eNews 12 May

VC’s blog, lifting lockdown restrictions, Advanced Science Warehouse upgrade, IDAHoBiT 2021, training sessions, virtual student open days and celebrating success

A tree in bloom near the Bragg Building. May 2021.


Lifting lockdown restrictions: Step 3 on the roadmap 

Roger Gair, University Secretary, wrote to all colleagues yesterday (Tuesday 11 May) with an update on what the easing of restrictions means for the University. The update covers teaching for the remaining summer term, services that will be reopening and related guidance, graduations and returning to campus.  

Thought pieces 

Vice-Chancellor’s blog | The importance of trust 

“Trust breeds trust. It is a foundation of any well-functioning, happy and fulfilled community, and is the cornerstone of shared endeavour.” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, shares her latest blog exploring why trust is important for the wellbeing and growth of people and organisations, and how leaders can go about building it. 

Digital developments 

Advanced Science Warehouse upgrade 

Improvements are planned for the Advanced Science Warehouse – the system we use to request low value, high volume items, such as stationery or research and teaching materials. Scheduled for Tuesday 15 June, updates include a single log in, enabling colleagues to purchase across different faculties and services. All registered users will be contacted with details of how to access training and support in advance of the upgrade. 

Options for hosting internal video 

Colleagues are reminded that videos for use within the University can be posted on the following channels: 

  • Microsoft Stream – for hosting and sharing video content that’s not from lectures; and 
  • VideoLeeds and MediaSite – MediaSite can host captured lectures and scheduled Zoom meeting recordings, while VideoLeeds also acts as a showcase for faculty-specific content. 

An outline of the differences between MediaSite and Microsoft Streams can be found on the IT knowledgebase. 

Book now | Top Hat support sessions 

Remember you can book a slot at one of the regular support sessions for Top Hat – our institutional mobile voting solution. Colleagues from the Digital Education Systems team will guide you through how to incorporate this tool into your teaching or assessment activities. See For Staff for further information about Top Hat, including details about a unique concierge service, interactive guides and staff testimonials. 

Sign up | PebblePad training 

Sign up for a second series of PebblePad training sessions, available until Friday 21 May. Designed for new and experienced users, sessions provide support in learning how to use this ePortfolio system to create innovative and reflective teaching and learning materials for students.   

Campus life 

The Edge | Indoor classes 

Indoor sport and exercise classes will return to The Edge on Monday 17 May. Download the latest timetable from the Sport and Physical Activity website, while further information and booking details are available on the reopening webpage. 


Virtual student open days 2021 

This year’s student open days will continue to be delivered virtually. Our portal will host general information and a 360-degree campus tour experience, as well as provide access to talks and chats with current staff and students. The portal will open on Monday 7 June, with live talks from Saturday 12 to Saturday 19 June. For the autumn event, the portal will open on Monday 27 September, with live talks from Saturday 2 to Saturday 9 October. Contact Natasha Rahanu in the Open Days Event Team if you have any specific queries. 

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey 2021 

The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey 2021 closes on Monday 17 May. Results will allow us to compare students’ experience of postgraduate research programmes, both internally and against the national average. All eligible students have been sent an email with a personalised link to the survey, with colleagues asked to encourage them to take part.   


Leeds Partnership Awards 2021 

Winners of our annual Leeds Partnership Awards have been announced. The coveted accolades celebrate staff and students who truly put into practice The Leeds Partnership – an agreement setting out our shared commitment to work together to support all aspects of our University community. 

Royal Society Fellowship Awards 

Two prominent Leeds figures have been elected Fellows of the prestigious Royal Society. Our Chancellor, Professor Dame Jane Francis, has been commended for her significant contributions to knowledge of the climate history of polar regions, and Gregory Houseman, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, was acknowledged for pioneering work about the deformation of Earth’s continental crust and lithosphere. 

