9 December eNews

Arrangements for the new term, asymptomatic covid-19 testing (with video), staff survey responses and more.

9 December eNews. December 2020

Approach to students’ return in the new year

Roger Gair, University Secretary, wrote to all staff on Friday 4 December about the Government’s newly published guidance on the return of students for the spring term. We’ll share arrangements with colleagues and students soon.

Asymptomatic covid-19 testing

Asymptomatic tests for students and postgraduates can now be booked up to Monday 14 December (extended from today – Wednesday 9 December). Please refer to Friday’s eNews Extra for full details.

And watch our latest video, celebrating the contribution of staff and students in helping establish the two asymptomatic testing centres on campus, enabling students that wish to leave their term-time address for the winter break to travel with greater confidence in the designated ‘Student Travel Window’.

Vice-Chancellor’s blog | Stepping off the hamster wheel

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, shares her latest blog, which examines the notion that a limited perspective can obscure the essential – and the importance of collaboration over competition.

Staff survey responses

Work has begun to consider what action can be taken to try and address the key themes from last month’s staff survey, which nearly 2,000 of you kindly completed. We will go through your feedback in greater detail during the coming weeks and respond fully in the New Year, when we’ve had time to consider how we can further support you.

December payday reminder

Due to the decision to extend the University closure period during Christmas 2020 and the New Year, please make sure you’re aware of the arrangements for December’s payday

Updated data | Coronavirus cases among staff and students

The health and safety of our staff and students 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.


Leeds Conversations | Access and Student Success Strategy recording

A panel of University leaders, including Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, and Louise Banahene, Director of Educational Engagement, helped launch the new Access and Student Success Strategy on Friday 27 November. A recording of this Leeds Conversations event is now available, together with a link to download the strategy.

Christmas in Leeds

Many students and postgraduate researchers will be staying in Leeds during the festive season and, as well as lots of holiday activities and support being available, the Christmas in Leeds programme offers a wide range of events for students, their partners and families to get involved in.

Digital developments…

New information security system

We’re 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 details were shared in an email to all colleagues on Thursday 26 November

Revitalising the student experience

Find out how the launch of ePortfolio tool PebblePad at Leeds will contribute directly to a completely refreshed approach to Academic Personal Tutoring and help us address awarding gaps, student retention and student success.

Leeds Conversations | Digital Transformation at Leeds recording

Professor Neil Morris, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation, was joined by a panel of fellow senior leaders from across the University yesterday (Tuesday 8 December) to explore the meaning of digital transformation and how it impacts every part of our community. A recording of the session is now available for those who were unable to attend.

Share your ideas | Digital Technology: affordances and challenges

As part of a new series of Inside Track features, Professor Neil Morris, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation, discusses the affordances and challenges of digital technology. Other features in the series include exploring the potential of online education, freeing up our time with digital technologies and enhancing our research and innovation through digital transformation. You can find out how to get more involved from any of the above features.


Covid-19 research funding call

UKRI’s funding call for research and innovation ideas to address covid-19 closes at 4pm on Tuesday 15 December. Please note five working days are required for the University’s applications process for this call. Details of more coronavirus-related funding opportunities are expected to be announced in the new year.

Research Round-up

Read the latest in our monthly features shining the spotlight on our research success stories. The article explores: powering the next generation of rail travel; why the past is key to predicting future climate; transforming the infrastructure to reach net-zero; and a pioneering trial detecting cancers early. We’re taking a break for December, but don’t forget you can still contact Internal Comms to showcase your research achievements in a future edition.

Apply for research funding

Applications are now open to the White Rose Collaboration Fund, which encourages emerging research partnerships across the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. Grants of up to £15,000 are available. The deadline is midnight on Thursday 28 January.

Research Development Fund applications

Applications to the next round of the Research Development Fund open on Tuesday 5 January, with a deadline of Tuesday 2 February. Awards of up to £600 will be available to support patient, public or stakeholder involvement or engagement in the research design stage.

Unlocking the potential of civic collaboration

Leeds Social Sciences Institute recently published a review of research-policy engagement between the University and Leeds City Council. The report highlights various benefits and explores ways to collaborate in a more effective manner. Colleagues are also invited to register for a webinar tomorrow (Thursday 10 December) that will highlight the key findings.


New Interim Director of IT

Dave West has been appointed the University’s Interim Director of IT. Dave is joining us from Accenture, where he’s had significant experience of large-scale IT delivery programmes in the public sector, leading several successful business transformation projects in large central government departments and UK Public Safety.

Research and innovation role

Professor Alex Frangi has been appointed Director of Research and Innovation at Leeds Institute of Data Analytics (LIDA). Professor Frangi is Diamond Jubilee Chair in Computational Medicine and Royal Academy Chair in Emerging Technologies at Leeds, with joint appointments in the Schools of Computing and Medicine. He brings his expertise in artificial intelligence and medicine to the role, and will support LIDA’s mission for continued growth across a range of multi-disciplinary projects.

Health and wellbeing…

Relax and unwind with LinkedIn Learning

During the festive break, it’s important to take time to look after your wellbeing. Access your free LinkedIn Learning account and check out a specially curated collection of wellbeing courses. Discover more than 15,000 courses on LinkedIn Learning covering a wide range of topics, anytime and anywhere. Log in online or download the app from Google Play or the Apple Store.

Free help to quit smoking

If you would like to cut down or quit smoking in time for Christmas and could do with a helping hand, take advantage of the free remote quit smoking support offered to all colleagues. It’s your last chance to access available services before the new year, so please sign up for the programme by 5pm today (Wednesday 9 December) to be sure of your place.

Winter wellbeing advent calendar

Forget the chocolate variety, The Edge has created a 12 Days of Winter Wellbeing Advent Calendar for some great ideas to give yourself a physical and mental boost this festive season.


Campaign passes £100m target

Thanks to gifts from more than 16,000 alumni, colleagues, other individuals and organisations, our Making a World of Difference Campaign has now surpassed its £100m fundraising target. Their generous support has been felt across campus: by the many hundreds of students whose studies have been supported by scholarships, through research projects and PhD funding, as well as new buildings and facilities.

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. We’re taking a break for December, but don’t forget you can still contact Internal Comms to make submissions for the next roll of honour in January. This is open to all colleagues.

Honouring women in research

Entries are now being accepted for the Water Woman Award 2021, recognising the achievements of women in research and their power to inspire others. Organised by water@leeds in partnership with faculty Athena SWAN teams, the award closing date is 2pm on Friday 15 January.

Campus life…

Switch off when you leave

If you’re working on campus, help us reduce the University’s energy use and carbon footprint during the Christmas shutdown period (Monday 21 December to Monday 4 January) by turning off computers, photocopiers, empty fridges and other electrical equipment, where this can safely be done.

The Edge reopening

Facilities at The Edge will reopen on Monday 14 December. Latest updates will feature on the Sport and Physical Activity website, including details of what to expect when using the centre from this date. Christmas opening hours for The Edge have also been announced.

Edward Boyle – book a study session

Postgraduates and staff can now book a study space on Level 13 of the Edward Boyle Library. This is part of a phased approach to reopening our services across the Library. Instructions on what to expect and measures in place are available on the booking page, and remember to take your booking details and your ID when you visit.

Festive fun…

End-of-the-year quiz

Fancy yourself as a quiz king or queen? Why not test your grey matter in our festive, fact-loving, end-of-the-year quiz? Covering topics ranging from Tolkien to campus art, how many questions will you answer correctly? Tweet us your score to see if you passed with first-class honours… or if you’re on your way to the duck house!

Christmas crackers!

Christmas has come early with a range of seasonal promotions presented by Great Food at Leeds (GFaL). Try some of the festive fare offers, including sandwiches, mince pies and homemade Rudolph shortbread biscuits, or the winter warmer drinks, such as Hugo’s Gingerbread Latte. After the Government’s announcement that Leeds has moved into Tier 3 restrictions, selected cafés will remain open for a takeaway service. This includes a traditional festive lunch, available at The Refectory until Thursday 17 December. Noel doubt about it… yule love these tasty treats!

Virtual festive food demonstration

Join the talented Great Food at Leeds (GFaL) chefs for a free virtual festive food demonstration from 12.30 to 1.30pm on Friday 18 December. Learn how to make mouth-watering mince pies and sumptuous sweet and savoury pancakes.


Religious Festivals and Events Calendar 2021

You can now download the Religious Festivals and Events Calendar 2021. Produced by the Equality Policy Unit, the calendar highlights key diversity, faith and awareness-raising dates, as well as public holidays and other important events for the University. It supports scheduling and event planning, and helps build an inclusive environment where diversity is truly welcomed and celebrated.

Live, interactive covid-19 discussions 

Join leading academics for a series of live, interactive sessions on YouTube to discuss society’s response to covid-19 and what recovery might look like. Remaining sessions today and tomorrow (Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 December) will explore how communities responded to the pandemic and its impact on disabled people.

Student Education Conference 2021: full programme and sign-up

View the full programme and sign up for sessions for the virtual Student Education Conference 2021 (#SEC2021). The event on Thursday 7 January – themed ‘Lessons from a Hybrid Teaching World’ – will provide insights into a wide range of teaching innovations.

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, which runs until Friday 18 December. See the full list of events we’re hosting and the support available for disabled staff and students on the Equality Policy Unit website.

You can also read how we’ve been working hard to improve the accessibility of campus, as well as making equality of access a key consideration in planning new buildings.

Caroline Gooding Memorial Disability Law Lecture 2020

Pioneering campaigner and adviser on disability rights, Baroness Jane Campbell, will deliver this year’s Caroline Gooding Memorial Disability Law Lecture on Friday 11 December. Baroness Campbell will reflect on the impact of covid-19 on disabled people in the UK and its implications for disability rights. The free online event is jointly hosted by the Centre for Disability Studies and the School of Law’s Centre for Law and Justice.

Leeds Alumni Voices recordings

From research talks and professional networking to social gatherings and international get-togethers, re-watch or catch up on our alumni events and webinars. As part of the Leeds Alumni Voices series, find out how to make sustainable choices in your day-to-day life with Founder and CEO of Inclusive Trade, Rupa Ganguli, or discover how Founder and CEO of IMDb, Col Needham, transformed his love for films into the number one movie website in the world.

Online exhibitions

Discover our rich history across five new online exhibitions, each highlighting a different story from the University’s past. Learn about its humble beginnings, the creation of the crest, the role of the student newspaper during the First World War and more through the Leeds University Library Galleries’ Google Arts and Culture webpage.  

The Cottingley Fairies: A Study in Deception

How did the creator of the astute detective Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, get deceived by two girls from Yorkshire in what became arguably the greatest photographic hoax of the 20th century? Find out during a free online talk about upcoming exhibition, ‘The Cottingley Fairies: A Study in Deception’, being organised by Leeds University Library Galleries tomorrow (Thursday 10 December).

In case you missed it…

Support for colleagues to have flu vaccinations

Inside Track | Louise Banahene – A place where all students belong

EU Settlement Scheme deadline

Supporting the wellbeing of students

#2023PlasticFree: The story so far

Keep active and healthy at home

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. Our previous staff email communications can be found on our dedicated In Depth page, so there’s no need to trawl your inbox!

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