eNews 17 March

Thought pieces, Leeds conversations, surveys, awards, Minerva upgrade, Bragg Building handover, LUU's new Student Executive, bike competition and more.

Sir William Henry Bragg Building. March 2021

Thought pieces

Vice-Chancellor’s blog | Not all men, but virtually all women

“Until more men understand just how deeply ingrained the fear of violence and harassment is in every woman’s consciousness and behaviours, it will continue to feel almost like a normal part of womanhood. It shouldn’t be that way. We need change, fast.” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, shares her latest blog, which argues why we need to tackle the problem of sexual harassment and gender-based violence with much more urgency.

Inside Track | Professor Nick Plant: Helping shape our post-pandemic world

Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, explores how universities provided expertise to drive the global response to covid-19 and will help create a more sustainable, equitable world in the future.

Inside Track | Professor Neil Morris: Realising the benefits of our digital and online activities

In his latest Inside Track feature, Professor Neil Morris, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation, reflects on some of the many success stories from our investments in digital technologies and online activities for our students, researchers and global learners.

Leeds conversations

USS Pensions PowerPoint shared

Download an accessible copy of the PowerPoint shared during the Leeds conversations USS pensions event, along with a recording of one of the live sessions.

Missed one of our events?

Leeds conversations is our series of online events, where colleagues can discover more about our key strategic priorities and activities from senior leaders. To date, our events have covered the Access and Students Success Strategy, digital transformation, our University Strategy 2020-30 and the USS pension scheme. All our Leeds conversations events are available to watch on demand via our dedicated In depth section on For Staff.


Essay submissions deadline extended

The deadline has been extended until Monday 22 March for research and teaching fellows, lecturers and associate professors to submit essays in support of the new University strategy and its three themes of culture, community and impact. Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, is inviting submissions, which will be collated for an interactive digital publication. Those interested in contributing to the project are asked to contact the Vice-Chancellor with a summary of their suggested topic. Follow the above link for full details.


New digital teaching and learning survey

Staff and students are being asked for their views on digital teaching and learning. The latest Jisc surveys follow those issued in October, which inspired a raft of improvements in how we deliver online education. Both surveys are open until midnight on Sunday 28 March. 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 – and encourage students to do the same – to help improve experiences of digital teaching and learning.

Carbon Friendly Food Focus Group

Great Food at Leeds, the University’s catering service, is seeking staff and students to join an online focus group looking at the sustainability of its meal options. It aims to calculate the carbon footprint of food served in its campus cafes, and would like to get your opinion about how best to present this information. Sessions lasting about 90 minutes will take place on Teams on Wednesday 24 (undergraduates only) and Thursday 25 March (staff and postgraduates).


Interim Executive Dean announced

Professor Mark Kearney will take on the role of Interim Executive Dean for the Faculty of Medicine and Health until the end of August 2022. His appointment aligns with his predecessor, Professor Paul Stewart, starting a new role as the Vice-Chancellor’s Adviser on Health Policy. 


Women of Achievement Awards 2021

Outstanding success stories of 28 colleagues have been recognised during this year’s special Women of Achievement Awards ceremony. The awards highlight the significant contributions and impact the recipients have made across the University and beyond.

Annual Sustainability Awards

Nominations for the Annual Sustainability Awards are now being accepted. Open to all colleagues, the awards are your chance to celebrate the individuals and teams who are embedding sustainability in everything we do at Leeds. No matter what you’re involved in, however big or small, we want to hear about it. Nominations close on Monday 12 April, with shortlisted entries being announced online.

Early Career Publishing Prize winners

Three alumni are celebrating their success in the inaugural Leeds Early Career Publishing Prize. The competition was organised by the University to support outstanding researchers at the start of their careers to increase the impact of their work. Winners will be supported through the commissioning process with the White Rose University Press and, if successful, their PhD research will be available as open access monographs.

Digital developments

Minerva upgrade

Due to essential maintenance, we’re planning to upgrade Minerva. To reduce the impact on staff and students, work is planned to take place during a weekend – from 6pm on Friday 26 March until late the following day. Minerva will not be available during this period and you won’t have access to content. Access to other University systems, such as Outlook, OneDrive and student/faculty services, will be unaffected.

Q&A | Taking your course online

The Digital Education Service is holding a live online Q&A for colleagues from 4-5pm on Thursday 25 March. The event is aimed at academic and support staff involved in the creation and delivery of online courses. Take this time to reflect on how digital teaching practices have developed during the past year in this supportive session with peers from across the University.

