Tagged / networking

Successful Bid-generating Sandpit designed and facilitated by BU academics Catalin Brylla and Lyle Skains

image with sandpit title, facilitator names, and sponsor logos27 early career academics from ten universities came together 30 April-1 May in Bournemouth for a two-day sandpit funded by The British Academy Early Career Researcher Network and organised by Dr. Catalin Brylla (Centre for the Study of Conflict, Emotion, and Social Justice) and Dr. Lyle Skains (Centre for Science, Health, and Data Communication Research). The participants specialise in a variety of disciplines such as performance, media, business management, environmental sciences, anthropology, computing, architecture, law, engineering, tourism, and health studies. They brought their interests in a sustainable world and society (as represented by the UN Sustainable Development Goals) to the sandpit for networking, team-building, and funding and project development workshops, many of which were based on the successful and innovative NESTA-developed ‘Crucible’ programme (no longer online, but see the Welsh Crucible).

image of 27 people seated in two rows of chairs facing one another, talking animatedlyThe success of the sandpit’s activities is highlighted by the culmination of six projects proposed to a panel of subject experts from Bournemouth University: Prof. Amanda Korstjens (ecology), Prof. Adele Ladkin (business), Prof. Huseyin Dogan (computing), Dr. Lyle Skains (arts practice and interdisciplinarity), Dr. Catalin Brylla (media practice) and Zarak Afzal (research development). These experts provide mentorship and feedback on the projects as they develop toward funding proposals. Two sandpit follow-up sessions will also aid the participants in developing their funding proposals.

A group of people around a table, writing notes, talking animatedly to one another. Other similar tables are in the background.This is the first ‘crucible’ sandpit of its kind offered through the BA ECRN, though plans are under development for further offerings in both the Southwest and other regional hubs.

To receive news of further sandpits and development opportunities, join the BA ECRN.

BA ECRN event: ECRs in the Arts, Culture and Creative Economies

Early Career Researcher Network

This ECR-focused event brings together researchers across disciplines within the Arts, Culture and Creative Economies.

It will feature keynote talks from three inspiring speakers in these fields, a panel discussion, and facilitated networking conversations.

The three speakers are: Dr Verity McIntosh (Virtual and Extended realities); Dr Tarek Virani (urban and urban dynamics as they pertain to culture and the creative and cultural industries); and Ms Sharon Clark (Professional and Creative Writing).


Wednesday 28 Feb 2024, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM 

Design West, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA


You can book your place via EventBrite,   here.

Please note this is an inperson event for ECRs from the South West Hub only.

If you need more information about this event please contact the event organiser.

Looking to cook up new research related to Media and Social Justice? Join us!

Apply to participate here! More details below.

Media Industries and Social Justice Sandpit

Co-organised by the Media Production department and CESJ (the Centre for the Study of Conflict, Emotion and Social Justice).

19th and 20th July, 2023 (venue TBC)

This two-day sandpit creates a dynamic approach to the development of concepts for innovative projects and funding bids. By the end of both days, the participants will form interdisciplinary project teams and generate proposals (including pinpointing external partners) for funded projects on media and social justice issues. See more details in the programme outline.

The event will involve participants from across BU, who are interested in, or already doing research on, social justice issues. It will establish an interdisciplinary dialogue, enhance the scope for public engagement or knowledge transfer, increase the potential for impact, improve the chances for successful bids, and establish cross-institutional networks as seedbeds for future projects.

The sandpit will culminate in project pitches to a panel of senior staff (see below) for constructive feedback and for allocating a bid-writing mentor. After the event, the teams will be offered mentorship to support writing the full funding application.

Sandpit Programme Outline

Sandpit Programme Outline

Who should participate:

We welcome any BU-based junior to mid-career researcher, artist, practitioner or anyone with a general interest in media and social justice. 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.

How to participate:

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 23rd JUNE: https://forms.office.com/r/Ezix4LkcL0

The event will be facilitated by Dr. Catalin Brylla and Dr. Lyle Skains, and the pitching panel and mentors will include Prof. Richard Berger, Prof. Candida Yates, Prof. Christa van Raalte, Dr. Sue Sudbury, Dr. Christopher Pullen, and Dr. Karl Rawstrone.

