Tagged / Fusion Investment Fund

FIF – Staff Networking and Mobility Project- Visiting Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in South Korea

The University’s Fusion Investment Fund (Staff Networking and Mobility) has provided an excellent opportunity for building up international cooperation in research, education and professional practice. Over the years we have developed many international links with China, US, France, Switzerland, Singapore, Turkey etc. These international links have played a significant role in our research activities through joint publications, developing research projects, submitting research proposal for external funding.

GIST is a world-class technical university which has recently started to focus on bridging art and technology, and is setting up a national research institute for art-technology fusion supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism of Korea. This matches extremely well with the ethos and practices of the NCCA that has been undertaking cutting edge research marrying art with technology.

Dr. Xiaosong Yang met Prof. Lee at SIGGRAPH2012 and had a long discussion exploring collaborative ideas. Prof. Lee has been working on physical simulation for many years, and has produced many quality publications on top journals, including SIGGRAPH (ACM Transactions on Computer Graphics). As we (Dr Yang and Prof Zhang) have been working on character animation for many years, both Prof Lee and us at the NCCA are strong players in our respective specialist subject fields and have complementary strengths. In order to consolidate our relationship and develop winning research projects, this proposed collaboration will start with joint research on physically based character animation.

Dr. Yang will give one week visit to Prof. Lee’s research lab at GIST around May/June 2013. The network activities, including guest lectures/talks, visits and meetings, will aim at promoting joint world-class research, exploring collaborations for joint-publications and future funding bids.

Researchers: Dr. Xiaosong Yang, Prof. Jian J Zhang (The Media School)

Xiaosong Yang   Jian J Zhang

Fusion Investment Fund Staff Mobility & Networking Strand Funding Available!

The Fusion Investment Fund Staff Mobility & Networking (SMN) Strand has £45k to award from now until April 30th 2013.

The objectives , eligibility criteria and award limits are exactly as that found in the SMN Policy document found on our  Fusion Investment Fund webpages.

Applications must be on this FIF Application Form and emailed to me when completed; as many people experienced problems with the online form, this format is no longer valid.

Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis by the Committee and the fund will close either when the fund expires or on April 30th 2013, whichever occurs first. You are encouraged to discuss your potential application with a member of the Committee to ensure it meets the remit of the scheme.

All vital information including policy documents, FAQs  etc can be found on the SMN webpage.

Fusion Investment Fund – One week to get your applications in!

Please be aware of the upcoming deadline for submitting your application to the Fusion Investment Fund!

The upcoming round of funding has a deadline of 1st December – committees will then meet in January to decide which proposals get funding, with decisions going out to applicants in mid-January.

I will be posting specific details about some of the proposals throughout 2013, I hope these will be useful to help illustrate what the funds can be used for and why certain applications were successful in a particular strand.

We have already planned interventions to take place in the Spring leading up the next round of funding which has a 1st June deadline. Feel free to drop me an email about these.

To apply to fund please see the intranet pages here.

 

Good luck!

Sam Furr

FusionFund@bournemouth.ac.uk

Fusion Investment Fund – Applying for BUDI secondment

What is being offered?

The Study Leave Committee (Fusion Investment Fund) will fund five dedicated secondment opportunities for BU staff to get involved with The BU Dementia Institute (BUDI).  Staff can be bought out of their current roles for up to 6 months to get involved directly with BUDI. 

Who are BUDI looking for?

You don’t have to be a health care specialist to participate, they need psychologists, education experts, marketing and media experts, business and leadership professionals, economists, engineers, data analysts, project managers and computer scientists.  It is truly cross-disciplinary and an ideal way for staff to gain experience of research and knowledge exchange bids.

How to apply

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Director of BUDI Professor Anthea Innes and can apply before the 1st December deadline via the Fusion Investment Fund application form details of which can be found on the staff portal

When you make your online application please mark it clearly ‘BUDI Secondment’ as it will be sent to Anthea Innes for her endorsement before being submitted to the Study Leave Committee.

Hear it direct from the horse’s mouth! – Individual one-to-one advice from FIF committee members

For the December round of Fusion Investment Funding the committee members from all three strands (open to staff) are available to contact to arrange advice and guidance on completing your applications, from today until the 1st December deadline.

Please note the CCCP committee members will be available by phone or email only.

To contact members from one of the panels send an email to a member, names found clicking on the following pages and scrolling down to the ‘assessment’ box:

Co-Creation and Co-Production strand CCCP

Staff Mobility and Networking strand SMN

Study Leave strand SL

 

Don’t forget to apply by the 1st December deadline!

Sam

Fusion Investment Fund Applications – Three weeks to go!

I would like to remind you of the deadline for applications to the Fusion Investment Fund, which is the 1st December 2012.

Fusion Investment Fund workshop takes place – Martin Pickard leads successful surgery.

I attended a workshop session on Tuesday this week with a small group of your colleagues, attendees had the opportunity to bring along draft proposals to show Martin and myself to get individual feedback and discuss in the group aspects of their applications that can be improved, in order to secure Fusion Investment Funds.  Martin will also offer further feedback to attendees having read their ammended proposals following the session.  I would urge applicants to the fund to use further intervention opportunities ahead of the December deadline. 

Fusion Investment Fund intervention opportunities:

Each of the three committees are contactable by email in order to get individual feedback on your application.  You should scroll down to the assessment section of the relevant strand webpage to find committee member names and do drop them an email!

CCCP Strand; Staff Mobility and Networking Strand; Study Leave Strand

 

Applying to the fund.

To apply to the fund please see the information here on our intranet pages. I would stongly advise reading the FIF FAQs revised before you fill out a form.

If you have any queries about the fund please email FusionFund@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Best of luck!

Sam

BUDI to benefit from successful £3,834 Fusion Investment Fund bid

 

Following a successful fusion bid application I am going to Canada later this month. One of the aims of the trip is to promote the growing Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI), as well as develop new and existing relationships BUDI already has with our Canadian colleagues.

Rural dementia service provision is a growing strand of research work in BUDI (Bournemouth University Dementia Institute). GRIID is an international group exploring rural service provision led by Anthea Innes along with Debra Morgan (Canada) David Edvardsson (Sweden), Amit Dias (India) and Peter Birkett (Australia). The on-going collaboration received seed corn funding from HSC QR and is currently being written up for publication.  The trip to Canada will enable me to explore further activities to conduct under the GRIID consortia as part of the 5 year work plan of this international group.

It will also enable BUDI to continue to build on the existing links with Professor Morgan at the University of Saskatchewan, established by Professor Anthea Innes 5 years ago. During the trip I will have the opportunity to attend and present a key note lecture at the Annual Summit of the Knowledge Network in Rural and Remote Dementia Care. This annual Summit brings together around 50 province based policy makers, decision makers, practitioners and researchers who are eager to work collaboratively with the university to identify research opportunities and will provide a model to explore for the ongoing collaborative ways of working BUDI is establishing.  

Professor Morgan developed and leads a unique and highly esteemed memory clinic (Morgan et al 2011. Evaluation of Telehealth for Preclinic Assessment and Follow-Up in an Interprofessional Rural and Remote Memory Clinic. Journal of Applied Gerontology 30: 304-33) at the University of Saskatchewan and I will be visiting this clinic whilst I am there. The visit will not only develop my own practice, but will provide the opportunity to disseminate and share knowledge with the Dorset memory service teams on my return.

In Toronto I plan to visit Dr Pia Kontos at Toronto University. Her research on person centred care reinforces the focus in the programmes we deliver to undergraduate and post graduate students. Sharing her experiences of a more creative dissemination of research, compliments my PhD thesis which has used a visual methodology. A visit to another existing collaborator of Anthea, the director of the Canadian Alzheimer’s Association Education team, in Toronto, will allow us to explore potential educational work between BUDI and our Canadian Alzheimer Association colleagues.

So the week in Canada promises to be busy and I am sure fulfilling!

FIF Launch Week – Focus on Co-Creation and Co-Production strand

 The popular Co-Creation and Co-Production (CCCP) strand is open to applications.  This strand was most popular of the three open to staff in the July round with 38 applications.

 A total of £246, 102.96 was awarded to successful applicants, to get ahead of the competition please note an important addition to the strand policy:

Successful bids will need to have benefits to the student experience at the core – and be able to demonstrate how this will occur, so hitting the Education point in the BU Fusion triangle is now more important than before.

Applications that do not satisfy how education at BU will be improved will not be looked at favourably by the panel.   To review the full strand developments and how this has affected the policy, you can view the updated FIF CCCP policy sept.

Our successful CCCP applicants have been blogging about their activity on our Research Blog, I hope that you will be successful in securing funds in this round and will join them!  Read their blogs below:

Sarah Bate who has used Fusion Investment funds to develop the Centre for Face Processing Disorders at BU – Watch out for the Centre’s regular updates on the Research Blog, and also check out www.prosopagnosiaresearch.org for more information.

Hossein Hassani is leading an inter-disciplinary project to characterize the socio-economic drivers underpinning change in freshwater host biodiversity that lead to the emergence of immuno-suppressant related human disease.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the intervention programmes running this October and November!

For further details about the fund please see www.bournemouth.ac.uk/FIF

Best of luck!

Adele Ladkin secures Fusion Investment Funding to visit the United Nations World Tourism Organisation in Andorra

Professor Adele Ladkin has received funding from the FIF staff mobility strand to undertake two week long visits to the UNWTO Themis Foundation Headquarters in Andorra.

As part of its Capacity Building Programme, the UNWTO.Themis Foundation provides educational courses and workshops for tourism industry experts.  These are in a range of subjects, for example tourism marketing, adventure tourism and sustainable tourism.  Because of the nature of these courses and the demand for different topics, subject experts from the tourism industry and public sectors are recruited as tutors to deliver the courses.

Adele and Ms Sònia Figueras, the UNWTO. Capacity Programme manager at the UNWTO Themis Foundation are engaged in collaborative work to produce a teaching guide and intensive training course for tutors responsible for delivering tourism capacity building courses and workshops as part of the UNWTO. Capacity Programme.  The Themis Foundation enables UNWTO Member States to devise and implement education, training and capacity building policies, plans and tools that fully harness the employment potential of their tourism sector and effectively enhance its competitiveness and sustainability. Working with Ms Figueras, Adele will provide input into teaching methodologies commonly used in tourism programmes.

The collaboration has arisen as the School of Tourism is part of the Themis TedQual Network and aims to support activities undertaken in the areas of education, training and tourism capacity building. The impact of the collaboration will be practical through the dissemination and use of the teachers guide and the training course by highly experienced tourism subject experts. The collaboration and pedagogic approach will also be presented at an appropriate tourism educator’s conference. This knowledge exchange opportunity demonstrates the Schools commitment to supporting tourism education initiatives.

Adele will be spending time in Andorra at the headquarters of the Themis Foundation to work directly on the course materials as well as on-line collaborative working. The visits will enable Adele to spend a concentrated period of time working on the project, and will also give her further insight into the activities of the Themis Foundation.  She plans to undertake the first visit later this year – weather permitting as the mountain roads into Andorra are often covered in snow!

FIF Launch Week – Focus on Staff Mobility and Networking strand

The Staff Mobility and Networking (SMN) strand exists to fund £1k-£10k projects enabling networking. In round one the committee funded 13 applications, awards totalling £72,771.33. 

A development for the second round of the strand is the inclusion of an Erasmus Staff Mobility strand which has been added to the scope of the SMN committee. Erasmus Application and Guidance (Word 2010).

The SMN strand of the FIF saw exciting initiatives from staff across BU, staff are starting to share their experiences and hopes for their projects using the Research Blog.  I hope you will be inspired to apply yourself to this strand! 

 

Read blog posts from funded applicants in round one below:

Chris Pullen – In this post Chris explains the background for his project entitled ‘A ‘tool kit’ to address Bullying and Name Calling in School: Teaching Practice and the use of Media in the Classroom’.

Some great research has already taken place looking at LGBT identity issues in school, Chris is looking to extend these ideas, looking at how media is used in the secondary school classroom. Exploring name calling that goes unchallenged within diverse social environments.

Jian Chang – who will establish a strategic partnership between the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) of Bournemouth University and the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), and to create opportunities in joint research, enterprise and education endeavours. UESTC has been among the top ranked Chinese universities, and has been the best educational base in China for computer science and electronic engineering. It is located in Chengdu, one of the largest cities in Western China

Dont forget to apply before the 1st December deadline!

Fusion Investment Fund Launch Week – Focus on Study Leave strand

 The Study Leave (SL) grants are designed to buy individuals out of one semester/term of teaching and provide support for overseas travel and subsistence or for expenditure associated with distance working within the UK.  Opportunities for paid study leave include undertaking or participating in:

  1. A period(s) of business or industrial secondment.
  2. International staff exchange or periods of overseas research, professional practice or educational activity.
  3. In staff exchange or periods of research, professional practice or educational activity at other Universities or Government research establishments in the UK.
  4. Secondments within different parts of BU, for example within different Schools. 

