This week, the BU Research Blog has focussed on the different internal funding panels. This final post focusses on the BU Studentship Funding Panel, which oversees the allocation of central funding for postgraduate research (PGR) studentships. The BU Studentship Funding panel consists of thirteen panel members from across Faculties and Professional Services, is chaired by Professor Katherine Appleton (FMC), with the support of Associate Professor Dan Jackson (FMC), Deputy Chair.
BU has been awarding PhD Studentships since 2006 when, to help realise its then research vision, the University created an unprecedented 80 fully funded PhD studentships to support outstanding students. The most significant development of the scheme was the introduction of matched funding in 2009, which not only maximised the use of internal funds but also helped academics, and PGRs, develop specialised research collaborations with local, national and international organisations (including other HEIs), businesses and communities.
The continued focus on matched funding fulfils a number of BU priorities including:
- increasing the number of Studentships available;
- increasing the opportunities within QR and other funding allocations; and
- the building and strengthening of a greater number of external relationships.
In addition, most importantly the inclusion of external partnerships also provides a stronger Fusion learning experience for our PGRs. Where possible, the allocation of the BU Studentships is aligned to BU’s Research Principles particularly in encouraging interdisciplinary research, building critical mass and the mentoring of ECRs through the professoriate.
Over the last 5 years alone, the scheme has provided funding for more than 150 PGRs across BU. Projects in recent years have been wide ranging and include:
- Type 1 diabetes and eating disorders: developing best practice communication guidelines for healthcare professionals supervised by Dr Janet James in collaboration with Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch in collaboration with Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- The impact of the current delivery models of care for older patients at Christchurch Day Hospital supervised by Dr Michele Board in collaboration with Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Waterloo Uncovered: Using large-scale geophysical survey to investigate the world’s most famous battlefield supervised by Dr Stuart Eve in collaboration with Waterloo Uncovered
- Modelling, prediction and control of the spread of aquaculture diseases supervised by Dr Marcin Budka in collaboration with Centre for Environments, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
- Phenology and ecology of the critically endangered European eel during their marine to freshwater transition supervised by Robert Britton in collaboration with Environment Agency
- Injury risk and performance: Towards a better understanding of the complexities and intricacies of load monitoring within an elite football club supervised by Professor Tim Rees in collaboration with AFC Bournemouth
- Intellectual property, information rights and the regulation of the Digital Single Market supervised by Professor Maurizio Borghi in collaboration with Erasmus + Programme
- Artificial Intelligence Based Approaches for Game Design and Development supervised by Professor Feng Tian in collaboration with Shenzhen University, China
- Reducing free sugar intakes: Evidence for effective dietary recommendations supervised by Professor Katherine Appleton in collaboration with International Sweeteners Association
Not surprisingly however, the impact of COVID-19 has been challenging for all involved in the BU Studentships. Recruitment of new PGRs was put on hold whilst BU focussed on supporting our existing studentships holders through these unusual and difficult times. Going forward, BU is working on reviewing the BU Studentships scheme to ensure a more equitable allocation of projects across all Faculties and developing a sustainable financial model prior to announcing the next competition for projects to start in September 2022.