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact Catalin at cbrylla@bournemouth.ac.uk, or Lyle at lskains@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Book now – BU Research Conference 2023: Embracing Failure, Building Success

We all shy away from using the ‘F’ word – failure. But whether it’s a funding bid not being successful, a journal article being rejected, or findings not being as hoped, problems and setbacks are a normal part of the research journey. Understanding how to overcome and learn from these moments of ‘failure’ is key to a successful academic career.

The BU Research Conference is back for 2023 and this year’s event will explore the concept of failure in academia and building the resilience to learn from setbacks and overcome obstacles that may be in your path.

The conference will take place in the Fusion Building (Talbot Campus) on Wednesday 14 June, with a mix of inspirational speakers and practical workshops.

The day will run from 10am – 4.30pm, with lunch and refreshments included. It will be followed by a drinks reception to network with colleagues and chat to your peers about your own experiences.

We’re finalising the schedule but already have an exciting mix of internal and external speakers confirmed.

Our first keynote speaker for the conference will be Dr Jan Peters MBE. Jan is an engineer, consultant and campaigner for diversity and inclusion in STEM. A former president of the Women’s Engineering Society, her background is in materials research and hi-tech manufacturing, before helping academics build relationships with industry partners. In 2017 she was awarded an MBE for services to women and engineering and an honorary doctorate from Bournemouth University.

Jan’s talk, Embracing failure my way, will explore the impact of failure and how we each respond differently. And how, by knowing what drives us, we can harness our energy to bounce forwards.

BU’s very own Professor Ann Hemingway and Professor Sam Goodman will give the second conference keynote, Reckoning with Reviewer 2: Experiencing (and overcoming) Academic Rejection.

Closing the day will be Robert Seaborne, who founded Inside Academia – an online platform dedicated to positively changing the culture of mental health, wellbeing and mindset within academia.

Robert is currently a postdoctoral fellow at University of Copenhagen whose own experiences struggling with pressures and stressors during his PhD and early post-doc years had a big impact on his wellbeing.

Robert’s talk will delve into his personal reflections, the mental health landscape in academia and what tools and strategies could help equip us to navigate this journey more positively.

We’ll also have a range of practical workshops, covering topics including building resilience, repurposing failed funding applications, and improving writing practices.

We’ll be sharing more details over the coming weeks and months but you can book your place for the conference now via Eventbrite to be kept up-to-date with all the latest information.

Book your place

BU and University Hospitals Dorset celebration and networking event

An event to celebrate the partnership between BU and University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust (UHD) is being held at BU on 18 October 2022.

The event will showcase collaborative research that has taken place between both organisations, and provide networking opportunities for BU academics to meet counterparts at UHD who are interested in further collaborating on research and professional practice.

The partnership between BU and UHD will celebrate its second anniversary as a part of the event, though the organisations have had strong links for many years.

The event will provide an opportunity to hear from senior leaders at both organisations, to understand the collaborative work on current research projects and disciplines, and opportunities for future collaboration.

The event will take place in the Executive Business Centre on Tuesday 18 October 2022, starting at 5.15pm, places are limited. Booking is essential via Eventbrite.

*New* Rapid Collaboration Networking Events: starting 23/3/22

Are you, your company, or not-for-profit organisation looking to grow with a wider network?

This event is a chance for industry of all sizes to meet BU/BCP colleagues that may have access to information and expertise that can bring impactful changes to your organisation.

The session is an open networking event with attendees invited to speak around a theme, for around two minutes.

Theme slots. – To aid collaboration, those speaking will be asked to say who they are, what they do, and what they are looking for in collaborators. Don’t worry if you are feeling a little shy, there will be plenty of time for networking.

The programme will be as follows:

23/3/22    Rapid Collaboration Networking: Animation, Simulation & Visualisation

27/4/22    Rapid Collaboration Networking: Sustainability & Technology

25/5/22    Rapid Collaboration Networking: Assistive Technology

22/6/22    Rapid Collaboration Networking: Medical Science

Why attend?

This networking is open to all looking to meet new people from different sectors. Attendees will include a mixture of academics from universities, as well as representatives from industry and other sectors.

There will be a short expert talk, and a quick highlight made of the many types of collaborations that can occur from the relationships that can be formed (e.g. collaborative research, to knowledge exchanges and student placements).

