School Pupils and Their Understanding of Significant Change and Losses in Life

Nonprofits Help Kids Find Hope For Life After Loss

Professor Rebecca Wallace, from the School of Health Sciences, has published a report with her collaborator Dr Ros Scott (University of Dundee) entitled ‘School pupils and their understanding of significant change and losses in life.’ The project was conducted in a central Scotland school and funded by Pallium Canada.

This study, involving pupils, parents and staff, sought to understand young people’s perceptions of loss, death and dying. This collaborative qualitative pilot study was undertaken in conjunction with colleagues in Canada and was designed to gain knowledge of how children of different ages understand loss, death and dying; the support they access and their awareness of what is available to them. The pupils in Canada were of primary school age; whereas the study’s Scottish component involved one secondary school with participants aged between 12-18 years.

Professor Wallace and Dr Scott conclude that ‘Coping skills as reported by this particular group of pupils appear to be strong. They find support from families, friends, interests and social groups. It is interesting to note that the internet, social media and written information seems to be of less significance. Parents and teachers have an important role to play in providing support. However, there is a significant disconnect between the resources that young people identified as helping them and those that parents and teachers would use or recommend. This would suggest the need to ask, rather than assume, what it is young people need. The approach to bereavement support should rather be participatory and involve the young people themselves. Peer support emerges as important to young people and this could be built upon as key resource.’

The authors recommend that further study is necessary before any conclusions may be postulated as to the place of loss, grief and death in the school curriculum. The report is available to read and download from the University’s Institutional Repository OpenAIR.

Wellcome Open Submissions – Open for Business

wellcomeYou can now submit to Wellcome Open Research a new publishing platform. The platform aims to make research outputs available faster, and to support reproducibility and transparency. Wellcome researchers can use the platform to publish a wide range of submissions, from more traditional narrative-based articles to incremental findings, methods, protocols, datasets and negative/null results. Once uploaded, submissions pass through transparent invited peer review and deposited in PubMed Central and Europe PMC.  Wellcome Open Research is designed to be author driven.

Research, Impact and the UK Parliament


This is interesting. The UK Parliament offer regional training events for academic researchers called “Research, Impact and the UK Parliament”. These events explore how to use research to engage with Parliament and take place monthly across the UK.  They are open to any researcher at any stage of their career. There is an attendance fee of £40 to pay.

What does the training cover?

The training events give an overview of Parliament and then cover ways to work with the institution, including details on Select Committees, legislative scrutiny, the House of Commons and House of Lords libraries and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST).  Training is interactive with plenty of opportunity for discussion and questions.  A networking lunch is included.

As a result of the training you will:

  • Understand Parliament’s role and processes
  • Learn how research is used in the UK Parliament
  • Be able to identify opportunities to feed your research into Parliament’s work
  • Learn tips and advice on communicating your research at Parliament

Using Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology research into the 2014 REF case studies, the events will also discuss how academics are having impact in Parliament and give practical advice and information about how to get involved.

Where and when does the training take place?

Events take place monthly at venues around the UK.  Our event schedule is listed below.

  • September 2016: North East England
  • October 2016: London
  • November 2016: North West England
  • December 2016: East Midlands
  • January 2017: South East England
  • February 2017: West Midlands
  • March 2017: Scotland
  • April 2017: Wales
  • May 2017: Yorkshire and the Humber
  • June 2017: Northern Ireland
  • September 2017: East of England
  • October 2017: South West England

You can register your interest for academic training events in your region or nation, and we will alert you to new dates as they are announced.

For more information, register interest and book a place visit the UK parliament website.

RGU research presented at RICS COBRA conference

RGU was represented at the recent RICS COBRA research conference, held in Toronto and hosted by George Brown College. COBRA is the annual international construction, building and real estate conference run by the RICS, which in recent years has travelled to the USA, India, Australia and France, and which will return to the UK in 2017.

Research presented by Professor Richard Laing included a paper concerning our use of HD laser scanning in Elgin, as part of the Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere project. The paper (co-authored with Elizabeth Tait, Marianthi Leon, John Isaacs and Peter Reid) looked at the application of architectural visualisation in a heritage-led regeneration project, and connected well with a series of keynote talks (emerging pervasive ICT, BIM and smart buildings).

Among the other papers were excellent presentations on community-led upgrading (by Claudia Loggia and Christina Georgiadou from the University of Westminster) and a fascinating study of online teaching and learning in architecture and construction, including design (by Heather Bibbings, Stephen Austin and Amela Bogdanovic, from the University of Coventry).

