the start and we hope you are able to stay in touch and join in.


Letter of support from Resnet (women’s research network at UEA)




The Network for Women In Research

and Supporting Research

25th September 2013



Dear Heather  

On behalf of your friends on the ResNet Committee I am writing to send you and your colleagues all our best wishes for the launch of the Bournemouth University Women’s Academic Network – WAN.

As you know, ResNet has been running continuously here since 2000. There have been many improvements for women in research and academia since then, but there is still some distance to go. Consequently there is a very strong need for networks with a fairness and gender equality focus. Importantly, women remain under-represented in the more senior, decision making, senior academic posts. The issues retarding women’s advancement are complex and more open discussion is needed to improve awareness and lobby for change. WAN will give Bournemouth University a forum for these issues and the all-important networking space that academic women need and enjoy.

We wish WAN and yourselves every success and look forward to exchanging ideas between our two networks in the future.

Best wishes

Gill Malin

Chair of ResNet



Nigel Farage’s UKIP Conference speech

Does Nigel Farage need a crash-course in EU law?

One of the things that struck me about the recent coverage of the UKIP conference (which, as I will explain, is not entirely unrelated to the pamphlet that struck Michael Crick) was that many UKIP members complained that the controversy surrounding Godfrey Bloom’s comments overshadowed their emergence as a real political force.  It seems certain that at the next European and local elections, and possibly even at the general election, UKIP will be a major player.  My research background in EU law means I am interested in how the political world frames and explains EU issues, and particularly the extent to which political positions reflect the laws underpinning them.  UKIP’s manifesto is a rich source here, and this is the perhaps tenuous connection to the document that played such a starring role in the Bloom-Crick kerfuffle.

Reading through Nigel Farage’s keynote speech – with the intention of writing a post about the EU laws underpinning his comments on immigration – I stumbled across this statement: ‘our laws have come from Brussels – and what laws. What directives. What a list of instructions. How this shall be done. How that shall be regulated’.

This struck me for several reasons.  Much of my research is concerned with the relationship between EU law and EU democracy (I’m sure many readers would argue that it is now my phrase that is striking, even an oxymoron – without wishing to go into too much detail, the EU does have democratic processes, even if their effectiveness and suitability is questionable).  Because of this background, whenever a politician talks about ‘Brussels’ or ‘EU laws’, I am put slightly on edge.  They are broad terms that risk oversimplifying a complicated area.  Debates about EU democracy need to be based on clear understandings of the underpinning laws; otherwise one risks, in Mr Farage’s words, ‘playing the man and not the ball’.

With that in mind, I’d like to look at two aspects of the quotation I highlighted above – the references to ‘Brussels’ and ‘laws’ – and explain that the situation is not quite as simple as the speech makes out.  My analysis is going to be a brief one focused on the relevant legal procedures – Channel 4’s FactCheck blog has some interesting posts on the statistical side of the speech.


It is very common to hear politicians talking about Brussels as an umbrella term for the EU, either positively or negatively.  But what does it mean? When ‘Brussels’ makes law, who is actually making them?

The answer is lawyerly: it depends.  The EU acts on the principle of conferred powers.  This means it can only legislate in areas mandated by the Treaties – if it enjoys a so-called ‘legal basis’.  For example, the EU has some environmental law competences because of Articles 191-192 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.  Each legal base found in the Treaties requires a particular legislative procedure, and each process calls for different involvement from the Council (made up of elected national ministers), the European Parliament (directly elected MEPs) and the Commission (an appointed body but one which typically proposes laws rather than passes them).

Broadly speaking, since the Lisbon Treaty most EU laws have been made using the ‘ordinary legislative procedure’.  This was previously known as ‘co-decision’.  Under this procedure, the Commission proposes legislation (sometimes prompted by the Parliament or national ministers), but it is not a legislative body.  A majority of votes in the Council and the European Parliament must agree on the final draft of a particular proposal before it becomes law.  Less frequently there will be a ‘special legislative procedure’, which normally means the Parliament is just consulted by the Council; on rarer occasions it sees no role for the Parliament or gives the Parliament a veto.

