Research marketing

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction plus a social media overreaction.

Pure portal to replace Opus

📥  Research news

The University will be launching the Pure Portal on 26 September.

The portal will replace Opus, the University’s institutional repository and will allow us to continue to meet our Open Access responsibilities. As well as giving a more up to date web presence for our research outputs, the portal will display information about research projects, datasets and shareable research equipment.

The Portal will aggregate the information in Pure to give all academic and research staff and post-graduate research students a personal profile page. In addition to your publications and research projects, which should already be recorded in Pure, you can also add details to give more information about your current research interests.

As the University web pages move into the new templates over the coming months, Pure profiles will replace current staff profile page; your Faculty Marketing Team will be in touch with more details about this in due course.

The portal will continue to make your outputs Open Access in the same way that Opus did and there is no change to how you add details of your outputs to Pure.

The portal will pull together data in Pure to create a profile for you and your research at Bath. All academic and research staff and post-graduate research students will automatically have a profile in the portal.

The portal is currently password protected and you should have received an email from the Pure team giving the access details. If you haven’t or if you have any queries about any of the information we are displaying on the portal please email


Research Excellence Framework - initial decisions

📥  REF

After a long wait over the summer HEFCE have now published the initial decisions on the Research Excellence Framework 2021.  A summary of the main decisions can be found below.

It’s also worth noting that they are now inviting applications for the sub-panel chairs; to apply see Annex B of the initial decisions on the REF document. The deadline for applications is 11 October 2017.

Main decisions


The assessment outcomes will be the product of expert review, informed by indicators where appropriate.  Profile weightings will be as follows;

  • Outputs 60%
  • Impact 25%
  • Environment 15%

Unit of Assessment Structure:

Several UoAs have been revised;

  • There will be a single UoA for engineering, with a formalised sub-group structure
  • UoA 17 will be restructured as follows: UoA 14 Geography and Environmental studies and UoA 15 Archaeology
  • Film and Screen studies will be located in UoA 33 (currently 35) Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts and Screen Studies

Institutional level assessment

  • There will be no institutional level impact case studies though HEFCE will run a pilot which will affect future exercises.
  • There will be no institutional level Environment statement.  Institutional level information will be included in the UoA-level environment template.

Interdisciplinary research

  • Each sub-panel will have at least one member appointed to oversee the assessment of interdisciplinary research
  • To enable better identification of interdisciplinary research an ‘interdisciplinary identifier’ for outputs will be included, with a clear definition and guidance for its use.


  • The environment template will be more structured and use more quantitative data.
  • There will be a “discrete” section of the environment template devoted to interdisciplinary research.
  • There will be no impact template but it will be an “explicit section in the environment element”
  • The revised template will include a section on ‘open research’, detailing the approach to open access and open data


  • There will be an alignment of the definitions for impact so that Research Council definitions of ‘academic impact’ and ‘wider impact’ align with the purposes of the REF.
  • There will be additional guidance on the criteria of ‘reach and significance’ and impacts arising from public engagement.
  • Impact on teaching will include teaching within the university as well as beyond; additional guidance to follow
  • Impact will stay with the institution where the research was conducted
  • Underpinning research will remain at 2*
  • The period for underpinning research will be 1 January 2000- 31 December 2020
  • Impact can occur from 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020
  • Case studies can be a continuation of a 2014 Case study but they will need to provide evidence of additional impact.
  • A similar number of case studies to 2014 will be required.

There is also a consultation open requesting views (PDF) on questions on staff and output portability.  The University will respond to this; if you have any views to inform this response please do contact Katy McKen.


Bath researchers speak at TEDx

📥  Uncategorized

Five researchers from Bath have recently spoken at TEDx in Frome, sharing insights from their fields.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

At the Frome event, astrophysicist Victoria Snowcroft talked about using stars to map universes, artificial intelligence expert Rob Wortham explored the deep thinking of robots, sport scientist Ioannis Costas explored the relationship between sport and youth behaviour, computer scientist Christof Lutteroth discussed replacing touch screens with 'eye gaze technology' and mathematician Kit Yates outlined how mathematical modelling explains why some cats are black and others are white...

If you'd like to read more about our researchers' talks then you can see their full talk profiles on the TEDx website, and the videos of their talks will soon all be available on the TEDx YouTube feed.




Stage one of the Three Minute Thesis is complete!

📥  Uncategorized

Two candidates from each of our Faculties and the School of Management have been selected following the Three Minute Thesis heats last night.

