eNews 12 January

COVID-19 updates, VC's blog, new appointments, New Year Honours, Leeds Partnership Awards, Brontë treasure trove, researcher spotlights, Research Transformed event, Minerva modules, Bragg symposium.

eNews 12 January 2022


COVID-19 | Updated guidance and arrangements for January

Read the all staff email sent to colleagues on Wednesday 5 January summarising the arrangements in place on campus following updates to the Government’s COVID-19 guidance issued during the University closure period. This features the latest information about working on campus, including the wearing of face coverings. The Government’s Plan B regulations are scheduled to be reviewed on Wednesday 26 January; we will keep you updated as further guidance is issued.

New COVID-19 vaccination centre

Staff and students from any university or higher education institution in Leeds can book a COVID-19 booster jab or their first dose of the vaccine at a new vaccination centre near campus. Walk-ins are also being accepted without an appointment. Located in Old Broadcasting House, Leeds Beckett University, Woodhouse Lane, the centre is open from 10am to 5pm on Friday 14, Tuesday 18 and Friday 21 January.

Asymptomatic test centre at Cromer Terrace reopens 

The University’s asymptomatic testing centre in Cromer Terrace has temporarily reopened for staff and students who need to be on campus and require a lateral flow test. This is a walk-in centre, so no appointment is required. It’s open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, until further notice.

Reporting you have COVID-19

If you’re self-isolating or have had a positive COVID-19 test, you must tell us through the coronavirus reporting form. Read more about how to report and what to do if you test positive or need to self-isolate.

Updated testing and isolation guidance

See the Government website for updated guidance on PCR and lateral flow tests, together with isolation requirements for anyone testing positive for COVID-19.

Thought pieces

Vice-Chancellor’s blog | What’s love got to do with it?

“University leaders need to remember the heart as well as the head in building and nurturing their communities. And that includes measuring and rewarding the right things.” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, shares her new blog, in which she sets out why, in order to be happy at work, everybody needs to feel appreciated.


Welcome to our new University Secretary

Jennifer Sewel joins us this month as our new University Secretary. A member of the University Executive Group, the University Secretary is a responsible for providing advice and support to the Council, Senate and their committees, and for leading on areas including governance; compliance and legal affairs; risk management; wellbeing, safety and health; communications; and student regulatory matters. Read more about Jennifer and the role of University Secretary.

IT Executive Leadership Team

Two new members of the IT Executive Leadership Team have been appointed to play a pivotal role in the delivery of our new IT strategy. Monica Jones joined us on Monday 10 January as Chief Data Officer, having previously held the same post with the HRDUK Data Research Hub for Cancer. Kurt Weideling joins us on Tuesday 18 January as Chief Technology Officer. His most recent role was Chief Digital Transformation Officer at the UK Health Research Authority.


New Year Honours

Two members of the governing body at Leeds have been awarded CBEs in the New Year Honours. Ed Anderson and Tim Smith have both been named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of their wide-ranging achievements and service at international, national and regional levels. You can also read about our other award recipients, including Leeds alumni.

Nominate | Leeds Partnership Awards 2022

Nominations for the Leeds Partnership Awards 2022 are now open. The annual accolades will once again celebrate the achievements of staff and students who truly put into practice the Leeds Partnership, highlighting those who collaborate, support and enhance the University community. Nominations close at midnight on Sunday 20 February.

World Changers | Researcher spotlights

Read part one of a new series exploring the work of our researchers behind the World Changers essay collection. The authors’ areas of expertise are wide ranging, but the common thread tying them together is a vision of a better future for humanity, working together to tackle inequalities and create a fairer future for all.

Brontë treasure trove

Rare handwritten manuscripts and printed books by 19th century literary family the Brontës have been entrusted to the Brotherton Library. We plan to share many of the works with the British Library and the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth in an exciting new partnership.


Register | Research Transformed event

Book your place for our online event to hear from Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk; Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, Professor Nick Plant; and colleagues from across the research community as they share further information about the Research Transformed project at Leeds. The final session is being held from 4-5pm on Tuesday 18 January. You can also watch a recording of the latest event.

Take part | Be Curious 2022

Researchers from all disciplines are invited to make contributions to Be Curious 2022, our annual open event showcasing the University’s world-changing research to the wider public. Submissions are invited for in-person activities to be hosted on campus on Saturday 7 May, together with supporting digital content that encourages families to explore research through hands-on making, doing and creating. Read the guidelines for taking part and complete the online form by 5pm on Wednesday 26 January to register your interest. You can also book 15-minute slots at the upcoming Be Curious surgery being held on Thursday 20 January, where you can discuss your ideas before making a submission.

