Tagged / humanities

Social/Medical Model and the concept of ‘Normal’ Birth

The December issue of The Practising Midwife included the slightly more theoretical article ‘Normal birth: social-medical model’.[1] The paper is written by Ms. Jillian Ireland, midwife and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Union Learning Rep. at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Visiting Faculty at Bournemouth University in collaboration with BU Professor Edwin van Teijlingen.

The paper argues that someone’s perspective of birth is not simply semantic. Thus, whether a midwife describes her role as being ‘with woman’ through labour or as someone who ‘delivers’ women of babies does not just demonstrates a more or less currently politically correct description. No, it suggests having different perspectives or world views of pregnancy and childbirth. Sociologists recognise two different approaches as two different models, a social model and a medical model of childbirth. The social model stresses that childbirth is a physiological event that takes place in most women’s lives. The medical model highlights that childbirth is potentially pathological. In the latter view every pregnant woman is potentially at risk, hence she should deliver her baby in an obstetric hospital with its high-technology screening equipment supervised by expert obstetricians. In other words, pregnancy and childbirth are only safe in retrospect.

The Practising Midwife’s paper argues that having some understanding of the underlying sociological models of pregnancy and childbirth can help politicians, journalists, policy-makers, midwives, doctors, and new mothers (and their partners) to put issues around ‘normal birth’ into perspective. This paper builds on previous work by the second author on the medicalisation of childbirth and the social/medical model published in Sociological Research Online[2] and Midwifery.[3]

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health


References:

1. Ireland, J., van Teijlingen, E. (2013) Normal birth: social-medical model, The Practising Midwife 16(11): 17-20.
2. van Teijlingen, E. (2005) A critical analysis of the medical model as used in the study of pregnancy and childbirth, Sociological Research Online, 10 (2) Web address: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/10/2/teijlingen.html
3. MacKenzie Bryers, H., van Teijlingen, E. (2010) Risk, Theory, Social & Medical Models: a critical analysis of the concept of risk in maternity care, Midwifery 26(5): 488-496.

BU Professor at COST Action Training School (Malta)

Bournemouth University contributed to the successful Cost Action Training School 2013 earlier this month (see: www.um.edu.mt/events/costactiontraining2013/). The Training School ‘Writing for maternity services research, theory, policy and practice: Integrating new theoretical insights from the iR4B COST Action’ was held at the University of Malta.
The 24 trainees who were successful in their application came from a wide-range of European countries. At the Training School each trainee was linked to one of six experienced trainers, three from Ireland: Prof. Declan Devane, Dr. Valerie Smith, and Prof Cecily Begley, and three from the UK: Prof. Soo Downe, Dr. Lucy Firth, and BU Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen. These trainers brought to the Training School not only their extensive experience as writers, but also that of scientific editors, reviewers for academic journals, and PhD supervisors.

(photo by Mário Santos, Portugal).

The Training School included presentations on how to incorporate notions of salutogenesis and complexity into maternity care and midwifery publications, issues around writing academic English as a non-native English speaker, plagiarism, how to start writing an academic paper for a MSc or PhD thesis, and many more related topics.
In their feedback some trainees stressed that this is the kind of helpful information every postgraduate student and budding academic should know about. Others said “I wish I had known that before as no one ever addresses these issues.” The trainees discussed the outlines of their papers, and they were given ample time to draft papers under the watchful eye of their trainer. All trainees have committed to submit a paper derived from the Training School by early Spring 2014.
COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is one of the longest-running European frameworks supporting cooperation among scientists and researchers across Europe. For further information on OST in general see: http://www.cost.eu/ ).

Bournemouth University was represented by Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen based at the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health in the School of Health & Social Care.

FIF-backed PR History network launched in Barcelona

The European Public Relations History Network (EPRHN), which has been supported in its formation by FIF, was launched at European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) Congress in Barcelona on October 3-5. The event, held on Friday October 4, was attended by 29 delegates from 12 countries.

“After more than a year’s planning, EPRHN is now in operation and has 50 active supporters from 18 countries across Europe”, said Prof Tom Watson of the Media School. “FIF has enabled it to get to the take-off stage and aided the very positive response found in Barcelona.”

