28 October eNews
Free school meals, taking a break, coronavirus-related updates, digital developments, celebrations and more
Image – Light Night Leeds by Lizzie Coombes
Free school meals and helping out
Businesses and organisations across Leeds are offering free school meals during the October half term. As a University, we supported the Let’s Eat foodbank in Chapeltown during the summer, and this week we’re supplying them with packed lunches and breakfast cereals. Find venues offering free meals plus information about how you can help your local community
Christmas break 2020 extended
To thank all colleagues for your continued commitment to the University throughout the exceptional and challenging year of 2020, we have decided to extend the closure period during Christmas 2020 and New Year. We will be closed to normal business activity from Monday 21 December and resume on Monday 4 January 2021. Further details were shared in an email to all staff on Thursday 15 October and updated year planners can be downloaded from For Staff.
Taking a break: Annual leave
We are encouraging you to discuss plans with colleagues and managers to schedule your annual leave. The mental health and wellbeing of our staff is important and never more so than during the challenges faced during the past six months. Our annual leave policies have not changed and continue to apply.
VC blog | COVID: We can’t fix everything, and that should be OK
“We may have to redefine good and accept it is not the same as it would have been last year…” Our Vice-Chancellor launches her new blog and asks all of us: are our current efforts sustainable?
Workplace support for your mental wellbeing
If you’re experiencing depression, anxiety, stress or other mental health issues affecting your work, you can access nine months of free, confidential and one-to-one workplace mental health support from Remploy. This service complements the support already available from our Staff Counselling and Occupational Health teams.
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.
Local COVID alert level and its impact on the University
There has been speculation that Leeds, along with other parts of the country, may move from a local COVID alert of ‘high’ (tier 2) to one of ‘very high’ (tier 3). If this happens, we expect that the impact on the University will be minimal, subject to any additional measures that are introduced. Please read the communication sent to all colleagues on Thursday 22 October
Questions from Working Together: Autumn Term 2020
If you missed our sessions on the steps we’re taking to welcome back students and deliver a high-quality education in the coming academic year, we’ve summarised many of the most frequently asked questions and those that received the greatest number of ‘thumbs up’ in the chat bar. A recording of the final event is still available.
Guidance for first aiders coming onto campus
Download new guidance and read frequently asked questions if you are a first aider coming back onto campus. The guidance shares some of the changes you can expect and the actions you need to take when you first arrive back in your workplace, plus details of how to arrange a first aider briefing.
Inside Track | What is digital transformation and why do we need it?
In his latest Inside Track feature, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation, Professor Neil Morris, shares our vision for the future of the University in relation to the use of digital technologies
Microsoft licence upgrade
Our Microsoft licence has been upgraded for all staff and students. This gives you an increased mailbox size, doubled from 50GB to 100GB. Microsoft Teams meeting recordings will also now be automatically uploaded to Stream (and available to all meeting participants). 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
Coming soon: New information security system
We will soon be introducing Duo Security – a two-factor authentication system for staff and students – to improve security and help protect your account. It’s similar to systems used by online banking and shopping websites, so even if someone knows your password, you’ll be immediately alerted if they try to log in as you. Duo will initially protect Microsoft Office 365 and the Virtual Windows Desktop, but will cover other systems in the future. Further information will be shared as this is rolled out.
Working remotely: online information event
The past few months have seen a rapid change in the systems you can use to work remotely. Are you unsure about the difference between the Virtual Windows Desktop and Remote Desktop Gateway? Want to know more about AppsAnywhere or the Cluster Remote Access service? Book your place on a free online ‘Working remotely’ event organised by IT Services on Thursday 12 November.
Reminder: Deleting old M: and N: drive data
It’s really important everyone is storing personal data for the correct length of time, in accordance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements. Please review and delete out-of-date data from the M: and N: drives, if it’s no longer required. Additional guidance on how to access the N: and M: drives from home can be found on the IT Knowledge Base, and look out for further updates on our data retention schedule in the near future.
New Leadership and Professional Practice website
The new Leadership and Professional Practice website has been launched, with a range of sessions and programmes to support you and your team, including a suite of management essentials resources.
Software for students
AppsAnywhere is the web-based portal – available through the academic Virtual Windows Desktop (VWD) – that provides access to a wide range of software. Students with Windows devices will soon be able to use AppsAnywhere and access much of the same software without needing to log on to the VWD. More details will be published when the new service is launched.
Electricity supply disruption: early alert
If you work with equipment on campus that’s sensitive to power supply interruptions, such as for research purposes, you’ll need to know about a planned disruption scheduled for one weekend in November or December. Heating and hot water will also be affected. We’re working closely with our contractor, Engie, to confirm the exact date to give you as much notice as possible. In the meantime, contact Project Manager, Simon Gough, to discuss the implications of the disruption.
Free drink voucher
There’s still time for Great Food at Leeds (GFaL) Club members to claim a free hot drink. Vouchers have been sent to members via the app; simply present it at the till by Friday 30 October (applies to all accounts used or created in the past 12 months). It’s now mandatory to wear face coverings in all GFaL outlets, apart from when sitting to eat or drink. See the GFaL scheduled opening dates and times and watch the short video about what to expect when eating-in
All GFaL cafes will be accepting reusable cups again from Monday 2 November. And to make these outlets even more sustainable, specific coffee cup recycling bins have been installed in busy locations.