Campus life

New facilities designed for 21st century science

The Sir William Henry Bragg Building – a new teaching and research facility for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences – has been formally handed over to the University by construction company BAM. Work on the project started four years ago, and the focus now shifts to fitting out the interior, with a scheduled autumn opening date. Named after a former Leeds professor who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915, the new facility will bring together the School of Physics and Astronomy and the School of Computing, creating an engineering and physical sciences hub on the north-east corner of campus.

Sign up | Campus Developments newsletter

Sign up for the bi-monthly Campus Developments enewsletter to receive the latest updates about campus buildings and facilities and to find out how this work supports the University’s ambition to harness its expertise in research and education.

Student study spaces

Students can now book study spaces in the Irene Manton and Clarendon Building, with more opening later this week. These are in addition to spaces already available in the Edward Boyle, Laidlaw and Health Sciences libraries, the Emmanuel Centre, Parkinson Building and Common Ground in the LUU building on campus. We’ve also introduced a new system to book study spaces, which is fairer and more flexible. Students continue to be advised that the Government has requested our campus facilities, including libraries and study spaces, are provided for ‘essential access’ only at the moment, and that we’re doing all we can to ensure the health and safety of our staff and students.

Reopening sports facilities

Following the latest Government announcement, we plan to reopen our outdoor sports facilities, including Sports Park Weetwood and the Bodington Cycle Circuit, on Monday 29 March. This will be followed on Monday 12 April by The Edge, subject to the current timeline for easing national lockdown restrictions remaining the same.

Census awareness

Parkinson Building will be lit up purple from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 March to raise awareness about this year’s Census and to remind everyone to take part.


Meet the 2021/22 Student Executive team

Find out about the new Leeds University Union (LUU) Student Executive team. More than 6,100 students voted in this year’s elections, with results announced earlier this month.


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.

Apply now | Innovation fellowship programme

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.

Be Curious 2021

Thanks to our brilliant researchers, we’ve topped last year’s number of proposals for the 2021 online instalment of Be Curious. Scheduled to take place from Saturday 10 to Friday 16 July, Be Curious 2021 will spotlight the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and showcase how research at Leeds is ‘Making a World of Difference’. The Public Engagement team is busy reviewing submissions, so watch this space for details of a bumper programme!

Share a Smile for Red Nose Day

The Public Engagement team invites you to Share a Smile for Red Nose Day on Friday 19 March. Join in the fun by sharing your favourite research-related joke on Twitter on the day, tagging @UniLeedsEngage and @comicrelief together with #RedNoseDay. Let’s see if we can cover all research areas at the University!

Staff benefits

Enter now | Electric bike competition

Cyclescheme, which administers our Cycle to Work Scheme, has teamed up with Islabikes to give away an eJanis bike worth £2,699! All colleagues, whether they’re scheme members or not, can enter the competition before midnight on Sunday 21 March. Good luck!


West Yorkshire Innovation Festival

You can still join colleagues, businesses and entrepreneurs for a series of online workshops, events and talks at the inaugural West Yorkshire Innovation Festival. Running until 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. Other highlights from the University include an introduction to Space Hub Yorkshire and innovations in rail research at our Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration.

Register | Climate networking webinar

Sign up to attend an online networking webinar being held by Policy Leeds and the Priestley International Centre for Climate on Thursday 25 March. The UK will host the next UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow this November, helping accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Many other events are planned in the run-up to COP26, providing opportunities to engage with, and inform, climate stakeholders. This webinar will hear from four Leeds researchers on their experiences of engaging with UNFCCC in a variety of different ways.

Online workshop

Register for the latest Share, Adapt, Adopt Workshop (SAAW) from 10-11am on Thursday 25 March. Titled Online Magic, the event will showcase innovative and new ways to use online tools for teaching and learning. A collaboration between Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) and OD&PL, the SAAW series continues to examine and showcase best practice across the University, as well as address new challenges posed by covid-19 restrictions.

Public engagement workshop

Are you a researcher interested in developing mutually beneficial partnerships? If so, sign up for the latest Pepnet event from 1-3.30pm on Wednesday 28 April, when a virtual workshop will be delivered by expert colleagues from the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE).

In case you missed it

Vice-Chancellor’s blog | Gender discrimination: we need to see it to fight it

Vice-Chancellor’s podcast | Leading through the pandemic: The challenges of overwork and perfectionism

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey 2021

Latest student contract

Get started with PebblePad

and book training sessions

Online overviews | Microsoft Personal Bookings and the Microsoft Bookings app

Get involved | 101 Stories of Research

Register your interest | Building Impact Momentum Programme

MCard extension/cancellation requests

New Single Parent Network

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: