New research videos in media and art

We have two new research videos for your viewing enjoyment:

Kirsten Forkert of the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research talks about an ESRC-funded project in collaboration with researchers from around the country, examining the impacts of the Home Office’s controversial ‘Go Home’ campaign.

Joshua Jiang of the Centre for Chinese Visual Arts talks about his research in contemporary art curation.

We have more videos in the pipeline too, watch this space.

BIAD Professional Development Network: High Five!

Last week the BIAD Professional Development Network held an interdisciplinary event called High Fives: Spaces for Doctorateness Symposium. It featured PechaKucha presentations from staff and students across faculties on research across the University and research student mentoring.

Find out more about the day, and the BIAD Professional Development Network on the BIADPdn blog.

A mixed reality environment for live interactive presentation and performance


An innovative project by the Digital Media Technology (DMT) Lab at Birmingham City University is to be a part of the Interactivos? workshop and seminar programme, which is coming to the UK for the first time this June.

The project

The DMT project will act as a launchpad for artists, programmers and device builders to engage with an interactive mixed reality production system.

The real-time interaction system is an ongoing programme to build a new platform allowing an actor or performer to interact with virtual objects in real time, as if they were really there. Current systems rely on the performer to interact with a makeshift object in the place of where the virtual object would be, but the system being developed allows them to interact directly with the virtual object through a remote viewer.

During the workshop, possibilities for audience interaction will also be explored, either directly or even indirectly via social networking and mobile devices.

Interactivos? Birmingham

Interactivos? Birmingham is a UK based, two week international seminar and open innovation prototyping workshop taking place at mac Birmingham between 16-28 June 2014.  The Interactivos? model was conceived by Medialab-Prado as a hybrid between an innovation production workshop, seminar and exhibition showcase. It is a space for reflection, research, collaboration and creation, in which proposals selected by an international open call are developed, completed and displayed.

Six other projects will form the focus of the workshop, all based around the theme of ‘Responsive and Immersive Future Technologies’. The projects come from Brazil, Spain, Germany, Austria and Stevenage, UK.

There is currently an open call for collaborations with the workshops, more information on the event page.

School of Media project in Foreign & Commonwealth Office video

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office mentioned a project by the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR). Watch below:

In partnership with US technology company Meedan, researchers at BCMCR work with citizens in Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan, and with Syrian citizens in Lebanon, to help citizen journalists become trusted sources.

Researching Life in Birmingham seminar

On Tuesday 14 January researchers from across the University gathered to share research they have done in, or about, Birmingham. The purpose of the small seminar was to discuss possible crossover between disciplines and begin to develop a shared knowledge base. This is the beginning of an ongoing project to raise visibility of such research, and open up further avenues for cross-disciplinary work.

The presentations illustrate the diversity of the research taking place; all are available to download below (in PDF).

Peter Larkham (Technology, Enginnering & Environment (TEE)) – The post-war rebuilding of Birmingham

Steve McCabe (Business School) – Exploring the traditions of immigrant workers in Birmingham

Beck Collins (TEE) – Renewable energy projects

Paula McGee (Health) – Irish mental health in Birmingham

Fatemeh Rabiee-Khan (Health) – Redressing health inequality

Richard Hatcher (Education, Law & Social Sciences) – The new Birmingham Education Partnership

Annette Naudin (Performance, Media & English) – Birmingham as a creative city: a milieu for learning

There was also a verbal presentation from Martin Glynn, who recently completed his doctorate with BCU. His presentation was titled ‘Reflecting the city using urban ethnography’.

Look out for more news items and features as the project progresses.

New research videos from the School of Media

Happy New Year everyone.

Here are two new videos from two of the most recent researchers to join the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research.

In the first video, Dima Saber talks about her work on media for social change in the Arab region, and in the second Nick Gebhardt talks about his research in Jazz.


Look out for more videos in the coming months!



RESCON13 took place yesterday, and was a great success. The event was held at the Parkside Building which proved to be a perfect setting. The walls were filled with posters from our staff and students (which were entered into a poster competition, voted for by delegates), and there were sessions running all day in parallel rooms.

The conference was opened with a speech by Vice Chancellor Cliff Allan, who praised the efforts from everyone in the recent REF submission.


