Tagged / research

ERASMUS+ exchange with Nepal

The first half of April I have been in Nepal on the ERASMUS+ exchange with Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences MMIHS).  Apart from teaching and running tutorial and workshops at the host institution the exchange can also include student supervision.  I had the pleasure of offering some support to one of the MMIHS Master of Public Health (MPH) students.  Ms. Binita Dawadi designed an interesting project under the title on factors associated with burnout among nurses in the district of Jhapa (Nepal). She recently complete her research project as part of her dissertation which she subsequently presented as a poster at last week’s Ninth National Summit of Health and Population Scientists in Nepal.  This annual research conference organised by the NHRC (Nepal Health Research Council)  was held in Kathmandu on 11-12 April.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery & Perinatal Health {CMMPH}

Successful event with senior policymakers in Nepal

Today, the last day of the Nepalese year 2079, we held a well attended event to discuss the preliminary findings of the interdisciplinary study of the impact of federalisation on health system in the country.  We invited policymakers and politicians from all three levels of government in the country to help the research team to analyse the large amount of high-quality data.  This meeting helped to validate the study results and guide our future capacity building as part of this project.  We were pleasantly surprised by the number who turned up and with their  active engagement!

One of the interesting comments made by the participants was that this was the first time that they had met with staff from differ levels to discuss the working of the system.  In fact, participants expressed that they wanted more opportunities to have this kind of discussions across all three levels of government. The researchers reported both positive and negative developments in the decentralized health system of Nepal.  Positive aspects included, for example, improvements in the availability of resources for health, the construction of new health posts and hospitals, better availability of essential medicines in many places.  We also commented on the positive management of COVID-19, compared to other many countries.  The policymakers from local, provincial and national level largely agreed with our findings and analyses.

This stakeholders’ event is part of the Nepal Federal Health System Project, our major collaborative project examining the consequences for the health system of Nepal’s move to a federal government structure in 2015.  This is a joint project (2020-2024) led by colleagues the University of Sheffield in collaboration with the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) Bournemouth University, the University of Huddersfield, with two partners in Nepal, namely Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences (MMIHS) and PHASE Nepal.  This longitudinal interdisciplinary study is funded by the UK Health Systems Research Initiative [Grant ref. MR/T023554/1].

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

BU signs up to Jisc agreement with the American Psychological Association

BU authors can now publish OA for free in select journals with American Psychological Association. Read on to find out more!

Authors affiliated with UK institutions participating in APA’s Jisc agreement may publish open access in hybrid journals published by APA at no cost to the author, provided that:

  • The article’s corresponding author is affiliated with a participating institution’s UK campus.
  • The article is accepted after August 1, 2022.
  • The article is an original peer-reviewed research article or review article.

All articles under this agreement will be published under the CC-BY copyright license. Upon publication, articles will be made immediately open access.

You can find further information on how to submit an article for consideration and other key information, such as maximum number of articles, here.

As a reminder, BU holds a number of agreements with key publishers, many of which allow you to publish open access for free. You can read more about them here.

If you have any queries, please contact the Open Access team.

Dementia research in Nepal

Yesterday (April 11th) Dr. Bibha Simkhada presented key findings from our research project on ‘Cultural practice and policy in dementia care in Nepal’.  She spoke at the ‘Ninth National Summit of Health and Population Scientists in Nepal’.  This annual health summit in Kathmandu is organised by the NHRC (Nepal Health Research Council).  Dr. Simkhada, who is Visiting Faculty in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (FHSS), started this work whilst at Bournemouth University, before she moved to the University of Huddersfield to become a Senior Lecturer in Nursing.  This project is a cross-faculty collaboration with Dr. Shanti Shanker in the Department of Psychology.

This qualitative study comprising four face-to-face interviews and four focus groups with carers, health workers and other stakeholders.  The two key conclusion she presented are:

  • Stigma and stereotyping around dementia needs addressing. Nepal needs better policies, guidelines and service provision for people living with dementia and their carers.
  • There is need for inclusion of Dementia/Alzheimer education in undergraduate and postgraduate curricula of nurses, doctors and allied health professionals in Nepal.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)

 

#StepForward and become an NHS Research Ethics Committee member

The Health Research Authority are inviting people to #StepForward and become a Research Ethics Committee (REC) member.

REC members meet virtually to review exciting new research studies for some of the biggest challenges in health and social care, including cancer, dementia and COVID-19.

It’s important that committees have insight from different perspectives so that we can all trust their decisions. The HRA are particularly looking for people with no healthcare or research experience.

You’ll be provided with regular training and support and it’s a great opportunity to work with people from a range of backgrounds and learn new skills.

You can find out more here. Alternatively, if you have any questions about being on a REC, please get in touch with Suzy Wignall, Clinical Governance Advisor, and Alternate Vice Chair of the West Midlands – Black Country Research Ethics Committee.

Future of Complex Innovative Trial Design

The latest Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (FHSS) publication on the last day of March is an editorial in the Nepal Journal of  Epidemiology.  This editorial ‘The Promising Future for Complex Innovative Trial Design in Clinical Research’ has as its lead author, FHSS’s Visiting Faculty Dr. Brijesh Sathian.

 

Reference:

  1. Sathian, B., van Teijlingen, E., Banerjee, I., Asim, M., Kabir, R. (2023) The Promising Future for Complex Innovative Trial Design in Clinical Research. Nepal Journal of  Epidemiology, 13(1):1256-1257.

