14 October eNews

New senior leadership roles, coronavirus information, new Cycle to Work scheme and more

The 14 October enews banner, featuring a shot of the Laidlaw Library sign. October 2020

New senior leadership roles

Two new senior roles have been announced to support the University's strategic ambitions. Professor Hai-Sui Yu, previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor: International, takes on a broader role with the title Deputy Vice-Chancellor, while Professor Neil Morris, the current Dean for Digital Education, will act as Interim DVC: Digital Transformation during the recruitment process for this post.

Coronavirus cases among staff and students

The health and safety of our staff and students is our absolute priority. To support this objective, and to ensure transparency, we are publishing a weekly update on the numbers of positive covid-19 test results reported to the University by staff and students, together with answers to key questions you may have. The information represents the confirmed cases from the previous week, with a short lag to allow for accurate reporting.

We plan to update these numbers weekly on a Wednesday afternoon (the next figures are due later today) and we will share them through @UniLeedsComms and our Friday editions of eNews extra.

What to do if you test positive for covid-19 or need to self-isolate

Read our guidance on the steps you must take and the support available for staff and students who develop symptoms of covid-19, test positive or are required to self-isolate. You can also access this information from the Quick Links section on the For Staff homepage

Video | Explaining the science behind campus safety measures

Watch the recent video featuring Professor Cath Noakes, expert in the spread of airborne infections inside buildings and member of the national Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) that advises Government. Cath is joined by Paul Veevers, Director of Health and Safety Services, and between them they explain the science behind measures we’re taking to prevent the transmission of covid-19 on campus. A second video sees Professor Noakes explain in more detail why we need to wear face coverings

Video | All staff session, Working Together: Autumn Term 2020

If you were unable to attend one of the sessions on the steps we’re taking to welcome back students and deliver a high quality education in the coming academic year in the context of the ongoing pandemic, a recording of the presentation is now available. We’ll also shortly be sharing a summary of common questions.

New Cycle to Work scheme launched

It’s time to saddle up as we announce the launch of a bespoke new Cycle to Work scheme! Teaming up with Cyclescheme, we’ve increased the upper funding limit to £3,000 to enable you to source a wider range of electric and accessible/adapted bikes. The staff benefit scheme allows you to swap part of your annual salary to buy a bike plus any cycle accessories you need, making a tax saving in the process. You might also like to know that the Bike Hub has reopened, offering cycle hire and maintenance services.

One-to-one immigration solicitor appointments

International staff can book a free and confidential 30-minute appointment with an immigration specialist from Freeths Solicitors today (Wednesday 14 October), on Friday 27 November or Thursday 21 January 2021. Sessions take place on Microsoft Teams or over the phone and provide an opportunity to discuss anything relating to visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain and British Citizenship issues. Please note appointment availability may be limited. 

Updated menopause guidance

Ahead of World Menopause Day on Sunday 18 October, we’re sharing our updated guidance with you to increase understanding of what menopause is and to highlight the support available.

Student messages…   

Video | Welcoming students

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, and Leeds University Union Affairs Officer, Izzy Walter, extend a warm welcome to our new and returning students in a recent video. We understand that life at the University is different this year, but we’re keen to show all our students that together, we’re here to support them.

Transition to Leeds is live for taught postgraduates

A brand-new online study-enhancing resource for taught postgraduate students starting in January 2021 is now live. Read the latest update for students, which includes how they can access it, a timeline of when resources will be available and tips on how they can get the most out of it.

New Plus Programme video

The Plus Programme provides extra support to more than 4,000 of our students from underrepresented backgrounds, aiming to help close the gaps in retention, success and progression. Watch the new staff information video for more details and to find out how you can support your Plus Programme students.

Digital developments…   

Microsoft licence upgrade

Our Microsoft licence has been upgraded for all staff and students. Benefits include access to Teams Live Events (for presentations with up to 10,000 attendees) and an increased mailbox size (doubled from 50GB to 100GB). Microsoft Teams meeting recordings will also now be automatically uploaded to Stream – if this doesn’t appear to be available to you, make sure you have the latest version of the Teams app downloaded before contacting the IT Service Desk

Design and deliver engaging Blackboard Collaborate Ultra sessions

Develop your use of Collaborate Ultra for live teaching sessions and pick up tips and guidance on how to design activities that promote interaction and student engagement through this new e-learning resource from the Digital Education Service. It will also help you familiarise yourself with the basic and advanced functions of Collaborate Ultra specifically for synchronous teaching sessions.

