Tagged / interdisciplinary research

Methods or Methodology?

Yesterday our latest methodological paper ‘Methods or Methodology: Terms That Are Too Often Confused’ appeared online. [1]  We recently published a methods paper outlining the difference between Methods and Methodology as so many postgraduate students manage to get it wrong or don’t understand the distinction between the two.  There is a distinct difference between methodology and methods in research. However, too many students, researchers, and authors of academic papers do not seem to pay attention to the crucial difference. This is true not only in education research but also in many other academic disciplines. In simple terms, the term methods refers to the research tools and techniques; for example, in the qualitative field, interviews are a tool to collect data, and in the quantitative field, a questionnaire-based survey is an example of a data collection tool. Methodology is a broader concept as it refers to the overall approach to the research, includes a justification for this approach, and links to research philosophy, i.e., how we produce knowledge. This methodological note aims to explain the confusion, drawing on examples from the published literature in education research and beyond. It also considers the complexities and crossovers. The final section ends with key advice to researchers and authors on key mistakes to avoid regarding the difference between methods and methodology, including covering this in early supervision discussions.

Our interdisciplinary team, based in the UK and Nepal, comprises Dr. Orlanda Harvey in BU’s Department of Sociology & Social Work, Dr. Pramod Regmi in BU’s Department of Nursing Science, Dr. Preeti Mahato from Royal Holloway, University of London, Dr. Shovita Dhakal Adhikari, London Metropolitan University, Dr. Rolina Dhital, based at Health Action & Research in Nepal and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen in BU’s Department of Midwifery & Health Sciences.  In addition it is worth mentioning that both Preeti and Shovita are both former member of staff in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (FHSS) at BU.  Finally, although the official publication date is Sept 2023, it only appeared online yesterday.  This new methods paper is part of growing series of methods papers by members of this team of academics [2-12].

 

References:

  1. Harvey, O., Regmi, P. R., Mahato, P., Dhakal Adhikari, S., Dhital, R., van Teijlingen E. (2023) Methods or Methodology: Terms That Are Too Often Confused. Journal of Education & Research, 13(2): 94-105.
  2. Regmi, P.R., Waithaka, E., Paudyal, A., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2016) Guide to the design and application of online questionnaire surveys. Nepal Journal of Epidemiology 6(4): 640-644. http://www.nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/17258
  3. Regmi, PR., Aryal, N., Kurmi, O., Pant, PR., van Teijlingen, E, Wasti, PP. (2017) Informed consent in health research: challenges and barriers in low-and middle-income countries with specific reference to Nepal, Developing World Bioethics 17(2):84-89.
  4. Mahato, P., Angell, C., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P.P. (2018) Using Mixed-methods Research in Health & Education in Nepal, Journal of Health Promotion Official Publication of Health Education Association of Nepal (HEAN), 6: 45-48.
  5. van Teijlingen, E., Regmi, P., Adhikary, P., Aryal, N., Simkhada, P. (2019). Interdisciplinary Research in Public Health: Not quite straightforward. Health Prospect, 18(1), 4-7. https://doi.org/10.3126/hprospect.v18i1.19337
  6. Dhakal Adhikari, S., van Teijlingen, E., Regmi,P., Mahato, P., Simkhada, B., Simkhada, P. (2020) The presentation of academic self in the digital age: the role of electronic databases, International Journal of Social Sciences & Management 7(1):38-41.
  7. Shanker, S., Wasti, S.P., Ireland, J., Regmi, P., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2021) The Interdisciplinary Team Not the Interdisciplinarist: Reflections on Interdisciplinary Research, Europasian Journal of Medical Sciences 3(2): 1-5. https://doi.org/10.46405/ejms.v3i2.317
  8. Arnold, R., Gordon, C., Way, S., Mahato, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2022) Why use Appreciative Inquiry? Lessons learned during COVID-19 in a UK maternity service, European Journal of Midwifery 6 (May): 1-7. https://doi.org/10.18332/ejm/147444
  9. Mahato, P., Tamang, P., Simkhada, B., Wasti, S. P., Devkota, B., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E.R. (2022) Reflections on health promotion fieldwork in Nepal: Trials and tribulations. Journal of Health Promotion 10(1): 5–12. https://doi.org/10.3126/jhp.v10i1.50978
  10. Khatiwada, S., Gautam, P., Koju, A., Niraula, B., Khanal, G., Sitaula, A., Lamichhane, J., Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E (2023). Patient and Public Engagement in Health Research: Learning from UK Ideas. Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences, 8(1): 28–35. https://doi.org/10.3126/jmmihs.v8i1.57268
  11. Thapa, R., Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E., Heaslip, V. (2023) Researching Dalits and health care: Considering positionality, Health Prospect 21(1): 6-8.
  12. Harvey, O., van Teijlingen, E., Parrish, M. (2024) Using a range of communication tools to interview a hard-to-reach population, Sociological Research Online 29(1): 221–232 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/13607804221142212

