Tagged / STEAMLab

BU Research Matters: What support is on offer internally and growing capacity at BU- part 3

Following on from yesterday’s blog post on the support on offer for research applications for external funding, this post will focus on what’s available from internal funding, and how all the support on offer grows research capacity at BU.

Research Funding Panels: To help us further develop our research capacity in line with BU2025, the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC) oversees research investment and performance. Under the auspices of the RPMC, Funding Panels have been established to have oversight of funding allocations, in order to further build the research environment, our external engagement and the quality and impact of research endeavours. There are seven funding panels and future calls will be released on the BU intranet. You can find out more information about each panel here, including previous funded projects. The panels include the extensive Research Impact Programme.

Strategic Investment Areas: As articulated within BU2025, our Strategic Investment Areas (SIAs) build on our existing academic strengths and future opportunities aligned to external priorities, including policy direction and funding. The four Strategic Investment Areas are:

  • Assistive Technology
  • Animation, Simulation & Visualisation
  • Medical Science
  • Sustainability, Low Carbon Technology & Materials Science.

Each SIA has an academic steering group and are supported by External Advisory Boards, made up of experts from industry and the not-for-profit sector, to ensure our research activities are informed by wider society. The purpose of these groups is to ensure that we align internal and external resources appropriately to secure the growth of BU’s research profile. All of our SIAs are inherently interdisciplinary and build on existing excellence within the University. You can find out more here, including the opportunities available to get involved and who to contact.

Stop Press: An open call for expressions of interest will go out on the BU intranet this week. The University are seeking to identify game changing research ideas and enable these to become a reality. Keep your eyes out for the launch of the call!

STEAMLabs: These offer the opportunity to meet new people from all disciplines and sectors, and to spend dedicated time developing novel ideas for research projects. We will select topics for STEAMLabs and advertise these for participants. For example, each year we run a STEAMLab for each of the four SIAs. These seek to come up with highly innovative and urgently required research which is ambitious in scope and will require a high level of expertise, commitment and funding. The research must address challenges in the topics advertised. As a result of each STEAMLab, we anticipate the development of innovative, ground-breaking and ambitious projects which have the capacity to attract significant, high value funding from the public and private sectors.

STEAMLabs used to be an all day event, in person, but we’ve amended them to online and for two hours duration. You can see here the details of the last event held in February on the SIA for Animation, Simulation & Visualisation. Check the blog for the next events coming up shortly. These will be for the remaining SIAs, Global Challenges and Industrial Challenges and will take place in April – July 2021.

Open Access Publication Fund: BU operates a dedicated central Open Access Publication Fund (OAPF). The BU Open Access Publication Fund policy and procedure has recently been reviewed and revised to reflect changes to this year’s budget. The newly revised policy and checklist can be found here.  BU now also benefit from various Open Access agreements through JISC deals including with publishers like Wiley, Sage and Springer. Please see the recent blog post, including the relevant links to publishers.

RDS: I mentioned in the two previous posts the support on offer from Research Facilitators for bid development. In addition, RDS have several faculty-facing staff (an overview and contacts are here) and areas of expertise that can support you in your research activities. The latter include:

  • Research Commercialisation Manager – Lesley Hutchins, whose overarching role is the exploitation of BU’s research IP for commercialisation and societal benefit
  • Engagement and Impact Facilitator – Genna Del Rosa and Engagement Officer – Adam Morris – support academics to develop research impact with external stakeholders. This includes supporting public engagement events, and working with academic colleagues to develop engagement strategies to enhance funding bids, and supporting colleagues to deliver and evidence impact.
  • Knowledge Exchange Adviser – Rachel Clarke has a focus on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) and the HEIF.
  • Research Outputs Adviser – Pengpeng Hatch, who works with academic colleagues to increase output volume, quality and impact, and for championing open access publishing across the institution.
  • Research Governance Adviser – Sarah Bell and Clinical Governance Adviser – Suzy Wignall – are all things ethics and governance.

