Grant application · Group work · Haptics

Recently submitted a project proposal to this year’s Forte junior research grant!

Tordmule

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about the spring of opportunities, which basically contained lists of possible research grant and job opportunities that were open or should open during the spring term. Just before lunch today, I submitted the first of my planned project proposals! This one went to Forte and their grants for junior researchers.

The proposed project relates to work that I performed while I was still working at KTH as a Ph.D. student and the content was also inspired by the application that I sent to VR last year (see this blog post). The project is based on the fact that today’s assistive technologies that visually impaired pupils use in the classroom are not really designed for collaborative situations – the technology could sometimes be a hindrance when doing group work with sighted peers. Our hope is that the planned activities will really shed light on the problems this is causing and show how one can make use of modern technology, based on haptic and audio feedback, to find ways ahead. I have already done a few studies in this area which you e.g. can read about in this article (note that this is a pre-print version). I will write more about this when I get an answer from Forte about the draft later on in April.

My co-applicant is Eva-Lotta Sallnäs Pysander from KTH, who was also my main supervisor there. If we get the grant, we will hopefully be able to add a Ph.D. student to the research team as well.

I must say that it’s nice to have this proposal submitted. I really believe in the ideas in it and I also think that the project could make a real difference. Since I’m generally very interested in multimodal interaction and learning, this is also one of the areas I really want to focus on in my research in the future. The other area is eHealth and as I have written before there are quite a few funding opportunities in that area as well during this spring. But right now I’m just enjoying that I have one application out there, just as the razorbill in the image above probably enjoys sitting on a cliff looking out over the ocean…

 

eHealth · Grant application · Multimodality

Looking forward to a spring of opportunities!

Spring_2018

This will be a very special year for me, since my postdoc period at Uppsala University will end in September and I currently have no idea what will happen after that. I may be able to find a way to continue my work in Uppsala, but that is far from given. But, as the heading of this post suggests (as well as my picture), there are a bunch of possibilities up ahead. I now have several project ideas and the same goes for my current colleagues at Uppsala University and my former colleagues at KTH. On top of this, there are two interesting assistant professorship and three associate professorship jobs to apply for!

When it comes to open positions, all I have found are in the area of healthcare/eHealth (two of these, from Uppsala University, are technically about information systems in general, but can easily be angled towards health systems). One of the open positions belong to KTH, two to Uppsala University and two to Örebro University. I will write more about these when I have applied for the respective positions. The downside here is that I will probably not be able to work with multimodal interaction if given one of these positions, but on the other hand eHealth is an area that I am really interested in.

Even though it would be great to get a semi-secure assistant professorship, getting research projects would be even more interesting since these often run for four years (same duration as a regular assistant professorship). Research projects which you define yourself, in collaboration with colleagues, are probably also even more in line with your main interests. The current plan is that I will be the main applicant on one project application to Forte (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare) and co-applicant in one project application to the VR (Swedish Research Council), one project application to Vinnova (the challenge driven innovation call) and two project applications to AFA Försäkringar (AFA Insurance). On top of that I will also be co-applicant on a research program application to Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and one grant application for Interdisciplinary Research Environments to VR. Four of the applications concern collaboration in multimodal environments and three concern eHealth systems. The ideal result here would be to get one project/program in each research area, since that would make it possible for me to continue working with my two favorite topics. One can always hope…

If given the choice I would pick the research program and the interdisciplinary research environment. By the way, fantastic things happen in the world of research applications from time to time – during autumn 2016 the researcher in charge of our HTO group at Uppsala University, Åsa Cajander, got three project grants during one week! One side effect was that our research group moved to a larger office area to make room for new collaborators. If we get that lucky this time around I guess they might have to build a new house for us… 😉

communication · design · DOME · eHealth · EIT · EIT Health · Grant application · Human-Computer Interaction · Medical Records Online · National patient survey · Social media in higher education

Looking back at 2017!

Färjeläget

A new year has just begun and before I start blogging about current activities, I will take this opportunity to look back at some of the important things that happened last year. If you have been following this blog regularly, you have probably already read about the last summer’s adventures at the ACM SIGCHI/EIT Health summer school in a number of different posts so I will not get into any detail about that school here. If you want to read about what went on during this eHealth/mHealth design summer school you should read this post and all the posts it links to. The same goes for the very successful DOME session about patient accessible electronic health records at Vitalis, which I describe here.  As in all other of my meta-posts, I have chosen one of the nature pictures I took myself during the year.

Selected research activities

There was quite a lot of research going on last year. The research activities related to all of my focus areas eHealth, multimodal communication and social media in higher education courses. Naturally, most of my activities were connected to eHealth. Primarily, I continued working with the national patient survey on patient accessible electronic health records in Sweden (introduced here) and the interview/observation/survey study with physicians and nurses (introduced here). Last year’s work with the national patient survey resulted in four submitted manuscripts (to one journal and two conferences) and there is a lot more we can do with that study! It became especially interesting when we started comparing responses from different disease groups during the end of 2017. I will tell you more about these results later on when we have some publications. In the other study we conducted several interviews with physicians, about the effects of patients accessible electronic health records on their work environment, during the autumn. Most of the surveys have also been handed in. I will not discuss the results before they get published but I can tell you that both the qualitative and quantitative data gathered this far show that this study was very much needed! During the autumn I also started to, with my DOME consortium colleague Gunilla Myreteg, follow the implementation of psychiatry records online in Region Uppsala. I will write more about that in later posts.

I also started on another track related to eHealth – how we can make use of data from different sources for better diagnoses and treatment of cancer. This topic is also connected to big data and happens to be one of the themes covered in the 2018 version of Uppsala Health Summit. I am one of the organizers behind a workshop there and I also submitted a workshop proposal to a conference on the same theme. It remains to be seen if this will become one of my main research focuses in the future. It’s definitely and interesting and very important topic.

My work on multimodal mediated communication during 2017 focused primarily on revising a journal manuscript (presenting a study I was a part of during my last year at KTH) and submitting two posters to the Swedish Cognitive Science Society conference which was held in Uppsala in October. The accepted submissions are more thoroughly presented here and here.

Teaching

During autumn I was, together with Mohammad Obaid, responsible for a master level introductory course in Human-Computer Interaction. I really enjoyed that and I think the changes made to the course before it started really made a positive difference. One of the new parts we introduced to the course was a very appreciated creative prototyping session which I describe here. The students presented their final results in the middle of December and those results were very good. I describe the final presentation sessions here and the four finalists (which will compete for the winning team award) in these four blog posts:

  1. HCI course finalist 1: enhancing and simplifying the biking experience through augmented reality!
  2. HCI course finalist 2: utilizing haptic feedback for alerts and navigation cues!
  3. HCI course finalist 3: a solution for finding bikes to rent at your destination!
  4. HCI course finalist 4: a device presenting real-time and easily read navigational cues!

My research on the use of social media in higher education courses was also combined with my teaching in this course. The focus of that research is a teacher administrated Facebook-group which has been used as a complementary communication channel during the course. I explain the basic idea here.

Some other activities

Other activities worth bringing up here are my participation in the EIT Health Alumni Connect and the INNOVEIT events in Budapest in October. It was a great experience being there and my blog posts about Connect and INNOVEIT as well as those about the summer school also resulted in me being asked if I wanted to work with the EIT Health Alumni communication manager! Of course I accepted, but it remains to be seen exactly how that work should be carried out and what the tasks will be.

In November, I also took part in the first meeting as a representative in the eHealth council at the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden. I wrote about some of my experiences from that meeting here. I think many interesting collaborations can be found here!

In April I also submitted my first ever VR (the Swedish Research Council) application, which focused on support for collaboration between sighted and deafblind pupils in school. I wrote about that here. Unfortunately, we did not get a grant this time, but we got a “Very good” ranking on all criteria related to the content and feasibility so we will definitely move on with our ideas!

DOME · eHealth · Grant application · Medical Records Online · National patient survey

Looking back at first part of 2017

Uggla

Since we are now approaching Easter, I will take a look back at the quite busy first quarter of this year. I really don’t have a good summary picture, so I will go with a tawny owl (kattuggla) instead, which I photographed at my countryside last Easter (a couple has been occupying that hole for years).  🙂

Leading large research studies in eHealth

Quite a lot of my time has been devoted to working with (and leading) the two large eHealth studies I introduced here and here. At the end of January the ethical application for the observation/interview/survey study at Uppsala University hospital was sent in and a couple of weeks ago it was finally approved. I’m currently recruiting participants for the observation and interview activities, described here. In parallel I have been working, together with colleagues from several Swedish universities, on analyzing the results from the national patient survey and drafting a first publication about the study. We are still writing, but the current plan is to submit a journal manuscript before May is over.

Writing research grant applications

This is the first year that I have been working very actively with research grant applications and I must say I have really enjoyed it! For one of the applications, to the Swedish Research Council, I was the main applicant. I wrote most of the text and also assembled a group of researchers from four Swedish Universities who I thought would complement each other perfectly in carrying out the planned project. You can read more about this particular application here. I really learned a lot from this experience, so I definitely think I have gained something from this application process even if our proposed project is not funded. And if it is not – I will just assemble the team once again and give it another try!

The other application I have been working on is an EU grant application aiming at developing a kind of health coach to be used both in Sweden and Uganda – thus this application is within the eHealth area. The grant writing process was led by Meena Daivadanam from Uppsala University/Karolinska Institutet who is also the main applicant. Åsa Cajander and I will play key roles in the “technical component”, since we are the only IT people among the co-applicants. Apart from Sweden, researchers from Finland, Belgium, Uganda and Australia. The application was submitted two days ago – let’s see if we get lucky!  🙂

Conferences

In the middle of March we had a traditional DOME consortium conference, this time in Skövde. I really enjoyed going there to meet all people that I work with in my studies in real life (normally we have regular Skype meetings, but that is not the same thing of course). It was also especially interesting to meet Bridget Kane again – the newest addition to the DOME consortium. We had referenced each other’s studies on multidisciplinary medical team meetings (this article is an example) quite a few times before we met at a conference at the end of last year! More can be read about the DOME conference in this blog post.

