eNews 15 February

eNews: Employee engagement survey, campus of the future, unlocking our research potential, supporting our community, GDPR, improving the lives of students, water pressure, wellbeing, events and more.

Ann Allen sat on a bench

Have your say 

Take part in our new employee engagement survey 

Our new employee engagement survey launches on 20 February. Make sure you check your inbox for a message from Culture Amp – the software platform we’re using to deliver the survey – for your unique link to take part. For those without an email address and/or access to a computer, facilities will be made available in your place of work to fill out the survey.  

It’s your chance to have your say about what matters most to you. In return, we promise we will listen, we will respond and we will act.  

Visit the employee engagement survey online hub for further information, including video messages explaining why it’s so important to take part and some handy FAQs

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk

Watch | Fantastic opportunity to have your say 

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us, together as a whole university community, to learn what is working well – and what isn’t.”   

Hear from Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor and President, in a new video as she explains that to thrive as a community, your experiences, your voice and your vision for the future of the University matter greatly. 

Thought pieces 

People first | Creating an inspiring campus of the future 

A new Inside Track feature from Ann Allen, Director of Campus Innovation and Development, outlines how the Facilities Directorate is putting people at the heart of everything it does to create an inspiring campus of the future.  

Arunangsu Chatterjee

Unlocking our full research potential 

Professor Arunangsu Chatterjee, Dean: Digital Transformation, outlines our exciting plans to unlock the University’s full research potential to address the most pressing global challenges through a £28m Research IT programme. 

World events 

Turkey/Syria earthquake | Supporting our community 

Principal Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost Professor Hai-Sui Yu wrote to all colleagues on 13 February to express deep concern and sadness about the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, including those staff, students and alumni with connections to these countries. Support is available for colleagues from our counselling and wellbeing services, the Chaplaincy and Leeds University Union.  

For anyone who wants to donate to support Turkey and Syria, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has launched the Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal

A vigil to acknowledge the grief and loss this disaster has caused will take place on the precinct outside Leeds University Union (LUU) from 5-5.40pm tomorrow (16 February). Staff and students are welcome to attend. Please contact Max Camara at LUU if you would like to give a short speech at the vigil. 

Climate change 

Register | Let’s talk about the University’s plans for tackling climate change  

Hear about our ambitions in tackling climate change, including targets and investments to achieve net zero by 2030. Staff and students can still register for the first open discussion of the University’s Climate Plan. Chaired by Professor Richard Beardsworth (Head of School, POLIS), with welcome and closing remarks from Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Simone Buitendijk, the event includes the opportunity to hear from our panel of experts and ask questions. Running from 3.30-5pm today (15 February), there will be time for informal discussion afterwards. Refreshments will be provided. 


Final call | Leeds Partnership Awards 2023 nominations 

Time is running out to celebrate the amazing people who collaborate, support and enhance the Leeds community. Nominations are open until midnight on 19 February for the annual Leeds Partnership Awards, which will once again celebrate the achievements of staff and students who truly put into practice the agreement setting out our shared commitment to work together to support all aspects of our University community. 

Industrial action 

Strike action 

Strike action is taking place this week at universities across the country, including Leeds. Please read our FAQ for staff for further information, including the reporting dates for notifying the University of participation in strike action.  

You can find out more about why industrial action is taking place, the full list of strike days and what’s happening in response to the disputes on our Industrial Action In depth page

Digital developments 

Helping ensure GDPR compliance 

Data cleansing and quarantining for the M: and N: drives will begin on 1 March. This will help ensure University compliance under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Most of your files will be unaffected, but if one you want to access is quarantined, you can submit a Microsoft form to request it’s restored. Read the IT Knowledge Base article or the email from University Secretary Jennifer Sewel for further information. 

New way to upload videos 

From 20 February, you will no longer be able to upload new videos to Stream (Classic). You should use Stream (on SharePoint) instead. Existing videos can still be viewed on Stream (Classic) until they’re migrated to the new service later in the year. 


Making a difference to the lives of students  

Applications for the 2023 round of Footsteps Funding open on 13 March to support projects that can enhance widening participation activity, the student experience and student opportunities. Sign up for the mailing list or contact the Footsteps Fund Committee for further information. Applications close on 15 May. 

Campus life 

Update | Work to fix low water pressure 

We apologise for the ongoing water supply issues in Ziff, Social Sciences and Edward Boyle Library buildings. The University has been suffering periods of low pressure in the Yorkshire Water supply network, which is particularly impacting toilets. We’ve identified a long-term solution but are also working with Yorkshire Water to implement an interim fix. Work will begin in the first week of March and should be finished after the Easter Break. Meanwhile, it might be necessary to use alternative toilets at times of peak demand. Please look out for local signage. We will update regularly on the situation. Contact the FD Helpdesk for further information of assistance. 

