eNews 20 September

eNews: Technicians Week, Leeds Digital Festival, industrial action, USS Pensions and more.

technicians uol


Shining a light on our ‘behind-the-scenes' technicians 

Ever wondered what our technicians at Leeds get up to? As part of Technicians Week 2023, we’re celebrating the hard work that often happens behind the scenes and shining a light on our technical community. Experience a day in the life of a Special Collections technician, read about a musical visit to the University of York and discover how one technician went from Laboratory Assistant to Lead Technician at Leeds: 

“I was lucky enough to work with some incredibly inspiring academic colleagues at the start of my technician career: Professor Stephen Baldwin, Dr Vincent Postis and Dr Gerard Huysmans. I was a fresh graduate and hadn’t had much laboratory experience in Protein Biology, but I was genuinely fascinated and tried to learn as much as I could from them.” 

Leeds in top 3% of European universities  

The University of Leeds is ranked 15th out of 690 institutions across Europe in the QS 2024 Europe University Rankings published today (20 September).  

Key appointments to help develop world-leading research 

Professors Cath Noakes, Ed Manley and Andrew Macdonald have been appointed Pro-Deans of Research and Innovation in their respective faculties, strengthening our commitment to world-leading research. 

Thought Pieces 

Fifteen to One | Barbara Macpherson  

Ahead of our annual World Menopause Day, Associate Professor of Clinical Education Barbara Macpherson shares her personal journey to improve support available to colleagues across the University.  

Campus Life 

campus life students in welcome week

Welcome Week 

Starts 25 September 

Find out what is happening during Welcome Week this year and how you can get involved as we say hello to new and returning students on campus. 

University to host Corporate Games 2024 

Our Conferences and Events team is thrilled to announce it will be hosting the prestigious UK Corporate Games 2024 – the largest multi-sport festival for businesses. Scheduled for 25-28 July, the Games will draw participants from across the UK and Europe to Leeds, where they will compete in more than 20 sports, including karting, netball, football and… dragon boat racing! 

Leeds Digital Festival 

Professor Jo Ann Murray

Blog | Harnessing the power of digital transformation 

In a new blog, Professor Jo-Anne Murray, Pro Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation, outlines how supporting ventures like Leeds Digital Festival 2023 helps in reinforcing the University’s core strategic aims. Jo-Anne also highlights the packed programme of events we’re hosting that showcase this work in practice. 

Watch | Creating a world of endless opportunities 

On the eve of the official launch of HELIX – our innovative digital learning space – Dean of Online and Digital Education, Margaret Korosec, is joined by Community Development Manager, Kerr Hunter, in a new video outlining how this state-of-the-art facility will become a thriving hub for all digitally focused activity at Leeds

Take part | University hosts packed programme of events 

Colleagues across the University are showcasing their digital expertise as part of a packed programme for the largest tech event in the UK. We’re hosting a number of free online and in-person events as part of Leeds Digital Festival (LDF) 2023, taking place until September 29. Events this week include: 

Check out our full LDF 2023 programme and find out how you can get involved. 

Industrial Action 

UCU, UNISON and Unite strike action  

UCU has announced five days of strike action from 25-29 September. UNISON and Unite have announced strike action on 29 September, 2 October and 3 October. More information can be found on our Industrial Action In depth page on For Staff.  


USS Pension consultation  

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Simone Buitendijk wrote to colleagues eligible for the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) on 14 September to provide notice of a consultation that opens on 25 September. You can find out more on our USS Pension In Depth page

Digital developments  

Your chance to help improve our hybrid ways of working 

Colleagues are invited to test the latest state-of-the-art technology being installed in our pilot hybrid meeting rooms. We’re using your feedback to regularly update the equipment in our nine pilot meeting rooms as we try to find the right solutions – and we want to hear what you think about it. Find out how to take part in the pilot project

Minerva | Build your 2023/24 modules   

New Minerva module areas were created for population in June. Colleagues are reminded to build their modules before teaching begins for the 2023/24 academic year. Minerva information and support are available to guide colleagues through this process.  

Changes to SAP 

In December, we're planning to move SAP, the University’s Purchasing, Human Resource and Finance system, to cloud-based servers to improve security and reliability, but you shouldn't notice any difference to the way you access or use it. Please email SAPmigration@leeds.ac.uk if you have any questions about how this may affect you.

MacOS update 

On 26 September, Apple will release the latest version of macOS (version 14 - Sonoma). To make sure it works with your apps and University systems, do not install it on University devices until it has been fully tested by IT. Macs compatible with Sonoma will receive a monthly reminder about this via the macOS Notifications system. 

IDAM project updates 

From next week, the new staff joiner processes will be automated and managed by the new Identity and Access Management (IDAM) solution (SailPoint IdentityNow). The new student joiner process will be automated on the week beginning 2 October. After this, we will begin to integrate other applications, resolve any issues with the data, automate leaver process and finally decommission LURCIS, the old technology.   


Apply | Research England funding 

Applications close on 22 September for the participatory research-related call of 2023-24 project funding. Visit the 2023-24 Research England SharePoint site for details, guidance and application forms. Contact knowledge-exchange@leeds.ac.uk if you have any questions. 

Book | Research network launch 
12.45-2.15pm, 2 October 

Reimagining Ageing is a new interdisciplinary research network – supported by the Horizons Institute at Leeds – to consider how older people contribute to society and how we can all make the most of life as we age. Book your place at the hybrid launch event, taking place at stage@Leeds and online to coincide with International Day for Older Persons. Speakers include experts from the health, policy and research sectors. 

Register | Horizons Institute Insight Series 
11am to 12 noon, 3 October 

Academics are routinely encouraged to be more outward facing and collaborate with industry to support the impact of their research. In this month’s online Horizons Institute Insight Series session, Professor Gustav Markkula, Chair in Applied Behaviour Modelling, and Dr Mark Sumner, Lecturer in the School of Design, will share their insights on how to navigate between industry and academia. 

Talk | Nature Journal Editor 
11am to 12 noon, 17 October 

Register to hear Nature Climate Change Chief Editor, Bronwyn Wake, give a talk introducing the Nature Journals portfolio and explaining their editorial process. Hosted by the Horizons Institute and Priestley Centre for Climate Futures, ‘Publishing in High Impact Journals’ will be held online and at HELIX – the University’s new digital hub. 


Meltwater at the Howard Assembly Rooms 
27 September 

The Priestley Centre for Climate Futures, water@leeds and Opera North present Meltwater at the Howard Assembly Room, a haunting audio-visual performance displaying the beauty of melting glaciers and water’s devastating power, told through personal narratives of the impact of floods and drought. A post-show talk will feature University experts in discussion with the performers. University colleagues and students can claim 50% off tickets using the discount code PRIESTLEY50 (please note the discount is applied at checkout). For more information on how we are tackling climate change, visit the University’s climate plan Sharepoint. 

opera north advert

Opera North’s Green Season 
September – November 

Opera North goes green this autumn as they prepare to stage three fully sustainable opera productions. From re-using props to reducing touring emissions, find out how Opera North is putting the planet centre-stage, and book your tickets to see Falstaff, Masque of Might and La rondine. For information on how the University is tackling climate change, visit the climate plan Sharepoint. 

 Professor Edward Venn

Apply | DARE Academic in Residence 2023-24 

Open to academics in any discipline, applications are being accepted for the next DARE Academic in Residence as part of our collaboration with Opera North. Previous academics undertook original research into aspects of the company’s work, created new material and delivered academic and/or public-facing events. The 2022-23 Academic in Residence Professor Edward Venn shares his insights and reflections ahead of the 2 October application deadline. 

Call for entries | DARE Art Prize 2023-24 

The DARE Art Prize is open for applications, offering a bursary of £10,000 and a budget of up to £5,000 for resources. Awarded by the University and Opera North as part of our pioneering DARE partnership, the DARE Art Prize offers the chance to engage with scientific researchers and artists who share a vision, and whose specialist expertise can support the creation of something new. The deadline for applications is Monday 16 October. 

Wellbeing and Support 

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 14 October event to register their interest is tomorrow (21 September). Please complete and submit the childcare booking form.    

Register | Belonging and Success Research Group 

Staff and students are invited to share work in the Belonging and Success Research Group. Hosted by Head of Educational Engagement, Louise Banahene, and Professor Paul Taylor, Dean: Student Education (Experience), meetings are also an opportunity to development networks and collaborations across the University. The next session runs from 12 noon to 2pm on 15 November. 

Pregnancy Support Hub infant feeding session  
1.45-2.45pm, 27 September  

Jenny Tompflitt – a breastfeeding and infant feeding peer supporter – is running an infant feeding session for the Parent and Carer Peer Support Network’s first event of the new academic year. New parents and soon-to-be parents are welcome! Join the Parent and Carer Peer Support Network Teams channel for further information.   

Sign up | Five-a-side football leagues 

Fancy starting or getting back into playing sport? Why not join colleagues in the Sport and Physical Activity (SPA) five-a-side football leagues, which take place at The Edge every Friday from 12 noon to 1pm. Visit the SPA website for further information or to submit a team before registration closes on 28 September. 

Learning and development  

Visit our For Staff webpage for all the latest learning and development opportunities available at the University, including information about:  

  • Pedagogical Power of PebblePad workshop 
  • Springboard Development Programme 
  • Development drop-in session (Grades 2-5) and Macmillan Coffee Morning 
  • Professional Recognition in Student Education (PRiSE) 
  • Teaching, Innovation and Practice in Student Education (TIPS) Café 
  • Policy Engagement Kickstart programme 
  • Active Listening Workshop 
  • Applications for the University-wide Mentoring Scheme   


Register | HealthTech Showcase 
27 September 

Showcasing the breadth of HealthTech research at the University, this one-day event will highlight the work and perspectives of Early Career Researchers, take a look at the development of people and ideas in the industry, and offer the opportunity to share expertise between academics, clinicians and business through presentations and a networking tea.  

Attend | On the Brontës Conversation 
3 October  

Acclaimed novelist Tracy Chevalier and Dr Katy Mullin are going to be in conversation about the Brontë exhibition in the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery discussing why do the original manuscripts, handwritten notebooks and personal letters of the Brontës resonate with us. This material is currently on display to the public for the first time in more than 80 years at the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery in Becoming the Brontës. The event begins at 6.30pm in the Esther Simpson Building. Book online to secure a place. 

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.

With best wishes,  

The Internal Communications and Engagement team  

Posted in: