eNews 8 March

eNews: Employee engagement survey, International Women's Day, pay award, Celebrate Our Staff, Gair Wood planting complete, memorial artwork, Our Future Health, bringing research to life and more.

The new memorial mural at the Liberty Building, featuring a butterfly, bees and wildflowers

Have your say

Reminder | Employee engagement survey

More than 3,000 colleagues have already taken part in our employee engagement survey, launched to better understand what matters most to you. 

And there’s still time to ensure your voice is heard.

Those yet to complete the survey should have received a reminder email on 3 March from Culture Amp – the software platform we’re using to deliver the survey – with your invitation to take part and further instructions. Please check your junk folder if this hasn’t landed in your inbox. Contact the Staff Engagement team for further support.

Running until 20 March, the survey is your opportunity to have your say – to tell us what’s working for you and what isn’t. It takes an average of 15 minutes to complete and your responses will inform our efforts to make working at the University more enjoyable and fulfilling. 

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.

Employee survey | Helping deliver positive change

Employee survey | Helping deliver positive change. March 2023

Dr Richard Knapp, Interim Programme Director for Curriculum Redefined, explains how employee engagement survey feedback is helping ensure the University’s change programmes have a positive impact on staff and students.

Golden opportunity to have your say

Ann Allen sat on a bench

Ann Allen, Director of Campus Innovation and Development, reveals how the current employee engagement survey offers an ideal opportunity to help shape the way ahead for the Facilities Directorate.

International Women’s Day

The importance of embracing equity 

The theme of International Women’s Day 2023 is #EmbraceEquity. Listen to colleagues, including Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Simone Buitendijk, outlining why it’s so important we embrace equity at Leeds.

Blog | Why should we want more women at the top?

professor Simone Buitendijk sitting in her office

Read the International Women’s Day blog from Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Simone Buitendijk, in which she argues a lack of comprehension stands in the way of necessary societal progress.

Fifteen to One Q&A | Exciting plans to improve equity, diversity and inclusion

Fifteen to One Q&A | Exciting plans to embrace equity at Leeds. March 2023

As we mark International Women’s Day (8 March), Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Fiona McClement, outlines plans to meaningfully implement our EDI Strategy and help improve gender equality at Leeds.

Celebrating the achievements of women in research

Achievements of women in research and their power to inspire others have been recognised in a coveted awards scheme. Organised by water@leeds, in partnership with Athena SWAN teams at Leeds, recipients of the Water Woman Award 2023 were fittingly honoured on International Women’s Day.

Events programme

View the full programme of University and city-wide events planned to celebrate International Women’s Day 2023. With events running until 11 March, this year’s campaign aims to explain the difference between equality and equity and why equal opportunities are no longer enough. The Parkinson Building will also be lit up purple, green and white this evening (8 March) to mark the occasion.

Designing parks to help women feel safe

A unique piece of audio artwork designed to encourage female participation in skateboarding has been created by Dr Dani Abulhawa, from the School of Performance and Cultural Industries. It comes as the University has published work on what needs to be done to make women and girls feel safer in public parks.  

Alumni stories

Meet women from the global Leeds alumni community who are inspiring others across the world. Read the stories of those including Hind Hassan, who has reported from the scene of the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, and Jodie Cunningham, who was recently inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame.

Book | Leeds University Business School panel

The next Executive Speaker Session at Leeds University Business School (LUBS) features a panel to celebrate International Women’s Day. Taking place from 6-8pm today (8 March), you can hear from female leaders from the worlds of business, design and law discussing how to embrace equity to make a difference in these fields.

LinkedIn Learning resources 

Access a collection of LinkedIn Learning videos and courses inspired by International Women’s Day 2023. Access is free with your University account.

Pay and contracts

2023-24 pay award

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Simone Buitendijk, wrote to all colleagues on 6 March with an update on the 2023-24 pay award. Employees on the University’s pay scale are set to receive a basic pay increase of at least 5%. Some of the increase will be paid from March 2023. 

Climate change

Meet the researchers | Tackling global water challenges 

Water is at the core of human survival and recent decades have brought increased urgency to tackle the many water-related challenges facing the world. In the latest webinar series from the Advancement team, researchers from water@leeds explore global challenges, such as glacier melt and climate change. Sessions will be held on Zoom from 6.30-7.30pm every Wednesday from 8-29 March.

Gair Wood tree planting completed

Thanks in part to the work of colleagues, students and local volunteers, the planting of more than 60,000 trees at Gair Wood has now concluded. With a variety of plant species, Gair Wood will allow researchers to study changes in biodiversity, carbon and the climate for decades to come.  


Celebrate Our Staff

The headshots of the six people of Celebrate Our Staff in February 2023: Bethan Bide, Nick Warren, Faye Blinkhorne, Mike Howroyd, Karen Spilsbury and Ted Killan

Featuring an exhibition at a major London museum and a colleague who helped create a new children’s TV show, read the latest edition of our regular feature celebrating the achievements of colleagues across the University. Contact with the Internal Communications and Engagement team to make a submission for the next roll of honour. This is open to all colleagues.

Industrial action

Strike action update

Strike action is scheduled to take place next week at universities across the country, including Leeds. Please read our FAQs for staff for further information, including the reporting dates for notifying the University of participation in strike action.  

We continue to progress the work underway to improve conditions locally, including how we reduce the number of staff on fixed-term contracts and address pay gaps, the cost of living crisis and workloads.

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.

Campus life

School of Law memorial artwork

A new mural has been painted in the School of Law Memorial Garden, in memory of Rachael Taylor. Rachael, who sadly passed away in 2021, had worked in the School of Law for more than 30 years. Featuring wildflowers, bees and a butterfly, the mural forms part of the garden next to the Liberty Building.

