Aisha studied law at UWE Bristol before an epiphany saw her move to education and become Assistant Principal at an inner-city secondary school. Today she is Educational Consultant in her own organisation, Representation Matters Ltd, and has a firm focus on anti-racist practice, equity, justice and liberation.
Aisha is also a university guest lecturer, and her debut book ‘Becoming an anti-racist educator was released on 12 May 2022.
2022 saw Aisha start her doctoral journey looking at anti-racist practice in Educational Leadership. Aisha has presented a BBC documentary about the lack of black teachers in Bristol and delivered a TEDx talk: ‘Why Representation Really Matters’.
Sara is a climate change and sustainability consultant who is passionate about building the climate workforce. She currently co-leads the UK Cities & Regions team at Anthesis to develop climate strategies and action plans to local authorities to transition to a fair and just low carbon future.
Sara is a Trustee for climate action charity Possible and is a mentor and Advisory Board member at Catalyse Change CIC, aiming to support young women with skills and guidance for sustainability careers. Sara is also a mentor at global climate career and education platform Terra.do where she provides advice and guidance to people transitioning into climate careers.
Verity is an Associate Professor in UWE Bristol’s School of Education and Childhood. Her research focuses on pathways to social and environmental justice. Verity has worked with charities including Friends of the Earth, Fashion Revolution and the Centre for Alternative Technology.
She has developed insights into pedagogies of hope in the face of the climate and ecological emergency and has highlighted the importance of arts-based practices to support sustainable education in the UK and India. Verity recently led the first research in the UK exploring 9-11 year olds experiences of racism and its impacts on mental health. She is currently working with Global Goals Centre who will open SPARKS – a new sustainable education hub in Bristol – in April 2023.
Rebecca is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Planning and an award-winning researcher.
Rebecca’s research has focused on the development of renewable energy, including how to plan for the future of existing renewable energy sites and how communities are involved in decisions about renewable energy.
Rebecca is passionate about sharing her research findings with diverse audiences to influence policy and practice as well as to inform the public. Her research has been used to inform policy change and Rebecca has been quoted in a number of national newspapers and has recently appeared on BBC Newsnight.
Tara Miran is of Kurdish heritage. Her career and research ambitions are shaped by her ambitions for equality, equity & justice. Her background is in sociology, social and cultural research and she is fascinated by people and working towards a fairer world.
She has conducted research in areas such as mothers engaging in physical activity, women and employment and health inequalities. The central theme to her work is inclusion & diversity. In 2021, she was selected as a ‘Global Goals Hero’ by the Global Goals Centre.
More recently, she has co-founded The Green Melon; an award-winning social enterprise promoting community & food justice. Tara currently works in Community Development. She spends her free time involved in local initiatives, representation groups and trustee boards. She highlights that her most important and loved role remains being a mother to her brilliant daughters.
Laura is Associate Professor for Engineering in Society in the School of Engineering and a member of the Science Communication Unit. She explores the social psychology of communications and public engagement, particularly involvement in decision-making for sustainable development with under-served audiences and communities.
Laura leads the Inspire education outreach work for the initiative for Digital Engineering Technology and Innovation, inspiring diverse young people to make a difference through climate education and action. She is the founder of the Women Like Me mentoring scheme for engineers, set up the DETI Diversity Demonstrator for diverse engineering role models, and founder of the primary STEM network Curiosity Connections.
Dr Natasha Bradley, Research Fellow in Realist Evaluation, Centre for Health & Clinical Research
Virtual wards (VWs) rounds deliver multidisciplinary care to people with fluctuating health conditions such as frailty, within their own homes or usual place of residence. The aim can be to prevent hospital admission and to support self-management. Existing evidence showed there were different types of VWs in operation in the UK, and that results appeared inconsistent.
We used realist methods to provide complementary evidence to existing systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials, by shedding light on the different contexts and mechanisms that enable VWs to work effectively.
This project investigated how and why VWs could work for people with frailty. We carried out a type of literature review called a rapid realist review, asking ‘what works for whom, under what circumstances, how and why?’.
First, we aimed to summarise the different types of VWs for people with frailty. Second, we considered how and why VWs might work by exploring interactions between the context, mechanisms, and outcomes. The knowledge gained in this process could then be applied to help VWs work more effectively.
We searched for academic publications and other online sources of information (‘grey lit’) to gather evidence on VWs for frailty in the UK and ROI. In total, 28 documents were included. We began to extract causal insights and bring them together, informed by rapid realist review methods. In this case, we initially worked with ‘if-then-because’ statements and then gradually synthesized into preliminary context-mechanism-outcome configurations.
Patient and public involvement
To assist us in this process, we had input from people who had lived experience of frailty.
We met with public contributors on two occasions: two people on 28th February 2022, and five people on 15th June 2022. In each meeting, we presented what we thought were important aspects of VWs and invited their discussion. The first conversation helped to refine our initial ideas and the second conversation gave feedback on our findings from the literature synthesis. Alongside these meetings, we also met several times with three clinicians who were experts in frailty VWs.
Two main types of frailty Virtual Ward models were identified: longer-term proactive care to prevent a frailty crisis and short-term acute care for those in-crisis, both intended to reduce acute hospital admissions. Current NHS England policy is directed towards short-term VWs, but longer-term VWs may also be beneficial within a whole system approach to frailty.
Minimum requirements for VWs are common standards agreements, information sharing processes, and an appropriate multidisciplinary team that is able to meet regularly. Pertinent mechanisms include the motivation and capability of the different stakeholders to work together, so that VWs can function as a forum for the integration of care and timely multidisciplinary decision-making.
The patient pathway involves their selection into the VW, comprehensive assessment including medication review, integrated case management, and in some cases proactive or anticipatory care. Important components for patients and caregivers are their communication with the VW and their experience of being at home instead of hospital.
We developed evidence-based theories for how and why different parts of frailty VWs may be important for implementation, for the patient pathway, and for patient and caregiver experience. Our review indicates that existing work has overlooked the potential impact of transfers of care on entering and leaving the VW, and the caregiver’s role in the VW intervention.
The rapid realist review is now complete. Our findings help to explain how and why the contexts of the local healthcare system, the VW team, and the patient are influential to the effectiveness of VWs. A manuscript is under preparation for the peer-reviewed journal ‘Age & Aging’ and we will be submitting our evidence to NHS England for their guidance on VWs for people with frailty.
Innovations in service design for people with frailty remains high-profile in 2023. The insights gained from this review could inform implementation or evaluation of VWs for frailty. A combination of acute and longer-term VWs may be required within a whole system approach. We will be submitting our evidence to NHS England, so that it can have an impact on their guidance for VWs.
Strand Leaders: Prof Richard Waller and Malcolm Richards
Members of this inter-disciplinary community share a common interest in researching the inequities that persist in societies through critical enquiry. We engage with our local-global students, teachers, and community, to collaborate on exciting research, knowledge co-production, and impactful outcomes. Members of this inter-disciplinary community share a common interest in researching the inequities that persist in societies through critical enquiry. We engage with our local-global students, teachers, and community, to collaborate on exciting research, knowledge co-production, and impactful outcomes.
Strand Leaders: Dr Benjamin Knight and Mandy Lee
Pedagogy is a broadly interpreted and broadly applied umbrella concept covering many aspects of education and overlapping with a wide range associated educational and social concepts. In the Education and Childhood Research Group (ECRG), the Pedagogy research strand specifies a focus on classroom teaching and learning. The strand has two key elements. The first investigates interpretations of what it means to ‘learn’, what learning looks like, contexts in which it occurs and factors which influence it for individuals and groups. The second element investigates teaching and instruction with a view to developing insights about the most useful ways of organising and configuring teaching in the interest of learning. Research within this strand is predicated on the belief that we have much more to learn about learning and teaching, and that novel insights and new theories are there to be uncovered. Seeking effective and innovative approaches to teaching, appropriate for the 21st century, is a central aim of this research strand.
The Childhood, Children and Young People
Strand Leaders: Dr Sarah Chicken and Dr Tim Clark
This strand focuses on research into children and young people’s experiences, rights, voices, perspectives, and related policy and practice. The strand is underpinned by a construction of children and young people as agentic meaning makers who are experts in their own worlds and there is a privileging of research with, rather than on this often overlooked group. The strand aims to showcase work in this area and provoke critical discussion about research with children.
Sustainability in Education
Strand Leaders: Dr Verity Jones and Dr Tessa Podpadec
Research on sustainable development creates knowledge and influences practices to shape sustainable futures. The strand members’ research incorporates sustainable development questions about diverse local, national and global contexts. For example: how can society approach responsible and ethical consumption? and, What is the role and function of education in this? UWE Bristol recognises the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The core purpose of this research strand is advancing knowledge in economic, social and environmental dimensions to solve sustainability challenges, create opportunities and shape our communities across the region and beyond as set out in the UWE Bristol Strategy 2030.
Group Leader and Associate Professor of Education Policy in Critical Education, Dr Alpesh Maisuria, commented on the group:
“The forerunner to ECRG was BRIDGE, which was hugely successful and delivered excellent REF results. With being appointed successor and alongside the university’s move to Colleges and School structure, I wanted to evolve the Research Group to more closely align with the College. I also wanted to reflect the new staff expertise that had come into School.
The research group was large and I felt would benefit from a Distributed Leadership model, and so I implemented a structure that included Strands of research, each with Co-Leaders to establish the research themes.
It was also important for me that ECRG has a role in developing future research leaders in the School, and strand leadership is an opportunity for colleagues to gain experience in a high profile role to steer our research ambitions and excellence.”
In this book, Phil Cole calls for a radical review of what international protection looks like and who is entitled to it. The book brings together different issues of forced displacement in one place to provide a systematic overview.
It draws attention to groups who are often overlooked when it comes to discussions of international protection, such as the internally displaced, those displaced by climate change, disasters, development infrastructure projects and extreme poverty.
The study draws on extensive case studies, such as border practices by European Union states, the United States and its border with Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Cole places the experiences of displaced people at the centre, and argues that they should be key political agents in determining policy in this area.
The Global Migration Network, a research group at UWE Bristol, brings together academics and practitioners interested in migration-related issues. Their aim is to facilitate and contribute to cross-disciplinary research on migration, inform policy and public debate, and engage with users of migration research.
The College of Business and Law is located in the heart of Frenchay campus in a purpose built, ground-breaking building that is home to collaborative spaces, mock courtrooms, state of the art lecture halls and a Bloomsburg trading room.
The College is home to two schools, Bristol Business School (BBS) and Bristol Law School (BLS).
Bristol Business School
BBS is an innovative community full of diverse experts across business management, marketing, economics and accounting and finance. Its courses are accredited by leading professional bodies, such as Chartered Management Institute to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and support not only Graduate learners but are also leaders of all fields through many Continual Professional Development courses.
As a prominent university research centre for business, management, and employment, BBS are producing applied research with real-world impact. They are shaping the future of organisations through our active research networks in all of our subject areas, Accounting and Finance, Business Management, Economics and Marketing.
BBS has one research centre and six research groups:
The Sustainable Economies Research Group applies inter-disciplinary approaches to the analysis of complex systems to develop solutions and tools that can better bring forth a sustainable economy.
Bristol Law School
Bristol Law School (BLS) has been a leading provider of legal education for over 40 years. They have a diverse and inclusive learning community benefitting from a growing network of alumni, volunteer opportunities stemming from our Business and Law Clinic and invaluable legal work experience.
Bristol Law School is one of the top-rated ‘post 1992’ law departments in the country, scoring consistently high ratings in the official research assessment exercises. This reflects the fact that legal research provides a central focus for the work of the Law School, and that many staff are engaged in research of national and international significance.
They’ve established connections with professional regulatory bodies, plus regional and national law firms, chambers, and businesses. They’ve also built an extensive global network of partners.
