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Happy 10th birthday, BU Research Blog!

It is exactly ten years since the BU Research Blog was launched at Bournemouth University!

Our first post was on the excellent RNLI slipways research undertaken by Prof Mark Hadfield and Dr Ben Thomas (read the story here). Over the past ten years, 10,263 posts have been added to the Blog, many of which were posted by academic colleagues from across BU. In 2012, the BU Research Blog won a Gold HEIST Award in the Best Internal Communications Campaign category in recognition of its role is strengthening research culture across the University and providing a platform for colleagues to share information.

The analytics data only goes back to April 2016; however, there have been 888,126 page views since then. The most popular page is, unsurprisingly, the home page (with 111,374 views), followed by the research ethics pages (with 50,213 views), and then the REF page (with 16,847 views). The ten most popular posts have been:

  1. Thoughts on writing recommendations for a research thesis (15,957 views)
  2. Referencing Dutch, Flemish & German names in the Harvard system (8,751 views)
  3. Want to gain a Marie Curie Fellowship? Our four times winner shares his experience (6,739 views)
  4. How to write a 4* article (5,101 views)
  5. Training preparation in rural Nepal – BF poster (4,165 views)
  6. Writing a lay summary is easy, right? (3,323 views)
  7. BU Sports Management student succeeds in FC Bayern Munich and Procter & Gamble business case competition (1,778 views)
  8. Public lecture afternoon (1,731 views)
  9. Student Research Assistants – awarded projects (1,638 views)
  10. REF Week – environment statement (1,451 views)

Congratulations to Professor Edwin van Teijlingen who authored 3 of the 10 most popular posts.

Most people reading the Blog are based in the UK; however, people read the Blog from all over the world. The ten countries that access the Blog the most are:

  1. UK
  2. USA
  3. India
  4. Philippines
  5. Australia
  6. Germany
  7. Netherlands
  8. Ireland
  9. France
  10. Canada

The map below shows the locations of the people who have access the Blog since April 2016, demonstrating it has a world-wide readership.


Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Research Blog over the past decade and made it a success. The Blog is owned by everyone at BU. If you would like access to add posts, contact Rhyannan Hurst who will set this up for you.

BU Academic’s Blog Reaches 250,000 Views

KIPWORLD, the personal weblog of Bournemouth University academic, Kip Jones, reached a milestone this week, measuring 250,000 page views in the all-time history of the blog. 

Begun in 2009, the blog averages about one article a month of around 1,000 words in length. These are definitely not the perhaps more typical ‘off-the-cuff’ or ‘stream of consciousness’ blogs, however. Jones pores over and reworks these pieces, sometimes for days, even weeks.  He says that he tends to painstakingly write and rewrite anyway, so putting something out frequently was never going to work for him. One great things about on-line publishing is that you can continue to edit once an article is published, however.

Jones also writes for other blogs from time to time (LSE Impact blog, LSE Review of Books, Discover Society, Sociological Imagination, Creative Quarter, The Creativity Post, Bournemouth University Research Blog) as well.

As Jones reported earlier, 

KIPWORLD is my personal blog where I write about projects that I am working on, but I also use it to develop my writing. A good example is a piece entitled, “How Breakthroughs Come: Tenacity and Perseverance”. First written for the blog, it was then reworked to  include some reader responses to the earlier version. Through a Twitter connection, it was then published for a third time on the Social Research Hub, a site particularly aimed at PhD students in the Social Sciences.

Interestingly, the vast majority of the traffic to the site comes from Facebook where Jones moderates several special interest groups.The audience for KIPWORLD is predominantly in the USA, but the blog is viewed widely throughout the world.

The all-time top article on KIPWORLD is A summer holiday, three books and a story  has received 17,499 views so far. The format is an exercise in creative autofiction, book review and a short story. This contribution to the site was written on holiday and is very much a personal reflection. A similar formula of tripartite creative writing developed by Jones recently made it to the pages of the academic journal, Qualitative Research Journal.   (Interestingly, this ‘blog style’ article in an academic journal has been downloaded 30 times since publication in January 2017).

