22 July eNews

Race at Work Charter, staff survey, teaching support and celebrations

The banner for the 22 July enewsletter. July 2020.

Race at Work Charter

Following approval of our new Race Equality Framework and Action Plan, we are proud to have signed up to the Business in the Community Race At Work Charter. This means that as an employer, we have committed to taking practical steps to ensure we are tackling barriers that Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people face in the workplace. We will communicate our progress on a regular basis.

Staff survey – your feedback

More than 2,300 of you gave feedback in our latest staff survey, which asked how you are dealing with the current situation and where you most need further advice and support. HR Director, Francesca Fowler, shared the key themes from the survey in an email to all staff on 15 July. Francesca also outlined the action we’re already taking and our next steps in response to other requests you raised.

Reward schemes and promotions

In April, given the unknown impact of the pandemic, we paused our reward schemes and promotion process. The University Executive Group (UEG) has since considered carefully what our approach should be. We believe it is important that our processes are available to recognise continued exceptional contribution, and the pause is being lifted for this current 2019/20 cycle. You can view details of the processes – which have been reviewed and slightly streamlined while maintaining robust decision-making – on the HR website.

Refunding childcare vouchers

If your childcare provider has been closed as a result of covid-19 and you are leaving the childcare voucher scheme after the summer, then in these exceptional circumstances you can request a refund of any unused vouchers that have been bought in this tax year. Please email the Staff Benefits team with a summary of the reasons for your refund request.

2020/21 Year Planner

Whoops… we made a mistake! Please download the updated version of our 2020/21 Year Planner, which now includes a full list of dates when the University is closed. We’re sorry for any confusion caused.

Teaching and learning… 

Leeds in top five for teaching

National Student Survey results reveal we have retained our position in the top five for teaching among the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. A score of 85% in the core teaching category means our position is higher than the national average for all institutions and joint fourth in the Russell Group.

Top of the table for online courses

We have ranked first among 62 competing institutions for the quality of our online courses to support students, teachers and professionals impacted during the coronavirus pandemic. MoocLab, an education resource supporting online learners, compiled the table of universities offering massive open online courses (MOOCs). Providing 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.

Supporting your move to digital teaching and learning

New content, resources and guidance are now available to help you transition to digital teaching and learning. The relaunched Digital Practice website is easier to navigate, with new content added to help academic and support staff find the resources, assistance and advice they need. You can also sign up for an engagement event being led by Professor Neil Morris, Dean of Digital Education, from 10-11am on Tuesday 28 July. The session will provide updates about ongoing work to transition to hybrid learning and give you the chance to ask questions.

Opportunity to record teaching materials on campus

An on-campus facility has been established in the Worsley Building (Level 8) where staff can access quiet rooms equipped for self-recording of presentations and teaching materials using Mediasite Desktop Recorder. Access to this facility is by appointment only and there is limited availability. Find out more about the process and how to book using the online system.

You should work from home wherever possible and this facility is intended for use only by colleagues who encounter significant technical challenges in recording materials at home. Before using this service, you are strongly encouraged to review the range of online and remotely accessible advice and technical support for self-capturing video materials, available via the IT Knowledge Base and the Digital Practice website

New online workshops

You can now sign up for the latest Share, Adopt, Adapt Workshops (SAAW) after they were 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. Next up, at 1pm today (Wednesday 22 July), is ‘Language Centre Experiences of Pre-Sessional Teaching in 2020’.


2020 Sustainability Awards

Read about the winners of the 2020 Sustainability Awards. Presented annually to celebrate the sustainable achievements of students, staff and external partners, this year’s digital celebration received a record number of nominations.

2020 Doctoral College Showcase Poster Competition

Find out who won the 2020 Doctoral College Showcase Poster Competition and discover how you can view the finalists’ entries to see some of the great work being done by our postgraduate researchers.

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 Innovation and Positive Impact accolades.

Healthy Week 2020: Thank you!

Healthy Week 2020 has been a huge success… thanks to you! Find out why and how you can still access a wealth of resources and support to help improve your physical and mental wellbeing.

Leeds, Leeds, Leeds!

Parkinson Building is being lit up white, blue and yellow to celebrate Leeds United’s Championship title victory and their promotion back into the Premier League. This celebration of sporting success will be taking place across the city throughout the week. 

Get involved… 

Research action plan 

Have your say about the research environment you work in by completing the Culture, Employment and Development in Academic Research Survey (CEDARS). We’ve extended the period we’re running CEDARS until Friday 31 July, as part of our actions to implement the Principles of the revised Researcher Development Concordat. Your anonymous responses will help develop our action plan to ensure our researchers can achieve their full potential. We want to hear from all colleagues involved in research, including teaching fellows, technicians and managers. Contact Dr Emma Spary or academicdev@leeds.ac.uk for institutional questions. 

IMC 2021: Call for papers

Following the success of this year’s virtual International Medieval Congress (IMC), submissions are now open for papers and sessions for IMC 2021. Proposals can be submitted online, with next year’s event themed around climates. Deadlines are Monday 31 August for paper proposals and Wednesday 30 September for session proposals.       


Digital Education Live Sessions

Join in the discussion about how design thinking can be used to generate better ideas and solutions by registering for the latest free Digital Education Live Session. Running from 3-4pm tomorrow (Thursday 23 July), ‘Design Thinking in a Socially Distanced World’ is presented by Tony Morgan, Associate Professor in Innovation Management at Leeds, and Ian Smith, Principal of craftscale Ltd – a consultancy focused on innovation, technology and architecture.

Art exhibition goes virtual

View work by finalists in the Friends of University Art and Music (FUAM) Graduate Art Prize 2020 virtual exhibition. 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.

New podcast series launched

You can now download Thinking With Opera – a new podcast series featuring University academics. Produced through the DARE partnership between ourselves and Opera North, the series explores the world of opera and its component parts. The first episode, Performing Violence, features Holberg Prize winner, Professor Griselda Pollock, talking to Opera North’s Projects Director, Dominic Gray, about the representation of violence in painting, sculpture, film and literature – and how it is performed in opera. 

In case you missed it… 

Celebrate Our Staff

Research Round-up

Join the ‘Engaged Research’ team

Senate elections timetable

Lecture Capture retention and deletion policy: a reminder

Updated Audio Video Recording Policy

Library support for your teaching online

Take part in Leeds Digital Festival 2020

LinkedIn Learning subscription renewed

This enewsletter is brought to you by the Communications team. You can keep up to date with our latest news on the For Staff website and by following the staff Twitter account.

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