Take part in the UK’s largest health research programme on campus  

Our Future Health – the UK’s largest health research programme – has opened a clinic at Beech Grove House on campus. The goal is to create one of the most detailed pictures ever of people’s health to support the prevention, detection and treatment of dementia, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. 

Staff and students can book an appointment on the Our Future Health website. A blood sample and physical measurements will be taken and you will receive blood pressure and cholesterol level results.

Update | Work to fix low water pressure

Water facilities have improved in the Edward Boyle Library thanks to tweaks to the pressure by Yorkshire Water, which has been on campus checking pipes. Substantive work to address the problem across all three sites – including Social Sciences and Ziff (13th and 14th floors) – begins this week and updates will be provided. The Estates team in the Facilities Directorate (FD) apologises for ongoing issues. Contact the FD Helpdesk for further information or support.


Bringing our research stories to life

Ever wondered what being a researcher is really like? Launched this week, Research Journeys captures unique stories on camera from the amazing research community at Leeds. Funded through the Wellcome Trust, the project involved 32 researchers, professional staff, postgraduate researchers and technicians being given the training, tools and confidence to speak publicly about their personal journey and field of study.

Looking to tell your story? Running until 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.

Helping researchers achieve real-world impact 

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) team is holding engagement events for researchers who want to see their work achieve real-world impact. Partnering researchers and businesses, this initiative puts research into practice while helping businesses to grow. Events introducing the partnerships are being held on a faculty basis until 20 March, with a showcase event in Nexus on 24 March.

Apply | Leeds Creative Labs: East Street Arts Edition

Leeds Creative Labs – a programme delivered by the Cultural Institute that pairs researchers with creative professionals in a non-traditional and experimental setting – is now taking applications. Those involved this year can collaborate with the artist-led community charity East Street Arts. Those interested in applying can hear Dr Briony Thomas talking about her experience of taking part in the programme in an event taking place from 11.30am to 12.15pm tomorrow (9 March). The deadline for applications is 30 March.

Digital developments

Microsoft Smart Screen protection

From 13 March, we will be using Microsoft Smart Screen to protect you from any untrusted or malicious applications or websites running on University devices. Our commonly used applications and websites are not affected, but you can appeal any blocked sites

IT website new look 

The University’s IT website undergoes a transformation tonight (8 March). Together with an updated look and better accessibility, it will include new features to make it easier to use and find support. You’ll also be able to discover more about what’s going on behind the scenes in IT.


Helping improve students’ academic experience

The Undergraduate Programme Survey 2023 is now open. All non-finalist undergraduate students have been invited to have their say. An email from Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, sent on 6 March, outlines how your support to enable students to participate would be greatly appreciated, as their feedback helps us improve their academic experience.

New LUU Executive announced

The 2023/24 Student Executive Officers for Leeds University Union and the Gryphon editor have been announced.

Making a difference to the lives of students  

Applications for the 2023 round of Footsteps Funding open on 13 March to support projects that 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.

Learning and development

Sign up | Burst of energy design sprints training 

Take the first step in influencing the future of collaboration at Leeds by signing up to Design Facilitator training. A design sprint allows staff and students to work together to create the best possible learning experiences at Leeds. Please register for either training session on 13 March or 20 April.

New sessions | Build your Scholarship Practice  

The next sessions of the Build your Scholarship Practice programme are now available to book. These four sessions introduce approaches to choosing a topic of inquiry, formulating a research question and an aligned Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) methodology. Sessions draw on published articles and work-in-progress scholarship projects. 

Register | Research Impact Coaching 

Register for Research Impact Coaching with Organisational Development and Professional Learning (OD&PL) and get flexible support to improve your ability to deliver impact through your research. Coaching is available to researchers at any stage of their career, as well as those working collaboratively on projects.

Book | Pedagogical Power of PebblePad workshop

Book your place on the next Pedagogical Power of PebblePad workshop, taking place from 11-11.30am on 16 March on Microsoft Teams. The workshop reviews how PebblePad is being used in the School of Medicine to provide a consistent approach to the recording of assessments and evidence of student achievement and performance. 

Wellbeing and support

Sign up | Free World Sleep Day 2023 activities

Dreaming of a good night’s sleep? It’s World Sleep Day 2023 on 17 March and we’re hosting a range of free activities and support sessions to improve your sleep quality and habits. Join us for sleep well seminars, yoga and mindfulness. View the full programme.


Sign up | Use of AI in higher education  
4-5pm, 8 March  

As part of Open Education Week, students from the MA Digital Education course in the School of Education are organising an online event to discuss the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in higher education from a student perspective.

Northern Cell Metrology Hub Launch
2-3.30pm, 31 March

Sign up to attend the launch of the Northern Cell Metrology Hub – a collaboration between the University and the National Measurement Laboratory that will use innovative technology to support the health and life science industries. Taking place at Nexus, the event will also be an opportunity to learn more about the collaboration between our innovation hub, the University and the wider community.  

International concert series  
Various dates  

The University of Leeds International Concert Series continues with three more performances. Another instalment of the concerts+ COMPOSERS series, investigating and showcasing new and experimental music by students, takes place at 5pm today (8 March). There’s a student showcase from 1.05-1.55pm on 10 March, followed by a performance from the University of Leeds Conservatoire Orchestra at 7.30pm on 13 March. Taking place in Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, entry to all these events is free and no booking is required.

Apply | Concert Series Summer Festival

The University of Leeds International Concert Series is looking for professional musicians with a connection to Leeds to apply to perform in the Summer Festival 2023. Embodying the Leeds 2023 theme of ‘Untold, Unheard and Hidden Stories’, the festival will feature innovative and creative performances highlighting forgotten composers and under-represented communities. Contact the concerts team with questions and proposals. The deadline for applications is 13 March.

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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