eNews 26 January

COVID-19 updates, access and student success, Holocaust Memorial Day, IT roadshow, financial wellbeing sessions, new lost property system, major art loan, Big Campus Birdwatch and more.

eNews 26 January 2022


Lifting of COVID-19 Plan B restrictions

Read the all staff email sent to colleagues on Friday 21 January, providing details about the implications for the University of the Government’s lifting of COVID-19 Plan B restrictions. This features the latest information about working on campus, face coverings, lateral flow testing, the asymptomatic test centre at Cromer Terrace and the COVID-19 vaccination centre near campus.

COVID-19 vaccination centre

It’s the final call for staff and students to book a COVID-19 booster jab or their first dose of the vaccine at a 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’s final session runs from 10am to 5pm on Friday 28 January.

Lateral flow home test kits

Lateral flow home test kits can be collected from the LUU helpdesk or the Laidlaw, Edward Boyle, Brotherton and Health Sciences libraries. Supply is limited, so please only take what you need. As stocks have been replenished, the asymptomatic test centre at Cromer Terrace has now closed. Home test kits are also available from local pharmacies or they can be ordered online from the GOV.UK website

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 and also inform your line manager. 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

Inside Track | Breaking down barriers to access and student success

In her latest Inside Track feature, Head of Educational Engagement, Louise Banahene, reflects on our achievements in improving access and student success at Leeds, together with the future challenges we face and how you can get involved to help break down these barriers.

Staff benefits

Carer’s leave extended to 31 March 2022

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 Thursday 31 March 2022. These 10 days include any carer’s leave already taken within the past 12-month period.

Digital developments

Book | IT roadshow

We’ve added two extra dates for our open meetings to introduce the IT Operating Model (ITOM) and what it means for your role. Following the launch of the Digital Enablement and Be Safe programmes last year, we’ve been designing an ITOM that aims to deliver a modernised IT service to better meet your needs. IT Chief Information Officer, Dan Simms, will share an overview of the ITOM during the events on Friday 11 and Wednesday 16 February, together with information about what the changes will mean for colleagues in professional services, research and teaching. There will also be an opportunity to give feedback. Those unable to attend will be able to watch a recording from one of the events (more details to follow).

Protecting your data

Friday 28 January is Data Privacy Day, so why not review the data you hold and check you’re only keeping it for as long as required. Across the University, we have a huge amount of data in various file stores, such as the M and N drives. To help us protect it, we’re rolling out new software that will detect and alert us to any malicious activity. This software will also help us identify any ‘stale’ data that’s no longer required and tighten up access to our most sensitive information.

Sign up | Research IT engagement sessions

Sign up for our virtual Research IT engagement sessions to hear more about work we’ve undertaken during the past few months with nominated academics and our external consultancy partner, Red Oak, to understand the range of Research IT users and how we can best support them. You can hear about, and provide feedback on, the recommendations at two open sessions on Tuesday 1 and Thursday 3 February. We will also present our proposed approach to managing computer admin rights – again with the opportunity to provide feedback – at two additional open online sessions today (Wednesday 26 January) and Friday 28 January.

Changes to the Minerva News blog

As part of activity to provide a single point of information relating to digital education systems, the Minerva News blog will be relocating to the Digital Education Systems Help website later this year. We will keep you updated about Minerva information and announcements as this work progresses.

IT top tips

Silencing notifications in Teams

Microsoft Teams makes communicating and collaborating with colleagues easy, but sometimes you need to focus without interruptions. To do this, make sure you’ve set your Teams status to ‘Do not disturb’. You can still override this for key contacts, who you always want to be able to contact you, by adding these to your priority contacts list in Teams.

Improving your time management and work-life balance

You can now get personalised data and tips through Microsoft’s Viva Insights. This can help you improve your time management and build helpful habits. Using your existing Office 365 data, Viva Insights shows how you spend your time and suggests ways you could work smarter. Set your virtual commute, track how you feel over time, send praise to colleagues and more.


