Skip to content

Research Seminar 3 May 2017, 13.00-14.00, ED.2.01 Title: Using fictional storybooks to develop questioning a scientific problem and working scientifically

Cass School of Education and Communities

Research Seminar

3 May 2017, 13.00-14.00, ED.2.01

 Title: Using fictional storybooks to develop questioning a scientific problem and working scientifically

Seminar speaker: Catherine Bruguiere, Lecturer, Lyon University and Marie Curie Fellowship at UCL

Catherine Bruguiere : Lecturer at Lyon University, France and currently Marie-Sklodowska Curie fellow at UCL, U-K (February 2016-July 2017) with Sue Dale Tunnicliffe as supervisor. Researcher in biology education and teacher in training primary teachers since 15 years at Lyon University.

Abstract : While many researchers have pointed out the benefits of using children’s literature in the science classroom, other researchers express concern about the use of storybooks in the science classroom because these tales are often anthropomorphic or disseminate misunderstandings of scientific concepts. But in the context of an increasing impact of fictional storybooks on children’s representation or interpretation of the world, it seems essential to understand to what extend such literature could offer a way to develop scientific skills among the young pupils. We defend the position that there might be a productive convergence between the reading of certain fictional narratives and the construction by learners of a scientific problem.

In this talk we will present different fictional storybooks, that we called ‘realistic fiction’ because their narrative places, at the core of the plot, scientific topics. We consider three questions: Why learn science with picture books in primary school? What sort of learning potentials are offered by ‘realistic fiction’ books? How could teachers use realistic fiction in the science classroom? Our presentation will be based on different examples of ‘realistic fiction’ picture books and will report on the results of studies we carried out in French and English primary schools (from 4 to 11 years).

Bruguière, C., & Triquet, E. (2014). ‘Realistic-Fiction Storybooks’ as a Resource for Problematic Questioning of Living Being with Pupils in Primary School. In C. Bruguiere, A. Tiberghien et P. Clément (Eds), Topics and trends in current science education. 9th ESERA Conference Selected Contributions. Contributions from Science Education Research, 1 (pp.505-518). New-York : Springer.

Bruguiere, C. (2015).  When is a cow not a cow? When 6-8 year children draw a cow described in a story by another animal. JES, 23-33.


If you would like to reserve a place then please email

Second GCRF Collective Fund call will be launched in late summer 2017

Research Councils UK are pleased to announce that a second GCRF Collective Fund call will be launched in late summer 2017. This call will establish a cohort of large-scale Global Challenges Interdisciplinary Research Hubs, which will be expected to deliver integrated and innovative international research programmes meeting the aims of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

These flagship GCRF investments will bring together UK researchers and researchers from DAC list countries to work in collaboration to more effectively understand and address key development challenges both across and between the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Due to the complex nature of these development challenges, Hubs will be expected to incorporate new collaborations and partnerships in order to redefine how we approach development challenges in innovative, transformative and inter-disciplinary ways.

The purpose of this pre-announcement is to allow potential applicants to begin the process of identifying appropriate collaborators and project partners with a view to assembling interdisciplinary teams. A full call document will be released in due course outlining further details and how to apply.

There will be a multi-stage application process; any Research Organisation on the RCUK IRO list will be eligible to apply as PI to the call; additional eligibility will be outlined in the call documentation when the call is formally open for applications. Overseas research organisations are not eligible to apply as the lead organisation to the call, but will be expected to play a very significant role in the development of and leadership within the Hubs.

OECD CRP Research Fellowships and Conference Sponsorship

Application Deadline Announced for OECD CRP Research Fellowships and Conference Sponsorship

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation founded to stimulate world trade and economic progress. With 34 member countries, the OECD provides a platform for the co-ordination of policy, the identification of good practice, and to seek answers to shared problems.

OECD’s Trade and Agriculture Directorate, through its Co-operative Research Programme (CRP), provides a number of funding streams designed to strengthen scientific knowledge, and provide relevant scientific information and advice, the better to inform future policy decisions related to the sustainable use of natural resources in the areas of food, agriculture, forests and fisheries.

CRP Research Fellowships allow research scientists working in agriculture, forestry or fisheries, to conduct research projects in another member country of the Co-operative Research Programme. The fellowships are intended to strengthen the international exchange of ideas and increase international mobility and co-operation among scientists.

The CRP Conference Sponsorship programme invites research scientists working in agriculture, forestry or fisheries to apply for funding towards a conference, workshop, symposium or equivalent, to take place in a CRP member country.

Consideration for support is given to scientific meetings of various sizes and structures ranging from small, focused workshops to larger conferences or congresses, provided they are relevant to the CRP objectives. Whilst smaller, focused meetings are preferred, the CRP does on occasion provide sponsorship for larger meetings. In such cases, the proposal must relate to a special, focused session or symposium within a larger event. Focused one-time meetings are strongly favoured over meetings that take place on a regular basis.

Applications for both fellowships and conferences should relate to one of the following research themes:

  • Managing Natural Capital for the Future
  • Managing Risks in a Connected World
  • Transformational Technologies and Innovation

Applications are accepted from scientists working in agriculture, forestry or fisheries. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of a country that currently participates in the CRP. Countries participating in the CRP are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

Fellowship awards consist of travel costs (return economy class air ticket), a weekly subsistence allowance of €600 to €650 per week and a lump sum allowance of €165 to cover transportation costs incurred in the taking and leaving of duties at the host laboratory. Fellowships may last for between six and 26 weeks.

Conference sponsorships will provide a travel lump sum for up to 15 invited speakers from OECD participating Member Countries, as well as for a relevant CRP Scientific Advisory Body (SAB) member, and a contribution of €3,050 towards the publication of the proceedings of the event.

The application deadline for both initiatives is midnight (CET), 10 September 2017.

Online application forms will be available in May 2017; until then, PDF examples of the forms are available in order to assist with the preparation of proposals.

Virtual reality in medical learning – research seminar 3 May

Cass School of Education and Communities

Research Seminar

3 May 2017, 12.00-13.00, ED.2.01

 Title: Competency based assessment in Radiotherapy using Virtual Reality (VERT).

 Seminar speaker: Dr. David Flinton, School of Health Sciences, City University of London


The education of the radiography profession is based within higher education establishments, yet a critical part of all radiography programmes is the clinical component where students learn the practical skills of the profession. Assessments therefore not only have to assess a student’s knowledge, but also their clinical competence and core skills.

This study examined the possibility of using the Virtual Environment for RadioTherapy (VERT) as an assessment tool to evaluate a student’s competence so giving the advantage of a standard assessment and relieving time pressures in the clinical department.

A mixed methods approach was taken, the quantitative aspect utilised a cross over design directly compared two identical electron simulations; one in the virtual reality environment and the other on a real therapy unit. This was followed by student focus groups to explore their perspective of the simulations in more depth.

Findings indicated that the performance between the two simulators was significantly different, p < 0∙001; the virtual simulation scoring significantly lower than the hospital based simulation overall and in virtually all parameters being assessed. Thematic analysis of the qualitative data supported this finding and identified 4 main themes; equipment use, a lack of reality, learning opportunities and assessment of competence.



David is a therapeutic radiographer who joined City University London in 1995. He previously worked clinically at The Hammersmith Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London before moving to Charterhouse College of Radiography in 1991.
David initially studied radiography at The Middlesex Hospital in 1993. On completing his DCR he worked clinically as a radiographer being promoted to Senior I level. Whilst clinical he completed 2 modules of the HDCR before undertaking a degree in Radiography at South Bank University. At around the same time as completion of the degree he moved to Charterhouse College where he continued to study, undertaking an MSc in Health Sciences at the University of Westminster concurrently with a PGCE at the University of Greenwich. He undertook his doctoral studies at the University of East London looking at the use of virtual reality as a tool for assessment. His main area of lecturing work is on radiotherapy physics and equipment at the undergraduate level, although he also teaches radiobiology and research methods.

If you are interested in booking a place then please email

Bupa UK Foundation’s Healthy Futures funding programme – deadline Friday 19 May 2017

Bupa UK Foundation’s Healthy Futures funding programme focuses on young adults aged 18 to 25. Bupa is specifically interested in projects that will have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of young adults who face ongoing health challenges, supporting and empowering them to live life to the full.

Young adults are particularly vulnerable as they leave secondary education and move towards becoming independent. For those living with health concerns this period can be even more challenging. Poor transitions, changing support networks and gaps in provision, along with new responsibilities all have the potential to lead to poorer outcomes and experiences.

Through this funding programme Bupa are looking to fund practical projects designed to engage and support people directly.

Projects should clearly fits the following criteria:
• Supports young people aged 18 to 25 who face ongoing health challenges
• Focuses on addressing, supporting or improving health or wellbeing
• Provides evidence of the specific needs that the project aims to address
• Explains how those who will benefit from the project will be reached and engaged
• Includes details of how the health outcomes and impact of the project will be measured

The Bupa UK Foundation funds projects and initiatives that make a direct impact on people’s health and wellbeing in the UK. In deciding which projects to fund they focus particularly on the difference a project is likely to make to people’s health and wellbeing and how this will be evidenced, using simple and realistic measures. Bupa also considers who will benefit from the work being proposed and how they will be engaged.

Within this funding programme Bupa expects to award around 12 to 15 grants and aims to support a wide range of initiatives delivered by different organisations across the UK. The majority of grants awarded by the Bupa UK Foundation are for £20,000 or under. A small number of grants have been awarded within the £20,000 to £50,000 range, and occasionally grants of over £50,000 are awarded.

Your application should relate to a specific project, not ‘business as usual’ or core costs. Successful grant recipients will receive an additional 15% on top of grant funding awarded as a contribution towards core costs.

Only one application will be considered per organisation.

Applications must be submitted online through the Bupa UK Foundation’s online grant management system.

For further information and to apply, visit:, or contact 0207 656 2738, or email:

Deadline: Friday 19 May 2017