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More about academic writing

Earlier this year (13th Jan. 2014) we wrote a BU Research Blog under the title ‘Writing about academic publishing’.  We can now add two further contributions this body of work.  The first article in Nepal Journal of Epidemiology offers some advice on how to construct a title for an academic article.  The authors (BU Professors Edwin van Teijlingen and Vanora Hundley; BU Visiting Faculty Ms. Jillian Ireland and Dr. Padam Simkhada and international collaborator Dr. Brijesh Sathian) have a wealth of experience reviewing papers and all have experience as editor board members and/or editors.  The authors are associated the editorial boards of the many journals, including: Birth, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth, Medical Science, Nepal Journal of Epidemiology, Essentially MIDIRS, Sociological Research Online, Hellenic Journal of Nursing Science, Midwifery and Asian Journal of Health Sciences.  In our joint capacity as reviewers and editors we have seen some great and some awful titles.  The paper in Nepal Journal of Epidemiology is an attempt to improve the appropriateness and usefulness of titles chosen by budding authors.

Editorial Midwifery 2014

Editorial Midwifery 2014

The second addition is an editorial in the international journal Midwifery published by Elsevier.  Together with HSC Visiting Faculty Prof. Debra Bick we address the question: ‘Who should be an author on your academic paper?’   Still too often we hear about worrying stories from fellow academic s and postgraduate students about inappropriate behaviour related to authorship of academic journal papers.  The Midwifery Editorial advises academics to discuss authorship and authorship order early on in the writing process.  At the same time, it highlights that authorship ‘rules’ or ‘traditions’ can vary between different academic disciplines.  Thus when working in a multidisciplinary team, issues of authorship of any papers which arise out of the study should be discussed before problems or concerns arise.

 

We would like to take this opportunity point our readers to another interesting and useful BU Research Blog written by Shelly Maskell under the title: ‘How to design a completely uninformative title’ (7th Feb. 2014).

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen & Prof. Vanora Hundley

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health, Bournemouth University

 

References:

  1. van Teijlingen, E., Ireland, J., Hundley, V., Simkhada, P., Sathian, B. (2014) Finding the right title for your article: Advice for academic authors, Nepal Journal of Epidemiology 4(1): 344-347.
  2. van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V., Bick, D. (2014) Who should be an author on your academic paper? Midwifery 30: 385-386.

 

Highest marks for International Fellowship for Midwives research in Nepal

 

In 2013 Wellbeing of Women joined the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) to offer the International Fellowship for Midwives (worth £20,000).  Their first ever recipient was BU Lesley Milne with her supporting team.  Lesley is a Senior Lecturer in Midwifery based at BU’s Portsmouth Branch Campus and her proposal set out to undertake a research project to explore barriers to facility birth in Nepal.

 

Delivery bed small hospital Nepal

Apart from Lesley herself the BU team comprises Vanora Hundley, Professor in Midwifery, Edwin van Teijlingen, Professor of Reproductive Health Research, and two HSC Visiting Faculty members, namely Dr. Padam Simkhada, Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield, and Ms. Jillian Ireland, Community Midwife NHS Poole Hospitals.

 

Small commercial pharmacy outside local hospital (Nepal)

Small commercial pharmacy outside local hospital (Nepal)

At the end of March 2014 we submitted the final report on the research to Well-Being of Women and the RCM and this report gained an ‘A’ in their scoring system.  Last week at the feedback meeting in Well-Being of Women’s office in London Lesley presented some of her key findings which she illustrated with some of her photographs.  The comments from those round the table were that the topic was well researched and that the qualitative research findings could help focus the funders in their future work.

 

Having reached the dissemination stage, we are planning scientific papers as well as a feedback session in Kathmandu (in September this year). Currently we are working on two academic papers, one is in an advanced stage approaching submission and the other is just passed its draft stage.