What might be called “How to” articles (such as What is a Systematic Review? or A Brief Outline for Organising/Writing the PhD Thesis) are also extremely popular.

Jones’ advice on blog writing to others:

Find your own voice, even your own subject material. Use your blog to develop your writing and your personal style. Don’t just assume that it has to look and sound like a blog to be one. Include at least one picture with every blog article. Let people know about the blog through social media—don’t expect an audience to just find it on its own. Promote it.

If the most important thing in your life IS to write about your cat, write about it as creatively as you possibly can. Enjoy the experience!

From time to time, Jones holds an hour-long taster session, “Academic Blog Writing”. If you are interested in joining an upcoming session, please email






How to make the blog look colourful

question-markQuick tip if you’re adding posts to the research blog: when adding an image within your post, remember to also click on ‘set featured image’ (bottom right-hand menu below ‘tags’) and select the image again.  This will show the image on the home page of the blog for your post summary (which may entice more people in to read it).

Over 5,000 posts added to the BU Research Blog!

5000A milestone has been achieved – over 5,000 blog posts have gone live on the BU Research Blog since it was launched in March 2011. To celebrate this, here are some interesting and impressive stats about the blog:

The homepage has received 56,422 unique visits to date – that’s c. 1,000 unique views per month.

The most popular page, other than the homepage, is the research ethics page which has received almost 14,000 visits so far.

Top ten most popular posts to date are (excluding funding/conference opportunities):

1. Thoughts on writing recommendations for a research thesis – 14,469 views. Authored by Edwin van Teijlingen.

2. Want a Marie Curie Fellowship? Our four times winner shares his experience – 13,898 views. Authored by Rudy Gozlan.

3. Referencing Dutch, Flemish and German names in the Harvard system – 11,940 views. Authored by Edwin van Teijlingen.

4. Journal citation reports 2013 now available – 8,021 views. Authored by Emma Crowley.

5. Writing a lay summary is easy, right? – 7,708 views. Authored by Julie Northam.

6. Welcome to our first Grants Academy members – 3,768 views. Authored by Caroline O’Kane.

7. Sneaky and dishonest?: Covert research a much maligned, forgotten jewel in the crown – 1,348 views. Authored by Jonathan Parker.

8. Journal impact factors explained – 1,304 views. Authored by Anita Somner.

9. The help and advice was invaluable – 1,274 views. Authored by Corrina Lailla Osborne.

10. Launch of the BU open access publication fund – 1,055 views. Authored by Julie Northam.

cupcake53% of sessions are started when someone find the Blog via Google and 15% are started via the Daily Digest email.

60% of visitors are from the UK, 7% from the US and 3% from India.

Thank you to all our contributors and readers for making the BU Research Blog a huge success!

Corrina and Jim

76,659 unique visitors in one year! A review of the readership of the BU Research Blog

We regularly monitor engagement with our award-winning BU Research Blog using the fabulous Google Analytics tool. Over the past year engagement has been incredible. The stats below are based on the period 11 September 2014 to 10 September 2015 (1 year).

On average during this period the blog received 76,659  unique visitors, each spending approximately 1.5 minutes on the site. The blog is generally much busier on weekdays attracting between 250 and 1,000 unique visitors each day. In total there have been almost 175,000 page views.

