Innovation and Research Round-Up

May Edition

In this month's Innovation and Research Round-Up, our researchers have been part of a new national research group, had reviews published in journals and won awards for their work within climate change.

Academic supports launch of national research group at University of Cambridge

Associate Professor in Pre-qualifying Health Care Dr Charlie Whiffin recently attended the launch of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Global Health Research Group on Acquired Brain and Spine Injury at the University of Cambridge.

The NIHR Global Health Research Group on Acquired Brain and Spine Injury, led by Professor Peter Hutchinson (University of Cambridge) and Professor Anthony Figaji (University of Cape Town), was recently awarded £3m over four years by the NIHR to expand the work of the previously funded NIHR Global Health Research Group on Neurotrauma.

The group will focus on five conditions (traumatic brain injury, traumatic spine injury, stroke, brain infections, CSF disorders/hydrocephalus) causing a substantial burden of disease in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Dr Whiffin, who is a co-applicant on the grant and lead for community engagement and involvement (CEI), says:

“I am very proud to be working in this group and contributing to improved neurosurgical care in LMICs. I am particularly excited that the new group are exploring the role of nurses, allied health professionals and rehabilitation services in the care of patients with acquired brain and spine injury. Furthermore, as lead for community engagement and involvement, I have the privilege of collaborating with our partners to develop meaningful and sustainable methods of CEI in LMICs where traditionally there has been very little."

The group held its launch event at the University of Cambridge on Friday 24 March with many international collaborators joining in person and online. Dr Whiffin prepared a video on CEI for the launch, while also presenting the aims and methods for an ambitious qualitative study about the non-medical care provider role in LMICs. This study will will be conducted in India, Pakistan, Uganda and Cameroon.

Third-year student published in research journal

Third-year undergraduate Human Biology student Jenni Chambers has had her review accepted and published in this year’s issue of McGill Science Undergraduate Research Journal (MSURJ).

Jenni’s article on Bacterial Interactions Affecting Chemotherapy Effectiveness was originally written as part of her assignment and, with minor tweaks and amends, it was selected for publication.

Fostering a sense of belonging in students through the virtual learning environment 

Dr Pubudu Gunawardhana (Learning Technologist, Curriculum Development) explores how our virtual learning environment (VLE) can be used to foster a sense of belonging in our students.

Starting a new position as a learning technologist at the University provided Dr Gunawardhana with an opportunity to reflect on the importance of feeling connected to the institution and the team that you are working with. While she was supported extremely well during this transition period, it set her thinking about the importance of the sense of belonging for students in higher education.

Find out more about the research

Award win for climate change in Africa research video

Dr Deb Raha and her research group investigate climate change affects in the Muni coastal lagoon in Ghana. Here, climate change is affecting weather patterns, ocean conditions and natural resources.

Their Time for Geography video has been awarded the prestigious Highly Commended Publishers Award from the Geographical Association. The award is a testament to the success of the team's long-term partnership in secondary school geographical education and teacher professional development. The award panel gave this feedback:

“This focuses on a very small, specific location in Ghana and the presenter comes from this community which gives it a more personal feeling. Map graphics are interspersed with the video content – good for context. It shows thriving communities and the impact of climate change well.”

University signs researcher development concordat

The University is now a signatory of the Vitae Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

The concordat is a sector-wide initiative promoting the creation of healthy and supportive research environments and opportunities for professional development enabling researchers to thrive.

Becoming a signatory is an objective of the University’s Innovation and Research Strategy and is a step particularly welcomed by the Early Career Researchers Forum.

Find out about the concordat

Developing a trust

The Mental Health Productivity Pilot (MHPP), which was launched in 2019, has been helping the Wye Valley NHS Trust. The trust was struggling with high sickness absence due to mental health so they reached out to MHPP for help in supporting the health and wellbeing of staff.

After an initial deep dive into the trust, several priorities were identified and plans were put in place. Training for managers was provided alongside resources and toolkits to facilitate conversations. Workshops were offered, there was a focus on increasing knowledge around mental health first aid, plus a range of other initiatives.

Find out how MHPP supported the Trust

University joins international More Than Our Rank campaign

The University is now an early adopter of the international More Than Our Rank initiative, which has been developed by the International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS).

The initiative exists in response to some of the problematic features and effects of global university rankings. It provides an opportunity for academic institutions to highlight the multiple and varied ways in which they have an impact – locally, nationally and internationally – that are not reflected or articulated in their ranking position.

As an anchor institution within the city and wider region, the University of Derby is known for its commitments to and success at delivering social mobility, applied research, industry engagement, skills-focused learning and our civic agenda. 

