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BU Research Conference 2024: Powerful partnerships

The third annual BU research conference event took place on Wednesday. This year’s theme centred around partnership and collaboration in research, exploring some of the opportunities and challenges around working with others.

As well as attendees from across BU, we also greeted guests from other local universities and partner organisations.

Isabella Pereira from the Institute for Community Studies

Isabella Pereira from the Institute for Community Studies

Following the official opening by Professor Sarah Bate, we welcomed keynote speaker Isabella Pereira, Head of the Institute for Community Studies (ICS).

Isabella talked through several case studies of research undertaken by the ICS – from supporting an NHS Trust’s suicide bereavement service to student engagement with marginalised communities and reaching residents as part of a regeneration project.

She also shared her advice on working effectively with communities, including meeting people ‘where they are’ and considering the impact of potential power imbalances and differing values and expectations.

This was followed by a lively panel discussion. Chaired by Professor Lee Miles, the panel (Professor Carol Clark, Professor Sam Goodman, Professor Zoheir Sabeur and Dr Mili Shrivastava) shared their experiences of building and maintaining partnerships and took audience questions on topics including dealing with ‘gatekeepers’ and factoring networking opportunities into workloads.

Key themes emerged around the need to build and develop trust as part of any partnership, building a strong profile to help facilitate opportunities and build networks, and managing different stakeholder interests.

The Building Partnerships Panel Discussion

The Building Partnerships Panel Discussion

A range of workshops offered the opportunity to hear more about the work being undertaken at BU and gain practical tips and strategies for working with different partners.

Topics covered included co-creating research with under-served communities, working with community and voluntary organisations, international research collaboration, working with business, and collaborating for research knowledge exchange in the Ukraine and Sierra Leone.

Following some closing reflections from Andy Scott, Head of RDS, the day concluded with a conference lunch, offering an opportunity to network and continue conversations.

The Research Conference is an annual event organised by the Research Excellence Team in RDS to bring BU’s academic and research community together to learn, share, network and discuss key topics from the world of research.

A big thank you to everyone who supported or attended this year’s conference. If you have any feedback or suggestions of topics for future years, please get in touch at






Wednesday 26th June, 12.30 – 3.30, FG04



over tea, coffee and biscuits

Academics can invite their Post-Graduate Students

This is the final Innovation Common Room for this academic year.


will return in September for the 2024-25 year

Research Knowledge Exchange Culture: Making it Happen

Contact Dr Wendelin Morrison, BU Knowledge Exchange Manager, if you need to know more

BU Research Conference: Powerful Partnerships – Wednesday 26 June

A lightbulb created by interlocking pieces of stringThere’s still time to book your place for the BU Research Conference, which takes place on Wednesday (26 June) in the Fusion Building.

The theme for this year’s conference is powerful partnerships, exploring how working with others can enhance your research.

Speakers include Isabella Pereira, Head of the Institute for Community Studies, and a panel of BU academics sharing their experiences of working with partners regionally, nationally and internationally.

You’ll also have chance to take part in practical workshops covering topics including building international partnerships, co-creating research, and working with business.

The conference runs from 9.30am – 1pm and will be followed by a networking lunch to spark further conversations and collaborations.

We’re hoping it will be an inspiring and informative day, and we’d love to see you there.

Find out more and book your place via Eventbrite

BU Research Conference 2024: Powerful Partnerships – practical workshops

A lightbulb created by interlocking pieces of stringThe BU Research Conference returns on Wednesday 26th June, where we’ll be exploring the power of partnerships and how collaboration can enhance your research.

As well as a keynote talk from Isabella Pereira, Head of the Institute for Community Studies, and a panel discussion around building partnerships, we also have a range of practical workshops to help with developing effective research collaborations and finding partners.

Each workshop will last 45 minutes and attendees will have the opportunity to attend two workshops on the day – click on the links below to book your place.

This workshop will provide practical strategies for engaging with underserved communities and how to build on social capital and lived experience of communities to develop and implement impactful research.

This workshop will be facilitated by Dr Sophia Amenyah, Post Doctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

International collaboration can increase the quality, reach and impact of research, as well as provide access to datasets, facilities, and teams of talented researchers. This workshop will feature a lively discussion about the benefits of international research collaboration, opportunities to get involved in BU strategic partnerships overseas, and to meet some of our international partners in person.

This workshop will be facilitated by Dr Gloria Khamkar, Principal Academic in Journalism, Dr Alastair Morrison, Head of International Partnerships, and colleagues from our partners at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada and the Brest National School of Engineering (ENIB), France

This workshop will be an opportunity to hear and discuss opportunities for collaborating with VCSOs to maximise the relevance, quality and impact of our research. Sharing evidence and examples of best practice, the facilitators will share their insights and experiences from both academic and community perspectives, outlining where to start and how to create opportunities where all involved can work together as equal partners for equal benefit.