Study Leave was the most undersubscribed strand of the Fund in round one with 5 applicants taking the £45,661.50 allocated in July.  To give some clarity on what will be funded by the committee please see the FIF Study Leave policy Sept V1

Matthew Bennett writes in his blog piece ‘Jumping Trains’ how Study Leave can help in building networks. Periods of study leave need not be contiguous but can consist of a series of short visits or secondments at one or more institutions. An application for Study Leave may be combined or linked to a bid to the Staff Networking and Mobility Strand where additional travel and subsistence costs are required. Periods of Study Leave are normally between 2 or 6 months, but some flexibility for both shorter and longer periods will be exercised by the committee where there are good reasons for doing so. 

The normal cycle of applications is two per year – June and December – however the Committee recognises that opportunities arise at other times and is prepared to take out of cycle applications at any point during an academic year.

I hope you will see the diversity of possibilities available from this strand – by reading the Dr Lai Xu post on securing the maximum £15,000 funding.  The project  ‘Strengthening Service Computing Research in BU’ is enabling inward mobility into the School of Design, Engineering and Computing.

As part of the intervention programmes in October and November the committee members are all contactable for help, please details on intervention activity here.

Good Luck!!

Fusion Investment Fund – 2012/13 December Round opens today!

The Fusion Investment Fund (FIF) is again opening the three strands currently available to staff!

At c. £3m per annum for the first three years the FIF represents the significant investment that BU is making in the development of staff and students, and the embedding of the Fusion philosophy. 

New Fusion Investment Fund online application form and general FAQ’s can be viewed on the FIF website www.bournemouth.ac.uk/FIF   

Also launching today is the Erasmus Staff Mobility scheme which has been merged into the Existing Staff Mobility and Networking strand, please see Erasmus Application and Guidance (Word 2010) 

 Follow the links below to be directed to the new strand policy documents as well as the new Application Form:

 Details of the intervention sessions can be seen here. Apply before the deadline on 1st December!

 If you have any questions about the fund do not hesitate to contact Sam Furr FIF Administrator.

Fusion Investment Fund – Intervention Programmes in October / November 2012

Fusion Investment Fund Intervention Sessions

Applications to the December round of Fusion Investment Funding is now open.  To support academics in making applications two series of interventions are now available!

Grant Writing Development here at Talbot! – Book now onto the “Strengthening your FIF Proposal” workshop led by Martin Pickard

Two half day sessions are running on Tuesday 6th November with Martin Pickard from Grantcraft visiting Talbot. To book click here and fill out the booking form, numbers are limited to 12 in each session so do hurry!

Tuesday 6th November 2012, 09:00-12:00 – The Octagon, Talbot Campus

Tuesday 6th November 2012, 13:00-16:00 – The Octagon, Talbot Campus

This session will be led by Martin Pickard from Grantcraft and will provide academics who have drafted their FIF proposals with the opportunity to have their proposals reviewed by Martin and to identify areas that could be strengthened. Max of 12 attendees per session.

The session includes a one hour introductory presentation Martin calls ‘Grantmanship’, followed by a group workshop. Lunch included for both morning and afternoon attendees from 12:00 – 13:00.

Max of 12 attendees per session.

 

Hear it direct from the horse’s mouth! – Individual one-to-one advice from FIF committee members

For the December round of Fusion Investment Funding the committee members from all three strands (open to staff) are available to contact to arrange advice and guidance on completing your applications, from today right up to the 1st December deadline.

Please note the CCCP committee members will be available by phone or email only.

To contact members from one of the panels send an email to a member, names found clicking on the following pages:

Co-Creation and Co-Production strand CCCP

Staff Mobility and Networking strand SMN

Study Leave strand SL

 

Don’t forget to apply by the 1st December deadline!

Fusion Investment Fund to award £11,736 to Business School / ApSci project

Mapping the socioeconomic drivers of human disease emergence: Implications for AIDS and tuberculosis.

The tropical air was charged with hope and despair as the world’s leaders descended on Rio de Janeiro in 1992[1]. Twenty years later, the situation has not changed significantly and key targets for the reduction of biodiversity loss have not been met[1]. With the world’s population expected to grow from 6.8 billion today to 9.1 billion by 2050, how will all these extra mouths be fed at an acceptable cost to the planet? The world’s population more than doubled from 3 billion between 1961 and 2007, yet agricultural output kept pace — and current projections suggest it will continue to do so. However, Colin Chartres, director of the International Water Management Institute, has stated that “agriculture is the biggest user of fresh water, making up 70–90% of the annual water demand for many countries”[2]. The worldwide pattern of river threats offers the most comprehensive explanation so far of why freshwater biodiversity is considered to be in a state of crisis. Estimates suggest that at least 10,000–20,000 freshwater species are extinct or at risk, with loss rates rivalling those of previous transitions between geological epochs like the Pleistocene-to-Holocene.  

