Tagged / Fusion Investment Fund

Fusion Investment Fund open for applications

FIF is open!

Excuse me? You don’t know what FIF is?

FIF stands for the Fusion Investment Fund. It is designed to support staff in developing as researchers, educators and practitioners. Since its inception in 2012, FIF has funded over 200 projects with awards totalling more than £2m.

Want to know more?

Two funding strands are available to staff: Co-creation and co-production strand (CC&CP), and Staff mobility and networking strand (SMN).

For all the policy documents, Fund FAQs and information about applying, please visit the FIF website.

Please direct all initial enquiries to the Fusion Investment Fund Co-ordinator, Sue Townrow, at Fusion Fund.

 

What do Fishbone, Amusement Park and Apigee have in common?

They are all tools for digital storytelling. On Thursday May 14th, the Fusion-funded, inter-faculty BU Datalabs team presented at Interdisciplinary Research Week. Guests from across the University and beyond came to learn about digital storytelling and how visual data stories can better communicate the significance of research findings to policy-makers and the public.

Weathering the rain, the event kicked off with a reflective exercise called ‘Analogue Twitter.’ Participants were asked to write down a story of their research in 140 characters or less. From sports management to midwifery, research stories spanned the disciplines.

To get things going, Senior Lecturer in Digital Storytelling, Dr. Brad Gyori brought his expertise in interactive media, and his experience as the Head Writer of the Emmy award winning show Talk Soup, to introduce the audience to the many storytelling patterns that have emerged with the rise and innovation of digital platforms. Digital storytelling can range from Fishbone narratives that have one main linear narrative with suggested diversions, to the Amusement Park that offers loosely clustered, different perspectives with no central hub, as we see in Highrise: Out of my Window.

Next up, Dr. Anna Feigenbaum, a Senior Lecturer from the Faculty of Media and Communications, introduced the audience to the power of storytelling with maps and infographics. Drawing from her own tear gas project and others’ expertise, she explored how visuals can act as ‘infobait’, drive curiosity, and interrupt dominant narratives.

After lunch, BU Datalabs project partner Malachy Browne from the social media journalism outfit reportedly shared insights and strategies for using online tools to do investigative research, share your findings, and dig deeper into social data. From apigee for APIs to mine social media data, to wolframalpha that can return the weather from any date in history, Browne made connections between the tools of his trade and the possibilities for expanding our digital methods in academia.

For more information on the BU Datalabs project, email: afeigenbaum@bournemouth.ac.uk  If you would like to get involved, we will be hosting a meeting open to all staff and students in early July. Details to follow. 

Fusion Investment Fund: support in faculties

What is the Fusion Investment Fund?

Bournemouth University’s vision is to ‘Create the most stimulating, challenging and rewarding university experience in a world-class learning community by sharing our unique fusion of excellent education, research and professional practice and inspiring our students, graduates and staff to enrich the world.’ The achievement of this vision is supported through the Fusion Investment Fund (FIF) which provides staff with the opportunity to develop and pursue their fusion goals by bidding for and drawing on these ‘pump-priming’ resources. FIF is part of BU’s investment in intellectual capital.

How can I find out more?

I’m Sue Townrow, the FIF Co-ordinator, and I’ll be working in each faculty on a regular basis, to deal with any queries you may have about a future application or an existing award.

My schedule for the next few weeks is shown here. However it may need to be adjusted at short notice so, if you want to be sure of a specific date/time, please confirm it by sending me an invitation.

I look forward to meeting you!

Sue Townrow

Fusion Fund Co-ordinator, RKEO, M402, Melbury House (Lansdowne campus)

Tel: 01202 961204

 

 

Apply for the Undergraduate Research Assistantship programme now!

On 1st March we announced the launch of the next round of the Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) programme and opened the call for applications for positions to run in summer 2015 (see Launch of the summer round of the BU URA programme). The deadline is fast approaching (20th March) so you will need to get your applications in soon (apply here).

Having a URA working with you has many benefits to both you and the student. These include:

  • Increased opportunity for co-creation between you and the student
  • Increased satisfaction for you and the student
  • Promotion of careers in academia and research to the student
  • Promotion of opportunities for postgraduate study to the student
  • The student will support you with your research

Picking up on this last point, this could include supporting you with undertaking a pilot study which could then be used to strengthen your application for external research funding. Typical duties of a URA include (but are not restricted to):

  • performing experiments and analysing the results
  • disseminating new knowledge orally or in written outputs
  • literature searches
  • presenting results at conferences
  • providing general research support to academics

You can apply for a URA position to run in summer 2015 by competing this short application form and submitting it by 20th March.

Launch of the summer round of the BU Undergraduate Research Assistantship programme

I am delighted to announce today the launch of summer round of BU’s Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) programme. Funded by the Fusion Investment Fund, this programme offers paid employment opportunities for approximately 40 BU undergraduate students per year to work in clusters, centres and institutes, under the guidance of experienced academics, in a research position that is directly related to their career path and/or academic discipline. This enables the students to assist academic staff with their research whilst also gaining valuable research experience themselves.

Research shows there is a direct link between student satisfaction and research-based learning, particularly when the opportunity is in their field of study[1], and that the undergraduate student experience is improved by engaging them with research early and often.[2] URA programmes are common in North America and are offered in a significant number of universities, for example Harvard University, Northern Illinois University, Kent State University and Cornell University.

In 2015 BU is offering two modes of the URA programme:

  1. semester-based programme (c. 20 part-time positions running for eight weeks in semester 2)
  2. summer programme (c. 20 full-time positions running for six weeks in June/July 2015)

There are two stages to the application process: 1) Faculty application stage whereby BU academic staff can apply for URA positions, and 2) student selection stage whereby Faculty staff recruit to the positions.

We are now accepting applications from academic staff for URA positions for the summer-based programme. The deadline for applications is Friday 20th March 2015. All applications received will be reviewed by a panel comprising two Deputy Deans (Research and Professional Practice) and the Head of Research and Knowledge Exchange. Decisions on which positions to fund will be announced at the start of April.
.
Further details, including the application form, are available here: Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) programme

[1] For example: Healey and Jenkins (2011) Linking discipline-based research with teaching to benefit student learning, available from: http://www.mickhealey.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Linking-RT-Handout-Website1.doc

[2] For example: Madan, C R & Braden, D T (2013) The Benefits of Undergraduate Research: The Student’s Perspective, available from: http://dus.psu.edu/mentor/2013/05/undergraduate-research-students-perspective/

Introducing Sue Townrow, FIF Co-ordinator

Hello! I’m the co-ordinator for the Fusion Investment Fund which was designed to support Fusion by funding ‘pump-priming’ initiatives. There are two different strands for staff – Staff Mobility & Networking and Co-creation & Co-production. I also deal with two externally funded programmes – Erasmus and Santander, which both support overseas staff travel for purposes such as teaching, training and networking.

You can find out more about the Fusion Investment Fund here and do get in touch if you have any queries or want more information. The next round is likely to be opening in the Spring.

It’s a fascinating job – I’m involved in all stages of the process – it includes providing information about the funds, helping people through the application process and supporting the pre-screen and committee review processes. After the awards are made, I liaise with the PIs to set up their budgets and get their project started, I monitor the project’s progress, deal with any requests for changes to the project or its budget, carry out budget audits and ensure that each PI carries out an effective evaluation at the end of their project. We currently have around 130 live projects utilising about £1.3m of funding.

My main aim is to ensure that high quality projects obtain funding and then that the funding is used in the most effective way to obtain the best results for BU as a whole. Simples!!

I’ve been at BU since 2011, firstly in Student Administration Services and more recently in Applied Sciences (as it was then) in Programmes Admin and student support. I really enjoyed being part of a School and one of the attractions of this role for me was the continued contact with academic staff and their research.

My pre-BU experience is mostly in Finance, including ten years in Credit Management and three as a Budget Analyst. I’ve also got some experience of applying for grants in the charity sector, all of which gives me a useful background for this job.

Outside of work I enjoy crafts, especially sewing and knitting, I love cooking (and luckily my husband loves eating!) and we both enjoy walking and photography. We bought a house at the end of last year and I am presently perfecting my skills at crossing a mud slide to get to my front door – my husband is confident it will be a garden one day! I have two grown children and in fact our daughter came to university here, loved it so much she stayed and that’s how we ended up moving to Dorset four years ago.

So – if you are thinking of putting in a bid in the next round, or want to know more about how the fund might support your work, do get in touch. One opportunity would be the next RKEO coffee morning on 4th Feb – it’ll be 9.30 to 10.30 in the RKEO office on the 4th floor of Melbury House.

 

 

 

Apply for the Undergraduate Research Assistantship programme now!

Last week we announced the launch of the Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) programme and opened the call for applications for positions to run in semester 2 (see Launch of the BU URA programme). The deadline is fast approaching (14th November) so you will need to get your applications in soon (apply here).

Having a URA working with you has many benefits to both you and the student. These include:

  • Increased opportunity for co-creation between you and the student
  • Increased satisfaction for you and the student
  • Promotion of careers in academia and research to the student
  • Promotion of opportunities for postgraduate study to the student
  • The student will support you with your research

Picking up on this last point, this could include supporting you with undertaking a pilot study which could then be used to strengthen your application for external research funding. Typical duties of a URA include (but are not restricted to):

  • performing experiments and analysing the results
  • disseminating new knowledge orally or in written outputs
  • literature searches
  • presenting results at conferences
  • providing general research support to academics

You can apply for a URA position to run in semester 2 by competing this short application form and submitting it by 14th November.

Launch of the BU Undergraduate Research Assistantship programme

I am delighted to announce today the launch of BU’s Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) programme. Funded by the Fusion Investment Fund, this programme will offer paid employment opportunities for approximately 40 BU undergraduate students to work in clusters, centres and institutes, under the guidance of experienced academics, in a research position that is directly related to their career path and/or academic discipline. This will enable the students to assist academic staff with their research whilst also gaining valuable research experience.

Research shows there is a direct link between student satisfaction and research-based learning, particularly when the opportunity is in their field of study[1], and that the undergraduate student experience is improved by engaging them with research early and often.[2] URAs are common in North America and are offered in a significant number of universities, for example Harvard University, Northern Illinois University, Kent State University and Cornell University.

In 2014-15 BU is offering two modes of the URA programme:

  1. semester-based programme (c. 20 part-time positions running for eight weeks in semester 2)
  2. summer programme (c. 20 full-time positions running for six weeks in June/July 2015)

There are two stages to the application process: 1) School/Faculty application stage whereby BU academic staff can apply for URA positions, and 2) student selection stage whereby School/Faculty staff recruit to the positions.

We are now accepting applications from academic staff for URA positions for the semester-based programme. The deadline for applications is 14th November 2014. All applications received will be reviewed by representatives from the University Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee, with decisions on which positions to fund announced at the start of December. There will be a second round next year for the summer programme.
Further details, including the application form, are available here: Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) programme

[1] For example: Healey and Jenkins (2011) Linking discipline-based research with teaching to benefit student learning, available from: http://www.mickhealey.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Linking-RT-Handout-Website1.doc

[2] For example: Madan, C R & Braden, D T (2013) The Benefits of Undergraduate Research: The Student’s Perspective, available from: http://dus.psu.edu/mentor/2013/05/undergraduate-research-students-perspective/

Successful application for Fusion Investment Funding for study leave

After a nervous wait, I was so excited when the anticipated email from the Fusion Investment Fund Committee popped into my in-box on the 7th August. With shaky fingers I clicked on the email, was this good news or not? Had I been successful in my bid for Fusion Investment funding? I was surprised and overjoyed to find the answer was yes!
I co-lead and coordinate the undergraduate student midwife caseloading initiative, a dynamic experiential practice-based learning strategy developed and pioneered by Bournemouth University (BU) in 1996. Caseloading practice requires students (supervised by a qualified midwife) to provide continuity of care for a small group of women throughout pregnancy, birth and the early days of parenting.
Given that it is now national policy that midwifery undergraduate students engage in caseloading it’s important to have an evidence-base on which to base best practice. Whilst there is robust evidence of women’s experiences of continuity from qualified midwives, there is a paucity of information regarding students. No formal research into women’s experiences of this approach to student involvement in care appears to have been undertaken in the UK.
My doctoral study aims to hear women’s personal stories to develop an understanding of how being part of a student midwife’s caseload may have impacted on their childbearing experience. Utilising qualitative methods, the study follows women’s experiences of continuity of care provision from a student midwife to identify themes of significance to the individual women in the study, and the women as a group. I am interested to hear women’s stories of how they develop and maintain relationships with the student, how they report the care provided in relation to their holistic needs and aspects of significance as identified by the women.
Six women have been recruited to the study. Participant stories are sought on three occasions; twice during pregnancy and once in the postnatal period. Data gathered is analysed using interpretive approaches within a narrative inquiry framework to identify themes of significance to the individual women within the study, and the women as a group.
It is imperative that midwifery education prepares students for employment within the ‘real world’ of midwifery practice. My study is embedded within the industry of midwifery; practice. Service user experience is central to quality practice provision and at the heart of student education. Through the fusion of research co-constructed with service users, practice and education, timely completion of my doctoral work has the potential to benefit students, women as service users, and professional practice.
My success in securing funding for study leave to write-up my doctoral thesis, will enable early dissemination of study findings to inform a currently limited evidence-base for best practice in student midwife caseloading. Dissemination of this knowledge will build on BUs footprint of scholarly work in this field. It will also enable me to be part of REF 2020 and help build critical mass in our next REF and reputation for midwifery/health at BU. Given the currently limited body of knowledge and growing interest surrounding student midwife caseloading practice, timely completion of my PhD also provides a platform for bidding the research councils. Little is known for example, of the emotional work of caseloading for students and midwifery mentors, or how best to prepare and support practitioners for this experience. Further work around service user perspectives is also required. These strands afford opportunity for co-working and c-constructing research projects with students, practitioners and service users. There is also the potential for collaborative work across HEIs in the UK, and countries offering similar educational schemes.
Thank you Fusion Investment Fund!