Tagged / training

Success of Postdoctoral Development Programme in HSC

The School of Health and Social Care has recently launched a new postdoctoral development programme aimed at those staff who have completed their doctoral studies. Prof Elizabeth Rosser (Associate Dean) provides an overview of how the programme works and the benefits to those involved…

A new postdoctoral development programme has commenced in HSC to offer those who have completed their doctoral studies the opportunity to move forward collectively as well as individually in their research endeavours. 

Initially the programme has focused on Nurses with the idea of running the programme again using an interprofessional group within the School, and maybe this could ultimately be a University-wide initiative with interschool activity?

The programme has commenced focusing on developing the skills of participants in the area of bidding for research grants, sharing the experiences of those with a range of bidding activity under their belts and encouraging all members to engage in undertaking one bid during the life of the programme.

This 6-month programme which commenced February 2011 has already made an impact.  One afternoon per month the group of 10 postdoctoral academics, drawn from each of the research centres in the School,  engage with the professoriate in learning the skills of bidding for research grants, sharing the lessons learned, as well as the challenges and the pitfalls.  Whilst there are key areas addressed during the programme, essentially the action learning group is informal with the programme content arising from queries and suggestions from the group itself.  The atmosphere offers an air of excitement and is informal and very informative with a buzz of spontaneity and active discussion.  The testimonials provided here show just how useful the programme has been to participants as well as to the HSC professoriate.

We need to do more of this….

Professor Elizabeth Rosser

Associate Dean (Nursing)

School of Health and Social Care

Writing competitive proposals event (London)

The Training Gateway is offering a ‘Total Proposals’ workshop in London on 15 June 2011.

Course overview:
Success depends on delivering a winning proposal – a strong selling document which the client will want to buy.  The seminar gives institutions not only the practical tools of proposal preparation, such as bidding plans and checklists, but also shows a range of winning techniques and “selling” devices that will positively differentiate your proposal from those of your competitors.

Attendees will:
– Refresh their approaches to the preparation of proposals
– Acquire new presentation techniques
– See how to give proposals a competitive edge
– Learn how to maximise the evaluation scoring of proposals.

This is an excellent opportunity for anyone involved in writing competitive proposals for research and enterprise funding!

Further information, including the booking form, can be found here.

PGR Poster Events

Post Graduate Researcher Poster Events

At School level we will shortly be holding a Post Graduate Poster event on the 18th May. This was an initiative that started five years ago following a suggestion from a PGR student representative. Various poster events are organised specifically for PGR only participation, at national level such as the young engineer of the year competition at the Houses of Parliament, at university level organised by the Graduate School and at academic group level such as the new Psychology event. It is worth thinking about these activities and the value to the academic community at various levels.

Our PGR poster event is organised with the help of a small number of staff but the main decision making regarding the format of the event is driven by the PGR community itself. The posters compete for a small cash prize within year groups and are judged externally by invited high-profile industrialists and academics. Participation level has been high during the four events to date and the event ownership for the participating PGR’s has been maintained. External participation to judge the posters has been appreciated by the PGR’s as the economic and practical benefits of research are seen as valued. In addition, the enthusiasm for the research projects from the external competition panel act as a real motivation to students and supervisors. Our key values that keep the poster conference successful are retaining the PRG ownership concerning format and external engagement via the competition judgment of the posters.

Prof Mark Hadfield

Deputy Dean – Research and Enterprise

School of Design, Engineering and Computing

book your place on the BU GrantCraft Research Workshop Day!

We are delighted to offer a bespoke GrantCraft Research Workshop Day on May 11th 2011, facilitated by Dr Martin Pickard, a specialist in writing and supporting research proposals (particularly EU). Sessions will be held on grant writing skills, impact and benefit, how to write a Marie Curie proposal and the management of EU projects. You can attend as many sessions as you like throughout the day. To read more on each session and to make a booking see our GrantCraft Research Workshop Day Event Page.

Researchers of the next generation

Prof Holger Schutkowski, Deputy Dean in the School of Applied Sciences, joined BU in January. Here he provides his thoughts on training the next generation of researchers.

In a week’s time I will have the great pleasure to open the School of Applied Sciences’ Postgraduate Research Conference. I was delighted that I was asked to give a keynote, not only because it is a nice way of making myself known to students, since I only arrived at BU in January, but also to share some thoughts about the way we do research. Whilst universities require some original research in the final year undergraduate dissertation, and to a much greater extent in Master’s programmes, it is at PhD level where we expect the clear evidence of intellectual independence, of playful recombination of knowledge, which will allow candidates to go beyond current established borders of thought, and to push scientific progress, something that is always happening at the fringes.

Are we able to give advice? Should we? How can we make this happen? The latest deliberations about the future of current PhD systems and their ever-increasing production of graduates is beginning to raise serious concerns and to elicit calls for reforms, quite drastically, indeed (http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110420/full/472261a.html). Interestingly enough, they emphasise co-operation between institutions (consortia) and cross-disciplinary work.

