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Rami Mhanna visits Russia as part of the Santander Travel Grant






Last year we bought you the story of Rami Mhanna receiving a Santander Scholarship. Below he shares his experiences of travelling to Russia as part of his grant:

As part of Santander Travel Grant, I am visiting Russia in order to do a research about Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

I started by visiting Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), which is one of the Santander Universities. I also visited the Russian International Olympic University in Moscow RIOU, where I met Professor Nicolay Peshin. And then, I did an interview at Sochi 2014 Committee in Moscow.

In Krasnodar Region where Sochi is located my research focused on the planning and preparation for Sochi 2014 as well as the perceptions of Sport and Tourism legacy. I met some of the key decision makers such as the Deputy Ministers of Sport, and Deputy Minister of Tourism for Krasnodar Region. During my stay in Krasnodar, I visited Kuban State University for Physical Education Sport and Tourism; I met the Vice Rector of Research and the head of Sochi 2014 volunteers centre. The Kuban University welcomed me and BU and they thanked me for doing research about Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

I moved then to Sochi city and I stayed 4 days, where I visited Sochi City Administration. I interviewed the Deputy Mayor of Sochi, the Deputy Head of the department for Sport and the Deputy Head of the Department for Tourism.

My visit to Russia was successful at all levels, and it will enrich my experience and my research skills.

I would like to thank Santander and BU and my great supervisors: Professor Adam Blake and Dr. Ian Jones for their support.

Challenges of Leadership

Leadership is a word often bandied about with many people claiming, assuming or being allocated ‘leadership’ roles, but what does this actually mean when trying to bring about societal improvements? Last week as part of an NHS South of England project BU and Plymouth University hosted a 2 day workshop for strategic leaders in the NHS, Local Authorities and the voluntary sector responsible for strategic leadership in the world of dementia in Devon, Dorset and Somerset. The aim of this project is to promote improvements in the provision of dementia care at a time of fiscal challenge. Working across organisational and disciplinary boundaries, learning from others and acting rather than just talking about the policy directives and vision that contextualises dementia is key. We had several high profile speakers at the workshop, including the Chief Executive of the Alzheimer Society, Jeremy Hughes; the Clinical Lead for dementia for NHS England, Prof Alistair Burns; the immediate Past President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Sarah Pickup; Angela Rippon a high profile ambassador for the Alzheimer Society as well as BU’s own director of the NCPQSW. Prof Keith Brown who does a lot of leadership training across the country. We also had a person living with dementia reminding us of why it is of utmost importance to ensure that people with dementia can live well with their dementia and really what the workshop was all about. Key messages I took from the 2 days that are perhaps transferable to anyone with a leadership role are first that it sometimes just important to get on and do what you need to do because it is the ‘right thing to do’ and this may be at odds with procedures, other colleagues perceptions and priorities but still worth doing! Good leaders sometimes need to buck the trend and with convention, and there were lots of dementia specific examples about how people have been innovative in challenging times. Another key leadership message related to working together and learning from others rather than reinventing the wheel. None of these are new messages but do highlight the ongoing challenges those with key strategic roles face as they work to address key societal concerns.

Pragmatic but theoretically informed solutions to the challenges facing collaborative practice and education

In-2- theory Group members delivered a workshop at the CABIV Conference in Vancouver this week on how to operationalise  psychosocial theory in collaborative practice and interprofessional education settings to assist practitioners in their critical reflection and problem solving skills in this area. The workshop offered a taster of a knowledge exchange model to be developed through a Canadian Institutes of  Health Research (CIHR) grant held by the Universities of New Brunswick, Bournemouth University, University of British Colombia and others.  In this model the domains of practitioner knowledge collected through participant narratives overlap with academic theoretical knowledge, in the coproduction of new narratives retold through a theoretical lens.  Our aim is the development of pragmatic but theoretically informed solutions to the challenges facing collaborative practice and education.   For further discussion, Contact Sarah Hean or Shelley Docuet,

BU paper in top ten in the international journal Midwifery


First page of the paper

The paper ‘Risk, theory, social and medical models’ published in 2010 co-authored with Dr. Helen Bryers made it into the top ten most downloaded articles in the past 90 days from the journal Midwifery.  See

It is also in the top 12 most quoted papers published in Midwifery.  This interesting as all 11 papers that have been cited more often are older, i.e. have been in print longer and therefore had more time to be cited.

