Inside Track – Professor Nick Plant: Helping shape a better future
In his latest Inside Track feature, Professor Nick Plant, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, reveals how the incredible research undertaken at Leeds during these exceptional circumstances demonstrates we are in a strong position to take advantage of new opportunities and emerge from current challenges in the best shape possible.
Travelling overseas for personal or recreational reasons
If you are planning to travel outside of the UK for personal or recreational reasons, please understand and consider the risks of doing so, including the possibilities that (i) your travel insurance may be invalidated, (ii) UK quarantine rules may be introduced before or while you are away, (iii) local lockdown measures may be introduced in the place that you are visiting and/or (iv) you or a member of your party may become ill while overseas.
Whether and where you decide to travel on holiday is your personal choice. However, it is important that you understand the implications from a work perspective, so please refer to the full message – Travel overseas for personal or recreational reasons – emailed to all colleagues on 30 July.
Complete the professional behaviours training
Don’t forget all colleagues need to complete the professional behaviour and relationships training by Monday 31 August. Our plans to introduce an offline training solution have been delayed due to the impact of coronavirus, so if you do not have online access or are unable to complete the training for any reason, please speak to your line manager.
New accessibility guidance
New guidance is available to help colleagues update learning and teaching resources to meet accessibility legislation requirements and the University’s approved best practice approach. It covers a variety of frequently asked questions on written content, as well as other formats and media.
If you are a carer for a family member or a friend who has an illness, disability or addiction, Carers Leeds offers confidential telephone appointments providing a wide range of practical advice, support and information to unpaid carers. The next dates are Wednesday 12 August and Thursday 10 September – email the Equality Policy Unit to book.
Big White Wall becomes Togetherall
Big White Wall has relaunched as Togetherall. It has changed its name to greater represent the wellbeing community it has created, which is open and inclusive to all. It will continue to offer the same level of online mental health and wellbeing support to both staff and students.
Following the recent announcement, and after reviewing the questions we’ve received, we’ve published further details on the coronavirus website about the use of face coverings on campus. While there are still only a limited number of people on campus, we will be monitoring the impact of our position on face coverings. We will keep this under review and let you know by the end of August if there are any changes.
Travelling to campus
If you are notified that you can come on to campus, our commuting and travel page will help you plan your journey, advise you on the facilities available and the tools, benefits and discounts you can access.
New flexible Northern season ticket
Northern is accepting annual season ticket applications through our corporate railcard scheme. It is also now offering a Flexi-Season ticket – a bulk purchase of 10 all-day tickets, for use as and when needed on selected routes.
You can now request items from the Edward Boyle and Brotherton libraries for collection. We will retrieve books from the Laidlaw and Health Sciences libraries as soon as possible, with updates to follow.
Bright Beginnings childcare
Bright Beginnings has reopened, in line with Government and local authority guidance on the delivery of childcare services. Please contact Bright Beginnings if you would like to find out about the availability of childcare sessions.
Improving remote access to University systems
During the next couple of months, we’re updating some of the systems you use to work from home to improve access and reliability. If you use the Windows Virtual Desktop, the VPN or remotely connect to a PC on campus, visit the IT website for more details about the changes.
New tool for collaborative learning
Find out about the latest valuable addition to the impressive collection of digital education tools and systems available to colleagues to support teaching and learning activities, which already includes Top Hat, Gradescope, Collaborate Ultra, Blackboard Ally, Minerva, Turnitin, Mediasite, Office 365 and LinkedIn Learning. The new tool – Padlet – is an online platform enabling users to create individual pin boards and bulletin boards and to collaborate using a broad range of functionality.
PebblePad partnership announced
We have partnered with PebbleLearning to deliver an institutional system – PebblePad – to be launched in September. It is a flexible portfolio and personal learning platform, designed to help students in recording – and reflecting on – their academic, personal and professional development. It will also be used for online assessments in the 2020-21 academic year and for personal tutoring in the future.
University backgrounds for Teams
Find out how you can download a set of University-inspired backgrounds for use in Teams video meetings or calls. Images of iconic buildings, including Parkinson Court, the Brotherton Library and Clothworkers’ Court, can also be used for teaching and conferences or for conducting interviews with the media.
‘Maintaining academic integrity in 2020’ is the subject of the latest Share, Adopt, Adapt Workshop (SAAW) at 2pm today (Wednesday 5 August). Relaunched in an online format, the new series will continue to examine and showcase best practice across the University, as well as address new challenges posed by covid-19 restrictions. You can share your experiences on a range of issues, including the use of new technologies, online teaching and learning models, assessment and opportunities.
Celebrate Our Staff
See the latest instalment celebrating the achievements of colleagues across the University, featuring an array of awards, fellowships and appointments. Celebrate Our Staff will be taking a break during August, but you can still contact Internal Comms to make submissions for the next roll of honour in September. This is open to all colleagues.
Read the latest of our monthly features shining the spotlight on our research success stories. This month’s article highlights efforts to tackle the effects of the coronavirus pandemic; analysing the source of plastic pollution; and using rock dust to combat climate change. Research Round-up will be taking a break during August, but you can still contact Internal Comms if you would like to showcase your research achievements in September’s edition.
Partnership Awards 2020
Read the latest in our series of profiles on the winners of this year’s Partnership Awards, which recognise the amazing achievements of staff and students working together to support all aspects of our University community. This time we focus on recipients of the teaching accolades.
Digital Leeds Pride
Last weekend would have been the 15th anniversary of Leeds Pride. While the event was postponed to 2021, the LGBT+ Staff Network and Equality Policy Unit have been working on a collaborative ‘Digital Pride’ initiative, which will be launched during the week beginning Monday 17 August.
Be Curious moves online for 2020
Following the success of #BeCuriousGoesVirtual earlier this year, preparations are underway to ensure you can enjoy even more world-leading research from the comfort of your own home. Launching on Saturday 10 October with a full day of live events, the virtual version of Be Curious 2020 will run until Friday 23 October. Read the guidelines for taking part and complete the online form by 5pm on Friday 21 August to register your interest.
Engagement Excellence Scheme 2020-21
Applications for the Engagement Excellence Scheme (EES) are now open for the academic year 2020-21. It aims to build capacity and create a network of public engagement/patient and public involvement champions across the University. The EES is open to colleagues from all faculties, offering support and a bursary for up to six Fellows. Submissions deadline is 5pm on Thursday 10 September.
Leeds Creative Labs: Virtual Edition
Academic colleagues from all disciplines are invited to apply to join Leeds Creative Labs: Virtual Edition. The initiative matches creative and academic partners in a playful, open collaboration that encourages discussion and exploration, with no brief other than to see what happens. Submissions deadline is midnight on Sunday 23 August.
Research Nights In
Leeds Doctoral College is bringing its Research Nights in! The event – an informal set of talks and discussions led by postgraduate researchers – will be hosted by the Doctoral College Twitter feed and YouTube channel for the first time. Tune in at 6pm today (Wednesday 5 August) to hear PhD candidate Amanda MacCannell discuss research on the ‘Sexism of Fat’.
Art exhibition goes live
You can now view work by finalists in the Friends of University Art and Music (FUAM) Graduate Art Prize 2020 after the virtual exhibition went live. The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery is taking this year’s competition online with pieces from four BA students, as selected by an expert panel of judges following submissions from the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies and the School of Design. The winner will be announced in October.
Opera North podcast
You can now download the second episode of the Thinking With Opera podcast. Produced through the DARE partnership between ourselves and Opera North, the series explores the world of opera and its component parts. The latest episode – Carnivalesque – features Professor Alan O’Leary discussing ways culture can offer a release from the constraints of morality and social conventions.
Winter flu virus season is here and we’re encouraging colleagues to get vaccinated. We'll support colleagues in pr… t.co/EbpR1JSxLN
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