Celebrate Our Staff – July 2020

Here we celebrate our colleagues’ achievements across the University this past month.

Associate Professor of US History, Dr Kate Dossett, has won two awards for her new project

A picture of Dr Kate Dossett from the School of History. July 2020

Double Fellowship joy for Dr Dossett

Dr Kate Dossett (School of History) has won two prestigious awards for her new project Black Cultural Archives and the Making of Black Histories – an Independent Social Research Foundation Fellowship and a British Library Eccles Centre Fellowship.

The project explores the circulation of Black theatre manuscripts between the United States and Britain in the first half of the 20th century, and how surveillance agencies became the unintended archivists of the radical Black tradition as a result. 

Her work will also explore the longer-term implications this had for contemporary black theatre and archival practice. 

The Eccles Centre Fellowship and Independent Social Research Foundation awards will support her research into the Lord Chamberlain’s Plays Collection held at the British Library. 

Dr Dossett is excited about getting stuck into the archive and exploring the historic connections between Black theatre makers in America and Britain. 

She said: “Some scholars view the dominance of African American culture in Britain as an extension of US global power; others contrast the achievements of the American Civil Rights Movement with the lack of structural change in Britain. 

“These are important factors, but they are overly deterministic: if the erasure of Black British History is part of a broader failure to address structural racism, we need to understand how this purposeful forgetting operates, what institutions or agents are responsible and how it continues to shape public access to Black British heritage.”

Dr Dossett is a prize-winning historian of Black Cultural History and her latest book – Radical Black Theatre in the New Deal – is out now, published by the University of North Carolina Press

New Director announced for Leeds AHRI

A University portrait of Dr James Stark from the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science. July 2020The new director of the Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute, Dr James Stark, who starts the role on 1 August 

The Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute (LAHRI) has announced Dr James Stark (School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science) as its new Director.

He is due to succeed Professor Alison Fell, current LAHRI Director.

Dr Stark began his Leeds career as a postgraduate researcher in 2008, and was among the first intake of University Academic Fellows in 2015. He is just completing a successful year as interim Head of the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science.

He has wide-ranging interdisciplinary interests, which include the history of medicine and science, medical humanities, heritage and material culture.

His latest book – The Cult of Youth: Anti-Ageing in Modern Britain – was published by Cambridge University Press earlier this year.

Dr Stark said: “I am absolutely delighted to be taking up this post.

“Engaged, interdisciplinary arts and humanities research is thriving at Leeds, and I look forward to working with colleagues across the University to tackle major societal challenges and produce outstanding scholarly impact.”

LAHRI brings together research from across the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures, and develops collaborations with other disciplines, including in STEM and Medicine.

It also supports emerging research projects, builds a context for creative scholarly discussions, and helps with every stage of winning and running successful research bids.

Paris in Spring with visiting professorship

A University profile picture of Professor John McLeod, School of English. July 2020.Professor John McLeod has been invited to take up a Visiting Professorship in Paris

Professor John McLeod (School of English) has been invited to take up a Visiting Professorship at the University of Paris-Sorbonne.

As Visiting Professor, he will contribute to the University’s undergraduate curriculum by teaching specialist seminars on postcolonial literature and on literary representations of race riots in post-war London, based on his expertise. 

It will also be an opportunity to engage with the University’s postgraduate research community and collaborate with academic staff in English studies. 

Professor McLeod said: “It is truly an honour to be invited to be a Visiting Professor at one of the world’s premier universities, not least as it will help strengthen our strong links with Arts and Humanities at the University of Paris-Sorbonne. 

“It will be a fantastic opportunity for me to participate in the dynamic teaching and research endeavours that characterise Paris-Sorbonne, as well as to sustain the University of Leeds’ strategic and steadfast commitment to international partnerships and collaboration.”

His one-month Visiting Professorship will take place in spring 2021, coinciding with Leeds’ Easter break.

Currently a Professor of Postcolonial and Diaspora Literatures here at Leeds, Professor McLeod has been teaching and researching postcolonial and migrant writing since joining the University in 1996.

‘Exciting addition’ to digital learning

A stock photo of a smiling man sitting at a laptop. July 2020.Engineering Management has seen its first online student receive a Distinction (stock photo)

Our very first Postgraduate Certificate in Engineering Management is due to be awarded this year.

