Tagged / communication

CHAIN – Contact, Help, Advice and Information Network

CHAIN is an online mutual support network for people working in health and social care. It gives people a simple and informal way of contacting each other to exchange ideas and share knowledge.

Members use CHAIN in all sorts of ways, from highly proactive networking to more passive ‘horizon-scanning’.
CHAIN also provides a simple mechanism for ideas which emerge in one context to be shared with fellow-members across boundaries of organisations, professions, and territories which makes the network unique.

Joining is free, and open to anyone working in these areas. You can see recent examples of feedback here, as well as a snapshot report here, of the network’s reach.

Follow CHAIN updates on Twitter; @CHAIN_Network ; Find them on Facebook; Connect with CHAIN on LinkedIn.

A year in the Life of an Early Career Researcher

I joined BU as a lecturer in the Faculty of Media and Communication on 1 September 2014, three months after being awarded my PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from the University of Salford.

So, as the anniversary of my appointment approaches, I consider it timely to reflect on my first year as a full-time academic. I hope that my experience will be of interest to others starting new academic roles this year, at a similar stage in their careers.

To put my experience in context, while technically an early career researcher, I’m no spring chicken! I was a very mature PhD student (even though no-one ever guesses my real age) and joined BU with baggage in tow!

The eclectic baggage I brought with me was six years’ experience as a lecturer in higher education on a part-time basis combined with a variety of other roles including journalist, research assistant, blogger, PhD student, social entrepreneur and Chief Executive of Black British Academics.

I arrived at BU with drive, motivation and ambition intact, after four years of intense doctoral study, with my carefully prepared 5-year research plan, diligently completed after receiving my PhD award, which accompanied me to my interview at BU in June 2014.

By my own observations, the first five years post PhD is make-or-break time. With aspirations to become a professor one day, performing the yearly regime of international conferences, journal articles, books, book chapters and funding bids are necessary tasks.

My primary area of research in media and communication is centred on racial constructions and representations in media and popular culture and how race shapes and influences engagement with and use of digital technologies.  My PhD thesis is a study on the social, cultural and counterhegemonic practices of Black British bloggers.

DG-MPG-Nov2013

A the Media and Politics Group conference

Year 1 of my 5-year research plan included developing publications from my PhD thesis. In November 2013 I had presented a paper from the chapter: Alternative Voices, Alternative Spaces, Counterhegemonic Discourse in the Blogosphere at BU for the Media and Politics Group annual conference. It won the James Thomas Memorial Prize, and is the first chapter in a new book being published with Palgrave Macmillan in September, edited by four faculty colleagues, called Media, Margins and Civic Agency.

I presented another chapter of my thesis at the Cyberspace conference in the Czech Republic in November 2014, which I recently submitted for review at Information, Communication and Society: Blogging While Black, British and Female: A Critical Study on Discursive Activism.

A third chapter: Challenging the Whiteness of Britishness: Co-Creating British Social History in the Blogosphere, was presented at the ICCMTD conference in Dubai in May, and has been accepted for publication in the Online Journal of Media and Communication Technologies for a special issue in September.

My PhD thesis now exhausted publication-wise, I am currently focusing on three strands of research: race and ethnicity in media and communication, pedagogies of social justice and cultural democracy and race equality and cultural democracy. These research interests are broadly linked to three key dimensions of my role as an academic: 1) research (extending knowledge within my discipline) 2) education (teaching), and 3)professional practice.

Cultural democracy, a recurring theme in my research, is a conceptual framework developed in the US more than a decade ago, surprisingly unfamiliar and underexplored on this side of the Atlantic. However, I plan to change that by advancing understanding through research based on its application in practice. After setting up the Cultural Democracy Network in May, shortly after being awarded a small grant from the Grants Academy to develop partnerships with UK-based institutions, I was invited to deliver a guest lecture on cultural democracy to 14 journalists at Research Fortnight’s London offices.

DG at RG [2] 260515

At Research Fortnight

Two of my current research projects represent research papers based on consultancy projects completed this past year. The first is a journal article I am co-authoring with Prof Kevin Hylton called Culturally Democratic Voices: Enhancing Race Equality Through Minority Staff Experiences, which we plan to submit to Race, Ethnicity and Education.