The Abstract of the paper reads:

Background: there is an on-going debate about perceptions of risk and risk management in maternity care. Objectives: to provide a critical analysis of the risk concept, its development in modern society in general and UK maternity services in particular. Through the associated theory, we explore the origins of the current preoccupation with risk Using Pickstone’s historical phases of modern health care, the paper explores the way maternity services changed from a social to a medical model over the twentieth century and suggests that the risk agenda was part of this process. Key conclusions: current UK maternity services policy which promotes normality contends that effective risk management screens women suitable for birth in community maternity units (CMUs) or home birth: however, although current policy advocates a return to this more social model, policy implementation is slow in practice. Implications for practice: the slow implementation of current maternity policy in is linked to perceptions of risk. We content that intellectual and social capital remains within the medical model. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

The full reference this paper is MacKenzie Bryers, H. & van Teijlingen, E. (2010) Risk, theory, social and medical models: A critical analysis of the concept of risk in maternity care. Midwifery 26(5): 488-496.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health



Challenging accepted ‘givens’

Last week, I (Jonathan Parker, Professor of Social Work & Social Policy, Deputy Dean for Research and Knowledge Exchange and Director of the Centre for Social Work, Sociology and Social Policy in HSC) presented a keynote lecture at University Campus Suffolk’s annual conference on social work education and practice last week.

In the lecture, I questioned the increased reliance on practice learning in professional education, reminding delegates – academics and social work practitioners from East Anglia, Essex, Norfolk, Nottingham and Suffolk – that there has been almost uncritical acceptance of this pedagogic methodology demonstrating compliance rather than research-based reflection. I drew on many years of research critically questioning the concept of practice learning to paint alternative pictures of it to the ones promoted by those advocating reform.

I sought to ‘trouble’ the recent reforms of social work education and challenged professional bodies and Government to work together and let recent reforms ‘bed-in’ before attempting further revision. I questioned the anecdotal evidence used to initiate reform as representing political ideology and a means of deflecting attention from other social policy failures rather than indicating a pressing need for change. Using models from organisational sociology and the pursuit of legitimacy through standardisation, consistency and compliance, I called for a continuing questioning and discomforting of ‘givens’, and commitment to searching for best evidence whilst questioning the meanings professionals make of ‘evidence’ and the power relations it constructs. The appeal for intellectually robust resistance to poorly evidenced and politically-motivated calls for reform was well received.

Poland and the Eurozone Conference – September Event

Poland and the Eurozone Conference

Date: Thursday 19 & Friday 20 September 2013

Venue: Bournemouth University, Executive Business Centre<>, BH8 8EB Register for this free event here<>.

Poland is one of Europe’s economic out-performers. The country’s history and geography encourage it to be in favour of deeper European integration. But setbacks affecting the EURO impacted Poland’s European stance with caution. Proposals for pressing ahead with deeper political integration for EMU countries – a step towards a ‘two-speed Europe’ that would leave the Poles outside, have been received reservedly in Warsaw.

The keynote address will be given by Leszek Balcerowicz<> on “Euro: problems and solutions”.  Leszek, former deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and President of the National Bank of Poland, is a Professor of Economics at the Warsaw School of Economics.

This conference aims to contribute to discussions on the future shape of economic and monetary union (EMU) and the next steps ahead. Contributions on all aspects are welcome in the form of 300 word abstracts.

We aim to publish a selection of conference papers with the Palgrave/Macmillan’s book series ‘Studies in Economic Transition’.<>

 Please send all submissions by email<> before 15 July 2013.

The “Impact” of a research project, after 10 years!

Dr Maharaj Vijay Reddy from the School of Tourism has carried out a research project for UNESCO Paris on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India – exactly before 10 years in 2002-2003. The purpose of this 8-month project on one of the remotest and most sensitive destinations of the world was to identify potential natural and cultural properties for UNESCO World Heritage nominations and extend further dialogues with the local, national and international parties for conservation and sustainable development.

During those years, research supported by foreign organizations of any kind is often perceived as security threat or as having foreign strings attached to projects owing to the Andaman Nicobar sensitivity issues. Some 24 potential islands in both the Andaman and Nicobar groups were selected and were then visited by Dr Vijay Reddy for the study after the pilot survey. The project consulted several officials including Indian government ambassador, senior staff from the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO New Delhi, Ministry of Environment and Forests in New Delhi; Andaman Nicobar Administration officials such as the Chief Secretary and Director of the Department of  Tourism, and local researchers, politicians and indigenous community. The project identified two sites that were considered to have outstanding cultural and natural potential and recommended for UNESCO designation: (1) Ross Island and the Cellular Jail and (2) the Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve. Since then, there were several official meetings and negotiations were initiated by UNESCO Paris and the Indian Government Departments. Based on the findings, Dr Reddy has published a paper entitled “World Heritage Site selection in sensitive areas: Andaman and Nicobar Islands” in the Journal of Heritage Tourism in 2009 (Vol 4; pp 267-285). The Great Nicobar was nominated twice in 2010 and in 2012 for the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) designation.

