27 January eNews

Lateral flow tests, face coverings, tax relief, caring responsibilities, strategy events and have your say

eNews 27 January 2021

  • Coronavirus
  • Thought pieces
  • Wellbeing and support
  • Students
  • Campus life
  • Digital developments
  • Research
  • Celebrate
  • Training and development
  • Events
  • In case you missed it
  • Keeping up to date
  • Have your say


Asymptomatic (lateral flow) tests

The Government has confirmed that if you’re currently able to be on campus, you’re eligible for free twice-weekly lateral flow tests. We encourage you to make use of this to help break chains of transmission, identify asymptomatic infections and further ensure safety on campus. 

Wearing face coverings and exemptions 

See our updated guidance about face coverings and their use on campus. For those exempt from wearing them, this includes information on face shields and when to carry an exemption card. You can also watch the 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 – explaining why we need to wear face coverings in public places

Remote working tax relief

If you’re working from home, did you know you can apply to HMRC to claim tax relief for additional household costs? Visit the remote working tax relief section of our dedicated coronavirus website for further information.

Reporting queries or concerns

Report queries, concerns or suggestions related to covid-19 control on campus (e.g. activities where queues form, or issues about buildings or cleaning etc.) via email to the Estates Helpdesk or call 0113 343 5555. Email Wellbeing, Safety & Health for issues relating to safety on campus.

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’re 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.

Thought pieces

Vice-Chancellor’s blog | Confessions of a leader in a time of crisis

“The covid crisis has taught us the importance of strong communities, mutual support, shared values and human-centred strategies. We should ensure we use those lessons to re-focus our institutions on what truly matters to create a brighter future.” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, shares her latest blog, which includes a preview of some of the themes from the new University strategy, to be published shortly.

Debating the future of the traditional lecture

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, writes on the Times Higher Education (THE) website about why the future of the traditional lecture is up for debate once more.

Inside Track | Louise Banahene: Tackling degree awarding gaps

In the first of a series, Louise Banahene, Director of Educational Engagement, unpacks some of the key themes from the Access and Student Success Strategy and suggests ways we can all get involved.

Wellbeing and support

Balancing caring responsibilities

Please continue to talk to your line manager about your circumstances. Managers have access to more detailed guidance via Heads of School/Service. There are several options to help you manage

Remember that paid carer’s leave allowance has increased to 10 days (pro rata for part-time colleagues) and that the usual ‘urgent and unplanned circumstances’ criteria in the policy does not need to apply at the moment; carer’s leave can be agreed for future dates where you know there will be an issue with care, as well as for urgent and unplanned circumstances.

Virtual Step Challenge

Time is running out to join Get Out, Get Active’s Virtual Step Challenge. You will be randomly assigned to a team of six, with walkers of all abilities welcome. There are photo bonuses up for grabs and a lively Microsoft Teams chat to keep you motivated. Registration closes at 5pm today (Wednesday 27 January), with the challenge beginning in the week commencing Monday 1 February.

Free online fitness classes

You can access lots of free online fitness classes hosted by The Edge via Zoom each week. See the ‘Your Home, Your Move’ webpage for the full timetable.


Assessment and degree classification

In light of the covid-19 pandemic, information and guidance to students about assessment and degree classification has been updated. This includes a video from Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, and Professor Peter Jimack, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education. You can also read the email sent to students. We have adapted, and will continue to review, our approach to learning, teaching and assessment to ensure students are able to achieve and demonstrate the learning outcomes of their courses.

Improving connectivity for students in China

Students in China can now access China Connect – a service to boost performance of key University systems, including Mediasite, Minerva, MS Teams and Zoom. The service is now available to all students who need it.

RAG Week 2021

Parkinson Building will be lit up green from Monday 8 February for RAG Week 2021. Leeds RAG Society is running a series of online fundraising events in support of St Gemma’s Hospice, RETAS Leeds, Leeds MENCAP, Simon on the Streets, Macmillan Cancer Support and Sense. Further fundraising details and more information on the charities to benefit from this are available on the Leeds RAG Facebook and Instagram feeds. 

Campus life

Free parking

Free parking is available on campus to staff and students at any time of the day until the end of February. Before you can park on campus, you must ensure your car is registered for out-of-hours parking (you will need to log in via the Virtual Windows Desktop from home). Students should register by emailing their vehicle registration details from their University account.

Clap For Heroes

Parkinson Building is being lit up blue every Thursday as part of Clap for Heroes – the nationwide round of applause to pay tribute to all those who have played their part in the battle against covid-19.

LGBT+ History Month

Parkinson Building is being lit up in full rainbow colours on Monday 1 February and Sunday 28 February to mark the start and end of the national LGBT+ History Month initiative, which focuses on the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, their lives and their experiences.

Children’s Heart Surgery Fund

Parkinson Building is being lit up red on Friday 5 February to mark the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund’s annual Wear Red Day fundraiser. The event aims to increase awareness of congenital heart disease, which affects one in 100 newborn babies, as well as raising vital funds for the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit, which treats more than 17,000 babies, children, teens and adults every year.

Digital developments

Data Privacy Day

Tomorrow (Thursday 28 January) is Data Privacy Day, so why not take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the resources on the University’s Data Protection site? We’ve been rolling out Duo Security – a two-factor authentication system for staff and students – to improve security and help protect your University account. It will soon be available for students as well. You can also visit the IT website for advice on staying safe online and checking privacy settings on social media, online shopping and other sites.

New way to view timetables

Staff and students can now view timetables on personal devices with MyTimetable. The simplified weekly view is available on your desktop through Minerva and can be synced to calendars on other devices – simply click on the calendar icon beneath the ‘Teach’ tab to access it.

Access new appointments calendar

The web-based Microsoft Personal Bookings calendar tool is now available. Integrated with your Outlook calendar, you can publish your available hours and allow internal and external colleagues and students to easily book appointments. Please note this is a separate feature to Microsoft Bookings (for use with shared calendars), which is being evaluated.

New mandatory supplier framework

Our new mandatory supplier framework for production services goes live on Monday 1 February. Designed to bring professionalism and consistency to the University’s digital, print and video assets, you’ll be able to choose from 21 approved external companies, providing services in strategic thinking, graphic design for digital and print, and video production. More details to follow.


Fellowship applications

Applications are now open for two new Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) Fellowships, exploring the link between sense of belonging and the student experience. Sense of belonging is at the heart of our newly launched Access and Student Success Strategy 2025, and these fellowships will directly contribute to the strategy’s objectives. Closing date for applications is Sunday February 14.

Apply for research funding

Applications are still being accepted 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 tomorrow (Thursday 28 January).

Research Development Fund applications

Applications to the next round of the Research Development Fund are open until Tuesday 2 February. Awards of up to £600 are available to support patient, public or stakeholder involvement or engagement in the research design stage.

Research Culture Cafés

OD&PL is holding a series of online café-style conversations to promote a positive and inclusive research culture. These structured chats will propose solutions for change, share experiences and help create a research culture community network. An overview of the sessions, including how they run and some of the themes, is available on the OD&PL Researcher Development and Culture website.

Research LIVE

Leeds Doctoral College’s first ever Research LIVE event – from 1-2pm on Tuesday 9 February – includes all the good stuff from Research Nights… but in the daytime! Register now for the free online event, featuring three short talks from our excellent postgraduate researchers, showcasing the amazing things they do in the field of research.


Celebrate Our Staff

See the latest edition of our regular feature celebrating the achievements of colleagues across the University, showcasing new appointments, awards and fellowships. You can contact Internal Comms to make submissions for the next roll of honour in February. This is open to all colleagues.

Training and development

Foundations in Teaching course

The online and self-paced Foundations in Teaching (FiT) course from OD&PL provides information and advice to those new to teaching at Leeds. Full details, including how to book, can be found on the Student Education Development website.

Watch now | Student Education Conference recordings

You can now access all sessions from the Student Education Conference (SEC 2021) in one place. A record 420 colleagues attended this year’s inaugural online event, with the theme ‘Lessons from a Hybrid Teaching World’. Download the programme and click ‘Watch now’ to view each session.


Book your place | University of Leeds Strategy 2020-2030

We’ll be launching our new strategy – Universal Values, Global Change: University of Leeds Strategy 2020- 2030 – in mid-February. To mark the launch, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, and our Deputy Vice-Chancellors are hosting two events for colleagues to hear about our objectives in the areas of research and innovation, student education, digital transformation, international and our core overarching elements of community, culture and impact.

Holocaust Memorial Day

We’re commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day today (Wednesday 27 January) by inviting colleagues to watch an online civic remembrance event organised by Leeds City Council. It is available to view throughout the day.

In case you missed it

Access to campus buildings

Carer’s leave extended to March 2021

Homeschooling resources

University Teaching Awards 2021

Leeds Institute for Data Analytics announces Sainsbury’s partnership

New Interim 2021 Leaders and Managers Support sessions: book now

Keeping up to date

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, together with guidance on how to request an eNews entry. Please keep checking our dedicated coronavirus website for the latest information and advice.

Have your say

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