Equality, diversity and inclusion champions 

In the latest in a series of features profiling our Women of Achievement Awards 2021 celebrants, we highlight the outstanding accomplishments of colleagues in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion. 

Vote Now | Leeds Doctoral College Showcase Competition 2021 

Colleagues can now vote for the shortlisted finalists in this year’s Leeds Doctoral College Showcase Competition. Postgraduate researchers are competing for a range of awards in three categories – poster, three-minute thesis and image – celebrating the contributions they make to their disciplines and to wider society. Winners will be announced by Professor Luke Windsor, Dean of the Doctoral College, on Wednesday 19 May. 

Learning and development 

Register | Research Professional online training  

Register your place at one of two online training sessions for Research Professional to learn how to search for funding opportunities, higher education news, conference registrations and training opportunities. Bespoke MS Teams sessions specifically for colleagues at Leeds – being held on Tuesday 8 and Friday 11 June – will teach you how to get the most out of the service, whether you’re a new member of staff or have used Research Professional before. 

Wellbeing and support 

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 

There’s still time to get involved with Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, which runs until Sunday 16 May. Read about virtual events organised by the University, as well as a recommended list of new content focused on mental health on LinkedIn Learning, and a summary of the support available to staff and students. 

Welcome event | Book your place 

If you’ve recently joined the University, book your place at the virtual welcome event for new staff on Wednesday 19 May. Find out more about Leeds, meet new colleagues and explore the range of benefits, support and advice available. 


Changes to the UK aid budget: register your interest to support parliamentary scrutiny 

Academics at all career stages, you can register your research, insights or suggested scrutiny questions with the International Development Committee, which has launched this new area of research interest following changes to the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget. 


Black Inclusion Week 2021 

See the Equality and Inclusion Unit website for details of how you can still help mark the first ever Black Inclusion Week. Running until Sunday 16 May, the aim of the initiative is to celebrate Black people in the UK and to remember the importance of building a fair and just society through the inclusion of everyone. 

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia 2021 

Find out more about this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHoBiT) on Monday 17 May. Hear from our LGBT+ role models and learn more about the support available within the University. Founded as a response to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as well as others with diverse sexual orientations, sex characteristics, gender identities or expressions, the theme of this year’s IDAHoBiT is ‘Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing’. 

Free HESPA 2021 conference registration 

Sign up to attend this year’s Higher Education Strategic Planners Association (HESPA) annual conference for free. Simply use the code LeedsHESPA21 when you register to attend the online event, running from Monday 21 to Friday 25 June. See the full programme for details of the events, including workshops and networking sessions, with more still to be announced.     

Sign up | LITE Fellowship Showcase 

Sign up for the LITE Fellowship Showcase: Supporting Student Learning During Study Abroad on Wednesday 26 May. Dr Chloe Wallace, Teaching and Scholarship Associate Professor in the School of Law, will explore the different kinds of experiences students have when studying abroad. 

Pint of Science 2021 

Pint of Science is back for 2021, with Leeds hosting a trio of online events from Monday 17 May giving researchers and the public an opportunity to come together and chat about different aspects of science. Events are free, with the option to make a donation to help keep Pint of Science going. 

Times Higher Education (THE) Digital Universities Week 

THE’s first-ever Digital Universities Week (Monday 17 to Friday 21 May) will bring together higher education institutions from across the UK to exchange knowledge and discuss best practice regarding their rapid and ongoing digital transformation journeys. As part of the packed programme, register for free to hear Professor Neil Morris, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation at Leeds, discuss the secrets behind successful strategies and potential pitfalls 

In case you missed it 

New senior leadership appointments announced 

Inside track | USS – themes from the school events 

Sign up | IT investment online events 

Apply | Research Development Fund 

Apply | Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice 

Consultation | Updated Health and Safety Protocol on Laser Safety 

Register | National Technicians Development Centre TechMeet 12 event 

Join | Virtual Rest, Reset and Resume sessions 

Keeping up to date 

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