The conference commenced with a tour of the renovated historic ‘distillery district’ led by students of George Brown, and concluded with a visit to the George Brown BIM Lab.

Increase and evidence the impact of your published work

KUDOS webinar

Kudos Educational Researcher Webinar – Wednesday 31st August 2016

Co-hosted with Kudos, Altmetric, ORCID and Thomson Reuters, this session will give you hints and tips on how to promote your work effectively, measure current reach and how to further increase the impact of your work (reach, altmetrics and citations) – all in one place.

Find out more and register here –

Any questions, please do email who will happily help.


Which publications best reflect your research achievements?

HEFFCE blog 20 July

This is one of the questions addressed in a post today by Jonathan Adams on the HEFCE blog. In the post Jonathan explores some of the findings published in the HEFCE report “Publication patterns in research underpinning impact in REF2014” that we have previously referred to on Research Matters.

Read Jonathan’s blog post here then follow on with Anna Lang’s blog piece about the REF Impact Case Studies

If you are thinking ahead to the next REF and considering impact stories you could do worse than explore the searchable database of impact case studies submitted for REF 2014 that HEFCE have helpfully provided.

European Doctoral Association in Management and Business Administration, Annual Meeting 2016

EDAMBA Annual Meeting

EDAMBA, the European Doctoral Association  in Management and Business Administration Annual Meeting 2016 has the title “Beyond academic outputs? Research and multiple doctoral career progression paths in business and management“. Should doctoral education create knowledge capacity that has a direct impact on policy, practice, and society? What type of specific training should be part of a doctoral studies curriculum? As more doctoral students are pursuing careers outside academia, a question also arises whether traditional doctoral programmes are preparing them for such careers in industry, government, and the non-profit sector.

The purpose of this two-day annual meeting is to find answers to some of these questions by bringing together doctoral program directors, academics, business leaders, and doctoral students to reflect on the rapidly changing landscape of doctoral research, training, and careers in business and management. To find out more about the conference follow the link via the Kent Business School, host of the event or via the EDAMBA website.

Publication patterns in research underpinning impact in REF2014


HEFCE, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, has published a report “Publication patterns in research underpinning impact in REF2014”, comprising an analysis of all of the research publication outputs submitted for research assessment between 1988 and 2014. From the references included in the REF 2014 impact case studies, around 42% of those had been submitted as indicators of academic research quality to previous research assessment processes. Of the report fidndings, HEFCE says:

“This suggests that research of scholarly significance leads to societal impact, but also emphasises the broad base of research from which impact stems.”

Read the HEFCE press release here – the report is available to download free from the HEFCE website

The analysis was commissioned by HEFCE and undertaken by Digital Science.

Guest Blog: Professor Anne Douglas’ AHRC Funded Research ‘Cultural leadership and the place of the artist’

In this guest blog from Professor Anne Douglas, Gray’s School of Art, Anne explains the significance of her team’s current AHRC funded research Cultural leadership and the place of the artist (2015-16) and emphasises the importance of European collaboration in conducting this research. To see more on this funded work visit:–2015-16/

“Thinking Public”

On the 22nd June, the day before the referendum, RGU Senior Research Fellow, Jon Price, delivered the keynote of European Network on Cultural Management and Policy’s (ENCATC) 6th policy debate focusing on our current AHRC funded research into Cultural Leadership and the place of the artist. ENCATC is one of four partners in our current research On The Edge (OTE)  which also includes Creative Scotland and Clore Leadership Foundation. The debate was attended by a number of prominent figures from arts and culture throughout Europe including a number of policy officers from the European Commission.

Looking back, this was a poignant moment in the UK’s relationship with Europe. It marked one of many extraordinary opportunities to engage in discussion with European partners, widening our horizon of understanding across national borders, expertise and experience. This opportunity for debate now seems remarkably precious.

OTE’s research into leadership in the arts and culture from 2006 onwards has, in all of its three phases, been mindful of the social, cultural and political conditions in which the discourse on leadership has unfolded. The research has evolved in three distinct phases.

The first phase of AHRC funded Artist as Leader research (2006-9) emerged in response to the Cox Review (2005) that had been commissioned to foreground the role of creativity in industrial growth. Critical of the economist and instrumental values of the Creative Industries reflected in that report, our research at the time drew attention to the missing voice of the artist and opened up leadership to a different perspective– What might leadership mean to the arts? Might the experiences of artists enrich and extend the meaning of leadership in new ways?

