Tagged / Research news

HRA help guides – data and technology

An updated Code of Conduct for the application of data-driven technologies in the NHS was published on Tuesday of this week – the code ‘sets out what the NHS expects from companies who are developing new technologies for the health system, and what they can expect in return.

In order to assist applicants and researchers, the HRA have created new pages that set out the approvals process for data-driven technology research.

The section incorporates two pages of support –

The help pages will be added to the Clinical Governance section of the blog, for ease of access.

Research transparency – HRA response to the Science and Technology Committee

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee released a report last year on clinical trials transparency, as it was evident that a nearly half of clinical trials fail to publish their results. In their report, the committee made a number of recommendations to the Health Research Authority in order to rectify the situation.

At the time the HRA issued a response but today have published a further statement which sets out their commitment to research transparency. This is especially pertinent given the article published simultaneously in BMJ Open, which details the numbers of clinical trials that are publicly registered, compared with those that have received favourable opinion (approval) from a UK NHS research ethics committee.

BU has access to the ClinicalTrials.gov system so get in touch if you would like access. This is a great opportunity to register your study and study results in the public domain. It is free to register your study.
Despite the name, the system may be used for other clinical research projects.

NIHR – Making a difference: Improving treatment for advanced prostate cancer

The NIHR have recently published an article on the STAMPEDE trial which is helping to improve the prognosis and quality of life of those diagnosed with prostate cancer.

This is a research study that’s supported by the NIHR, and has been up and running since 2005, with more than 10,000 men having taken part. 125 UK sites are conducting the research, with local NHS Trusts amongst those 125.

The trial is multi-arm, so compares different treatments amongst the participant group – it is also ‘randomised’, so participants are allocated their treatment at random, reducing any bias in allocation.

The results to date from the trial have also influenced the NHS treatment for men with high risk, locally advanced metastatic prostate cancer. More STAMPEDE related news can be found on their website.

You can read the article here, which contains a testimony from a trial participant whose condition and quality of life have been vastly improved.

SciTech PGR Aishah Selamat awarded with UK Data Service Data Impact Fellowship Award

In September 2017, the UK Data Service (UKDS) announced the appointment of its second Data Impact Fellows for 2017-2018. Aishah Selamat from the Faculty of Science and Technology, Creative Department, was amongst the selected researchers from the United Kingdom universities.

An open competition for Ph.D. and post-doctoral researchers, the UKDS Data Impact Fellows programme is outlined to support the usage of UKDS data (and its resources) from the new generation of scholars. Each year, UKDS received high qualities of applications, making the selection a tougher job for the judges.

Aishah Selamat is BU first PGR to be awarded the competitive UK Data Service Impact Fellowship Award. The value of £2000 grant would provide Aishah Selamat the opportunities to carry out impactful public engagements, cover the course of her article publication or participate in an international conference. Over the course of two years, Aishah Selamat role as UKDS Data Impact Fellow includes blogs contribution to UKDS blog, develop an impactful case study contribution and becomes a data citation practitioner.

Read Aishah’s first blog post contribution on UKDS here.

PGR supervisory team consist of Dr. Simant Prakoonwit, Dr. Reza Sahandi & Dr. Wajid Khan

 

Policy update for w/e Friday 21 April

General Election: The general election (#GE2017) has been announced for Thursday 8 June meaning Parliament will dissolve on 3 May. In local news Oliver Letwin (West Dorset) was reported as announcing he will stand down and not contest the next election; however this related to 2020 and he has confirmed he will contest 2017.

Current bills must receive Royal Assent before Parliament dissolves or fail; therefore a ‘wash-up’ period will likely take place to hurry key bills through. The ‘wash-up’ business must be agreed between the Government and the Opposition. Its a time when deals can be made, although its likely the Government may tighten ranks to push through a bill with the main thrust of its intent intact.

Select committees are wrapping up their business with several inquiries prematurely closing their requests for evidence. The chairmanship of several select committees will also change as Members can only chair a committee for the maximum of two parliaments or 8 years (Standing Order 122A).

Purdah, commencing at midnight tonight, will impact and delay the TEF year 2 results, the release of the full LEO (Longitudinal Education Outcomes) data, the Schools that Work for Everyone white paper, and other announcements including the appointment of the Chief Executive for the Office for Students.

 

HERB: The next stage for the Higher Education and Research Bill is ping pong, where the Commons respond to the Lords Third Reading amendments. Currently, no date is scheduled for ping pong and the bill is absent from next week’s published parliamentary business. With Parliament’s dissolution looming speculation abounds on the bill’s fate, its likely it will be considered on Thursday where the parliamentary business has been left unspecified. Opinion divides on whether the Government will concede or hard line to push the bill through. The House of Commons Library has published a useful briefing paper summarising the Lords Amendments. Furthermore, Research Professional reportthe amendment to widen the grounds for appeal of Office for Students decisions is understood to have been accepted by government”, no authoritative source is provided to confirm this, although as one of least controversial Lords amendments it seems plausible.

 

Student migration: Frequent in the press this week (Times, Huff Post, Wonkhe, Reuters) was Theresa May’s rumoured U-turn on counting overseas students within the net migration figures However, there are no firm commitments and the position is neatly summarised by THE: May is “offering to change the way that student numbers are calculated, with the promise of further concessions”; the government is likely to offer a “regulatory compromise” in how overseas student numbers in Britain are calculated. On Thursday Theresa May told the BBC: “We want to see sustainable net migration in this country, I believe that sustainable net migration is in the tens of thousands.” A recent UUK ComRes poll highlights that only a quarter of the public consider students to be immigrants. We wait to see how migratory targets are tackled in the Conservatives election manifesto.

 

2018/19 EU Students: The government has confirmed that 2018/19 EU students will remain eligible for undergraduate and masters student loans and retain their home fees status even if the course concludes after Brexit. EU students can also apply for Research Council PhD studentships for the duration of their study.

 

Industrial Strategy – HE research commercialisation: HEFCE have launching the Connecting Capability Fund (£100 million) as part of the government’s Industrial Strategy to support university collaborations and research commercialisation. It is intended to help universities to deliver the industrial priorities, forge external technological, industrial and regional partnerships, and share good practice and capacity internally across the higher education sector. It is expected to be channelled through the Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) programme with the first round deadline set as 10 July.

 

Other news:

The Common’s Science and Technology select committee have published: Industrial Strategy; Science and STEM skills. It urges government to increase the R&D investment and make up net shortfall for international collaborative research lost through Brexit, alongside stepping-up measures to increase children and students STEM skills.

Research Councils UK have launched the £700k Strategic Support to Expedite Embedding Public Engagement with Research (SEE-PER) call aiming to better embed support for public engagement with research in higher education institutions The call will be open for a limited time, assessed by panel over summer 2017, with activity commencing no later than 1 October 2017.

British businesses winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (2017) have been announced, the winning product/service for each business is listed in the Gazette. Among the winners is Poole based BOFA International Ltd (fume extraction).

Rachel Hewitt, HESA, writes for Wonkhe to provide feedback on the new DLHE consultation. HESA report 80% support for the proposed survey design and a mixed response to the financial model mainly due to lack of information. A final version of the model is earmarked for publication later in June. Hewitt states: “We now want to ensure that HE providers have certainty over the implications of the review outcomes, and to enable them to start reviewing their systems and processes”, and commits to sharing information through the rolling FAQs.

HEA and Action on Access have published: What works? Supporting student success: strategies for institutional change.