 

 

Lesley Milne, Vanora Hundley, Jillian Ireland (Visiting Faculty),Edwin van Teijlingen & Padam Simkhada (Visiting Faculty)

 

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health

School of Health & Social Care

 


HSC Writing Retreat: Freedom to write

Today saw the first of two Writing Retreat workshops organised by HSC.  The intensive writing day was led by Ms. Caroline Brimblecombe.  Caroline is a Norwich-based training consultant and project manager, who leads workshops in the technique of freewriting, as well as on academic writing.  She holds an MA in Public Policy from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and spent many years as a public sector manager and policy analyst.  She used a combination of exercises based on notions of creative writing and free writing.  The Writing Retreat offered advice and a dedicated space and time to practice academic writing.  Today’s intensive session was attended by the first cohort of HSC academics, who considered some of their challenges to writing and some of the rewards.  Not surprisingly there were more challenges than rewards, and the former included lack of time, high workload and interruptions.   Personal satisfaction and a sense of achievement scored high on the list of rewards.

Caroline suggested the participants considered ‘Serial Writing’.  This is the notion that you write regularly, hence the ‘serial’.  The idea is to create a flow of writing to help you generate content as well as a habit of writing. This will be a valuable tool for workshop participants who have committed to working with a mentor to produce a manuscript for submission by the end of July.

For those motivated staff members who would like to have a go at this.  The next session is planned for the 28th of May and there are still a few free places available.  Please contact Jo Temple if you would like to sign up.

We both participated ourselves and we would highly recommend this Writing Retreat!

 

Edwin van Teijlingen & Vanora Hundley

CMMPH

Compassion in Action with Professor Belinda Dewar

Wednesday 21st May 2014 between 1 – 1.50pm at the Executive Business Centre (EB203)

Professor Belinda Dewar is the Professor of Practice Improvement at the University of the West of Scotland. She has been working with nurses, allied health care professionals, patients, residents and families in a range of care settings over the last 25 years to support improving the experience of giving and receiving care. She is recognised nationally and internationally for her work on caring and methodologies for improvement which include Action Research and Appreciative Inquiry, as well as designing and delivering innovative transformational leadership programmes. 

In this presentation Professor Belinda Dewar will discuss the evidence base and policy imperatives for compassion and debate myths and misconceptions of compassion and what we are up against to move forward in this area. She will highlight important work that has already gone on in this area and debate how we can build on this. She will also share with you the development of a model for compassionate relationship centred care and discuss the key domains of this model that support practitioners, in education, practice and research to develop skills in compassionate caring. She will look at specific strategies that bring the model to life including emotional touch points, development of positive caring practices and focusing on compassionate proofing of language.

The masterclass is suitable for postgraduate students, academics and professionals who are looking for an introduction to Appreciative Inquiry.

For more information, please contact 01202 962184 or email wellbeing@bournemouth.ac.uk

 We look forward to seeing you there.

 

Congratulations to Dr. Jane Hunt

Congratulations to Dr. Jane Hunt in HSC on the publication of her latest paper: A peer-driven community-based doctoral supervisory model: development from an evaluation of an ethics workshop for health care professionals undertaking research with children.

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health, HSC.

A realist evaluation approach to the design and evaluation of complex social interventions.

8 May 12.15-1.15pm, B126 Bournemouth House Lansdowne Campus

All interested in interdisciplinary education research are invited to a seminar hosted by the School of Health and Social Care, Bournemouth University.

This presentation describes the core components of realist evaluation and argues for the integration of the realist evaluation cycle during programme design to ensure that the outcomes collected determine not only if the programme works, but what works, for whom, in what circumstances, in what respects, and why.

This seminar highlights some of Barbara’s current doctoral study thinking in her US, UK comparison of inter professional clinical education in the UK and USA.  She is a physiotherapist, Professor & University Director of Interprofessional Education & Collaboration at A.T. Still University, Arizona, US.

HE in the news this week…

Monday

Libby Hackett featured in the Guardian over the weekend calling for intelligent reforms of the student loans system. Intelligent reforms of student loans (Guardian)

International

University Alliance’s call for a return to post-study visas is highlighted in a piece in the Guardian. The article looks at the House of Lords report which claims that an “unwelcoming UK” has seen a drop in the number of international students studying STEM subjects. Fewer international science students come to ‘unwelcoming’ UK (Guardian HE)

Employment

Starting salaries for graduate jobs have fallen overall over the past five years, according to new analysis. Research for the Complete University Guide says graduate starting salaries in professional posts dropped 11%, to £21,702 in real terms, in 2007-12.

 

Tuesday

Higher education policy

Students at the recent NUS conference have voted in favour of a policy of free education. No to Ukip and yes to free education: NUS conference votes for surprisingly radical policies (Independent)

Widening participation
We need to ensure there is diversity in HE, to fit the needs and approaches of people from non-traditional student backgrounds, says Alison Wride. ‘Universities remain bastions of middle class culture’ (THE)

Wednesday

Community

Cambridge is becoming increasingly polarised between town and gown as large parts of its university are “cut off” from the public, according to Mary Beard, the classicist and television presenter. Cambridge is a ‘divided city’ as university tightens security and shuts the public out (Times) 

LEPs

Local enterprise partnerships for the North East and Teesside have joined forces in efforts to create a “Jeremie 2” investment programme, potentially ploughing a further £160m into the region’s businesses. North East LEPs come together for £160m ‘Jeremie 2’ plan (Journal)

Research funding

The bias in favour of men in the peer review process ultimately leads to women being turned down for promotion argues an anonymous academic. Securing money for research is hard for everyone – but then there’s the sexism (Guardian HE)

Thursday

The THE’s annual financial health check, looking at university finances in 2012-13 using figures by accountancy firm Grant Thornton, points to possible emerging trends in the first year of the new fees regime. University financial health check 2014 (THE) 

Quality

A report has revealed which universities are awarding more first and upper second class degrees than would be expected based on their students’ backgrounds, raising questions about the comparability of exam standards across the sector. ‘Good’ degree awards not always in line with intake (THE)

Postgraduate

NUS’ new vice-president for HE has vowed to put improving access to postgraduate education at the heart of her term of office. New broom to put postgrad study at heart of NUS policy (THE)

Part-time

Introducing part-time degrees delivered over just three years has revived the fortunes of Birkbeck, University of London and could do the same for other institutions, its head has claimed. Study nights: shorter part-time degrees appeal to Generation Y (THE)

Graduate employment

Almost two in five parents expect that a university degree will increase their children’s income earning potential and enable them to get ahead in the workplace, a report by HSBC has shown. Parents expect a university degree to increase their children’s income (Guardian)

Open access

Research Councils UK’s open access policy poses “serious dangers for the international standing of UK research in the humanities”, a report by the British Academy has warned. British Academy fears for humanities in open access world (THE)

Modern foreign languages

The numbers of students studying languages degrees is at its lowest in a decade – universities must make their academic study more pertinent, argues Katrin Kohl. Universities must make languages relevant (THE)

Australian fees policy

Australia’s demand-driven university system has been a success and should be extended to private universities, further education colleges and sub-degree programmes, a government-commissioned review has concluded. Uncapped system: support for expansion in Australia (THE)

 

Optimising Childbirth Across Europe (Optimise2014)

Last week BU Professor Edwin van Teijlingen attended the international conference ’Optimising Childbirth Across Europe (Optimise2014)’ [http://optimisebirth.com/] in Brussels, Belgium.  This new conference  in the maternity care field was based on the work of the COST (Co-operation in Science and Technology) Action IS0907.  This Action, over the period 2010-2014, set out to advance scientific knowledge about ways of improving maternity care provision and outcomes for mothers, babies and families across Europe by understanding what works, for who, in what circumstances, and by identifying and learning from the best.

 

As part of this COST Action several academics have spent time over the past three years at Bournemouth University’s Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health.  Susanne Grylka-Bäschlin a Swiss midwife studying at Hannover Medical School, Germany, studied cultural differences in postnatal quality of life among German-speaking women in Switzerland and Germany.  See gave an excellent oral presentation of this first ever study to translate and apply the Mother-Generated Index in German. Mother-Generated Index was originally developed by Dr. Andrew Symon who is based at the University of Dundee [http://dundee.academia.edu/AndrewSymon ].

