Tagged / impact

BU Civic Media Hub & the Omega Research Foundation publish report on the misuse of Tear Gas in Europe

tear gas turkey flag

Peaceful demonstrators tear gassed in Turkey

Responding to a request for more data on tear gas misuse in Council of Europe member states, the BU Datalabs team hosted a daylong data hack day to aggregate information and produce a report for the Council of Europe. The report offers a brief summary analysis of Human Rights investigations into the misuse of tear gas on peaceful and civilian protesters. It covers member states of the Council of Europe that came under investigation in a sample of publicly available reports published between 2006 and 2016.

Our summary report shares a number of key findings regarding human rights concerns. These findings include data indicating that tear gas is frequently being used in confined and enclosed spaces, which can increase the likelihood of suffocation, stampeding and related injuries and deaths. Tear gas is also being used in places with uninvolved bystanders, and in places where there are vulnerable populations, such as near, or even inside, hospitals and schools.

The number of incidents that took place in contained areas compared to streets

The number of incidents that took place in contained areas compared to streets

Another major finding of the report reveals the lack of adequate and transparent record keeping on police use of force. No Council of Europe member state currently keeps publicly available statistics on police use of force with tear gas or other less lethal weapons. This means that there is no access to information on the amount of tear gas that is used, where it is used, or what injuries and deaths it causes.

We conclude our report with a list of 9 recommendations for change. Primary among these is a call for member states to comply with the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.

Our full report is available to read and download here:USE OF TEAR GAS ON PEACEFUL PROTESTERS BY COUNCIL OF EUROPE MEMBER STATES


Dr. Anna Feigenbaum, Laura McKenna, Ozlem Demirkol, Tim Sontheimer, Daniel Weissmann, Charlotte Souter-Phillips, Thomas Dence, and Wilfred Collins-Fierkens conducted research for this report. With thanks to Dr. Phillipa Gillingham and Dr. Einar Thorsen for guidance, and a special thanks to Laura McKenna who worked as the Research Assistant throughout this project.

The Omega Research Foundation is part funded by the European Instrument on Democracy and Human Rights.

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Research Councils demonstrate the impact of their investments in latest impact reports

RCUKlogoYesterday, the Research Councils published their impact reports for the 2014/2015 financial year, demonstrating the impact their investments have made on the economy, on policy and for society.

Each Research Council has produced its own report, showcasing specific examples of the impact of investment through their various awards, programmes and collaborations. The wide-ranging nature of the impact extends from furthering technological advances to combatting disease.

Collectively, the seven Research Councils invest £3 billion in research each year covering all disciplines and sectors, to meet tomorrow’s challenges today and provide the world-class research and skills that are the foundation of a strong and productive UK economy. This helps to achieve balanced growth as well as contributing to a healthy society and a sustainable world. It ensures the UK builds capacity, safeguards the long-term sustainability of research and remains a global leader in research and innovation. Additionally, by working in partnership, the Research Councils combine investments in a multitude of global societal and economic challenge areas to achieve even greater impact.

Highlights from the reports – particularly in boosting the economy, shaping policy and contributing to society – include:

  • Improving family lives and saving the taxpayer £1.2 billion: Secondary analysis of ESRC-funded survey data has helped local authorities in England to target interventions that support families with long-standing problems, turning around their lives and improving the life chances of children. The Troubled Families programme, praised by the Prime Minister after helping an estimated 116,000 families and saving the taxpayer £1.2 billion, was extended for five years from 2015.
  • Shaping international policy making and supporting vulnerable deaf communities: AHRC-funded research has supported the status of endangered sign languages in communities in India, new legislation in Finland, and increased transnational awareness of sign languages risk of endangerment.
  • Improving the UK’s resilience to environmental hazards by informing effective risk management: NERC’s annual investment of £12.8 million generates up to £127 million pa benefit from protecting properties, farmland and infrastructure through earlier warning of floods. Plus further health and cost-saving benefits from forecasting seasonal extremes, extreme weather, effects of volcanic ash on aircraft, protecting fisheries and preparing for climate change.
  • Informing Defra’s National Pollinator Strategy: Results from the Urban Pollinators Project informed Defra’s recommendations linked to the UK’s National Pollinator Strategy; a ten-year plan to tackle the decline in pollinator numbers. The city of Bristol is now developing a local Pollinator Strategy as an exemplar for UK and European cities. The project received £1.2 million in investment from the Insect Pollinators Initiative (funded by BBSRC, NERC, Defra, the Wellcome Trust and the Scottish Government).

The Impact Reports for each Research Council can be accessed from the following links:impact


ESRC Research Seminar: 12 Jan, ‘Media Representations of Antisocial Personality Disorder’: places still available

ESRC Research Seminar: Bournemouth University and the University of East London:

Media Representations of ‘antisocial personality disorder’

Tuesday, 12 January, 2016:  Room EB702, Bournemouth University

esrc logo

11-00: Coffee

11-15: Introductions and introduction to the series.

11.30 : David W Jones (University of East London): Overview of the significance of ‘the media’ and the story of ASPD

12.15 Candida Yates:(Bournemouth University) ‘I know just how he feels’ Taxi Driver, Disordered Masculinities and Popular Culture

1-00: Lunch

2.00: Alison Cronin (Bournemouth University): ASPD and the media reporting of crime.

2-45: Stefania Ciocia (Canterbury Christ): ‘Only Underdogs and psychos in this world’

3-30 – Tea

3-45: Bradley Hillier, ( South West London Forensic Service) “Breaking Bad: How dark is Walter White?”

4-30 Discussion

5-6pm Wine and canapes


VENUE: Room EB702,  Bournemouth University Executive Business Centre, 89 Holdenhurst Road



*If you would like to attend this event, please contact Prof. Candida Yates: cyates@bournemouth.ac.uk



EPSRC report on REF case studies

EPSRC logoThe EPSRC have issued a report ‘Investing in excellence, delivering impact for the UK‘, which analysed 1,226 case studies submitted to the REF, which covered a timespan of two decades.  This enabled the EPSRC to explore and understand how their investments have delivered benefits across many areas of the UK economy and society.

They found that over 85% of the impact case studies in engineering and physical sciences involved research and/or researchers who were funded by EPSRC, demonstrating the critical role of the council in supporting excellent research that delivers impact. The impact case studies cite over £1 billion of EPSRC funding coupled with a similar level of funding from other sources including government, EU and industry and provide strong evidence of the high levels of additional investment that EPSRC support can attract.

Please click on the link above to read the full report.



My experiences of the undergraduate research assistantship

I’m an Occupational Therapy student at BU, just going into my third year.  This summer I have been working with HSS Impact Champion, Zoe Sheppard, on the endeavour to monitor and measure the impact of research.  This has involved exploring methods of dissemination, investigating the demonstration of impact, and working on two research impact case studies.  As a result I have come to understand the value of reciprocal public engagement, and learnt that some of the best impact examples don’t happen by chance, but are within reach and in our control. I have collated my findings into a toolkit which will hopefully support you to plan and pursue your own research impacts.

I have really enjoyed the opportunity to explore the difference research can make, and this has inspired me to think about my own post-graduate research options. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Zoe in particular, and everyone else who have been so supportive of me over the last few weeks.

Jo George

RCUK Telling Tales of Engagement Competition 2015

RCUKThe RCUK Digital Economy Theme (DET) is running a competition designed to help capture and promote the impact that your digital economy research is having. Three prizes of £10,000 are available to support researchers to further tell the story of research impact in an interesting and engaging way to a wider audience.

The competition, which has been co-developed with the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), is designed to produce very informative case study exemplars which can be used to help the wider research community develop understanding of the nature of a pathway to impact. It aims to encourage applicants to tell a story to describe the pathway to impact which actually occurred. This should be even more informative because understanding how impact arises is key to planning for future impact pathways.

They want the stories to portray impact as including what capability has changed outside the institutions, and what benefits that exercising this capability change has then delivered. Each ‘Tale of Engagement’ in showing how the actual impact arises and the evidence of the impact itself will thereby show clearly the link between the impact and the research. Choosing how to tell the story should reflect the nature of the story itself. They hope that giving the timeline of the whole story should stimulate thinking on more imaginative and illustrative ways to tell the tale of engagement and the resulting impact.

You will need to complete the form on this page, addressing the questions raised in the ‘Scope of Competition’ section of the full call document, and taking into account the “Guidance on completing proforma” notes. You will need to attach to the form, a single PowerPoint slide which summarises your entry in an interesting and engaging way.

Closing date: 01 December 2015 at 12:00

Please contact your RKEO Funding Development Officer in the first instance if you are interested in applying to this call.

Mission accomplished: fish genetics and population restoration are fused!

Our recent blogs on our fusion-funded co-creation and co-production project on fish population restoration were reporting our strong recent progress as our students began their placements – and all of a sudden, the project is now finished! So what did we discover?

Well, firstly, our students who completed their placements with the University of Insubria in Northern Italy have worked incredibly hard, with excellent reports coming back from our Italian partners (see below). They produced some excellent genetic data to help progress our work. Our placement students based at BU have also been working very hard (albeit in much cooler conditions!) and produced some excellent ecological data.

BU students in Italy

(Above) Our placement students outside the Università degli Studi dell’Insubria with Dr Serena Zaccara (3rd from left) and Caterina Antognazza (2nd left)

Secondly, through our co-creation with stakeholders, students and research collaborators, we have successfully revealed the extent of the disturbance of human activities on fish genetic patterns in the UK. We have revealed clear impacts relating to losses of genetic integrity of fish at the river basin level that we suggest affect their ability to adapt to local conditions – which could be important in the context of climate change. We will be publishing our findings in at least two peer-reviewed papers in the next few months with our students as co-authors.

Thirdly, did we discover how these fish populations could be restored sustainably? Yes, we think we did and we have already passed these on to the relevant authorities at our recent workshop, so these are being considered for implementation.

Finally, we have shown once again that co-creating and co-producing knowledge with our students, stakeholders and international collaborators brings multiple benefits, including enhanced mobility and employment prospects for our students. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience for all!

– Rob Britton, Demetra Andreou & Ben Thomas (all SciTech)

Introducing Jo George, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Hello, I will be working within the Health and Social Sciences Faculty with Impact Champion, Zoe Sheppard, over the next six weeks on the endeavour to monitor and measure the impact of research.

My work will involve:

  • Exploring methods of dissemination
  • Conducting literature searches to investigate the demonstration of impact
  • Working on two research case studies from the Health and Social Social Sciences Faculty

I can be found in R613 and contacted at jgeorge@bournemouth.ac.uk if you have any ideas or challenges you’d like to discuss. I will be sharing my findings towards the end of my six weeks here.

I look forward to meeting you,


Managing low EU grant success rates

Science BusinessAccording to Science|Business, the EU is considering mechanisms to manage the increasingly low EU grant success rates before research universities shy away from the EU calls.

“It’s more popular than ever before. But with our success rates we’re heading to a situation where we have to be very careful not to scare away top researchers,” Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission’s Director-General for Research and Innovation, told Science|Business.

Apparently, the Commission is considering three approaches:

  • Two-stage applications – As a rule of thumb, 80 per cent of proposals – those not considered strong enough to meet competition requirements – should be rejected in a short-form, stage one evaluation, Smits said. In stage two, where a longer application is required, at least 35 per cent of proposals should have a chance of success.
  • Greater emphasis on impact – Brendan Hawdon, Head of Horizon 2020 Policy in Smit’s directorate-general, elaborated. “It’s all about the outcome,” he said. An applicant should say clearly: “Here’s what we want to come out of the project.”
  • Non-starters – making the call documents clearer so that potential applicants can work out for themselves that they will not be funded alongside, potentially, some element of demand management

To read this article in full, please go to Science|Business, where you can also register for newsletter updates.