eNews 31 March

Easter closure, thought pieces, UEG changes, digital developments, celebrations, stunning new campus sculpture, research funding and more.

eNews 31 March 2021


Asymptomatic test centre | Easter closure

The asymptomatic test centre on campus will close for Easter between Thursday 1 and Tuesday 6 April. Please note the entrance will change from LUU to the Refectory when the centre reopens on Wednesday 7 April.

Lifting lockdown | Government announcement expected

During Easter, we expect that the Government will announce whether England will be moving to step two on the roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions on Monday 12 April (or thereafter). We are also expecting information about arrangements for the summer term to be released by the Government in early April. We will be in touch with colleagues and students with more details about this during the week commencing Monday 12 April. In the meantime, please continue with your current working, teaching and research arrangements and remember to follow the hands, face, space guidelines

Vaccinations | Your questions answered

See our dedicated coronavirus website for a new covid-19 vaccinations Q&A, including advice about arranging appointments and implications for colleagues currently required to work on campus.

Thought pieces

Inside Track | We have submitted the Research Excellence Framework, now what?

In an Inside Track feature, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, Professor Nick Plant, celebrate the herculean efforts of colleagues across the University in putting together our Research Excellence Framework (REF) submission.

Podcast | Changing The World: The problem with perfectionism

In the latest episode of a new monthly series of podcasts, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, is joined by Alexandra Holloway, a Teaching Fellow in the Language Centre, and Dr Alex Ding, an Associate Professor in English for Academic Purposes, to discuss their own experiences with perfectionism, and the impact the concept has had on their careers, personal life and mental health.


Changes to UEG positions

Imminent and future changes to the membership of the University Executive Group (UEG) – the most senior management body in the organisation – have been announced.


Virtual classrooms survey

Tell us your views about virtual classrooms Collaborate Ultra, Microsoft Class Teams and Zoom. Our Virtual Classrooms Working Group is gathering feedback on these tools, with a focus on their use for synchronous teaching. The deadline for responses is Friday 16 April. We recognise there are many calls being made on you, however we’d be grateful if you can find the time to fill in the survey to help improve experiences of digital teaching and learning.

Management Essentials focus group

OD&PL is running a virtual focus group from 1-2pm on Tuesday 20 April to help shape the Management Essentials suite of development courses in the future. We would love to hear from colleagues with line management responsibilities who’ve not previously attended any of the courses.

Digital developments

Growing our fully online education | Find out more

Are you an academic with ideas for a fully online education programme? We want to grow our online provision rapidly, so expressions of interest are encouraged as part of this year’s IPE process. Find out more by registering for a live Q&A session on Wednesday 14 April or by booking a slot for a one-to-one discussion on Tuesday 20 or Thursday 22 April. And look out for further information about our Fully Online Education Teams site, coming after Easter.

Email security update

From Monday 12 April, we’re removing the function to auto-forward all your emails from your University account to a non-University account. This is in line with existing security policies, as doing this can result in personal or other confidential information being stored in systems where it’s not sufficiently well protected. You will still be able to manually forward messages and auto-forward to other University accounts.

Reminder | Lecture Capture retention and deletion policy

Please remember that in accordance with the updated Lecture Capture retention and deletion policy, revised in September 2019, scheduled Lecture Capture recordings and any content moved to shared module folders is only retained for two years. You will need to store any content you want to keep beyond this period in your own personal storage folder. Further information and guidance on retaining content can be found on the IT Knowledge Base.

Clocks go forward – University laptops

Clocks went forward by an hour on Sunday 28 March. We expect most University-managed laptops will have updated the time automatically, but if this didn’t happen, please connect to the VPN until the time corrects. Once connected to the VPN, follow the IT instructions to speed up the process.


Knowledge Exchange Framework published

Research England has today (Wednesday 31 March) published its Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), a measure of how the higher education (HE) sector is adding value to the economy by sharing its knowledge with business, industry, community groups and the public sector, comparing the performance of like-for-like universities. Leeds is among the top-performing HE institutions in England for launching start-up companies, explaining the impact of its research, and in working with the third and public sectors.

Celebrate Our Staff

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

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 origins of life on Earth, melting glaciers triggering further climate change, medical breakthroughs, new partnerships and latest awards. Contact Internal Comms if you would like to showcase your research achievements in a future edition.

Leeds Partnership Awards 2021 | Nominations deadline

It’s your last chance to make a nomination for the Leeds Partnership Awards, which recognise and celebrate the achievements, commitments and impact of staff, students and postgraduate researchers. Closing date is midnight on Tuesday 6 April.

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.

Campus life

Stunning new sculpture

Renowned Spanish sculptor, Juanjo Novella, has been working in collaboration with Poet Laureate and Professor of Poetry at Leeds, Simon Armitage, to create an exciting new artwork for campus. Located next to the new Esther Simpson Building in Cloberry Street, ‘To leaf is to learn’ will also become part of our celebrated public art trail.

Opening hours | Great Food at Leeds

As the bank holiday approaches, don’t forget to check the Great Food at Leeds website to find out what catering outlets are open on campus during the next month.


