eNews 3 March

Coronavirus updates, staff survey final call, Digital Transformation Strategy consultation, International Women’s Day, events and more

Sunrise near the Laidlaw Library. February 2021


Face coverings on campus

We’ve updated our information on face coverings, including when and where they should be worn on campus, where you can collect a free reusable one and how to approach someone who’s not wearing a face covering, whilst being mindful that not everyone is required to wear them. Please also read new information on the wearing of face shields (visors) and their use in combination with a face covering.

Lifting lockdown restrictions: Next steps

On Monday 22 February the Government announced its plan for lifting current lockdown restrictions and shared new guidance with higher education providers. We have been working with schools to identify which groups of students might resume face-to-face practical teaching over the last three weeks of term (that is, from 8 to 26 March) and with Estates and the Health and Safety service to assess the associated space requirements. We will be confirming the plan very soon, and we have developed a template for schools to use when contacting these students. The template is being shared with Pro Deans and Faculty Education Service Managers shortly and reminds students that campus facilities are for essential use only, to take a lateral flow test twice a week and to wear face coverings.

We are currently updating the coronavirus website, in line with the new guidance, and we will share further details with you this week. In the meantime, and until further notice, please continue with your current working, teaching and research arrangements and remember to follow the hands, face, space guidelines 


University of Leeds Strategy 2020-30 launch: Recording now available

If you missed our events launching the new strategy, a recording is now available. To launch our new strategy, Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor, and our Deputy Vice-Chancellors held two Leeds conversations events to share our objectives in the areas of research and innovation, student education, digital transformation, international and our core overarching elements of community, culture and impact.

Thought pieces

Podcast | Becoming a values-based organisation

In the latest episode of a new monthly series of podcasts, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, is joined by Fridey Cordingley, Deputy Director of Communications, to discuss the VC’s blog, entitled ‘Confessions of a leader in a time of crisis’.


Staff survey: wellbeing and managing work

We’ve extended the closing date for our latest staff survey to ensure as many of you as possible can take part. The survey focusses on wellbeing and how you’re managing work. These were the key themes to emerge from your most recent feedback, as highlighted in a new For Staff article together with action already taken to try and address some of these points. Open until 5pm on Monday 8 March, the survey is anonymous and should take no more than five minutes to complete. We recognise there are lots of calls being made on you. However, we’d be grateful if you can find the time to fill in the survey, as it’s an effective way of helping us gauge and respond to the issues you’re facing.

Digital Transformation Strategy: Last chance to have your say

A final call has been issued to have your say about our new Digital Transformation Strategy. The strategy’s purpose is to provide an overarching view of our vision and aspiration in relation to digital transformation of our operational activities, student education, research and innovation and internationalisation. The closing date for comments is Friday 12 March.

Health and Safety Policy 2021 consultation

Have your say in the final consultation phase on our updated Health and Safety Policy. The policy sets out the responsibilities for all colleagues, and we want to make it as easy as possible to understand. Feedback can be submitted until Wednesday 10 March.

Leeds for Life refresh: virtual Q&A sessions

Views are being sought on a refresh of Leeds for Life through a trio of virtual Q&A sessions this month. Leeds for Life helps students get the most out of their time at university by supporting their personal and academic development. Dr Christina Edgar, Director of Student Opportunity, together with members of the Leeds for Life team, will use the sessions to explain more about the initiative and how you can get involved. Contact Leeds for Life to raise a question in advance of the sessions or to register to attend.

Digital developments

Lifelong Learning Centre’s new website

The Lifelong Learning Centre’s new website is now live. It hosts information about the centre’s work, as well as details on the courses it offers and support provided for mature students. 

Improving teaching and learning systems – have your say

You can still register to attend the next Digital Education Systems User Group (DESUG) meeting, from 1-3pm on Wednesday 10 March. Open to all staff and students, attendees will 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.