Their world-leading researchers collaborate with national and international organisations on Public International Law, Environment Law and Financial Crime. From environmental law to criminal justice, we’re creating solutions to real-world challenges.
The Global Crime, Justice and Security Research Group provides a forum for research activity in the field of financial crime, criminal justice and procedure, serious organised crime and cyber security.
A team led by UWE Bristol has been successfully awarded funding by DARE UK (Data and Analytics Research Environments UK) – a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funded programme – to address a key bottleneck in the creation of a coordinated national data research infrastructure for the UK.
Project title: SACRO: Semi-Automated Checking of Research Outputs
Trusted research environments (TREs) play a vital role in enabling researchers to analyse sensitive data – such as health records – for research in the public benefit.
The Five Safes framework is used to protect data confidentiality, including the assurance of ‘Safe Outputs’. In TREs, outputs are typically checked by two expert staff before they are released, which is a significant expense for TRE operators and can cause a bottleneck for researchers.
Meanwhile, the parallel development of TREs and understanding of disclosure risk has created a need to consolidate theory and practice to minimise inconsistent behaviour between different TREs.
Addressing both of these issues, this project seeks to reduce the operating costs of TREs and the time taken to release research results. It will:
Produce a consolidated framework with a rigorous statistical basis that provides guidance for TREs to agree consistent, standard processes to assist in quality assurance.
Design and implement a semi-automated system for checks on common research outputs, with increasing levels of support for other types of output, such as AI (artificial intelligence).
Work with a range of different types of TRE in different sectors (for example, health and socioeconomic data) and organisations (including academia, government and the private sector) to ensure wide applicability.
Work with members of the public to explore what is needed for public trust that any automation is acting as ‘an extra pair of eyes’ – supporting, not supplanting TRE staff and helping them to make easy decisions more rapidly and therefore focus on more complex or nuanced cases.
SACRO is led by UWE Bristol, in collaboration with the University of Oxford, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Dundee, the University of Aberdeen, Durham University, Research Data Scotland, Public Health Scotland, NHS Scotland and Health Data Research UK. The project pulls together expertise from across the country and across research areas. For more information, please contact Principal Investigator: Jim Smith (email@example.com).
Following a competitive tendering process, staff from the College of Health, Science and Society at UWE Bristol have been awarded a Health Education England (HEE) contract to provide a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Echocardiography (Echocardiography Training Programme, ETP). The ETP first ran as a pilot in 2020 and subsequently two HEIs were commissioned to deliver training. This recent HEE procurement for additional training provision is in response to urgent workforce needs.
The term echocardiography refers to medical imaging of the heart using sound waves, similar to the ultrasound scans performed during pregnancy. The procedure is routinely used to look at structures within the heart and to assess its functionality, for example following a heart attack or diagnosis of heart failure. It is also used to diagnose conditions such as congenital heart disease or heart valve problems. There is a significant shortfall in cardiac physiology staffing currently, combined with a substantial increase in demand, especially for staff trained to deliver echocardiography services. As an accelerated training option for individuals with existing relevant qualifications, the ETP provides a means to grow the workforce rapidly, thus reducing waiting times for diagnostic and follow-up appointments.
Dr Karina Stewart, Associate Head of the School of Applied Sciences (Subject Lead for Healthcare Science), Mr Duncan Sleeman (Senior Lecturer in Cardiac Physiology) and Dr Kathryn Yuill (Senior Lecturer in Physiology) lead on submission of the tender response. Dr Stewart said that they were delighted with the outcome. She added that the Level 7 ETP would be an important addition to the portfolio of healthcare science training currently offered at UWE, which includes a degree apprenticeship (Level 6) Cardiac Physiology Practitioner Training Programme (PTP). The team were successful in a bid for HEE funding to purchase equipment and software for simulation of cardiac ultrasound in 2021. This will be key to the delivery of training to ETP students, which will be through a combination of on-campus block weeks and online teaching.
The Health Education England contract is for three years in the first instance. Delivery of the Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Echocardiography will begin in October 2023.
