eNews 9 June

eNews: VC's blog, lifting restrictions: next steps, Healthy Week 2021, Research and Innovation appointments, Brotherton Library refurbishment, events and digital developments

The Staff Healthy Week 2021 logo featuring three people outlined in green.

Thought pieces 

Vice-Chancellor’s blog | If we get it right, digital and online learning will change the world 

“I believe I owe it to students at my university to offer them the best education available, and I believe I owe it to learners worldwide to make that great education available to them, too.” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk's latest blog explains why universities should mobilise online and digital education and research to change the world for the better.  


Lifting restrictions: Next steps 

The Government is continuing to examine options for its approach to the easing of current restrictions (stage 4 on the roadmap) and we expect a national update on Monday 14 June. We aim to be in touch with colleagues next week, once we have established the potential impact of the Government plans. 

In the meantime, and until further notice, please continue with your current working, teaching and research arrangements and remember to follow the current guidance 

Help stop the spread 

With the warm weather and people generally starting to socialise more, numbers of covid cases are increasing nationally and locally. We’re reminding students about the importance of taking regular lateral flow tests, reporting positive tests and self-isolating where needed. Of course this advice holds for colleagues too – please continue to follow our coronavirus staff advice

Free asymptomatic covid-19 home test collection 

You can now pick up free asymptomatic covid-19 home test kits from a collection point at the south entrance to LUU. Opening hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday (9am to 2pm), plus Tuesday and Thursday (1-6pm). Basic personal details will be required (name and phone number) and each box contains seven tests, with all the instructions provided. We recommend you have three tests at the centre on campus before converting to home testing, to reduce the risk of transmission and help make sure that you are familiar with the testing process before you begin testing at home. 


New Director of Knowledge Exchange and Impact  

Steph Morris has been appointed the new Director of Knowledge Exchange and Impact. Working within the Research and Innovation Service, she will be instrumental in the development and implementation of a knowledge exchange strategy, and a delivery plan to maximise the impact of our research portfolio.  

Dean for Research Culture and Dean for Research Quality 

Dr Catherine Davies and Dr Amanda Bretman have been appointed as Dean for Research Culture and Dean for Research Quality, respectively. Both positions will report directly to Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation.  

Digital developments 

Core website upgrade cements accessibility commitment  

Upgrades to the University’s main website are expected to go live on Wednesday 23 June, reaffirming our pledge to improve digital accessibility. Visitors to the primary leeds.ac.uk site will soon notice a fresh look, improved site search and greater functionality for those with digital access needs. Other sites will be similarly updated in the coming months, with further details to follow.  

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. 

New data transfer service 

The new Globus file transfer protocol (FTP) service went live at the end of May, letting users transfer large amounts of data securely – both between campus systems, and also with other universities and research institutions across the globe. It offers a more secure alternative to existing FTP services currently used at Leeds – the old FTP servers will run in parallel with Globus for the time being, but will be decommissioned within six months. In the meantime, find out how researchers around the world are using Globus 

2020-21 module rollover underway 

The Minerva rollover process for 2021-22 modules began on Monday 7 June. We expect that the process will be completed, and modules will be released to staff, by Friday 11 June. Access to 2020-21 module areas will be unaffected during this period. Existing reading lists will be locked for editing but can still be accessed by students.  

Subscribe | Minerva update blog 

Get regular updates on progress towards Minerva’s planned upgrade this summer, along with in-depth articles about new features and changes to current tools. You can also subscribe to receive notifications of the latest news as it is published. 


Celebrate Our Staff – May 2021 

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. This is open to all colleagues. 

Women of Achievement pushing the boundaries 

The latest in a new series profiling our Women of Achievement Awards 2021 celebrants highlights the outstanding accomplishments of four colleagues in the field of international research and development. 

Going above and beyond to support our students 

Unwavering enthusiasm for – and commitment to – our students has been recognised in an awards scheme that celebrates those who truly put into practice the Leeds Partnership. The latest in a series of profiles on the winners of this year’s Partnership Awards highlights the outstanding accomplishments of recipients of the Personal Tutor and Mentor accolades. 

Countdown to the 2021 Sustainability Awards 

Winners of this year’s Sustainability Awards will be announced next week on the Sustainability team’s Instagram feed. The theme for 2021 is ‘creating a future for all’, and aims to celebrate the efforts of the University’s community in coming together to combine sustainability and inclusivity. 

Campus life 

Brotherton building back better! 

Major infrastructure and improvement works in the Brotherton Library this summer will extend and refurbish the Special Collections Research Centre; improve the parquet flooring and West Building link corridor; and reorganise subject sequences to make finding printed material easier. The building is operating with restricted access and opening hours during the works, closing until 5pm on weekdays, with only levels two and four of the Main Building open in the evenings and on Saturdays for bookable study space. 


Balancing Life Survey | Win a £50 Love2Shop voucher 

Sport and Physical Activity invites you to complete its annual Balancing Life Survey, which helps provide insight into the physical activity and wellbeing levels in our community. We’re also interested to discover how covid-19 has impacted on this. Complete the survey – open until Sunday 13 June – to enter our £50 Love2Shop voucher prize draw. 


Register | Free social media unconference 

You can register now for our first social media unconference, free to all Leeds academics, researchers and postgraduate students. The event – from 10am to 12 noon on Thursday 9 September – is an informal opportunity to meet and share experiences of using social media in a research capacity. The team from 448 Studio has been working alongside the University to develop a programme of social media support for research groups and will be hosting the event. The unconference will feature presentations from our own academics involved in the social support programme, with time for discussions and networking. 

Research Staff | Complete the CEDARS Survey this June  

Organisational Development and Professional Learning (OD&PL) would like to hear from colleagues involved in academic research about their experiences of the current research environment. If you are a researcher, manager of researchers, or you work in a research support role, please complete the Culture, Employment and Development in Academic Research Survey (CEDARS) and provide them with valuable insight to create a healthy and supportive research culture. The survey is open until midnight on Wednesday 30 June 2021.  

Learning and development 

Careers Summer for Researchers 2021  

A series of career events for the researcher community at Leeds will take place between June and September, providing support for researchers in career planning, identifying next steps and developing key career skills. The programme combines guest speakers, interactive workshops, self-guided resources, and recorded events to equip researchers with the skills and confidence needed to manage their career. More sessions will continue to be added throughout the summer.  

Sign up | PebblePad training  

Throughout June and July, the University is continuing to provide a series of PebblePad training sessions. The sessions are for new and experienced users and will show colleagues how to use this ePortfolio system to create innovative and reflective teaching and learning materials for students. 

Register | Research Professional online training   

Time is running out to register your free place at the online training session for Research Professional to learn how to search for funding opportunities, higher education news, conference registrations and training opportunities. The remaining bespoke Microsoft Teams session specifically for colleagues at Leeds – being held on 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 

Rest, Reset and Resume sessions 

Feeling unsettled, distracted or disorientated? Try one of the live, guided, virtual Rest, Reset and Resume sessions delivered on Zoom by University staff counsellors from 2-2.15pm every Thursday until 29 July. Catch up, settle and re-orientate yourself to improve your own mental health and wellbeing. You don’t need to book – just stop, show up and tune in. 

Healthy Week 2021 

This year’s Staff Healthy Week has started, and will run until Friday 11 June. It’s not too late to get involved with activities such as Pilates, 15 minute meditation and stretch, BodyJam and a Wellbeing Café still to come. Take a look at the full programme for the remainder of Healthy Week. There is also a range of pre-recorded videos and blog posts for you to access anytime. 

Carers Week 2021 

Carers Week 2021 runs until Sunday 13 June and we’re highlighting how you can find out about free support available for colleagues, including our partnership with Carers Leeds, which provides confidential appointments and online workshops on topics including ‘looking after your wellbeing’ and ‘understanding dementia’. See the Equality and Inclusion Unit’s Carers Week 2021 event page for further information. 

Single Parent Network meetings 

Promoting support, awareness-raising and change for all single parents, this relatively new staff network holds online meetings from 9.15 to 10am on the third Thursday of each month. Hosted through the Women at Leeds Network, you can request to join the Single Parent Network group on Teams ahead of the next two meetings, scheduled for 17 June and 22 July. 

New Health and Safety Protocol on Legionella 

After broad consultation, we’ve now updated our Health and Safety Protocol on Legionella, setting out what needs to happen in relation to the campus water supply to keep us all safe. Contact the FD Helpdesk with any questions or call 0113 343 5555. 


Galleries reopen 

Leeds University Library Galleries have reopened exclusively to staff and students for walk-in visits – there’s no need to book. Opening times are 11am to 2pm, Tuesday to Friday, so you can swing by for a stress-busting break, mindful moment or to get your cultural fix! 

Friday Lunchtime Concerts 

The International Concert Series is back after a long hiatus, with a series of livestreamed Friday Lunchtime Concerts, starting Friday 18 June. This “Summer Season” of concerts will run for eight weeks and will feature a wide range of music performed in the School of Music’s stunning Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall. All the concerts will be free to watch online. Full details of Friday Lunchtime Concerts are on the Concert Series website  

Fickle Spaces | BA Fine Art Degree Show 2021 

Independently created by 84 final year BA Fine Art students, Fickle Spaces welcomes the return of an in-person Degree Show. Works will be presented in the studios and other spaces of the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies. Starting on Friday 11 June, the exhibition is open from 11am to 5pm every Tuesday to Sunday until 26 June. A booking system is in place to enable people to visit the space safely. Find out more about Fickle Spaces and book your visit  

Online workshop 

Register for the latest Share, Adapt, Adopt Workshop (SAAW) from 10-11am on Thursday 10 June. ‘Step up to masters’ will explore research findings from a project that evaluated the academic skills, support needs and expectations of taught postgraduate students. 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. 

In case you missed it 

Inside Track | One year on – tackling racial inequality 

VC’s blog | Technology alone isn’t enough – why humanity needs the arts 

VC’s podcast | Is it OK to disagree – learning from the discomfort of conflict 

Have your say | Open access publishing 

Online IT software shop closing 

Update | Live streaming in teaching spaces 

Leeds Doctoral College Showcase Competitions 2021 winners 

Nominations | GFEI Food and Agriculture Awards 

Research Round-up 

Book now | New SRDS training dates 

Become a LinkedIn Learning curator 

Domestic abuse | Protecting and supporting staff and students 

Book now | Gryphons Go Summer Kids Camps 

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