The diversity of research at the University was apparent during the sessions, with many people coming to me and enthusing about the variety on show. I had to agree, when I had a chance to sit in on some I saw presentations about everything from Ectoplasm, to building information management, to research bias in prisons and critical discourse analysis of the Nigerian press. All of them engaging, and everyone I spoke to said the same about the presentations they attended.


The conference was followed by a speech from the new Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, Enterprise & Business Engagement Paul Ivey, who enthused about the diversity of research on show and the passion exhibited by staff and students for their research projects. Prizes were given for the poster competition, then finally there was the evening reception.


More photos will be published soon, and conference proceedings and videos from the lecture theatre presentations will be available on iCity for staff and students in the new year.

For a recap through the eyes of social media, Thomas Lancaster from TEE has helpfully put together this Storify – which includes tweets and photos from throughout the day

A big thank you to everyone who presented, session chaired, and submitted a poster, and also thanks to those who helped with the organisation of the event beforehand.

School of Education Leads EU Project in Developing New CPD Framework

Leonardo Lifelong Learning LogoThe School of Education have recently completed an important continuous professional development (CPD) framework which has drawn on expertise and practice from around Europe.

Alex Kendall, Associate Dean for Research and Development, worked on the Leonardo da Vinci Lifelong Learning-funded project with institutions from France, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Turkey and Portugal. The collaboration was named the Partnership around the Continuous Training of Teachers (PaCCT).

The final framework is now available for public use on the European Shared Treasure database, enabling institutions from around Europe to utilise it. The outcomes were also shared in a final dissemination conference in Bulgaria in June (Alex is pictured below at the conference).

Bulgaria - PACTT 012 (2)

Cliff Jones, Chair of IPDA (International Professional Development Association) said of the framework:

“The PaCTT team have given us not only an excellent CPD Framework Tool, based upon solid research, but in the process have provided us with an opportunity to hear the voices of teachers from different countries and cultures talking not only about their experiences of CPD but also about their professional values. Using the Framework Tool will generate more professional learning, enable us to listen to more professional voices and promote valuable international co-operation.”

You can download the full framework here.

New Research Website and Videos

Yesterday saw the launch of our new research website pages and videos.
Over the past few months we have been interviewing our academics across the University and finding out what research means to them. The end result is this video:

We have also captured more about the individual projects our academics have been working on. These are dotted throughout the research pages; most of them are within the Research Community section, and just click on a research centre name to see more information and a video.

Birmingham City University - Centre for Music and Performance

You can also find videos in the new Research Stories section. Here you will be able to follow live projects and read about completed research projects.

Birmingham City University - Designing Zero Carbon Buildings


Not all research centres and projects will have videos yet; we are continuing the process of filming and editing so look out for many more in the future.

If you are a researcher at BCU and want us to interview you about your research, please let us know. You can tweet @myBCUResearch or email karen.patel[at]

Research round up – 11 September

A lot has been happening in Research world at BCU, and there is more to come…keep an eye out for an announcement next week on @myBCUResearch.

In the meantime, here is the latest research news:

UK Peatland Code Launched

Congratulations to Mark Reed of BSBE, whose UK Peatland Code was launched yesterday by the Environment Minister Richard Benyon. The Code will set out guidelines for businesses investing in Britain’s peatlands, and is a culmination of many years of work by Mark. He has described his personal research journey in his latest blog post – from the conception of the idea right through to the end. It’s well worth a read.


Twerking’ etc failing to represent British Black women

A study by Criminology lecturer and researcher Dionne Taylor has found that the overly sexualised representation of women in pop culture (for example, Miley Cyrus’s ‘Twerking’, amongst others) can have a negative impact on the self esteem of young British Black women. The study was featured on the BCU website earlier this week in case you missed it.


A Bilingual Thesaurus of English and Anglo-French

Richard Ingham of the School of English has begun work on a new project to research the bilingual lexicon of pre-modern England.

The work will focus on linguistic culture in Britain in the later medieval period. More information here.



More posts have been added to the Birmingham School of the Built Environment blog, including an interesting piece by Anthony Taft about ‘active design’ in the USA, which involves designing buildings to encourage more walking.


From Around the Web

A useful series called ‘How to be a Hackademic’ by PhD2Published is crammed with tips on productivity for early career researchers.

The Guardian also published 10 tips on writing for an academic journal.