Celebrating Women of Achievement

Register to attend the online Women of Achievement Awards 2021 ceremony from 1-3pm on Thursday 11 March. The awards recognise the significant contribution and impact women make across the University and beyond. Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, will provide a welcome and introduction to the ceremony, which will be co-hosted by Professor Louise Bryant, University Academic Lead for Gender Equality, and Gillian Neild, Co-Chair of the Women at Leeds Network.

University of Leeds Teaching Awards 2021 

There’s still time to submit nominations for the University of Leeds Teaching Awards 2021, celebrating and recognising excellent practice in student education. Open to colleagues involved in teaching or supporting the student learning experience, winners receive a cash award to support professional development and scholarship, a certificate and an invitation to a celebratory event. Closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday 12 March.

Research Round-up

Read the latest in our monthly features shining the spotlight on our research success stories. The article highlights innovative research exploring the impact of covid-19, acceleration of glacier movements, childhood cancer treatment and medical discoveries, as well as new partnerships and latest awards. Contact Internal Comms if you would like to showcase your research achievements in a future edition.

International Women’s Day

Women in Tech

Join Leeds University Business School Executive Dean, Professor Julia Bennell, from 5-6pm on Monday 8 March as she chairs an online panel discussion celebrating women in tech to mark International Women’s Day 2021. Four inspiring women who’ve made waves in the tech world will discuss their career journeys and how they’ve challenged bias and overcome unequal representation within the sector throughout their careers and lives. A Q&A will follow the discussion.

Breaking Boundaries in STEM

The Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences invites you to join its latest online Breaking Boundaries in STEM event to mark International Women’s Day 2021. Running from 2-3.30pm on Monday 8 March, the session focuses on how to overcome obstacles and develop resilience. It includes an inspirational video followed by a stimulating panel discussion featuring role models from different disciplines, career stages and life experiences. 

LinkedIn Learning course collection

In celebration of International Women’s Day, LinkedIn Learning has highlighted courses supporting the skills needed for a progressive and diverse workplace. Further information about the courses, which can be viewed on LinkedIn Learning with your free University account, is available on the OD&PL website.

In conversation with Opera North

This International Women’s Day, our DARE partners at Opera North invite you to celebrate the powerful, inspiring and talented women who’ve captivated us both on and off stage. Join Director of Planning, Christine Chibnall, from 7-8pm on Monday 8 March as she explores the portrayal and interpretation of some of opera’s most iconic roles, in conversation with the women who’ve brought them to life. Join this Friends of Opera North Zoom event for free.

Shining a light

Parkinson Building will be lit up in purple and green on Monday 8 March to mark International Women’s Day 2021

Campus life

The Edge: reopening plans

Following the latest Government announcement, we plan to reopen The Edge on Monday 12 April, subject to current guidance remaining the same. See the Sport and Physical Activity website for latest updates.

Free parking

Free parking on campus for staff and students has been extended until the end of April. 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.

Learning and development

Learning for Life workshops

Sign up for the new series of online Learning for Life workshops providing personal and work-related skills development for colleagues on grades two to four. Workshops include: cross-cultural communications in the global workplace; networking effectively; developing personal health and wellbeing; communicating more effectively and speaking the same language; getting your voice heard and maintaining self-confidence in challenging times.

Digital Essentials courses

Book your place on one of a series of virtual 30-minute roadshow sessions being held by OD&PL this month showcasing how to access our new collection of LinkedIn Learning courses, which support colleagues to develop their digital skills for personal and career development. Available via your free University LinkedIn Learning account, courses can also be viewed on mobile phones.

Leaders and Managers Toolkit Surgeries

Get support and advice to resolve your work-related challenges by signing up for a series of new online surgeries. Facilitated by OD&PL, the 45-minute sessions cover a variety of themes, including communication, decision making, delivering results, leading and managing change, purposeful leadership, leading and managing remotely and self-awareness raising.


Research Culture Cafés: New dates

OD&PL has launched new dates for its 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.