If you have ever been curious about working with a University, this is a relaxed opportunity to find out more. The majority of government funding for R&D goes to collaborations.

There is limited availability, but if you have any queries, please contact Ehren Milner, (emilner@bournemouth.ac.uk) Research Facilitator, for Bournemouth University.

Sign up Sign up: British Academy ECR Network Southwest Hub

Are you an ECR who wants to start 2022 with an awesome opportunity??

Please sign up to the newly established British Academy ECR Network Southwest Hub. Led by the GW4 Alliance, in partnership with the British Academy and nine Southwest universities (including Bournemouth University). This is building an inclusive and researcher-led network to support the needs and interests of researchers in the humanities and social sciences – including subjects from Social Psychology and Anthropology to Law and History.
There will be events and activities both in the region and at the Academy that will provide an opportunity for capacity building, knowledge exchange and networking. Researcher interests will inform the activities and opportunities the network will offer.
For those that join, you will be invited to attend an Early-Career Researcher Network Welcome session, where you will learn more about the Network, meet and engage with other Early-Career Researchers and address any questions or concerns you have about the Network.
The Welcome session will take place on Thursday 20th January 2022 between 14:00 – 15:00pm on Zoom.
The Network is being piloted across the Southwest and is for researchers who identify as early-career. Although the Network does not have a strict definition of an ECR, it is anticipated you will be within 10 years of your PhD experience but recognise this will not be the case for all, given career breaks for MAT, PAT, sick leave, and other exceptional circumstances.
Further information can be found via the British Academy Early Career Researcher Network webpage.
To sign-up follow this link to register your interest to join the Network: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/BAECRN/

National Postdoc Conference 2021

Networking opportunities open for bookings!

The University of Liverpool is hosting the National Postdoc Conference 2021 (NPDC21) this September.

The virtual NPDC21 conference is an opportunity for postdoctoral researchers to engage with industry stakeholders, funding agencies, policy influencers, researcher developers and career development professionals.

The conference has a great programme, including a keynote presentation from CEO of UKRI Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser.  The programme  is available here. Further parallel sessions are still to be announced.

Before the main conference, a series of informal networking sessions will take place in August and September and are available to book now on the NPDC21 web pages.

Bookings for the main conference day can be made from the 3rd August.

Photo credit: Phil Fiddyment

Early Career Researcher Network – Update

Following the launch of the Early Career Researcher Network in September, the academic leads has been busy finalising the schedule for the coming year.

If you are already registered on the ECR Network community on Brightspace, you can access the calendar and sign up for each monthly meeting, using the link given in the calendar entries. Forthcoming events include career planning, deadline with academic rejections, who can assist with research methods queries, mentoring support and, of course, the opportunity to share your research experiences with your peers.

Within the community, there are discussion boards and surveys, where you can participate between the monthly meetings.

If you do not yet have access to this community and you are an ECR (including PTHP) or wish to support ECRs at BU, then contact us and we will add you to the ECR Network’s Brightspace community


Engaging with a Business Audience – Book now

On Wednesday, 4th July 2018, BU’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Office invite BU staff to attend the event –  Engaging with a Business Audience.

This interactive one-day workshop aims to equip you with the necessary skills to be proficient and confident when communicating with a business audience. The key learning outcomes are:

  • Communicating to a business audience
  • Being confident when you are at a networking event

This event will be delivered off-campus but within the Bournemouth area. The event is a full day so those booking will be expected to attend for the full duration, with catering provided for attendees.

Reserve your place and find out how you can bring your research to the attention of industrial stakeholders and potential partners!

More news about the demise of Pirrus

Further to the previous post, there is further information about the closure of the Piirus service:

Piirus (piirus.ac.uk) has proved valuable to the research community with access to networks and value-added content. However, as there are several other platforms now available offering very similar services, we have decided to cease offering our platform so that we can focus on other areas in which we can support the academic community. Therefore, from 31st October 2017, the Piirus network will be withdrawn.

We are letting you know in advance so you can manage any of your data in Piirus that you might need.

