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Research areas

Patients work out at our health research clinic

The Research & Knowledge Exchange Office lead on research support across the University in terms of bid applications, costings and a wide range of researcher developer training.

Find out more below about our current research areas, including our Research and Knowledge Exchange groups. 

Marjon currently has four established institution wide interdisciplinary Research & Knowledge Exchange Groups (RKEG). These groups have been developed to ensure sustainable growth in RKE, offer coherence in focus and encouragement for collaboration, and to contribute to an inclusive and supportive research culture. 

Each RKEG is lead by a convenor and supported by co-convenor(s). Further details on each of the groups can be found below, along with contact details if you are interested in joining a group. We encourage all staff with a focus on research and knowledge exchange to join and participate within a RKEG. 

Building Knowledge Together

Scroll down to download our:

  • Research & Knowledge Exchange Strategy 2020-25
  • Research and Knowledge Exchange Annual Report 2020-2021 (includes the Annual Research Integrity Statement).

SCION: Sustainability, Creativity and Innovation

SCION means ‘a young shoot or twig of a plant, especially one cut for grafting or rooting’, a metaphor well suited for this inter-disciplinary research and knowledge exchange group with creative arts and social sciences at its core. SCION brings together diverse disciplinary experts with community and business partners to share knowledge and solve problems related to sustainability in its widest sense. It includes a mix of experienced researchers, practitioners, early career researchers and PhD students. Our work links to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which align closely to the subject specialities and institutional values of Plymouth Marjon University.

We explore a wide range of topics - bringing together theories of communication, education, behaviour change and performance with big sustainability issues including climate change, community development and social responsibility. Underpinning our activities is a collaborative, creative, and playful approach to work which opens up imaginative possibilities for problem-solving. If you’re a community group that would like to work with academic researchers, a PhD student keen to study with us, or an academic interested in collaboration, please get in touch by email at Research@marjon.ac.uk or Twitter @MarjonSCION

Key themes explored by SCION:

  • Communication and behaviour change
  • Outdoor learning and sustainability education
  • Local democracy and community action
  • Innovation in business and enterprise
  • Creative arts and performance
  • Environmental, social and economic sustainability

 

SCION Convenor: Professor Debby Cotton

SCION Co-convenor: Dr Greg Borne

SCION Co-convenor (ECR): Dr Natalie Raven

Lifelong Health and Wellbeing

The foundations of the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHWB) Research and Knowledge Exchange Group lie in several areas, including Marjon’s strong track record in sport and physical activity research, our clinics, and the evaluation of Marjon’s unique health and wellbeing model, our strong partnership working and collaborative research. Our approach is inclusive, and LLHWB members include postgraduate research students, professional support staff and academics from all disciplines relevant to health and wellbeing throughout the life course. External partners and collaborators are actively welcomed as LLHWB group members.

LLHWB focuses on applied health research and involving patients, service users, carers and other ‘end users’ of our work is a key priority to ensure our research is relevant and acceptable to participants. We aim to undertake collaborative research into the clinical and behavioural responses needed to enable health and wellbeing for all in the post-COVID world, taking account of emerging new trends in health and care.

Examples of current LLHWB Research:

  • Health related sport and physical activity
  • Evaluation of health promoting lifestyle interventions
  • Promoting adherence & sustainability of wellbeing behaviours
  • Patient safety during care transitions
  • Digital wellbeing interventions
  • Policy & guideline research

Our approach emphasises multidisciplinarity, both inside the University and in our relationships with external stakeholders. The future of healthcare relies on different disciplines working effectively together and that must be the same in research.

We are broadening our scope, building our reputation, and enhancing our funding opportunities through working in collaboration with research active universities. Our health and care service collaborators, locally and further afield, are also crucial to our research success and we work in partnership with them to evaluate and develop the evidence base underpinning health and care interventions. Marjon LLHWB Research and Knowledge Exchange Group is increasingly the partner of choice for service-led evaluations, which play a key role in developing local health and care services.