Prof Watson also organised a panel session (the only one approved for the Congress) on developing the history of PR in Europe. It drew leading scholars from universities of Leipzig (Germany), Bucharest (Romania), Pompeu Fabra (Spain), as well as Prof Watson. It was chaired by the Italian practitioner/commentator Toni Muzi Falconi.

Refereed papers from Prof Watson and Drs Tasos Theofilou and Georgiana Grigore, also Media School, were presented at the Congress in well-attended sessions with several requests for copies of the papers afterwards, especially for the research on engaging employees with organisational Corporate Social Responsibility planning.

EUPRERA PR History Panel: (l-r) Toni Muzi Falconi (Italy); Prof Adela Rogojinaru (Romania); Prof Tom Watson (BU), Prof Jordi Xifra (Spain) and Prof Gunter Bentele (Germany)

Dr Tasos Theofilou (l), Dr Georgiana Grigore (c) and Prof Tom Watson (r) at EUPRERA Congress, Barcelona

Publish empirical or experimental data early whilst letting theory mature?

My colleagues and I have written several papers to help budding researchers about the process of writing and publishing academic papers (Hundley, & van Teijlingen 2002; van Teijlingen 2004; Pitchforth et al. 2005; van Teijlingen et al. 2012; Simkhada et al. 2013). For all researchers – students and staff alike publishing research findings is important as new insights will add to the existing knowledge base, advance the academic discipline and, in the case of applied research, perhaps improve something in the lives of others such as, well-being, the economy or the environment. Apart from this general/altruistic drive to add to knowledge, the advice academics give our postgraduate students is: to get your study published as soon as possible. The two main reasons for publishing early are: (a) getting into print to potentially help your careers; and (b) staking once claim as an authority in the field and/or publishing your findings before someone else does.
As always there are exceptions to the rule. As academics we agree that trying to get into print early is a good personal strategy for an early researcher or a postgraduate student especially for those working with empirical or experimental data. However, occasionally it is better to wait and give the underlying idea in the paper time to develop and mature. The kind of paper that often improves with time is one based on theory. Let me share a personal example: a theoretical paper from my PhD (awarded by the University of Aberdeen in 1994). This paper started life as a theory chapter in my PhD thesis (van Teijlingen 1994). This chapter on models of maternity care was not the strongest part of my thesis and it took me another decade of fine-tuning to get it into a state worth publishing. The paper ‘A Critical Analysis of the Medical Model as used in the Study of Pregnancy and Childbirth’ was finally published in Sociological Research Online, the original online-only Sociology journal in the world (van Teijlingen 2005). The wait was worthwhile as the paper is today (May 2013), eight year after publication, the seventh ‘most viewed articles during the past eight weeks’ in the journal (see: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/stats/top20.html).
In conclusion, it is generally sound advice to new researchers and postgraduate students to publish early. Occasionally though, waiting and giving your paper time to improve through discussion with colleagues, presenting the ideas at conferences and on blogs may lead to a better final product.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health
School of Health & Social Care

References
Hundley, V., van Teijlingen E. (2002) How to decide where to send an article for publication? Nursing Standard 16(36): 21.
van Teijlingen (1994) A social or medical comparison of childbirth? : comparing the arguments in Grampian (Scotland) and the Netherlands (PhD thesis), Aberdeen: University of Aberdeen. Available online in the British Library (search for: uk.bl.ethos.387237 ).
Teijlingen van, E. (2004) Why I can’t get any academic writing done, Medical Sociology News 30 (3): 62-6.
van Teijlingen, E. (2005) A Critical Analysis of the Medical Model as used in the Study of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Sociological Research Online 10(2) Freely available online at: www.socresonline.org.uk/10/2/teijlingen.html.
Pitchforth, E., Porter, M., Teijlingen van, E.R., Forrest Keenan, K. (2005) Writing up and presenting qualitative research in family planning and reproductive health care, Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care 31 (2): 132-135.
Teijlingen van, E., Simkhada. P.P., Simkhada, B., Ireland, J. (2012) The long and winding road to publication, Nepal Journal Epidemiology 2(4): 213-215. http://nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/7093
Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V. (2013) Writing an academic paper for publication, Health Renaissance 11 (1): 1-5. www.healthrenaissance.org.np/uploads/Pp_1_5_Guest_Editorial.pdf

Notes from ESRC ARMA WORKSHOP 2012 on challenges and opportunities for the social sciences in the current economic climate