Supporting student wellbeing

Students can face a number of challenges and difficulties while at university, and this can sometimes lead to concerns about their wellbeing. We’re committed to the wellbeing of all our students. Find out more about where and how students can access wellbeing support and advice 

Student Ideas Fund

Find out more about the Student Ideas Fund to help promote the project to students you interact with. The fund is a collaboration between the University and LUU, providing an opportunity to apply for support and grants to bring student and community experience ideas to life.

Fresh Start Festival

Find out more about the Fresh Start Festival, running until Sunday 30 January. To kick this term off in style, we’re working with LUU to offer a week of free online and in-person activities packed full of food, fun, friends and fantastic opportunities. You can also request a communications toolkit from organisers to help promote events to students you interact with. As well as the full programme and a daily breakdown of what’s on, the toolkit includes a PowerPoint slide that teaching and learning colleagues can drop into existing learning materials, together with text updates for use in existing communications.

Take part | Sustainability at Leeds

Get involved with Sustainability at Leeds by attending Fresh Start Festival activities designed for staff and students. These include a litter pick in Hyde Park from 1.30-3pm today (Wednesday 26 January) and a planting session at the Sustainability Garden from 12 noon to 2pm on Friday 28 January.

Additional study spaces on campus

We’re continuing to make more study spaces available for students and postgraduate researchers, with extra walk-in and bookable spaces added this week.

Campus life

New lost property system

Security Services have switched to an online system for lost property, which will speed up the process of reuniting owners with their misplaced items. Already in place at several other universities, the notlost.com system uses a central hub linked to others located across campus. The more hubs, the more efficient the system. Apply for your area to become a hub or visit the Security Service’s webpage to read more about the new system or to register lost property

Major art loan is a masterstroke!

Marks & Spencer has made a loan of five major artworks for the benefit of the people of its home city. The prestigious paintings by world-famous artists Claude Monet, LS Lowry, JMW Turner, Maurice de Vlaminck and Edward Seago – some of which have never been on public display – are now exhibited in The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery. The gallery, which is back to its full opening hours for the first time in 22 months, is free to visit and open to all.

Road closure

Due to underground drainage works, Lifton Place will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians until Wednesday 2 February. The road will then be limited to one-way-only vehicle access in the direction of Cromer Terrace between Tuesday 1 February and Tuesday 31 May. The footpath on one side of the road will be open during this period. Contact Adrian Smith, Senior Project Manager, with any enquiries.


University of Leeds Teaching Awards 2022  

Applications are open until 12 noon on Friday 4 March for the University of Leeds Teaching Awards 2022, celebrating and recognising excellent practice in student education. You can book your place at a briefing event, running from 10.30am to 12 noon on Wednesday 2 February, to get further information about the awards. A recording will be made available to watch for those unable to attend (more details to follow).

Twitter | We’ve reached 5,000 followers!

Our dedicated staff Twitter account now has an incredible 5,000 followers. Thanks to all of you for joining us and continuing to grow our community. And if you’re not already following us, why not take a look to see what all the fuss is about?! You’ll find the latest University news posted as it happens.


Take part | Be Curious 2022

Researchers from all disciplines have until 5pm today (Wednesday 26 January) to submit ideas for contributions to Be Curious 2022, our annual open event showcasing the University’s world-changing research to the wider public. In-person activities will 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.

Apply | 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.

World Changers | Researcher spotlight 

Read the third instalment of a series exploring the work of researchers behind the World Changers essay collection. The authors’ areas of expertise are wide-ranging and diverse, 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

Training and development

Book | Sustainability: The Role of the Manager

Sign up for a two-part online training programme designed for managers and leaders who want to develop a good understanding of sustainability and its strategic importance to Leeds. Part one, which will be emailed to participants after they’ve signed up, covers the basics of sustainability. Part two is an online session taking place from 1-3pm on Tuesday 8 February. This focusses on what sustainability means for your role as a manager, and offers the chance to discuss challenges and collaboration opportunities.

Register | LITE Teaching Show Watch Party

Sign up for the pilot LITE Teaching Show Watch Party, taking place online from 3-4pm tomorrow (Thursday 27 January). This new episode of the LITE Teaching Show – a short video that presents research material in a fun and engaging way – features National Teaching Fellow, Dr Alison Voice, explaining her work on spaced repetition as a tool for learning retention. Dr Voice and Susan Preston, our student co-presenter, will be available afterwards to answer questions.

LinkedIn Learning guide

Find out how to get the most out of your free access to LinkedIn Learning in this guide from OD&PL, which explores how available training can support you in your personal and professional development and suggests a series of recommendations, including the most popular courses of 2021.

Apply | Leadership development programmes

Applications are open for OD&PL’s leadership development programmes, delivering 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.

Wellbeing and support

Register | Financial wellbeing online sessions

Attend our new interactive online sessions about financial wellbeing, delivered by Wealth at Work as part of our pledge to support a healthy and fulfilled staff community. Hear free, impartial information about saving for the future, budgeting, understanding payslips, workplace pensions and much more. Limited places are available to book for these pilot sessions on Tuesday 15 and Thursday 17 February.

Join | Bipolar Disorders Staff Network

The Bipolar Disorders Staff Network welcomes new members. The group aims to provide a safe, supportive space for colleagues, working together to access expert guidance and collaborate to overcome barriers through advocacy, education and networking. Contact the Bipolar Disorders Staff Network to find out more and get involved.

Take part | Share The Love Virtual Run Relay

Sign up to take part in Get Out, Get Active’s popular Share The Love Virtual Run Relay, exclusively for colleagues at Leeds. Registration closes at 5pm on Wednesday 9 February, with the relay starting in the week commencing Monday 14 February. You’ll be allocated to a mixed ability team, with the emphasis on taking part, having fun and connecting with other colleagues.


Holocaust Memorial Day

We’re commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day 2022 tomorrow (Thursday 27 January) by inviting colleagues to watch the recording of the remembrance event organised by Leeds City Council at the City Varieties Music Hall on Sunday 23 January. The free livestream will be available to watch until Tuesday 22 February.

Register | 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.

Sign up | Astbury Conversation

Register for the 2022 Astbury Conversation, which takes place online on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 April. This year’s theme is ‘Seeing into Cells’, with free online talks – including a keynote from Nobel Laureate Richard Henderson – taking place alongside virtual poster presentations and a digital exhibition. Contact the Astbury Conversation team for further information.

Take part | Big Campus Birdwatch

Don’t fall fowl of the January blues or get in a flap about the cold weather. Have a quacking time by taking part in the Big Campus Birdwatch on Friday 28 January. Let your spirits soar by using our online form to record sightings of feathered friends on campus. It will be a real hoot! Register now without feather ado and beak sure to watch out for further tweets on the staff Twitter account

Book | Free Friday lunchtime concert

Book to watch the first free Friday lunchtime concert of the Spring Season online or in person at Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall on Friday 28 January. Organised as part of our International Concert Series, the event features world-renowned musical performers Irène Duval and Ariel Lanyi, who will be playing the violin and piano respectively.

Tickets | Kerouac Lives!

Book to watch the first Kerouac Lives! performance at Wadsworth Community Centre, near Hebden Bridge, on Friday 4 February. The production brings together Dr Simon Warner (School of Music), acclaimed poet Heath Common and musician John Hardie for an evening of conversation, readings, music and the world premiere of a previously unseen American film to commemorate the centenary of one of America’s greatest writers, Jack Kerouac.

In case you missed it

Inside Track | Bringing the strategy off the page

Check your quarantine emails

Nominate | Leeds Partnership Awards 2022

Apply | Laidlaw Leadership and Research Programme 2022

Sign up | Foundations in Teaching course

Complete the online health and safety training

Join | Disability, Accessibility and Mental Health Staff Network

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