So, does a monolithic ‘Brussels’ pass these laws? Not exactly.  EU laws are passed through a process of negotiation and bargaining amongst elected national ministers and elected MEPs.  Even if the MEPs are sidelined, promulgation remains the responsibility of elected national ministers.  This may be imperfect, but it perhaps differs to the common perception.


It is interesting that the speech uses the words ‘directive’ and ‘regulated’.  This is because Directives and Regulations are two different kinds of EU law, and each works in a different way.  This doesn’t mean that the EU is not passing laws which affect the UK, but it does mean that EU laws are not diktats.

A Regulation is binding on Member States from the moment it is passed: it has ‘direct effect’.  Those laws do indeed tell Member States ‘how this shall be done’ – for example, a common customs code – although one might point out that laws tend to tell people what to do.  As noted above however, it is the Member States themselves, and usually elected MEPs, that have agreed to whatever course of action is proposed.

A Directive on the other hand gives far more discretion to Member States.  Directives set out a certain goal – for example, make sure EU citizens can move and reside freely across the EU (with certain caveats) – but it is only the goal that is binding.  Member States can pursue that aim however they wish, and it is not unheard of for a given state’s domestic law to already comply with the Directive.  In that regard Directives certainly do not tell states ‘how this shall be done’.

Once again then, the situation seems more complex that it has been made out.  The image of ‘Brussels’ telling states ‘what to do’ is not necessarily accurate.

Final thoughts

There is an understandable and important debate occurring about whether the UK should remain in the EU, but it should be based on a clear picture of how the EU operates.  Phrases such as ‘Brussels’ and ‘EU laws’ are commonplace, but they risk oversimplifying the issues.  Decisions and policy ought to follow from a more solid basis.  A clearer understanding of the law leads to a more informed debate.

About David Yuratich

David Yuratich is a lecturer in law at Bournemouth University. His research interests include the constitutional law in the UK and the EU law, and the relationships between courts and democracy.

Bournemouth University represented at the Launch of International Sport Coaching Framework in Durban, South Africa

Lecturer in Sport Psychology and Coaching Sciences, Emma Kavanagh was recently present at the launch of the International Sport Coaching Framework at the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) 9th global coaching conference in Durban, South Africa.  This marked a worldwide initiative to launch the ICCE global coaching strategy and standardise the practice of sports coaching across the world.


Whilst attending the conference as a delegate, Emma also presented a research paper in collaboration with Dr Abbe Brady from the University of Gloucestershire entitled “Humanization in High Performance Sport: Introducing a Value-based Framework for Coaches and Practitioners”.  This paper provided a vocabulary for articulating one of the foundations of the international coaching framework; creating an athlete centred coaching environment.


The paper was well received by both national and international delegates including some of the world’s leading experts in the field of sport and coaching sciences.  The paper was described as an area of fruitful and exciting opportunity for future research in coaching and performance. This has further enhanced Bournemouth Universities reputation as an emerging centre of innovative research in sport and coaching sciences.  In addition the conference has provided opportunity for further external collaborations with a number of national and international partners.

Reminder – CEMP open meeting this Thursday

    Reminder about this Thursday’s meeting which is an open invitation for people to come along, have a coffee and tell us how we can support collaborative approaches to pedagogic research & innovation.

The background:

This academic year CEMP will continue to publish a fortnightly research & innovation funding bulletin via this blog, like so:  CEMP bulletin 26.9.13

The Research & Innovation meetings will also continue, but we want to invite colleagues from the rest of the Media School and across BU to tell us how we can increase engagement and collaboration in all aspects of pedagogic / educational research and innovation related to media / technology.

Previously, the model has been like this –

The bulletin is posted on a Thursday – this contains information about funding calls and also monitors live projects and reports on the outcomes of all bids.

The next Thursday, we meet to discuss the calls in the bulletin and report on bids in progress.

The next Thursday, the updated bulletin is posted

….and so on.

So far, we’ve been successful in one of our two key objectives – increasing CEMP bidding activity, but less successful in the other – developing collaboration with other people in BU, either in response to the funding calls in the bulletin or to try to match peoples’ ideas for projects / innovation to funding opportunities. This second objective is a service / function CEMP can offer to the University, and we’d like more colleagues to access this.

So – we’d like to review how we do this, in order to get better at the second objective, and to this end the first R&I meeting of this year is an open forum and everyone is invited to either come along and contribute to the discussion or to add a comment to this post if you have ideas but can’t make the meeting.

Meeting details:

Thursday 26th September 10-12

CEMP’s new office (CAGO2) – with tea, coffee and pastries!!!

Key issues for discussion:

  • How can CEMP support people in developing research / innovation projects?
  • What are the structural obstacles and how can we overcome them?

When we’ve got everyone’s ideas / requests for how to proceed, we’ll decide how to go ahead.

I hope we’ll see you there or read your ideas on the blog.


An Appetite for Research in the Undergraduate Population

For the past four years we have run Research Assistantship Schemes in the Psychology Research Centre. These schemes, both voluntary and paid (fusion-funded), have lead to both expected and unexpected benefits. Read on to find out more.

The 2nd year Psychology undergraduate voluntary Research Assistantship Scheme received 45 applications this year which represented 25% of the eligible year group. This represents an almost 50% increase on the year before. Prior to formalising the scheme numbers were much lower than that. Formalising the scheme has helped reveal an amazing appetite for research in the undergraduate population, but our schemes have had further reaching benefits. One benefit has been that our accrediting body, The British Psychological Society, has commended the RA scheme. We have also learned that some students applied to our undergraduate course because of the RA scheme.

The related Fusion-funded Research Assistantship Summer Scheme received 37 applications for the 7 paid positions. Two of the positions were advertised to completed 3rd year students. Advertised as prestigious positions and a potential platform to MSc level study, all of the 3rd year applicants went on to apply for our research MSc in Lifespan Neuropsychology. This year the number of BU students recruited to the MSc has doubled (acting as somewhat of a buffer against the sector-typical drop in external applications). Furthermore, 66% of the unsuccessful applicants volunteered as RAs with us over the summer instead of missing out. Some of these applicants joined our RA schemes in their second years as volunteers meaning that we have provided them with a pathway for research training from early in their degree through to MSc; for some this has lead to their names’ inclusion on submitted papers.

For the first time this year the summer scheme positions sought sponsorship. Non-financial sponsorship came from three local charities alongside which the RAs worked giving them further invaluable experience. At least one of these is now considering providing financial sponsorship for summer 2014; we hope to introduce matched- or fully-funded sponsorship options in the near future. In sum, the RA positions are a useful route route to engagement with local, external bodies and could entice first-time funders, representing first-step funding, and potentially leading to funding for matched- or perhaps fully-funded PhD positions and beyond.

The RA schemes have been running in the Psychology Research Centre for four years. Increasing formalisation has led some important benefits for students and staff and revealed an appetite for for research in the undergraduate population that previously could only have been guessed at. For sure, some of this represents the desire for more general experience for CVs but most are genuinely interested in the outcome of the research. Students learn the difficulties involved in research and begin to better understand and appreciate what academics spend their time doing when they are not teaching. Staff are learning more about the utility of involving fresh, eager minds in their research. If wielded properly, RA schemes have the potential to meet student demands, increase MSc level study here at BU and as a consequence prevent the loss of our best students, and help build future researchers. We are happy to report all of these outcomes in the four years the schemes have been running. We aim to continue the formalisation and offer Certificates for newly defined stages of Research Assistantship, which involves combining our up until now separate voluntary and paid schemes. We have spoken to at least one head of group who is interested in porting this formalised scheme to their discipline and to allowing our RAs to interact in the hope of fermenting interdisciplinary discussion and research and the undergraduate level. We hope that this blog entry will spark more interest.