Tagged / research staff

Come to the career planning for research staff event (led by Vitae)

Vitae will be visiting BU on Friday 27th April to lead an event on career planning for research staff. The event is open to everyone and is primarily aimed at research staff, managers of research staff and also those in, or aspiring to, research leadership positions.

The event will start with lunch. Dr Kate Jones (Vitae) will then deliver a keynote presentation, followed by breakout sessions. One of the breakout sessions will be a transferable skills workshop led by Dr Emma Compton-Daw (University of Strathclyde and member of UKRSA), focusing on planning for an academic career. Dr Kate Jones will lead a breakout session on supporting career planning and providing advice on different career paths, aimed at research leaders/managers. Dr Michelle Heward (BU) will lead a session on how BU could provide better career planning advice to research staff on an on-going basis.

Full details, including how to register, are available on the Staff Intranet here: https://staffintranet.bournemouth.ac.uk/workingatbu/staffdevelopmentandengagement/fusiondevelopment/fusionprogrammesandevents/rkedevelopmentframework/skillsdevelopment/careerplanningforresearchstaff/.

I hope many of you will be able to participate in the event which has been organised in response to feedback from research staff (via focus groups and the CROS survey) that BU should  provide better information on career planning for research staff. This event is part of a programme of work as part of BU’s implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Research Staff.

BU successful in retaining HR Excellence in Research Award

We are delighted to announce that following an external review in spring 2017, BU has been successful in retaining our HR Excellence in Research Award.

The reviewers particularly commended the significant achievements made over the full review period (January 2013 to December 2016) which have demonstrated our commitment to ensuring research staff are recognised, supported, valued and their voices heard.

The Award demonstrates BU’s commitment to aligning process and practice to the UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and therefore improving the working conditions and career development for research staff. In turn this will improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy. The external review required us to highlight the key achievements and progress made since BU gained the award in January 2013 and to outline the focus of our strategy, success measures and next steps for the following four years.

Key achievements made at BU since 2013 in support of this agenda include:

 

Over the next four years we will focus on:

  • Reviewing and improving the conditions of employment for research staff
  • Further embedding the ownership and implementation of the Concordat and action plan at Faculty level
  • Standardising procedures for research staff, e.g. induction, appraisal and pay progression
  • Further strengthening the documentation and support for research staff and research leaders/managers
  • Further strengthening the voice and visibility of research staff, both internally and externally

You can read our progress review and future action plan (2017-21) in full here: https://research.bournemouth.ac.uk/research-environment/research-concordat/

Read the full announcement on the Vitae website here: https://www.vitae.ac.uk/news/vitae-press-releases/hr-excellence-in-research-award-june-2017

Showcase YOUR research at the RSA Festival of Learning Event

We are looking for researchers from across BU to take part in the BU Research Staff Association (RSA) Festival of Learning event ‘RSA – Research with impact’ on 28th June 2016 between 4 -7pm.

During this event researchers from across BU will have an oppoortunity to showcase their research to the public in innovative ways (e.g. through Lego, artefacts,  or talking around an exhibited poster or object etc). Please note that we have a small budget to help researchers pay for posters and other artefacts.

If you would like an opportunity to showcase your research to wider audiences then please email Michelle Heward mheward@bournemouth.ac.uk for an expression of interest form (expressions of interest to be received by 27th May 2016).

Kind regards, Michelle Heward and Marcellus Mbah

BU Research Staff Association

Reminder of BU’s Bridging Fund Scheme for researchers

Golden gate Bridge wallpaperIn summer 2015 we launched the new BU Bridging Fund Scheme which aims to provide additional stability to fixed-term researchers who continue to rely heavily on short-term contracts usually linked to external funding. This situation sometimes impacts negatively on continuity of employment and job security and can result in a costly loss of researcher talent for the institution.