The second phase, The Discourse of Cultural leadership (2016), Jon’s doctoral study, drew the findings of the Artist as Leader research into a new context in which the rhetoric of growth was now displaced by a new rhetoric of resilience, represented in part through a significant reduction in public funding, particularly to the arts and culture. This economic change required us to think differently about leadership. The artist needed to be placed i.e. imagined in relation to everything else, to be conceived as part of a much greater and more complex cultural dynamic that we had previously envisaged.

To this end Jon has provided us with some key concepts. Drawing on the work of Hannah Arendt, he traces leading as a movement in which there is a beginning that necessitates a following through, or completion. Leadership therefore cannot be atomised in the persona of ‘the strong man.’ It is a process, one that is subject to the boundlessness, unpredictability and plurality of life itself, concepts that Arendt laid out in her key text The Human Condition (1958). The originality of Jon’s thinking lies in tracing the implications of these characterisations for new possible ways of being in civic space in 21st century and its particular conditions.

This brings us to the present. At no point in the history of UK’s politics has political leadership been more absent, along with appropriate civic processes that shape and inform public opinion. What we are currently experiencing is not the kind of fluidity and responsiveness implied by Arendt’s unpredictability, boundlessness and plurality. These demand quality of relationship, of trust and of a certain improvisatory skill in keeping going. In contrast both in the UK and Europe, we are experiencing disintegration of the public sphere and public values.  This constitutes a significant challenge to the third research phase of the research Cultural Leadership and the place of the artist (2015-16) and its remit to disseminate the earlier phases research and further engage public debate on the issues.

Professor Annick Schramme of University of Antwerp’s Management School pointed out in her introduction to the debate on 22nd June that cultural leadership in a European context needs to take account of globalisation, migration and digitisation, all outwardly focused forms of engagement. She noted that in many ways the discourse of leadership has emerged at a moment of crisis in the arts and culture in relation to value. There are few ‘free spaces’ left in which to frame and debate questions of value. Throughout the discussion we became more and more aware of the implicit tension in leadership as a construct – the desire on the one hand to reach out and take risks through pioneering work and, on the other, a counterforce that consolidates and sustains. Leadership in management is frequently defined in terms of the latter, instituting hierarchies that value loyalty over judgement and the subjectivity of individual forms of action.

While these apparently contradictory forces inevitably co-exist and co-constitute public life, Philipp Dietachmair of the Tandem network, revived a sensibility that we can so easily lose sight of. Tandem is an Amsterdam based network funded by the European Cultural Foundation that supports long-term cooperation, knowledge development and networking opportunities between cultural managers across the EU and beyond. Philipp discussed leadership through his experience of co-ordinating small scale projects with Turkey and Eastern Europe, contexts in which, he suggested, we do not have the luxury of not thinking public.

In the shock waves of referendum and post referendum behaviours, we again do not have the luxury of not thinking public.

Our research will continue next week in a second workshop to be held at Bozar, in the centre of Brussels, 12th July 2016, 10.00 – 4.00 pm within Bozar’s current exhibition, Facing the Future Art in Europe 1945-68. It will seek to question the curatorial statement that the year of 1968 “ brought to a close an extremely productive period for a playful, utopian and activist form of art” (author’s emphasis). We will draw on art practices that have emerged since 1968, practices that manifest a leading role in terms of ‘thinking public’ by working within the prevailing conditions and in so doing, create, in quite grounded and practical ways, a new sense of possibility.

The three questions with which Jon ended his presentation on 22nd June are relevant to this new discussion

  • How should training provision for the cultural sector respond to definitions of leadership that go beyond the individual?
  • Can leadership training accommodate questions of social and cultural value as well as organisational effectiveness?
  • How can our policy making cope with unpredictability and create space for the role of the artist in public life?

Anne Douglas is a Professor in Robert Gordon University’s Grays School of Art. Her research re-examines the role of the professional artist as a catalyst for social change, including environmental and economic.

Collecting Research Impact Evidence

Capturing Research Evidence

Impact Case Studies were introduced as part of REF 2014 and there is every likelihood that the ability to capture and articulate the narrative of impactful publicly funded research will continue to be an important component of the framework of research excellence in the UK going forward.Vertigo Ventures today published research commissioned by HEFCE about collecting research impact evidence.The research is published online and the document is free to download here. You can also register for the “Collecting Research Impact Evidence Webinar” on 21st June at 15.00.