When Piirus closes, all of your data will be deleted automatically so you do not need to take any further action, but if you would prefer to delete your account now, please follow these steps:

–        Log in to your Piirus account at www.piirus.ac.uk

–        Select ‘edit my profile’

–        Click through to the final screen, where you will find the option to delete your profile

–        You will then see a message to confirm that your account has been deleted

We are very grateful for the engagement of all of our Piirus members and supporters over the last few years.

We actively encourage all Piirus members to ensure they have an ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) account and use this to access the many digital networking services that are now available. View the ORCID website here.

If you enjoy Piirus’ thought leading content you can continue to access this, as it will be transferred on to our free global ‘jobs.ac.uk’ service, with more useful content coming soon. View our careers advice on jobs.ac.uk here.

Thank you once again for all your engagement and support.

For more information view our FAQ page or if you have any questions please contact us via email.


Yours sincerely,

The Piirus team

Update from Piirus – service transferring to jobs.ac.uk

Announcement from Pirrus:

Unfortunately, we are no longer taking new registrations for the piirus.ac.uk network. On October 31st 2017 Piirus will be absorbed by the sector leading global jobs.ac.uk, where we will continue to provide thought leading content, bringing you research and articles alongside our blogs and social media activity. This decision will enable us to provide a cohesive set of services to you on one platform.

If you don’t already follow jobs.ac.uk, we have much to offer you with regards to careers advice and valuable content to help you achieve your career goals, be it within academia or beyond. Our recent live video Q&A session dealt with our audience’s questions about entering the world of industry after completing a PhD, for example. Our China portal features a variety of articles that give insight into the world of academia in China and tips for making the move there.

The jobs.ac.uk Careers blogs will continue the good work of the Piirus blog and are written by academics and professional university staff members to cover a range of topics, including working in Education, post PhD life, and The Digital Academic. We have a long list of ebooks and infographics available to help you in creating your digital persona, pursuing a postdoctoral career in Norway (with more countries in Europe to come) and how to better organise your career to name just a few of the subjects we delve into. We also publish weekly advice articles offering useful tips, such as steps to networking success and answering killer interview questions.

In 2015, we launched PhD vlogs and we have since followed the lives of thirteen vloggers as they take us along for the ride during their PhD studies. We will expand our vlogs with the introduction of early career researchers and more experienced academics to get a personal insight into what a career in academia can look like.

A huge strength of Piirus was its in-depth blog posts that explored the real-life issues academic face on a daily basis. We want to assure you that, although Piirus will be closing on October 31st 2017, the unique and valuable content will continue under the jobs.ac.uk brand.

jobs.ac.uk shares Piirus’ desire to inspire you and encourage conversation and collaboration between researchers, academic and HE professionals. In entering our community, you are joining a huge network of like-minded individuals who may share your career goals and experiences so far. Our content aims to give people in HE a voice and explore the many diverse routes into HE that our clients offer.

Business collaboration & networking


Need help with networking? – why not book onto the business engagement and networking session on 2 November for some hints and tips that you can put into practice.

Date: Wednesday 16 November

Location: The Fusion Building, Bournemouth University

Event information:

Building on the successful Game Changer event held earlier in the year, Bournemouth University and NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group present The Game Changer Reloaded – promoting innovation and fostering collaboration across Dorset. Join Richard Dolan, Dr Phil Richardson and Professor Jim Roach and a diverse collection of speakers to learn more about the art of the possible and the power of innovation to transform health services within the region.

Places are going fast for both sessions so make sure you book your space. Academics are encouraged to attend both sessions but if you are looking for potential funding partners / research collaborators session 2 is a must.

It’s free: book now for sessions 1 and/or 2


Session 1 – 9.00 am -3.00 pm: Speakers from BU and external organisations share their innovation journeys throughout the day providing inspiration and ideas to those attending as to how to get involved.

Session 2 – 3.15 pm  – 4.15 pm: Facilitation and networking: This session offers the opportunity to share ideas and develop future collaborations. There’s also the chance to begin to consider research ideas that could subsequently be progressed in order to obtain external funding in the future.

Each session will need to be booked separately.

Throughout the day there’s a pop-up innovation exhibition for guests to enjoy and to share and refine ideas.

It’s free: book now for The Game Changer Reloaded 

This event forms a number being run at the university as part of the Festival of Enterprise.

Need help with networking? – why not book onto the business engagement and networking session on 2 November.