eNews 29 September

New academic year, student communications, climate change and COP26, staff celebrations, Black History Month, wellbeing and support, National Inclusion Week and more

The sun setting over the precinct outside LUU.

New academic year 

Welcoming you back to campus this autumn 

Read the all staff email sent to all colleagues on Wednesday 22 September with a summary of the arrangements in place on campus and clarification of the University position on face coverings. 

Updated documents, covid-19 guidance for all staff and covid-19 safety measures for teaching, are available to download. 

You can also book onto a campus tour to discover or rediscover what our campus has to offer. 


Welcome and safety email to students 

View the email sent to all students on Monday 27 September welcoming them to the new academic year and summarising the safety arrangements in place on campus, including the University position on face coverings. 

Communicating our approach to face coverings to students  

Earlier this week, Heads of School were emailed with guidance on communicating with students about the use of face coverings on campus. Read the email on the coronavirus website 

Student newsletter 

Read the latest student newsletter, which highlights how we’re keeping everyone safe on campus and encourages students to get vaccinated. We're continuing to welcome new and returning students to Leeds and using our student communications channels to inform them of the things they need to do at the start of term, encouraging them to join events that allow them to explore campus and make new friends. 

Campus life  

Changes to cleaning on campus 

Read more about the changes to cleaning on campus you can expect to see from this month, following the publication of Cleaning Services’ new transitional Service Level Agreement. This agreement covers how the service will continue to ensure that campus is a safe and clean environment for the whole University community. 

Digital developments 

IT support on campus 

You can now make an appointment for IT support on campus via the IT website. Help is available from the main IT service desk in EC Stoner, as well as from pop-up service desks on campus. You must have an appointment before visiting – drop-in support is not available at the moment. 

Digital Education Systems Help website 

Visit the new Digital Education Systems Help website for task-oriented support and guidance on the use of digital learning and teaching systems. It also covers virtual classroom solutions, including Minerva, PebblePad and Turnitin. You’ll find step-by-step guides, introductory videos and FAQs, as well as updates and details of training courses to assist you throughout the academic year. 

Sign up | New PebblePad training dates 

New PebblePad training dates are now available. Running from Monday 4 to Friday 15 October, 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. 

Climate change and COP26 

Event | University of Leeds at COP26 

In November, world leaders, researchers and civil society will meet in Glasgow at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) to negotiate the next steps in tackling the climate crisis. As an official observer of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, we’re sending a delegation to host events and exhibits, as well contribute to the accountability of the process and meet with a wide range of key stakeholders. Register your place at an event on Tuesday 26 October to hear members of the delegation discuss their planned activities, hopes for the negotiations and ask your questions or share messages that you’d like to be taken to COP26. 

Leeds and COP26 – getting the world to net-zero 

Find out how Leeds researchers are working collaboratively towards helping find solutions to the climate crisis, to secure a safer future for all. 

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 Teams sessions specifically for colleagues at Leeds – being held on Tuesday 19 and Thursday 21 October – 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. 

LITE Fellowships for professional services staff 

Time is running out to apply for the first ever Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) fellowships specifically for colleagues in professional services. The deadline is tomorrow (Thursday 30 September), with fellowships beginning in January 2022. Support and advice will be provided throughout by the LITE team. A recording from a recent event offers further information about the professional services fellowship 

Sign up | Career progression events 

Register now to attend career progression events hosted by water@leeds on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 October. Both sessions feature panels made up of inspiring winners of the Water Woman Awards 2021, together with colleagues in HR and research support. 

Apply | Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice  

Apply to join our Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) cohort for February 2022 before Monday 22 November. Find out how the PGCAP can support colleagues to enhance their student education practice, explore different approaches, connect them to peers, challenge their thinking and transition to online teaching. It’s also one of the routes available to gain a Fellowship of the Higher Education Authority (FHEA). 

Webinar | Focus on Assessment and Feedback 

Professor Alice O'Grady (Dean for Student Education: Quality and Standards) is chairing a series of assessment and feedback matters webinars with external guest speakers. The sessions, supported by OD&PL, aim to support the implementation of our Curriculum Redefined priorities for assessment and feedback. Available webinars will cover topics such as authentic assessment to engage students, inclusive assessment design, and student partnership in assessment and feedback – with additional sessions still to be added.    


Apply | Research Development Fund 

Applications for the next round of the Research Development Fund close at 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. 

Delivering Research IT for the future 

A major consultation to help shape the future of Research IT, commissioned by Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, is underway. Researchers across the University are being asked to take part to identify ways Research IT can help them deliver fundamental and challenge-led research that is impactful and sustainable. 


Celebrate Our Staff – September 2021 

Read 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.  

Black History Month 2021 

Black History Month 2021 presents us all with an opportunity to learn, acknowledge and celebrate Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) cultures. Leeds11 – the BAME staff network – together with partners and friends have organised a packed programme of events throughout October on this year’s theme of ‘Proud To Be’. Read the full Black History Month programme details – events are available to book from Friday 1 October.  

Wellbeing and support 

Online seminar | Supporting staff with chronic fatigue conditions 

Register for an informal online seminar to discuss good practice for supporting colleagues with long covid and other chronic fatigue conditions. Join the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Staff and PGR Network from 12.30-2pm on Friday 1 October, as part of National Inclusion Week, to hear from those with lived experiences and line managers explaining available help for those with hidden health conditions. Contact Lucy Prodgers or Clare Coleman for further information. 

Stoptober | Quit smoking support 

Join the thousands of other people quitting smoking this month as part of the NHS Stoptober campaign. You can also access our ‘cut down or quit smoking’ support, which is available to all staff and students and offers free support sessions with an experienced coach. 

Book | Mindfulness-based stress reduction course 

Sign up for a taster session – being held from 1.30-3pm on Wednesday 6 October – to find out more about an eight-week online course on mindful ways to reduce stress. Available from the Staff Counselling and Psychological Support Service, sessions will run from 1-3pm on Wednesdays between 27 October and 15 December. 

Sign up | Upper and lower body postural sessions  

Are you experiencing aches and pains? Try the 15-minute upper body postural sessions, offering gentle exercises for your neck and shoulders, including mobility, stretches and activation. The class runs every Monday at 12 noon via Teams. And why not give the 15-minute lower body postural sessions a go, too? They target lower back pain or stiffness in your legs linked with a sedentary job/lifestyle. The class runs every Wednesday at 12 noon via Teams. Contact Fran Andralojc to be added to the mailing lists. 

Staff Rounders Club taster sessions 

Informal taster sessions for a new Staff Rounders Club are being held in Woodhouse Moor on Thursday 7 and Wednesday 20 October. Rounders is an inclusive sport suitable for people of all abilities, so go along and have some fun! Please book ahead – places are offered on a first come, first served basis. Contact Siddeequah Asmi for further information. 


National Inclusion Week 2021  

National Inclusion Week (NIW) 2021 started on Monday 27 September, aiming to raise awareness of inclusion in the workplace and bring people together to share learning and best practice so we can work to make inclusion an everyday reality. OD&PL has created a collection of LinkedIn Learning courses around the theme of inclusion and unity, also highlighting several events and resources by the NIW hosts, Inclusive Employers. The Equality and Inclusion Unit also has a list of National Inclusion Week events you can get involved with.  

Register | Leeds Digital Festival 2021  

You can still register for the final few events at Leeds Digital Festival 2021. We’re sponsoring the popular tech showcase, which runs until Friday 1 October, with colleagues across the University showcasing their digital expertise in a series of free hybrid events. 

Book | Monty Losowsky Memorial Lecture 

Book now to attend the Monty Losowsky Memorial Lecture Competition 2021, taking place online from 5-8pm on Thursday 14 October. Professor Losowsky, the former Dean of Medicine who died in 2020, played a crucial role in establishing both Europe’s largest teaching hospital and the UK’s leading independent medical museum. The event, hosted in conjunction with the Thackray Museum, celebrates his immense contribution to medical education and history.  

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 some exciting events to the programme, which runs from Friday 1 to Sunday 17 October. 

Take part | May Measurement Month   

We will be running screenings in Leeds University Union (LUU) for May Measurement Month (MMM), a global campaign run by the International Society of Hypertension to raise awareness of the need for people to get their blood pressure checked. This year, MMM has been extended to run from 1 May to 30 November to allow for safer screening during covid-19, and data collected will be used to improve local hypertension screening policies. To find out your blood pressure, visit LUU on Friday 8, 15, 22 or 29 October. 

Book | Researcher Education and Development Scholarship Conference  

Book your place on the seventh annual Researcher Education and Development Scholarship (REDS) Conference, hosted by Leeds on Thursday 14 October. The free online conference will explore how inclusive research cultures can be developed and includes a keynote presentation by Dr Jessica Gagnon (University of Strathclyde).    

Parkinson light up 

The Parkinson Building is being lit up red tonight (Wednesday 29 September) for World Heart Day, which is marked every year by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease. The BHF is the UK’s biggest funder of research in this area, with more than 50 projects ongoing across the University

In case you missed it 

Book | Free covid-19 lateral flow testing 

Updated Fire Safety Protocol 

Take part | HE-BCI survey 

New LinkedIn Learning guide for staff 

Book | Research Culture Cafés 

Inclusive teaching | New marking and feedback resources 

Deadline extension | Engagement Excellence Scheme 

Register | Interactive online Menopause in the Workplace workshops 

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