A further BU contribution to the conference involved the work of another European visitor to the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health.  Dr. Ans Luyben, a Dutch midwife working in Switzerland presented a poster based on work in Switzerland at the COST Action conference at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

 

Professor Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health

Last week in HE…

Monday

International

Universities across the world fear the “commodification and commercialisation of education”, according to a new survey. “They express concern about equal access to international opportunities for all students and about the commodification and commercialisation of education,” the IAU’s report says. 1,300 universities, one shared fear: the commodification of education (THE)

While Camille Kandiko Howson argues that as “global competition for international students is growing – the UK needs to start treating them as people and learners, not numbers.” Drop in foreign student numbers: are UK universities too complacent? (Guardian HE)

Fees

The Telegraph are a little late in covering this ongoing story. Six in 10 students will have their debts written off (Telegraph)

HE expansion

David Willetts unveils plans to create new university campuses in areas identified as higher education “cold spots” such as Shrewsbury. New universities could revive county towns, says minister (Telegraph)  

Discrimination

Nearly 60 per cent of black and minority ethnic higher education staff and students questioned for a survey feel they have been discriminated against. Race discrimination in universities still a problem, reports survey (THE) 

Tuesday

The Financial Times and City AM have today criticised the Government immigration policy saying that they are ‘closing the door’ on international students. The FT argues, “cutting back student visas as a quick fix to an arbitrary migration target hurts the economy and will ultimately increase costs for domestic undergraduates. This is an act of national self-harm that Britain can ill-afford.”

Disabled students’ funding

NUS’ national conference has got underway today by claiming that David Willetts is “arrogant and out of touch” in seeking “unfair” cuts to disabled students’ funding. NUS blasts David Willetts over changes to disabled students’ support (THE)

Discrimination

More than half of black and ethnic minority lecturers and staff believe they have suffered racial discrimination at university, according to new research. Universities are racist, say ethnic minority staff   (Independent)

Wednesday

Ed Miliband is to promise to put powerful “city-region” government at the heart of a Labour attempt to rebalance growth in the UK, claiming his plan represents “the biggest economic devolution of power to England’s great towns and cities in a hundred years”. Miliband is to write to the leaders of every council, university and LEP asking them to draw up joint plans to boost growth and private sector jobs in their regions. Ed Miliband: Labour will use English devolution to rebalance UK growth (Guardian)

International

Ministers’ efforts to increase education exports comes at a time of intense scrutiny over the appeal of UK universities and schools  to overseas customers, says the FT. Visa rules in the spotlight as overseas student numbers fall (FT) This follows the news that UK skills providers have won contracts, worth more than £1bn, to run 16 further education colleges in Saudi Arabia helped by a government unit designed to boost exports of UK education. Saudis pay over £1bn to enrol British further education expertise (FT)

Moocs

Online university providers, which offered people the chance to study from home, are turning full circle by creating a network of learning centres where students can meet and study together. Online students can’t help being sociable (BBC)

Thursday

Libby Hackett features in today’s Financial Times calling for a return to post-study work visas for international students. She says that, “we are losing international students to competing nations, such as Canada and Australia, due to the UK’s restrictive policy on post-study work visas.” Letters: Bring post-study work visas back (FT)
Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary, will set out her “progressive” vision for immigration to the UK today, pledging that Labour would safeguard growth sectors such as higher education from any immigration cap. Labour to leave students out of immigration cap (FT)

Student loans

Repayment: The majority of undergraduates now at university will be paying off their student loans well into their 40s and 50s, with three-quarters of them unable to clear the debt before it is written off after 30 years, according to an analysis published today by the Sutton Trust and IFS.

·         Three in four graduates will be paying off student loans until their 50s (Daily Mail)

·         Most students will still be paying off their loans when they are 50 (Guardian)

·         Professionals will be paying off tuition fees for decades (Times)

·         Thunderer: Middle earners will pay most in this student loan mess (Times)

·         73% of today’s students will still be paying off their tuition fees in their 50s  (Independent)

·         Students will be paying off loans into their 50s, study warns (Telegraph)

Change to budgeting rules: The government has changed the budgeting rules for student loans to allow for unpredictability in forecast repayments, saying the change is designed to “incentivise” control over loan spending. One expert suggested that the development showed spending rules could be tweaked, potentially offering scope for a major change such as the introduction of a graduate tax. Budgeting rules adjusted to manage costs of student loans (THE)

Politics

Michael Gove: The minister hopes to sink his teeth into higher education but his political stock is falling, argues Christopher Prendergast. Michael Gove: the wolf of Whitehall (THE)

