Tagged / conference

BU ADGE to chair ASEAN region conference

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Associate Dean (Global Engagement) in the Faculty of Media and Communication, Professor Guy Starkey, has been invited to be Programme Chair of the JMComm 2017 conference in October in Singapore. The call for papers has just been published, and you can find it below.

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Call for papers for the Global Science and Technology Forum’s 6th Annual International Conference on Journalism & Mass Communications (JMComm 2017). The conference will take place from 9th  10th October 2017 in Singapore. 

Past contributors have included scholars from Europe, the Americas, Australasia, Africa and elsewhere. Accepted papers will be considered for publication.

The paper submission deadline is 8th May 2017. The call is now open at http://www.jmcomm.org/call-for-papers/en/cfp.html

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Guy would be grateful if you could help disseminate the JMComm 2017 call for papers through your own networks. For ANY inquiries, please email secretariat@jmcomm.org

FMC Associate Professor delivers plenary at Style and Response Conference

It was my great pleasure to take part last week in a conference organised by the Stylistics Research Group at Sheffield Hallam Style and Response. My paper reported on the activities of our two BU based AHRC funded projects, and on the ethical and methodological challenges of researching readers and reading online.  The conference was an important opportunity to disseminate the work of the existing projects and to further extend our network of scholars researching reading in the digital age. It was also an opportunity to discuss what will hopefully be the next stage of this research, as our application for Follow on Funding to the AHRC is currently being finalised….

 

The first day included a fascinating panel on Digital Fiction, particularly focusing on immersion and showcasing different methodologies including the Think Aloud protocol and participant interviews. The case studies discussed in this session included Dreaming Methods’ Wallpaper (Alice Bell), videogame Zero Time Dilemma (Jess Norledge and Richard Finn) and The Princess Murderer (Isabelle Van der Bom). After lunch, I switched between panels to catch Sam Browse’s entertaining paper presenting an ethnographic study of a group of local Labour party activists, followed by Lyle Skains’ paper reporting on how her creative writing students responded to reading digital or ‘ergodic’ fiction, and how they felt this influenced their own creative practice.

 

It was great to see diversity throughout the programme both in terms of methods and case studies.  One of the takeaways from day one was a strong preference for mixed methods, and there was a very lively discussion following the closing plenary (presented in absentia by Ranjana Das) about the extent to which exploring new approaches and methods from different disciplines can be managed without diluting or compromising the skills and expertise that we have as researchers primarily trained in critical analysis and close reading.

 

I delivered the opening plenary on day 2, followed by a fascinating panel on Attention, with an insightful paper on cognitive approaches to re-reading from Chloe Harrison and Louise Nuttall, and a very informative and interesting paper on eyetracking and onomatopoeia in manga from Olivia Dohan.

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The afternoon sessions provided further innovative approaches to media and new media texts and cultures.  Isabelle van der Bom and Laura Paterson reported on a corpus linguistic study of live tweeting of Benefits Street, which provided depressing but fascinating evidence of the ways in which the ‘echo chamber’ of social media is nevertheless shaped in interaction with other media (tv, the tabloid press).  It also raised questions about the extent to which empirical and particularly quantitative approaches can tell the ‘whole story’ when it comes to a discourse where there may be just as many silent witnesses as participants.

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Alison Gibbons’ paper on JJ Abrams’ S offered a fascinating account of the novel as part of a transmedia universe, and reported on her attempts to get ‘real readers’ to create and insert their own marginalia alongside that provided by the novel’s creators.  The closing plenary was an energetic and engaging discussion of persuasion and transportation by Melanie Green.  As well as transporting us to another world by reading us a story, Melanie’s paper left us with some important insights into the power of stories to change minds for good and ill.

Many congratulations to the organisers of this event for producing such a stimulating couple of days. It was wonderful to see that the study of readers and reading is attracting some innovative work from within the field of stylistics, drawing on a long tradition of focusing on the empirical, but also demonstrating breadth of engagement with terms and methods from multiple disciplines.

Save the date! Wednesday 16 November 2016

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Save the date! Wednesday 16 November 2016

Event: The Game Changer: Reloaded

Location: The Fusion Building

About:

“The Game Changer: Reloaded” builds upon the success of an event held earlier in the year (The Game Changer), promoting innovation and collaboration across Dorset. In partnership with The NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (Dorset CCG) Innovation Team and with a variety of inspiring speakers including presentations from the  Orthopaedic Research Institute (ORI), Disaster Management Centre (DMC),  Amuzo and Guide Dogs.  The event aims to promote the art of the possible and demonstrate the power of innovation in order to transform health services within the region.