During these days I’m also preparing a presentation which Hanife Rexhepi and I will have at Vitalis, April 26. We are going to present preliminary findings from the national patient survey! I’m really looking forward to going to that conference and presenting with Hanife!

Apart from going to conferences I have also been working with conference papers. In a blog post from last year I wrote about a workshop where I participated as a patient. All participants eventually gathered again to write a paper about the workshop, but we recently got notified that the first attempt was unsuccessful. We will now try another conference, after taking the reviewer comments on the first version into account. I really like the fact that workshop participants actually forms a kind of research group and stay in contact, writing papers and so on! In parallel, I’m also writing on another conference paper about medical health records from the nurse’s perspective. And if that wasn’t enough I’m also writing on a full paper, about experiences from a recently held HCI course, for a pedagogical Conference.

Pedagogical courses

I have already written blog posts about a course on supervising oral presentations and a course on activating students, which I took during March. They required a lot of effort and time, but I really learned a lot from them. I’m currently also taking a pedagogical course on grading criteria, examination and feedback, which I will write more about after the last course day.

Teaching

Apart from research, I have also done some teaching in a basic course in human-computer interaction. Specifically, I have been responsible for reading seminars. I also managed to squeeze in a guest lecture on design of advanced medical information systems and analysis Tools.

Ok, I think that was all. The first part of the spring term has been great and now I’m really looking forward to the second half – the part of spring where we will conduct our large eHealth study at Uppsala University hospital!!

 

Happy Easter!

 

deafblindness · Grant application · Haptics · sonification

Recently submitted my first ever research grant application!

One thing I have not mentioned in this blog before is that I’m one of the researchers behind the newly started network “Nordic Network on ICT and Disability”. This network gathers researchers from universities in Sweden and Denmark, focusing specifically on technology support for people with deafblindness. The reason why I’m a part of the network is primarily that I have developed some multimodal interfaces (based on haptic and audio feedback) for collaboration between sighted and visually impaired pupils in primary school (you can read this article and this conference proceeding for a summary of that work).

I have been thinking about writing a research grant proposal with a group of researchers belonging to the above mentioned network, ever since I joined it. And this year it finally happened! 😀  During a grant club in the middle of March, where several researchers from my division at Uppsala University gathered to write research grant proposals for a day, I ended up with a draft which felt close enough (read more about the very well organized grant club here). The draft was used as basis for discussion in a Skype-meeting with some other members of the network, after which we finally ended up with a research plan everyone felt comfortable with. It was submitted to the Swedish Research Council. I wrote most of the text, but it would never have worked without all the valuable input I got from my colleagues (most of them also co-applicants) both in the form of comments and addition of text chunks.

The proposed research focuses mainly on haptic feedback and how it can be used to support pupils with deafblindness in collaboration with sighted pupils – thus the focus is quite close to the research with visually impaired pupils which I, and several of the other co-applicants, were working on before.

The co-applicants are:

Apart from the above mentioned co-applicants, Charlotte Magnusson ([Research gate]) is also a part of the proposed project as a resource person from CERTEC.

I really believe in this team, since we complement each other in a very good way and we also belong to universities in Sweden which are in the top regarding research on assistive technologies and collaborative haptics. We of course hope the project will be funded, but in case it is not I really hope this team gathers again in search for other possible grants!

Academic writing · Grant application

Some experiences from a ”Grant Club”

Kraemers

Yesterday I participated in a “Grant Club” – an event where several researchers from the division of Visual Information and Interaction at the IT department at Uppsala University gathered to spend a day out of office for research grant application writing. It was a full-day event, spent at hotel von Kraemers (the image shows the view from the top floor where we spent the day), which was a follow-up on an earlier meeting where everyone planning to write research applications this year briefly introduced the main ideas in their proposals.

The day started with three short inspirational talks about how to write successful grant applications and some experiences of working with research funding and proposals in other countries. I found a short discussion about the important role that illustrations can play particularly interesting – I will definitely try to put in a picture outlining the basic parts of my own proposed project in my application!  🙂

After the short introduction we worked on our own proposals until lunch. During this time there were also quite a few interactions between colleagues discussing the different proposals. My own application, which I will describe in more depth when it has been shipped off to VR, is about using technology to ease the communication between sighted and deaf-blind pupils in group work situations in schools.

After lunch we continued to work on our respective proposals, after a short open question/discussion session where results from the first half of the day were brought up and discussed. It was very good to have this summary before moving on!

During the last 45 minutes everyone presented what they had been working on/discussed during the day and there was really a consensus about that the even had been well organized and rewarding. During this last session it was also very interesting to hear a brief summary of the different proposals different research colleagues were working on.

This is the first time I have been a part of a similar event and I really liked it and hope that the tradition will continue. It was very well organized by our head of department professor Ingela Nyström. I not only appreciated the fact that I could use this day to improve my own research grant application, but also that I could do it in this creative environment where a lot of ideas were currently taking form. I also got a lot of ideas from the short inspirational talks which I will definitely implement in my application. A very good experience!