And the course team is delighted that the successful student has received a distinction.

The course has digitised the on-campus experience for students on both the MSc and Postgraduate Certificate variants, providing access to virtual social spaces and an impressive range of electronic resources.

Delivered by expert academics, the course brings together a diverse cohort of professionals for flexible and interactive learning online.

Now that digital education has become vital, this course demonstrates the enormous potential for engaging and collaborative online courses.

Professor Tom Ward, Deputy Vice Chancellor: Student Education, said: “Congratulations to the first graduate of the Engineering Management course, and many thanks to everyone involved in creating this innovative programme.

“Bringing together the quality of our engineering and business faculties to reach new audiences in new ways is an exciting addition to the way we support learners on their professional journey.”

It has been a strong start for Engineering Management at Leeds, which now nears the end of its first year. The University will have welcomed more than 100 new online students by this month.

‘Thrilled’ by new fellowship

A picture of Dr Kahryn Hughes Director of the Timescapes Archive, at home. July 2020.Timescapes Archive Director Dr Kahryn Hughes has been awarded a fellowship

Director of the Timescapes Archive – Dr Kahryn Hughes (School of Sociology and Social Policy) – was recently awarded a National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) Fellowship.

The NCRM was established by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in 2004. The Fellowship was awarded by the current partnership between the Universities of Southampton, Manchester and Edinburgh.

The NCRM network now includes nine strategically selected Centre partner institutions: Leeds, UCL, NatCen, WISERD, Bristol, Exeter, Essex, Liverpool and Glasgow.

Dr Hughes said: “I am thrilled to be part of NCRM.

“It’s a real accolade, which acknowledges the methodological advances I have made in work with colleagues, including Dr Anna Tarrant and Professor Jason Hughes on Qualitative Secondary Analysis.

“The NCRM Fellowship is not just an award for me, it also acknowledges the Timescapes Archive as a UK centre of excellence for research methods training.”

The NCRM Fellowship will enhance training opportunities for University PhD students, develop links with the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership and generate new cross-sector partnership opportunities via an ambitious engagement programme led by the University of Manchester.

Dr Hughes will be responsible for commissioning cutting-edge training in Qualitative Secondary Analysis and Qualitative Longitudinal research methods for all UK social scientists for the next five years.

Leeds Cancer Research Centre Directors appointed

Professors David Sebag-Montefiore and John Ladbury stand outside the Great Hall. July 2020.Professor John Ladbury and Professor David Sebag-Montefiore have been appointed to lead the new Leeds Cancer Research Centre

Key appointments have been announced following the launch of the Leeds Cancer Research Centre (LCRC) – a partnership between the University and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

The centre will bring together outstanding scientists and clinicians across discipline boundaries, and two internationally acclaimed researchers have been appointed to lead it.

Professor David Sebag-Montefiore (School of Medicine) has been appointed Clinical Director. A clinical oncologist, who has led trials that have revolutionised the treatment of anal and rectal cancers using radiotherapy, he also directs the Leeds Cancer Research UK Centre of Excellence for Radiotherapy Research.

He said: “I am passionate about bringing together the best minds from traditionally distinct disciplines to solve the big research questions that will improve the lives of cancer patients. This simple and powerful objective is at the heart of what the new research centre will do.”

Professor John Ladbury (School of Molecular and Cellular Biology) has been appointed Scientific Director. His ground-breaking research has shown how disruption to the signalling system within a cell can trigger cancer, and he was previously Executive Dean of the Faculty of Biological Sciences at Leeds.

He said: “I am excited by the opportunity to bring researchers together at the biological, clinical and physical sciences interface, and harness new innovative approaches to accelerate and translate scientific discoveries to the clinic.

“Through active research partnerships with the trust, leading institutions, industry and funders, Leeds will generate world-leading research that will shape better patient outcomes.”

Read the full story

Poster competition winners announced

The logo for the Leeds Doctoral College Showcase 2020. June 2020.Winners have been selected from 90 submitted abstracts

Winners of the 2020 Doctoral College Showcase Poster Competition for postgraduate researchers have been announced.

Prizes were awarded as follows:

  • 1st – Amanda McCannell, Medicine
  • 2nd – Ummey Hany, Medicine; and
  • Joint 3rd – Kayla Kemhadjian, Institute for Medieval Studies, and Maria Galazoula, Geography.

The ‘popular vote’ prize went to Ummey Hany in the School of Medicine.

This year’s event was held online, where it attracted significant attention from across the University and beyond.

More than 140 initial expressions of interest from postgraduate researchers were followed by the submission of 90 abstracts. These were narrowed down by 10 judges to the final 25, which were showcased online earlier this month.

The online exhibition was visited 1,800 times, with an incredible 1,500 visitors voting for their favourite poster in the ‘popular vote’ category.

Read the full story

2020 Sustainability Awards winners

The Sustainability Awards 2020 logo. May 2020.This year’s Sustainability Awards saw a record number of nominations 

Each year Leeds celebrates the sustainable achievements of students, staff and external partners – and this year’s digital celebration received a record number of nominations.

This is testament to the brilliant work taking place across the University and beyond to find sustainable solutions on a local, national and international scale.

Dr Louise Ellis, Director of Sustainability, said: “It has been truly inspiring to see the outstanding achievements of staff, students and external partners in this year’s Sustainability Awards.

“With a record year for nominations, we have been privileged to be able to celebrate such a diverse range of projects, activities and initiatives.

“It just goes to show that everyone has the power to have an impact, whatever the scale, and that sustainability really is for all.”

There were seven winners across the five categories at this year's awards, along with a special Lifetime Achievement Award.

But even though this year’s awards are over, we want to carry on the celebration of sustainability across the University with all the great things you have been doing. Share your stories with the Sustainability team on social media and be part of their #MyImpact campaign – tag @UoL_Sus on Instagram or Twitter and use #MyImpact so they can share and celebrate all the great things you’ve been doing.

Board of Enterprise Educators UK elect new Leeds representative

A portrait shot of Dr Richard Tunstall, Associate Professor of Enterprise at the Leeds University Business School. July 2020.Leeds will be represented by Dr Richard Tunstall for three years from August 2020

Associate Professor of Enterprise Dr Richard Tunstall (Leeds University Business School) has been elected to represent the University on the Board of Enterprise Educators UK from August 2020.

He was elected by constituent university members to the Board of Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK) for a three-year term.

EEUK acts on behalf of its member universities to enable excellence in enterprise education across the Higher Education (HE) curriculum, co-curricular and extra-curricular provision.

It supports enterprise educators across a global network through events, conferences, research funding and a new Fellowship programme. It also works directly with policy-makers to support and promote the future of enterprise education in the HE sector.

Dr Tunstall is currently academic lead for the University’s student enterprise strategy, Enterprise at Leeds, as well as co-lead of the LITE Leeds Enterprise Educators Network.

He said: “I’m delighted to be able to represent the University of Leeds on the Board.

“It’s a very challenging time for the university sector and for small businesses, and I look forward to working with EEUK to support enterprise excellence in Higher Education.”

See the Leeds University Business School website for further information.

Leeds tops table for online course provision

The MoocLabs table for online course provision during the Covid-19 pandemic, showing Leeds at the top. July 2020Leeds has topped a table of 62 institutions for its online course provision during the current pandemic

We have topped a table ranking universities by massive open online course (MOOC) performance.

Rankings were decided based on the use of MOOCs to support students, teachers and professionals during the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.

The table, complied by MoocLab – an education resource supporting online learners – put us first among 62 competing institutions.

Traditionally intended to help provide free or low-cost education to people who cannot afford or get access to traditional learning, MOOCs have taken on even more importance following the outbreak of covid-19.

This success would not have come about without the combined efforts and support of colleagues across the University during these difficult times.

Professor Neil Morris, Dean of Digital Education, said: “We are proud to help individuals develop new knowledge and skills to meet societal and economic challenges.”

Visit the MoocLab website for further information.

August hiatus

Celebrate Our Staff will be taking a short break for August and will return in September.

We know that there are still lots of great things happening to support the work of the University in these testing times, and we still want to hear about them.

Please follow the staff Twitter account to see the latest updates and copy in our @UniLeedsStaff handle when posting success stories, so we can share them with colleagues.

You can also contact Internal Communications directly if you or one of your colleagues would like to appear in this monthly feature. This is open to all staff – professional and academic.

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