There will be no charge to attend the event  and the event will run all day. Registration will be required. Further details will be available shortly including information on how to reserve your free place.

Any queries please feel free to contact Jayne Codling or Rachel Clarke within RKEO.

BU at ATLAS annual conference

BU had a strong presence at the ATLAS (Association for Tourism apic1nd Leisure Education and Research) annual conference which took place in the historic town of Canterbury, between 13-16 September, on “Tourism, Lifestyles and Locations”.

BU has been a member of the ATLAS network for many years and Dr Lenia Marques was one of the founders of the Special Interest Group on Events back in 2010. The group is very active and has several ongoing projects and collaborations amongst its members.

Several BU academics presented and discussed their research in Canterbury. Dr Hanaa Osman and Dr Lorraine Brown presented a piece of research which touches upon the status of women in tourism and which provoked debate on intercultural issues. Dr Anya Chapman presented her work on piers, which are so important for UK coastal destinations, such as Bournemouth. Dr Jaeyeon Choe presented her research on tourism and quality of life in Macao and we should congratulate her on her first attendance as the ATLAS Asia representative on the board.

Dr Lenia Marques presented her research on events and communities and practice among expats in a panel organised together with the Department of Events and Leisure and the Department of Tourism and Hospitality dedicated to “Lifestyle and communities: sharing in the digital era”. The panel, put together by Dr. Lenia Marques, Juliette Hecquet and Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis, aimed at discussing new trends in the fields of leisure and tourism connected to lifestyle and the sharing economy.

Overall, the discussions at the conference were animated and friendly, raising some of the big issues of our time. Collaborations, projects and further developments will surely continue in the run-up to the next ATLAS annual conference to be held in Viana do Castelo, Portugal (12-16 September 2017) under the theme “Destinations past, present and future”.

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Latest Major Funding Opportunities

The following funding opportunities have been announced. Please follow the links for more information. money and cogs

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, via the Global Challenges Research Fund, invites applications for its call on Tackling global development challenges through engineering and digital technology research. The aim of this activity is to support an internationally leading programme of research, centred around engineering and digital technologies, to tackle the challenges faced by the developing world. Exemplar areas are given under each heading below, but these should not be seen as exclusive. Proposals may also span both headings: 1) Tackling global development challenges through engineering research- Sustainable infrastructure development, Engineering for disaster resilience, Engineering for humanitarian aid; 2) Tackling global development challenges through digital technology research- Access to digital services, Use of data for vital services, Secure and trusted digital infrastructures. The proposed research must be predominantly in EPSRC remit, although interdisciplinary and/or multidisciplinary proposals are welcomed.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 15/11/16.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council invites applications for its First Grant scheme. The scheme helps new academics apply for research funding at the start of their careers. Applicants must have been appointed to their first academic lecturing appointment, which involves lecturing and administration alongside research, in a UK university within the previous 36 months, or still be in the probation period of their new appointment. They must also have completed their PhD or an equivalent professional qualification within the last 10 years.

Maximum award: £100,000. Closing date: No deadline.

Innovate UK

Innovate UK invites applications for its connected and autonomous vehicles competition 2. Projects must be business led and should provide technical solutions for connected and autonomous vehicle features that provide real-world benefits to users. This includes how these vehicles will work as part of a wider transport system. The commercial benefit should clear in proposals. This competition is in 4 streams: Stream 1 will fund a large-scale challenge to develop and demonstrate a vehicle operating at SAE level 4 automation. It is expected that the fund will support a single project or 2 projects maximum of between £15 million and £30 million each. Projects should last between 18 and 30 months. Streams 2, 3 and 4 will fund feasibility studies and industrial research and development projects on connected and autonomous vehicles. Projects are expected to range in size from total costs of £250,000 to £5 million. Projects should last between 12 and 30 months.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 02/11/16.

Medical Research Council

The Medical Research Council invites applications for its Confidence in Concept scheme. This scheme aims to accelerate the transition from discovery science to the early stages of therapeutic/biomarker development by providing locally-administered, responsive and flexible funding to support preliminary translational work. The award can be used flexibly by the institution to support a number of preliminary-stage translational projects. The projects supported should aim to provide sufficient preliminary data to establish the viability of an approach –– before seeking more substantive funding

Maximum award: £1.2 million. Closing date: 15/11/16.