The new Bridging Fund Scheme aims to mitigate these circumstances by redeploying the researcher where possible, or where feasible, by providing ‘bridging funding’ for the continuation of employment for a short-term (maximum three months) between research grants. It is intended to permit the temporary employment, in certain circumstances, of researchers between fixed-term contracts at BU, for whom no other source of funding is available, in order to:

(a) encourage the retention of experienced and skilled staff, and sustain research teams and expertise;

(b) aconcordat to support the career development of researchersvoid the break in employment and career which might otherwise be faced by such staff;

(c) maximise the opportunity for such staff to produce high-quality outputs and/or research impact at the end of funded contracts/grants.

To find out more about the scheme, including how to apply for bridging funding, see the scheme guidelines.

This is a great step forward for BU and for BU’s researchers and is an action from our EC HR Excellence in Research Award which aims to increase BU’s alignment with the national Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (further information is available here: https://research.bournemouth.ac.uk/research-environment/research-concordat/).

Careers guidance resources for researchers

career-developmentIn October we launched a suite of careers guidance resources for researchers and their managers. The resources include detailed guidance on how to progress from a research career to an academic career as well as information for PhD students on postdoctoral research positions. There is also information on other career pathways including administration/management within HE and research careers outside of HE. The resources have been enhanced over the past few months and now include a number of case studies for different career pathways.

Reminder of BU’s Bridging Fund Scheme for researchers

Golden gate Bridge wallpaperIn summer 2015 we launched the new BU Bridging Fund Scheme which aims to provide additional stability to fixed-term researchers who continue to rely heavily on short-term contracts usually linked to external funding. This situation sometimes impacts negatively on continuity of employment and job security and can result in a costly loss of researcher talent for the institution.

The new Bridging Fund Scheme aims to mitigate these circumstances by redeploying the researcher where possible, or where feasible, by providing ‘bridging funding’ for the continuation of employment for a short-term (maximum three months) between research grants. It is intended to permit the temporary employment, in certain circumstances, of researchers between fixed-term contracts at BU, for whom no other source of funding is available, in order to:

(a) encourage the retention of experienced and skilled staff, and sustain research teams and expertise;

(b) aconcordat to support the career development of researchersvoid the break in employment and career which might otherwise be faced by such staff;

(c) maximise the opportunity for such staff to produce high-quality outputs and/or research impact at the end of funded contracts/grants.

To find out more about the scheme, including how to apply for bridging funding, see the scheme guidelines.

This is a great step forward for BU and for BU’s researchers and is an action from our EC HR Excellence in Research Award which aims to increase BU’s alignment with the national Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (further information is available here: https://research.bournemouth.ac.uk/research-environment/research-concordat/).

What is BU doing to support research staff?

EC HR Excellence in Research Award logoIn January 2013 BU was awarded the HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission in acknowledgement of our progress to date and commitment to further improving alignment between BU policy and practice and the national Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. As the number of research staff employed at BU continues to grow, the embedding of the principles of the Concordat becomes even more important.

As part of the award, BU has an externally approved action plan to strengthen support for research staff and their managers. The action plan is reviewed regularly by the Research Concordat Steering Group.

Achievements to date include:

Giving research staff a valued voice:

  • The BU Research Staff Association (RSA) was launched in autumn 2014 to provide research staff with a forum to discuss issues linked to the implementation of the Concordat. The RSA chairs (Marcellus Mbah and Michelle Heward) are planning wider engagement activities for 2015-16, including establishing the RSA as an informal network to share learning/experiences as well as developing a seminar series for BU researchers to showcase their work.
  • The formal membership of URKEC, which reports into Senate, has included a research staff representative as an established member since January 2013. From autumn 2015 the Faculty RKE Committees have included the local implementation of the Concordat in their remit and a research staff representative as an established member.
  • Research staff are increasingly provided with opportunities for undertaking public engagement activities. For example, the lightning talks event at the Festival of Learning 2015 featured presentations from eight research staff and one PGR to c. 25 attendees (average event score of 8.3/10, with 10 being excellent). The concept has now been developed for BU staff and students with one event taking place each term. The format is being developed for the FoL 2016 and other public engagement events.
  • BU took part in the national Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS) and Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey (PIRLS) in 2013 and again in 2015. The results have been shared with RCSG, URKEC, DDESG, Faculty RKE Committees, etc.

 

concordat to support the career development of researchersProviding research staff with greater job stability:

  • The BU Bridging Fund Scheme was launched in August 2015. It permits the temporary employment, in certain circumstances, of researchers between fixed-term contracts at BU for whom no other source of funding is yet available.
  • The mandatory recruitment and selection training has been updated to include reference to giving due consideration to the wider skill set of researchers including transferable skills and attributes. The aim is to ensure that researchers are given the best opportunity to advance their career.

 

Improvements to the procedures and support for research staff:

  • Induction processes and resources have been significantly improved. The ‘New to BU’ webpages now include a specific section on support available to researchers. The Academic Career Development Programme now identifies three induction events for new staff, including the RKE Induction to which all new academic and research staff are invited. All new research staff and their managers receive information about the Concordat, RSA, etc. soon after joining BU.

Careers guidance resources for researchers

careerIn October we launched a suite of careers guidance resources for researchers and their managers. The resources include detailed guidance on how to progress from a research career to an academic career as well as information for PhD students on postdoctoral research positions. There is also information on other career pathways including administration/management within HE and research careers outside of HE. The resources have been enhanced over the past few months and now include a number of case studies for different career pathways.

Reminder of BU’s Bridging Fund Scheme for researchers

Golden gate Bridge wallpaperBack in August we launched the new BU Bridging Fund Scheme which aims to provide additional stability to fixed-term researchers who continue to rely heavily on short-term contracts usually linked to external funding. This situation sometimes impacts negatively on continuity of employment and job security and can result in a costly loss of researcher talent for the institution.

The new Bridging Fund Scheme aims to mitigate these circumstances by redeploying the researcher where possible, or where feasible, by providing ‘bridging funding’ for the continuation of employment for a short-term (maximum three months) between research grants. It is intended to permit the temporary employment, in certain circumstances, of researchers between fixed-term contracts at BU, for whom no other source of funding is available, in order to:

(a) encourage the retention of experienced and skilled staff, and sustain research teams and expertise;

(b) aconcordat to support the career development of researchersvoid the break in employment and career which might otherwise be faced by such staff;

(c) maximise the opportunity for such staff to produce high-quality outputs and/or research impact at the end of funded contracts/grants.

This is a great step forward for BU and for BU’s researchers and is an action from our EC HR Excellence in Research Award which aims to increase BU’s alignment with the national Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (further information is available here: https://research.bournemouth.ac.uk/research-environment/research-concordat/).

You can read the full guidelines here: BU bridging fund scheme guidelines v1 070815

BRAD: Robust adaptive predictive modelling and data deluge workshop

Data-science-history

To book your place on this workshop- CLICK HERE

We are currently experiencing an incredible, explosive growth in digital content and information. According to IDC [11], there currently exists over 2.7 zetabytes of data. It is estimated that the digital universe in 2020 will be 50 times as big as in 2010 and that from now until 2020 it will double every two years. Research in traditionally qualitative disciplines is fundamentally changing due to the availability of such vast amounts of data. In fact, data-intensive computing has been named as the fourth paradigm of scientific discovery [10] and is expected to be key in unifying the theoretical, experimental and simulation based approaches to science. The commercial world has also been transformed by a focus on BIG DATA with companies competing on analytics [12]. Data has become a commodity and in recent years has been referred to as the ‘new oil’.

There has been a lot of work done on the subject of intelligent data analysis, data mining and predictive modelling over the last 50 years with notable improvements which have been possible with both the advancements of the computing equipment as well as with the improvement of the algorithms [1]. However, even in the case of the static, non-changing over time data there are still many hard challenges to be solved which are related to the massive amounts, high dimensionality, sparseness or inhomogeneous nature of the data to name just a few.

What is also very challenging in today’s applications is the non-stationarity of the data which often change very quickly posing a set of new problems related to the need for robust adaptation and learning over time. In scenarios like these, many of the existing, often very powerful, methods are completely inadequate as they are simply not adaptive and require a lot of maintenance attention from highly skilled experts, in turn reducing their areas of applicability.

In order to address these challenging issues and following various inspirations coming from biology coupled with current engineering practices, we propose a major departure from the standard ways of building adaptive, intelligent predictive systems and moving somewhat away from the engineering maxim of “simple is beautiful” to biological statement of “complexity is not a problem” by utilising the biological metaphors of redundant but complementary pathways, interconnected cyclic processes, models that can be created as well as destroyed in easy way, batteries of sensors in form of pools of complementary approaches, hierarchical organisation of constantly optimised and adaptable components.

In order to achieve such high level of adaptability we have proposed a novel flexible architecture [5-6] which encapsulates many of the principles and strategies observed in adaptable biological systems. The main idea of the proposed architecture revolves around a certain degree of redundancy present at each level of processing represented by the pools of methods, multiple competitive paths (individual predictors), their flexible combinations and meta learning managing general population and ensuring both efficiency and accuracy of delivered solution while maintaining diversity for improved robustness of the overall system.

The results of extensive testing for many different benchmark problems and various snapshots of interesting results covering the last decade of our research will be shown throughout the presentation and a number of challenging real world problems including pollution/toxicity prediction studies [8-9], building adaptable soft sensors in process industry in collaboration with Evonik Industries [6-7] or forecasting demand for airline tickets covering the results of one of our collaborative research projects with Lufthansa Systems [3-4] will be discussed.

Given our experiences in many different areas we see that truly multidisciplinary teams and a new set of robust, adaptive tools are needed to tackle complex problems with intelligent data analysis, predictive modelling and visualisation already indispensible. It is also clear that complex adaptive systems and complexity science supported and driven by huge amounts of multimodal, multisource data will become a major endeavour in the 21st century.

We will hold discussions surrounding:

  • Rapidly expanding digital universe
  • New decade of advanced/predictive analytics
  • General Fuzzy Min-Max (GFMM) Neural Networks as an example of early realisation of flexible predictive system
  • To combine or not to combine? – Multiple classification and prediction systems
  • Water quality monitoring based on biomarker data – can it be done?
  • Revenue management for airlines – can we forecast anything?
  • Adaptive soft sensors for process industry – here’s a real problem!
  • Self-adapting architecture for predictive modelling
  • Complex adaptive systems and complex networks

Professor. Bogdan Gabrys

To book your place on this workshop- CLICK HERE

Researcher Development Framework

Vitae_RDF_logo_2011Vitae is an organisation set up to promote career development in both postgraduate researchers and academic staff. Their Researcher Development Framework is intended to help people monitor their skills and plan their personal development. At BU we will be using this framework to format the training on offer for the postgraduate research students and academic staff.

The Vitae website is an excellent resource and the organisation regularly runs free training events for researchers, PGRs and those involved in research development. Upcoming events include Vitae Connections: Supporting Open Researchers.

The Researcher Development Framework (RDF) is the professional development framework to realise the potential of researchers. The RDF is a tool for planning, promoting and supporting the personal, professional and career development of researchers in higher education. It was designed following interviews with many successful researchers across the sector and articulates the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of a successful researcher.

There is a planner available on the Vitae website to help you assess which stage you are at with your skills and a tutorial providing guidance on how to use the framework.

Top 10 tips from researchers on using the Researcher Development Framework (RDF):

1. You might choose to use the RDF for short term as well as long term development. The RDF can be used in planning for your long term career ambitions but also to make a feasible short term plan. It can be useful to imagine your long term ambitions in order to focus your career path however the reality of progressing through to the higher phases may be more difficult to plan. In the short term, making decisions about how to progress to the next phase or what sub-domains are most important for you will be easier. Try to be realistic when setting these short term goals.

2. Use the RDF to highlight your strengths and areas for development and how these might be used to benefit/influence your personal, professional and career development.

3. Use the RDF to highlight your applicable and transferable skills. This is important for career progression within or outside academia.

4. Prioritise those areas which are most relevant. You don’t have to try to develop in all the areas of the RDF at once. There may be some sub-domains/descriptors where there is less relevance in progressing through the phases for you.