Sector

Higher Education Academy: The future of the HEA looks uncertain after the UK’s funding councils decided to withdraw support for the champion of university teaching. HEA future unclear as councils cut off the cash (THE)

Marketisation: The THE looks at whether UK higher education is any closer to a genuine market and concluded, not really. There’s still no such thing as a higher education market (THE)

Referendum: Ferdinand von Prondzynski ponders possible outcomes should Scotland opt for independence. Countdown to the Scottish referendum (THE)

Recruitment

Student: Volatile student recruitment in England has benefited more selective universities and “disadvantaged” others with lower entry standards, HEFCE has said. Recruitment trends favour the selective (THE)

Leadership: Professor Bob Cryan, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, features in this THE piece looking at the recruitment of university leaders. Beyond naked power (THE)

Connecting research and growth

Research excellence: UK academics could have their research assessed alongside scholars from Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong under plans being considered by HEFCE. Hefce looks at overseas links for research excellence (THE)

Employability and skills

Higher apprenticeships: The growth of higher apprenticeships – where people taken on by employers can simultaneously study to bachelor’s and master’s degree level – could be a “major opportunity” for universities if they grab the initiative but could be a threat if they do not. Universities risk missing out on higher apprenticeships (THE)

Education system: The UK education system has become too focussed on youngsters automatically being channelled towards going to university, the Duke of York told a conference of newspaper editors. Duke of York says education system has become too centred on university degrees (Independent)

Friday

The Science and Technology Committee have released their report into internal STEM students. They have accused the Government of taking a “contradictory” stance towards encouraging international students to study in UK universities. On the one hand, the Prime Minister says there is a need for net migration to “come down radically from hundreds of thousands a year”. Yet, on the other, it has stated that “it is realistic for numbers of international students in higher education to grow by 15 to 20 per cent over the next five years.”

In addition Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary, has said yesterday that businesses were unable to access the skills they need and thousands of fee-paying foreign students were being deterred from going to British universities.

 

CEL Seminar – Putting different forms of knowledge to work in practice: conceptual issues, pedagogical strategies and enduring challenges.

A Centre for Excellence in Learning [CEL] Seminar is taking place on Wednesday 18th June 2014, 10:00-12:00 on Lansdowne Campus.

Professor Karen Evans, Chair in Education, Institute of Education, University of London will be facilitating the seminar on Putting different forms of knowledge to work in practice: conceptual issues, pedagogical strategies and enduring challenges.

 For more information and to book on please visit the Staff Development and Engagement Pages on the Staff Internet.

 

Media Skills: What Journalists Want Workshop

A Media Skills: What Journalist Want Workshop is taking place on Tuesday 15th April 2014, 14:00-15:30 on Lansdowne Campus.

This workshop is designed for members of staff who are thinking about utilising media as a part of their work.
What sort of stories they are after, what BU has to offer and how you can help to give journalists what they want.
The session will be run by the Press and PR team, who will give examples of previous stories and current practices used to get BU into the press.

 For more information and to book on please visit the Staff Development and Engagement Pages on the Staff Intranet.

BIS Select Committee Inquiry into University-Business Collaboration

Following the Government’s recent response to the Witty Review of Universities and Growth, the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee has announced an inquiry into university-business collaboration.

The closing date for this Call for Evidence is Wednesday 23 April 2014.

If you would like to contribute to BU and the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)’s joint submission to the Committee, please email your thoughts and comments to Colette Cherry by Weds 16 April. They are inviting responses to the following questions:

The strengths and weaknesses of business-university collaboration in the UK and the UK’s performance against international comparators

1. What are the key strengths and weaknesses of the UK’s innovation system in relation to business-university collaboration?

2. How competitive is business-university collaboration in the UK against relevant international comparators?

Effectiveness of Government initiatives to support innovation through business-university collaboration

3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Catapult Centre model of business-university collaboration?  What areas of research should future Catapult Centres focus on?

4. What steps can be taken to improve the uptake of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), particularly among SMEs?

Funding

5. Recent BIS analysis found that the UK exhibits “a sustained, long-term pattern of under-investment in public and private research and development and publicly funded innovation”.   How does this affect business-university collaboration in the UK?

6. Will the changes to Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF), proposed in the Witty Review, be successful in increasing university engagement with innovative SMEs?