 

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

Updated Intention to Bid form – March 2023

Since the introduction of the new electronic ITB form on 24 January 2022, there have been incremental updates and the current e-ITB form is now available.

The e-ITB form continues to give a better user experience, creates a more efficient administrative control process for Research Development and Support (RDS) and provides accurate reporting outcomes for management.

 

Updated ITB form: The  Intention to Bid (ITB) form and the updated Research Costings Request Sheet are both available now in the Policies & Procedures/Research/Pre-award section of the intranet under Research > Pre-award. Please complete the Research Costings Request Sheet and attach it to the e-ITB form for completion. PDF copies of all submissions can be printed or saved but there are limitations to editing a form once it has been submitted.

Please send RDS the completed e-ITB form and Costing Request Sheet by the latest 4 weeks before the deadline.

 

Bid Enquiry Process: If you have more than 4 weeks to the submission deadline and need advice or support regarding a bid, please access the same form link and select ‘Enquiry/Advice on Bidding’. This ensures that the pre-award team will see your Enquiry, rather than emailing a sole officer who may not be available at the time.

 

As a service, RDS is committed to delivering service excellence to enable BU’s academic community to deliver and grow world-leading research for societal benefit. The program of work continues to look at processes to enhance the user experience.

 

Changes include improvements to the pre- and post-award support being offered. Building on the delivery of a new Principal Investigator report which is currently in the final stages of being rolled out, and continuing our collaboration with the Transformation Team.

Peer review picking up weaknesses in a scientific paper

Peer review is the the key pillar of academic publishing.  Peer reviewers will read the submitted paper and assess its knowledge contribution, the appropriateness of the research question, the ethical considerations, the quality of the research methods used and the appropriateness of the discussion, conclusion, and recommendations in the manuscript. [1]  It is worth bearing in mind that most peer reviewers are unpaid volunteers, academics like us who review for journals over and above the day job.[2]  For the authors peer reviewers can give excellent feedback.  Harvey and colleagues remind their readers that peer reviewers reading your manuscript with a fresh pair of eyes, can lead to them raising great questions and offering useful comments.  In short, reviewers’ reservations and misunderstandings can help you to rephrase and better focus your paper. [3]

However, what the review process does not do is picking up every possible minor mistake and typo in a paper.  I was reminded of this last week when I read a peer-reviewed paper in which the basic demographics table (the characteristics of the study participants) did not add up to 100%.  Luckily, the same authors (who shall remain nameless) published a different paper from the same study in another quality journal, which allowed me to check the numbers.  Interestingly, the second paper in another peer-reviewed journal had the same mistake.   In the end I ended up writing to two different editors pointing out this anomaly.   The editors contacted the authors who have since promised to rectify the mistake.

Something similar has also happened to us.  Occasionally I reread one of our articles in a good journal and wonder about some of the unclear sentences or poorly expressed grammar or style.  Neither the editor nor the peer-reviewers spotted it nor did my co-authors and I noticed these mistakes in the paper proofs.

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)

 

 

References:

  1. van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Shanker, S. (2022) Selecting an Appropriate Journal and Submitting your Paper, In: Wasti, S.P., et al. (Eds.) Academic Writing and Publishing in Health & Social Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books: 20-31.
  2. van Teijlingen, E., Thapa, D., Marahatta, S.B., Sapkota, J.L., Regmi, P. Sathian, B. (2022) Editors and Reviewers: Roles and Responsibilities, In: Wasti, S.P., et al. (Eds.) Academic Writing and Publishing in Health & Social Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books: 32-37.
  3. Harvey, O., Taylor, A., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, E. (2022) Struggling to reply to reviewers: Some advice for novice researchers. Health Prospect, 21(2):19-22.

 

50th PhD viva as external

Late last week I had the pleasure of conducting my 50th Ph.D. viva as an external examiner.  The first Ph.D. viva as external examiner was in 2004 at the University of Durham.  Over the years most have been at universities in the UK, but I have also had the pleasure of conducting viva in Ireland, the Netherlands, Nepal, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Denmark and New Zealand.  Technically three of these were not a traditional Ph.D. viva, as it included one Doctorate in Professional Practice (at The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen), a D. Phil. at the University of Oxford and acting as pre-examiner for a Ph.D. at a university on Finland.  In addition I have also acted six times as an internal examiner at the University of Aberdeen (n=3) and Bournemouth University (n=3).  Over the years some of the experiences related to examining and supervision Ph.D. theses have resulted in papers and book chapters [1-5].

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health

 

References:

  1. van Teijlingen E (2007) PhD theses: the pros and cons (letter), Times Higher Education Suppl. Issue 1808 (August 24th): 15.
  2. Regmi, P., Poobalan, A., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2021) PhD supervision in Public Health, Health Prospect: Journal of Public Health 20(1):1-4.
  3. Wasti, S.P. Regmi, P.R., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V. (2022) Writing a PhD Proposal, In: Wasti, S.P., et al. (Eds.) Academic Writing and Publishing in Health & Social Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books: 176-183.
  4. Hundley, V., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2022) Converting your Master’s or Doctoral Thesis into an Academic Paper for Publication, In: Wasti, S.P., et al. (Eds.) Academic Writing and Publishing in Health & Social Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books: 184-189.
  5. van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, B., Regmi, P., Simkhada, P., Hundley, V., Poudel, K.C. (2022) Reflections on variations in PhD viva regulations: “And the options are….”, Journal of Education & Research 12(2): 61-74.