Along with the change of freshwater biodiversity expected as a result of environmental change and increased demand on ecosystem services, change in disease risk is also expected. It is forecasted that complex interactions between host type diversity and community of pathogens will be modified along with change of community structures. However, our current understanding of how change in biodiversity affects transmission and emergence of disease has been overlooked.

A group of researchers from different BU departments aim to characterise the socio-economic drivers underpinning change in freshwater host biodiversity that lead to the emergence of immuno-suppressant related human disease.  Specifically they are going to

1-to establish the worldwide distribution of microsporidian parasites and their fish hosts

2-to establish levels of host extinction risk

3-to model the links between freshwater biodiversity threats and a range of socio-economic parameters

4-to develop a set of risk maps of freshwater immuno-suppressant human disease emergence.

5-to relate our risk maps to current global distribution of AIDS and tuberculosis cases.

6- To establish a dynamical stochastic forecasting system based on a learning technique as a predictive epidemiology technique. The technique represents the state-of-the-art in epidemiology, linking socio-economic drivers and emerging infectious diseases.

The project would be conducting mostly based at the Business school but with regular meeting between the three supervisor, including skype meeting for the day to day supervision.

The outcomes of the on-going research will be of great interest to the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Development Programme  and public health NGOs (e.g. Project Hope, Oxfam).

 The FIF has been used to recruit a research assistant for a period of six months to help us with the meta-data collection, modelling and data analysis. This was key in initiating the first phase of the cross school collaboration.

Researchers: Dr Hossein Hassani (Business School), Dr Demetra Andreou (Applied Sciences) and Prof. Rudy Gozlan (Applied Science).

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Editorial. Return toRio: Second chance for the planet Nature 486, 19 (07 June 2012) doi:10.1038/486019a

[2] http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101004/full/news.2010.490.html

My FIF Study Leave Strand Success

The University has provided an excellent opportunity for staff to engage in Fusion through the University FIF (Fusion Investment Fund) initiative. I found FIF an excellent chance to take advantage for furthering my research, education and professional engagement with my international partners. Over the years I have developed international links in the US, India, China and Pakistan. These international links have played a significant role in my research activities through joint publications, developing research proposal(s) and submitting for external funding.

I met Professor Ramesh Chinakurli, a professor at PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India in the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) Conference in the US in 2010. Our shared research interests are in the characterisation of aluminium based composites/ electrocomposites, surface engineering, in particular HVOF (high velocity oxy-fuel) coatings and premetallic coated sheets (thrust-automotive industries) and mutual interests in PGT, PGR and U/G students’ research informed education. This provided a catalyst for us to publish 2 conference papers this year, the nomination of Professor Ramesh as BU visiting professor, develop a proposal for external funding (DST-EPSRC) and application to FIF.

Through the BU FIF initiative Fusion will be showcased as a global entity by strengthening existing cross-continent collaboration in education (introducing an international perspective and pedagogy), research (further research ideas to bid for external funding founded on existing work in nano-tribology) and professional practice (existing BU, PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore and industrial partners links will be further strengthened). This process will significantly benefit BU students, staff, existing industrial partners, myself and the co-Investigator.

There are two visits planned, a visit to India later in October to conduct joint research in nano-materials for tribological applications and identify further opportunities of collaborations in all areas of Fusion. There will be a visit from an Indian Visiting Professor in November, to participate in teaching activities and research seminars aimed at both staff and students.

The Fusion application has provided an excellent opportunity to further strengthen international collaboration with our Indian partners and showcase our research, education and professional practice activities, resources and capabilities to them. Also further increase collaborative work in terms of all areas of fusion.

Finally I would like to thank Professor Jim Roach and Professor Mark Hadfield who provided their continued support and encouragement for this application.

Fusion Investment Fund: Strengthening Service Computing Research in Bournemouth University

I was inspired to send a proposal to the fusion investment fund on a hint by Prof. Mark Hadfield. I was helping with DEC internationalisation affairs, and in a meeting Mark  mentioned that we would like to have more international visiting professors in DEC. As I have built up an extensive international network,  together with my co-investigator Dr. Paul de Vrieze, we asked a number of distinguished Professors in The Netherlands, Australia and China to apply for visiting professorships. Four full professors with world wide research reputations were willing to accept the offer.

Their visiting can strongly enhance research culture and postgraduate teaching especially in relation to our newly validated MSc. Enterprise Information Systems and PhD research in the area of service computing, e-government, computational intelligence and ubiquitous computing. 

