eNews 6 October

Covid-19 safety measures, IT support, surveys, new collaborative facilities, celebrating success, Black History Month programme, mental health support, learn life-saving skills and more.

eNews 6 October 2021


Remember to test twice a week

All staff and students are encouraged to take twice-weekly asymptomatic lateral flow tests. If you don’t have any coronavirus symptoms, you can either get a home testing kit without an appointment or book a free and fast asymptomatic test appointment on campus at Cromer Terrace studio (open 9am-2pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or 1-6pm Tuesdays and Thursdays). You will need to wear a face covering. You must only take a lateral flow test if you’re not showing any coronavirus symptoms – if you’re showing symptoms, you must book a PCR test through the NHS Test and Trace Service

Welcoming you back to campus

Here’s a reminder of how we’re welcoming you back to campus this autumn and how we’re communicating our approach to face coverings to students 

If you’re visiting campus for the first time ever, or in a long while, book onto a 90-minute campus tour. Attendees to date have said the tour helped “provide a sense of place” and to “meet other colleagues”, plus you’ll discover some hidden gems and historic facts along the way! Tours are on offer each week until the Christmas closure.

Safety measures

Our working together to stay safe guidelines describe our current approach to the pandemic and the various safety measures in place, which are based on risk assessments. Further useful information:

Covid-19 guidance for all staff

Covid-19 safety measures for teaching

Changes to cleaning on campus

IT support

IT support and requests

As for many colleagues, it’s a very busy time for the IT Service Desk team, with the start of term and our return to campus leading to a much larger than usual increase in requests for support right now. IT is increasing the number of people supporting those requests and is prioritising issues that are preventing people from working. But it’s still very busy. 

We can help IT to help us when we have an issue or request by first of all: 

  • checking the IT Knowledge Base to see if this answers your question, and
  • checking the IT Service Status to see if there’s a major incident relating to your enquiry – if so, log on to the IT website and click the ‘I'm affected’ button rather than messaging the Service Desk directly.  

If, after this, you still need to contact the Service Desk:

  • Log on to the IT website and click on ‘Something Broken?’ or ‘Request Something’. You’ll receive an immediate reference number and can add details and track the case. 
  • Don’t use email – this takes IT longer to process and will delay how quickly IT can resolve your incident or request.   

Digital developments

Microsoft Office 365 in teaching clusters

Microsoft Office 365 has been installed on most teaching cluster computers, replacing Office 2016. You will be prompted for Duo authentication the first time you access a teaching cluster computer and run a Microsoft Office application, so we recommend you do this before your lecture or teaching session to avoid any delays. Computers in lecture theatres still have Microsoft Office 2016 installed.

Duo protection for Labstats

If you or your students access Windows teaching computers remotely via the Labstats service, you will now be prompted for Duo authentication when you log on. This only affects login via the remote desktop (Labstats), not when you login locally to teaching computers.

Digital Education Service Digest

Read about our new online courses, get top tips for digital teaching tools and find out how to get involved in the development of the Digital Education Strategy in the September edition of the Digital Education Service (DES) Digest. Please email the DES team if you’d like to receive future digest editions straight to your inbox.

Sign up | New PebblePad training dates

New PebblePad training dates are now available. Running until 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.


Survey | Auto-captioning

Share your views on the auto-captioning function introduced last year in Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Mediasite. To support continuous improvement and inclusivity for users, any colleagues who’ve used auto-captioning are invited to take part in the Digital Education Service survey by Wednesday 20 October.

Better support for open access publishing

Support for open access (OA) publishing has been extended and improved on the Library website. Working with researchers and support staff, the webpages are now more streamlined, task-focused and complete, with funders’ open access policies, publisher details and a journals OA checklist. You can also complete the feedback form to have your say about the new webpages.

Campus life

Flagship new building inspiring our students

The Esther Simpson Building – an exciting new facility for the School of Law and LUBS – has officially opened its doors. The innovative teaching centre provides world-class facilities that enhance collaborative learning and create an inspirational setting for staff and students.


Embedding belonging and decolonisation | New resources

New resources to help us understand belonging and decolonising education are now available, as part of our institutional strategy to address barriers to student success. The Belonging at Leeds resource outlines how small changes to practice can ensure every student feels valued and able to engage with their studies, with links to internal and external research and case studies. The decolonisation framework features ‘how to’ guides and podcasts, plus practical steps to help decolonise education.

Video | Staying safe in Leeds

Watch and share this new information video for students, which offers advice from their peers on how to keep themselves and their possessions safe during their time in Leeds. Produced by Security Services, the video covers home and cycle security, as well as staying safe on nights out.

Student newsletter

Read the latest student newsletter, which provides information on who students can contact for support during their first weeks at Leeds. With October proving to be the month some students begin to feel homesick, we’re keen to promote our campus as an inclusive environment, highlight who students can speak to about any issues they may be experiencing, and reveal the different ways to meet new people.


Take part | Research IT Strategy survey

Complete our online Research IT Strategy survey to have your say about how we deliver fundamental and challenge-led research in the future that’s impactful and sustainable.

Final call | Research Development Fund applications

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

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).


Alan Turing Institute Fellowships success

40 researchers from Leeds are celebrating earning Fellowships at the prestigious Alan Turing Institute – the UK’s national centre for data science and artificial intelligence. The Leeds Fellows will join the Turing’s collaborative community of researchers aiming to address challenges facing science, society and the economy.

Register | Black History Month 2021 programme

Sign up for a packed programme of events to mark Black History Month (BHM) 2021. Running throughout October, BHM provides 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 series of free celebratory events based on this year’s theme of ‘Proud To Be’, featuring talks, podcasts, lectures, film screenings and more. Parkinson Building will also be lit up red, yellow and green throughout the month to further highlight the programme.

Staff benefits

Christmas closure

With the start of the new academic year, colleagues looking to book annual leave are reminded about arrangements for the Christmas closure. The University will be shut from Saturday 18 December 2021 to Monday 3 January 2022 inclusive. Access the year planner for full details of statutory bank holidays – including The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year – and other University closure dates.

Learning and development

Sign up | Springboard Development Programme

Applications for the January-April 2022 Springboard Development Programme for women on grades two to four are now open. Designed specifically for personal and professional development, the programme covers topics including improving self-confidence, being more proactive, effective communication and assertiveness. Sessions are expected to take place on campus, subject to final confirmation. 

Register | Online podcast workshop

Sign up for the latest Share, Adopt, Adapt Workshop (SAAW), running from 11am to 12 noon on Thursday 14 October. Antonio Martinez-Arboleda, Open Educational Practice Lead, demonstrates how podcasting can be easily embedded in our curriculum in order to promote interpersonal skills, increase motivation and enhance digital literacies. 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.

Deadline extension | Engagement Excellence Scheme

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 on the scheme’s webpage – to the Public Engagement team by 5pm on Monday 11 October.

Wellbeing and support

Book | Welcome event for new staff

If you’ve recently joined the University, book your place at a virtual welcome event for new staff on Wednesday 27 October or Thursday 2 December. Find out more about Leeds, meet new colleagues and explore the range of benefits, support and advice available. 

World Mental Health Day 2021

Visit the Equality and Inclusion Unit website for information about the University activities and city-wide events marking World Mental Healthy Day 2021 on Sunday 10 October, together with links to available support for staff and students at the University.

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 Azmi for further information.


Restart A Heart 2021

Learn life-saving CPR skills for free on campus, as part of the national Restart A Heart 2021 campaign. More than 75 School of Medicine volunteers will be offering coaching to all in the precinct outside LUU from 1-7pm on Friday 15 October. There’s no need to book and CPR mannequins will be sanitised thoroughly between use, as part of strict covid-19 safety measures.

Climate Action Leeds

Parkinson Building will be lit up green on Wednesday 13 October to celebrate the launch of Climate Action Leeds. The community project – supported by colleagues at the University – aims to inspire people with its mission to create a zero-carbon, nature-friendly, socially-just Leeds by the 2030s.

Tickets | Ilkley Literature Festival 2021 

Tickets for the first-ever hybrid Ilkley Literature Festival are still 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 until Sunday 17 October.   

In case you missed it

Visit | New Digital Education Systems Help website

Register | ‘University of Leeds at COP26’ event

Book | Research Professional online training sessions

Apply | Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice 

Webinar | Focus on Assessment and Feedback

Celebrate Our Staff – September 2021

Stoptober | Quit smoking support

Book | Monty Losowsky Memorial Lecture Competition 2021

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