BU’s Teresa Coffin and Eva Papadopoulou (Research and Knowledge Exchange Operations) attended a training day hosted by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) aimed at discussing the challenges and opportunities for the social sciences in the current climate. The focus of the event included presentations from the main Department Heads who outlined their internal workings, grant application framework and advice for successful applications. They also discussed their amended research agenda, funding opportunities, various partnerships and current strategic priorities. Notes from the day can be found here:

ARMA Notes

FP7 Social Sciences & Humanities ‘Global Europe 2050’ Report Published

Research Professional gave a great summary of the FP7 Social Sciences and Humanities ”Global Europe 2050′  foresight report. This report is the output of an EC expert group; it presents and qualifies three scenarios that identify the main pathways Europe could follow over the next few decades:

1. The ‘Nobody Cares’ scenario, where Europe is in a ‘muddling through’ process;

2. ‘Europe under threat’, where Europe is faced by an economic decline and protectionist reactions; and

3. The ‘European Renaissance’ where the EU continues to enlarge and become stronger with more efficient innovation systems.

Any bets on which way we go…?!

FP7 Social Science application top tips

If you are thinking about applying for a Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) related call under FP7 and missed the info day, fear not I have some useful tips from the day to share with you. The European Commission SSH Unit representative said that proposals should:

  • include a range of partners from different countries and show added value for each of these
  • use both qualitative and quantitative methods
  • look at projects funded on the website between 2007-10
  • not replicate previously funded projects
  • pay attention to dissemination plans (give specific info on the journals, conferences, etc)
  • demonstrate interaction between the different Work Packages
  • support Policy.

There were several other presentations on the day which you can access using via UKRO the links below:

Wellcome Trust – University Awards in Medical History and Humanities

This scheme allows universities to attract outstanding research staff by providing support for up to five years, after which time the award holder takes up a guaranteed permanent post in the university.

A monograph and other substantial publications are expected to result from an award, so teaching and other non-research commitments are expected to be minimal during the period of full Wellcome Trust support.

Up to five years’ support is available, providing your full salary for three years, 50 per cent in the fourth year and 25 per cent in the fifth year.

Travel expenses to attend meetings are provided for five years, but research expenses are provided for the first three years of the award only.

You must be nominated by your prospective head of department and have an undertaking from the head of the institution, vice-chancellor, principal or dean that your personal support will be taken over by the institution at the end of the award.

Support is normally available only at lecturer level, although in exceptional cases awards to senior-lecturer level may be possible.

Initial enquiries about the scheme may be made by you (the potential candidate) or a department in an institution.

These enquiries should be followed by a preliminary application from you by e-mail or post including

  • an explicit statement from the head of the institution, vice-chancellor or dean demonstrating the institution’s commitment to the history of medicine field, and a statement confirming that the institution will provide 50 per cent salary costs in year four, 75 per cent in year five and full salary thereafter
  • CV and full publication list
  • an outline of no more than two pages of the proposed project
  • a letter of support from the head of department, including a statement on your expected teaching/administrative load for the five-year period (this can be sent by separate cover)
  • the approximate cost of the proposal, broken down into your salary, equipment and project running costs.

If successful, you will be invited to submit a full application.

A preliminary application must be submitted before a full application is invited.

Preliminary application deadlines are:
20 June
(with a full application deadline of 1 August)
1 December
(with a full application deadline of 1 February)

Contact: Grants Management – Medical History and Humanities
Wellcome Trust
Gibbs Building
215 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE, UK

T +44 (0)20 7611 8499
E
mhh@wellcome.ac.uk

The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

Social Sciences and Security in Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 will replace FP7 and is currently under development. Several stakeholder groups have been meeting with EC officials to help influence and shape the Programme.

Feedback is available on UKRO from the informal Security Theme meeting and also the Societal Challenges Theme meeting. I really urge you to read these if you have an interest in either of these areas!

Some EU funding calls released – from water to social dialogue!

MEDIA 2007 The Sales Agent Scheme 2012: One of the objectives of the programme is to encourage and support the wider transnational distribution of recent European films by providing funds to distributors, based upon their performance on the market, for further reinvestment in new non-national European films.  The scheme also aims to encourage the development of links between the production and distribution sectors thus improving the market share of European films and the competitiveness of European companies. Deadline 18.06.12

 

Europe for Citizens: The European Commission, Education, Audiovisual and Culture Agency (EACEA), has launched a call for proposals (deadline 01.06.12) under the Europe for Citizens Programme. The Programme has five priorities and all projects are required to address at least one of these priorities:

  • the future of the EU and its basic values;
  • active European Citizenship: civic participation and democracy in Europe;
  • inter-cultural dialogue;
  • people’s wellbeing in Europe: employment, social cohesion and sustainable development; and
  • impact of EU policies on societies.

 

Industrial Relations and Social Dialogue: The European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, has launched a call for proposals to promote industrial relations and social dialogue. This call is aimed at measures and initiatives designed to facilitate the adaptation of social dialogue to changes in employment and work-related challenges such as:

  • addressing the modernisation of the labour market;
  • quality of work;
  • anticipation, preparation and management of change and restructuring;
  • flexicurity;
  • skills;
  • mobility and migration;
  • youth employment;
  • contributions to health and safety;
  • reconciliation of work and family life;
  • gender equality;
  • anti-discrimination;
  • active ageing;
  • active inclusion; and
  • decent work.

Please note that there is a second deadline set to 4 September 2012 for actions commencing no earlier than 4 November 2012 and no later than 21 December 2012.

 

EDULINK II: EDULINK, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) – European Union (EU) Co-operation Programme in Higher Education, has launched a call for proposals. Proposals will have to address one of the following two priority areas: Energy access and efficiency; or  Agriculture and food security. The specific objectives are to increase the capacity of ACP HEIs at two levels: Management /Administration and Academic. Proposals will aim at supporting HEIs in ACP States to create new and upgrade existing curricula and teaching methods, reinforce links between teaching, modern technologies, lifelong learning and research, as well as strengthening their management and administration capacity. Deadline 30.07.12

 

Sustainable Industry Low Carbon scheme (SILC): The European Commission, Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry, has launched a call for proposals regarding the Sustainable Industry Low Carbon scheme (SILC).The objective of this call is to support actions that will enable energy-intensive manufacturing and process industries covered by the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) to cope with the challenges of a low carbon economy and to maintain their competitiveness.
More specifically it seeks to identify and select sector-specific or cross-sectoral industrial projects that will develop and deploy cost-efficient technological or non-technological innovation measures, or a combination of both, for improving the GHG (greenhouse gas) emission performance of installations under the EU ETS. Deadline 25.06.12

 

Support of the European Innovation Partnership on Water: The Commission intends to award a contract to establish a secretariat for the EIP on Water. The secretariat will support the European Commission with the establishment and operational phase of the EIP on water. The activities will vary in nature, and will include secretarial tasks, contact with stakeholders at various levels, support in the development of a strategic implementation plan, co-ordination of the (outcomes of) innovation sites and development of a Web-based market place for water innovations. Deadline 23.05.12

 

ERA-NET Bioenergy Joint Call: The sixth Joint Call for Research and Development Proposals of the ERA-NET Bioenergy is now open in the areas of biogas and energy crops.The call topics are:

  • Innovative biogas production. Focal points include e.g. pre-treatment technologies, unexploited substrates, measurement/control, upgrading, management of digestate; and
  • Sustainable biomass for energy purposes. Focal points include e.g. optimisation of existing and new crops by way of plant breeding or cultivation techniques, breeding and cultivation for cascading uses, harvesting/storage technologies.

Please note that calls for proposals run by ERA-Net projects have their own funding rules and reimbursement rates. Applicants should check the call documentation for further details.

 

FP7 JTI Clean Sky Call for Proposals: Via the Calls for Proposal, Clean Sky aims to incorporate Partners to address very specific tasks which fit into the overall technical Work Programme and time schedule. Due to the nature of these tasks, the Call is not set up using a set of themes, but it is conceived as a collection of very detailed Topics which can be viewed on the Participant Portal webpage. Deadline is 10th July.

Want to see the calls for proposals for FP7 Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities to be launched in July? Then read on!

I’ve managed to obtain a draft version of the FP7  Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities Work Programme which features the calls for proposals to be released in 2012. This is just a draft and therefore subject to change but it gives you a great idea as to what the European Commission are looking to fund. The Work Programme is a tedious read so I’ve summarised the info on funding in there for you; the aim of the call etc. I have bookmarked the document so you can jump straight to the call that interests you from the front page.