The Medical Research Council invites applications for its Proximity to Discovery – Industry Engagement Fund. The scheme is designed to provide flexible funding for innovative ways to enable the initial development of academic-industry collaborations. Short term people exchanges between industry and academia are seen as a key way of exchanging skills and knowledge and developing a longer term working relationship. Proximity to Discovery: Industry Engagement Fund can be used for people and knowledge exchange at the very earliest stage of a collaboration and may not necessarily be aligned to a specific project objective. Examples of potential uses include: People exchange that allow for an exchange of skills or knowledge which will enable new collaborative projects to develop; People exchanges between Technology Transfer Offices in Universities and Business Development teams in industry, where the placement will enhance the understanding of each other’s business model and allow them to better support their organisation to develop medical research collaborations with industrial partners; Other creative ways to encourage new collaborations or two-way people exchange to increase the permeability between industry and academia; Projects that would enhance academic understanding of industry or vice versa; Showcases/workshops which enabling Universities to develop relationships with potential industry partners.

Maximum award: £250,000. Closing date: 15/11/16.

Royal Academy of Engineering

The Royal Academy of Engineering, in partnership with the Leverhulme Trust, invites applications for its Senior Research Fellowships. The fellowships allow academics to concentrate on full-time research and be relieved of teaching and administrative responsibilities. The purpose of the Fellowships is to cover the salary costs of a replacement academic who will take over the awardee’s teaching and administration duties for up to one year. A support fund of up to £2,500 is also available to the awardee to cover miscellaneous research costs, such as conference attendance and public engagement activities.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 19/10/16.

Royal Society

The Royal Society invites proposals for its scientific meetings, which offer the opportunity to present an international, two day conference. The call is open to UK based researchers in any field and the discussion throughout the meeting should allow everyone, at any stage of their career, to be involved in the conversation. The award will cover administrative support, a contribution towards speaker, organiser and chair travel expenses and accommodation, logistical support, materials for the meeting, venue, facilities and catering.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 30/9/16.

The Royal Society invites proposals for its Science+ and Fast Track Discussion meetings. These meetings Bring together scientists from around the world to present and discuss new research in all areas of science. Each meeting is organised by leaders in the field, using their expertise to ensure the key topics are covered. The focus on discussion throughout the meeting allows everyone, at any stage of their scientific career, to get involved in the conversation. The programme offers a unique opportunity  to present an international, two-day conference, with the chance for publication in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society following the event.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date:  30/09/16.

Royal Society of Edinburgh

The Royal Society of Edinburgh, in collaboration with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, invites applications for the BBSRC Enterprise Fellowships. The aim of this scheme is to increase exploitation of ideas with commercial potential from BBSRC supported research. The Enterprise Fellowships are designed to enable an individual to advance the commercialisation of existing research results or technological developments and are tenable for a period of one year within a UK HE or similar academic institution. The Fellowships enable the holder to concentrate on developing the commercial potential of their research, whilst also receiving formal training in relevant business skills.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 19/11/16.

Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust and the National Institutes of Health invite applications for their Four-year PhD Studentships. This scheme offers postgraduate students collaborative PhD training at academic laboratories in the UK or Republic of Ireland and at the National Institutes of Health in the USA. Students usually spend half their time at an academic organisation in the UK/Republic of Ireland and the other half of their time at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus at Bethesda (Maryland, USA). Applicants should have a first class degree or 2:1 (or the European Economic Area equivalent), or be in their final year and predicted to get a first class degree or 2:1. Applicants must also be UK or EEA nationals.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 07/11/16.

If you are interested in submitting to any of the above calls you must contact RKEO with adequate notice before the deadline. Please note that some funding bodies specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your RKEO Funding Development Officer.

You can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in RKEO or view the recent blog post here. If you are thinking of applying, why not add an expression of interest on Research Professional so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

UKRO Conference Report – important EU funding updates

UKRO logoThe UK Research Office (UKRO) is the European office of the UK Research Councils. It delivers a subscription-based advisory service for research organisations (in the main UK HEIs) and provides National Contact Point services on behalf of the UK Government. UKRO’s mission is to maximise UK engagement in EU-funded research, innovation and higher education activities. One way UKRO supports this mission is through the annual conference.

The slides are publicly available via the UKRO website. To access further subscriber-only information, including events notifications and news, BU staff members can register today!