Mediasite: automated captions

Automated captions are now available for all new content added to Mediasite once it’s made viewable. This includes any file uploads, Mediasite Desktop Recordings and in-room recordings created after 1 October 2020. See For Staff for further information and to find out what’s new in Mediasite

Create, share and track the success of your learning resources

LinkedIn Learning administrator and curator roles are now available for all schools and services. You’ll be able to quickly upload content in an engaging and intuitive way, consolidate all your curated content and create a community of learners. Email the LinkedIn Learning team for further information and to request your administrator access.

New campus photography

You can now access a new folder of coronavirus-related campus dressing photos in our Image Library. These can be used for official University print publications, websites and video. See our University photography guidance for further information and please note there’s a 48-hour turnaround for Image Library requests.

Campus facilities…   

Major milestone for landmark building project

Construction of the Sir William Henry Bragg Building has entered the final phase, developing a new integrated campus for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Find out more and read our new FAQs, covering everything from what happens after construction to specific information relevant to colleagues who will eventually move into the building.

Free drink voucher

Great Food at Leeds (GFaL) Club members can claim a free drink at any of its cafés that have reopened on campus. Vouchers have been sent to members via the app; simply present it at the till by Friday 30 October. GFaL is delighted to welcome back staff and students returning to campus for the first term. Changes have been made to help keep our community safe, and it’s now mandatory to wear face coverings in all GFaL outlets, apart from when sitting to eat. See the full list of scheduled opening dates and times on the GFaL website and watch the short video for further information about what to expect when eating-in.


Queen’s Birthday Honours

Three of our leading academic researchers and a former Pro-Chancellor are recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. OBEs are awarded to Cath Noakes, Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings, for ‘services to the covid-19 response’; Professor Sheena Radford, Director of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, for ‘research at the frontiers of molecular biology’; and Professor Jason Lowe, Chair in Interdisciplinary Climate Research at the Priestley Centre, for ‘services to climate science’. Dr Linda Pollard, Pro-Chancellor from 2007-13, has been made a Dame. Dr Pollard is the chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the Leeds Innovation District Partnership – an alliance between the University, the Trust and Leeds City Council to foster a culture of research and innovation across the city. 

Research Round-up

Read the latest in our monthly features shining the spotlight on our research success stories. This month’s article explores: whether watching images or videos of cute animals can cure stress; efforts to save the home of the ‘Asian Unicorn’; why dying stars’ have beautiful dust clouds; and how we can halve the risk of infection following surgery, among much more. Contact Internal Comms if you would like to showcase your research achievements in a future edition.

Get involved…   

Be Curious 2020

There’s still plenty of time to get involved with this year’s online instalment of Be Curious, the annual free event showcasing our world-leading research to the wider public. Try your hand at sewing, discover the science of soap, squash strawberries and learn about spider webs in your brain. We’re also going green this year with The Climate Press panel event and an exclusive episode of the Climactic podcast.

Black History Month 2020

October marks Black History Month in the UK – the annual celebration and acknowledgement of the history, achievements and contributions that people of African and Caribbean backgrounds have made to this country during many generations. See the Equality Policy Unit website for a full programme of events being held online and in Leeds to promote knowledge, understanding and an awareness of Black History.

Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. Check out the resources on the IT website to make sure you know how to protect yourself online and join us on our virtual scavenger hunt to test your knowledge of cyber security, with the chance to win £100.

International Open Access Week

Book your free tickets to take part in an online discussion as part of this year’s International Open Access Week. ‘Beyond Open Access: how, why and what's next for open research at Leeds?’ is being held on Friday 23 October. Featuring an introduction from Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, and a keynote address by Professor Sir Duncan Wingham, Leeds alumnus and Chief Executive of the Natural Environment Research Council, it will also be an opportunity to hear from academic colleagues across the University about their own open research practices and why it’s vital in their discipline. Colleagues are also invited to complete a short survey to explore attitudes towards this subject.