Easter support for students

We’ve published a list of activities and support available to students during the Easter break. This includes information about campus services and study spaces, as well as contact details in the event of an emergency. Please share the link with staff and students. This information will also be made available through our student-facing channels.


Vote Now | Restoring Hardknott Forest

Our Restoring Hardknott Forest project has been shortlisted for funding by the European Outdoor Conservation Association. The final selection is being made via a public vote, open until Friday 9 April. The project is an exciting opportunity to restore one of the largest conifer plantations in the Lake District National Park into a native woodland, improving habitats for nature, increasing biodiversity and supporting carbon capture. Please vote for this project and help us continue our work to return millions of native trees to Hardknott.

Apply now | White Rose Collaboration Fund

Applications are 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 12 noon on Wednesday 14 July.

Apply now | LITE Fellowships 2021

Applications close on Tuesday 13 April for Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) Fellowships. Academic colleagues and those in professional service teams who are interested in fulfilling a project on teaching innovation, scholarship or pedagogy, are invited to apply. Proposals that align to the Curriculum Redefined Project and the taught student experience are particularly welcome. Fellows will have access to a wide range of support to carry out and disseminate their projects, including student engagement facilitators and LITE research support staff.

‘Creating possibilities and giving hope’: on the GCRF frontline

UK Research and Innovation has announced a large cut to the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), as a result of the Government’s decision to reduce spending on international aid. We’ve been involved in about 150 individual projects, in more than 50 countries, that have been funded by GCRF, or the associated Newton Fund. In this article, we look at what some of those research projects have achieved. You can also read the Inside Track – Why research funding cuts won’t stop us working with the Global South by Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, Professor Nick Plant.

Wellbeing and support

Ramadan Mubarak

Many of you will begin fasting next month as you observe the month of Ramadan (Monday 12 April to Tuesday 11 May). As you enter into this period of reflection and spiritual renewal, we hope everyone stays safe and united, despite the current challenges we face. Guidance is available for supporting staff and students during Ramadan and colleagues can also contact the Muslim Staff Network for further information.

Annual leave and carer’s leave 

In an email to all colleagues on Tuesday 23 March, it was announced that the current enhanced carer’s leave allowance is extended to Thursday 30 September and that we will be repeating last year’s arrangement and extending the University closure period during Christmas 2021 and the New Year. The University will be closed to normal business from Tuesday 21 December 2021 to Monday 3 January 2022 inclusive.

Free pedal sessions

Celebrate the fact our outdoor sports facilities have reopened by taking advantage of free pedal sessions at the Bodington Cycle Circuit for all staff and students. Simply show your staff ID card at any of the sessions up to the end of May.

Sign up | Virtual Couch to 5k

Get Out, Get Active’s (GOGA) popular Couch to 5k programme has gone virtual. Designed for beginners, the target is to complete 5k without stopping, through support and guidance from the GOGA team and its qualified run leaders. Sign up by 5pm on Friday 9 April, with the nine-week programme starting in the week beginning Monday 12 April.


Trans Day of Visibility 2021

We’re marking Trans Day of Visibility 2021 today (Wednesday 31 March) by lighting Parkinson Building in the colours of the Trans Flag (pink, blue and white). The national event is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and victories of transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming people, while raising awareness of the discrimination they face worldwide and the work that still needs to take place to save trans lives. The above link also provides details of trans role models at Leeds and an online event being hosted from 4-5.30pm today by the School of Geography’s LGBTQ+ Students’ Forum.

Register | I Belong: Compassionate Curriculum Conversation

Following a successful launch earlier this month, Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) Fellow, Dr Bridgette Bewick, again invites staff and students to explore how we can develop a more compassionate curriculum. Register for the online event, taking place from 1-2pm on Thursday 8 April.

Future Fashion Factory programme’s Virtual Showcase

Register for free to hear a world-class line-up of speakers discussing the future of the UK fashion industry at the Future Fashion Factory programme’s Virtual Showcase on Thursday 15 April. Designer and tailor, Joshua Kane, will speak about the skills and support fashion designers need to succeed, while Patrick Grant, founder of Community Clothing and judge on BBC One’s Great British Sewing Bee, will take part in a panel discussion about local manufacturing. Representatives from Burberry, the British Fashion Council and more will also join the conversation.


Easter eNews deadlines

Due to the Easter holidays, eNews will take a break after this edition until Wednesday 14 April. Deadline for submissions is the preceding Friday (9 April). We wish you all a safe and happy Easter break!

In case you missed it

Vice-Chancellor’s blog | Is it OK to disagree?

Inside Track | Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk – Taking a break

Annual leave and carer’s leave extended

Women of Achievement Awards 2021 | Our special celebrants

and access a recording of the ceremony

Sign up for our University-wide mentoring scheme

Undergraduate Programme Survey 2021

Apply | Learning to Lead programme

Book now | Week of events – Connecting Voices for Climate Action

Apply | The University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice

Share your heritage | World Unite Festival Padlet

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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