Tagged / social science

More pilots please!

“More pilots please!” is not a call from British Airways, Ryanair or the Royal Air Force.  No, it a reminder to students to do more piloting in their postgraduate research projects.  Between us we have read many (draft) theses and examined over 60 PhD theses external to Bournemouth University, and it is clear to us that many students do not do enough pre-testing or piloting of their research instruments.  Perhaps they did some piloting or feasibility work for their projects but don’t write enough about it.  Or they present some feasibility or piloting in their thesis but haven’t added references to methodological texts.

The term ‘pilot studies’ refers to mini versions of a full-scale study (also called ‘feasibility’ studies), as well as the specific pre-testing of a particular research instruments such as data collection tools (i.e. questionnaire or semi-structured interview schedule). Pilot studies are key to good study design [1-6].  Conducting a pilot study does not guarantee success in the main study, but it does increase the likelihood of success. Pilot studies have several of important functions in research design and can provide valuable insights to the researcher on both tools and research processes.  We think it is telling that our most cited paper on Google Scholar is not one of our papers reporting research findings but a methods paper highlighting the importance of pilot studies [2].

 

Professors Vanora Hundley & Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

References:

  1. van Teijlingen E, Rennie, AM., Hundley, V, Graham, W. (2001) The importance of conducting & reporting pilot studies: example of Scottish Births Survey, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 34: 289-95.
  2. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2001) The importance of pilot studies, Social Research Update Issue 35, (Editor N. Gilbert), Guildford: University of Surrey. Web:  http://www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/sru/SRU35.html
  3. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V.(2002) ‘The importance of pilot studies’ Nursing Standard 16(40): 33-36. Web: www.nursing-standard.co.uk/archives/vol16-40/pdfs/vol16w40p3336.pdf
  4. Hundley, V., van Teijlingen E, (2002) The role of pilot studies in midwifery research RCM Midwives Journal 5(11): 372-74.
  5. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2003) Pilot study, In: Lewis-Beck, M., Bryman, A. & Liao, T. (eds.) Encyclopaedia of Social Science Research Methods, Vol. 2, Orego, Sage: 823-24.
  6. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2005) Pilot studies in family planning & reproductive health care, Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care 31(3): 219-21.

 

 

New paper by Dr. Caroline Ellis-Hill

Congratulations to Dr. Caroline Ellis-Hill on the publication of her article ‘We are not the same people we used to be: An exploration of family biographical narratives and identity change following traumatic brain injury’.  This paper was accepted for publication in 2017 and will now be finally published in its final format in the September issue of Neuropsychological Rehabilitation.

This scientific paper focuses recovery and rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury. Accumulation of subjective changes over time has led many to examine the question of “continuity of self” post-injury. Vacillation between feeling the same and different is common and often at odds with the medical narrative preparing families for permanent change. This position of ambiguity was examined in a qualitative narrative study. The aim of this paper is to describe the narrative structures used by uninjured members of a family to understand change. These changes relate primarily, to their perspective of whether and how the injured person had changed, but also secondarily to whether and why they themselves felt they had changed in the first year post-injury. Nine uninjured family members from three families took part in three unstructured interviews during the first twelve months post-injury.

In-depth narrative analysis showed family members used biographical attendance; biographical disruption; biographical continuity; and biographical reconstruction to understand change. Dr. Ellis-Hill and her co-authors argue that concentrating on a narrative of change is too limiting and that engaging in biographical narratives may help humanise care provided to injured individuals and their families. Implications for research and practice are discussed

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

Congratulations on academic paper by BU PhD student Orlanda Harvey

Congratulations to Orlanda Harvey, PhD student in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences on her PhD publication “Support for people who use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: A Systematic Scoping Review into what they want and what they access” in the Open Access journal BMC Public Health [1].  Since there is a paucity of research on support for people using Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS), this article searched and synthesised the available evidence in this field. Gaining an understanding of the support both accessed and wanted by recreational AAS users will be of use to professionals who provide services to intravenous substance users and also to those working in the fields of public health and social care, with the aim to increase engagement of those using AAS.

This systematic scoping review identified 23 papers and one report for review, which indicated that AAS users access a range of sources of information on: how to inject, substance effectiveness, dosages and side effects, suggesting this is the type of information users want. AAS users sought support from a range of sources including medical professionals, needle and syringe programmes, friends, dealers, and via the internet, suggesting that, different sources were used dependent on the information or support sought.

The authors argue that AAS users tended to prefer peer advice and support over that of professionals , and access information online/specialist fora, reflecting the stigma that is experienced by AAS  users. These tendencies can act as barriers to accessing services provided by professionals.  The paper concludes that support needs to be specific and targeted towards AAS users. Sensitivity to their perceptions of their drug-use and the associated stigma of being classified in the same sub-set as other illicit drug users is relevant to facilitating successful engagement.

 

Reference: 

  1. Harvey, O., Keen, S., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E. (2019) Support for people who use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: A Systematic Literature Review into what they want and what they access. BMS Public Health 19: 1024      https://rdcu.be/bMFon

 

 

Final Safeguarding Adults ESRC seminar: Fusion in practice

The final seminar in our ESRC seminar series  concerning the development of legal literacy and adult safeguarding was held at the Friends’ Meeting House in London on the 11thOctober bringing together three years exploration of meanings, interpretation and learning from the implementation of the Care Act 2014. The series brought together expertise in adult safeguarding from the universities of Bournemouth, Bedford, East Anglia, Chester and led by Keele University, alongside practitioner expertise from 39 Essex Chambers and PASA-UK (Practitioner Alliance for Safeguarding Adults).

The morning session was chaired by Prof Jonathan Parker, who introduced the retired high court judge Sir Mark Hedley to begin the day by examining professional power and responsibility and the complexities of decision-specific capacity and the need for care, brought to life through a range of often heart-wrenching cases. Prof Paul Kingston (Chester) and Luke Joannou of the Royal British Legion then considered the topical area of safeguarding in the charitable sector that highlighted contemporary demands for good governance brought to the fore by recent cases involving Oxfam and Save the Children. The final session of the morning was presented by Kenny Gibson, the recently appointed head of safeguarding for NHS England. Kenny, only 120 days in post, articulated some of the changes NHS England was making to roll out understanding and improve practice in safeguarding across the workforce.

Prof Michael Preston-Shoot (Bedford) chaired the afternoon session. The Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, the former minister who ushered through the Care Act 2014 began the afternoon, reflecting on transformative approaches to care and Winterbourne View. He was followed by Prof Jill Manthorpe (King’s College, London) who presented aspects of her research group’s work on whether or not powers of entry would be beneficial for practitioners working in adult safeguarding; a fraught and contested area of practice that raises the importance of debate in this area. Bridget Penhale (UEA) then took us back into the history of identifying elder abuse – a very recent history – showing the political twists and turns, and the ways this has added to calls for a UN Convention of the Human Rights of Older People. The afternoon was completed by Alex Ruck Keane (39 Essex Chambers) who took us back to the beginnings of the seminar programme and the elusive processes in developing adequate definitions to negotiate this complex practice milieu.

As the series drew to a close we have turned attention to sustainability, dissemination and taking forwards the learning. One of the central elements of the three years has been to raise awareness and knowledge amongst the next generation – public, professional and academic – of adult safeguarding and to identify and challenge blurred lines within society. One way of doing so has been to ensure spaces are available for students, at all levels of study. As an example of our BU fusion approach, promoting the interface of research, education and practice, final year Sociology & Criminology student, Andreas Bubier-Johnstone joined the seminar, his interests developing through the degree programme. His reflections are useful:

As a third year Sociology & Criminology student wanting to pursue a future career in Adult Safeguarding I found the seminar overall a tremendous help. On arrival I was greeted by many fantastic minds, and felt instantly welcome. All of the speakers provided me with new and, more importantly, useful information, whether it was from textbook legalities and standard protocols, to their own personal experiences; it was both fascinating, and stimulating. I found the overall diversity of the speakers, something of great interest. Being able to gauge information from different people, and perspectives was a great touch in showing different fields and how they function.

What I took away from the day simply was clarity. I knew after the seminar was over, that I really did want to pursue a career in adult safeguarding. It gave me a new founded drive, speaking to people who are developed in the field really has given me a boost, and hunger to achieve my future career goals. The people who attended the seminar were all very helpful, and provided me with information on how to further achieve my goals for the future.

Jonathan Parker and Andreas Bubier-Johnstone

ESRC Festival of Social Science – what have we got for you!

The ESRC Festival is a month away…

With planning underway we wanted to let you know what events you could get involved in and find out more about the Social Science research we have at Bournemouth University.

Here are a few of the events that we are organising, you can find out more about the festival and book your tickets here.

Brexit: Next Steps for Business and Trade PolicySangeeta Khorana and Jens Holscher are inviting policy makers to come together with academics and businesses to discuss options around pressing post-Brexit issues. 9th November, London.

Tackling Loneliness through connections and creativity – Dr. Lee-Ann Fenge and Sally Lee are raising awareness on the impact of loneliness on health and well-being in older generations. This event hopes to give Social Care workers inspiration of connecting and creating with older generations which will help to combat loneliness, whilst raising awareness of the susceptibility loneliness makes people to financial scams. 9th November, The Shelley Theatre Boscombe.

Thank you for coming: Why gratitude mattersFiona Cownie will teach you the power of saying ‘thank you’ whilst giving you an action plan which you can implement within your work/volunteering environment. 10th November, Bournemouth University Talbot campus.

We can’t wait for you to join us at the ESRC Festival of Social Science. There are activities for everyone, without costing you a penny!

Innovation knowledge sharing event for Social Science and Humanities commercialisation professionals

events

An open-door event for commercialisation professionals to share information relating to good practice and successful case studies in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.

