11 November eNews

Remembrance Day, Christmas arrangements for students, December payday and more

Photo by David Bartus from Pexels


We will remember them

For this year’s Act of Remembrance, rather than gathering on campus, you are invited to observe two minutes’ silence at 11am today (Wednesday 11 November) in your home or workplace to remember those who have died or suffered through war, conflict or terrorism. Further information is available from the above link, including how to access an audio file featuring a version of the Last Post and Reveille.

Christmas arrangements for students

The Government has today published guidance to universities on arrangements for students returning home for Christmas. We’re reviewing what this means for us, noting that there will be complicated logistical considerations involved, and will share more information with colleagues and students as soon as possible, once we have worked through these issues.

December payday

Due to the decision to extend the University closure period during Christmas 2020 and New Year, new arrangements for December’s payday and deadlines for payroll have been announced.

New national restrictions and impact on the University

Latest guidance on what the new national coronavirus restrictions mean for Leeds was emailed to all colleagues on Wednesday 4 November. The guidance covers the impact on research and student education, campus facilities and services, student support, working arrangements, travel and the requirement for face coverings to be worn in all higher education learning environments. We’re still reviewing and interpreting additional Government guidance, and will provide further clarification as soon as possible. 

VC blog | COVID: Three steps to coping with uncertainty

“The COVID crisis has put us on a path with no clear end. Having less control can be stressful, but we can make the journey easier.” Our Vice-Chancellor publishes her latest blog, outlining three steps to coping with a highly unpredictable future.

Updated data | Coronavirus cases among staff and students

The health and safety of our students and staff is our absolute priority. To support

this and to ensure transparency, we are publishing a weekly update on the numbers of positive covid-19 test results, along with a graph that shows the number of active cases during the past two weeks.

Bright Beginnings childcare

Bright Beginnings remains open during lockdown, providing a caring, secure and stimulating environment for pre-school children. The centre has excellent procedures in place for operating during a pandemic. Contact Bright Beginnings for further information and details of available childcare sessions.

Meet our new Police Higher Education Liaison Officer

PC Charlotte Maude is our new Police Higher Education Liaison Officer. Hear more from Charlotte on what attracted her to the role, what it involves and how she hopes to help staff and students.


Staff survey: How are you?

Take part in our latest short survey to check how you’re managing and to better understand any extra assistance you might need. Open until 5pm on Wednesday 18 November, the survey is anonymous and should take no more than five minutes to complete.

Help us improve students’ digital learning experience

We’re running a survey for teaching staff to gather your feedback on delivering teaching in a hybrid environment. It should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and will give us valuable insights, which this year are going to be more important than ever. Please also share the student survey with your students – they will be entered into a draw to win an iPad Pro if they take part using their University email address.

Remote access feedback

Do you use the VPN (Junos Pulse) to remotely access University services? We need your feedback to help us understand what it’s used for and why people use the VPN rather than other remote access methods, such as the Virtual Windows Desktop. This is important as we have a limited number of VPN licences and we need to make sure they’re available for colleagues who cannot access the services they need any other way. Please take part in the short VPN survey, which will only take a couple of minutes to complete.

Education Outreach appeal

Are you a parent, carer or key worker of a student in years 11-13, or at college, who’s interested in applying to university? If so, please complete the Education Outreach survey, so the team can better understand concerns you might have given the current pandemic, as well as any required support. Anonymous responses will help improve a video for parents on the Education Outreach webpage.

Student messages…      

Arrangements for our students next term

Students have now been contacted about the teaching arrangements for next term. Read a copy of the email sent to all colleagues on Friday 6 November outlining the details.

Need to advise students on self-isolating?

You can now access a range of useful information, links and guidance to help you support students with covid reporting and self-isolation

Digital developments…      

Inside Track | Enhancing our research and innovation through digital transformation

In the first of a series of new Inside Track features, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation, Professor Neil Morris, discusses our vision for effective use of digital technologies to support research and innovation activities and asks you to get involved in shaping the digital transformation strategy.

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 event

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 tomorrow (Thursday 12 November).

Register for online workshop

Sign up for a special online Share, Adopt, Adapt Workshop on Friday 27 November exploring the use of Virtual Laboratories and Simulation software for teaching and learning in higher education. Organised by Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) and Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation, Professor Neil Morris, speakers include Dr Chris Randall and Dr Dave Lewis, from the Faculty of Biological Sciences. Contact LITE if you would also like to speak at the event or to volunteer to help run a new special interest network on the topic.