Innovation fellowship programme: apply now

Applications are now open to recruit the second cohort for the Michael Beverley Innovation Fellowship Programme. Targeted at our early and mid-career researchers, the pioneering initiative is inspired by the opportunity to develop the next generation of academic entrepreneurs. Applications close at 12 noon on Wednesday 30 June. Colleagues are also being sought to support current and future cohorts, with the first wave of mentoring starting on Tuesday 23 March.

Social Science PhD and ECR Careers Week

Leeds Social Sciences Institute is running a week of training, talks and workshops to help PhD students and early career researchers (ECR) navigate their next career move as part of Social Science PhD and ECR Careers Week. The digital events, running between Monday 22 and Friday 26 March, are organised by the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York together with the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership.

Meet the Researchers: Achieving Net-Zero webinar series

Join the Alumni and Development Team and the Priestley International Centre for Climate to meet some of our researchers driving progress towards achieving local, national and global net-zero emissions targets. Running from Tuesday 9 March, each event in the series includes a 30-minute Q&A session.

Wellbeing and support

Virtual welcome events and updated induction checklist

Virtual welcome event dates for new staff are now available to book. Sessions will provide an opportunity to find out more about the University, meet new colleagues and explore the range of benefits, support and advice available. Read more about these events on the OD&PL website link above, where you’ll also find the recently updated version of the new staff induction checklist, useful links and information for new staff to explore.

Daffodil Run Relay

Spring into action and sign up for Get Out, Get Active’s Virtual Daffodil Run Relay, exclusively for colleagues at Leeds. Registration closes at 10am on Thursday 11 March with the relay starting in the week commencing Monday 15 March. You’ll be allocated to a mixed ability team, with the emphasis on having fun and connecting with other colleagues.

Free help to quit smoking

As National No Smoking Day approaches (Thursday 11 March), colleagues are reminded free remote support is available to help cut down or quit


Leeds conversations: USS Pension events

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is currently going through a valuation – a statutory assessment of the pension scheme’s financial health. This morning, the USS Trustee has published a 2020 valuation update about the funding challenges facing the scheme. Universities UK has published a response on behalf of USS employers. Find both via USS Pension In Depth on For Staff

Join our Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and the University’s UCU Pension Officer at our Leeds conversations events later today (Wednesday 3 March) or tomorrow (Thursday 4 March) to hear a summary of negotiations and decisions to date. A recording of the first session is also now available.

International Medieval Congress 2021: register now

View the full programme and register now for the 2021 International Medieval Congress. One of the biggest online academic conferences in the world, this year’s theme is climates. The annual conference – dubbed the ‘Medieval Glastonbury Festival’ by delegates – runs from Monday 5 to Friday 9 July and is organised by the Institute for Medieval Studies.

West Yorkshire Innovation Festival

Join colleagues, businesses and entrepreneurs for a week of online workshops, events and talks at the inaugural West Yorkshire Innovation Festival. Running from Monday 15 to Friday 19 March, the festival aims to profile and encourage innovation-led activity, whilst showcasing available support and opportunities for a wide range of stakeholder groups to work collaboratively across the region. As part of the festival, our innovation hub, Nexus, will also introduce its brand new event series – The Future of Innovation.

Leeds Lit Fest 2021

There’s still time to attend the digital Leeds Lit Fest, which returns for 2021 with a selection of online talks, launches and workshops. Some of the events, which run until Sunday 7 March, feature colleagues from the University.

In case you missed it…

Vice-Chancellor’s Blog | The problems with ‘survival of the fittest’

Rebooting your computer

New version of the Virtual Windows Desktop being launched

Celebrate Our Staff

New interactive Menopause in the Workplace Workshops

Latest edition of the Leeds alumni magazine published

Read the newly published Sustainability Report

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

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, anonymous eNews questionnaire, which will only take a few minutes to complete. Your responses will really help improve our future communications.

Posted in: