3 February eNews

Thought pieces, feedback opportunities, successes stories, Be Curious 2021, LGBT+ History Month and more.

eNews 3 February 2021

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


Asymptomatic (lateral flow) tests

Colleagues working on campus are 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. Even if you’ve had a positive test recently, you’re encouraged to take an asymptomatic test regardless, as this is a good indicator of high viral load and, therefore, whether you’re still infectious. Don’t book an asymptomatic test if you’re self-isolating following a positive test and only use campus if you have a negative result. 

Thought pieces

Inside Track | We need kindness and the ability to be human now more than ever

In an Inside Track feature, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, shares her thoughts about why we need to continue to pull together and use our shared humanity to inspire us

Podcast | Changing The World: The importance of listening

In the first episode of a new monthly series of podcasts, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, is joined by Fridey Cordingley, Deputy Director of Communications, to discuss her latest blog on the theme of listening. Hear the thoughts and questions from readers since the VC’s blog was first published, and delve deeper into why Professor Buitendijk was keen to raise this topic now.

Wellbeing and support

Balancing caring responsibilities

Please continue to talk to your line manager about your circumstances. Managers have been given 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.

Time to Talk Day 2021

Join the Unity Team in the Chaplaincy to start conversations about mental health and help end the stigma. Two virtual events are being held via Zoom tomorrow (Thursday 4 February), as part of Time to Talk Day 2021 – a national initiative to get the nation talking about mental health. Contact Farhat Yaqoob to register for the sessions, which run from 1-2pm and 4-5pm.


Health and Safety Policy consultation

See next week’s eNews for an invitation to join the final consultation phase on the University’s updated Health and Safety Policy. The policy sets out the responsibilities of everyone at the University and we want to make it as easy as possible to understand. Feedback can be submitted until Wednesday 10 March.

Student wellbeing: staff survey

All colleagues with student education-related roles (academic, professional and managerial, support, technical etc.) are invited to take part in the staff version of the Student Wellbeing and the University Experience Survey 2021. Run by Leeds Institute of Teaching Excellence (LITE), the survey is open until Friday 26 March. We recognise that in these exceptional circumstances, there are lots of calls being made on you, but we’d be grateful if you can find the time to fill in the survey, as feedback helps us better understand how we can support our students.

Have your say

We’d like to get your feedback about our new weekly version of eNews, issued every Wednesday. Please fill in our short eNews questionnaire, which should take no more than two minutes to complete. Your anonymous responses will really help improve our future communications.


Education restrictions

The Government announced on Wednesday 27 January that due to the national public health data and pressure on NHS capacity, education restrictions – including those in Higher Education – will remain in place until Monday 8 March at the earliest. Plans for students remain the same. 

Leeds Business Plan Competition 2021

Students and graduates who have a business idea, or have started their own enterprise, have until Friday 19 February to enter the University of Leeds Business Plan Competition 2021 to win a cash prize. Read the full terms and conditions, including entry details.

Campus Life

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

New mandatory supplier framework

Our new mandatory supplier framework for production services is designed to bring professionalism and consistency to the University’s digital, print and video assets. You can now choose from 21 approved external companies, providing services in strategic thinking, graphic design for digital and print, and video production.

More junk mail than usual?

If you seem to be getting more junk mail than usual, it might be because Microsoft began phasing out Clutter last month. Once it has been turned off, it cannot be turned back on, and we recommend you use Focused Inbox (in Office 365 only) instead.


Research Round-up

Read the latest in our monthly features shining the spotlight on our research success stories. The article explores a robotic revolution for urban nature, the burning question at the heart of global waste, latest awards, new partnerships and medical discoveries tackling viruses, cancer and covid-19. Contact Internal Comms if you would like to showcase your research achievements in a future edition.

Annual report highlights staff success

Staff resilience and flexibility in overcoming the challenges of a difficult year have been celebrated in the Library’s Annual Report 2019-20. The online report reflects on the Library’s contribution to learning, research and community engagement, through video conversations with the colleagues involved.


Take part in Be Curious 2021

Researchers from all disciplines are invited to make contributions to this year’s instalment of Be Curious, showcasing our world-leading research to the wider public. Read the guidelines for taking part and complete the online form by 5pm on Friday 12 March to register your interest. You’re also invited to book a 15-minute slot at a Be Curious surgery, which runs from 9-11am on Wednesday 3 March, if you would like to discuss your ideas before making a submission.

Ambitious regional climate partnership

We’ve joined forces with other key institutions across Yorkshire to help tackle climate change. Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, due to launch next month, will provide an independent voice to help support and track the delivery of ambitious climate actions across the region.

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 postgraduate researchers, showcasing the amazing things they do in the field of research.


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 – later this month. To mark the launch, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, and our Deputy Vice-Chancellors are hosting two events – on Wednesday 17 and Friday 26 February – 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.

LGBT+ History Month 2021

See the Equality Policy Unit website for details of the Leeds-based online events taking place to mark LGBT+ History Month, which focuses on the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, their lives and their experiences. You can also read more about the University’s LGBT+ Role Models and Allies, together with links to support for staff and students. The Parkinson Building was lit up in full rainbow colours on Monday (1 February) to mark the start of the national initiative, and will be again when it ends on Sunday 28 February.

Free online talk

Discover an extraordinary new acquisition by the University during a free online talk. The Brotherton Library has acquired King Charles II’s copy of the 1647 folio ‘Comedies and Tragedies’, featuring 34 plays by English dramatists Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher. Join Leverhulme Research Fellow, Dr José Pérez Díez, from 1-2pm on Thursday 11 February as he introduces this landmark book, published during the English Civil War.

In case you missed it

Wearing face coverings and exemptions

Remote working tax relief

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

THE article | Debating the future of the traditional lecture

Inside Track | Louise Banahene: Tackling degree awarding gaps

Assessment and degree classification

Celebrate Our Staff

Access China Connect

New appointments calendar

New way to view timetables

Apply for new LITE Fellowships

Research Culture Cafés

Foundations in Teaching course

Watch now | Student Education Conference recordings

Free online fitness classes

RAG Week 2021

Free parking on campus

Keeping up to date

This enewsletter is brought to you by the Communications team. 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 coronavirus website for the latest information and advice, including updated data for the number of coronavirus cases among staff and students

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