eNews 24 November

VC's blog, USS pension sessions, appointments, COP26, Christmas tree, surveys, festivals, major research projects, carol service and more.

eNews 24 November 2021

Thought pieces

Vice-Chancellor’s blog | A place on the podium? What is university research for?

“To fully realise the potential of the amazing world-changing work we do, we need to break out of the shackles of competition and rankings.” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, shares her latest blog, which sets out why we need to transform research culture in order to tackle global challenges.

Industrial action

Planned industrial action

University and College Union (UCU) has announced strike action and action short of strike (ASOS) will take place at a number of universities, including Leeds, next week. Three days of strike action are planned for Wednesday 1 to Friday 3 December. ASOS will take place from Wednesday 1 December continuously until no later than Tuesday 3 May 2022, and will consist of UCU members only working their contracted hours and duties, and not volunteering to do more. During this time, we will be guided by three underlying principles – protecting the interests of students, retaining the cohesion of our community and protecting the standard of Leeds awards.


Christmas period | Payroll information

Due to the Christmas closure period, the deadline for submitting payroll changes to HR to be processed for December’s payroll is Wednesday 1 December. Pay day will be Friday 17 December, and there will be more than six weeks before the next pay day on Monday 31 January 2022.

USS pension

Book | USS information sessions 

The statutory consultation being conducted by employers about the future of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is open until Monday 17 January 2022. To support you through this process, independent USS consultation information sessions are available to book for a range of dates up to Monday 6 December. If you’re unable to make any of the sessions, you can watch a recording of one of the events.

Fairer Future for All

Event recordings

Don’t worry if you missed the live sessions, as you can now watch the Fairer Future for All event recordings. Colleagues who attended heard about the University strategy and the ambition to create a fairer future for all – our staff, our students and the wider global community. 


New Director of People and Culture

Paul Boustead will be joining the University in February as our inaugural Director of People and Culture. Currently Executive Director of People and Organisational Effectiveness at Lancaster University, Paul’s appointment will see him play a leading role in developing and implementing people and organisational development strategies at Leeds, while also ensuring we realise a significant culture shift to become an institution characterised by its inclusivity, collaboration and respect.


Register | COP26 and its legacy: a conversation with Alex Sobel MP

Join us for our online event from 5-6.30pm on Friday 26 November with Alex Sobel, MP for Leeds North-West and International Parliamentary Union rapporteur for engagement at COP26. Alex will be in conversation with our COP26 taskforce to share his reflections on the climate conference, and to consider the implications for green finance and the transition to net zero emissions.

Watch | COP26 event recordings

Watch recordings from some of the COP26 events Leeds was involved with and catch up on anything you missed at the global climate summit. The Priestley International Centre for Climate has also compiled a series of expert reflections from before, during and after COP26 to help you follow the important announcements and digest the outcomes of the event.

Campus life

O Christmas tree!

The Grounds and Gardens team will be branching out to give campus a spruce-up when this year’s Christmas tree takes pride of place in Beech Grove Plaza – next to the ‘Sign for Art’ sculpture – from Friday 26 November to mark the beginning of the festive season.

New football facility

We recently teamed up with the Football Foundation to mark the start of building works on a new football facility at the Bodington Playing Fields, giving a welcome boost to grassroots sport in Leeds. This has been made possible thanks to investment from the University and a £4.2m grant from the Premier League, The FA and the Government’s Football Foundation.

Co-op store mural

A hand-painted mural of Melz Owusu, a community activist and former Leeds student, has been unveiled at the Co-op store in LUU. Melz, who’s also a scholar and founder of the Free Black University, formerly held the position of Executive Officer at LUU. The mural aims to inspire dialogue around diversity and inclusion.

The Edge | Festive season opening hours

Festive season opening hours for The Edge are now available to view on the Sport and Physical Activity website. Due to the extended University closure period this year, reduced hours will be in operation from Monday 20 December to Monday 3 January inclusive.

Weetwood Hall parking

Please be aware new parking regulations are in operation at Weetwood Hall. An automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system has been installed to ensure only hotel guests and visitors can continue to enjoy free parking, with registration required in advance. Please contact Weetwood Hall for further information.


Have your say | Travel to Work Survey

You can now take part in Leeds City Council’s Travel to Work Survey, which will measure how people’s commutes have changed since the beginning of the pandemic. The survey closes on Tuesday 30 November.

Final call | Library survey

Time is running out to share your experience of the Library and its services in a new survey, which will drive real change for staff and students. It will only take about 15 minutes to complete, with the chance to win one of five £50 Love2shop vouchers. Closing date is Tuesday 30 November.

Have your say | World100 tracker survey

It’s the last chance to have your say in the World100 tracker – a survey measuring the reputation of leading universities among various audiences. Views of university staff are being sought by the end of November. The anonymous survey – which should only take about five minutes to complete – gives universities such as ours valuable insights into how we (and others) are seen by these different groups and tracks how our reputation may be changing over time.

Take part | 12 Days of Continuous Improvement

Join the Continuous Improvement Network for ‘12 Days of Improvement’, an online event from Wednesday 1 to Thursday 16 December. You can submit stories about successes or failures (big or small) in Continuous Improvement during the past year, including what you learned, how stakeholders benefited and what you’d do differently in the future. All submissions will be featured on the final day of the event. The network (hosted on Teams) aims to provide a stimulating, supportive and collaborative learning environment for all colleagues with an interest in Continuous Improvement to share knowledge, ideas and seek peer support.


Watch | Video summaries  

Summary edits of the University’s Strategy overview, Research and Innovation and Education videos are now available. You can embed them in school and faculty websites, in presentations or in any other official University capacity. Please contact David Pickering if you require any of the videos for offline use.

Digital developments

IT Service Desk requests

To ensure you get the IT support you need as quickly as possible, you need to log on to the IT website to contact the Service Desk. Simply click on ‘Something Broken’ or ‘Request Something’ to receive an immediate reference number, enabling you to add details and track the case. You can no longer create a new incident or request via email.

Image Library | Planned maintenance

The University’s Image Library will be unavailable from 12 noon tomorrow (Thursday 25 November) due to planned maintenance. We hope to have it up and running again by Friday afternoon (26 November). We apologise for any inconvenience caused.


Fresh Start Festival

Find out how you can get involved in the Fresh Start Festival – a week of activities run in association with LUU to reengage existing students with everything on offer at Leeds and to welcome new starters joining us in January. Scheduled for the week commencing Monday 24 January, the festival includes opportunities for colleagues to host events, activities, networking sessions and stalls designed to help students connect with the University and each other.

Celebrations | Winter Festival

Full details are now available about the packed programme of fantastic festive fun for students in our Winter Festival, which runs until Friday 17 December. As well as craft and food stalls, student performances, late-night markets and festive meals on campus, students have the chance to take part in cookery demonstrations – making mince pies, chocolate truffles and biscuits – or grab a hot chocolate while they enjoy a holiday movie in the Refectory.

Student Newsletter

Read the latest student newsletter, which provides useful information to help students prepare for their upcoming assessments in January, and invites them to attend our Winter Festival on campus (see above).

Volunteer | IntoUniversity

Sign up to become an Academic Support Volunteer Tutor, supporting primary and secondary students during after-school sessions, with young people receiving free, tailored help with homework, coursework, revision and study skills. Leeds is proud to be partnered with the IntoUniversity organisation, supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds to attain a university place or another chosen aspiration. Please contact Rosie Kenwood for further information.


Advancement team at Leeds

The Alumni and Development Team has changed its name to Advancement. The new name better reflects the ongoing work of the team to foster an engaged and lifelong global alumni community and advance the worldwide impact of the University by cultivating and securing philanthropic gifts from alumni, other individuals, charitable trusts and corporations.


Funding | BAME postgraduate study

Thanks to successful funding bids, two major new research projects to further improve access to, and participation in, postgraduate research for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students are underway at Leeds.

Join | Research Culture Community

Join the Research Culture Community – a growing network of colleagues united by an interest in creating a positive, inclusive environment. Read updates from the Dean for Research Culture, Dr Cat Davies, with members able to contribute through discussion, sharing of best practice, highlighting challenges and proposing ideas for change. Additional interactive sessions are being planned for next year. Use code qsybt4k to sign up.

Register | Elsevier negotiations meeting

If you read, cite or publish in Elsevier journals, book onto our latest online town hall-style meeting, being held from 2-3pm on Wednesday 1 December. Hear about the Elsevier contract negotiations and discuss the implications of a deal – or no deal – for Leeds once our current contract expires on Friday 31 December. This includes alternative routes to access Elsevier content. 

