eNews 26 April

Climate Plan, appointments, Banner upgrade, Staff Festival, industrial action, new Makerspace, cutting-edge research, Be Curious 2023, Varsity, Step Challenge, memorial day and more.

Climate Plan 

Watch | Collaborating to create a fairer and more sustainable future 

A new video from Professor Richard Beardsworth (Head of the School of Politics and International Studies) outlines how the University can bring together its different faculties and institutes to drive forward scientific, social and political efforts to tackle climate change – on campus and globally. 

Blog | Geoscience – clean energy beneath our feet 

Geothermal is an alternative energy source that can be used to power and heat our buildings and cut carbon emissions. In a new blog, Professor Sandra Piazolo and Dr Rachael Spraggs explain how a game-changing revolution to discover new sources of clean energy deep below the surface of the earth is underway at the University. 

Launch | Leeds University Network for Sustainability in Higher Education 

The Sustainable Curriculum project team is launching the Leeds University Network for Sustainability in Higher Education (LUNSHE) during events on 2 May and 13 June. This falls under the University’s Climate Plan. Open to academic colleagues, professional services staff and students, the network will look at how to embed sustainability in teaching and learning. 


New Director of Communications and Engagement  

Tim Watkinson has been appointed as the University’s Director of Communications and Engagement, taking up the role on 1 July. Tim is currently Director of Communications and Advocacy at the University of Nottingham, where his remit covers media relations; staff and student engagement; civic, stakeholder and public affairs; as well as digital and social media. 

Digital developments   

Student records system upgrade 

An email sent to all staff on 21 April from Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, and Chief Operating Officer Rachel Brealey outlined plans for essential upgrades to our student records system, Banner, in June. 

Update | Campus Wi-Fi changes 

Last week’s eNews explained you will soon be prompted to accept a new digital certificate on any device trying to connect to our campus wireless network – eduroam. Once you’ve accepted it, you won’t be asked again. Please note this work – due to take place yesterday (25 April) – was postponed. A new date will be communicated shortly. 

Campaign | Improving digital accessibility 

As part of our Accessibility Matters! campaign, we’re marking Global Accessibility Awareness Day on 18 May by asking colleagues to consider the accessibility of their digital content, with the aim of improving the digital experience of all staff and students. Visit the Digital Accessibility website to see how you can get involved. 


Digital Universities UK event encourages radical collaboration 

Last week’s Times Higher Education Digital Universities UK event saw a record number of participants – over 700 – and thanks have been expressed to all colleagues who contributed to its success.

Staff Festival thank you 

Staff Festival organisers thank all colleagues who responded to the urgent appeal for volunteers to help ensure this year’s event is yet another success. The many offers to run stalls and workshops, as well as to provide music at the annual entertainment extravaganza, which makes a welcome return on 30 June, are also greatly appreciated. Organisers will reply as soon as possible. See For Staff and future eNews editions for regular updates about this year’s line-up of attractions. 

World Health Organization landmark  

We’re proud of our links with The World Health Organization (WHO), which recently celebrated its 75th anniversary. The Nuffield Centre within the School of Medicine has been designated a WHO collaboration centre and supports health systems research and development, including child and maternal health. The Faculty of Biological Sciences’ ground-breaking research includes work on Bunyaviruses, a disease the WHO categorises as a priority for research and development. Read the WHO spotlight feature, which celebrates the impact on global health made by members of our University community. 

Industrial action 

Update on strike action  

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Simone Buitendijk, wrote to all colleagues on Monday to update about ongoing industrial action, including the marking and assessment boycott. Further information can be found on our Industrial Action In depth page

Campus life 

Try out the new Library Makerspace  

Colleagues can attend one of the Makerspace introductory events in the Edward Boyle Library. Open to all staff and students from 9.30am to 5pm on weekdays, the sessions allow you to get hands-on with the first pieces of technology installed in the facility, from craft-cutting machines and 3D printers to podcasting and photography. This space will be developing during the summer, so contact the Library at library@leeds.ac.uk to let them know how you’d like to use it for your teaching, research or creative projects. 

Update | Water supply issues 

Following extensive work, measures have been put in place to resolve water supply issues in the Edward Boyle Library, Ziff Building and Social Sciences. Estates and Facilities will continue to closely monitor the situation but it’s hoped the water supply is now fully restored. Thank you for your patience while this work was undertaken. Please contact the Estates Helpdesk at eshelp@leeds.ac.uk if you have any questions. 


New networks addressing key scientific and societal challenges 

Colleagues are invited to get involved with four new interdisciplinary networks launched by the Horizons Institute to develop cutting-edge research solutions to some of the most pressing global challenges. Due to launch in September, the groups – Reimagining Ageing; Remaking Places; Interdisciplinary Research Network on Time; and Global Biosphere Sensing Network – will receive funding and support to develop their ideas during the next year. 

Meet the researchers | Be Curious 2023 

With only a few weeks to go until Be Curious, we’re shining the spotlight on some of our amazing researchers taking part in this year’s eagerly anticipated event. The full Be Curious 2023 programme features more than 40 interactive stalls and activities, from marvellous microbes, robots and chocolate trials, to bowels, bugs and even a brain booth! Read about truly magical research into witches and wizards and discover how trees actually grow. 

Register | LEEDS 2023 research partnership development event 
12.30-4pm, 17 May 

Sign up for an event organised by PLAY (Participation, Learning and Arts for Youth) to explore possible research collaborations focusing on opportunities for children and young people beyond LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture. The deadline to register is 8 May. 

Open call | Bradford 2025 research scoping workshop 
9.30am to 2pm, 22 May 

Register by 12 May to join colleagues from across the University at a workshop to identify areas of research interest relevant to Bradford’s City of Culture 2025 status

Listen | LITAC Global Challenges Podcast  

Listen to the latest Global Challenges Podcast from the Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC). Hosted by Dr Sophie Bowman, a researcher in the School of Design at Leeds, this episode looks at resilience in the fashion and textile industry following events such as Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Have your say | Curriculum Redefined experiences 

Take part in a research study conducted by Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE). Open to all colleagues, LITE fellow Dr Sarah Joyce seeks lived experiences of working at the University, with the aim of influencing the continued progress of Curriculum Redefined. Watch the research study video to find out more. 

Final call | Shape the future of Print and Mail 

Take part in the University’s Print and Mail service survey to share your experiences and suggest areas for improvement. The survey, open until 2 May, should only take a few minutes to complete. 


Final call | National Student Survey 2023  

Colleagues are asked to encourage eligible students to take part in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2023. The NSS is an annual student experience survey of undergraduates, normally in their final year, and is open until 30 April. 

Leeds Varsity 

Leeds Varsity returns on 1-3 May with the University of Leeds taking on Leeds Beckett University in more than 60 sporting events. The competition concludes with the Rugby Union finale at Headingley Stadium, with tickets for the match still available to buy. The Parkinson Building will also be lit up in green and purple during the event. 

Learning and development 

Register | Research Culture Change for Leaders  

Sign up for the pilot of a new Organisational Development and Professional Learning (OD&PL) programme providing support for leaders to create a positive working environment and culture for researchers to thrive. The programme of five sessions runs from June to September. Applications are open until 5pm on 19 May.  

Sign up | Online PGCAP event 
12 noon to 1pm, 11 May 

Find out more about the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) during an online event. This session explores how the course works, why participants engage with the PGCAP and the impact it has on enhancing their student education practice. Applications to join the next PGCAP cohort close on 31 May.  

Book | PebblePad webinar 
2-3.30pm, 19 May 

Sign up for a virtual event for colleagues to find out more about PebblePad and how it’s used at Leeds to enhance the student learning experience. Presenters include Paul Duvall (PebblePad Learning Consultant), Patricia Quinn (OD&PL) and Karen Abel (Digital Education Service).  

UKCGE Associate Level Research Supervision Award  

Register your interest in the UKCGE Associate Level Research Supervision Recognition Programme. The award provides professional recognition for postdoctoral researchers, technicians, professional services colleagues and others involved in the supervision of doctoral research students. Funding is available for up to 100 staff to sign up for the scheme. Join OD&PL’s Research Supervision Development Community to access professional development resources and opportunities. 

Wellbeing and support 

Sign up | Step Challenge 

We’re marking Mental Health Awareness Week with the return of our popular step challenge. Walking not only aids physical wellbeing but helps us stay mentally healthy. Running from 15-21 May, those signing up for the challenge will be randomly assigned to a team of six colleagues. People of all abilities are encouraged to take part, with a range of methods available to measure and track your movement. There are photo bonuses up for grabs and a lively Microsoft Teams chat to keep you motivated. Registration closes at 5pm on 11 May. 

Book | Menopause workshops 

Register for a practical and informative eight-week workshop at The Edge to support you through the symptoms of the perimenopause or menopause. Running every Wednesday from 3 May to 21 June, there are 10 places available costing £40 per person. Contact The Edge in person or on 0113 3435095 to book. 

You can also register for the Menopause in the Workplace workshops, run by Organisational Development and Professional Learning (OD&PL), or discover more about the Meno-Pause for Thought Cafés


Launch | Arcadia for All? Rethinking Landscape Painting Now 
26 April to 29 July 

Challenge your views of what landscape painting can be and explore nature in unexpected ways by visiting the Arcadia for All? exhibition at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery (Parkinson Building). Featuring work by more than 30 contemporary artists, the exhibition delves into themes of access to nature and environmental crisis, as well as issues around equity, colonial legacies and racism. 

Book | Sustainable Garden workshop 
1-2.30pm, 27 April 

Fancy getting your hands dirty? If so, book your free place at the latest Sustainable Garden workshop. Develop your gardening skills, learn about plants and gain new knowledge on growing your own food. 

International Workers’ Memorial Day 
28 April 

Colleagues are invited to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day, when we remember those who’ve lost their lives at work. A brief ceremony will be held at 1.15pm outside the Leeds University Union. Speakers include Leeds Central MP, Hilary Benn; West Yorkshire Mayor, Tracy Brabin; and the University’s Director of Wellbeing, Safety and Health, Paul Veevers. Attendees will then make their way to St George’s Field to lay wreaths at the foot of the Workers’ Memorial Tree. 

Lecture | Access to Justice or Accessibility of Justice? 
1-2.30pm, 3 May 

The Royal Courts of Justice have been a London landmark for more than 150 years but aren’t accessible to all its users. In the latest Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Lecture, hear from Tom Charlton – the civil servant who started the project to make the Victorian buildings fit for the 21st century. The hybrid event, followed by a Q&A, is open to all colleagues and students. 

Events Network | Near, far, wherever they are: Engaging audiences at online and hybrid events 
12.30-1.30pm, 11 May 

Book your place at our next Events Network meeting. Bringing people together is more important than ever, and the events we run have an important role to play in providing feelings of community and connection. Hear from guest speakers discussing hybrid event functionality, running virtual events and how platforms can create a more engaging audience experience, whether online or on campus.  

Register | Bragg Centre PhD Colloquium 
6 June 

Register to attend the 2023 Bragg Centre PhD Colloquium taking place on 6 June. The Bragg Centre for Materials Research will showcase student research at Leeds and welcomes submissions for both talks and posters by the 8 and 30 May respectively. The event is open to all students and includes an external industry panel discussion and networking opportunities. 

Book | Fair Trade International Symposium 
19-21 June 

The Fair Trade International Symposium – a leading global gathering of scholars, practitioners and policymakers working on Fair Trade – is coming to Leeds. Featuring workshops and panel events, there will also be the opportunity to hear from major Fair Trade organisations, local campaigners and people working on connected themes of education for sustainable development and climate justice. Registration closes on 9 May. 

Tell us your story 

We’d like to hear about the great work you’re doing. Contact the Internal Communications and Engagement team at internalcomms@leeds.ac.uk to share your stories. 

Keeping up to date 

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