The eight candidates will compete against one another on 6 May at the Bath Festival to determine which of them will represent the University on the national stage this summer.

The candidates to go forward to the 6 May event are:

Parimala Shivaprasad
Katarzyna Smug

Tamsyn Hawken
Alison Douthwaite

Rweyemamu Ndibalema
Severina Iankova

Emma Sackville
Philip Hamann

Good luck to all of you and may the best PhD student win in May!

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Early career researchers’ advice for future PhDs

📥  Uncategorized

This year’s Research Rocket was a celebration of the contributions our early career research community are making and a welcome to all those who have joined us in recent months.

The speakers, all current PhD students or post-doctoral research staff, spoke about the work they are currently involved with and also took the opportunity to share a nugget of advice with their peers about how to get the most from doing a PhD.

Today here on our blog we’re outlining some of that advice so that future potential PhD candidates reading this can also benefit from our current cohort’s experiences.

In our Department of Chemical Engineering, Marcus Johns is doing his PhD research looking at tissue engineering to create heart valves. His own genetic heart condition motivates his research, and his advice to future PhD students is to make the most of their collaborators. Marcus has worked with colleagues in Brazil and the USA and said that without these people, he wouldn’t have achieved what he has so far.

Early career researcher Dr Theresa Smith from our Department of Mathematical Science is analysing data to better understand the spread of disease. She said that doing a PhD can feel a bit like working in a maze, you can feel lost but she advises that you reflect and “enjoy the journey, you might be surprised at where you find inspiration”.

Harriet Carroll, a PhD student from our Department for Health who is looking at the impact on hydration on blood sugar control, said that you need to learn that rejection isn’t always a negative when doing a PhD. She outlined how rejection has led her to better options and to where she is today, and that by working through rejection the overall result will be better.

In our Department of Electrical Engineering, early career research Dr Despina Moschou is working to make a microchip that brings together tiny medical diagnostics tools. Her advice to anyone considering PhD research is follow their excitement and not feel limited to keep within their current discipline.

Finally, Dr Tom Curran from our Department for Health is looking at the impact of perfectionism on mental health. His advice comes directly from his own personal experiences and from his research when he says “perfection should never be a criteria in aiming for success”.

Are you currently or have you recently done a PhD? What advice would you give to potential future candidates based on your own experiences? How can you work most effectively to do good quality research, while balancing other pressures? We’d love to hear your thoughts, please do comment below!

You can read more about the content of the talks and see a video from the evening here.


A brave new world: Digital Marketing MBA Masterclass

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📥  Event, social

I’ve only recently joined the Research Marketing team but have been at the University for a couple of years now. One of the advantages I’ve found from working here is having a wealth of academic knowledge in such close proximity, and easily accessible. So when I heard that the School of Management was running a free MBA Masterclass in Digital Marketing how could I say no?

After work on Tuesday I made my way over to the Executive Development Suite in The Edge (very nice, I recommend you take a peek) to see ‘Seven Pillars of Digital Marketing’ by Don Lancaster, Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Researcher.

I’ve pulled out some highlights and my favourite facts from Don’s talk below, and you can watch the recording of the Masterclass in full at the end of the post.

Current marketing landscape

Don started his talk by laying out the landscape: 50% of all advertising budget worldwide is spent on Digital, and the biggest growth sector is mobile. Spending on mobile marketing has gone up 44% in the last year alone.

We all know that our websites have to be mobile friendly (bounce rates of non-mobile websites are 85 – 90%) but there is much more to mobile than just your website – text, email, apps and geo services are all key to fully utilising the Mobile channel.


With digital marketing we are now talking to ‘Digital Natives’ – Generation Connected, Gen C, the YouTube Generation. These are people who probably can't remember the 90's and will never know what it’s like to only have one hour of internet each day. Gen C are digitally savvy, constantly switching devices and multi screening throughout the day; but only have an attention span of seven seconds.

Big data

Now, being a millennial and a marketing professional I consider myself pretty clued up on the ways of the web, but this section of Don’s talk made my eyes widen.

As regular web users we all know and accept that our activity online is tracked and used to sell us stuff, but do we really know how much information is being gathered – and how many people it is being sold to?

Along with our searches and web history, they collate and connect many different sources of information including: IP address, Census data, where you work, ATMs you use, your GPS location, train stations you travel from, how long you spend in the gym, your shoe size… and that’s only the beginning.