This workshop will be facilitated by Professor Mel Hughes and Dr Kate Jupp from the BU PIER partnership

Professor Marcin Budka will talk about his experience of working with several businesses on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), a government-funded initiative that brings universities and businesses together to drive innovation.

He will share his insights into the process – from application to completion – and the long-term strategic impact that can arise from a successful KTP collaboration.

This workshop will be facilitated by Professor Marcin Budka, Professor of Data Science

This workshop offers an opportunity to be inspired by hearing about how to bring research into knowledge exchange collaborations creatively, with impact, and in a funding limited environment. Hear from two of our BU professors about the collaborative work they have been doing in the Ukraine and in Sierra Leone, which has had a significant positive impact on the lives of individuals, and on policy makers, in two socio-politically instable countries.

This workshop will be facilitated by Dr Wendelin Morrison, Knowledge Exchange Manager, Professor Mark Brisbane (the Ukraine Pechersk-Lavra Project) and Professor Lee Miles, Professor of Crisis and Disaster Management

There will also be the chance to find out more about a Smart Leisure and Active Ageing project, led by a team from BU Business School and the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre working in partnership with local tourism and leisure partners to support inclusion and accessibility.

The BU Research Conference takes place on Wednesday 26th June in the Fusion Building. To find out more and book your place, visit Eventbrite.

The Missing Persons Indicator Project: Research Collaboration for Knowledge Exchange

The Missing Persons Indicator Project, initiated several years ago by Professor Melanie Klinkner and Andreas Kleiser from the ICMP, has recently been enhanced by a visit to the ICMP, aimed at optimising knowledge exchange. Its goal is to showcase each state’s relationship with missing persons through comprehensive data analysis. This initiative began as a collaborative effort, with data gathering undertaken by undergraduate students at Bournemouth University, engaging students in real-world research and ensuring the project’s sustainability by welcoming new students each September.

Since its inception, the project has been fortunate to work with many enthusiastic students who have completed the first round of Structural Indicator 1. This indicator demonstrates the commitment of states to international legal instruments. The table below outlines the current indicators involved in our data collection process:

Context Indicator A qualitative assessment as to whether the state has experienced extraordinary events that may be correlated to a rise in missing persons cases.
Structural Indicator 1 The commitment shown by states to international legal instruments is an indicator of their duties and obligation in relation to missing persons.
Structural Indicator 2 Domestic legislation by states as an indicator of their duties and obligation in relation to missing persons.
Structural Indicator 3 Institutional framework(s) established by states as an indicator of their duties, obligation, and enactment of legislation in relation to missing persons.

Thanks to HEIF funding, the Missing Persons Indicator Project recently had the opportunity to employ four student volunteers over the past two weeks. Their task was to accelerate the data collation for these indicators. By working through each indicator on a state-by-state basis, they developed a comprehensive understanding of each state’s unique situation. This method also allowed them to recognise and utilise specific details that might recur across the different indicators.

Every day, a designated “data-checker” reviewed previously inputted data to identify and correct any anomalies. This rigorous review process ensures the data’s accuracy, ethical integrity, and suitability for international dissemination.

Throughout this process, the students have been deeply engaged, asking insightful questions that challenged our perspectives and prompted us to consider aspects we might have overlooked. The atmosphere has been a hub of activity and intellectual growth.

We are extremely grateful for the hard work and dedication of our student researchers. Their contributions have demonstrated that a student ‘data-lab’ is an excellent model for conducting research and achieving meaningful results.

As this term draws to a close, we are keen to alert teaching staff to the potential for their students to join the Missing Person Indicator project in September as we recruit a new cohort for the new academic year. To learn more about the project please visit our website!

BU Research Conference 2024: Powerful partnerships – book your place

Collaboration is at the heart of excellent research – whether it’s building relationships with international partners, co-creating research with communities, or working across disciplines to find fresh perspectives.

The BU Research Conference is back for 2024 and this year’s event will explore the power of partnerships, showcasing how working with others can enhance your research.

It will take place in the Fusion Building (Talbot Campus) on Wednesday 26th June, with a mix of speakers, panel sessions, and practical workshops.

The conference will run from 9.30am to 1.15pm, with refreshments included. It will be followed by a networking lunch to help start conversations and build new connections.

The keynote speaker for the conference will be Isabella Pereira, Head of the Institute for Community Studies – a research institute with people at its heart. Engaging with people across the UK, they work to influence societal change, bridging the gap between communities, evidence, and policymaking.

Following this will be the Building partnerships panel, with academics from across BU talking about their experiences of working with partners regionally, nationally, and internationally – as well as across different sectors and disciplines – and sharing their insights and advice on effective research collaboration.

We’ll also have a range of practical workshops, covering topics including working with business, building international partnerships, and public involvement in research.

The conference is open to all researchers and those involved in research across BU and other universities in Dorset.

Book your place via Eventbrite