7. What has been the effect of including commercial ‘impact’ criteria in REF assessments, and should the weighting increase to 25% as suggested in the Witty Review?

8. Will the Government’s focus on the ‘eight great technologies’, as described in the industrial strategy, help to attract inward investment?

9. To what extent is this focus compatible with and complementary to the European Strategy for Key Enabling Technologies?

Local Growth agenda

10. Are Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) (and their counterparts in the rest of the UK)  investing as much as they could in innovation and R&D?

11. How can LEPs, universities and Government encourage greater regional R&D investment?

12. How should LEPs direct their allocation of European Structural and Investment Funds in order to maximise increases in R&D output?

13. To what extent will the new University Enterprise Zones encourage business university collaboration?

Congratulations and Good Luck

March saw an increase in the level of activity for bids being submitted and awards being won with congratulations due to Schools/Faculty for winning research and consultancy contracts.

For the Business School, congratulations to Dean Patton for his short course with the Guernsey Training Agency, and to Huiping Xian, grants academy member Fabian Homberg and Davide Secchi for their short course with Hubei Star Around Universe Culture Exchange Company.  Good luck to Ke Rong with his ESRC application, and to Milena Bobeva and Richard Berger (Media School) for their contract to the Higher Education Academy.

For HSC, congratulations are due to Caroline Ellis for her short course on appreciative inquiry masterclass, to Peter Thomas for his consultancy with Poole Hospital NHS Trust, and to Bernie Edwards for two short courses both with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.  Good luck to Ann Hemingway for her application to Alcohol Research UK to carry out a case study on alcohol harm and licensing density, to Clive Andrewes and Sarah Gallimore for their short course with Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, to Anthea Innes and Damien Fay (SciTech) for their application to the EPSRC, and to Keith Brown for his contract to Hampshire County Council.

For MS, congratulations to Iain MacRury for his consultancy with Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership.  Good luck to Lihua You for his application to the British Academy, to Julian McDougall for his application to UK Literacy Association, to grants academy member Anna Feigenbaum for her contract to NESTA and her application to Antipode Foundation, to grants academy members Jenny Alexander, Caroline Hodges, Dan Jackson and Richard Scullion for their application to AHRC, to Chindu Sreedharan, Ana Adi and Richard Berger for their application to the ESRC on initiating and supporting collaborative learning through community writing for children and teachers in Indian and Nepalese schools.

For the Faculty of Science and Technology, congratulations are due to Paola Palma for three short courses, to Gary Underwood for his consultancy with North Sea Systems, to Siamak Noroozi and Philip Sewell for their short course with EADS, and to Jonathan Monteith for his consultancy with Terence O’Rourke Plc.  Good luck to Feng Tian for his application to the Royal Society, to Lai Xu and Paul de Vrieze for their application to the Royal Society, to grants academy member Emilie Hardouin for her contract to the EC Erasmus Mundus, to Sine McDougall and Kevin Thomas for their application to the British Medical Association to research the impact of patient complications and errors on surgeons, to Hongnian Yu (leading on two) and Shuang Cang (Tourism – leading on one) for their three applications to the EC Erasmus Mundus, to Rob Britton for his application to Interreg, and to Nan Jiang for his consultancy to Grads for Growth.

For ST, congratulations to Jonathan Hibbert for his two consultancies with Bournemouth Borough Council and NHS Dorset, and to Keith Hayman for his consultancy with Corinthian Hotels.  Good luck to Miguel Moital for his EC Erasmus Mundus application.

The Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy

The Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, recently contacted Bournemouth University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Vinney, in relation to a Commission on Digital Democracy .

The objective of the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy is to consider, report and make recommendations on how parliamentary democracy in the United Kingdom can embrace the opportunities afforded by the digital world to become more effective in:

  • representing the people
  • making laws
  • scrutinising the work and performance of government
  • encouraging citizens to engage with democracy
  • facilitating dialogue amongst citizens 

BU is very keen to engage in this initiative, and we are currently reviewing the calls for evidence with the intention of making a submission over the next month or so. We are also hoping to organise a debate on campus exploring one or more of the Commission’s five themes:

  1. Making laws in a digital age – call launched
  2. Digital scrutiny – call launched
  3. Representation – call pending
  4. Engagement – call pending
  5. Encouraging dialogue among citizens – call pending