As all four visiting professors hold rich research funding and experience, the project allows face-to-face opportunities to collaborate on project proposals, research papers and other research activities that can kick start discussions for collaboration and joined project proposals.

Based on our new MSc Enterprise Information Systems we have already received inquiries on professional practice. Prof. Keith Phalp, our third co-applicant has been contacted by Welsh Government Chief Information Officer Michael Eaton. We are going to organize public panels or other industrial engagement opportunities by our visiting professors.

To prepare the application I looked at the call for proposals for the FIF and attended one of the workshops about the fund. At the workshop I explained my ideas to Prof. Matthew Bennett, with the question which Fusion Investment Fund strand to follow. Matthew gave very clear direction that the appropriate strand would be to apply for (inward) study leave from the Fusion Investment Fund. In general, we saw that our proposal has a great opportunity to integrate education, research and professional practice. The project will run from Nov 2012 to May 2013, and we hope it will bring many further opportunities to Bournemouth University.

Fusion Investment Funding/Fund

Within the new Fusion Funding prospect here at Bournemouth University, I have just had success for a project examining  teaching practice and the use of media in the classroom.  The specific focus relates bullying, and name calling in school, and how media may be used to educate young learners.  I am very excited about this project, as it extends my foundational research in media representation and sexual diversity, allowing me to consider how teachers might relate issues of minority social identity.  Its very early days, as the project does not officially start until the 1st of October, and to be honest I have never done a blog before, and I (deliberately) have no presence on Facebook, Twitter etc, so the purpose of the blog is to reflect back on my progress for myself, as much as anything else, and if anyone reading this finds some interest, that’s great!

With this in mind, I thought I might share the background for the project.  A few years back in the late 198os, a secondary school teacher friend of mine often told me of instances when he used to play educational dramas about gay and lesbian youth identity issues.  I remember one time, he told me that he had played the television drama ‘The Two of  Us’ (Roger Tongue, 1988), which features a ‘kind of’ teen romance. This was quite daring, as at the time there was the backdrop of Clause 28, and the prohibition of educating school audiences about gay and lesbian identity.  Wind forward, many years later, and referencing an entirely different country, the work of Debra Chasnoff and her production company Groundspark, offered great insight.  Educational documentaries such as ‘Thats a Family’ (2000), and ‘Straighlaced’ (2009) produced by Groundspark offered insight into the diversity of families (adopted, single parent, same sex parents, diverse ethnicity etc) and the problem of stereotyping gender norms for teens.  Also Groundspark produced ‘Lets Get Real’ talking about issues of name calling in school.  At Bournemouth I had discussed the merits of these documentaries to students in the year 2 Media and Diversity option that I held.  I was inspired how students engaged with the subject area, and how they related these issues to their own productions.

More recently, specifically September 2010, I was invited to speak at the Westminster Media Forum.  The conference subject area was LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) representation in mainstream media.  I was thrilled to present a very brief paper to quite a diverse audience, including media professionals, broadcasters, and government representatives. My paper had been related to a need for more diverse representations.   The day after the conference, I read in the Guardian about the suicide of Tyler Clementi, a first year student at Rutgers university in the US.  He had killed himself, as his roommate had secretly filmed Tytler with a same sex partner.  The alleged shame appeared too much to bear for Tyler.  This high profile case made me investigate this further online.  I then discovered the ‘It Gets better Project’, a web site that was produced to offer support for youth contemplating suicide, due to oppression for sexual diversity.  What I did not know was that in the month of September 2010, a number of other gay male youth committed suicide also, stimulating video contribution to the ‘It Gets better Project’. I have done some papers on this area, considering the use of the site, but increasingly I am interested in how name calling is a real issue for young learners, and how words such as ‘gay’, ‘dyke’, ‘queer’ and ‘faggot’, are often unchallenged within diverse social environments.

So this is the very basic background to my research project.  Some great research has already taken place looking at LGBT identity issues in school, such as the No Outsiders Project (funded by the ESRC) a few years back relative to primary schools, but I am looking to extend these ideas, looking at how media is used in the secondary school classroom.

As a precursor to this project, I recently presented a paper at the Screen Conference in Glasgow, considering how children may read representations.  I was particularly interested in how young learners may read irony, which enables youth to make complex judgments about ‘earnest’ or ‘hyper-real’ representations.

So this is my starting point. I’ll add to this blog, as it all progresses.  Thanks again, supporters of this bid.