As this document is highly confidential I have placed it on our I drive; it is strictly forbidden to circulate this outside of BU! I:\R&KEO\Public\RDU\Draft Work Programmes for 2012-13

There are also the drafts for Environment, Health, ICT and Food, Agriculture, NMP, Fisheries & Biotechnology and others  in there too which I’ve blogged about previously. The final official version of the Work Programmes aren’t released until July 2012 so this gives you a fantastic head start to preparing a submission.

Social sciences & humanities taking on the EC for funding in Horizon 2020 today

Europe’s social scientists and humanities researchers are combining forces to push for more funding in Horizon 2020 through the European Alliance for the Social Sciences and Humanities, which will have its first general assembly today and tomorrow in Brussels. The European Commission has proposed that social science and humanities research would be funded as part of five other funding pots for grand challenges, which include climate change, health and ICT but the alliance members want the establishment of a sixth pot called Understanding Europe for social sciences and humanities research.

I will report on the Assembly when info becomes available.

Health & Humanities EU funding available over the next few weeks….

Sexual Transmission of HIV within Migrant Groups: The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published a call for tenders regarding the sexual transmission of HIV within migrant groups and implications for effective interventions.The overall scope and objective of this call for tender is to undertake a systematic literature review complemented with a short survey to Member States, on the subject of sexual transmission of HIV in the EU/EEA in populations of migrants from countries with generalised HIV epidemics. Based on the data gathered, implications and recommendations for HIV prevention strategies and programmes within the EU/EEA should be discussed. The deadline for submitting tenders is 21 February.

Entrepreneurship Education: The European Commission has launched a call for proposals for entrepreneurship education. This call aims to support the implementation of principle 1 of the Small Business Act and the Oslo Agenda for Entrepreneurship Education in Europe.  The Small Business Act recommends stimulating innovative and entrepreneurial mindsets among young people by introducing entrepreneurship as a key competence in school curricula and ensuring that the importance of entrepreneurship is correctly reflected in teacher training. Consequently, the objective of this call is to promote projects with a high added value at European level in education for entrepreneurship.  Actions will target teachers and young people in primary, secondary and tertiary education. Applications must be sent to the Commission no later than 16 April 2012.

Systematic Reviews of Environmental Determinants of Infectious Diseases: The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has published a call for tenders for the provision of systematic reviews of environmental determinants of infectious diseases. The aim is to systematically review the evidence for environmental determinants of infectious diseases both on an ecologic as well as an individual level. The deadline for submitting tenders is 6 March 2012.

Attribution of Social Policies on the Infectious Disease Burden: The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has published a call for tenders for the attribution of social policies on the infectious disease burden. The objective of this study is to disentangle the different contributions of government policies on the infectious disease burden in society.  Specifically, the goal is to identify aetiologic pathways of socio-economic inequalities and their impact on infectious diseases.  Ultimately the aim is to inform policymakers about interventions that have a direct impact on infectious diseases. The deadline for submitting tenders is 6 March 2012.

 

Want more funding for Social Sciences and Humanities Research? Then you should sign this petition to the EC!

A consortium called ‘Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities for the Future of Europe’ is seeking signatures to an open letter addressed to the EC which advocates the inclusion of a socio-economic sciences and humanities(SSH) research programme in Horizon 2020 (FP7’s replacement).   

The group comprises a number of organisations including Net4Society, the network of National Contact Points for SSH, ALLEA, the European Federation of National Academies of Sciences and Humanities, and ECHIC, the European Consortium of Humanities Institutes and Centres. 

The letter outlines the crucial role to be played by social sciences and humanities research in addressing societal challenges and informing EU policy, and makes a number of specific requests:
1. that a ‘substantial and independent’ SSH programme (called ‘Understanding Europe’), with a ring-fenced budget of €5 billion, be included in Horizon 2020;
2. that there are opportunities for SSH research to contribute to other challenges relating to climate change, energy, food, health, security and transport;
3. that a diversity of approaches are encouraged; and
4.that the research supported should include ‘perspectives from different cultures, backgrounds and schools of thought to stimulate critical reflections and to better anticipate future societal challenges’.

In a week since its issue, the open letter has collected a staggering 3, 700 signatures from a wide range of countries. It takes only a few seconds to sign and I did mine this morning. If you’re involved in social sciences or humanities research, make your signature count so future EC funds for your area are fair and sign today!