With one search or page visit, you give away almost 600 snippets of information about yourself. But how many of us only make one search or visit one page a day? I just checked my history, and yesterday I visited around 80 sites - and that's just on my work PC. If we double that (at least!) for my phone that means yesterday I gave away around 108,000 snippets of info about myself (including the fact I like The Lion King, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and am searching for a new lunchbox).

In total across the net over 1.8 trillion pieces of information are recorded every day. In numbers that's 1,800,000,000,000.

For a sense of scale, here is what 1 trillion stars in the Andromeda galaxy looks like. Double that, and you’re pretty close to the number of pieces of information that is gathered on people including you and me. Every. Single. Day.

What is digital good for?

  • Amplification – A marketing stunt that takes place in the city streets may be seen by 100 people live, but with digital that can then be broadcast to millions for free.
  • Participation – ALS ice bucket challenge anyone? Digital is a great way to get people involved in your brand activities on and offline.
  • Connection – Digital allows you to be friendly and build personal connections with your audience, but this can be a double edged sword. Consumers expect to receive a response from brands within one hour – but how many companies are able to deliver that 24/7?

The Seven Pillars

Watch the recording to see some great examples of these being implemented:

  • Social
  • Film
  • Mobile
  • Big data
  • Native advertising
  • ‘Out of home’ digital display
  • Full integration

What’s next for digital?

In today’s changing landscape Don says that companies need to think past the sell, and work out how they can play a positive and useful role in people’s daily lives. Great examples of this include the Nike Run Club and the fleet of safety drones from insurance company Direct Line.

Don predicts that in the near future there will be no distinction between Marketing and Digital Marketing, as digital becomes even more integral to our day-to-day life. As marketeers, we need to make sure we can keep up.

Watch the talk here:

panopto donal


Strengthening our marketing ties with Stellenbosch

📥  International, Research news

Over the past year we've done more to tell the stories behind some of the many research collaborations that have come about as a result of the University's focus on internationalisation. 

Joining us on Skype to discuss collaborative research promotion, Huba Boshoff from the Centre for Partnerships & Internationalisation at Stellenbosch University.

Joining us on Skype to discuss collaborative research promotion, Huba Boshoff from the Centre for Partnerships & Internationalisation at Stellenbosch University.

In 2016, via the new 'Worldwide' section of our website, we promoted a range of stories tied to our collaborations in South Africa and Brazil timed to coincide with important events.

Our South Africa section launched to coincide with the Going Global Conference in Cape Town in May, but was an opportunity to talk about a range of ongoing research with international partners from water irrigation systems (through the Water Innovation Research Centre) to responses to child trauma (through the Department of Psychology).

Launched in August and using the hook of the Olympics, our Brazil section drove online traffic to varied projects from recycling polymers (led by the Centre for Sustainable Technologies) to examining data behind Brazil's reforms to corporate governance (led by the School of Management).

Some of this new content has also been used by our international marketing counterparts, including those at Stellenbosch University (South Africa) who adapted features written for the South Africa section for their alumni and stakeholder newsletter, 'Matieland' (see pp 16-17).

With the International Office we'll continue to build this relationship - starting with regular catch ups on Skype - so that we can better coordinate marketing and communications when it comes to international visits and research announcements.

Watch this space for more.

Marketing Saiful Islam's Ri Christmas Lectures

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📥  Event, Research news, social

Hopefully in between mince pies and merriment you caught this year's Royal Institution (Ri) CHRISTMAS LECTURES broadcast on BBC FOUR over three nights during the festive period and delivered by our very own Professor Saiful Islam.

Professor Saiful Islam - this year's Ri Christmas Lecturer.

Professor Saiful Islam - this year's Ri Christmas Lecturer. (Photo Credit - Paul Wilkinson).

In the time between Saiful being announced as the Ri's Christmas Lecturer for its 80th Anniversary year last August, through to broadcast over Christmas, we worked closely with him and the team at the Ri to ensure we made the most of the event from a marketing perspective - both in terms of Saiful's own research and expertise, as well as for the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies, the Department of Chemistry and the University more generally.

'Supercharged: Fuelling the future'

From our end this included a range of marketing outputs: a new online feature on Saiful's journey; an extensive social media campaign across all channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) which included video teasers for the lectures and competition to win tickets for filming; new printed materials to promote the lectures to our students; mail-shots out to our alumni; and of course use of the Digital screens around campus to highlight his involvement.