Apply now | Research Development Fund

Applications for the next round of the Research Development Fund are open until 5pm on Wednesday 2 February. Awards of up to £600 are available to support patient, public or stakeholder involvement or engagement in the research design stage.

Take part | UKRN Open Research survey

Researchers are invited to take part in a UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) survey on Open Research. The UKRN will use responses to identify current awareness, and use of, open practices across institutions, disciplines and career stages. The survey only takes a few minutes to complete and is open until Sunday 30 January.

Digital developments

Deletion of older Minerva modules

Older Minerva modules will be permanently deleted in the week commencing Monday 7 February, in order to increase available storage space. Affected modules will be those from the taught academic years 2008-09 to 2013-14 inclusive that are generally no longer used.

Video production | Supplier framework update

We’re raising the threshold for the supplier framework for video production from £2,000 to £5,000 (including VAT). This means you no longer need to invite multiple suppliers to quote when commissioning a video project up to this value. Contact the Communications Production team for further information.

Image Library | Planned maintenance

The University’s Image Library will be temporarily unavailable from Wednesday 12 January. We hope to have it up and running again by Monday 17 January. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.


Take part | 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 re-engage existing students with everything on offer at Leeds and to welcome new starters joining us this month. Running from Monday 24 to Sunday 30 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.

Assessments | Advice and support

Find out about the advice and support available for students during the assessments period, including past papers, revision and studying tips, library facilities and wellbeing services.

Campus life

The Edge | Reduced opening hours

Higher-than-normal levels of staff absences due to COVID-19 mean The Edge is operating reduced opening hours until Sunday 16 January, in the first instance. This decision has been taken to ensure the safety of staff and members, and in order to maintain full access to all facilities. See the Sport and Physical Activity website for future updates.

Learning and development

Register | Find out more about the Plus Programme 

Academic personal tutors can find out more about the Plus Programme during a seminar running from 4-5pm today (Wednesday 12 January). The programme is one of our keystone initiatives for helping ensure those from widening participation backgrounds have the greatest chance of success, at Leeds and beyond. The session, hosted by OD&PL and Educational Engagement, will explore the programme and how academic personal tutors can work more closely with those running it to ensure students are able to understand and access the support on offer.  

Sign up | Podcasting for Teaching workshop 

Register for the Podcasting for Teaching workshop taking place tomorrow (Thursday 13 January) to discover how you can use podcasts in your teaching practice. The interactive workshop, led by Antonio Martinez-Arboleda, Principal Teaching Fellow in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, explores practical examples and benefits of academic podcasts as a tool for community engagement and knowledge transfer.

Health and safety training

Look out for emails reminding you to complete the online health and safety training, if you haven’t done so recently. Training courses, operated by Britsafe, have been upgraded for a more modern look and feel. Each module – Display Screen Equipment (DSE), Fire Safety and Manual Handling – takes about 20 minutes to complete. For the DSE training, you can focus on the workstation you use the most, whether this is on campus or at home.

Register | Management Essentials Programme

New and existing managers can now book on to the next block of OD&PL’s Management Essentials programme. Sessions cover a variety of topics designed to equip you with the tools needed to effectively manage your team, as well as understand the processes and responsibilities you have at the University. The programme runs in blocks throughout the academic year, with the next one scheduled for Monday 17 January to Wednesday 16 February.

Sign up | Online PebblePad workshop

Register for the latest virtual Share, Adapt, Adopt Workshop (SAAW), running from 11am to 12 noon on Tuesday 18 January. Organised in conjunction with the Teaching, Innovation and Practice in Student Education (TIPS) community and curated by PebblePad Academic Lead, Dr Ruth Payne, you will hear from Alice Potter, Dr Helen Iball and Dr Joslin McKinney about their innovative use of the ePortfolio platform. The session will focus on practical ways in which PebblePad can be used to aid and improve pedagogical practices. 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.

Book | PebblePad training 

Sign up for PebblePad training sessions this month. The 45-minute introductory sessions teach new users how to create innovative teaching materials, while hour-long options also offer support to both new and existing users on the use of the ePortfolio platform. Don’t forget you can access your PebblePad account to take a quick tour before you join the session.