The second is a co-authored paper with Aisha Richards called Social Justice Pedagogy and Cultural Democracy: Promoting Inclusion and Equality in Further and Higher Education. It has just been accepted for presentation at the IAFOR International Conference on Education taking place in Hawaii in January, and we hope it will be selected for publication in the Journal of Education.

I have a book chapter coming out in September being published by Verlag Springer called Race, Racism and Resistance In British Academia, which I presented at the Surviving in a White Institution symposium at Leeds University in May, organised by the Critical Race and Ethnicities Network.

Finally, I am co-editor of a book project with Dr Shirley Tate, an Associate Professor in sociology at Leeds University, which is a collection of autoethnographies called Hear Us: Women Academics of Colour: Surviving and Thriving in British Academia, which we plan to publish next Autumn. It is a project I developed for the Black Sister Network at Black British Academics.

It has been a busy and productive year as an early career researcher, and in terms of my plans for the year ahead, this will be focused on the completion of work in progress, developing a funding bid and turning my attention to new areas of research.

One of these areas is advertising, which will inform my teaching on the BA Advertising degree. I plan to examine issues around constructions and representations of race and gender in TV advertising, examining audience perceptions. The other new area of research which builds on my doctoral study is engagement with digital technologies among Black elders.

In terms of the 5-year research plan I started out with, I discarded it within the first three months! I prefer to work with a yearly plan as I have found that in practice, the research culture and environment is too fluid, dynamic and constantly changing to plan specific publications so far in advance.

However, it is still a useful exercise post PhD to prompt thinking about the areas of research to focus on and the types of research projects to undertake. I have a target for publications and funding bids I aim to complete by 2019 – just before REF2020, so forward planning helps to ensure I stay on track!

By Dr Deborah Gabriel, Lecturer in Politics, Media and Marketing Communications in the Faculty of Media and Communication.

Make Your Voice Heard event reminder – some spaces still available

Logo with a megaphone and event title

It’s not enough just to do cutting edge research. We also know that we have to share it and pass on our findings or even our views about matters that are important to society.  Such profile-raising can help attract future research funding, raise our standing and that of BU and, with an eye on REF2020, help achieve impact.

Talking to journalists, using social media and updating blogs or websites does not come naturally to all of us and can be seen as just another demand placed on people who are already struggling with a busy schedule.

The communications department at the University have offered to make it easier for us to get our voice heard. They are hosting an event entitled Make Your Voice Heard to explore how to do this with impact and effect.

Taking place next week on 10 September 2014, we will discuss important topics, such as how academics can enrich the media and how to balance different stakeholder wants and needs. There will also be opportunities to acquire some practical tools, tips and techniques.

Ultimately, it would be great to see more of our staff sharing their unique and valuable perspectives on matters important to society and raising the profile of BU in the local, regional and national scene. Whether that’s through informed comment or sharing research outcomes, the communications team can help us do it more effectively.

‘Make Your Voice Heard’ runs from 9:00 – 14:00 on Talbot Campus and lunch will be provided. It is open to all researchers, from PGRs to Professors.

You can see the full schedule and book your place by following this link to the Eventbrite page. If you would like to find out more before booking, please contact Sarah Gorman (Corporate Communications Assistant).

On Academic Writing

Writing is not easy, yet academics must write.  Communicating your research and ideas to your peers through writing is an essential part of an academic career, you may be doing brilliant research, you may be a fantastic speaker or teacher, but if you can’t express your ideas through the written word your career may flounder.  Writing lies at the heart of research.  There are no quick solutions, fixes or dodges and I don’t profess to have any, but I am interested in the process of writing and seek your help in exploring this.

The importance of writing is no great news and if you are, like me, dyslexic and find the challenge of writing exactly that, a challenge, then what can you do?  We all have different approaches to writing – our own coping strategies if you like – that allow us to get the words on the page, the thoughts and ideas clarified and expressed.  It is an intensely personal process and what works for me is unlikely to work for you.

So what does works for you?  How do you go about writing that difficult piece of prose?

Have a think while I share what works for me.

 

How I write

Ideas often flow better for me from conversation, but as an introvert I don’t have much time for conversation!  So I talk to myself, mentally rehearsing what needs to be said, framing initial ideas and nebulous arguments.  I can be seen on the walk to work deep in thought, in fact deep in silent conversation, and not always silent to the amusement of those that walk their dogs in the park I cross each day!

These silent conversations shape my initial draft, since when I sit down to write I am simply noting down the conversation.  I then refine this early draft picking out and questioning the logic, developing the argument as I craft iteratively the text before me.  For me writing is therefore a process of constant refinement, iteration and clarification as my ideas and argument take shape in the words that I write.

 

It’s different for everyone

Others work differently I know, my mother for example who is a retired academic talked to me recently of how she used to coin a statement, or phrase, something elegant and clever that she then picked at to see if it was true, forming her argument in light of it.  For others it is all about the research question that is being posed and I know that some of my colleagues believe that all your ideas should be formed and in sharp focus before you start to write.  It is a bit like having a beautiful artefact that they can see in their mind’s eye, which simply needs to be described.  I cannot write like this and my approach is more akin to that of Stephen King who, in his wonderful book On Writing, describes the process of writing as the excavation of a fossil with the story slowly emerging from the ground with work and care.  No one way of writing is any better than any other and each may have their own particular style that may also vary across discipline boundaries which leads to my basic question how do you approach the process of writing?

It is this question that intrigues me, a question that I would like to explore for its own sake but also perhaps because it might amuse me in time to write about it in a book or paper.

So what do I need, to help me explore this idea?

 

Getting involved

Well I need the help from my fellow academics, not just geoscientists like myself but social scientists, chemists, historians and engineers.  I am interested to know what helps you to write – a short email with ‘a brain dump’, a couple of paragraphs or a list of bullet points is all I need with your own reflections on how you approach the task of writing.  If you are not an academic but write a lot as part of your profession then drop me a line as well.  In return I will reflect on how I can best summarise, or collate your collective ideas, to play them back to the academic community in ways that would be useful for them.

So going back to the questions posed earlier – how do you write?  In framing your response it might help to reflect on the following questions, whilst also adding anything else that you feel it would be relevant for me to know.

How do you approach your academic writing?  Describe for me the process by which you shape your ideas and craft your prose from conception to completion of a piece, whether it is a journal article, a book or a chapter.

What is the most challenging part for you?  And how do you overcome this?

Where do you like to write?  Can you write anywhere – on the plane, train or in a stolen five minutes, or do you need a block of time and a quiet place, or a noisy coffee shop?

Do you write for a specific audience and journal or in a more generic form formatting once written for a particular journal?  Does this vary depending on the piece?  Do you always know where something is to be submitted before you start?  What in truth guides your choice – clinical analysis, convenience or simply the tradition in your discipline?

How do you write collaboratively?  Do you take the lead, or do you write truly by committee?

How much are you influenced by the norms of your discipline – and what is your discipline?

These are the types of thing I am interested in, I am trying not to be prescriptive and all I ask is that after some reflection you open up an email, insert my address – mbennett@bmth.ac.uk – and write to me something about how you write!  I will respond asking you to sign a consent form and with further details of the study and I promise to preserve your anonymity at all times, unless you specifically state that you are happy to be acknowledged.  Thank you.

Civic political engagement in the new digital era: Paris 24-7 June 2014

The grand international conferences attracting up to 1,000 academics are highly prestigious, however the opportunities to find academics in a field, talk in-depth about approaches, concepts, methodologies, data and future ideas is constrained by the size and scale. Hence BU collaborated with Science-Po (Paris) and Sciencecomm (Audencia Nantes) to bring together scholars whose work has a specific focus on online political engagement in order to explore current thinking and investigate avenues for collaboration. The event #CPE2014 (http://www.cpe2014.com/) attracted 34 participants; some very established some just starting out in a research career, some invited some who submitted abstracts speculatively following the call. What connected the works was the objective of conceptually and empirically determining what engagement and participation means in the age of ubiquitous digital media.

The keynotes from Rachel Gibson (Manchester, UK) and Bruce Bimber (University of California, US) set the scene conceptually asking what is really new in the digital age, and arguing technology is a context for communication and for action as opposed to a cause. Many papers thus explored to what extent we can argue something new has emerged, what might that be and what in terms of political engagement and participation does digital technology facilitate.