Growing research capacity at BU: Research is a key component of Fusion and plays a critical role in the achievement of our BU2025 outcomes to help us achieve our vision of inspiring learning, advancing knowledge and enriching society. In this context, BU2025 set out ambitious plans and targets for research at BU.

As Julie Northam said in her blog post on why BU research matters, research is a priority for BU. It is central to our institutional strategy and ethos and it is fundamental to Fusion. Our research capacity has grown considerably over the past few years. More staff are now engaging actively in research, as demonstrated through the proportion of staff submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF). This has increased from less than a third of staff (REF 2014) to over three quarters of staff (REF 2021). We have invested in the Strategic Investment Areas and new institutes (such as the Institute for the Modelling of Socio-Environmental Transitions, IMSET and the Institute for Medical Imaging and Visualisation, IMIV) to bring research to life through programmes of research and collaborative, multidisciplinary research teams. We are applying for and winning longer and larger research projects with more being sent to the prestigious funders.

This weeks posts have outlined the support on offer to BU staff to develop their research activities, regardless of career stage, showing the commitment of the university to grow capacity and build on the excellent work of our ECRs through to the excellent Leadership of our Professors, ensuring research is inclusive to all. The posts have also highlighted the extent to which support is on offer for interdisciplinary work, especially through the opportunities shown above in today’s post.

This weeks three part posts have been a snapshot of what’s available to support you in your research as a BU staff member. Do contact RDS to find out more about how we can support you in your research career. Working together, we can continue to grow research at BU.

Invitation to VIRTUAL STEAMlab

On Wednesday, 24 February 2021, BU’s Research, Support & Development Office will be hosting our very first, pilot Virtual STEAMlab (Science/Tech/Engineering/Arts/Maths lab) event under the aegis of the strategic investment area (SIA) of Animation, Simulation & Visualisation (ASV). It will also be the first of a series of 2-hour long virtual ASV STEAMlabs to be held in the course of 2021.

This first STEAMlab will introduce and address four core priority areas for the strategic development of ASV cross-faculty, multi-disciplinary collaborations across BU in conjunction with external partners. These 4 areas are:

Virtual Production

Digital Health

Environment in Crisis

Virtual Heritage

This first STEAMlab will focus on these ASV themes in break-out rooms to target specific funding opportunities.

The ideas generated at this event may also be used to help select colleagues for Scramble events at short notice.

Booking onto this event

To take part in this exciting opportunity, all participants should complete the ASV Virtual STEAMLab Application Form V2 and return this to Nicolette Barsdorf-Liebchen at nbliebchen@bournemouth.ac.uk by Friday, 5 February 2021.

By applying, you agree to attend for the full duration of the event on 24 February 2021, 1 – 3 pm. Places are strictly limited and you will be contacted to confirm your “virtual space” by 12 February 2021.

If you have any queries prior to submitting your application, please contact Nicolette Barsdorf-Liebchen.

 

The Brief

We’re seeking to come up with highly innovative and urgently required research which is ambitious in scope and will require a high level of expertise, commitment and funding. The research must address challenges in the above-mentioned areas, and seek to deploy BU’s considerable ASV expertise and assets.

In short, we anticipate the development of innovative, ground-breaking and ambitious projects which have the capacity to attract significant, high value funding from the public and private sectors.

Who should attend?

We welcome those who wish to contribute to having a positive impact through addressing these challenges, but in particular, we are specifically targeting the following:

  1. Those academics whose research aligns with one or more of these core areas, or whose research would benefit from the multidisciplinary, collaborative engagement supported by the ASV SIA;
  2. Who has experience of involvement in medium to large research projects, and finally;
  3. Who either has the capacity to lead as PI on ideas arising from the STEAMlab in a working group towards development of a substantial grant application of close to or above £1 million, or has the ambition, research track record and commitment to be involved in the same.

We will also be inviting relevant external attendees, such as digital technology companies, to contribute on the day.

Some Answers to your FAQs:

Do I need to do anything in advance?

No, you do not. During the STEAMLab, you’ll be guided through a process which results in the development of research ideas. The process facilitates creativity, potentially leading to grand, innovative and interdisciplinary research ideas. These ideas will be explored with other attendees, and further developed based on the feedback received.

 

What is the immediate objective?

The objective by the end of the STEAMlab is to have scoped some leading and grand ideas around which a working group or cluster can be formed to take forward towards the development of a large grant application.

What do I need to do afterwards?

Your project idea may be “oven-ready”, but it is more likely than not that, given the level of pioneering innovation sought, you/your group’s project idea/s will require some time to crystallise fully, and for the optimum partners to be found for the bidding consortium, and bringing to fruition a fully-fledged grant application. To this end, it is envisaged that you and your potential collaborators will be committed to meeting on a regular basis, with a firm timetable. Substantial administrative support will be available from both RDS as a whole and the ASV Research Facilitator, Dr Nicolette Barsdorf-Liebchen, to advance your project development and manage working groups.

What if my topic area is very specialised, within fields such as medical diagnostics or environmental science?

Your contribution will be very welcome! One of the main benefits of a STEAMlab event is to bring together individuals with a range of backgrounds and specialisms who are able to see things just that bit differently to one another.

SAVE THE DATE – Global STEAMlab

On Wednesday 28th November, RKEO will be hosting a STEAMlab with a global theme.

What is a STEAMlab?

The STEAMLabs offer the opportunity to meet new people from all disciplines and sectors, and to spend dedicated time developing novel ideas for research projects.

For this STEAMLab, we’re seeking to come up with novel research which addresses global challenges.

We will also be inviting relevant external attendees to contribute to the day.  We welcome academics, NGO/business/government representatives who wish to contribute to having a positive impact through addressing the world’s global challenges.

So, who should attend?

STEAMLabs cover broad themes to ensure that they are open to everyone from all disciplines. So if you think you have something to contribute then come along.  If you think that they don’t include you then please have a chat with your RKEO Facilitator who can explain how your research could make a vital contribution to new ideas and approaches. In order to encourage wider partnerships, each STEAMLab will include academics from other universities, as well as representatives from industry and other sectors.

What do I need to prepare in advance? What will the STEAMLab entail?

You do not need to prepare anything in advance. During the session, you’ll be guided through a process which results in the development of research ideas. The process facilitates creativity, potentially leading to innovative and interdisciplinary research ideas. These ideas will be explored with other attendees, and further developed based on the feedback received.

What if I don’t have time to think about ideas in advance?

You don’t need to do this but it will help. Attendees will come from a range of backgrounds so we expect that there will be lively conversations resulting from these different perspectives.

What about afterwards? Do I need to go away and do loads of work?

Well… that depends! The interactive day will result in some novel research ideas. Some of these may be progressed immediately; others might need more time to develop. You may find common ground with other attendees which you choose to take forward in other ways, such as writing a paper or applying for research funding. Your Research Facilitator will be on hand to support you as you develop bids for funding.

So, is this just networking?

Definitely not! It is a facilitated session with the primary intention of developing innovative research ideas, which also enables the development of networks. It gives you the opportunity to explore research ideas which you may develop over time, together with the chance to find common ground with academics from across BU and beyond.

 

If you have any queries, please contact Rachel Clarke, RKEO Research Facilitator.

This event is part of the Research Knowledge Exchange Development Framework.

 

 

Industrial Challenges STEAMLab on 11/4/18 – New speakers confirmed

On Wednesday, 11th April 2018, BU’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Office will be facilitating a STEAMLab event on the Industrial Challenges.

External Speakers include: 

Jayne Codling of the Enterprise Europe Network

Dr. Herbert Daly, IBM Champion, University of Wolverhampton

with other speakers to be confirmed.

