eNews 13 October

Fairer Future For All, USS pension, Christmas closure, new appointments, carer's leave, flu vaccinations, Light Night Leeds 2021 and more.

eNews 13 October 2021

University vision

Fairer Future For All

We’ve set our ambitions to create a Fairer Future for All – for our staff, our students and our wider global community. For our staff, this means we’re making pledges that describe a vision of the experience we want all our colleagues to enjoy in the future. Work has been prioritised to deliver these pledges and look out for further information about our Leeds Conversations open event, where you can find out more and get involved.

Inside Track | The questions we all need to keep asking

In her latest Inside Track article, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, considers what the role of universities is in the world and reveals our plans to collectively craft a new mission and vision for Leeds.

Staff benefits

Video | USS pension videos and tools

USS pension scheme members and eligible employees will be invited to take part in a consultation this autumn about proposed changes to the scheme. Check out these videos and tools to help you understand the proposed USS changes

Christmas closure

A reminder that three days’ leave has been added to the University’s Christmas closure again this year, in recognition of another challenging year (pro-rata for part-time colleagues). The University will be closed from Monday 20 December 2021 until Monday 3 January 2022 inclusive. This includes a fourth additional closed day granted due to the extra bank holiday for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Senior appointments

New Executive Deans

In the New Year, we’ll welcome two new Executive Deans to Leeds. Professor Paul Johnson will become Executive Dean of Social Sciences and Professor Selina Stead will become Executive Dean of Environment.

Wellbeing and support

Carer’s leave extended to 31 December 2021

In response to the pandemic and to support colleagues who are balancing caring responsibilities, we increased the standard entitlement of paid carer’s leave from five to 10 days (pro rata for part-time staff). We’re now extending this provision to 31 December 2021. These 10 days include any carer’s leave already taken within the past 12-month period. Our standard policy and associated leave entitlement will resume from 1 January 2022. At this point, any previously taken carer’s leave will not be considered when determining an individual’s entitlement – i.e. the rolling 12-month period will re-start for all employees from 1 January 2022.

Flu vaccinations

Winter flu virus season is here and we’re encouraging and supporting all colleagues to get vaccinated. If you’re not eligible for a free NHS flu vaccination, or have not yet received an eligibility letter, you can still protect yourself by booking a private flu jab and claiming the cost – up to £14 – through e-expenses.

Sign up | Walking Works Challenge 2021

Put your best foot forward and sign up for the Walking Works Challenge 2021. Sustainability has teamed up with Living Streets – the UK charity for everyday walking – and West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect project to challenge you to get active. Make your pledge to walk more this month and you could be in with a chance of winning a £400 Love2shop voucher.

Register | Virtual Pilates class

Are you struggling with your posture? Do you want to increase your flexibility? Try this free virtual Pilates class, which will get you moving and improve your posture, core strength and flexibility. It’s a chance for you to calm your mind, reducing stress physically and mentally. The class will run from 3-4pm every Wednesday via Teams, starting on 20 October. Contact Fran Andralojc to be added to the mailing list.

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: 

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.  
  • Please don’t use email – this takes longer to process and will delay how quickly IT can resolve your incident or request.

Campus life

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.

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

Digital developments

Register | Duo mobile phone app

Sign up to the Duo mobile phone app for the quickest and easiest way to log on to our University systems. If you’re using SMS messages to obtain a Duo code, why not try the app instead? It only takes a couple of clicks once you’re set up.

Handy links | University systems and information

Even more handy links have been added to the Staff systems and Quick links sections of the For Staff homepage, including OD&PL, the 2020-2030 Strategy, Wellbeing and Safety, Sustainability hub, Research and Innovation Service (RIS), our YouTube channel, ResearchFish, MyGrants and more.

Access the University’s Image Library 

Did you know you can access the University’s Image Library for a large selection of high-quality images supplied by the Digital Education Service to use in online course content? They cover a variety of topics, ranging from art and design to business, engineering and many more. Simply sign in with your University username and password to browse the Digital Education Service category and request your selected images. Further guidance is available on the Communications website. 

Support | LeedsforLife refresh goes live

Access a range of support for the new LeedsforLife systems, such as PebblePad, StREAM and MS Bookings, to help students make the most of their time at Leeds. Available resources include a ‘quick start’ guide (for staff and students) and 10-step screencast, or you can join one of the daily online drop-in sessions running every Monday to Thursday until 28 October.

Sign up | New PebblePad training dates

There’s still time to sign up for new PebblePad training dates. 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.


Register | Black History Month 2021 programme

Have you checked out the packed programme of events to mark Black History Month (BHM) 2021 yet? 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.

Public Engagement with Research Awards 2021

Read the inspiring stories of the Public Engagement with Research Awards 2021 winners and runners-up. Colleagues embracing the unprecedented challenges of the past 18 months to deliver innovative public engagement projects were honoured during a special awards ceremony.

Engagement Excellence Scheme Fellows

Two cohorts of Engagement Excellence Scheme Fellows graduated during a recent ceremony. The programme aims to build researchers’ skills, knowledge and confidence to undertake public and/or patient involvement activities, as well as create a network of engagement champions across the University.


Student newsletter

Read the latest student newsletter, which focuses on resources and information available to support students’ mental health. From exercising using our sports facilities, to taking regular breaks from work by exploring Leeds or listening to calming music, such as our new lo-fi hip hop mix, we’re keen to stress the importance of taking care of their mental wellbeing.


