The winner and runners up for BU’s Research Photography Competition 2015 have been chosen. The competition was set up to promote the variety of research that postgraduate students and staff at BU collaborate on. Contenders were asked to submit a photo that presents a summary of their research. There were 47 entries.

The winner is Sarah Hambridge, whose photo shows a farm in the Dorset countryside where farming practices have been used to give people health, social and educational care services.

Rosa Spencer-Tansley, whose photo captures 100 BU students’ answer to the question ‘What causes mental illness?’ to support her research on Psychiatric Genetic Counselling, has been named runner-up.

In third place is Dr Sulaf Assi, Associate Lecturer in Forensic Sciences, Stephanie Farrat, Jordan Thomas and Robert Moore, whose photo shows their research on developing methods to help identify counterfeit lifestyle products.

“A great opportunity to promote research”

Upon winning the competition, Sarah said: “I was extremely pleased to learn I’d won. The competition gave me a great opportunity to promote my PHD research, and all the entries were of a high standard.”

Sarah’s research explores the benefits of the care farm model as alternative social care intervention. She hopes this will show it can improve the physical and mental health and the quality of life of young males with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, as well as older men with dementia. She’s also exploring the benefits of intergenerational interaction between these two groups. Sarah comments:

Historically, much of the awareness and research regarding mental health issues has focused predominantly on females, whilst males with mental health concerns have faced an element of negativity from society, despite being at higher risk of depression and loneliness, alcohol dependency, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and suicide.

Rosa is exploring peoples’ understanding of what causes mental illness in order to evaluate the application of Psychiatric Genetic Counselling to the UK.

She said: “It’s been exciting to research this topic, and to share my photo. My hope is for it to get people talking about mental health, and to address the stigma surrounding it.”

“A major function of the counselling is to help affected individuals and families,” adds Rosa. “This can help them adapt to the condition as well as address and reduce feelings of shame, guilt, blame and stigma, having both informative and therapeutic values.”

Speaking about her research on counterfeit lifestyle products, Dr Assi said: “Counterfeiting is a global issue. I’m happy my students were involved in addressing and tackling this.

“Using counterfeit lifestyle products could result in anything from ineffectiveness to toxic and lethal effects,” adds Dr Assi. “As these products can be found anywhere, it’s important to develop rapid, non-destructive and mobile technology to identify them.”

Get a new perspective on BU research

You can view all of the entries in a special exhibition in room K101 Kimmeridge House on Talbot Campus today (Tuesday 28 April 2015). All the photos will be on show to students and staff between 2pm and 4pm, following the prize-giving ceremony.

If you can’t make it to Kimmeridge House, you can see all of the photos online, and there are plans to showcase the images elsewhere on Talbot Campus later in the year.