The majority of our visitors came, unsurprisingly, from the UK (64%) and over the past year we have received visits from people based in 192 different countries. After the UK, the next ten countries from which visitors most frequented the blog were:

  1. United States
  2. Philippines
  3. Germany
  4. India
  5. France
  6. Spain
  7. Australia
  8. Netherlands
  9. Canada
  10. Italy

Also unsurprisingly the majority of visitors came from Bournemouth and Poole (30.8%) indicating that the blog is alive and well among BU colleagues. The next ten UK cities from which visitors most frequented the blog were:

  1. London
  2. Southampton
  3. Birmingham
  4. Edinburgh
  5. Manchester
  6. Bristol
  7. Leeds
  8. Oxford
  9. Cambridge
  10. Sheffield

This map shows the locations of all the cities from where the blog has been accessed in the past year:

blog city map 14-15


Approximately 60% of visitors find us via internet search engines. The top search terms that led readers to our blog over the past year are:

  • sky
  • poverty
  • sport
  • good luck
  • research blog
  • bu research blog
  • environment
  • help
  • ref 2020
  • usa
  • transport
  • bournemouth university research blog
  • erasmus mundus fusion mobility
  • professor matt bentley

33% of visitors are direct traffic, i.e. via the web address, the BU Staff Intranet, or the Daily Digest email. This is excellent as it shows that you lovely people who work at Bournemouth University are using the blog – hooray!

Over the year 35% (25%) of visits to the blog were made by returning visitors and 65% (75%) were made by new visitors (last year’s figures shown in brackets).

Of those who access the blog direct (i.e. mainly BU staff) the 10 most accessed pages last year were:

This is all excellent news. We’re always open to receiving feedback about the blog – please email us at any time with any comments, suggestions, etc, or add a comment to this blog post.

If you would like access to add your own stories and posts to the blog then email Rhyannan Hurst (rhurst@bournemouth.ac.uk) and she’ll get you started!


EPSRC launches a science and engineering blog

A new science and engineering blog will provide debate and opinion pieces from leading thinkers on research, innovation and science funding policy.

The blog, launched by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will seek contributions from scientists and engineers as well as EPSRC staff.

Announcing the launch, Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of EPSRC says; ‘We want the EPSRC blog to host debate, share thinking and provide different perspectives on topics affecting the engineering and physical sciences community.  It is vital that as a community we remain engaged on developments and issues. I hope the EPSRC blog will prove an additional and very useful tool in doing just that.’

Within the first blog post Professor Nelson sets out EPSRC’s strategic plan and outlines discussions around how research is best supported, the university eco-system and opportunities to support innovation.

Dr Nick Hawes, from the University of Birmingham, argues why scientists working in robotics and artificial intelligence need to engage with the public. His blog post sets out tips for public engagement, gives examples of robot demonstrations and tweeting robots, with data to demonstrate the worldwide online impact.

Examination of the Newborn (EXON) Pilot Project for under-graduate student midwives: an update.

In November last year I published a blog on the first pilot project I undertook with five under-graduate pre-registration midwifery students which was designed to enable them to qualify with the skills and competencies around examination of the newborn (EXON). The students were required to access and study the module with post-graduate midwives. Four of the students successfully completed the course in September 2014 with one student leaving early on in the project due to unforeseen family circumstances. The journey to completion was not smooth. The first hurdle was a clash of assessments. The EXON assessment (a presentation) fell in the same week as Complex Care (CC), a third year unit assessment where students are required to undergo a VIVA and manage two obstetric emergencies. It is a stressful experience and therefore three of the students requested an extension to their EXON presentation with only one choosing to present with her post-registration colleagues. As the EXON assessment took place on the Monday of that particular week and Complex Care assessments were running over three days, the student managed to negotiate to undertake her CC assessment on the Friday. The three students were re-scheduled to present later in the year with a number of other midwives who were on extensions or resits.  One of the advantages of choosing to present in January 2014 was that the student was able to choose a topic that she could use both for her learning around EXON and for her extended essay which was due to be completed somewhat later in the academic year. The student was successful in both endeavours as were all the others but at a later date.