Research Nights In

Leeds Doctoral College’s Research Nights is back, online and interactive from 6-7.30pm today (Wednesday 14 October)! The event is an informal set of talks and discussions showcasing the amazing things our students do in the field of research. Register to attend for free.

Leeds Creative Labs: Virtual Edition showcase

Be inspired by collaborations between artists and academics when you sign up for the free Leeds Creative Labs: Virtual Edition showcase on Thursday 29 October. Researchers from each of our faculties are taking part in the Labs for the first time ever and, as the programme takes place online, artists from across the UK have been selected to collaborate with them. Hear participants’ reflections on their experiences and learn how creativity can help generate new ideas for research, impact and cultural production.

What Value Culture?

The Centre for Cultural Value is running a free online festival from Monday 2 to Friday 13 November. Called What Value Culture?, this series of digital events will examine how people define culture, what it means to them and how it can impact on society. Find out more and book your place via the Centre for Cultural Value’s website.

Beyond Measure? programme

Beyond Measure? aims to explore research into culture and health through a selection of online events. Register to attend a free lunchtime discussion introducing the programme on Friday 6 November, complete with talks by artists Garry Barker, Niya B and Sarah Fraser. Each will discuss their interest in the initiative, their approach to it and the artistic creations that came about as a result of their involvement.

Survey is green for go!

Have your say about plants in your community with the Great Big Greenspace Survey. The study aims to understand public perceptions of plants in urban spaces, as well as help provide guidance on the management of greenspaces and landscapes. Those taking part can also enter a free prize draw for the chance to win one of three £50 gift vouchers.


Light Night 2020

Our very own Parkinson Building is among seven iconic Leeds landmarks to be lit up by interactive rooftop laser displays from 22-24 October, as part of the city’s annual Light Night festival. For the first time ever, members of the public will have the chance to control huge powerful lasers – mounted on the rooftops of the buildings – directly from their smartphone or computer. Using an interactive website, you can control the position, colour and shape of the lasers, which will be seen for miles around.

Virtual Hallowe’en Run Relay

Can you sprint like a bat out of hell or does the mere suggestion of exercise make your blood run cold? Either way, don’t give up the ghost! Keep your spirits high and lace up your trainers to join Get Out, Get Active’s Virtual Hallowe’en Run Relay, exclusively for colleagues at Leeds. Registration closes at 5pm on Wednesday 21 October with the event starting on Monday 26 October. Each relay team consists of six people. You’ll be allocated to a mixed ability team – you don’t have to run or jog quickly; the emphasis is on the taking part and having fun. Make no bones about it… this will be a scream!

FUAM Graduate Art Prize

Register for free to join Leeds University Library Galleries from 5.30-6.30pm today (Wednesday 14 October) as they reveal the winner of the Friends of University Art and Music (FUAM) Graduate Art Prize 2020 and the People’s Choice Award. The competition recognises the creativity and excellence of our students, with winners selected from among four finalists following submissions from recent graduates of the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies and the School of Design.

Opera North’s La Petit Bohème: big screen, small audience

Opera North is projecting a 20-minute animation of La Petit Bohème onto the side of the Irene Manton Building on Thursday 19 November. For social distancing reasons, this ticketed event is open to a maximum of 35 people at each of the four screenings. Booking is essential and a full list of safety measures for the event can be found on the Opera North website.

Friday Lunchtime Concerts

Tune in at 1.15pm on Friday 16 October to listen to the latest online Friday Lunchtime Concert. The University’s International Concert Series is bringing the music to you for free through its YouTube Premiere series, with a concert being broadcast every fortnight. This week’s musical high note is Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto.

Ilkley Literature Festival Autumn 2020 programme

Ilkley Literature Festival returns with a packed programme of virtual events from 23-25 October. As the Festival’s higher education partner, colleagues are contributing to the programme, which is now open for registration. Events presented in partnership with the University include a Leeds Poetry Centre showcase; an interview about social mobility with Hashi Mohamed, author of People Like Us; and a workshop with Professor John Whale (Leeds Poetry Centre) about preparing poems for publication.

In case you missed it…  

Arrangements for the new academic year – a message from the VC

Guidance for physical teaching

Guidance on laptop loans for students

Download the NHS covid-19 app

Join the covid-19 vaccine research registry

Winter flu vaccination

Celebrate Our Staff

Partnership Awards 2020

Free help to quit smoking

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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