5. Draw on experiences outside of work to evidence your capabilities.

6. Progression to the highest phase in a descriptor will not be applicable to everyone but being aware of the possibilities can aid personal and career development.

7. Talk to others to get their views about your strengths and capabilities. Your supervisor, manager, peers, family and friends are a great source of information to find out more about yourself. Talk to them about how they perceive your capabilities. By understanding how others view you, you will be able to make more informed choices about your future.

8. To move from one phase to the next why not explore attending courses. These courses may be run at a local level (within your University) or may only be run nationally or internationally so awareness of opportunities for training is important. Vitae also run a wide range of courses which address many aspects of personal and career development.

9. Some phases may only be reached through experience and practice however good self-awareness and professional development planning will aid the process.

10. Networking is likely to enable you to reach more experienced phases.

BRAD: Career Trajectory 20th Novemeber 2015

Prof Matt Bentley, SciTech Deputy Dean – Research and Professional Practice, will give an insight into the management of the career trajectory of an academic. Far from being down to chance, Matt will explore the activities, which can career trajectorybe undertaken to direct your academic career and how to make the most of opportunities and challenges along the journey. This session is open to academics at all stages of their career. Perhaps you are just starting out and need advice on how to move to the next stage or, perhaps, you have reached a plateau and wish to reflect upon the need to change direction to achieve your career aspirations.

This session will include career management advice, responsiveness to opportunities, reputation, and esteem. It will finish with a Q & A session and a networking lunch.

You may also be interested in the following online resources:

For more information about the above workshops and to book – CLICK HERE

BRAD – Upcoming Opportunities

impact

For more information about the above workshops and to book – CLICK HERE

Impact – 18th November 2015, 09:00-12:00
This session will explore what we mean by impact and why it is an increasingly important part of your research career. Through this exploration, the session will highlight examples of impact and the perspective of research funders with regards to impact. There will also be dedicated time for you to explore the types of impact your research could lead to and suitable pathways to do so.
Working with Business – Business Engagement and Networking – 19th November 2015, 14:00-16:00
For both early career researchers and experienced academics alike this session will include tips and information on how to develop and make the most of building relationships and networks with businesses. Led by Jayne Codling and Rachel Clarke – Knowledge Exchange Advisers within RKEO, there will be a chance to hear from different speakers on their own experiences of C4NPMKbusiness and university collaboration. This session will also involve discussion on networking and hints and tips, useful information sources on business funding, communicating your research to a business audience and an opportunity to provide ideas as to what as academics you would like help or more information on to assist you with developing business relationships.

 

For more information about the above workshops and to book – CLICK HERE

BRAD: Upcoming Opportunities – 17th November 2015

European IPR webinarsIntroductory EU Participant Portal session – 17th November 2015, 13:30-14:30

  • Very short introduction to Horizon 2020 and EU funding
  • Registering on the Participant Portal
  • How to find a call
  • Looking at the call documents
  • Reference documents – work programmes
  • Getting help – using the manual, European Horizon 2020 helpdesk and National Contact Points

 

Introductory Research Professional session- 17th November 2015, 14:45-16:00

  • Registering for an account
  • How to search for funding calls
  • How to search for articles
  • How to set up searches and personal alerts
  • Using the Expression of Interest feature
  • Using the pre-set BU workgroups

 

Bid Writing with Martin Pickard – 17th November 2015, 9:30-16:00

writing and editing

This workshop includes writing grant proposals, and writing effective applications. Bring along a copy of bid writing for constructive group feedback.
*Please bring a laptop with you to this session


For more information about the above workshops and to book – CLICK HERE

 

NVivo Introduction

Nvivological_model_diagramNVivo Indtroduction offers focuses on the requisite management decisions one should make at the beginning of one’s project such as what is my data?

Should I code audio or transcripts and what are the advantages and limitations of either approach? How does the software work?

Why should I integrate my background information or demographics and what is auto-coding and how might it help to better understand my data and prepare it for the cycles of manual interpretive coding to follow?

How do I integrate my chosen methodological approach in using NVivo and reconcile it with the philosophical underpinnings to apply such methods as Grounded Theory, Discourse Analysis, Content Analysis, Thematic Analysis or Narrative Interpretive Methods as just some examples.

Day 1 has an emphasis on the conceptual although the afternoon session is more rooted in the practical. By the end of day 1, participants should be able to set-up an NVivo database, back it up, import their data, setup a coding structure and code their data to it and set up and integrate their demographics.

We have hired the services of an external facilitator to offer support in this for academic staff as part of the BRAD programme. Ben Meehan worked in industry for twenty six years. For the past thirteen years he has worked as an independent consultant in support of computer aided qualitative data analysis projects (CAQDAS). He is a QSR approved trainer and consultant. He has worked in all of the major universities and Institutes of Technology in Ireland and Northern Ireland. His work outside of the educational sector includes major global companies such as Intel where he consults in support of their on-going ethnographic research and the Centre for Global Health where he has recently worked in Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique (2009) and in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Tanzania with the University of Heidelberg (2010) and Ethiopia for the Ethiopian Public Health Association (2011) and the Population Council, Zambia (2012). Apart from Africa, Ben regularly conducts workshops in Germany, France, UK, Northern Ireland, the US (Maryland, 2011, Yale, 2012) and Australia.

The session is on Wed 18th Novemeber 2015 09:00 – 16:00 on Talbot campus. There are limited spaces so please do ensure you get one by booking on the Organisational and Staff Development webpages.

BRAD Upcoming Opportunities – 16th November 2015

BRAD

 

 

 

For more information about the above workshops and to book – CLICK HERE

Research Application Process- 16th November 2015, 9:30- 10:30.
This session will provide a presentation on the process of costing your research at BU and the research application process. Additionally, Q & A session and the opportunity for a one on one discussion with the facilitators.

Justifying your funding request workshop – 16th November 2015, 10:45-13:00 (including Lunch)
Many funders require you to justify the funding you are requesting in a research bid. But how can you best approach this? This session will outline how to structure a justification for funding for the major funders (research councils, other government funders, main charities) and provide some examples of good and bad practice.

Financial Management Workshop – 16th November 2015, 12:00 -14:30 (including Lunch)Finance for smes
This workshop will cover several topics ranging from; financial management, income and funding budgeting, financial resourcing and strategic financial planning.

 

For more information about the above workshops and to book – CLICK HERE

 

 

 

New careers guidance resources for research staff

career-developmentThis week our new careers guidance resources for research staff have gone live on the Research Blog. They include detailed guidance on how to progress from a research career to an academic career, drawing on a wide range of resources. There is also information on other career pathways, including administration/management within HE and research careers outside of HE.

We will be adding to the resources to ensure they are as useful as possible and will be adding some case studies for different career pathways over the following months.

You can access them here: http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/researcher-toolbox/researcher-development/careers-guidance-for-research-staff/.

Code of Practice for the Employment and Development of Research Staff – NEW VERSION

I am delighted to share with you the new and improved version of BU’s Code of Practice for the Employment and Development of Research Staff. Research staff in this context are defined as staff with a primary responsibility to undertake research, including pre-and post-doctoral staff on fixed-term and open-ended contracts funded through limited period grants, named fellowships and sometimes institutional funds.

The code provides guidance on the University’s expectations for the recruitment, support, management and development of research staff in line with the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (2008) and the European Charter for Researchers (2005). It is relevant to research staff and their managers as well as to BU staff in general. It has been written by the University’s Research Concordat Steering Group and is one of the objectives from our action plan to further align BU’s policy and practice to the seven principles of the Concordat and to further improve the working environment for research staff at BU.

When launched last autumn this was the first time that BU had had a code of practice specifically for research staff and the document acknowledges the valued contribution made by research staff to the research undertaken at BU. The further recognition of the value of research staff and the development of career opportunities for them are key matters on which we will continue to work.

Access information about BU’s work to embed the principles of the Concordat here: http://research.bournemouth.ac.uk/research-concordat/