Self-service portal: essential maintenance

The Employee/Manager Self-Service portal (ESS/MSS) will be unavailable between 9am and 1pm on Saturday 21 November while essential maintenance takes place. This will also affect KRISTAL and expense claims and approvals. 

Revised personal data retention schedule

It’s important everyone stores data for the correct length of time. A revised data retention schedule has been announced outlining how long different data types should be stored for, together with a reminder to check your files on M: and N: drives

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, make sure you have the latest version of the Teams app downloaded before contacting the IT Service Desk

Meeting to improve teaching and learning systems

The next Digital Education Systems User Group meeting is 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 to book your place.

Digital Education Systems Team newsletter

The Digital Education Systems Team, part of the Digital Education Service, has launched a new quarterly newsletter. The team has played a major role in supporting our delivery of learning and teaching throughout 2020. The update provides information on the team, the systems it oversees and its current projects. Sign up to receive future updates

Responsible metrics for research assessment

Our statement in support of Responsible Metrics in the Assessment of Research is now available on the Research and Innovation Service website. It sets out our commitment to the use of peer review and expert judgement, and emphasises the primary value of all research outputs and contributions to research from across the disciplines and career stages.


Academy of Social Sciences Fellowship

Professor Irena Grugulis, Chair in Work and Skills with LUBS, is celebrating being elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. This prestigious honour is awarded for outstanding contributions to research and leadership, as well as for application of social science to policy, education, society and the economy – in the UK and beyond.

Research Round-up

Read the latest in our monthly features shining the spotlight on our research success stories. This month’s article explores: habitable worlds beyond Earth, predicting tornadoes, tiny gold bullets to treat cancer, why faster footballs result in harder headers and 3D printing a tongue surface, among much more. Contact Internal Comms if you would like to showcase your research achievements in a future edition.

Get involved…

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.

Mentoring scheme relaunched

The University-wide mentoring scheme is open to all colleagues, regardless of job type or grade, who would like to be matched with another staff member. Mentors – and mentees – can register throughout the year, with matching taking place in November and May. Resources and development opportunities are also available to support both mentors and mentees.

Call for scholarship project proposals

Project proposals are now being sought from academic staff for the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship 2021. The programme aims to develop a new generation of leaders, while providing supervisors with an opportunity to mentor ambitious students who could make a lasting contribution to their School’s research output and reputation.


Free online discussion

Register for a free online event at 2pm today (Wednesday 11 November) reflecting on the ways climate change intersects with racial justice. Hosted by the Priestley International Centre for Climate and chaired by Dr Amrita Mukherjee (School of Law), it will feature discussion with some of the leading researchers and activists working in this space.

Register for free online festival

There’s still time to register for the Centre for Cultural Value’s free online festival. Running until Friday 13 November, the event examines how people define culture, what it means to them and how it can impact on society.

Inter Faith Week

Inter Faith Week runs until Sunday 15 November, providing an opportunity to strengthen relationships and understanding between people of different faiths and beliefs. Find out more about the religion and belief guidance and the inter faith and faith groups at the University, as well as online events being held to mark the initiative plus available support and resources.

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 until 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.

Policy Leeds launch

Our new connecting hub for research policy engagement, Policy Leeds, invites all colleagues to attend its opening event on Tuesday 17 November 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.

UK Disability History Month 2020

We’re supporting UK Disability History Month 2020 – the annual initiative focused on the history of disabled people’s fight for equality and human rights. Running from Wednesday 18 November to Friday 18 December, this incorporates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday 3 December, when the Parkinson Building will feature in the #PurpleLightUp campaign. See the full list of events we’re hosting and the support available for disabled staff and students on the Equality Policy Unit website.

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 hit 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?

In case you missed it…   

Christmas break extended

Taking a break: Annual leave

Workplace support for your mental wellbeing

Questions from Working Together: Autumn Term 2020

Guidance for first aiders coming onto campus

New Leadership and Professional Practice website

New software for students

Celebrate Our Staff

National Inclusion Week 2020 – event recordings

Catch up with Be Curious 2020 content

International Medieval Congress 2021 goes virtual

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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