Calling all Early-Career Researchers!

if you class yourself as an “early-career” researcher (ECR) – perhaps you are a student or a recent post-doc, or a recently appointed academic – or if there is someone in your department that works in the Bionics field and they meet this criteria then we would like to hear from you (or them!). We are keen to provide opportunities for ECRs in our field.

We are looking at concentrating on three main areas of activities that we believe will be of interest to ECRs, namely:

  1. Networking opportunities between ECRs to help in discussing ‘best-practices’.
  2. Networking opportunities for ECRs and leaders from various areas in Bionics research.
  3. Opportunities to take part in ‘soft-skills’ development and similar activities.

If you are interested then please fill in this very short survey and leave us your details and we can take it from there.

Hot-topic Proposals

In the coming year we will be running a series of “hot-topic” seminars and workshops: these are short events that will take place around the UK (as well as online) and are aimed at turning the focus onto subject areas within the Bionics+ remit as decided by YOU the partners. If you have id The aim of these events is simple: to eas of areas that are worthy of discussion, and/ or up-and-coming areas of interest or bottle-necks for research in the field, then we would like to hear from you. If you ave any ideas for a hot topic subject then please do get in touch with Maria, our network manager, and send us a few paragraphs on why you think the topic is worthy of discussion. We will then look at all suggestions received and try to work on commonalities and arrange for a series of workshops on the subjects of interest.

If you would like to volunteer space to hold such a workshop (half a day or a full day at most) then also please do get in touch – we would like to hear from you.

The aim of these events is simple: to bring to the fore topics of discussion that need dealing with and can be tackled by the network – get your thinking caps on and get in touch – the sooner the better – Thanks!

Bionics+ Down-Under

Bionics+ was promoted at the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (EMBC2023) in Sydney, Australia in July 2023

Bionics+ was promoted at the IEEE International Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference in Sydney, Australia earlier this year. With the conference attracting a large number of biomedical engineers from all subject interest areas and from a diverse set of world-wide locations it was an opportunity to make the network known to potential overseas partners for our members. A good number of network partners signed up over the 3 days of the conference, and whilst overseas partners cannot directly apply for funding destined for UK researchers, these researchers could take advantage of new and exciting partnerships with members from across the globe.

“Bionics” is readily becoming a theme unto itself at international events and it is important that we are at the forefront of defining the constituent parts of this pan-disciplinary field.

If any partner has any suggestion regarding any other relevant events that might be useful for Bionics+ to attend, then please do contact us and let us know.

Update on Sandpit 2022 funded projects

In 2022 we announced the first major funding outlay for our network where we ran a day long funding sandpit (see link below this article) that was followed up by online discussions and resulted in 6 submissions for funding. After deliberations we decided to fund 3 feasibility studies, these are listed below. These studies are now nearing completion and we look forward to sharing the outcomes with the wider partners at some point soon. If you have any specific questions regarding the studies themselves then feel free to contact your fellow partners who are undertaking the feasibility studies.

  1. Sensorization to Premeditate and Attenuate Symptoms in the Management of Spasticity (SPASMS)
    • PI: Dr A Pujari (Univ of Hertfordshire)
    • Partners: Univ of Manchester, Univ of Lancashire, Univ of Leeds, Univ of Kent, Uni of B’ham
    • Research Aim: Can we develop a Proof of Concept (PoC) wearable sensor system to guide the bespoke remote management of individuals with a clinical diagnosis of spasticity?
  2. Closed Loop Platform for Endocrine System Management
    • PI: Dr G Cummins (University of B’ham)
    • Partners: Univ of B’ham, University of Kent, Univ of Warwick.
    • Research Aim: The research question for this project is whether interstitial sensing of cortisol and other biomarkers can be cost-effectively performed and fed into a multifactorial mathematical model of the endocrine system to create a closed-loop system that can accurately mimic the natural rhythms and feedback mechanisms of cortisol when used in conjunction with pulsatile drug delivery systems, such as an infusion pump
  3. Multimodal Intelligent Neural Decoder for Accessible and empowering mental healthcare (MindD4AccelCare)
    • PI: Dr M Arvaneh (Univ of Sheffield)
    • Partners: Imperial Coll., Univ of Reading, Univ of Bath, Univ of Sheffield.
    • Research Aim: Through a user-centred approach, this project investigates the feasibility of using consumer-grade devices to inform clinical decision making in diagnosing and monitoring MDD. For this purpose, we will use artificial intelligence algorithms to learn from the brain and heart data, collected from wearable consumer-level sensors, while the users with and without MDD symptoms perform gamified cognitive tests.

Meet the team: Prof Christopher James

Prof C James

Christopher is a biomedical engineer and is the PI of the EPSRC Bionics+ Network and is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Warwick and Director of the Biomedical Engineering Institute

BMEI, University of Warwick

Christopher was born in Malta, received the B.Elec.Eng. (Hons) degree in from the University of Malta (1992) and a Ph.D from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand (1997). He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the EEG department of the Montreal Neurological Institute, of McGill University, Montreal, Canada (1997-1998), and a postdoctoral research fellow (1998-2001), and then Lecturer (2001-2003) with the Neural Computing Research Group of Aston University, Birmingham, UK. From 2004-2010 he was a Reader in Biomedical Signal Processing at the University of Southampton, UK. In 2010 he was offered a personal chair in Healthcare Technology at the University of Warwick, UK and was founding Director of the Institute of Digital Healthcare. He now has a chair in Biomedical Engineering and Directs the Biomedical Engineering Institute at the School of Engineering, University of Warwick, he runs the Brain and Behaviour Lab at the University of Warwick.

He is a biomedical engineer whose current research activity centres on the development of biomedical signal and pattern processing techniques for use as diagnostic or prognostic tools in the treatment of disorders of the human body. Primarily his work has concentrated on the development of processing techniques applied to the analysis of the electromagnetic (EM) activity of the human brain, particularly in a functional neuroimaging context. He also works in the field of behaviour analysis and has had recent funding success for behaviour analysis of C. elegans in video miscroscopy, as well as monitoring the well-being of psychiatric patients in their home environment, independent living in the elderly and monitoring Ambient Assisted Living using Personalised Ambient Monitoring techniques.

He is founding editor-in-chief of the IET Healthcare Technology Letters journal, and is also founder and CEO of his start-up company EMbody Biosignals Ltd. ( concentrating on a nematode behavior monitoring station called TrakBox, for the Life-Sciences/Biomedical community. He is also founding director and acting CEO of Augmented Insights Ltd. (, a spinout company from the University of Warwick creating pattern recognition algorithms to extract behavior information from health data.

Bionics Plus Sandpit 2022

We are excited to announce our first Sandpit for the Bionics+ network. This will be our first opportunity to really push the boundaries of our work, a chance to create real cross-disciplinary collaborations that will explore and develop novel ideas.

The future of Bionics is exciting, challenging, and boundless, and our Bionics+ network is ideally placed to lead the World in its ideas, thinking, research, and solutions, and so we invite you to apply for a place on this forthcoming Sandpit to come and invent the future.

Attending the sandpit will provide you with the opportunity to perhaps meet new people in this field and try something new or different – sandpits allow for the creation of different and exciting projects.

The remit of the Bionics+ Network is across multiple application areas and cross-cutting capabilities – bear these in mind when attending the sandpit, we really do wish to push the boundaries.

This Sandpit will consist of a 2 hour online session, followed by a full day face-to-face event. Participants must attend both sessions, and will be expected to also make time to develop their final project proposal after the event, in advance of a final proposal presentation.

Key dates are:

  • Online orientation session (2 hrs) – Afternoon of Thursday 19th May
  • Face-to-face sandpit – all day on campus (University of Warwick, Coventry), Monday 23rd May
  • Final proposal presentations – Monday 6th June

Places at this exciting event are limited. Successful applicants will come with an open mind to meet new colleagues, create new ideas, and make new collaborations.

Please save the date and apply ASAP if you would like to be a part of this – click below to apply. (Note that you will be responsible for funding your own travel to the face-to-face meeting in Coventry.)

Apply here

Meet the team: The Bioengineering Inaugural Lecture of Professor Rylie Green

Professor Rylie Green delivers her inaugural lecture detailing her career in polymer bioelectronics. 

Evolution of a cyborg: Bionic eyes, ears, spines and brains.
The cyborg – part human and part machine – is a science fiction construct that has been realised across recent decades, with increasing numbers of devices being used to improve the quality of life for millions of people globally.

Prof Rylie Green, imperial college london

Date for your diary:

Wednesday 18th May, 17:30 BST.

If you would like to attend, just follow the link below:

Bioengineering Inaugural Lecture: Professor Rylie Green (

Announcing our EDI Advisory Group

The new EDI advisory group is taking shape with currently five members including Helen Dawes, Maria Feijoo Reñones, and Drs Nada Yousif, Mae Mansoubi,  Amit Narahar Pujari and Leen Jabban. We are currently writing our Terms of Reference.  The group plans to meet 6 times a year and take an active role in embedding our EDI vision within the Bionics+ network. Our early activities include creating an EDI checklist for the network activities,  writing guidance for research in Bionics and for our funding streams. We look forward to welcoming new members and updating the network in the next newsletter.

If anyone wishes to get involved then please still do contact Maria Feijoo Reñones and let us know.

Helen and the team

Special Session at EMBC2022, Glasgow – 11-15 July 2022

We would like to announce that we will be hosting a Special Session on the Bionics+ network at this year’s annual EMBC conference that will be taking place in Glasgow, UK. We hope to see you at the conference as this will provide you with an opportunity to meet the team and to discuss areas of interest and concern in the Bionics filed. We will also be having a presence at the conference in the form of an exhibition stand, so please do stop by to say hello if you are there.

We do hope we will see you there, please feel free to contact Prof James if you want any more details about this conference or our Special Session.

Reminder: Call for Funding

Remember that we have an open call for funding which is open to all eligible network members (make sure you are registered as a network member (applicant must be a UK based) so that you are able to apply – use the contact us form on our webpages to do so). This call covers the following funding streams (listed next). Please read carefully and contact us if you have any queries or wish to apply.

Funding Areas

  1. RADA training: Each year, we will sponsor a number of network members to attend a relevant training workshop of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). We don’t wish to proscribe the eligible courses, just take a look here to see what RADA offer. We of course have limited funds and can only fund a small number of members each year – so make a reasonable and compelling case: we will read all applications sent carefully. Total Budget Available £8,000
  2. Research Exchange Visits: Each year, we will fund two National & one International research exchange visits of PhD students and/or ECRs to facilitate the initiation of new collaborations and help researchers to acquire new skills that are not available in their home institution. Note that this funding is exclusive to PhD students and ECRs and you will be required to state your career stage in your application. Funding will be allocated to partially cover receipted travel and accommodation expenses. You will be required to make up any shortfall between actual expenses and the amount we can offer. Total Budget available: £6,500

You can apply at any time by going here filling out the requisite form and submitting it to us. All funding decisions will be made during the quarterly meetings of the Steering Group – which includes the executive group as well as EPSRC representation. We will follow all the rules and regulations stipulated by EPSRC when allocating funding and we expected those funded to abide by these similar rules. A short report will be expected upon completion of the project/ trip by each awardee. We welcome applicants from the UK from all backgrounds – some calls may be limited to early career researchers by design but this will be made clear in the call.