Sign up I VOICE pilot

Do you have an idea for a patient and public involvement (PPI) activity that could be delivered in February or March 2022? If so, sign up to take part in the VOICE pilot – an online platform used to recruit and involve patients, carers and members of the public in health research – and receive support for your activity from PPI colleagues. The deadline for expressions of interest is Tuesday 30 November.

Learning and development

Register | Online workshop

Sign up for the latest Share, Adopt, Adapt Workshop (SAAW), running from 2-3pm today (Wednesday 24 November). The event aims to showcase examples of ways of working with students as partners, which is a fundamental feature of the Curriculum Redefined project at Leeds. 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.

Register | Lifelong Learning Centre open house

Sign-up for an open house event to find out more about the Lifelong Learning Centre, its work and areas of expertise, and how these may be useful in your role supporting students. The session runs from 12.30-1.30pm tomorrow (Thursday 25 November).

Sign up | Springboard Development Programme

Applications are now open for the January-April 2022 Springboard Development Programme for women on grades two to four. 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. 

Access digital essentials training anytime, anywhere 

Discover how the Digital Essentials for Staff collection on LinkedIn Learning can support you in building your digital skills for personal and career development. It can be viewed anytime on a computer or mobile phone with the LinkedIn Learning app. If you missed the virtual roadshow sessions introducing the collection, watch the short video from OD&PL explaining how to access and use the collection.

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 join, can be found on the Student Education Development website.

Book | PebblePad ePortfolio training   

You still have time to sign up for PebblePad training. These 45-minute sessions – running regularly until Friday 10 December – are designed to teach new users how to create innovative teaching materials and provide support for existing ones. Don’t forget you can also access your PebblePad account to take a quick tour of the homepage before you join the session.


Take part | UK Disability History Month 2021

Join Disability Services for a packed programme of events to mark UK Disability History Month 2021. Latest sessions focus on autism (Thursday 25 November), assistive tech (Monday 29 November) and neurodiversity (Wednesday 1 December). You can also register for an online event about disability rights in the higher education workplace on Monday 29 November, hosted by the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Staff and PGR Network. Visit the Equality and Inclusion Unit website for further information and details of available support for staff and students.

Register | University Carol Service 2021

Start the festive season on a high note and register to attend the University Carol Service 2021. Taking place in the Great Hall from 5.15-6pm on Tuesday 7 December, the free event features music from the Leeds University Union Music Society (LUUMS) Brass Band. Contact the Chaplaincy for further information.

Sign up | 2021 Festival of Social Science 

You can still register to take part in the 2021 Festival of Social Science this month. As a partner organisation, we’ve scheduled a series of digital and face-to-face events as part of the programme. Open to all, this year’s festival focuses on environmental issues to mark the UK’s hosting of COP26.

Register | Business Confucius Institute (BCI) annual lecture

Register to attend the BCI’s annual lecture, taking place from 5-6pm today (Wednesday 24 November) in the new Esther Simpson Building. Andrew Seaton, Chief Executive of the China-Britain Business Council, will talk about his work and provide a perspective on UK-China business.

Meet the Researchers | Immersive Technology

Join the Advancement team and the Centre for Immersive Technology for the final instalment in a series of webinars to meet some of the experts from across the University who are driving the use of immersive technologies to upskill the next generation and push the boundaries of possibilities in research. The last event is being held from 6-7pm tomorrow (Thursday 25 November) and includes a 30-minute Q&A session.  

Register | MedTech virtual event

Register to attend the North-South MedTech Summit on Friday 26 November. Led by the National Institute for Health Research, part of the University’s School of Medicine, this free-of-charge event provides businesses, innovators, academics and clinicians with the chance to explore new collaborations and connect with exhibitors.

Take part | Perspectives on Public Art: Being Human 2021

Join expert guides as they take you on an online trip around the University Public Art trail. See the stunning sculptures on campus in a new light in this audio adventure, available until Friday 31 December. Discover the hidden lives of these artworks, hear what audiences think about them and explore how people interact with them.

In case you missed it

Three new Deans appointed

Tackling harassment and sexual misconduct

Apply | Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship

New guides | Writing for blogs and Medium

Apply | Enhance Your Student Education Practice course

Sign up | Difficult Conversations workshops

Guide | LinkedIn Learning for researchers

Register | Winter Series of Be Curious LATES

Book | Inside Yellow Sound multi-sensory installation

Exhibition | The Expressive Mark

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