Bid-generating Sandpit: Interdisciplinary Research towards Sustainable Development Goals

Illustration of a lightbulb with a group of people inside around a circular table, with computers and papers. They are clearly working together.

Register here

Calling early career researchers (including practice-led) for two days of sparking ideas, discovering new project partners, and developing interdisciplinary funding bids!

30 April – 1 May 2024

Bournemouth

Day 1 begins at 1230, Day 2 finishes at 1630, to enable travel from external universities.

The British Academy Early Career Researcher Network and Bournemouth University’s Centre for the Study of Conflict, Emotion, and Social Justice invite applicants for a two-day research collaboration, networking, and grant development event.

Participate in dynamic and interactive sessions to develop innovative research concepts addressing any of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), leading to funding bids across institutions and disciplines. Your goal is to form an interdisciplinary project team and build a funding proposal in only two days.

This two-day sandpit will be supplemented with two online follow-up sessions (summer and autumn 2024) to share your project progress and experiences.

We welcome any South West-based early career (as you choose to define it) researcher, artist, practitioner or anyone with a general interest in sustainability and emerging interdisciplinary projects. You must be based at one of the South West Cluster Universities. You should be keen to work in a multidisciplinary team, and willing to commit to attending the full sandpit, on both days. No prior experience of research funding is required.

To secure your spot in the Sandpit, please complete and submit the following application – note that all participants must commit to attending both full days:

APPLY HERE BY 8 MARCH 2024https://forms.office.com/e/AkaeieQHKx

The event is facilitated by Dr. Catalin Brylla and Dr. Lyle Skains, with advisors to be drawn from senior Bournemouth University staff based on participant disciplines and interests.

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Ageing and Dementia Research Forum – 26th January – Accessible Tourism

Details of the next ADRC ageing and dementia research forum are listed below. The forum is an opportunity for staff and PhD students to get together to chat about research and share experiences in a safe and supportive environment. Specific topics are discussed but there is also time for open discussion to mull over aspects of research such as project ideas and planning, ethical considerations and patient and public involvement.

Date, time, and campus Research areas
26th January 2023

15.30-16.45

BG601, Bournemouth Gateway

Lansdowne Campus

‘Accessible Tourism for Ageing and Dementia travellers’

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis and Dr Daisy Fan

Please confirm attendance by email to adrc@bournemouth.ac.uk

If you would like to discuss your research ideas at a future meeting, please email Michelle mheward@bournemouth.ac.uk

We look forward to seeing you there.

Ageing and Dementia Research Centre

SCRAMBLE EVENT : Come along to the ESRC Explore people’s relationships with digital technologies session

The ESRC have pre-announced the following call: Explore people’s relationships with digital technologies, discussed at the funding development briefing this week.

Who should attend?

All are welcome with an interest in exploring relations with digital technologies. This call should be social science-led, with at least 50% of the programme falling within ESRC’s remit. But to enable approaches to the challenge of understanding our relationships with technology, it should also look widely across disciplines, drawing on expertise from fields such as:

  • the humanities
  • computer science
  • software engineering
  • mathematical sciences.

RDS will be running a brainstorming session on the 10th November 13:00 -14:30. It will be an opportunity to identify potential collaborators/ themes for this network funding call. The session will be hosted on Zoom here

ACTION REQUIRED: Ahead of the event, we invite you to discuss your interests, potential collaborators, project ideas on Padlet. As ideas get added we can start to identify potential themes prior to the session. You can access the Padlet here.

Agenda:

13:00- 13:30      Information on the call and ESRC delivery plan overview.

13:30 – 14:15    Discussion around emerging themes from Padlet and potential collaborations.

14:15 – 14:30    Discussion about next steps.

If you have any queries or are unsure as to whether you ought to come along, please email your faculty facilitator in the first instance or Alexandra Pekalski apekalski@bournemouth.ac.uk .

New Book on Using Interactive Digital Narrative for Health & Science Communication

Book coverNew publication: Using Interactive Digital Narrative for Health & Science Communication

I’m delighted to announce that my new book publishes this week, as it provides an excellent example of the kinds of things we’re trying to do here at Bournemouth through the Sustainable Storytelling Lab and the Science, Health, and Data Communications Research Group: harness the power of narrative storytelling to effect positive behaviour change related to the UN SDGs. It also offers an overview of how two very interdisciplinary teams formed (thanks to a Crucible program) and established successful patterns of working, despite our vastly different spheres of expertise.

Book description:

Both the United Nations and the World Health Organization stress the need to address numerous increasingly urgent ‘global challenges’, including climate change and ineffectiveness of medication for communicable diseases.

Despite climate change resulting from human activity, most humans feel their contribution is minimal; thus any effort made toward reducing individual carbon footprint is futile. Likewise, individual patients feel their health is their own problem; current increases in outbreaks of formerly controllable diseases like measles and tuberculosis show that this is not the case. There is a dire need to instil a stronger sense of personal responsibility, to act as individuals to resolve global issues, and the pilot studies presented in Using Interactive Digital Narrative in Science and Health Education offer an entertainment-as-education approach: interactive digital narrative.

The researchers on these teams cross diverse disciplinary boundaries, with backgrounds in chemical engineering, microbiology, romantic studies, film studies, digital design, pedagogy, and psychology. Their approach in Using Interactive Digital Narrative in Science and Health Education to interdisciplinary research is discussed herein, as is the practice-based approach to crafting the interactive narratives for health and science communication and for specific audiences and contexts.

Interdisciplinary Public Health

Yesterday the Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences published our editorial ‘Public Health is truly interdisciplinary’ [1].  This editorial was largely written to counteract some of the jurisdictional claims made in Nepal by certain people in Public Health.  These claims express themselves in arguments around the question whether Public Health is a single academic discipline or profession or whether it is a broad profession comprising many different academic disciplines.  There are two quite distinct and opposing views. Some argue that Public Health is a broad-ranging single discipline covering sub-disciplines such as Epidemiology, Management, Public Health Practice, Health Psychology, Medical Statistics, Sociology of Health & Illness and Public Health Medicine.  Those who support this argument, typically see: (a) Public Health is the overarching dominant discipline, which brings these sub-disciplines together; and (b) that a true Public Health practitioner amalgamates all these individual elements.  Others argue that Public Health is more an overarching world view or  interdisciplinary approach for wide-ranging group of professionals and academics [2]. In this view some Public Health professionals are first trained as clinicians, others as psychologists, health economists, health management, statisticians, or demographers, and so on and have later specialised in Public Health.

However,  their are people in the field claiming that Public Health is a single discipline that can only /or even best be practice and taught by those with an undergraduate degree in Public Health.  Basically suggesting you you need a Public Health degree to practice or teach the discipline.  Our editorial argues that this latter view suggests a rather limited understanding of the broad church that is Public Health.