What will happen…?

We’re seeking to come up with novel research that could form part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy.

So, who should attend?

We want anyone who thinks they might have something to contribute, and who is available all day on Wednesday 11th April to come along. We will also be inviting relevant external attendees to contribute to the day.  We welcome academics, NGO/business/government representatives who wish to contribute to having a positive impact through addressing Industrial Challenges.

What do I need to prepare in advance? What will the sandpit entail?

Absolutely nothing in advance. During the STEAMLab, you’ll be guided through a process which results in the development of research ideas. The process facilitates creativity, potentially leading to innovative and interdisciplinary research ideas. These ideas will be explored with other attendees, and further developed based on the feedback received.

What if I don’t have time to think about ideas in advance?

You don’t need to do this. Some inspiring speakers with a range of backgrounds will be coming along to give you ideas…

What about afterwards? Do I need to go away and do loads of work?

Well… that depends! The STEAMLab will result in some novel research ideas. Some of these may be progressed immediately; others might need more time to think about. You may find common ground with other attendees which you choose to take forward in other ways, such as writing a paper or applying for research funding.  Support will be available to progress project ideas after the day.

What if my topic area is really specific, such as health?

Your contribution will be very welcome! One of the main benefits of a STEAMlab event is to bring together individuals with a range of backgrounds and specialisms who are able to see things just that bit differently to one another.

So, is this just networking?

Definitely not! It is a facilitated session with the primary intention of developing innovative research ideas, which also enables the development of networks. It gives you the opportunity to explore research ideas which you may develop over time, together with the chance to find common ground with academics from across BU and beyond.

So, how do I book onto this event?

To take part in this exciting opportunity, all participants  should complete Eventbrite form here and return this to RKEDevFramework@bournemouth.ac.uk by Friday, 6th April. Places are strictly limited and you will be be contacted to confirm a place place on the STEAMLab with arrangements nearer the time.  The event will be held in Bournemouth at the Executive Business Centre.

By applying, you agree to attend for the full duration of the event on 11th April (c. 9:30 – 16:30). Spaces will be confirmed from 28/3/18.

If you have any queries prior to submitting your application, please contact Ehren Milner, RKEO Research Facilitator.

 

Introducing STEAMLab

You may have heard of Sandpits in the academic environment and know what they are or even attended one.  However, we in RKEO are constantly asked ‘what’s a sandpit’, ‘does it stand for something’, ‘it doesn’t sound like it includes me’, or just a straightforward ‘I don’t get it’.

At the same time, you will have seen last week that the well known term STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) has now become STEAM, with ‘Arts’ being rightfully recognised as a vital component of research.

In true Orwellian style, we have renamed ‘Sandpits’ to the new name of ‘STEAMLab‘.  This demonstrates the purpose of the STEAMLabs as being open to all disciplines and encouraging truly interdisciplinary research ideas.  The ‘Lab’ part demonstrates the working environment that leads to the creation of novel research ideas and partnerships.  In a nutshell, the STEAMLabs offer the opportunity to meet new people from all disciplines and sectors, and to spend dedicated time developing novel ideas for research projects (as well as lots of post-its).

Four key topics have been selected for the STEAMLabs in 2017/18.  These are based around key government priorities and where the biggest pots of funding will be available.  The STEAMLab topics are:

  • Food security – 25 October 2017
  • Global Challenges – 7 February 2018
  • Industrial Challenges – 11 April 2018
  • Virtual Problems – 6 June 2018

These are broad themes to ensure that they are open to everyone from all disciplines.  If you think that they don’t include you then please have a chat with your RKEO Facilitator who can explain how your research could make a vital contribution to new ideas and approaches.  In order to encourage wider partnerships, each STEAMLab will include academics from other universities, as well as representatives from industry and other sectors.   More details will follow on each of the STEAMLabs in due course and so please watch the blog for news on how to get involved.