The International Coordinating Council of UNESCO MAB met during 27 to 30 May 2013 has considered and added the Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve and 11 other sites to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The additions bring the total number of UNESCO biosphere reserves to 621 in 117 countries:

Dr Vijay Reddy recently communicated with UNESCO MAB Paris and said he is “delighted to hear the news of the approval of Great Nicobar as a UNESCO biosphere reserve”.  On this occasion, Dr Reddy would like to thank UNESCO Paris; Mr Asheem Srivatsav (Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi); Mr Akash Mohapatra (Department of Tourism, Andaman Islands); Mr Harry Andrews (the Andaman and Nicobar Environmental Team, Andaman Islands); and many others who offered assistance for his project in 2002-03. Dr Reddy says the credit also goes to the excellent researchers worked / working ‘continuously in such challenging locations’ of the Great Nicobar that strengthened the Great Nicobar dossier. This international approval by UNESCO MAB will hugely help the stakeholders to control problems like illegal poaching and other environmental concerns related to the Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve.

Celebrating Impact Prize winners 2013: shaping our understanding of impact?

In my role, frequently I am asked about what is impact and how engagement work can lead to impact. There is, sadly, no easy answer to these questions – which proves especially challenging in the development of impact case studies for the REF or research proposals requiring an impact summary and a pathways to impact statement. To an extent, appropriate engagement and impact is highly dependent upon the nature of the research in question and the researcher(s) involved – but again that does not provide any easier answers on how to develop impact or demonstrate excellence. With the REF2014 submission looming in November, much discussion of impact seems to focus on the difficulties associated with writing impact case studies, understanding our approach to impact since 2008 and what will be our future impact strategy. Thus, much discussion of impact is tainted with negativity, not helped by wider discussion around the funding of research and what is most beneficial to society.

Amidst this gloom, it is perhaps all too easy to forget the outstanding work that goes on across the sector whereby colleagues are, day-in day-out making a positive difference to our society and economy. I am reminded of  this by recent announcement of the ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize winners for 2013 – you can read the full report here.    This has a personal connection for me – one of the winners of the Outstanding Impact in Public Policy prize, Professor Kevin Morgan – was a senior colleagues (and something of a mentor) in my first research post and an extremely inspirational one at that! At the time (pre RAE 2008 submission days), much focus was on high quality publications, and as a young researcher this is where I was advised to focus! Sound advice which I still relay today, but it is great to see a long track record of impact and engagement being rewarded by the ESRC.

Exactly what constitutes impact will continue to contested, debated and defined – but what is perhaps clear to see is how important it is to share and celebrate what we instinctively know is making a positive difference to the world around us to help guide the development of how impact is evaluated and assessed.




eBU: call for papers and author guidelines

I am delighted to announce that, although not quite live, eBU is now open for business and we are happy to announce a call for papers.

The online journal is split into two parts, a secure internal part where authors can receive peer reviews and feedback to shape their work, either for publication as part of eBU or elsewhere, and an external part for those who wish to publish formally via this route.  The journal is organized around the eight societal BU research themes and a wide range of outputs are welcomed.

Submissions will be open to immediate publication (in a safe internal environment) and open peer review by two appropriate BU academics (for a student submission, one review will normally come from supervisor or relevant academic).  Authors will be encouraged to act upon these reviews by either reworking papers for submission to an external journal or by opting for publication on the external eBU site.

For BU academics this is a great opportunity to get critical appraisal on your early or formative research ideas from colleagues.  For academics it also an opportunity to encourage the submission of high quality student output and possibly to facilitate the co-creation and co-production of publishable material to an external journal or to publish externally with eBU.  For students, this is a fantastic opportunity to turn high quality essays or dissertations into scholarly outputs, which will be attractive to employers across all sectors and industries.

A copy of the author guidelines are attached, and details of drop-in Q&A sessions to be held in each school will be circulated shortly. Please follow the attached eBU guidelines and send submissions* (and any expressions of interest or questions) to or feel free to contact Andrew Harding on 63025.

*Please note that when eBU is live, authors will submit papers by uploading them to the eBU website – only submissions before the live date should be submitted by email.


European Board Visit a Success!

BU recently hosted a 2 day board meeting of the European Media Management Association (EMMA). The board consists of academics’ from Finland, Sweden, Russia, Portugal and Switzerland and they toured the Executive Business Centre facilities in readiness for the forthcoming EMMA conference hosted by the Media School. Dr John Oliver, from the Media School, is Deputy President of EMMA and he said that “the board have been very impressed with our proposed conference programme and the facilities on offer”.
The BU conference team have fully embraced the idea of Fusion in the programme. As well as presentations from leading media management academics, Professional Practice is represented by leading executives from Virgin Media, UKTV and The Hackett Group. A number of keynote speakers will also be video recorded so that the content can be used for educational delivery. Dr John Oliver said that “this conference provides us with a unique opportunity to develop the field media management at BU and having a conference that embraces fusion will have resonance with both academic and professional practice audiences”.

Reminder Fatter Forgetter Friday 24th May

Just a quick reminder about this week’s seminar on Friday

‘The fatter forgetter’, the relationship between appetite and cognition.


May 24th  11.30 – 12.30. Room 302, Royal London House.

You are invited to an interesting seminar looking at the relationship between appetite and cognition, delivered by Dr John Rye from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. I met John when vising Canada in November following a successful fusion bid, and I am delighted he was keen to deliver such an interesting seminar here at Bournemouth University.


Dr John Rye is currently an associate clinical lecturer in the department of Rural Family Medicine, at the Universisity of Saskatchewan, Canada, He also provides GP coverage for Nipawin , Blaine  Lake and Big River as well as looking after long term care residents in Prince Albert and is part of the rural dementia group. He was formerly in family practice in Prince Albert. He has been part of the palliative care team in Prince Albert since its start in 1991, and shared on it at IHI in Nashville. He is currently on the board of the Rose Garden Hospice, a project for residential terminal care. He went to Canada from England in 1984 with his wife Christine who is a certified palliative care nurse and president of the PAParkland Hospice Palliative Care Association.


If you are interested in attending please let Michele Board, Associate Director BUDI, know to book yourself a place.


LAST CHANCE TO ENTER! Apply for the Society of Biology’s Science Communication Awards 2013!

Two weeks left to apply for the Society of Biology’s Science Communication Awards 2013!


The awards recognise outstanding outreach work carried out by both young scientists and established researchers to inform, enthuse and engage the public. The competition is open to bioscience researchers from UK universities and institutes and there are two categories of award:

New Researcher – Prize £750

Established Researcher – Prize £1,500

Further details are available on the website and the deadline is midnight 31 May 2013

Contact Karen Patel directly with any questions.


BUDI Open House at RLH and Talbot Campus

Hello everybody,

Bournemouth University Dementia Institute have new offices at Talbot Campus (PG 63) and at Royal London House (3rd Floor), and we would like to invite you to drop in and say hello on the 22nd May from 12.00 to 13.00 in PG63 and on the 5th June from 12.00 to 13.00 at RLH. Bring yourselves, we will supply cake, tea and coffee.

We hope to see you there,

The BUDI team.

Research Seminar – organized by Creative Technology Research Centre

DateWed, 15/05/2013

Time: 14:00

Venue: P302 (Poole House)

Speaker: Hana Almakky

Title: Saudi Culture and User Interface Design – Facebook


Culture is the key aspect of any society that influences the style and perpetuation. It plays vital role in the desires of user viewing Social networking sites.

User interfaces can be more successful if the cultural characteristics are reflected in the interface design. Culturability (Culture and usability) is therefore an acceptable phenomenon and most commonly a requirement while designing user interfaces (Barber and Badre 2001).

Social networking sites have gained huge popularity over the past few decades. They have evolved the modes of communication extensively. In fact, they have contributed to globalization by making communication stronger and effective.

It has been broadly understood that Facebook has been successful in introducing a unique social and a conversational experience. About 900 million users on monthly basis, 526 million users on daily basis, generate 3.2 billion comments and likes in the first quarter of the year 2012 (Pratley, N. 2012).

Throughout 2013, social media continued to grow significantly in Saudi Arabia. Millions of Saudi is using social networking not for only for entertainment and friendship, but also for daily socializing routine.

This seminar will be discussing the initial research findings in respected Facebook user interface design for Saudi Arabia.