Balancing Life Survey results

Sports and Physical Activity’s 2021 Balancing Life Survey results have been published, providing an insight into the physical and mental health levels of our University community. This year’s results show a positive increase in activity levels, with findings helping the team to create even more opportunities for colleagues to keep fit and healthy.

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.

Take part | Research IT Strategy survey

Complete our online Research IT Strategy survey by Sunday 31 October to have your say about how we deliver fundamental and challenge-led research in the future that’s impactful and sustainable.


Research Culture Cafés

Book your place at the next Research Culture Cafés, scheduled for Wednesday 20 October and Thursday 16 December. The online café-style conversations aim to promote a positive and inclusive research culture, and will help colleagues propose solutions for change, share experiences and create a community network.

Book | Researcher Education and Development Scholarship Conference

Time is running out to book your place on the seventh annual Researcher Education and Development Scholarship (REDS) Conference, hosted by Leeds tomorrow (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).

Learning and development

Register | Lunch & Learn: Introduction to agile working

Book your place on the ‘Introduction to agile working’ Lunch & Learn session, running online from 12 noon to 1pm on Thursday 4 November. Agile methodology is a way to manage projects by breaking them up into several phases, involving constant collaboration with stakeholders and regular evaluation. The Lunch & Learn session is designed for colleagues with little or no prior knowledge of this subject. Contact Alex Tomlin for further information.

Register | Find out about PGCAP

Register to attend an OD&PL event to find out more about the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP). Running from 12 noon to 1pm on Friday 5 November, the online session will explore why participants engage with the PGCAP and the impact it has on enhancing their student education practice, including how it’s one route to gain a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). OD&PL will also explain how the course works, with the opportunity to ask questions as well.

Mentoring scheme | New resources

Access new resources for the University-wide mentoring scheme, including examples of the different types of relationships available for both mentors and mentees. As we approach the November matching process, you can also find mentoring guides, resources and case studies on the OD&PL website.

Workshop | Supporting Mature Students to Succeed

Join the Supporting Mature Students to Succeed workshop to explore how inclusive practices apply to working with this cohort. Taking place online from 2-4pm on Wednesday 27 October, the event is designed to help all colleagues working with mature students and postgraduate researchers to develop their inclusive teaching practice.

Sign up | Foundations in Teaching course

Register for the online, self-paced Foundations in Teaching (FiT) course from OD&PL, providing information and advice to those new to teaching at Leeds. Full details, including how to book, can be found on the Student Education Development website.

Register | Online podcast workshop

You can still sign up for the latest Share, Adopt, Adapt Workshop (SAAW), running from 11am to 12 noon tomorrow (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.

Sign up | Research Professional online training 

Register your place on 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.

Learn Mandarin Chinese

Sign up for eight-week evening courses in Mandarin to help develop your relationships with Chinese students. Starting next week, the Business Confucius Institute courses cost £100, but colleagues on grades 2-4 can apply for Learning for Life funding, subject to availability.


Light Night Leeds 2021

An animation by Dutch artist, Melvin Moti, is being projected onto the side of the Bragg Building on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 October, as part of Light Night Leeds 2021. The event is the start of a series of activities being organised during the next eight months, as part of the Inspired by Bragg programme celebrating the achievements of Nobel prize winner, Sir William Henry Bragg, and culminating in the official opening in summer 2022 of the new engineering and physical sciences hub named in his honour.

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.

Register | Elsevier negotiations meetings

If you read, cite or publish in Elsevier journals, book onto one of our online town hall-style meetings. Our current contract to access Elsevier journals ends on 31 December 2021. We’re negotiating nationally for a new read-and-publish deal to cover both read access and article processing charges for open access publication. Join us at any of the meetings, scheduled between Thursday 14 October and Tuesday 9 November, to find out about the negotiations and discuss what the potential outcomes mean for Leeds.

Visit | Leeds Repair Café

You can visit the Leeds Repair Café being held on campus on Saturday 16 October to mark International Repair Day. Experts will be on hand to help you repair broken household items that might otherwise be destined for the bin. The event runs from 12 noon to 4pm in the LUU building.

Register | Leeds International Summer School information session

Sign up for the Leeds International Summer School (LISS) information session – from 2-3pm on Wednesday 20 October – to find out more about the programme and how you can get involved. The Study Abroad Office is seeking academic colleagues and postgraduate researchers to deliver modules, as part of LISS, for which they will be financially rewarded.

Final call | Student Education Conference 2022 abstracts

The deadline for submissions of abstracts for the 2022 Student Education Conference (SEC 2022) is 5pm on Monday 18 October. Taking place on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 January next year, SEC 2022 will explore the theme of ‘community and belonging’, and features addresses by our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk; Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, Professor Jeff Grabill; and keynote speaker, Professor Eric Mazur, a physicist and educator at Harvard University.

Climate Action Leeds

Parkinson Building will be lit up green tonight (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 

There’s still time to buy tckets for the first-ever hybrid Ilkley Literature Festival, 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

Embedding belonging and decolonisation | New resources

Alan Turing Institute Fellowships success

Flagship new building inspiring our students

Sign up | Springboard Development Programme

Feedback | Better support for open access publishing

Book | Welcome event for new staff

Video | Staying safe in Leeds

Read | Digital Education Service Digest

Sign up | Staff Rounders Club taster session

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