This latest editorial is co-authored by Dr. Sharada P. Wasti in Nepal, Prof. Padam Simkhada, who is based at the University of Huddersfield and BU Visiting Faculty and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH).  Both articles listed below are Open Access and free available to readers across the globe.

 

References:

  1. Wasti, S.P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P. (2020) Public Health is truly interdisciplinary. Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences 6(1): 21-22.
  2. van Teijlingen, E., Regmi, P., Adhikary, P., Aryal, N., Simkhada, P. (2019). Interdisciplinary Research in Public Health: Not quite straightforward. Health Prospect, 18(1), 4-7.

HE Policy Update w/e 10 November 2017

HE Policy Update

w/e 10 November 2017

A research funding crisis?

Follow this link to read the  A research funding crisis? summary with all the diagrams and charts.

Or read the summary below without the charts.

Ahead of the Autumn 2017 Budget the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) has published How much is too much? Cross-subsidies from teaching to research in British Universities written by Russell Group PG Economics student Vicky Olive. The paper concludes that research within universities is reliant on subsidy by tuition fee funding. As international students pay higher fees more of their fees go towards research than home and EU students. The paper concludes that on average international students contribute £8,000 from their total fees towards research. While the figures vary between universities, in 2014/15 teaching income funded 14% of English university research (approx. £1 in every £7 spent).

The paper argues that although the UK has a leading global research performance (see diagram below) R&D expenditure is well below competitor nations and unsustainable in the long term.

The paper argues that In 2014/15 the UK HE sector had a sustainability gap of £1 billion. This is described as a looming crisis because of a number of factors:

  • the focus on value for money for students paying tuition fees
  • Brexit threats to EU research funding
  • the unwelcoming nature of current immigration policy
  • the improvement of HE education in countries where the UK traditionally recruits international students
  • the impact of UK austerity policy which has seen limited science and research budget growth.

The Conservative Government’s has a target to increase R&D spend to 3% of GDP. The paper suggests that to realise this target the following would need to occur:

  • the UK would need an additional 250,000 full fee-paying international students;
  • Research Councils and Funding Councils to spend an additional £3 billion on funding research;
  • industry to contribute an additional £700 million;
  • charities to contribute an additional £830 million;
  • government departments to contribute £760 million extra each year.

Current R&D expenditure is 1.7% of GDP (25% of which spend by HEIs, 66% of spend by industry). The Government has announced additional investment of £4.7 billion by 2020/21 for R&D, however, the paper argues this isn’t enough and that other sectors must also increase their investment. The paper summarises recent Government policy related to R&D budgets.

The paper considers, and discards, the notion of only providing QR funding for 4* research.

In addition to her calls to increase research investment the author states her aim is to bring together UKRI and OfS to facilitate a sensible research funding model which neither underfunds or jeopardises research sustainability nor exploits students. The paper also urges universities to push back and recover a greater proportion of full economic cost from industry funders, particularly when the research is not directly for the public good.

Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI, commented : ”Anyone who wants to end cross-subsidies must say how they would fund universities’ various roles properly. There are three pressing issues. First, those who fund university research – public and private funders as well as charities – do not cover anything like the full costs. Secondly, the cross-subsidy from tuition fees to research is probably not sustainable at current levels. Thirdly, the Government wants a near doubling in research and development spending as a share of GDP, yet recent funding injections are only enough to stand still.

Our conclusion is that the Chancellor needs to find another £1 billion for research in this year’s Budget, with some set aside for the work universities do with charities. But even this level of additional funding would mean stagnation relative to other countries. So we also need a strategy for increasing research spending to OECD levels over the next few years and German levels thereafter – as promised in the 2017 Conservative manifesto.

The Times covered the report in University research subsidised with £281m from tuition fees.

Separately but relevant to this debate:

  • THE have written about the latest OECD data stating it shows a levelling off in global numbers of mobile students after the exponential growth of late 1990s and 2000s – read Data bite: international student flows in focus.
  • As we near the Autumn 2017 Budget parliamentarians have been calling on the Government to support their campaigning interests. This week Vince Cable (Lib Dem Leader) covers education and research and development in his pre-budget speech: “Long term studies by the LSE have shown that the two main determinants of poor UK performance on productivity are lack of innovation (R&D as opposed to basic science where the UK is strong) and low levels of skills. The former problem is being addressed by R&D tax credits and by the work of Innovate UK, in particular the Catapult network, which Liberal Democrats launched in government as part of the Industrial Strategy.
  • The latter is a far less tractable problem and despite the progress we made in the Coalition in raising the number and quality of apprenticeships, especially Higher Apprenticeships, the programme is now slipping backwards largely because of clumsy implementation of the apprenticeship levy and the neglect of careers advice and guidance….a budget built around the industrial strategy, prioritising education and skills, R&D and infrastructure would, at the very least, send the right signals.

Interdisciplinary Research

HEFCE have opened sub-panel nominations for roles related to IDR within REF 2021 aiming to support and promote the fair and equitable assessment of IDR outputs and environment through:

  • the inclusion of Interdisciplinary Research advisers on each sub-panel
  • the continuation of the optional IDR flag
  • the inclusion of a specific IDR section in the environment template

In September HEFCE blogged on the importance of academics within interdisciplinary research culture in What creates a culture of interdisciplinary research? HEFCE described what the new IDR role may look like in Wednesday’s blog REF 2021: Where are we on interdisciplinary research?

Widening Participation and inclusivity

OFFA has commissioned a new evidence based research study: Understanding and overcoming the challenges of targeting students from under-represented and disadvantaged ethnic backgrounds.

HEA and Runnymede Trust will analyse existing practice across the sector and ‘produce a suite of practical guidance to support staff in a variety of different roles within universities and colleges in overcoming the challenges associated with this work’. The project is part of OFFA’s long-term aim to challenge and support universities and colleges to do more to address the differences in higher education participation, attainment and progression to further study or employment that persist between students from different ethnic groups.

Les Ebdon: “Black and minority ethnic (BME) students have been a key target group for OFFA for a number of years. But our research suggests that universities and colleges are struggling to target the activities they deliver through their access agreements where they are most needed…This project will help us understand how activities can be targeted appropriately and effectively towards students from disadvantaged and under-represented ethnic backgrounds, enabling OFFA to better support universities and colleges to accelerate progress in this crucial area.”

Principal Investigator, Jacqueline Stevenson, stated: “Our intention is not just to indicate the barriers institutions are facing, but also what they are able to do to address these entrenched and long-standing inequalities.”

 

 Scope call for inclusive workplaces: Scope has called on the Dept for Work and Pensions to develop universal, industry-standard information and best practice guidance for all businesses to support their employment and management of disabled people. Scope’s new research Let’s Talk found many disabled people struggle to share information about their impairment or condition in the workplace making it hard for them to access the support and adjustments they need to carry out their job.

 

Question to the Dept for Education: Office for Students

Andrew Percy (Con): Whether the remit of the Office for Students will include anti-discrimination on campus.

Jo Johnson (Con, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research & Innovation): The government has published a consultation on behalf of the new Office for Students (OfS) regarding the regulation of the higher education sector. It proposes that, in its regulatory approach, the OfS will look to ensure that all students, from all backgrounds can access, succeed in, and progress from higher education.

Higher Education (HE) providers are autonomous organisations, independent from Government, and they already have responsibilities to ensure that they provide a safe, inclusive environment, including legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) to ensure that students do not face discrimination.

The OfS, like some HE providers, will also have obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty in part 11 of the Act. This includes a requirement that the OfS, when exercising its functions, has due regard to the need to: eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other unlawful conduct in the Act, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations in relation to protected characteristics.

In addition, in September 2015 the government asked Universities UK (UUK) to set up a Harassment Taskforce, composed of university leaders, student representatives and academic experts, to consider what more can be done to address harassment and hate crime on campus. The taskforce published its report, ‘Changing the Culture’, in October 2016, which sets out that universities should embed a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and hate crime. This includes hate crime or harassment on the basis of religion or belief, such as antisemitism and Islamophobia. The Higher Education Funding Council for England is currently working with UUK to test the sector’s response to the Taskforce’s recommendations and the results of this will be published early in 2018.

 

House of Lord Questions – Disabled Student Allowance

Lord Addington (Lib Dem) has asked three parliamentary questions regarding the disabled students allowance.

Q1: Whether the evaluation of Disabled Students’ Allowances will include consideration of the need for third party advisers to have clarity of information about the respective responsibilities of higher education providers and claimants of those allowances.

Q2: Whether the evaluation of Disabled Students’ Allowances will include consideration of the benefits of issuing a guide to higher education providers about their responsibilities in relation to students claiming those allowances who fall into bands 1 and 2.

Q3: Whether the evaluation of Disabled Students’ Allowances will include consideration of the levels of information provided by higher education providers to students claiming those allowances about the respective responsibilities of those institutions and students.

The Earl of Courtown provided the same (non-)response to all three questions:

A: The evaluation of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) will address a range of factors relating to the efficacy of support for disabled students, including the effect of recent changes to DSA policy.

 

Parliamentary Questions

 

Question to the Home Office – Visas: Overseas Students

Q -Jo Stevens (Labour): How much was accrued to the public purse from charging international students applying for Tier 4 student visas in each year since 2010.

A – Brandon Lewis (Con, Minister of State for Immigration): Visa income is not differentiated between the various categories in which they are received. Visa volumes by broad category (study, work etc) are published in the data section of this webpage: LINK Fees and unit costs are also published, for example, for 2017/18: LINK

 

Private Providers

Lord Storey (Lib Dem) has tabled two questions about the quality of private providers:

Q1 – On how many occasions in the last three years the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education has (1) raised concerns, and (2) taken action, regarding private colleges and providers of degrees

Q2 – What measures they are taking to provide quality assurance for students studying degree courses at a private college whose degrees are validated by a university

These are due for answer on Tuesday 21 November.

Consultations

Click here to view the updated consultation tracker. Email us on policy@bournemouth.ac.uk if you’d like to contribute to any of the current consultations.

New consultations and inquiries this week:

  • Two Dept for Health consultations on nursing, and one on regulation and workforce development of the health services
  • Jo Johnson has announced the sector will be asked for their opinion on two year degrees in a forthcoming consultation

Other news

Student Engagement: Guild HE have written for Wonkhe censuring the limited nature of student consultation and engagement proposed through the new Quality Code and critiquing both the TEF and the Office for Students in Engaging students as partners: two steps forward, one step back.

HE Policy Briefings

Awareness of policy is integral to many roles at BU and with HE constantly in the news it can be hard to sort the wood from the trees to keep current. We’re running two short and sharp HE Policy Briefings during November and December; all are welcome so come along to learn more!

The briefings will:

  • present the latest policy developments for universities and how they may affect BU, our staff and students
  • cover the next steps for the Teaching Excellence Framework, including subject level TEF, and how this could impact BU
  • support you to consider actions you could take to prepare for change and challenges arising from these development.

Email organisational development to attend on: Wed 22 November 12-13:00 at Lansdowne or Thurs 7 December 12-13:00 at Talbot (mince pies included!)

Subscribe!

To subscribe to the weekly policy update simply email policy@bournemouth.ac.uk

JANE FORSTER                                            |                       SARAH CARTER

Policy Advisor                                                                        Policy & Public Affairs Officer

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Follow: @PolicyBU on Twitter                   |                     policy@bournemouth.ac.uk