Another hurdle students found themselves confronted with, was a lack of opportunity to undertake newborn examinations including a shortage of midwifery mentors who could support the training requirements of the project. Two of the students could not get any of the examinations done in their own trusts. Fortunately for them, the maternity unit and midwifery staff at Poole NHS Trust Hospital were extremely obliging and supported the students to work there which enabled them to complete the practical newborn checks. All four of the students have successfully qualified as midwives and have obtained midwifery posts in the local area. They remain committed EXON and have volunteered to be EXON ‘champions’ within their respective trusts. I am grateful to Jeanette Elliot, Luzie Schroter, Jenna Penhale and Bex Coleman-Moss for their hard work and dedication during the pilot and for their feedback and advice for the next intake.

Demand for places for the second pilot project remained high when the call was put out a short while ago. Unfortunately due to some of the barriers described above it was only feasible to recruit five students again and all of them based in the west. The students have commenced their studies and are enjoying the learning so far. The pilot projects are helping to inform what impact these barriers will have on the training needs for midwifery students within our local maternity units as this year we are introducing EXON theory to all midwifery students on our newly validated curriculum with the caveat that students will obtain the necessary theoretical knowledge but not all with qualify with the required skills. However by ‘fast-tracking’ students onto one of our twice yearly CPD EXON modules which has around 20+ midwives enrolled, by the time the students reach their third year there should be many more midwives qualified in EXON and in place to support our under-graduate students to gain the competencies around newborn examination.  If you require any further information please contact Luisa Cescutti-Butler on lcbutler@bournemouth.ac.uk    


98,735 unique visitors in one year! A review of the readership of the BU Research Blog

We regularly monitor engagement with our award-winning BU Research Blog using the fabulous Google Analytics tool. Over the past year engagement has been incredible. The stats below are based on the period 6 November 2013 to 5 November 2014 (1 year).

On average during this period the blog received 98,735  unique visitors, each spending approximately 3 minutes on the site. The blog is generally much busier on weekdays attracting between 250 and 1,200 unique visitors each day. In total there have been almost 200,000 page views.

The majority of our visitors came, unsurprisingly, from Bournemouth and Poole (23%), indicating that the blog is alive and well among BU colleagues. The next ten UK cities from which visitors most frequented the blog were:

  1. London
  2. Southampton
  3. Manchester
  4. Birmingham
  5. Edinburgh
  6. Sheffield
  7. Exeter
  8. Bristol
  9. Cambridge
  10. Bath

This map shows the locations of all the cities from where the blog has been accessed in the past year:


46% of all visitors are from outside of the UK and over the past year we have received visits from people based in 197 different countries. The top ten countries from which visitors most frequented the blog were:

  1. USA
  2. Philippines
  3. Spain
  4. India
  5. France
  6. Germany
  7. Canada
  8. Australia
  9. Italy
  10. Netherlands

Approximately 61% of visitors find us via internet search engines. The top search terms that led readers to our blog over the past year are:

  • sky
  • poverty
  • environment
  • Africa
  • USA
  • transport
  • Santander
  • help
  • good luck
  • jcr 2013 / journal citation reports 2013
  • BU Research Blog
  • welcome
  • sport
  • world poverty
  • tourism
  • Brazil
  • human resources
  • recommendation thesis
  • health and wellbeing
  • lay summary

29% of visitors are direct traffic, i.e. via the web address, the BU Staff Intranet, or the Daily Digest email. This is excellent as it shows that you lovely people who work at Bournemouth University are using the blog – hooray!

9% of visitors are referred to our blog by external sites. Our top referring sites are:

Over the year 25% of visits to the blog were made by returning visitors and 75% were made by new visitors.

Of those who access the blog direct (i.e. mainly BU staff) the 10 most accessed pages last year were:

This is all excellent news 🙂 We’re always open to receiving feedback about the blog – please email us at any time with any comments, suggestions, etc, or add a comment to this blog post.

If you would like access to add your own stories and posts to the blog then email Rhyannan Hurst (rhurst@bournemouth.ac.uk) and she’ll get you started!