The 2016  UKRO Annual Conference took place at Glasgow ​Caledonian University in Glasgow on Thursday 30th June and Friday 1st July 2016.​​ Please follow the links below to access slides and other information from the event:

Conference Programme​​

Biographies of Speakers

Presentations:

Thursday 30 June 2016

Opening plenary session

Horizon 2020: Are We On the Path to Success?
Mr Wolfgang Burtscher (DG RTD, Deputy Director General)

European Research Council: An Update and Future Directions
Mr Theodore Papazoglou (ERCEA, Head of Unit, Support to the ERC Scientific Council)

Parallel sessions 1

A) Horizon 2020 Health Challenge: Zika, Ebola & Antimicrobial Resistance
Ms Line Matthiessen (DG RTD, Head of Unit, Fighting Infectious Diseases and Advancing Public Health)

B) Being Ethics Ready and Compliant
Ms Maria Filipa Ferraz De Oliveira (ERCEA, Head of Ethics Sector)

C) Horizon 2020 Funding for Research into Migration and Mobility
Ms Elisabeth Lipiatou (DG RTD, Head of Unit, Open and Inclusive Societies)

Parallel sessions 2

A) Marie Skl​odowska-Curie Actions Reporting: IT’s That Time of the Year Again…
Ms Cathy Souto Enriques (REA, MSCA Project Advisor)

B) Funding Research for a Secure Society
​Mr Graham Willmott (DG HOME, Head of Unit, Innovation and Industry Security)​

Friday 1 July 2016

Open Innovation: The Future of EU Innovation Funding? Ideas for Creating a European Innovation Council
Ms Sophie Laurie (NERC, Associate Director of Innovation and Translation)
Mr Matthew King (DG RTD, Head of Unit Open Innovation)​​

Parallel sessions 3

A) Open to the World: Co-Funded Calls and How it Works in Practice
Mr Diego Sammaritano (DG RTD, Policy Officer, R&I Cooperation with China)

B) Open Science: Opening Up Scientific Information in Horizon 2020
Ms Joy Davidson (Collaborative Research & Services Provision Manager, University of Glasgow)

Parallel sessions 4

ELO Profiles for the Future of EU Funding
Ms Angela Noble (University of Edinburgh, Manager – Europe)
Ms Philippa Shelton (University of the West of England, Bristol, Senior Research Business Development Manager)
Ms Kimberly Cornfield (UCL, Head of EU Proposal Management)

Managing Intellectual Property in Horizon 2020
Mr Jakub Ramocki (EU IPR Helpdesk, Intellectual Property Advisor)

If you would like to discuss potential EU funding activity, please contact Emily Cieciura, RKEO’s Research Facilitator: EU & International. To see related articles, just search for ‘UKRO’ on the BU Research blog.

 

Presentation PhD student Jib Acharya in Liverpool

Jib LJMU 2016Mr. Jib Acharya (FHSS) gave an interesting presentation yesterday about the qualitative research findings of his PhD at Liverpool John Moores University.  Jib’s PhD research focused on the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of poor women in Nepal about healthy eating and the study also identifies major food barriers.

His mixed-methods approach combines a quantitative questionnaire survey with qualitative research. Jib’s research project is supervised by Dr. Jane Murphy, Dr. Martin Hind and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen. Some of the preliminary findings of this FHSS thesis have already been published in two scientific journals [1-2].

References:

  1. Acharya, J., van Teijlingen, E., Murphy, J., Hind, M. (2015) Assessment of knowledge, beliefs and attitudes towards healthy diet among mothers in Kaski, Nepal, Participation 17(16): 61-72.
  2. Acharya, J., van Teijlingen, E., Murphy, J., Hind, M. (2015) Study of nutritional problems in preschool aged children in Kaski District in Nepal, Journal of Multidisciplinary Research in Healthcare 1(2): 97-118. http://dspace.chitkara.edu.in/jspui/bitstream/1/560/1/12007_JMRH_Acharya.

Why editorials?

Zika editorial 2016BU academics are editors on a wide range of scientific journals.  As editors we often write editorials for academic journals which have a number of specific functions.  It is a key means of communication between the editor(s) and the journal’s readership.  It is also vehicle to highlight topical academic and political issues related to the journal and the discipline(s) it represents. JAM June 2016 editorial

Earlier this week the latest issue of the Journal of Asian Midwives came out with an editorial which is an illustration of the first point giving information to the readers [1].  The topics addressed in this editorial included the announcement that this new journal was now indexed in the CINAHL Database, a recent major international conference in the field and a call for the forthcoming 2017 ICM (Internation Confederation of Midwives) tri-annual conference.  Today saw the publication of an editorial on the Zika virus and its potential impact in Nepal in the journal Medical Science [2].   This guest editorial co-written by BU’s Visiting Faculties Dr. Brijesh Sathian and Prof. Padam Simkhada with Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health) calls for action in Nepal.  A country where malaria is endemic. The Zika virus uses mosquitoes like the ones spreading Dengue fever and malaria.  Zika is a virus we do not wish to see spreading in countries where malaria is already rife.  The editorial warns that precautionary measures are needed to prevent a Zika outbreak as the spread of the virus to the country seems inevitable, the only uncertainty is when it will be arriving.

Both journals are Open Access which means these editorials can be read by anybody with internet access free of charge.

References:

  1. Jan, R., van Teijlingen, E. (2016) Editorial JAM June 2016, Journal of Asian Midwives 3(1):1. http://ecommons.aku.edu/jam/vol3/iss1/1/
  2. van Teijlingen, E., Sathian, B., & Simkhada, P. (2016). Zika & Nepal: a far greater risk for its population than to individuals. Medical Science 4(2): 312-313. http://www.pubmedhouse.com/journals/ms/articles/1064/PMHID1064.pdf

 

International Conference “Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: History vs. Modernity”

Call for Papers for the International Conference “Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine(s): History vs. Modernity”, to be held in Warsaw on 4-5 November 2016. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 30 June 2016. Papers presented at the conference will be published in a collected volume.

The conference keynote speaker is Dr. Joana Almeida (University of London), the author of Towards the camisation of health? The countervailing power of CAM in relation to the Portuguese mainstream healthcare system.


For more information, please visit the conference website at www.tcam.conf.irf-network.org.

BU to host National Undergraduate Research Conference in April 2017

BCUR17

Bournemouth University is getting ready to host the 7th BCUR (British Conference in Undergraduate Research) on April 25-26 2017. Previous hosts include: University of Central Lancashire (2011), University of Warwick (2012), Plymouth University (2013), University of Nottingham (2014), University of Winchester (2015), and in 2016 Manchester Metropolitan University. BU has had representation at each of these gatherings previously, and is looking forward to hosting in 2017. At the last gathering in Manchester, the faculty of Management, SciTech and HSS all had undergraduate student abstracts accepted, profiling their research by way of poster session or oral presentations.

Two students who participated at the March 2016 conference in Manchester took a lot away from the enhanced learning experience the conference offered.

Manchester postersAaron Wornes, final year international hospitality management student who presented his research on The General Attitudes of Self-Service Technology said “The diversity and level of research that was being presented was enthralling. I felt so proud that I was able to share my interests though my own research. My only regret was that I didn’t hear about BCUR sooner, I can’t wait for Bournemouth to host next year”. Edwin Lewis, a final year Tourism Management student made the following observations, “…it has given me time to reflect not only on my own research and what else I could include, but also the wide variety of undergraduate research that is being studied. The conference really helped me understand how important it is to recognise research projects. I am very excited that BU gets to hold BCUR next year”. Edwin presented his dissertation research on The Impacts of Airline Hubs on the European Aviation Market, A Case Study of the Emirates.

FoM at MMU

The current BU organising committee is taking shape with UET support and is made up of Gail Thomas (CEL), Luciana Esteves, Mary Beth Gouthro (conference co-chairs); representatives from each faculty, ie Maggie Hutchings/Peter Thomas (HSS); Xun He (SciTech); Fiona Cownie (FMC) and Miguel Moital (FoM). Also contributing to the planning are team members from: Marketing Communications, BU Events Team, SUBU and Estates.

Bournemouth Uni is expecting well over 400 delegates to this national research conference next April. It is a great opportunity to showcase the diverse quality of undergraduate research being undertaken at BU and other UK universities in attendance. If you seek further information, please contact any of your faculty colleagues mentioned above or co-chair Mary Beth Gouthro mgouthro@bournemouth.ac.uk.

For more information on BU’s prior involvement in BCUR activities, previous research blog entries can be found below, and follow #BCUR17.

2014:

http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/2014/04/24/school-of-tourism-undergraduates-highlight-research-at-national-bcur-gathering-2/

2015:

http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/2015/03/02/bu-undergraduate-research-featured-in-houses-of-parliament/

2016:

http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/2016/02/16/bu-undergraduate-research-on-show-in-parliament/

 

Announcement BU Humanisation Conference 2016

BU Humanisation Conference     21st June 2016

Venue: Room EB708, Executive Business Centre, 89 Holdenhurst Road, BH8 8EB

 

Please find the Programme for the Humanisation conference on the 21st June 2016 attached.

