eNews 16 August

eNews: Staff Festival fundraising, meet our COO, NSS results, plant-based meat and more.

Staff Festival shines despite the showers. July 2023


Staff Festival’s fantastic fundraising figure

Two incredible charities helping those in need break the cycle of poverty will receive a fantastic financial boost from this year’s Staff Festival fundraising.

Thousands of colleagues, their friends and family flocked to the University on 30 June to enjoy a packed programme of hugely entertaining activities and attractions. But there was also a serious aspect to the Festival alongside all the fun.

Reflecting one of the three over-arching elements of our University strategy – community – and our core values of compassion and inclusivity, we invited colleagues to nominate their favourite charity to benefit from the event proceeds, and two were voted by University colleagues to receive donations.

Homeless Street Angels, which provides hot meals, clothing and other essentials for people living rough in the city, and Zarach, which delivers beds and basics to children in poverty, will now receive a minimum of £1,000 each from the proceeds of this year’s Staff Festival – vital support to both charities and the people they support.

Amy Green, Zarach:

“Your donation will enable us to provide six children with a brand new bed and bed bundle of their own, giving them the opportunity to engage at school and a chance to break the cycle of poverty.” 

Shelley Joyce, Homeless Street Angels:

“We’re only a small charity desperately trying to do huge things. Currently, we have more than 445 families on our foodbank register who are struggling with the cost of living crisis. Every penny raised means so much to us and our clients.” 


Leeds research making plant-based meat alternatives more palatable

Two plant-based burgers

Have you ever been put off by the dry texture of plant-based meat substitutes? Researchers in the School of Food Science and Nutrition have recently made a breakthrough discovery on how adding water to plant proteins could give it a juicier feel, hoping to encourage less reliance on animal products as a source of protein and more sustainable consumption of food.

Industrial action

UNISON and Unite strike action    

UNISON has announced a period of strike action from 12-18 August. Unite has also announced a period of strike action from 14-18 August. The deadline for reporting participation via Employee Self-Service (ESS) is 25 August. 

Marking and assessment boycott guidance

The University has issued updated guidance on the withholding of pay in response to the boycott of marking and assessment by some staff. Read more about industrial action and the University’s response on our In depth page.

Campus life

Register | Meet our Chief Operating Officer and Leadership team
4-5pm, 4 September

Fifteen to one | Rachel Brealey. January 2023

Register for a hybrid event to hear more about the University’s strategic priorities direct from Rachel Brealey, our Chief Operating Officer (COO). Rachel will introduce her senior leadership team, set out their main goals and priorities at Leeds, and outline how they will use engagement survey results to support delivery of those priorities. She will also give an overview of the work of the transformation office, and update on progress with our ambitious change and transformation programmes which will introduce new ways of working to deliver the best experiences for staff and students. The first in a series, this event will provide an opportunity to ask questions and for attendees to network with colleagues. Refreshments will be provided afterwards.

Commemoration event for Professor Duncan Dowson and Professor Anne Neville
2-5.30pm, 4 September

The 2023 Leeds-Lyon Symposium Organising Committee is organising a commemoration event to honour the outstanding contributions of Professor Duncan Dowson and Professor Anne Neville to the University and overall research community.  The programme includes presentations from close collaborators of Duncan and Anne followed by a social gathering. Everyone is welcome. Please complete the registration form to confirm your attendance.

Last chance | A coffee with Professor Jo-Anne Murray
12.20-3.20pm, 23 August 

Appointment of the Pro Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation. September 2022

There’s still time to book your place on our coffee afternoon with our Pro-Vice Chancellor: Digital Transformation, Professor Jo-Anne Murray. You’ll receive a £5 Great Food at Leeds (GFaL) voucher on arrival and have the opportunity to speak with Jo-Anne on a one-to-one basis and ask your questions. 

Undergraduate Open Days | Free childcare  

Colleagues working on Saturdays for upcoming Open Day events can register their interest in free childcare offered by Bright Beginnings. The deadline for those working the 9 September event to register their interest is tomorrow (17 August). Please complete and submit the childcare booking form.  

Sign up | Leeds International Summer School 2024

Academic colleagues are invited to get involved with Leeds International Summer School 2024. Following the successful 2023 event, which welcomed over 400 students from more than 25 countries, the summer school is a great opportunity for academics and postgraduate researchers to deliver teaching to a diverse international audience. Email summer@leeds.ac.uk if you are interested in delivering a module.

Temporary Islamic prayer space now open

Temporary prayer spaces and washroom facilities are now available on Clarendon Road (next to Henry Price Residence), open from 11am to 7pm, Monday to Friday. Cemetery Lodge, our other Islamic prayer space, is currently undergoing a full refurbishment and is due to reopen in January 2024. Read our full list of prayer spaces.


National Student Survey 2023 results

Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor and President, and Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, share their reflections on this year’s National Student Survey results and outline how we plan to further improve the student experience at Leeds.

National acclaim for inspiring student

Leeds student Natasha Pickard has been awarded a national Social Mobility Award by access to education charity upReach for her outstanding academic achievements despite coping with mental illness, part-time work and looking after her young son. A Laidlaw Scholar, Natasha has presented her work at an international conference, secured an internship with Rolls Royce and worked on a placement with Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, Professor Jeff Grabill.

Learning and development

OD&PL Leadership Development Programmes

Applications are now open for two Organisational Development and Professional Learning (OD&PL) leadership development programmes. Discovering your Leadership is aimed at aspiring leaders, or those who are new-to-role. Establishing your Leadership will help leaders to fine tune their approach and is designed for those who are starting to find their feet in a new leadership role but still feel in transition.

Enhance your Student Education Practice   

Applications for OD&PL’s Enhance Your Student Education Practice course are open until 5pm on 30 August. The programme is designed for early and mid-career academic teaching and professional services staff. Featuring six workshops, it provides you with the tools and skills to plan, evaluate and enhance your teaching and scholarship practice, helping support your career development and plans for professional recognition. 

Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship  

Apply for the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) before 1 October. The CMDA strengthens the leadership skills of new and existing managers and focuses on the theory and practice of management as well as fundamental business concepts such as project management, business finance, and marketing. It will help prepare you to progress onto more senior roles and course fees are paid by the University.

Digital developments

Register | New live polling tool and webinar event
11am to 12 noon, 17 August 

Vevox, the new live polling tool, which incorporates polls, quizzes and surveys, is now accessible to all staff and students. Vevox can be used in a variety of settings to enhance participation, engagement and feedback. Register for a Vevox webinar to receive training on how to use and access the new tool. 

Minerva | 2023/24 modules now available

New Minerva module areas for the 2023/24 academic year were made available for population in June, and staff now have around two months to build their modules before teaching begins in the new academic year. Information and support on Minerva are available to guide staff through this process.


The Technician Survey

A new video highlights the progress being made “for technicians, by technicians” to deliver the Technician Survey, which will be launched from 4 September. The survey forms part of the Technician Commitment, which the University signed up to in 2018. Watch the video to find out more about the survey and to hear voices from across the technical community explaining what the survey will bring.


Researchers turn children into scientists at outdoor lab 

Researchers from the University met hundreds of children and their parents at stalls in the city’s Millennium Square, for the Child Friendly Leeds Live event. Children learnt how robot doctors could transform healthcare as well as tips for staying healthy as part of the Be Curious initiative to show local communities what research is taking place. 

Take part | HE-BCI survey

Record your public engagement data on Symplectic by 16 October to contribute to the 2022-23 Higher Education Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey. This is an annual statutory return that collects information about the impact the University has on the wider community. Its results are used to inform the Knowledge Exchange Framework and the allocation of Higher Education Innovation Funding. You can record lectures, performances, exhibitions and other public events that happened between 1 August 2022 and 31 July 2023.

Apply | Sapling Fund for interdisciplinary research

Applications are now open for the Sapling Fund, which is looking for colleagues who would like to develop an arts and humanities-based interdisciplinary research or impact project alongside a non-higher education partner in the cultural, arts or third sector. Run by the Cultural Institute and the Leeds Arts and Humanities and Research Institute, the deadline for applications to the Fund is 5pm on 2 October.


Tickets | Leeds Rhinos Family Day
20 August

Leeds Rhinos rugby league club is hosting a Family Day at Headingley Stadium with all junior tickets available at the discounted price of just £5. University colleagues will soon be able to access further discounts through The Edge as we develop our relationship with the club. Watch this space for further information.

Speaker announcement and exclusive ticket access | TEDxUniversityofLeeds 2023
19 September 

Join us at TEDxUniversityofLeeds to hear from twelve inspiring speakers including Paralympian Kadeena Cox OBE. The theme of this exciting event is UnmuTED: Environment, Innovation and Life. Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with each other in meaningful ways, be inspired and empowered to take action, and make a positive impact on the(ir) world. To be the first to hear when tickets go live, email tedxleedsuni@gmail.com and follow TEDxUniversityofLeeds on social media for the latest updates.


eNews deadlines

Due to the 28-29 August Bank Holiday, eNews will be taking a break in the week commencing 28 August. Following next week’s 23 August edition (submissions deadline 18 August), eNews will resume on 6 September (submissions deadline 1 September).

Tell us your story 

We’d like to hear about the great work you’re doing. Contact internalcomms@leeds.ac.uk to share your stories

Keeping up to date 

You can keep up to date with our latest news on the For Staff website and by following the staff Twitter account

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