Promote your research internally by contributing to the BU Research Blog

Blogging is an excellent way to share your research, reach new audiences and join new networks (see my previous blog post ‘The benefits of academic blogging – should you enter the blogosphere?‘). You can add your own posts to the BU Research Blog to promote your research internally and as the BU Research Blog is available externally then you get the added benefit of reaching external audiences too. Here are some top tips for contributing to the Blog:

1. Figure out what it is you want to blog about

You may be a researcher wanting to share your research findings, or you may want to raise your profile or find new collaborators. Maybe you’ve read something really exciting about HE policy or research in your discipline and want to share it? It may be that you may want to comment on one of the topical research discussions going on in the sector (such as open access). Whatever your reason for wanting to blog, think about who you want to reach with your writing – be it potential collaborators, potential employers, or people on the street.

2. Get access

If you don’t already have access to contribute to the Blog then contact Rhyannan Hurst in RKEO and she will set you up with an account.

3. Write good headlines

If you want people to read what you’ve written, you’ll have to make them want to. Don’t fall into the trap of typing up any old headline and hitting publish after spending ages polishing the blog post itself. Always ask yourself if you’d click on a link based solely on the headline (and be honest). If you wouldn’t, change it.

Descriptive headlines that tell a reader exactly what to expect often work well. You should think about getting key words in there, but don’t fret too much about search engine optimisation. It’s more important to make actual humans want to read your work.

Google Analytics shows us that the most popular posts on the BU Research Blog are those with interesting and sometimes bizarre headlines!

4. Use the internet properly

Remember to add links to sources, news articles and other people’s blog posts in your own. Use images or video when they are a better way to communicate than words.

And, thanks to the unlimited space online, you don’t have a word count. But as well as giving you the space to go in-depth when you want to, it means you can write short if the subject doesn’t need a dissertation-length exploration. Don’t write an essay just because you can.

5. Promote your blog post

After publishing your blog post then you should shout about it, ideally using social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Don’t be afraid to send the post directly to certain people who you think will be interested in it.

These have been adapted from Kelly Oakes, Science Editor of BuzzfeedUK’s blog post on ‘How to Start a Science Blog‘.

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



  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.


Password? Not another one!

The increasing volume of academic activity on the internet coupled with a growing obsession about privacy and data protection means for many academics a rapidly expanding number of online accounts and associated passwords. This is, of course, over and above our regular dose of accounts and passwords as citizens of the virtual world. The average adult in the UK must have at least 25 internet accounts, for the bank/building society, supermarkets, phone companies, social media, airlines, trains, insurance companies, eBay, the website of the parents’ council of your children’s school, your electricity provider, the council tax, etc.

I feel as an academic, the burden is even worse. Every single time another scientific journal invites me to review a paper it opens an on-line account for me. Every time I apply for a grant from a funding body to which I have not previously applied, I am required to set up an account with a new password. When you apply for 20-odd grants every year and review manuscripts for a similar number of different journals the number of accounts and passwords add up rapidly. Then there are the other accounts and passwords related to work for sites such as this BU Research Blog, BRIAN, Survey Monkey, for the university for whom you act as external examiner, for Drop Box, the British Library, ORCIC, ACADEMIA.EDU, ResearchGate, Researchfish, Linkedin, and the list goes on.

These last few months I was reminded how non user friendly some systems are. First, I received new secure email account for my part on a REF sub-panel. The account name chosen for me is different from what I would have chosen and what I am used to at Bournemouth University. The importance of confidentiality for the REF work is clear so my password has to be different from anything I use elsewhere. Secondly, a few weeks later I attempted to put my name done for the tri-annual conference of the International Congress of Midwifery in Prague next year. It turns out you cannot join the conference without opening an on-line account first. The account name was automatically chosen for me and so was the password. Unfortunately, both are impossible to remember, neither the account name nor the password (which was case sensitive) were ones I would have selected personally.

There is some hope as some journals allow you to choose your own account name and password. Elsevier has brought most of its journals into one account, with your own email as the account name and all with the same password. Similarly a group of English-language journals in Nepal called Nepal Journals OnLine (NepJOL) use one account name for all participating journals. For the rest of my account names and passwords I can only follow the advice given by Stephen Fry on an episode of QI: “Write it down somewhere on a piece of paper”. The underlying idea is that the people who try to steal your internet account details sit in a bedsit in London or Hong Kong and won’t come to your office or living room to steal a piece of paper with computer addresses. The people who try to break into your house or office are looking for objects with a street value, such as your TV, phone or laptop, they are generally not interested in a piece of paper with some scribbles on it.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health

Fresher’s, midwifery students and photographs!

Fresher’s week for midwifery students started with a hard copy photograph. The image had to depict themselves and what midwifery meant to them.  This was used as an ice-breaker for the very first session and students had five minutes to share their photo with the person next to them, before that person fed back to the group the student’s name, and how the photo depicted their commitment to midwifery.  The students were wonderfully creative and inventive. Many had accessed the 6 C’s and based their image around the values of care, compassion,  commitment and communication, all important attributes that midwives bring to the profession. Some photographs depicted the students with midwifery related objects such as stethoscopes, pinards, and fob watches, whilst others were shown working with children/adults and one even washing an elephant on an international placement! All shared a common theme, enabling and facilitating others.  

As an ice-breaker it worked particularly well as the room hummed with animated conversation, but there was a secondary purpose to the activity. It was also a  ‘dummy’ run to see if it would work as an interview activity for the forthcoming 2013-2014 selection days for under-graduate pre-registration midwifery students. The interview process to select new students consists of a number of activities, one of which was a team activity. In previous years students were asked to participate in fictionalized scenarios, which consisted of survival on a lifeboat with limited provisions, being stranded in a forest in the snow after a plane crash and latterly a ‘real life dilemma’ based around prioritizing staff requests for holidays in August or having Xmas and New Year off.  Students had to work as a team and after a twenty minute discussion agree on priorities relating to the particular scenario. These activities enabled the interviewers to see which prospective students were team players, which students actively contributed and whether anybody in particular dominated proceedings. During the 1:1 interview which followed, students were asked about how they felt they had contributed. It was interesting to compare interviewer gradings with the student’s own insight into their participation.

This year the current admissions tutors were keen to try something new – hence the photograph activity.  Prospective candidates will be asked to bring along a photograph to their interview and will have been directed to draw links to one of the identified 6 C’s and to articulate it during their presentation. Each candidate will be partnered with one other during the activity and then asked to feedback each others’ thoughts to the whole group. Interviewers will score the candidates on the following: Communication (verbal & non verbal), how the particular ‘C ‘ was verbalized, creativity of the photograph, listening skills and how the role of the midwife is identified. Ultimately as the activity will be time restricted it is hoped that the candidates will be able, through their photographs to summarize, with reference to the 6 C’s, the values and attributes of a midwife. 

If anybody is interested to know more about the process, please contact Midwifery Admission tutors on the West campus: Susan Mant on smant@bournemouth.ac.uk, and Sarah Emberley on semberley@bournemouth.ac.uk and on the East Campus: Jan Stosiek on jstosiek@bournemouth.ac.uk and Jane Fry on jfry@bournemouth.ac.uk. 



FIF Staff Mobility and Networking award helping me fly

Early in January I received the good news that my application to the Fusion Investment Fund SMN strand was successful. What a great way to start the New Year!

The main aim of my FIF SMN project is to consolidate newly developed partnerships with European and non-European researchers and stakeholders. Planned activities include visits to colleagues who were involved in the development of the research proposal “Living with Extreme Events at the Coast” (LEEC), submitted to the EU FP7 call on Environment (Challenge 6.4 Protecting citizens from environmental hazards). LEEC successfully passed stage 1 and we are now waiting for the outcome of stage 2, so keep your fingers crossed.

As my FIF SMN proposal builds from LEEC, I decided to call it “Living with Extreme Events at the Coast Grant Development” (LEEC GraDe). Not very creative, but it reflects well the main objective, which is to explore opportunities for collaborative research in topics related to LEEC. LEEC aims to better understand how extreme storms and climate change in coastal areas will affect flood risk and impact on society, infrastructure, economic activities and the natural environment throughout the 21th century.

Besides, the development of collaborative research proposals, I will also be exploring opportunities for enhancing students’ experience, e.g. through work placements. By the time I submitted the FIF SMN proposal, I had just taken the role of ApSci’s Academic Lead for Placements. In this role, one of my objectives is to increase the offer of research-based placements to our students. So I thought my networking visits would be a great opportunity to discuss with colleagues from organisations in Europe and abroad whether they are interested in offering to our students a research-based working experience. Many researchers systematically plan their fieldwork campaigns or dedicate larger proportion of their time to research in the summer, so a work placement can be mutually beneficial.

I so much believe in the benefits of this arrangement that I am offering two placements this summer to undergrad ApSci students. If you are interested in doing the same, please contact me.

LEEC partners are from 13 organisations spread across eight countries (Estonia, Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark, UK, Mexico and Vietnam). The FIF SMN award will allow me to visit some of these organisations and engage in other networking opportunities. I will be very busy networking throughout 2013! Hopefully the effort will result in the submission of more collaborative research proposals and a number of arrangements made to enrich students’ experiences through placements or exchanges.

The first of my planned activities was to attend the 12th International Coastal Symposium (ICS) in Plymouth (http://ics2013.org/) earlier this month. This is the largest international conference focused on coastal research with over 500 participants, so a great venue to disseminate research results, to keep updated with research progress worldwide and to network! I was invited to be the convener of the Coastal Evolution and Geomorphology session, so worked very hard evaluating abstracts and full papers before the conference! I also presented a paper on the Coastal Management session, entitled “Is managed realignment a sustainable long-term coastal management approach?” You can find a copy of the paper on BRIAN.

ICS offered the opportunity to meet many ‘old’ friends and make new contacts worldwide, including from countries I had none before, such as Trinidad & Tobago and South Africa. I have already exchanged email with a few of the new (and old) contacts and there are very exciting prospects for future collaboration. I have discussed the preparation of a joint paper with a colleague from the University of Rostock (Germany), explored ways to collaborate with practitioners from a government agency in Trinidad & Tobago and I am already working on a proposal with colleagues from South Africa. The most immediate result from networking during ICS was the invitation to visit five different organisations in Mexico, which is planned to happen in June.

Networking is also about maximising the opportunities and I will be doing exactly that next month in Brazil. I was invited to give a keynote talk in the National Symposium of Coastal Vulnerability. As the hosts are taking me to Brazil, I will extend my stay and visit two universities using SMN funds. The plan is to start building a joint research proposal to submit to the Science without borders programme (funding source from Brazil) with the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco and discuss exchange of postgraduate students and other opportunities with the Universidade do Vale do Itai.

Please watch this space for upcoming news!

Luciana Slomp Esteves (Lecturer in Physical Geography, ApSci)

BUCRU – Seminar presenting Breaking News!



We would like to invite you to an afternoon seminar by one of our Visiting Faculty, Professor Mike Wee, presenting some exciting new research findings to come out of a recently completed Research for Patient Benefit funded study comparing two methods of pain relief during labour (abstract and biography below).  This paper was just voted best paper of the conference at the Obstetric Anaesthetists Association Annual Conference in Liverpool and was featured recently in the Bournemouth Echo http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/9770928.Pain_relief_in_labour__study_at_Poole_hospital_makes_important_discovery/

The seminar is scheduled for Thursday 19th July 2-3pm in BG10 Bournemouth House (after the HSC end of term lunch and next door for your convenience).

We hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you then.


Website: http://microsites.bournemouth.ac.uk/bucru/

Administrator: +44 (0)1202 961939 / wardl@bournemouth.ac.uk

Title: The IDvIP Trial: A two-centre double blind randomised controlled trial comparing i.m. diamorphine and i.m. pethidine for labour analgesia

Research team and affiliations: MYK Wee, JP Tuckey,* P Thomas,† S Burnard,* D Jackson.

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Poole, UK, *Royal United Hospital, Bath, UK, Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit, Bournemouth, UK.


Background: Intramuscular pethidine, the commonest parenteral opioid analgesic used in obstetrics and more recently diamorphine usage has increased in the UK.  The maternal, fetal and neonatal side effects are well known for pethidine but there are no sufficiently powered large RCTs comparing pethidine with diamorphine. The aim of this trial is to address this.

Methods: After ethical approval, informed consent was obtained from 484 women randomised to receive either 7.5mg diamorphine i.m. or 150mg pethidine i.m. for labour analgesia. The sample size calculation derived from a small RCT giving 90% power (at the 5% significance level) is based upon the maternal primary outcome measure of pain relief at 60mins and the neonatal primary outcome measures of Apgar Score of <7 at 1min and neonatal resuscitation. Secondary outcome measures include verbal pain intensity at 60mins and over 3hrs post-analgesia, pain relief over first 3hrs, maternal oxygen saturation, sedation, nausea and vomiting and maternal satisfaction with analgesia. Fetal and neonatal secondary outcomes include CTG trace, meconium staining, UApH, UVpH, time of delivery to first breath, Apgar Score at 5mins, naloxone use, neonatal oxygen saturations, sedation and feeding behaviour for the first 2hrs after delivery.

Results: Reported using CONSORT guidelines. At 60mins post-administration and over a 3hr period, diamorphine is better at reducing pain scores than pethidine (p<0.001). There were no statistical differences between the two groups regarding Apgar Scores of <7 at 1min and the need for neonatal resuscitation.  The time between first dose administered and delivery is on average 82mins longer with the diamorphine group compared to pethidine (p<0.001). The vast majority of women experienced moderate to severe pain at all times. Women receiving diamorphine were more satisfied with their analgesia. There were no statistically significant differences in maternal sedation, nausea and vomiting or oxygen saturations over the 3hr period. There were no statistically significant differences in the fetal and neonatal outcomes including feeding behaviour between the two groups within 2hrs of birth but neonates in the pethidine group were more likely to be moderately or severely sedated at delivery.

Discussion: Intramuscular 7.5mg diamorphine gives significantly better analgesia than 150mg pethidine but prolongs delivery by approx. 82mins.  Women given diamorphine are more likely to be satisfied with their analgesia.  The mechanism for the prolongation of delivery time in the diamorphine group should be investigated further.

Acknowledgement: This research was funded by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme (PB-PG-0407-13170).


1. Tuckey JP, Prout RE, Wee MYK. Prescribing intramuscular opioids for labour analgesia in consultant-led maternity units: a survey of UK practice. International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia 2008, 17(1):3-8.

2. Fairlie FM, Marshall L, Walker JJ et al. Intramuscular opioids for maternal pain relief for labour: a randomised controlled trial comparing pethidine with diamorphine. British  Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 1999; 106(11): 1181 -1187.

Biography of speaker:

Michael Wee is a consultant anaesthetist from Poole Hospital and Royal Bournemouth Hospitals.  He has a special interest in obstetric anaesthesia and is the lead obstetric anaesthetist at Poole Hospital.  He is chair of the Research and Innovations Group at Poole Hospital and is a Board member of the Western Comprehensive Local Research Network.  He was awarded a visiting professorship at Bournemouth University in 2009.  He is a referee for several medical journals.  His research interests include patient information, safety in anaesthesia, maternal analgesia and simulation in epidural anaesthesia.  He is a co-supervisor of a PhD student at BU and chief investigator of the MObs study investigating early warning scores in obstetrics.

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