Tagged / BU research

SURE 2022 takes place on campus: Sustainability links also highlighted

The 2022 version of SURE was held on campus in Fusion on March 16th and was the first face to face gathering since the pandemic.  More than 30 undergraduate students from all faculties did oral  presentations or academic posters.  Students were supported by the SURE planning committee with representatives from each faculty as well as other academics acting as chairs and assessors in parallel streams.  BU’s Doctoral College was also involved, supporting PG programmes and also Natalie Stewart as adjudicator.  Overall the event is supported by BU’s Event team as well as Rae Bell with communications.   Mini-keynote addresses were also given by new FHSS Executive Dean Professor Anand Pandyan and BUBS Sustainability researcher and academic Maria Musarskaya.  The gathering was also opened by Vice Chancellor John Vinney who also awarded the prizes to the students at the end.

Overall Prize Winners include:

Thomas Marshall (BUBS) £20 voucher – The Effect of Technology on Flexible Working Arrangements

Nathan Jacques Le Blancq (FHSS) £20 voucher – Queer Care – The identification of queer change effort victims in the pre-hospital setting

Looked at ‘gender conversion therapy’, covering the legal standing and the implications for health, physical and mental, and treatment received in the NHS as well as suggesting clear, practical opportunities to improve.

Androula Theocharous (FMC) – BCUR participation at Uni of Leeds – Creation of cultural and historical accurate character designs

Saga Oskarson KIndstrand (FMC) – Masters Fee Waiver award – Community and civic engagement in the Swedish ‘Folkhem’

This year’s edition of SURE was also aligned with a sustainability theme.  Although not a requirement of students to address it in their work, the programme was taken in by BU’s Sustainability team in Lois Betts and Eleanor Wills to review work that helps to highlight the UNSDG’s.

BU’s Sustainability Manager Lois Betts commented that. “Student research can contribute to solving world problems across the full breadth of Sustainability issues and we used the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to assess where students work has links across environmental, economic and social issues”.

The sustainability team recognised a student from each of the 4 faculties (BUBS, SciTech, HSS and FMC).  Issues ranged from understanding the impact of technology on flexible working from Thomas Marshall (BUBS) in the management school to Kira Doak’s (FMC) work on representations of feminism in Bridgerton which raised issues of race, class and gender in modern media from the faculty of media. BU’s sustainability team were impressed with Elaina Thomas’ (FST) science and technology work on magnetic bacteria in migratory species and the implications of human activity and finally from faculty of health and social science Nathan Jacques Le Blancq’s (HSS) work entitled ‘Queer Care – The identification of queer change effort victims in the pre-hospital setting’ covered a wide range of SDGs including 3 good health and wellbeing, 4 quality education, 5 gender equality, 10 reduced inequalities and 16 peace, justice and strong institutions. “Being able to identify the implications of your research on global problems and articulate them through presentations will help student research to contribute to addressing world problems. Well done to everyone involved!” Lois Betts, Sustainability Manager BU.

Below capture the assessment of the UNSDG alignment with the work that the student’s covered relating to sustainability:


Thomas Marshall – The Effect of Technology on Flexible Working Arrangements

Showed the gender dynamics of flexible working and impacts on wellbeing and responsibility of the employer to create fulfilling and fair employment  –

Scored highly in SDG3 Good health and wellbeing, 5 Gender equality and 8 decent work and economic growth.



Kira Doak – Representations of intersectional feminisms in Bridgerton

Looked into gender, race and class in modern media and the impact of cultural conversation that creates.

SDGs linked 5 gender equality, 10 reduced inequalities and 4 quality education.



(Jasmine) Elaina Thomas – Phylogenetic Associations and Proteins Integral to magnetotaxis of Host Associated Magnetotactic

Suggesting that migratory animals like birds and turtles rely on magnetic bacteria which can be influenced by human activity.

SDGs 15 life on land, 14 life below water and 9 industry, infrastructure and innovation.



Nathan Jacques Le Blancq – Queer Care – The identification of queer change effort victims in the pre-hospital setting

Looked at ‘gender conversion therapy’, covering the legal standing and the implications for health, physical and mental, and treatment received in the NHS as well as suggesting clear, practical opportunities to improve.

Covered SDGS 3 good health and wellbeing, 4 quality education, 5 gender equality, 10 reduced inequalities and 16 peace, justice and strong institutions.



Social Work Research cited in national newspaper

Congratulations to Dr. Orlanda Harvey who was cited last week in The Daily Telegraph in an article with the underlying question whether Vladimir Putin is experiencing so-called “roid rage” from steroid treatment.  This theory has been suggested by by Western intelligence services.  Orlanda’s PhD study at Bournemouth University focused on men using anabolic androgenic steroids for non-medical use.  She published several academic papers on the topic [1-3].


  1. Harvey, O., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E, Trenoweth, S. (2021) Libido as a reason to use non-prescribed Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy (online first). https://doi.org/10.1080/09687637.2021.1882940
  2. Harvey, O., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E.Trenoweth, S. (2020) Support for non-prescribed Anabolic Androgenic Steroids users: A qualitative exploration of their needs Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy 27:5, 377-386. doi 10.1080/09687637.2019.1705763
  3. Harvey, O., Keen, S., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E. (2019) Support for people who use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: A Systematic Literature Review into what they want and what they access. BMC Public Health 19: 1024 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7288-x https://rdcu.be/bMFon

Join us for an NIHR Information Session – 27 April 2022




Bournemouth University and the NIHR Research Design Service South West are jointly hosting an online NIHR Information Session, on Weds 27 April at 10am.

This NIHR Information Session will provide an overview of the NIHR as a funder, the NIHR funding programmes with specific focus on Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB), Health and Social Care Delivery Research (HSDR), Invention for Innovation (i4i), and NIHR Fellowship opportunities.

This session will online, via Zoom. Please register via Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/300827682697

A link to join the meeting will be sent to you after registration.

This session is part of the Bournemouth University Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Framework.


BU’s new Read and Publish deal with Cambridge University Press

We have a new Read and Publish deal with Cambridge. By entering the location and institution you will see the publishing agreement as below and also have links to eligible journals.

To be eligible, articles must:

Institutional Learning from Funder Feedback: Research Methods

An insight from Associate Professor – Dr. Ian Jones.

One of the great benefits of acting as a reviewer – whether of funding applications or research papers – is being able to learn what is happening at the ‘cutting edge’ of a field, not only in terms of subject knowledge, but also in terms of methodology. Here, we can learn from both good, and not so good practice. Having recently reviewed a number of applications for the funding scheme associated with my own professional body, It was clear that such a task has clearly had a significant impact upon my own understanding of what makes ‘good’ research, and what makes a ‘good’ application for funding.

Perhaps the key term from the latest round of reviews – to me at least – was that of ‘coherence’, and coherence between various different elements of a proposed methodology. Often within applications there is an understandable focus upon ‘methods’ rather than ‘methodology’. To me, this means a missed opportunity to generate such coherence – and subsequently a missed opportunity to justify the key methodological decisions. As one example we can look at the importance of the ontological and epistemological basis of the work (perhaps more relevant within the social, rather than the natural sciences) which is often overlooked, or only briefly addressed. Often, even a relatively brief acknowledgement of these ideas can help to justify choices in terms of methods, sampling and data analysis. This can be taken further with reference to another – often overlooked – detail, that of the research design. Often, whilst research designs are outlined, their role as a ‘link’ between the epistemology of the study and the data collection and analysis methods is often omitted, where again, it can lead to a real sense of coherence within the methodology. The best bids had not only detail about the broader methodology, but also a real coherence between each element, with a consistent story being told, from the philosophical assumptions of the study, which guided the research design, where each method had a clear link both to the broader epistemological issues, and also the subsequent analysis and interpretation of the data.

Finally, and crucially from a reviewer’s perspective, the idea of coherence between researcher, subject and methodology is essential, often being the first question, a reviewer will be required to address. The research itself is not independent of the researcher, and does the study show coherence in terms of not only researcher-subject coherence (does the researcher have an established record in the area) but also researcher-methodology coherence (what evidence is there that the researcher could undertake this methodology successfully), again focusing not just on methods, but the broader methodology as a whole (for example is there coherence between the choice of research design, and the researcher’s own experiences and attributes (often key, for example, in ethnographic designs).

None of these points are ground breakingly original, but it is interesting to see that there is still great variation in how methodologies are constructed. And assessing such methodologies has proved to be of immense value when think about my own work.

Speaking to a journalist

In late 2021 I was contacted by an Indonesian science journalist, Dyna Rochmyaningsih, who was investigating the ethics around international studies on human population genetics to build expand genomic libraries of people in the Global South.  She highlights that “these international studies, often led by Western scientists, have contributed to a more global understanding of ancient patterns of human migration and evolution. But on some occasions, they’ve also sidestepped local regulatory agencies in the developing world, and ventured into murky research ethics terrain as a result”.   The reason for contacting me was because we had published several papers here at Bournemouth University about the need for applying for ethical approval for research in developing countries [1-3].  I had a long Skype conversation with her about the various perspectives on the matter she was investigating.

Today she emailed me that her piece ‘Opinion: Genomics’ Ethical Gray Areas Are Harming the Developing World. A recent controversy in the Philippines illustrates the pitfalls and pressure points of international genomics research‘ has been published online.  In the email she made a really nice comment: “It was nice talking to you even though you might see that I disagree at some of your points. However, the discussion gave me insights that there is a wide disagreement on what considers ethical research.”  I think that is what science should be all about, disagreements, discussions, disputes, etc. and, at the same time, learning from these disputes and gaining greater insight.


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen




  1. van Teijlingen E.R., Simkhada P.P. (2012)    Ethical approval in developing countries is not optional. Journal of Medical Ethics 38(7):428-30. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2011-100123. Epub 2012 Feb 16.PMID: 22345548 
  2. van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P. (2015). Failure to Apply for Ethical Approval for Health Studies in Low-Income Countries. Nepal Journal of Epidemiology5(3), 511–515. https://doi.org/10.3126/nje.v5i3.13609
  3. Regmi, P. R., Aryal, N., Kurmi, O., Pant, P. R., van Teijlingen, E., & Wasti, S. P. (2017). Informed Consent in Health Research: Challenges and Barriers in Low-and Middle-Income Countries with Specific Reference to NepalDeveloping World Bioethics17(2), 84–89. https://doi.org/10.1111/dewb.12123

Managing Rejection: RDS Support available to ….

…repurpose unsuccessful applications amazing ideas not yet funded.

Huff, so your grant application was unsuccessful! Don’t get too comfortable in the pit of despair and generally feeling demoralised. The imposter syndrome monster eats these thoughts for breakfast!

But in all seriousness, do not to be too hard on yourself. The UK research funding systems is extremely competitive, and the reality is, even great research won’t be funded. So, see this as an opportunity to tweak the research design, get that all important key stakeholders onboard and rethink that postdoc’s training plan… so take 2 (or more).

Rocky meme - YouTube

There is so much to think about when you want to repurpose a previously unsuccessful funding application:

  • What can you do to make the second iteration successful?
  • Where will you apply, to which funder?
  • What sort of scheme will you apply for?
  • How can you increase your chances of being funded?
  • Have things moved on in your field since you applied previously?
  • Has any new research come out that changes the research landscape in your field?
  • Do you need to update the research?
  • Will you apply to the same funder, for example, if the research is a really good fit for the funder and the project is a good fit for the scheme?
  • Will you apply to a different funder?
  • Do you want to take a different approach to applying for funding?
  • Do you want to take some time to develop your funding profile before you apply for a large-scale grant?

The list is endless, but the Research Facilitators are here to help. We offer and organise one to one support to help you get to grips with the process of reshaping an application. Prompting you to answer/think about the above questions. But if you’d prefer a group effort and peer to peer advice and guidance. The Research Facilitators are running quarterly workshop open to all who wish to repurpose an unfunded application or would like to contribute to the support of others. Scheduled dates below:

Date Time Location
Monday 7th March 2022 09:30 – 11:30 Online
Friday 20th May 2022 09:30 – 11:30 Online
Thursday 7th July 2022 09:30 – 11:30 Online

The workshop covers:

  • Where to start – the things you will need to consider;
  • How to approach the unsuccessful application in order to improve it;
  • The fit to funder in terms of eligibility, subject remits and criteria for funding;
  • The types of schemes available;
  • How to pitch your research and structure the main proposal.

To book on please click HERE.

Rejection is the norm

In academic life rejection is the norm, for both journal articles and grant applications, the average academic is more likely to fail than to succeed at any time.  This can also be true, although to a lesser extent, for applications to present at academic conferences.  At the time of writing this blog (12 February 2022), I have 299 published papers listed on the databases SCOPUS.  Of these nearly 300 papers only two papers ever were accepted on first submission as submitted.  Most papers went through one or two rounds revision in the light of comments and critique offered by reviewers, and sometimes also additional feedback from the journal’s editor.

After rejection by the first journal, your paper needs to be rewritten before submitting it to another journal.  Obviously, this process of rewriting and resubmitting takes time as different journals have different styles, lay-outs, sub-headings, audiences, and often peculiar ways of referencing.  I would guess more than half of my papers have been through the review process of at least two journals.  Quite a few of my published papers were accepted by the third or even fourth journal to which we had submitted them.  Persistence is the name of the game.   Some paper fell by the wayside often after second submission, if especially if review process had been time-consuming and the reviewers very critical and demanding too many changes.

Peer review can be very good and constructive but also brutal and destructive.  Blind peer-review is a fair process as it means the quality of the paper is all that counts in getting accepted.  I have had the pleasure of being co-author on papers rejected by journals for which I was: the book review editor at the time (Sociological Research Online), on the journal’s editorial board at the time of submission (e.g. Midwifery, Nepal Journal of Epidemiology), one of journal’s Associate Editors (BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth) and, to top it all, on which I was one of the two editors (Asian Journal of Midwives).   

Grant applications in the UK have a one in eight to one in ten chance of success.  Most of our successful grant applications have been resubmissions, with attempts to improve the application each time in the light of reviewers’ comments.  For example, our successful application to THET (Tropical Health & Education Trust) resulted in the funded project ‘Mental Health Training for Rural Community-based Maternity Care Workers in Nepal‘ [1], led by Bournemouth University (see picture).  This THET project was organised by Tribhuvan University in collaboration with Bournemouth University and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).  However, I was only successful during our second submission.  Our first submission was rejected the year before with feedback that our partner organisation in Nepal was deemed to be too small.  In the resubmission we changed to work with colleagues at Tribhuvan University, the oldest and largest university in Nepal. Apart from some further, but minor changes, this was really the main change between the rejected and the successful application.









The situation for conferences is slightly better, the success rate for an application to present a paper or poster are higher. This is partly because conference organisers realise that most academics are unlikely to get funding from their institution unless they present something.  Conferences are often themed and submitted abstracts are peer-reviewed.  This makes in important to write a clear abstract, focusing in on the conference theme.[1]  In the past I have had the honour of being rejected to present a paper at a BSA Medical Sociology Conference, whist I was on the organising committee.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen



  1. Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Simkhada, BD. (2013) Writing an Abstract for a Scientific Conference, Kathmandu University Medical Journal 11(3): 262-65. http://www.kumj.com.np/issue/43/262-265.pdf




Up and coming Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework events

Every year, the Research & Knowledge Exchange Office, along with internal and external delivery partners, runs over 150 events to support researcher development through the Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework (RKEDF).

Responding to your feedback and by popular request, below are the main events coming up over the next six months – please click on the ‘details and booking information’ link to find out more and reserve your place as soon as possible:

Date Start and End Time Event Title Details and booking information link
28/02/2022 09:30-12:30 Fellowships: Being Strategic Fellowships: Being Strategic – Bournemouth University Intranet.
07/03/2022 9:30-11:30 Unsuccessful Applications Repurposing workshops Repurposing Your Unsuccessful Grant Applications – Bournemouth University Intranet.
24/03/2022 09:30-12:30 Refining your research idea Fellowships: Refining your Research Ideas – Bournemouth University Intranet.
13/04/2022 11:00-13:00 British Academy Mid-career Fellowship and British Academy/Leverhulme Senior Fellowship – (Mid-career Fellowships outline stage will likely open in July 2022; Senior Fellowships in October 2022) British Academy Mid-career Fellowship – Bournemouth University Intranet.
27/04/2022 11:00-13:00 British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (BAPDF) and Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship (LECF) (BAPDF will likely open for outline stage in July 2022; LECF in January 2023) British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship – Bournemouth University Intranet.
05/05/2022 09:30-12:30 Fellowship Interviews Techniques Fellowships: Interviews – Bournemouth University Intranet.
11/05/2022 11:00-13:00 Leverhulme Research Project – Outline – Leverhulme Research Project Outline Stage – Bournemouth University Intranet.
20/05/2022 09:30-11:30 Unsuccessful Applications Repurposing workshops Repurposing Your Unsuccessful Grant Applications – Bournemouth University Intranet.
25/05/2022 11:00-13:00 AHRC Research Development and Engagement fellowships workshop (ECR and Standard) – AHRC Leadership Fellowship – Bournemouth University Intranet.
08/06/2022 11:00-13:00 ESRC New investigator ESRC New investigator – Bournemouth University Intranet.
04/07/2022 09:30-11:30 Unsuccessful Applications Repurposing workshops Repurposing Your Unsuccessful Grant Applications – Bournemouth University Intranet.

Upcoming Research Impact Workshops – book now!

We have five RKEDF Impact-related workshops coming up over the next month; please use the links below to book onto them via OD:

Impact and Funding Applications: 16th February at 15:00 

Influencing Policy – with Professor Mark Reed: 1st March at 13:00

Getting started with research Impact: what is it?: 8th March at 14:00

Inspirational Impact – a lunchtime seminar with Professor Zulfiqar Khan: 24th March at 13:00

Evidencing Impact – with Saskia Gent: 29th March at 9:30

We’d be delighted to see you there!

If you have any questions, please contact the Impact Advisors – Amanda Lazar or Beth Steiner


Hard to reach or hard to engage?

Congratulations to FHSS PhD students Aniebiet Ekong and Nurudeen Adesina on the acceptance of their paper by MIDIRS Midwifery Digest [1]. This methodological paper reflects on their data collection approaches as part of their PhD involving African pregnant women in the UK.

This paper provides a snapshot of some of the challenges encountered during the recruitment of pregnant Black African women living in the UK for their research. Though there are several strategies documented to access/invite/recruit these ‘hard-to-reach population’ these recruitment strategies however were found to be unsuitable to properly engage members of this community. Furthermore, ethical guidelines around informed consent and gatekeeping seem to impede the successful engagement of the members of this community. It is believed that an insight into the experience and perceptions of ethnic minorities researchers will enhance pragmatic strategies that will increase future participation and retention of Black African women across different areas of health and social care research. This paper is co-authored with their BU PhD supervisors: Dr Jaqui-Hewitt Taylor, Dr Juliet Wood, Dr Pramod Regmi and Dr Fotini Tsofliou.

Well done !

Pramod Regmi

  1. Ekong, A., Adesina, N., Regmi, P., Tsofliou, F., Wood, J. and Taylor, J., 2022. Barriers and Facilitators to the recruitment of Black African women for research in the UK: Hard to engage and not hard to reach. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest (accepted).