eNews 8 September

Returning to campus, USS pension, appointments, research funding, new fellowships, wellbeing and support, staff benefits, piano competition and more.

eNews 8 September 2021

Campus life

Returning to campus

If you’re wondering what it will be like to work on campus again after a long time, check out our Returning to campus webpages

Face coverings

We ask that when on campus please consider using a face covering when in crowded indoor spaces. You will need to wear a face covering if a risk assessment identifies that one needs to be worn. There will be signs across campus that will tell you if and where a face covering is required.

Staff reward

USS pension: recent developments

The USS Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) and USS Trustee have accepted the employers’ proposal for scheme changes, subject to the necessary consultation exercises. The USS decision means that scheme members will avoid significant increases in their contributions from next month. Read further details about the USS pension proposal and see the Universities UK (UUK) Q&A on our dedicated In Depth page.


New Chief Information Officer

Dan Simms has been appointed as our new Chief Information Officer. He joined Leeds in an interim capacity in July 2020, to help with our response to the pandemic. Dan has been instrumental in developing and gaining support for the major investment approved by the University Council to deliver two interlinked IT programmes – Digital Enablement and Be Safe.

Digital developments

Sign up | New PebblePad training dates

New PebblePad training dates are now available. Running until Thursday 30 September, sessions are designed for new and experienced users, providing support in how to use this ePortfolio system to create innovative and reflective teaching and learning materials for students. Access your PebblePad account and take a quick tour of the homepage before you join the session.

Live streaming | Training, guidance and FAQs

About 90 teaching rooms will be equipped with live-streaming capabilities across campus ready for the start of the new academic year. You can access guidance and FAQs about live streaming on the Digital Education Systems website and book on to training sessions taking place on campus this month. Courses include equipment set-up and pedagogical strategies you may wish to use.


Celebrate Our Staff – August 2021

Read the latest edition of our regular feature celebrating the achievements of colleagues across the University, showcasing new appointments, awards and more. So much happened during summer we published a second instalment! You can contact Internal Comms to make submissions for the next roll of honour. This is open to all colleagues.

‘Wonderful’ school takes pride in its achievements

True partnership working has been recognised in a prestigious awards scheme. The last in a series of profiles on the winners of this year’s Leeds Partnership Awards highlights the outstanding accomplishments of the School of the Year.


International students | Welcome and support

Read an overview of available international welcome support, including signposting text to use when promoting services for students arriving from outside the UK. International students can visit our arrival and orientation webpages for information about welcome activities and support.


Apply now | Research Development Fund

Applications for the next round of the Research Development Fund are open until 5pm on Wednesday 6 October. Awards of up to £600 are available to support patient, public or stakeholder involvement or engagement in the research design stage.

Public and policy engagement

Factsheet | Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey

Download this factsheet outlining what the Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HE-BCI) is – and how it relates to the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF). It’s the latest in in a series of factsheets on key policy and regulatory issues from the Strategy and Planning team.

Working with universities and councils

Watch this three-part animation series that provides an overview of the Review of Collaboration project between ourselves and Leeds City Council. Commissioned by Leeds Social Sciences Institute (LSSI), it also busts some of the myths about working with local authorities and universities. You can also sign up for the monthly LSSI enewsletter to receive the latest information, upcoming events and funding opportunities straight to your inbox.

Learn | Engagement Excellence Scheme: public and policy engagement tracks

Build your knowledge, confidence and leadership skills to undertake public and/or policy engagement through the Engagement Excellence Scheme. Open to all researchers, you will receive mentorship and coaching support, as well as a bursary of up to £500 to undertake a public or policy engagement activity. Submit your completed application form – found through the scheme’s webpage – by 5pm on Monday 13 September.

Learning and development

LITE Fellowships for professional services staff

For the first time, Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) is offering fellowships specifically for colleagues in professional services. Support and advice will be provided throughout by the LITE team. To find out more, register to attend an informal event being held from 10-11am on Thursday 16 September. A recording will be available afterwards for anyone who can’t make the session. The deadline for applications is Thursday 30 September, with fellowships beginning in January 2022.

Sign up | Discovering Your Leadership programme

If you’re an aspiring leader, or a leader who is ‘new to role’, sign up for the new Discovering Your Leadership programme. The course covers difficult conversations and conflict management; building collaboration; influencing and communication; and transformational change.

TIPS blog | Generating constructive peer feedback in breakout rooms

Find out how Laura Dyer (Language Centre) improved student engagement and criticality in breakout rooms through paired peer feedback in this latest Teaching, Innovation and Practice in Student Education (TIPS) blog. The TIPS blog series is written by colleagues – find out how you can share examples of your teaching practice

LeedsforLife Refresh | Essential training for academic personal tutors

As part of the LeedsforLife Refresh project, we’re providing essential training for academic personal tutors (APTs). Running until Friday 15 October, sessions provide an opportunity to find out more about our new digital tools (PebblePad, StREAM@Leeds, ATLAS and MS Bookings), signpost to additional sources of support and help you explore the refreshed approach to academic personal tutoring.

Sign up | Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice

Applications are open until Monday 22 November for the next Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP). Starting in February 2022, the PGCAP is for colleagues involved in student education at Leeds, and aims to enhance your academic practice, connect you with peers and challenge your thinking. It’s also one of the routes available to gain a Fellowship of the Higher Education Authority (FHEA).

Wellbeing and support

Book | Mindfulness-based stress reduction course

An eight-week online course on mindful ways to reduce stress is available from the Staff Counselling and Psychological Support Service. Sessions will run from 1-3pm on Wednesdays between 27 October and 15 December. If you’d like to try it out, or to find out more, sign up for a taster session being held from 1.30-3pm on Wednesday 6 October.

Reminder | Mentoring scheme 

The deadline for the next round of matching for our University-wide mentoring scheme is Friday 5 November. Open to all colleagues, you can apply to either be a mentor or mentee at any time, with matching taking place twice a year. The mentoring experience is mutually beneficial and allows colleagues to share knowledge and skills with others, supporting them to achieve their individual objectives.

Staff benefits

Have your say | How we communicate employee benefits

What’s your view on how we communicate employee benefits? Share your feedback in this short, anonymous survey, which closes on Wednesday 15 September. You can also have your say by signing up for our virtual focus group, which meets from 3-4pm on Wednesday 15 September. Contact the Reward team to take part.

The Leeds International Piano Competition 

The Leeds International Piano Competition returns from today (Wednesday 8 September) with the most internationally diverse line-up in its 58-year history. To celebrate, you can enjoy a 10% discount on The Leeds tickets for the second round and semi-final, being hosted by the University. Simply select your tickets and enter the promotional code at the checkout. Please note you will be prompted to login to For Staff with your username and password to access the offer. Armchair fans can stream performances via medici.tv or catch a broadcast of the semi-final and final on BBC Radio 3. You can also get involved in a diverse programme of public events taking place across the city designed to promote the competition.

On-demand | Cheltenham Science Festival

As proud partners of this year’s Cheltenham Science Festival, you can still get 50% off registration for the online player. Just use code ULSci21 when registering on the website to add your discount and get access to on-demand steams of festival events until Tuesday 14 September.


Tickets | Ilkley Literature Festival

Tickets for the first-ever hybrid Ilkley Literature Festival are now available, offering a mix of in-person and digital events. As the higher education partner, we’re contributing a number of exciting events to the programme, which runs from Friday 1 to Sunday 17 October.

Technicians Network | TechExchange 21

Technical staff have been invited to attend TechExchange 21 – the first virtual conference for technicians at Leeds – from 10.30am to 1pm on Tuesday 14 September. Please note some services supported by technical staff may not be available during this period due to the number of colleagues planning to attend.

Guest speaker announced | Free social media unconference

Professor Cath Noakes has been confirmed as guest speaker at our inaugural social media unconference, which will look at using social media in a research capacity. Professor Noakes is a specialist in indoor air quality, airborne infection and ventilation, as well as a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), and will talk about why she uses social media. Open to all Leeds academics, researchers and postgraduate students, the unconference takes place from 10am to 12 noon tomorrow (Thursday 9 September).

In case you missed it

Digital Education Service (DES) Digest

Supporting disabled employees | Business Disability Forum (BDF)

Guidelines for handling spam and phishing emails

Update your Windows and Office licences

Top tips for research funding applications

Royal Society award

Book | Researcher Education and Development Scholarship conference

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