eNews 18 May

eNews: REF results, THE interview, digital developments, Senate updates, Big Plastic Count, Leeds Ball, research funding, events and more

People sitting outside the Edward Boyle library, under umbrellas that read 'University of Leeds'

REF 2021 

University of Leeds research delivers real world impact  

Results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, which were announced on Thursday 12 May, identified more than 90% of University of Leeds research has an overall quality rating of “world leading” or “internationally excellent”. REF 2021 positions Leeds as one of the UK’s leading universities for research and impact power. 

Inside Track | Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results 

In a new Inside Track feature, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, Professor Nick Plant, pause to reflect on the real successes of our REF results – the positive and inclusive research culture that we’re focused on building at Leeds and how well this supports our strategic objectives to drive down inequalities and build a Fairer future for all 

Thought pieces 

THE interview | Digital learning

In a recent Times Higher Education (THE) interview, Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, highlights the distinction between ‘digital’ and ‘online’ learning. Professor Grabill explains how the digital focus will help our work on the Digital Transformation Strategy 2020-2030, aimed at redesigning teaching and assessment for the next generation of students. Log in with your University account to access THE, or contact Internal Communications and Engagement for a PDF copy. 

Digital developments 

Retiring software | Internet Explorer 11 

From Wednesday 15 June, Microsoft will retire Internet Explorer 11 (IE11). If you’re using IE11, we recommend you switch to Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge as soon as possible. This may affect the functionality of some websites. If this creates any issues, you can use the IE mode in Microsoft Edge. 

Accessibility | Fix Your Content Day 

Thursday 19 May marks the annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day. As part of this, the University is participating in the Blackboard Ally ‘Fix Your Content Day’. Visit the Digital Education Systems Help website to find out how you can create more inclusive digital learning content by fixing accessibility issues with Minerva files. 


Updates | Senate meeting 

Visit the new Secretariat SharePoint site for the latest news from the University Council and Senate. Among recent updates is a summary of the Senate meeting held on Wednesday 11 May, which included the endorsement of the draft Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2022. This document sets out our vision for advancing equity, diversity and inclusion throughout our University community. 


Take part | Big Plastic Count 

Help us fulfil our #2023PlasticFree pledge by taking part in the Big Plastic Count survey. We’ve committed to removing unavoidable single-use plastic from University operations by 2023, with more than a million items already axed. But in order to find more viable solutions, we need to better understand what plastic items are currently being used on campus. Those taking part in the survey by Tuesday 31 May will also be entered into a prize draw to win a zero waste goody bag! 

Leeds Ball | Campus restrictions 

Advice has been issued regarding restricted access on campus during this year’s Leeds Ball. Thousands of students will congregate in and around LUU on Saturday 4 June to enjoy a packed programme of entertainment, including live music, DJs, stalls, fairground rides and games. 


Apply now | White Rose Collaboration Fund  

Applications are open to the White Rose Collaboration Fund, which encourages emerging research partnerships across the universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. Grants of up to £20,000 are available. The deadline is 12 noon on Friday 30 September. If you need help applying, sign up for the collaboration fund webinar, at which organisers will introduce the scheme, share examples and answer questions. The event takes place from 11am to 12 noon on Thursday 16 June. 

Learning and development 

Register | Introduction to the Aurora leadership programme 

Join OD&PL from 1.30-3pm on Thursday 19 May for a virtual event introducing the 2022/23 Aurora Progamme. Find out more about the programme, ask questions and hear from previous attendees about their experiences. The Aurora programme by Advance HE provides women-only online leadership development for colleagues at or above lecturer level, or grade seven for technicians and those in professional services. Colleagues can apply themselves or be nominated. 

Sign up | Research leadership development   

OD&PL has launched a new package of development opportunities for research leaders at Leeds. Join new peer support groups, where you can share experiences, skills and knowledge with research leadership colleagues. 

LinkedIn Learning for researchers  

Read OD&PL’s guide about how LinkedIn Learning supports researchers at Leeds. In addition to a wide range of courses, you can access more than 160 research-related items created and uploaded by colleagues at Leeds. These resources support researchers at all career stages, and include information about doctoral research, applying for fellowships and grants, impact and leadership. 

Join | Research Supervision Development Community   

Join a new OD&PL Research Supervision Development Community on MS Teams for supervisors and colleagues who support doctoral researchers. It’s a place to access professional development resources, accreditation opportunities, news and policy developments. A comprehensive new online course, called Supervising Doctoral Studies, is available through the channel, equipping supervisors to deal with challenges and establish the best environment to support candidates to become independent researchers. 

Discover | LITE Fellowships for academic and professional staff 

Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) has opened applications for both Accelerator Fellowships and Fellowships for Professional Services – secondment opportunities that can be allocated to pedagogical research projects. To find out more, attend an event introducing the Accelerator Fellowships, which takes place from 2-3pm on Tuesday 24 May, or the Fellowships for Professional Services event, which runs from 10-11am on Thursday 26 May. Recordings will be available afterwards. The deadline for applications is Thursday 30 June. 

Digital assessment tools 

During the assessment period, visit the Digital Education Systems Help website to access information on tools such as PebblePad, Top Hat, Gradescope and Turnitin, along with other useful guides and resources. 


Final call | Student Success with LinkedIn Learning 

There’s still time to sign up for the ‘Student Success with LinkedIn Learning’ webinar, which takes place at 1pm today (Wednesday 18 May). Explore how students and graduates can use LinkedIn Learning and LinkedIn to successfully develop skills for their future careers and connect with job opportunities. The event is free to attend and suitable for staff and students. 

Wellbeing and support 

Take part | Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Data Quality project 

Sign up for the EDI Data Quality project to help us gain a better understanding of why some colleagues aren’t updating their equality information at Leeds. Having accurate data enables us to monitor progress and ensure the University better reflects the wider community we serve. You can help by completing our three-minute survey, signing up to a focus group (via the survey) for the week commencing Monday 13 June or contributing comments via our Padlet, which goes live in the same week. Contact the EDI team for further information. 

Join | Parent and Carer Peer Support Network 

Are you a parent or carer looking for extra support? Help is available through the Microsoft Teams-based Parent and Carer Peer Support Network, which includes a series of monthly online sessions. The next one, which takes place from 2-3pm on Thursday 26 May, will focus on support available from the Staff Counselling Service. Contact Gemma Traviss-Turner or James Willmoth for further information and to be added to the Teams group. 

Network | Electric and hybrid vehicle drivers 

Do you commute to work in an electric/hybrid car and use the charging units on campus? If so, join a growing community of electric/hybrid vehicle drivers via Teams to receive updates on charging units, arrange parking bay swaps and more. 


Celebrating Black women academics at Leeds  

Sign up for an online event celebrating Black women academics at Leeds, introduced by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, and featuring participants of the 100 Black Women Professors Now! Initiative. Running from 2-3pm on Tuesday 24 May, the talk will be co-hosted by the Deans for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Professors Iyiola Solanke and Louise Bryant, and celebrates the brilliant Black women within our University, while raising awareness of the challenges and barriers Black women face in pursuing academic careers. 

Inspired by Bragg | Seeing is Believing 

Join Professor Dame Julia Higgins for a lecture, taking place from 4-5pm on Tuesday 7 June, as part of the William Henry Bragg Building’s official opening. This lecture will explore how the use of neutron beams helps us see the beauty of the microscopic and understand how large molecules are arranged and move. Held at the Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, you can attend the lecture in person or watch Professor Dame Higgins’ talk online 

Register | Colour and Wellbeing seminar 

Sign up for the inaugural event in the Life of Colour Seminar Series, run by the Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour from 2-3pm on Thursday 26 May. In the online event, Professor Stephen Westland (School of Design) will explore the effects of coloured lighting and environments on human wellbeing and performance. 

Sign up | Be Curious LATES: Cotton’s Hidden Voices 

Register for the next Be Curious LATES event, taking place from 8-9pm on Wednesday 25 May. Join the online event to hear about the environmental and social challenges of cotton production, as well as the complexity and diversity of cotton farming, which underpins the fashion industry. 

Volunteer | World Triathlon event 

Join the University’s team of volunteers supporting the AJ Bell World Triathlon event in Leeds on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 June. Volunteer ‘Tri-makers’ help the event run smoothly and enhance the experience of athletes competing in the beautiful setting of Roundhay Park. Training and support is provided, with travel expenses paid. 

In case you missed it 

Inside Track | How do we make postgraduate research more accessible? 

New University booking and administration team 

Pay 2022-23 | Final offer presented 

Horizons Institute | Event recording 

New reading lists system 

Sign up | Management in Practice Development sessions 

Watch | Be Curious with Us videos 

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Keeping up to date 

This eNews is brought to you by the Communications and Engagement team. You can: 

  • keep up to date with our latest news on the For Staff website and by following the staff Twitter account 
  • view our previous staff email communications on our dedicated In depth webpage; and 
  • access key University systems and information, such as HR self-service, IT, the Office365 web app, year planner, Minerva and purchasing, via the staff systems and quick links sections towards the top of the For Staff homepage. Even more handy links have been added, including OD&PL, the 2020-2030 Strategy, Wellbeing and Safety, Sustainability hub, Research and Innovation Service (RIS), USS pension, ResearchFish and MyGrants. 

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