What did we learn from this? It is no real surprise to hear of the breadth and depth of the forms and types of activities that online spaces provide. We know vast numbers of organisations, corporate, political and third sector, who populate the world wide web. We also know most of these have gravitated towards social media, having a Facebook page, YouTube channel and Twitter feed seem de rigeur at the very least. And we find many affordances for Interaction (Giraldo-Luque & Duran-Becerra) as well as learning and engaging (Schneidemesser; Vasilopoulos; de Blasio & Santaniello). The biggest questions revolve around impact, are there new forms of communication, of engagement, of participation, of influence that are a by-product (wanted or unwanted) with the colonisation of the social web?

As would be expected the answers to these questions offer mixed results, and any conclusions are tentative at best. One key theme is the notion of expressive participation, ‘having a say’ whether it be commenting or talking online (Kountouri or Bouillianne for example), acting as an online vigilante (Loveluck) or as a news gatherer (Wimmer & Schultz). The data from studies by Rachel Gibson and colleagues, Christian Vaccari and Homero Gil de Zuniga certainly provide compelling evidence to suggest expression as a pathway to deeper forms of participation. We also gain a sense of how influence can be exacted (Mossberger & Kao; Bang), though also that perhaps the social web can also be a distraction leading users away from the civic rather than more positive perspectives (Bojic). The visualization of forms of expression (Koc-Michalska, Lilleker & Wells; Vergeer, Boynton & Richardson) go some way to understanding some aspects of the nature of these expressions, though they raise issues regarding how to make sense of the big data which can be gathered from the Internet; discussions around this and the tools available was one key outcome of the workshop.

The workshop also showed the importance of mixed methods. We talked of understanding the lifeworld (Lilleker), how politics links with or is seen as separate from the everyday, and whether civic, social, political are the same or each have clear boundaries both conceptually and practically (Bang). But this raised the importance of mixed methods. Vergeer took us beyond the quantitative, sociological meat grinder of the survey which boils down human factors to key indicators, yet this exposes the contradiction when in exploring big data we have to mince and mash rich text resulting from complex behavior to get to the structure (the DNA) rather than the nuances of each individual contribution. Hence the interview (Bouillianne, Neys), ethnographic work (Ozkula) and text and diary entries (Cantioch) offers fascinating insights that can build understanding on top of the numbers (Vozab; Klinger: Hooghe for example).

The workshop therefore is part of a development in the understanding and a revisionist movement around the notions of engagement and participation and the theoretical positions which have to date been used to understand human civic and political behavior. The value of the meeting of these scholars was to identify the different strands of research, the expertise in the field, the current indications from data, the methodologies and where the research should go next. For us some will be exploring collaboration around a Horizon 2020 bid on youth as a driver of social change (YOUNGa-2014a), some further will be meeting again at the ECPR Joint workshops in Warsaw 2015 in a workshop again organized by Koc-Michalska and Lilleker, some will also likely find opportunities to share data and develop publications. A proposal for a special collection is in the pipeline gathering together the more empirically driven works. Hence this now tight-knit group may well remain close and develop as a collaborative network long into the future.

Website training sessions

Screen shot of new website

I just wanted to remind colleagues that we are hosting training sessions for the new research webpages on Friday 7 February and Friday 14 February.

These 90 minute sessions are open to all BU academic staff, post graduate research students and those supporting researchers in their communications activity.

During the session you will learn the following:

  • Why BU has new research webpages
  • How you can upload content to the website
  • How the site can be used most effectively to maximise exposure of BU research.

Sessions are informal and if they fall over lunchtime, do feel free to bring a sandwich!

To book on one of the following sessions please use the links below…

Friday 7 February 2014 12:00-13:30 – S103 Studland House, Lansdowne Campus

Friday 14 February 2014 10:00-11:30 – P131 Poole House, Talbot Campus

Friday 14 February 2014 14:30-16:00 – P131 Poole House, Talbot Campus

If you have any questions about the website or training sessions, please email the research website team.

 

New research web pages and removal of old pages

On Monday 27 January the Digital Communications Team will integrate the new research web pages into the main BU site.