Find out more about More than our Rank


Discover our researchers' publications released in April.

Discover all of our publications

Nicholas Blagden, Jacquie Evans, Lloyd Gould, Naomi Murphy, Laura Hamilton, Chloe Tolley and Kyra Wardle. "The People Who Leave Here Are Not the People Who Arrived": A Qualitative Analysis of the Therapeutic Process and Identity Transition in the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway. Criminal Justice and Behavior. 

Kirsten J. Lees, Rachel Carmenta, Ian Condliffe, Anne Gray, Lyndon Marquis, Timothy M. Lenton and Lees, K. Protecting peatlands requires understanding stakeholder perceptions and relational values: A case study of peatlands in the Yorkshire Dales. Ambio.

Stephen W. Lokier and Lokier, S. Marine carbonate sedimentation in volcanic settings. Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 

Belinda C Campbell, Jonathan P Davy, Lee Pote and Candice J Christie. The effect of time of day on adolescent fast bowling performance: A pilot study. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching.

Abbache, M., Abbache, A., Xu, J.W., Meziane, F. and Wen, X.B. 2023. The Impact of Arabic Diacritization on Word Embeddings. ACM Transactions on Asian and Low-Resource Language Information Processing . pp. 1-32. 

Foudil Mir and Farid Meziane. DCOPA: a distributed clustering based on objects performances aggregation for hierarchical communications in IoT applications. Cluster Computing. 

Christopher E. M. Lloyd and Lloyd, C. Stories Matter: A Novel Approach to Exploring Perceptions, Discourses, and the Symbolic Social Order in Pastoral Psychology. Pastoral Psychology. 

Michael J. O. Pocock, Iain Hamlin, Jennifer Christelow, Holli‐Anne Passmore and Miles Richardson. The benefits of citizen science and nature‐noticing activities for wellbeing, nature connectedness and pro‐nature conservation behaviours. People and Nature. 

Holloway, D. 2023. Power Besieged and Power Protected: Conservative Uses of COVID-19 to Attack Black Lives Matter. European Journal of American Culture . 42 (1), pp. 61-82.

Moore, N. 2023. Outside Your Comfort Zone. The Career Development Institute.

Ashutosh Samadhiya, Anil Kumar and Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes. Circular and Digital Systems in SMEs: An Assessment of the Past and Present Literature for Future Research Directions. International Journal of Global Business and Competitiveness. 

Kumar, A., Naz, F., Luthra, S., Vashistha, R., Kumar, V., Garza-Reyes, J. and Chhabra, D. 2023. Digging DEEP: Futuristic building blocks of omni-channel healthcare supply chains resiliency using a machine learning approach. Journal of Business Research. 162, pp. 1-14. 

Yadav, V., Kaswan, M.S., Gahlot, P., Duhan, R.K., Garza-Reyes, J., Rathi, R., Chaudhary, R. and Yadav, G. 2023. Green Lean Six Sigma for sustainability improvement: a systematic review and future research agenda. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma.

Saifur Rahman Tushar, Md. Fahim Bin Alam, Sadid Md. Zaman, Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes, A. B. M. Mainul Bari and Chitra Lekha Karmaker Analysis of the Factors Influencing the Stability of Stored Grains: Implications for Agricultural Sustainability and Food Security. Sustainable Operations and Computers. 

Rajesh Pansare, Gunjan Yadav, Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes and Madhukar Raosaheb Nagare. Assessment of Sustainable Development Goals through Industry 4.0 and reconfigurable manufacturing system practices. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management. 

Pipitò.L, Illingworth, T.A and Deganutti.G 2023. Targeting hPKM2 in cancer: a bio isosteric approach for ligand design. Computers in Biology and Medicine. 158, pp. 1-9. 

Jenni Chambers, Thomas Arron Illingworth and Illingworth, T. Bacterial Interactions Affecting Chemotherapy Effectiveness. McGill Science Undergraduate Research Journal. 

Katia C. Vione, Yasuhiro Kotera and Correa Vione, K. Mindfulness-Based Approaches for COVID-19 Mental Health in Working from Home. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. 

Victoria Laxton, Frances A. Maratos, David W. Hewson, Andrew Baird, Edward J.N. Stupple and Maratos, F. 5S solutions to promote medication efficiency and safety. Comment on Br J Anaesth 2023; 130: e416–8. British Journal of Anaesthesia. 

Mark A. Faghy, Laurie Whitsel, Ross Arena, Andy Smith, Ruth E. M. Ashton and Faghy, M. A united approach to promoting healthy living behaviours and associated health outcomes: a global call for policymakers and decisionmakers. Journal of Public Health Policy.