New Deputy Vice-Chancellor to head research and innovation
Professor Nick Plant has been appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation. Professor Plant, who has held the role in an interim capacity since May, will continue to lead on the development of our research and innovation strategy, creating a culture and environment that delivers high-quality research and impact for the region and beyond.
Celebrate Our Staff
See the latest edition of our regular feature celebrating the achievements of colleagues across the University, showcasing an array of awards, fellowships and appointments. Don’t forget you can contact Internal Comms to make submissions for the next roll of honour in November. This is open to all colleagues.
FUAM Graduate Art Prize winner
Following this year’s exhibition, the winner of the 2020 Friends of University Art and Music (FUAM) Graduate Art Prize has been announced as T’Shah Henry (BA Art and Design). The People’s Choice winner was Sasha Napoli (BA Fine Art).
New fellowship programme launched
Applications are now open for the Michael Beverley Innovation Fellowship Programme, funded through a £1 million donation from Michael Beverley, a Leeds alumnus and Yorkshire business leader. Targeted at our early and mid-career researchers, this pioneering initiative is inspired by the opportunity to develop the next generation of academic entrepreneurs. Applications close at midnight on Wednesday 18 November and the programme begins in January 2021.
Festival of Social Science programme
Leeds Social Sciences Institute (LSSI) has organised 11 online events as part of the virtual Economic and Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science. Running from Saturday 7 to Sunday 15 November, the Festival is an exciting opportunity to celebrate leading social science research and the impact it has on all our lives. Find out more about LSSI’s full programme, which explores a range of intriguing topics, including the climate crisis, activism, radical geography, food insecurity and instability, job satisfaction and maths for citizenship.
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 full programme of Black History Month events being held online and in Leeds to promote knowledge, understanding and an awareness of Black History.
National Inclusion Week 2020 – event recordings
We hope you enjoyed National Inclusion Week 2020. Thank you to everyone who took part in our online events, especially to the fantastic staff, students and external guests who delivered sessions. Recordings of several events are available on MS Stream, including: Accessible Documents Training; Accessible Yoga Class; Chinese Name Pronunciation Workshop; Language in Equality and Inclusion: The Perspective of Students; and Sense of Belonging at Leeds Panel Event.
Be Curious 2020
Our packed programme of events might have finished, but you can catch up with all the Be Curious 2020 content shared on our Padlet! Wow demonstrations, try-at-home activities, digital jigsaws, podcasts and more are still available to access. Created by more than 130 colleagues across the University, they showcase our world-leading research to the wider public.
Digital Education Systems User Group meeting
The next Digital Education Systems User Group meeting runs from 3-5pm on Wednesday 18 November. Open to all staff and students, attendees receive the latest updates and can propose improvements to teaching and learning systems, as well as provide feedback on recent and future projects. Contact Ellie Dunn for further information and to book your place.
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.
Student Education Conference 2021
The deadline for submissions of abstracts for the 2021 Student Education Conference (SEC) is 5pm on Friday 6 November. Taking place on Thursday 7 January, SEC 2021 will explore the theme of ‘lessons from a hybrid world’.
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 tomorrow (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.
Register for free online festival
Running from Monday 2 to Friday 13 November, the Centre for Cultural Value’s free online festival will examine how people define culture, what it means to them and how it can impact on society.
Sign up for free lunchtime discussion
Register to attend the free lunchtime discussion introducing the ‘Beyond Measure?’ programme on Friday 6 November. Organised by the Cultural Institute in collaboration with the Centre for Cultural Value and Leeds Arts Health and Wellbeing Network, ‘Beyond Measure?’ aims to explore research into culture and health through a series of online events. Artists Garry Barker, Niya B and Sarah Fraser will discuss their interest in the initiative, their approach to it and the artistic creations generated as a result of their involvement.
Make your public engagement count: complete the HE-BCI survey
Record your public engagement (PE) data on Symplectic by Friday 6 November, as this is required for the mandatory Higher Education Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey. Whether it’s a lecture, performance, exhibition or something else entirely, details of your public event help assess the impact HE providers have on the wider community, and are used to drive allocation of the performance-based component of Higher Education Innovation Funding.
Policy Leeds launch event
Our new connecting hub for research policy engagement, Policy Leeds invites all colleagues to attend its opening event to learn more about the support it can offer. The event will also showcase examples of great policy engagement already happening at Leeds and signpost other available support, followed by a Q&A session.
International Medieval Congress 2021 goes virtual
The International Medieval Congress (IMC) 2021 will go digital once again following the success of this year’s online offering. Organisers have already received proposals for more than 1,600 papers from 1,800 people from a range of disciplines across 57 countries. Find out more about IMC 2021, which is scheduled to take place from Monday 5 to Friday 9 July 2021.
Keep up to date…
Emails now available on For Staff
Recent editions of eNews and our latest All Staff emails have now been added to a dedicated For Staff In Depth page, along with additional information about our eNews publication schedule and how to submit entries. We’ll be adding future emails as we go, so you no longer need to trawl your inbox for past copies!
Celebrating 4,000 Twitter followers
We’ve reached 4,000 followers on our staff Twitter account! Thank you to everyone who helped us reach this figure. If you’re not already following us, why not sign up to the staff Twitter account and get the latest University news and information first?