We will be setting up an initial scoping meeting to discuss BU’s contribution and if you are interested in participating in the project, please contact Colette Cherry giving your availability for the following dates:

  • Wednesday 23 April 1-3pm
  • Wednesday 23 April 3-5pm
  • Monday 28 April 1-3pm
  • Monday 28 April 3-5pm
  • Tuesday 29 April 1-3pm
  • Tuesday 29 April 3-5pm
  • Thursday 8 May 9-11am
  • Thursday 8 May 11am-1pm

BRAD – Upcoming Opportunities

 Public Engagement Workshop Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 11:00-12:30 Talbot Campus
This session will be facilitated by Barry Squires, Public Engagement & Impact Manager, Research and Knowledge Exchange will explore how public engagement is conceptualised,
how it is developing across the higher education sector and why engaging the public with your research is increasingly essential for your career.

 Impact in Research Workshop Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 09:30-11:00, Talbot Campus
This workshop will be facilitated by Dr Rebecca Edwards, Research Development Officer, Research and Knowledge Exchange will explore what we mean by impact and why it is an increasingly important part of your research career.

 Financial Management Workshop Wednesday 14th May 2014, 15:00-16:00, Lansdowne Campus
This workshop will cover several topics ranging from; financial management, income and funding budgeting, financial resourcing and strategic financial planning.
This workshop will be facilitated by Jennifer Roddis and Paul Lynch, Research and Knowledge Exchange.

For more information about the above workshops and to book on please visit the Staff Development and Engagement Pages on the Staff Intranet,

 

Making music

Today was the first session for our rehearsal for the BUDI orchestra. We (BUDI team and the BSO players) had no idea how this would pan out as this is the first time that we are aware of where people with dementia have been given the opportunity to work alongside orchestra musicians and to gain confidence/ relearn or to learn for the first time instruments. It was something of a leap of faith to try to do this based on a hunch I had that if people can come together as a choir could we not also do this as an orchestra? Anyway, I was completely humbled by the successful use of the creative skills of the BSO musicians and BUMusic scholars as they led an initiative for those living with dementia and their family members and support workers today. As a result I have decided to do a regularish piece on my observations of the process (not the actual research which we are doing as part of FIF grant) as the sessions progress that will then culminate in a BU FOL performance on the 14 June at the Winton Life Centre. The photo gives you an idea of what happened, and when our video clips become available I will post these, but it was amazing to experience people with dementia who had lost their musical skills or perhaps more accurately their confidence bringing their instruments – a double bass and mouthorgan and regaining their musical confidence to play alongside the professional musicians. And perhaps more amazing that some of our participants who had never touched a string instrument learn some notes and then play a piece, Bolero, together –  and some other classical piece that I had never heard of before (I am not a musician). I too managed to play a few notes on a violin, or maybe it was a viola, anyway the community musician knows his stuff and directed us all to enable the musicians to get us all to play something – and in relative harmony! Two of our BUMusic scholars, while a little hesitant initially, then took the initiative to lead some of the singing that was part of this initial rehearsal and again their skill in using their talents to engage and encourage the group was amazing to watch. I had the pleasure of being taught how to play a few notes (badly) on the double bass by one of our participants with dementia which was probably the best part of the morning for me. I have a soap box position that many will have heard before about how when someone has dementia it is possible to continue to learn new things and also for people with dementia to help us learn new things. Today was just another inspiring example of that.

Christine Bosse – The Virtue of Leadership

On Friday 11 April, Christine Bosse will be visiting BU, and all staff are invited to hear her speak.

Christine is widely known in the public for her direct and no-nonsense communication and is enthusiastically engaged in the societal debate for a better and safer world. She is a role model for many aspiring young people as the highest ranking female CEO in Denmark and was appointed the 22nd most influential business woman in the world in 2009 and 2010 by the Financial Times.

During this event, Christine will reflect on her experience as a CEO and now also as chairwoman and board member. She will discuss: 

– How leadership has become more relevant in a complex and fast moving world

– That balancing the stakeholders is key to success 

– Responsibility going beyond law 

– Communication as a special topic

To book a place on this event, please go to the Staff Development and Engagement intranet pages.