This will include a link from the homepage and from the School pages. (School copy has been developed with the Deans and DDRs to introduce the new site, provide an overview of the School’s research and outline the research themes the School is involved in).

The Digital Communications Team will also start removing the old research pages on Monday. This will include removing the research centre pages, which have either been moved to the new site, elsewhere, or identified as no longer required.

In addition to notification from Professor Matthew Bennett and the Schools, the research website team have tried to speak to all staff in person to ensure required content is moved across and outdated content is removed. This has been a massive exercise and apologies if we have missed anyone. If you do have any concerns regarding your pages, please email the website team as soon as possible. All old content will be moved onto an internal BU server, where it will be kept for a period of six months before being finally deleted.

Screenshot of the new research website

Feedback from researchers already using the new site is that it is very flexible, quick and easy to use and allows easy integration of a variety of different media content types.

If you would like to find out more about using the new site or joining us for a training session, please read my blog post from earlier in the week.

Research website training sessions

 BU’s new research website is an externally facing communications channel. It allows you to add and update research-related content quickly and easily. The site is flexible and accommodates a range of digital media content. You can login with your usual BU username and password and start creating content here.Screen shot of new website

We are hosting a series of 90 minute training sessions, which are open to all BU academic staff, post graduate research students and those supporting researchers in their communications activity.

During the session you will learn the following:

  • Why BU has a new research website
  • How you can upload content to the website
  • How the site can be used most effectively to maximise exposure of BU research.

There are three sessions taking place next month on Talbot Campus and at the Lansdowne. These are hosted by the website designer Matt Northam and me. Sessions are informal and if they fall over lunchtime, do feel free to bring a sandwich!

To book on one of the following sessions please use the links below…

Friday 7 February 2014 12:00-13:30 – S103 Studland House, Lansdowne Campus

Friday 14 February 2014 10:00-11:30 – P131 Poole House, Talbot Campus

Friday 14 February 2014 14:30-16:00 – P131 Poole House, Talbot Campus

If you have any questions about the website or training sessions, please email the research website team.

 

Atrium BRC stand

Emily Loring and I are in the Atrium, Poole House, Talbot Campus today giving out copies of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle (BRC) magazine to academic staff. Do come along and pick up a copy and have a cake with us!

We will be here until 4:30pm today (Tuesday) and again on Thursday between 9am-5pm.

Guidance on using the new research website

Location of guides on research website admin dashboard

As promised, we have published two supporting documents to the new research website admin area. You can access this by logging into the site here with your usual BU username and password.

The first document is a technical guide, written by Matt Northam, which takes you through the process of uploading content to the main sections of the website and research centre pages. It provides a step by step explanation of what to do, as well as screen shots to give a visual aid.

The second provides guidance on writing style and image use. This is written by Mike O’Sullivan and me (Sally Gates). It provides stylistic suggestions, such as whether to write in the first person or third person. This document also provides information about how you can obtain images to accompany your content.

If you have a question that we haven’t covered here, please contact research@bournemouth.ac.uk. If it is likely to be a common question we’ll add it to the guide.

And lastly, a quick ‘save the date’… We have just booked two more web training sessions in Studland House, Lansdowne Campus on Friday 7 February 2014  10-11:30am and 12-1:30pm (bring sandwich for that one)! We will set up an Eventbrite page for you to book and will post the link on the blog later this week.

Bournemouth Research Chronicle

The third edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle (BRC) is now published. Thank you very much to everyone who contributed.

Front cover of the BRC

This is a glossy ‘coffee table’ magazine with some lovely images.  It is aimed at peer researchers and research collaborators, prospective funders and (perhaps most importantly) research users such businesses, government organisations, policy makers and charities.

We all know that communication is an integral part of the link between research and societal impact and this magazine is a great way to get the message heard by the right people.

Content is presented through BU’s eight research themes. This edition provides a snapshot of some of the work BU submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. In particular it focuses on the societal impact of our research, which forms a key part of REF2014.

 

DistributionInside cover of the BRC

Every BU academic will receive a copy of the BRC. My colleagues and I will be in the Atrium, Poole House on Tuesday and Thursday next week with a large stash so do pop along, say hello and pick up yours. Otherwise, we’ll put it in the internal post for you.

Throughout January I’ll be sending the BRC to an extensive list of research users, including policy makers, community figures, opinion leaders, businesses and journalists. I will be providing a supply to each School so please do send it to your contacts, collaborators, peers, prospective funders, industry partners or anyone else who has an interest in BU’s research.

R&KEO will keep a larger stock of the BRC. If you would like copies for an event or conference then email me (Sally Gates – Editor) to arrange a delivery.

Thank you again to everyone who contributed and happy reading!

New Year’s Research Resolution #5 – contribute to the new research website

Happy New Year to you all and welcome back to work!

Each day this week we’ll be posting a New Year’s Research Resolution to help you get back into the swing of things. Today’s resolution is to contribute to the new research website.

BU’s new research website was launched in beta (i.e. test version) in December and has a radically updated design, presenting our research around our eight society-focused Research Themes. In each section content is displayed by research news, research impact, public engagement and postgraduate research. It is also possible to view content by each REF Unit of Assessment and see details of our Research Centres.  You can access the new website here:  http://research.bournemouth.ac.uk.

One of the key reasons for the new research website is to ensure that our researchers are able to easily and frequently share their research online.  Everyone will be able to craft their own content and upload articles themselves.  The Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (R&KEO) will perform a light-touch check to ensure the correct tags are added and new content will go live on the site within 1-2 working days.  The webpages are yours to add content to!

Contributing to the new website is easy!  Content is added via WordPress (the same as adding posts to the BU Research Blog) and can be done by clicking on this link (your logon will be your BU network logon): http://research.bournemouth.ac.uk/login.  We want you to add content about your research projects, the research collaborations you are involved with, the research your PhD students are undertaking, your public engagement and outreach activities, news about you, your research and your research centre, etc.

All BU staff automatically have access to add content using their network logon. Once you have logged in for the first time we can give you additional access to edit and contribute to relevant research centres as well. Email research@bournemouth.ac.uk to request additional admin rights.

If you would like training in how to add content to the new website then sessions are available.  There are some workshops taking place next week (you can book online here). Further sessions are currently being scheduled. Please contact Sally Gates for more information..

Adding content is quick and easy, and shows the external world how vibrant and exciting research is at BU!  And that’s why your New Year’s Research Resolution #5 is to add content to the new website!

REF2014

REF logo

I’m sure I heard a collective sigh of relief radiate across both campuses last week when BU’s REF2014 preparations were finally submitted. It’s been a huge amount of work, especially in the last few weeks. I myself did a little dance when I eventually handed the case studies over for PengPeng to upload, and then bought a sausage sandwich to mark the occasion.

But all the hard work and late nights that have been put in across the academics community, professional services and the leadership team are well worth it. I truly believe the ‘submit’ button was pressed in the knowledge that BU has absolutely put its best institutional foot forward and, regardless of the result (which I’m sure will be fabulous), no one will be left feeling, ‘We could have done better.’

I’m already looking back on the REF preparations fondly. I feel very lucky to have worked on this important project with such a great group of people. BU has so many talented researchers who are passionate about their subject. Matthew’s energy, vision and drive meant the submission presented BU at its absolute best. And I can honestly say I never met a more organised and efficient group of people than Julie Northam, PengPeng Ooi and Becca Edwards!

Having helped prepare the impact case studies across the eight units, I’ve had an amazing overview of the true societal benefit BUs research brings.  Through the process I’ve examined national and international policy documents, spoken to CEO s of multinational companies, patients benefiting from healthcare interventions and many other diverse beneficiaries who sing the praises of BU researchers and the application of their work.

I think what’s most telling though, is the number of case studies that haven’t been submitted this time round because the impact was too embryonic or interim. Regardless of what the next REF will look like (and impact is bound to be more prominent), this really shows the great impact trajectory that BU’s research is currently tracking. Examples include:

  • Dr Venky Dubey and Neal Vaughan’s epidural simulator project, which recently won the Information Technology category at the Institution of Engineering and Technology Innovation Awards, fending off competition from over 30 countries.
  • Later this month the new multimillion pound Stonehenge visitor centrewill open, bringing together knowledge and displays informed by Dr Kate Welham and Professor Tim Darvill’s research.
  • Dr Sarah Thomas and Professor Peter Thomas from the BU Clinical Research Unit have worked with the Dorset MS Service at Poole Hospital to develop a group based fatigue management programme to help people with MS normalise their fatigue experiences.

From January I’m really looking forward to working on these and other projects, using communication as a tool to enhance dissemination of research findings, helping deliver impact to the heart of society.

(And now I have reacquainted myself with my kitchen, I may also cook some vegetables to counter all the ready meals and chocolate that’s kept me going recently)!!

Research website training sessions

On Monday many of you will have seen Rebecca Edwards’ blog post giving more information about the new research website. It explains why BU is developing it, when the site will be live, how it will work and addresses some frequently asked questions that have cropped up in discussions.

If you missed this post you can view it here.

The new website will have a host of additional features, making it easier for you to update and add your own content. It provides a considerably improved platform for integrating a wider variety of content, such as image galleries and videos.

Research website screengrabTraining sessions are taking place over the next two months. You can book a session online or contact Rebecca Edwards for more information.

Using the website is surprisingly easy and in the sessions you’ll learn how to upload, edit and tag content. Rather than carrying out training sessions with ‘dummy’ test material, we would like to use the time for you to upload relevant content to your research theme.

We’d be grateful if you could please have something available that you can upload during the training session. Examples could include:

–          New or recent images

–          Videos

–          Details of a new research project

–          Details of successful grant applications

–          A profile of a post graduate researcher

–          Information about planned or recent public engagement activity

Rebecca Edwards or I will be happy to answer any questions in the meantime, so do get in touch. We look forward to seeing you at one of the training sessions.

Bournemouth Research Chronicle

Just under a year ago we published the second edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle (BRC). It went to print after the start of my maternity leave, meaning I got out of stuffing envelopes and posting hundreds of copies!

It was definitely worth my colleagues’ efforts though. Academic peers, research partners, potential business collaborators and journalists were among the recipients and the feedback was really positive.

Front cover of Bournemouth Research Chronicle 2012The BRC is a glossy magazine highlighting a range of BU research projects, presented within our eight societal themes. We’ve just begun preparations for the next edition, which will focus specifically on some of the fantastic impact-led work being carried out across BU.

Where work is at, what we call the ‘interim impact’ stage, the right effort and energy can propel it towards phenomenal impact in the future. The BRC is just the sort of vehicle to help achieve that. Featured research could land on the doorstep of a business eager to apply your findings, or in the inbox of an influential opinion leader or policy maker in your field. That’s why communications activity is such an important part of the life cycle of a research project. Often it is the bridge between the research and societal impact.

So please tell us about your impact-led projects. There is some space left in the next edition of the BRC, as well as numerous other communications opportunities to reach the audiences that need to hear about your work. My contact details are in the BU address book, so do get in touch with me (Sally Gates).

Incidentally, Bryce Dyer, pictured on the front cover of the last edition, is presenting one of the award lectures at next week’s British Science Festival in Newcastle. Congratulations Bryce and good luck!

And who’s up for being on the front cover of the BRC this time round…?

LIFE+ 2012 Call now open!

The sixth LIFE+ call opened recently and closes on the 26th September 2012. LIFE+ funds projects that implement, update and develop Community environmental policy and legislation. There are three strands:

There is a significant change to the application process this year as this must be done using a new eProposal online tool. There are user guides available on the LIFE+ website. In addition applicants submitting a Nature & Biodiversity project or an Information & Communication project related to Forest Fire Prevention will also need to submit an A8 form, signed by the relevant competent authority.

Beta Technology can review your project idea before you start taking time to fill in the application form, simply complete the project concept form and send it to Catherine Holt or Jane Watkins . You can also take a look at the Tips and Advice section of the Beta website for some great hints when completing an application.

There is also an Info Day for this call being held in London on May 29th  -povisional plans for the day include presentations from Stefan Welin, Technical Desk Officer at the EU LIFE Unit, Catherine Holt from BETA Technology and previous project funding recipients. Attendance is free but must be registered in advance, places are limited and will initially be allocated at one per organisation on a first come, first served basis; you can register here.