Apply | Leadership development programmes

Applications are open for OD&PL’s leadership development programmes, which are designed to deliver support to colleagues at different stages of their careers, ranging from aspiring and new leaders to those more established in their roles who are responsible for leading a change initiative.

BOOST programme | Career development for researchers

Why not sign up for a New Year BOOST? OD&PL’s new programme of events supporting career development for researchers covers a broad range of topics to equip yourself with the skills and confidence needed to manage your career, including resources and events scheduled for the remainder of the academic year, with new material being added throughout.

Wellbeing and support

Book | Welcome events for new staff 

Book your place on one of the virtual welcome events for new staff taking place tomorrow (Thursday 13 January) and on Tuesday 1 March. Find out more about Leeds, meet new colleagues and explore the range of benefits, support and advice available.

Sign up | Menopause in the Workplace workshops

Additional dates for the interactive Menopause in the Workplace workshops are available to book until April. Designed to raise awareness of menopause and focus on how to develop a supportive culture for colleagues, the workshops are aimed at all colleagues, but there are also specific sessions for managers and men. Please contact OD&PL to be added to the waiting list if any of the workshops become fully booked.

Register | Virtual Pilates class

New year, new you! Try our 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 runs from 3-4pm every Wednesday via Teams. Contact Fran Andralojc to be added to the mailing list.

Sign up | Online postural sessions 

Are you struggling with your posture? Do you regularly experience 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 and Tuesday at 4pm. And why not give the 15-minute lower body postural sessions a go, too? They target stiffness in your legs linked with a sedentary job/lifestyle. Classes run every Wednesday at 12 noon and Thursday at 2.30pm. If you’re specifically suffering with lower back pain, try our new 15-minute lower back postural classes, which run every Monday at 2pm. All the above sessions are held via Teams. Contact Fran Andralojc to be added to the mailing list.

Book | Strength4Life course

Are you in need of a fitness boost? Why not power up by joining the new Strength4Life course at The Edge, exclusively for staff. Work out under the watchful eye of two of the University’s strength training specialists – Nina Anne Lawrence, an over-50s competitive strongwoman, and Tim Jarrett, the University’s lead Strength and Conditioning Coach. Following on from the successful autumn programme, there are 12 places up for grabs on the 10-week course, which starts on Wednesday 19 January. Sign up today for the special staff price of £75 and see your fitness go from strength to strength!


Register | Bragg Centre for Materials Research symposium

Book your ticket for the Bragg Centre for Materials Research fourth annual symposium being held on Tuesday 25 January. Taking place in the Great Hall, The Bragg Exchange 2022 is designed to celebrate the opening of the Sir William Henry Bragg Building, with speakers covering a broad spectrum of materials research. See the website to find out more about the Bragg Centre and become a member.

Sign up | Be Curious LATES: Something to Bragg about

Sign up for the second instalment in the Winter Series of Be Curious LATES taking place from 8-9pm on Wednesday 2 February. Delve into the story behind the Nobel prize-winning work of former Leeds professor, Sir William Henry Bragg. From building shapes with DNA to tackling cancer with microbubbles, we explore the continued legacy of his discoveries through world-changing research undertaken at Leeds. Tickets are free and sessions build on the success of last year’s programme of Be Curious LATES events, designed exclusively for adult audiences.

Register | Turing Scheme staff webinar

Register for the Turing Scheme staff webinar taking place from 1-2pm on Tuesday 25 January. With Leeds having been awarded funding from the Government’s Turing Scheme, the webinar will provide information about how this will benefit those students interested in undertaking international study and work opportunities.

Book | Language@Leeds Triennial Showcase 2022

Join the Language@Leeds Triennial Showcase 2022 on Wednesday 30 March to explore the breadth of the centre’s interdisciplinary research and discuss new collaborative opportunities. Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, will formally open proceedings in the Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall at 4pm. Contact Language@Leeds to book your place.

Chinese New Year | Educational session

Join the Business Confucius Institute to learn about Chinese New Year. This short online session for staff and students takes place between 12 noon and 1pm on Thursday 20 January, offering the basic cultural knowledge and language skills to engage confidently with your Chinese students, colleagues or classmates at this special time of year.

Leeds University Library Galleries | Opening hours extended

Opening hours have been extended at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery and The Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery. Free access is now available from 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday. No booking required.

In case you missed it

University’s Climate Plan

VC’s blog | A sense of connection and purpose

Curriculum Redefined | Help shape student education

Appointment | Key regional leadership role for University’s Chief Financial Officer

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