 

LLHWB Convenor: Professor Pam Dawson

LLHWB Co-convenor: Professor Saul Bloxham

  

CAPE: Context, Agency, Place & Education

The Context Agency Place and Education – CAPE -  Research and Knowledge Exchange Group is grounded in Plymouth Marjon University’s coastal-rural and coastal-urban place, positioning its focus firmly on context and the way this relates to agency in both formal and informal education settings.

Two coherent themes frame our research and knowledge exchange (RKE) portfolio in CAPE:

  1. Pedagogy and Innovation – this theme applies to the education of children, young people and adults, with a particular focus on promoting and developing innovative approaches to learning. Examples of existing RKE within this theme include outdoor learning, inclusive practice and maths and oracy curriculum development.
  2. Professional Learning and Educational Organisational Development – this theme focuses on informing both transformative practice and policy reform, spanning formal and informal settings, including Youth Work, schools and higher education. Examples of existing RKE within this them include transformative evaluation in Youth Work, conceptualising Educational Isolation to understand place and educational inequity and professional learning for early career teacher retention.

 

The two themes cohere around an emphasis on professional practice in the UK and internationally and support us achieving impact by developing context-rich professional networks and research active partnerships.

CAPE is committed to a the following practices:

  • An inclusive and collaborative research culture focused on professional practice;
  • Building capacity for research and scholarly work that has impact or benefit to/for education;
  • Focused and interdisciplinary research at local, regional, national and international levels;

CAPE capitalises on expertise and understanding across the broad membership of the group, which includes academics, practitioner researchers, postgraduate research students and expert education professionals. We have a flourishing Teacher Education Partnership that is a key element of CAPE. We also have Visiting Professors in Education of international standing in their areas who contribute significantly to the developmental activities e.g. seminars, lectures, mentoring etc. of CAPE. The education experience that supports CAPE is significant and allows us to offer PhD supervision across the themes of the group.

We welcome approaches from any educational organisations, bodies or individuals that would like to discuss working with academic researchers that understand and have experience in both formal and informal education contexts. Please contact us by email either at research@marjon.ac.uk or via the CAPE Director. You can also get in touch through twitter @CAPE_Marjon We would love to hear from you and work together to make a difference in and for education.

Find out more below about some CAPE research and knowledge exchange projects:

Coastal Schools

Educational Isolation: A challenge for schools in England

The impact of Youth Work in Europe

Transformative Youth Work 2018: Developing and Communicating Impact

Maths for the Millions

Plymouth Oracy Project

ECF Book Launch Panel Discussion

 

CAPE Director: Professor (Dr) Tanya Ovenden-Hope PFHEA, FSET, MCCT

CAPE Co-convenor: Dr Jon Ord

CAPE Co-convenor (ECR): Lee Ballard

Resilience and Human Performance

The Resilience and Human Performance group address research themes pertaining to resilience and performance in occupational and sport settings and covers themes such as the acute and chronic physical and mental strain, interventions to enhance resilience and human performance and exploration of social and cultural contexts that impact on policy and practice. 

Plymouth Marjon University is home to our Sports Science Lab, Sport & Health Clinic along with a range of laboratories for Speech, Voice, Psychology and the Neurocognition of Language.

Areas of research within our Rehabilitation & Performance cluster focuses on

  • Occupational performance e.g. effect of heat on human physiology
  • Sports and exercise performance e.g. psyching team, sports science support
  • speech and language science and disorders
  • musculoskeletal biomechanics, e.g. nerve movement analysis
  • the optimization of sports and human performance e.g. football biomechanics
  • Injury/illness prevention and rehabilitation in people with various disorders.  e.g. rehabilitation for back pain and sciatica, failed back surgery syndrome.

We are conducting high quality research with great impact, building our reputation, and enhancing our funding opportunities through collaboration with universities in UK and overseas, Institute of Naval Medicine, local running and health clubs etc.

 

RHP Convenor: Professor Gary Shum

RHP Co-convenor: Dr Joe Layden

More info

CAPE Masterclass recording - 16 March 2022

Full event recording 16 March 2022

Masterclass in Professional Learning with Marjon Visiting Professors.  

Speakers: Visiting Professors in Education at Plymouth Marjon University and Member of Context Agency Place and Education Research and Knowledge Exchange Group (CAPE): 

Professor Gerry Czerniawski, University of East London 

Philippa Cordingley, CUREE (Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education) 

Professor Stephen Gorard, Durham University 

Professor Linda La Velle, Bath Spa University 

Professor Rachel Lofthouse, Leeds Beckett University 

 

In all sectors of education we recognise the importance of professional development and learning in order to maintain and enhance our skills, knowledge and understanding. The Visiting Professors will be sharing insights from their expert areas to support professional learning.  

 

Sessions 

1000: Welcome - Professor Rob Warner, Vice Chancellor and Professor Tanya Ovenden-Hope 

1010 - 1110: Professor Rachel Lofthouse, Professor of Teacher Education, Leeds Becket University. ‘Postcards from the chalkface. How coaching can transform professional lives.’ 

During this interactive session Rachel Lofthouse will reflect on experiences of coaching through a series of postcards from teachers and school leaders. These short narratives will offer us opportunities for learning from our own and others’ practices, and from research evidence. We will reflect on how coaching has the potential to engage shape professional practices and lives. 

1130 - 1230: Prof Gerry Czerniawski, Professor of Education, University of East London. ‘Top Tips for Early Career Researchers’ 

It’s not easy being an Early Career Researcher! Establishing your professional identity, developing your independence as a researcher, teaching, competing for grants, coping with increasing levels of administration and – oh yes –developing your ‘output’ – that dreadful word so often used to describe the writing born of your research. A word that denies the creative and emotional endeavour that writing entails. In his session, Gerry Czerniawski talks through some ideas that colleagues might find useful when developing the early stages of their careers.  

1300 - 1400: Philippa Cordingley, Chief Executive CUREE. ‘Professional learning, school leadership and curriculum development; making a whole bigger than the sum of the parts’ 

During this interactive session colleagues will explore the implications of findings for a map of evidence form systematic reviews about effective Continuing Professional Development and Learning (CPDL)and its leadership. We will take two case studies of schools and consider how the main findings from the map of reviews might help leaders in those schools significantly enhance the professional learning environment and processes in those schools and then consider the implications of the results for their own context. 

1420 - 1520: Professor Linda la Velle, Professor of Education, Bath Spa University and Executive Editor of the Journal of Education for Teaching. ‘Getting Published in an Academic Journal’.  

In this seminar, you will get some insider tips about overcoming the various hurdles and gatekeepers to get your research published in an international journal. We will explore the why, what and how questions of publication and have a go at some ways of disseminating your findings to maximise impact. 

1530 - 1630: Professor Stephen Gorard, Durham University. ' How can we judge the trustworthiness of research?' 

Whether you are a user of research or an early career researcher (or both), it is important to learn early on that not all research is as trustworthy as the rest. Based on lessons learnt from conducting many structured reviews of bodies of evidence, this session invites a discussion of how all of us can judge the relative quality of evidence, how the context matters, and how research is best presented to make appropriate use as easy as possible. 

Watch now

Student As Researcher Scheme

Marjon Student Researchers provides opportunities for students to work as paid research assistants on a variety of discipline and pedagogic research and knowledge exchange projects across all Schools and in collaboration with professional services.  

The student as researcher roles will be of value to students considering postgraduate study and/or working in a research field or in academia.  Participating students develop and enhance a range of transferable skills which will benefit them in their post-University careers for instance working independently and in a team, time management and planning, and digital literacy.  Students are paid above the living wage and benefit from relevant paid employment for a fixed time.

The Marjon Evaluation and Impact Centre (MEIC), established in 2022, will play a central role in supporting the Marjon Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy 2020-2025 by:

  • facilitating the integration, sharing and development of effective evaluation and impact activities
  • supporting capacity building and the upholding of the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of evaluation
  • strengthening our collaborative work internally and externally
  • adding value and expanding the university's evaluation and impact work.


MEIC Senior Research Fellow & coordinator - Elpida Achtaridou 
MEIC Research Fellow - Mauro Fornasiero
MEIC Postdoctoral Researcher - Ian Blackwell 

Asthma Research

Find out more information about the Asthma research being undertaken at Marjon.

 

Asthma research