In addition to all the preparations for filming, at the Ri our colleagues created a dedicated CHRISTMAS LECTURE section of the website; arranged photoshoots; created new printed collateral; and mailed their many thousands of subscribers about Saiful's involvement.

We also worked very closely with the Ri on media exposure too. Of the 150 pieces of national and international coverage across print and broadcast media particular highlights included features in the Observer 'You need more than one electric eel to light a Christmas tree'; an interview for Radio 4's Start The Week with Andrew Marr; as well as coverage across other national print media and, crucially, in the Christmas Radio Times!

All combined, with online traffic to the various marketing initiatives and press coverage, this helped capture an audience in the 100,000s in advance of broadcast. Viewing figures for the CHRISTMAS LECTURES - now available to watch again via the Ri Channel – suggest these were watched by over 1.7 million.

Follow on engagements

Fresh from his Christmas appearances, once back on campus in early January my colleague Chris arranged for Saiful to take part in Reddit AMA looking back at the lectures and focusing in on Saiful's own research. This has had an online reach of 7.5 million (for more on our AMAs see this other blog post).

In late January we then publicised new research from Saiful on developing faster, recharging lithium batteries which has already received significant national and international coverage.

The Ri held a Family Fun Day in early February in which Saiful gave mini-lectures (with bangs) and PhD students from the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies presented a hands-on exhibit on green energy.

We're now eagerly awaiting Bath Taps into Science, where Saiful's family talk on Wednesday night has already sold out, and looking further ahead to Saiful's involvement in our 6 May University of Bath Festival.


Each year tickets to watch filming of the Ri's CHRISTMAS LECTURES are allocated by a ballot in September. This is open to Ri Members and UK schools; you can find out more about supporting the charity by becoming a member here


Reddit's Ask Me Anything

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📥  Sector news, social

Just before Christmas I blogged on our use of Facebook Live to engage our social media followers in a new way about our research and expertise. This time it's the turn of another social media tool: Reddit's 'Ask Me Anything' (AMAs). 

Since the start of the year, we've promoted two AMAs - first with Saiful Islam, fresh from the Royal Society's CHRISTMAS LECTURES, and just recently with Joanna Bryson on Artificial Intelligence - both of which attracted huge online audience and engagement.

Fresh from the Ri CHRISTMAS LECTURES, Professor Saiful Islam's Reddit AMA attracted an audience of 10,000.

Fresh from the Ri CHRISTMAS LECTURES, Professor Saiful Islam's Reddit AMA attracted an audience of 10,000.

A brief history of AMAs

AMAs were created by the Reddit community as an opportunity for interesting individuals to field questions about anything and everything. Over the past few years, high profile AMAs with Barack Obama, Sir David Attenborough and Elon Musk have generated lots of interest in Reddit and AMAs in particular.

In an effort to bring science education to the masses, Reddit's Science community (known as /r/Science) has used this model to create an independent, science-focused AMA Series – the Science AMA Series. Its goal is to encourage discussion and facilitate outreach while helping to bridge the gap between practising scientists and the general public. This is something that is open to any research scientist, or group of
scientists, that wants to have a candid conversation with the large, diverse and normally very well informed Reddit Science community.

How it works and why it's beneficial

Reddit describes its AMA Series as 'a unique format' in that it allows scientists to speak about their work in a manner that is not possible within the confines of traditional short-form journalism. Via AMAs,
questions can be explained individually and follow-up points fielded so that the readers have a clearer understanding of the field and research being discussed.

AMAs are particularly useful for researchers looking to clarify their findings and expand upon their results in situations where the mainstream press releases were too limited to accurately convey their work. In this way AMAs are often referred to as an 'open source interview'.

Reddit's Science community extends to more than 13 million so it's a huge opportunity to get research and expertise in front of an engaged audience. All you need to take part is a few free hours and a computer.

How our AMAs fared

To date, Saiful's AMA had a total reach of 7.5 million, with 5,080 votes and nearly 10,000 users clicking through read his answers. Joanna's had a total reach of 19.54 million, with over 14,002 votes and over 41,000 users clicking through to read her answer to AI-related questions. Both generated lots of social media engagement, which also fed through to media coverage. Joanna's AMA was picked up by Tech Crunch - a channel which is followed by over 8,000,000 on Twitter.

If you'd be interested in being put forward for an AMA please let us know and we'll look for opportunities.