University strikes gold with Hedgehog Friendly Campus 

Leeds has achieved Gold Hedgehog Friendly Campus status. Collaborative efforts of the Sustainability Service, Grounds and Gardens, Residential Services, our Student Sustainability Architects, volunteers and external contractors has helped improve and protect hedgehog habitats across campus. The national awards programme, funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, aims to raise awareness of these cute creatures in urban settings. 

Pest control request 

Many of us love seeing the rabbits hopping around campus, but please don’t feed them as this attracts pests like rats. If you feed birds, please use a bird table or feeder basket to catch the seed. Always keep bin lids sealed properly and always wrap food waste to help control smells. Contact the Estates Helpdesk if you need a pest control contractor in your area. 


Bootcamp | Boost your research profile 

Does your research profile need a boost? Could your online presence be stronger? Running from 6-10 March, the Research Profile Bootcamp offers practical workshops delivered by professionals from the University and industry, who can help you make the most of your profile as authors, storytellers and champions. View the full bootcamp programme and book sessions

Sharing your research with the UK Parliament 

Research and evidence have a crucial role to play in making and scrutinising national policy, but what’s the best way to go about sharing your research with the UK Parliament? Join the Priestley Centre and Policy Leeds from 12 noon to 1pm on 7 March to hear from an expert panel about their experiences of engaging with politicians, with a particular focus on climate and environmental research. 

Apply | Collaborative research funding 

Apply for the second round of Collaborate funding. Overseen by the Leeds-based Centre for Cultural Value, the funding supports the development of collaborative research projects between the UK cultural sector and academics. Applications for the 10 shortlisted projects can be submitted until 20 February. 

Funding | Supporting research engagement  

Applications for the next round of the Research Development Fund are open until 5pm on 22 February. Awards of up to £600 are available to support patient, public or stakeholder involvement or engagement in the research design stage. Contact the Public Engagement team for further information. 

Learning and development 

Register | Building Impact Momentum Programme  

Register your interest for the next Building Impact Momentum programme sessions by 5pm on 17 February. The programme will help you develop concrete ideas for making an impact, which can be applied to research projects or grant applications. Running from April to July, research, academic and professional colleagues can take part in the programme of six webinars, additional reading, partner work and impact practice. 

Wellbeing and support 

Sign up | Parent and Carer Peer Support Network   

Are you a parent or carer looking for extra support? Help is available through the Parent and Carer Peer Support Network, which includes a series of monthly online sessions. The next coffee and chat support session runs from 11am to 12 noon on 22 February. Contact Gemma Traviss-Turner or James Willmoth for further information and to be added to the Teams group. 

Register | Free musculoskeletal workshops  

Book free musculoskeletal workshops, offered by the Physical Activity and Wellbeing team. The upcoming lower body, lower back and upper body sessions are aimed at targeting mild musculoskeletal issues. Workshops are delivered in four-week blocks on campus and taught in small groups, so sessions can be tailored to your individual needs. Advance sign up is required. 

Sign up | Couch to 5k  

Put your best foot forward for a healthier 2023 by registering for our popular Couch to 5k programme. Designed for beginners and those returning from injury, the target is to complete the 5k Woodhouse Moor parkrun at the end of the eight-week course, with support from a qualified running coach. Sign up by midnight on 21 February, with training – taking in Hyde Park and surrounding areas – starting on 23 February. 


Workshop | The Emotional Labour of Research 

The Women at Leeds Network (WALN) is hosting a workshop event on The Emotional Labour of Research. Taking place on campus from 12 noon to 1pm on 22 February, the event brings together three speakers – led by Melanie Bell, Professor of Film History at Leeds – talking about how the often ‘hidden’ elements of the research journey can be recognised in a supportive way to build a sense of connection among participants. 

Register | Colour Design in the Age of Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly moving into the mainstream, demonstrating greater production efficiencies, marketing precision and, at times, creative design than humans can generate. Register for the latest Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC) seminar – taking place online from 2-3pm on 23 February – to hear Professor Anat Lechner, from NYU Stern School of Business, review the emergent cross-industry AI-driven initiatives. 

Celebrating undergraduate work 

Attend the Undergraduate Research Experience 2023 – the annual celebration of undergraduate work in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures. Running from 20-24 February, the event features more than 40 student presentations, as well as information panels. No booking required. 

International Concert Series  

The University of Leeds International Concert Series continues with the final performances as part of the Contemporary Music Festival 2023. Concerts + Composers takes place at 6pm today (15 February), exploring experimental and new music, showcasing the work of composers in the School of Music. This is followed by a concert from lovemusic from 1.05-1.55pm on 17 February. Taking place in Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, entry to both events is free and no booking is required. 

Tell us your story 

We’d like to hear about the great work you’re doing. Contact the Internal Communications and Engagement team to share your stories. 

Keeping up to date 

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