While the former is already part of the RCUK agenda and is likely to shape the future of PhD funding and recruitment in the UK over the next years, the latter maybe can do with further encouragement. Certainly, one way is to encourage our PhD students to decidedly undertake an interdisciplinary project, which essentially means to embrace the boldness of crossing borders, to work across disciplines and to become acquainted with, adopt and modify interpretive frameworks of other, related or cognate subject areas. Often claimed, rarely done, though; unfortunately a recurring problem and certainly not confined to the fledgling researcher.  Another approach is to ensure the research is firmly embedded into a wider and meaningful context, so that these connections across disciplinary borders can be made and the outcomes of the research become accessible and meaningful to the related or cognate subject areas we are trying to include in the first place.

As it happens, this is what I am going to talk about in my presentation, with case studies that necessitate contextualised analysis to demonstrate how we can bring past societies to life through the study of their skeletal remains. But to come back to the state of PhD systems: cross-disciplinary thinking and context awareness is what we want to instil in the researchers of the next generation. But this also requires the intellectual capacity and preparedness for doing so. The students we graduate need to be skilled and prepared for an increasingly competitive job market.

Prof Holger Schutkowski

Deputy Dean

School of Applied Sciences

How KTPs helped Dorset Cereals quadruple in size

Dr Martyn Polkinghorne added an excellent post a couple of weeks ago about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs). Following on from this David Kilburn, Head of Business Development and Associate Professor (Enterprise) in the School of Tourism, has added this post about how KTPs with BU helped local SME Dorset Cereals.

I have been involved in KTP schemes for about 8 years and during that time I have written 11 successful 2 year classic schemes and 6 short KTP schemes.

KTPBasically the KTP scheme is a partnership between BU and a company whereby knowledge is transferred both ways – from the university to the company and vice versa. An Associate – a graduate from anywhere in the world – is employed for 2 years on average and has 2 supervisors, 1 from BU and 1 from the company.

The Associate also receives structured training and development on quarterly training days set up by the funding body, Momenta.

Seven of the classic KTP schemes have been with food related companies such as Dorset Cereals (2), Fudges Bakery, Chococo, Olives Et Al, Cowdry’s Bakery, Sandridge Farmhouse Bacon and Sun Cottage Wholefoods.

All of the above KTP schemes have been successful but the double scheme at Dorset Cereals was particularly successful and quadrupled the business within two years.

There now follows a more detailed overview of the Dorset Cereals success story.

Dorset Cereals is now the UK’s leading provider of muesli following the successful completion of two Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with Bournemouth University.

The Dorchester-based company, which produces flakes, granola, porridges, bars and slices as well as muesli, hired University graduates to help develop its marketing and production functions. And on the back of Bournemouth University’s support Dorset Cereals has nearly quadrupled the size of its business.

When Managing Director Peter Farquhar arrived at Dorset Cereals in 2005 there was no marketing function – and having seen a story about another company which had worked with the University on a knowledge transfer programme and received an emarketing mail shot from David Kilburn, Head of Business Development, Mr Farquhar got in touch with David at Bournemouth’s School of Services Management (now the School of Tourism). “We had an outrageous plan that would see us become the UK’s leading muesli provider and together with the University we identified two big gaps that needed plugging,” he said. “One was around the relationship with our consumers, particularly the website, where we had no expertise in the business, and the second was around production capacity and processes which we needed to change to meet the planned volume growth.”

Bournemouth University graduate Harriet McKay – who has since been appointed as the company’s Communications Manager – was brought in to deliver the marketing support. “When I started, the website was plain and there was absolutely no reason for customers to come back to the site,” Harriet explained. “I worked with the team at Dorset Cereals and their design agency to create a new website that would create more visits and importantly communicate their brand values. Before the University’s involvement the company had 16,000 emails on its database, now we have over 200,000. It’s been a fantastic success story.”

The company, which had access to University academic expertise around web marketing and database development, also commissioned a second knowledge transfer programme to up production targets. “We brought in new equipment and employed new staff, but ultimately we needed to change the way we worked on the factory floor and the University helped us to improve our production capacity and processes,” Mr Farquhar said. “The University’s involvement has been pivotal to our successes – frankly we couldn’t have got to the stage we are without the involvement of Bournemouth’s staff and students.”

Dr Martyn Polkinghorne, Bournemouth University’s Knowledge Transfer Programmes Centre Manager, said the partnership with Dorset Cereals was a good example of what the University can bring to business. “Businesses should be more aware that universities have the capability to make a direct impact on their bottom line, as we have in this case. Here at Bournemouth we have particular expertise in supporting the food and drink sector, as well as many other key specialisms which firms are tapping into.”

David Kilburn
Associate Professor Enterprise
Head of Business Development
School of Tourism

For further information on KTPs, view the following webpages:

Missenden Centre research workshops

The Missenden Centre is running a series of workshops this year that may be of interest to BU academics and research support staff:

Successful Bidding: Day Clinic – 2 June 2011, London 

Bidding for Research Funding  for academic staff – 15/16 June 2011, Missenden Centre

Bidding for Research Funding for research support staff – 16/17 June 2011, Missenden Centre

The Missenden Centre courses are highly praised and well respected within the sector.

EU research and funding workshops

 

                                EC 7th Framework Programme (FP7) logo

We are looking to host a series of workshops/ presentations on EU funding and we would like to hear your suggestions for topics.

What information would you find most useful? What would you like to learn more about? What format would you find most helpful?

Please comment below to let us know what you would like to see…

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