Please feel free to pass the information on to others internal and external to the university (academic and practice) who you feel may be interested

The conference is being run at no cost and so you need to make your own arrangements for lunch.  Let Dr. Caroline Ellis-Hill  ( cehill@bournemouth.ac.uk ) know by the 15th June if you wish to attend .

If you only want to attend for part of the day, please state which part of the day you’d like to attend.

 

9.30 Registration  
10.00 Dr Caroline Ellis-Hill Welcome
10.10 Anne Quinney Humanisation of the BU Generic Student Assessment Criteria.
10.30 Dr Sean Beer Perceptions of the authenticity of food: a study of residents in Dorset (UK)
10.50 Prof Ann Hemingway Innovative routes to Wellbeing: Equine Assisted interventions
11.10 Coffee  
11.30 Jane Fry Sharing human concerns: utilising an embodied interpretative approach to convey findings from a descriptive phenomenological study
11.50 Dr Carole Pound Humanising care: translating theory into practice in stroke care
12.10 Rutherford and Dr. Emer Forde The Rutherford Introspective Photography: Promoting self-reflection and wellbeing of GP trainees through photography.
12.30 Free time   Please see information about local venues for lunch
2.00 Dr Vanessa Heaslip How phenomenology enables insight into the Human lives of Gypsy Roma Travellers’
2.20 Mevalyn Cross Experiencing the Humanisation Framework together
2.40 Dr Jan Mosja Chaplaincy at the bedside. Learning from Buddhist chaplains and their contributions to the humanisation of health care.
3.00 Sally Lee Humanising and the Care Act well-being principle
3.20 Dr Mary Grant and Dr Catherine Lamont Robinson HeART of Stroke: feasibility study of an Art & Health intervention following a stroke
3.40 Thanks, Tea and Close  

 

Perspectives from an Early Career Researcher (ECR): Tips for Conference Engagement

Last week I attended the 20th European Congress of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM) in Estoril, which covered topics from functional gait analysis-to-household ergonomics. By the morning coffee break of day one, it came back to me that engaging in a conference is an art-form. In this brief report I hope to share some tips, based on my own experiences in academia.

Beforehand, workload-dependent, leave all mobile technologies and laptops in your room. Emails can wait until the day’s end and social media will only serve to distract (Quentin Tarantino bans mobile phones from his film sets, so there).

Firstly, register early and familiarize yourself with the layout of the conference centre. Stop for a coffee; premium-grade typically dispensed by the sponsor’s kiosk.

Secondly, take the time to read the programme, and map your ‘conference schedule’ (i.e., what sessions you intend to attend). Breakfast presents a fine opportunity for planning, on a day-by-day basis. Schedule planning is important for larger meetings, which can deliver many parallel sessions. Attend a conference with an aim(s). Be strategic; balance topics specific to, and outside your research area. For example, I attended i) functional mobility in older adults (subject-specific), ii) Cochrane Review/PGR development (non-specific, CPD), iii) cognitive dual-tasking (semi-specific, interest), and iv) Nordic walking (personal interest) sessions. Specialist workshops, such as ECR sessions, are gold-dust as you gain insight from international perspectives and practices. I also recommend not studiously attending every single session; I did this in my first conference and burnt out post-coffee break on day two. Don’t feel guilty missing a session if you feel it holds no relevance to you (or your personal development), otherwise you risk losing concentration on the sessions you are interested in. Stop for a coffee.

Thirdly, relax, enjoy yourself and don’t be afraid to talk. You can often learn more (and establish links) during coffee breaks, than in the sessions. Yes, you are at work, and yes, you may be abroad, but don’t fall into wi-fi hunting. Ultimately, you will check, and respond to, emails. You can do this back home. Engage with the academic and local cultures. Remember wi-fi may be omnipresent, but it wasn’t until about 6 years ago.

Finally, ask constructive questions. If presenting, welcome questions as they reflect an interested audience, and may highlight areas that you haven’t yet considered. Do not view negative/antagonistic questions as a challenge, they may not agree with your perspective and/or may have misinterpreted you. Data rigour and quality control are imperative, but findings may be serendipitous.

If you can master these, please tell me how, as I’m still learning.

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Dr James Gavin

Lecturer (Exercise Physiology)

Department of Sport & Physical Activity

jgavin@bournemouth.ac.uk