There seems a drive within the community of commercialisation professionals to engage more with the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities in a practical and meaningful way.  Some of this emanates from the drive for more impact within the research funding sphere where Knowledge Exchange has led the way, but carrying this through to tangible commercialisation opportunities for which standard Technology Transfer Office approaches have little traction is proving much more challenging.

Isis Innovation will host and facilitate an event for commercialisation professionals to come together and share knowledge about their successes and good practice in commercialisation from the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.  This is open to staff in all Universities who may have an interest in this nascent area.

This is expected to be a highly interactive event.  This event is FREE.

 Programme will include:

·        Facilitated discussion on the subject of  incubators and different approaches

·        Facilitated discussion on the subject of Social Entrepreneurship and different approaches

·        Facilitated discussion on licensing and more traditional venture development approaches

·        Morning and afternoon refreshments and lunch will be provided

Venue

This knowledge sharing event will be held at the offices of Isis Innovation Limited, Buxton Court, 3 West Way, Oxford OX2 0SZ. Map.

Date: 27th September 2016 between 10.00 and 16.00

Please register for the event

Click here for or more information on this event and PraxisUnico.

Are you an early career, social science researcher? Contribute to this ESRC survey to inform future support decisions

AHRC

ESRC are looking for feedback from early career social scientists (no prescriptive definition given but excluding current Doctoral students) on the experiences and issues they face. Themes covered by the survey include motivations for doctoral study, current employment and future aspirations, availability of support, career advice and guidance – and what support was taken up, and educational background. Selected respondents will be invited to take part in follow-up interviews. The findings will be used to inform ESRC’s support for early career researchers in future years.

Further information is available on the ESRC website http://www.esrc.ac.uk/news-events-and-publications/news/news-items/enhancing-support-for-early-career-social-science-researchers/ and the survey can be found at https://ioe.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/esrc-survey .

Understanding the constructions of the ‘other’: co-produced knowledge and understanding of ‘terrorists’ and ‘terrorism’

Last year, I put together a small HEA individual grant to build upon our earlier research concerning terrorism and social work education, and civil unrest and welfare in Muslim countries. Unfortunately, the bid was unsuccessful but one should never let a good bid go to waste. Given that it was education focused, based around co-production and student enhancement – a ‘fusion’-based project! -I thought rather than try somewhere else for funding I would embed it into the third year undergraduate Sociology unit Terrorism, Protection & Society, where it would have sat if successful.

The project encourages active student engagement in learning, employing a methodology of co-production of knowledge in which skills to collaborate in producing critically informed and societally beneficial knowledge will be developed. Students are reading, critically, major UK newspapers, identifying and analysing those articles that mention ‘terrorists, terrorism or terror’ and associated concepts. From this they are engaged in identifying the processes by which our dominant cultural frames are constructed and can be challenged. The project findings, once 30-days worth of newspapers have been scoured for relevant articles, will be widely disseminated through the production of academic papers, a submission to eBU and through conference presentations.

Students following the Terrorism, Protection & Society module, engage in learning how the ‘other’, in this case ‘terrorist’, is constructed within popular debate and within the public media in the UK. As part of the project rooted within the unit, students will also analyse the media’s use of target terms (terrorist, terrorism, terror and so on) through a content and discourse analysis, and debate the potential consequences of this for contemporary society and for developing a deeper and more nuanced understanding that can assist in restraining social conflict, violence and the ‘othering’ of those who may be associated with core characteristics of ‘terrorists’ according to the socio-cultural master-narratives created by media representations.

Students will produce a paper with academic staff for the eBU on-line journal; most co-production of academic papers with students occurs at postgraduate level and this project has a degree of originality in promoting co-production of academic knowledge with undergraduate students, something we have done already in respect of edited books. Other academic outputs will be developed and students demonstrating interest and capacity will be invited to participate in their production.

Alongside the academic publications envisaged, this proposal meets BU’s fusion objectives in seeking also to add to the corpus of evidence of pedagogical benefits for students of knowledge co-creation and includes a focus on the student experience of the processes of learning.

Thus, as part of the teaching and learning students engage with, the project has wide reach and significance for student learning and pedagogical development by enhancing social and cultural understanding amongst students who will soon graduate, alongside producing autonomous and critically thinking individuals who can translate their learning and core skills into the employment market.

This week students energetically engaged with the preliminary data extraction and coding of those newspaper articles dealing with concepts and issues that were termed or could be termed as terror, terrorist, terrorism, extremism and so forth. The work undertaken helped to put in perspective some of the first two weeks’ lecture material and allowed the students to bring their own critical understandings to this complex and emotive area.

So far, the project has illuminated to me what an incredibly versatile and intellectually agile student body we have; people who will be an asset to the workforce of the future and a credit to our university! I am looking forward to the following weeks as the project unfurls.

 

Professor Jonathan Parker

 

Sociology students engaged in research