A research centre situated within the Bristol Business School in the College of Business and Law, they specialise in the infrastructure, engineering, construction, operations and facility management sectors.
Dr Muhammad Bilal, of Big-DEAL is working on a ground-breaking and life saving project to utilise AI to revolutionise Heart surgeries by changing how surgeons review and develop their work, in partnership with Bristol University and Bristol Heart Institute. Find out more about his work below:
Over 2 million cardiac surgical procedures are performed yearly around the world to treat people with heart disease. Heart surgery is a challenging procedure that requires a great deal of skill and ability to work in a highly intense clinical environment. A small error during the operation could result in lifelong complications, if not death.
Surgeons’ technical skills play a crucial role in the success of heart surgery. It is therefore essential that these skills be regularly reviewed to ensure that surgeons continue to operate safely and to reduce post-operative complications and patient harm.
Traditionally, expert surgeons review junior surgeons’ performance by either shadowing their operations or reviewing selected extracts of their operation recordings to produce a report that is saved as part of the trainee surgeon’s portfolio. This process is time-consuming, highly subjective, and does not ensure a comprehensive review of the surgeon’s skills, and technical ability.
Currently the UK has only 400 heart surgeons. The pressure of the role, ever increasing demand and the need to constantly develop and review oneself and others work means burn out rates within this field are high.
What has AI got to do with this?
The project team believe that recent advances in AI present fair and scalable methods for solving this challenge, and are partnering with world-renowned cardiac surgeons to create the advancements in heart surgery so desperately needed.
Using IVA-HEART, the AI and advanced data analytics programme as a personal digital assistant, surgeons can rapidly review surgical recordings to assess technical skills, receive timely feedback and learn about the training needs of surgeons. This solution will help reduce the risk of adverse events and poor patient outcomes as well as train the next generation of cardiac surgeons.
What have we done so far?
Dr Muhammad Bilal has been working with the surgeon partners to develop and learn what would work for surgeons in the field. Looking at how to develop the technology to truly support and enable all surgeons to thrive using the technology. The work has been recognised as critical throughout the industry as well as amongst funders. The project is currently at Technolgy Readiness Level 3 (TRL3), this is a pivotal milestone that allows us to submit for validation for minimally invasive mitral valve repair (adult) and aortic correction (paediatric) surgeries.
Some of our Key achievements and milestones
Presented IVA HEART research idea to BHF Program Grant Funding Panel
Awarded VC challenge fund for IVA HEART to kickstart technical feasibility
Participated in MICCAI Surgical Tools Detection Challenge (UWE TeamZERO Ranked 7th and has been invited for joint publication will be submitted in Feb 2023). They presented their approach at the MICCAI 2022 conference in Singapore.
Submitted the manuscript titled: SegCrop: Segmentation-based Dynamic Cropping of Endoscopic Videos to Address Label Leakage in Surgical Tool Detection to IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (IEEE ISBI 2023), April 18-21, 2023 · Colombia
Submitted the manuscript titled: Harnessing Secure and Robust AI-XR Surgical Metaverses to Revitalize Interventional Care to IEEE International Conference on Metaverse Computing, Networking and Applications (IEEE MetaCom 2023), June 26-28, 2023 · Kyoto, Japan
Awarded QUBUS digital health accelerator award for market discovery (Queens University, UKRI, Innovate UK, and Kainos LLP). The market discovery research has been completed.
Pitched the idea to NHS innovation lead and other venture capitalists and industry leaders during market discovery
Presented and validated the IVA-HEART project by the UK society for cardiothoracic surgeons on 24th October 2022
Presented and validated by the British and Irish Minimally Invasive Conference (BISMICS) community.
The project is currently at TRL3. The team are planning to validate it for minimally invasive mitral valve repair (adult) and aortic correction (paediatric) surgeries. This will allow them to develop the proof of concept and machine learning capability before moving onto application development.
If you would like to find out more please contact Dr Muhammad Bilal or his team. You can find the links to their UWE profiles below