eNews 27 September

Research culture video, Leeds Teaching Awards, Welcome Week, UK Corporate Games, Leeds Digital Festival and more


Watch | Empowering our research community 

“By embracing a research culture based on integrity, trust and compassion, the University of Leeds will continue to deliver historic breakthroughs that make the world a better place.” 

Following the recent launch of our Research Culture Strategic Plan 2023-2028, Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Simone Buitendijk, is joined by colleagues helping drive forward this initiative in a new video outlining how we intend to deliver on our vision to create an ambitious, inclusive research culture at Leeds.  

Developed via a long consultation process, and with numerous inputs from across our research community, this strategy is a roadmap for the co-creation of a new research culture that’s inclusive, welcoming and values all contributors. 

Research culture is all about people, and it will be our research community, working together with a common purpose, that will ensure the success of our mission – to enable more colleagues to produce leading research more collaboratively, inclusively, openly and supportively. 

Special awards ceremony recognises excellence in education 

Winners of the University of Leeds Teaching Awards 2023 were recognised during a special celebration held on campus honouring excellence in student education. You can also watch our awards video featuring interviews with some of the winners. 

Tributes paid to colleague after 45 years at Leeds 

Professor Steve Scott retires from his role in the School of Chemistry this week, with colleagues keen to pay tribute to his many achievements in a long and distinguished relationship with the University.  

Thought pieces 

Fifteen to One | Professor Gordon Love 

“Computing is such a rapidly changing subject, and I’m really looking forward to helping our school grow and evolve.” 

In our latest Fifteen to One Q&A feature, Professor Gordon Love talks about his role as the new Head of the School of Computing, what’s impressed him most since arriving at Leeds and how he aims to expand collaboration across the University and beyond. Discover what sparked his interest in industrial heritage, why he dreams of a career as a rock star and how he came to perform karaoke in front of Chairman Mao’s optometrist! 

Blog | Let the Games begin! 

“The event offers an opportunity for dedicated and passionate colleagues from many services to do what we do best – offering exceptional experiences.” 

Sam Glenister-Batey, Head of Conferences and Events at Leeds, reveals the outstanding collaborative efforts involved in our successful application to host the prestigious 2024 UK Corporate Games, what winning the bid means for the wider community and how you can get involved in the action. 

Inflation dynamics in the UK  

Dr Muhammad Ali Nasir, an associate professor in Economics at the University, provides an expert view on how the Bank of England has responded to the surge in inflation.  

Welcome Week 

Get involved 

The buzz of campus has truly returned this week as our new and returning students get involved in a whole host of Welcome Week events. Colleagues are invited to get involved in Welcome activity and explore various resources at this exciting time of year. 

Residence Life 

The Residence Life team runs events and offers support throughout the year to help students settle into university and have a positive experience in halls. Check out the welcome events for students in residences this year. 

Houseplant sale 

This year’s popular houseplant sale runs until 4pm today (27 September). There will be more than 150 types of plants on offer outside LUU, along with colourful pots and accessories. 


Did you know about the University’s Climate Plan? 

Share your views by completing a short survey and help us to plan future events and activity around our Climate Plan. By completing the survey, you will be entered into a prize draw with the chance to win one of five £25 Love2shop vouchers. 

Living wall on campus will honour precious peatlands 

A new sustainable sculpture will soon join a growing collection of public artwork on campus. Inspired by precious peatlands and the most recent winner of the DARE Art Prize, Kate Surridge is co-creating a living wall sculpture with members of Leeds’ migrant community whilst consulting with peatland experts at the University. The living wall, which is being funded by a Leeds alum, will raise awareness of the precious carbon stores on our doorstep and highlight the University’s commitment to decarbonising for a sustainable future. 
Watch | Gair Wood Living Lab 

Watch our video with collaborators involved in the Gair Wood reforesting project as they describe the origins of the project, what it means for biodiversity and how this project will lead to research, teaching and learning opportunities across the full breadth of climate research and innovation and student education. 

Campus life 

‘Muslims Don’t Matter’ – Islamophobia and the silencing, sanctioning and stereotyping of British Muslims  

6-7.30pm, 19 October  

We’re honoured to welcome back University of Leeds graduate, Baroness Warsi, for a special guest lecture in the Great Hall. More than a decade after her famous ‘Islamophobia has passed the dinner table test’ speech, this talk will address the unfolding policies of successive governments and their impact on British Muslims. RSVP by emailing vice-chancellor@leeds.ac.uk. Please let us know when confirming your attendance if you have any accessibility needs you would like us to be aware of. The event will also be available to join via Zoom. If you would like to receive the Zoom invitation link, please do let us know. 

Black History Month 

The Parkinson building will be lit up in red, yellow and green on 1 October to mark the start of Black History Month. 

New banking provider 

The University has selected Lloyds Banking Group as its new banking provider given its strong record in higher education, historic relationships with Leeds and its environmental and social policies. 

Last call | Honorary degree nominations 

Since 1904, we have conferred honorary awards on a host of individuals from the worlds of science, art, academia, industry, politics, medicine, entertainment and many other fields. Honorary degrees may be awarded to individuals of real achievement and eminence in their respective fields, who are distinguished by excellence and originality and who embody the University’s values. Colleagues are invited to submit names for consideration by the Committee on Honorary degrees. Please return the form to hondegrees@leeds.ac.uk by 30 September. 

Q&A | Ten minutes with Adam Ives 

Read the latest ‘Ten minutes with’ feature from the Facilities Directorate. Adam Ives, Senior Project Manager in the Capital Development team, talks about his role, including his involvement in the project to remodel the Brotherton Library Special Collections research suite. 

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. The deadline for reporting participation via Employee Self-Service (ESS) is 13 October. More information can be found on our Industrial Action In depth page on For Staff.   

Next steps following end of marking and assessment boycott   

UCU members have voted to end the marking and assessment boycott. Read Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Simone Buitendijk’s update from 12 September outlining the need for staff to prioritise and complete outstanding marking by 2 October. 

As a gesture of goodwill, the University has agreed the return of 50% of pay withheld during the first phase, on the understanding that marks will be delivered by this deadline. In addition, no further pay will be withheld in relation to the second phase of the marking and assessment boycott (the period from 21 August to the end of the boycott).  

Find out more about industrial action on our Industrial Action In depth page and how we are tackling pay, job security, equality, workload and wellbeing at Leeds. 

Leeds Digital Festival 

Watch | Inspiring innovation and collaborative creativity 

“The Library Makerspace is a fully accessible innovation space designed to enable collaborative creativity by all staff and students.” 

On the eve of two special showcase events hosted by the University as part of Leeds Digital Festival 2023, Dr Andy Holland, Library Makerspace Specialist, and Em Towler, Digital Learning Advisor with the Library Service, join forces in a new video outlining how this state-of-the-art creative hub is expanding the digital and technological skills of staff and students at Leeds. 

Showcase | Discover our brand new digital learning hub  

11am to 3pm, 28 September  

HELIX is a brand-new digital learning hub for staff, students and the wider University and local community. As part of Leeds Digital Festival 2023, we’re delighted to welcome you to this exciting space for a celebration of all things digital at the University. Either drop-in to explore HELIX and discover the latest digital innovations across teaching and research (no booking required), join a guided tour of the space or participate in a hands-on demonstration by booking a free ticket for your chosen time slot

Take part | Packed programme of events  

Colleagues across the University have been showcasing their digital expertise as part of a packed programme for the largest tech event in the UK. And there’s still time to take part. We’re hosting a number of free online and in-person events as part of Leeds Digital Festival (LDF) 2023, which ends on 29 September. Check out our full LDF 2023 programme and find out how you can get involved. 

Digital developments 

Looking towards a brighter future 

A new research report examines the benefits and practical applications of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in Libraries to improve the way we work and how we access, process and maintain knowledge. The AI in Libraries Project is one of the steps we’re taking under the Digital Futures theme to achieve our vision: Knowledge for All. Colleagues can read the guidance to staff on the use of AI following an email from Deputy Vice-Chancellors Jeff Grabill and Nick Plant on 22 September. 

IDAM project updates  

New staff joiner processes will now be automated and managed by the new Identity and Access Management (IDAM) solution (SailPoint IdentityNow). The new student joiner process will be automated from next week. 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. 

What’s new in IT Services 

Join us as we take another look behind the scenes at some of the latest IT-related projects happening across the University. You can also discover more about Leeds Digital Festival 2023 and Cybersecurity month in October.    


Driving diversity on digital courses 

Earlier this year, the University won funding from the Office for Students to offer 18 data-science related Masters scholarships in the 2023/24 academic year. As a result of the University continuing to partner with companies, Visa has now announced it will provide £10,000 to help another student for the 2024/25 academic year. The scholarship programme aims to encourage more women, Black students, disabled students and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds into data science and AI industries. 

Leeds Curriculum | Welcoming the first redefined programmes  

This semester, students will embark on 70 programmes reimagined through the Curriculum Redefined programme. Central to these changes are the updated principles of the Leeds Curriculum – a vision for education at Leeds shaped and co-created by staff and students. Read more about how you can apply the Leeds Curriculum to your work

Student Education Conference (SEC2024) 

SEC2024 will take place on 11 and 12 January 2024. Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) has announced the call for abstracts for #SEC2024. There's no set theme for the conference this year, but we want to showcase the breadth of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research activity across our institution, from academic and professional service colleagues. Visit the LITE website for further information and to submit your SEC2024 abstracts.   


Knowledge Excellence Framework 

The third Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF3) was published today (27 September) by Research England. The analysis shows that the University remains a leading higher education institution for knowledge exchange. Major strengths include working with business to boost the economy, forging a wide variety of partnerships and supporting graduate start-up businesses. 

Research Culture | Pulse surveys  

A new series of monthly Research Culture pulse surveys will soon be launched by our Research Culture team. The surveys will be emailed to all those within the research community and will play a vital part in creating a positive and inclusive research culture at Leeds. The first survey will be sent on 2 October. You can join the Research Culture conversation on MS Teams

Be Curious is changing 

The way you apply for Be Curious Live is changing. The Public Engagement team will be prioritising Be Curious Associates and Fellows for the programme. General applications may open later, subject to availability. So, if you’re keen to take part next year, it’s recommended you apply for the Be Curious Associates and Fellowship programmes

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. 

Contribute | Curriculum Redefined LITE fellowship 

Curriculum Redefined touches learning and teaching, together with the broader life of the institution. In this LITE fellowship study, open to all colleagues, Dr Sarah Joyce invites you to share your honest experiences of working at the University via a flexible, online format using Minerva, with the aim of influencing the continued progress of Curriculum Redefined. Read the participant information document for a link to take part. Watch this video by Dr Sarah Joyce for further information. 

Global Food and Environment Institute infographic 

The Global Food and Environment Institute (GFEI) has created a new infographic to introduce those who are unfamiliar with its work. An interdisciplinary research community that brings together members from across academia, industry and public policy, GFEI envisages a sustainable food system that gives everyone access to safe and nutritious food. Those interested can register to join the GFEI online

Apply | Sapling Fund for interdisciplinary research  

Applications close at 5pm on 2 October for the Sapling Fund, which is designed 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. The fund is run by the Cultural Institute and the Leeds Arts and Humanities and Research Institute. 

Funding opportunity for Early Career Researchers  

Apply for the Early Career Researcher Development Fund from the Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre, which is offering grants of up to £25,000 per project exploring challenges related to vulnerability and policing. The deadline to apply is 4pm on 15 January 2024. 


Final call | Technician Survey  

Time is running out for faculty-based technicians to have their say in the Technician Survey, launched ‘for technicians, by technicians’ to give the University a greater understanding of our invaluable technical community. The survey forms part of the Technician Commitment, which the University signed in 2018. Watch a new video to hear from technical colleagues across the University, who explain why they will be completing the survey before it closes on 29 September. 

Wellbeing and support 

Busting myths about the Menopause 

For many people, experiencing the Menopause can have a significant impact on their personal and professional life. But it shouldn’t be something they have to face alone. Ahead of World Menopause Day on 18 October, we aim to bust some myths to ensure we’re empowering colleagues to make the right choices for their health. And discover the wide range of Menopause advice and support available through the University. 

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 tomorrow (28 September). 

Staff benefits 

Cycle to Work webinars 

11.30am, tomorrow (28 September) plus 12 and 26 October 

The Cycle to Work scheme – Cyclescheme – is hosting open-to-all webinars during September and October. Sign up for the Cycle to Work Zoom sessions, which will provide a run-through of the benefits of the scheme, how much money you can save and how to get started, as well as offering the chance to ask questions. 

Staff networks 

Register | Working Class Network 

3.30-4.30pm, 9 October 

Join the Working Class Network for the first online meeting of the new academic year. Discussion will focus on the network survey launch and what members would like to see from the network during the coming year. Join the Working Class Network MS Teams area to access the event invite. 

Building blocks of a successful event | Events Network get together 

4.30-6.15pm, 23 October 

Register for a face-to-face networking opportunity to meet colleagues who work in event-related roles and get a first look at the University’s new city centre venue, Cloth Hall Court. Not only will you hear from some members of the Events Network, who will share exciting projects they’ve been working on, there will also be delicious grazing boards, fun activities and the chance to win some fantastic prizes.  

Learning and development 

Book | Career Transitions for Researchers 

Register for the ninth annual Researcher Education and Development Scholarship (REDS) Conference, hosted by the University on 11 October. The free online conference will explore the theme of career transitions for researchers and includes a keynote presentation by Dr James Burford (University of Warwick).     

Join | Teaching, Innovation and Practice in Student Education (TIPS) community and blog 

Join the TIPS community – a space for collaborative learning for all teaching colleagues at Leeds. It offers peer support plus a place for questions, advice and ideas for your teaching practice. You can also visit the TIPS blog to read colleagues’ articles on the subject. Read our guidance on submitting to the TIPS blog if you’re interested in contributing. 

Academic personal tutoring workshop 

11am to 12.15pm, 6 October 

Sign up for an introduction to academic personal tutoring, designed for those new to the role at Leeds. The workshop will look at key aspects of academic personal tutoring, such as the boundaries of the role, referrals and facilitating a sense of belonging. 

Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship    

Apply before 1 October for the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA). Starting in February, 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 on to more senior roles and course fees are paid by the University. 


Meltwater at the Howard Assembly Rooms 

7.30pm, today (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). Visit the University’s Climate Plan Sharepoint site for further information about how we’re tackling climate change. 

Opera North’s Green Season 

28 September to 17 November 

Opera North is going green this autumn as it prepares to stage three fully sustainable opera productions. From re-using props to reducing touring emissions, see how Opera North is putting the planet centre-stage. You can also book tickets for Falstaff (running from 28 September to 18 November), Masque of Might (6 October to 16 November) and La rondine (20 October to 17 November). 

Free under 30s Opera North membership 

Are you aged 16-29, enjoy live music and interested in discounted tickets? Become an Opera North Under 30s member for free and enjoy performances across Opera North, the Howard Assembly Room and Kirklees Concert Season. 

Apply | DARE Academic in Residence 2023-24 

Are you an academic looking to further your practice-based research alongside one of the UK’s five national opera companies? Would you like to undertake original research into aspects of Opera North’s work, create new material and deliver academic and/or public facing events? Applications are still being accepted for the next DARE Academic in Residence, with funding of £1,000 available to support research activity. The 2022-23 Academic in Residence Professor Edward Venn shares his insights and reflections on the role ahead of the 2 October application deadline. 

Book | On the Brontës 

6.30pm, 3 October  

Book tickets to hear acclaimed novelist Tracy Chevalier in conversation with Dr Katy Mullin (School of English) discussing why the original manuscripts, handwritten notebooks and personal letters of the Brontës still 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’s Becoming the Brontës exhibition


Book | Monty Losowsky Memorial Lecture Competition 2023 

5.30-8.30pm, 12 October 

Register to attend the Monty Losowsky Memorial Lecture Competition 2023. Professor Losowsky, the former Dean of Medicine at Leeds who died in 2020, played a crucial role in establishing both Europe’s largest teaching hospital and the UK’s leading independent medical museum. The free event, taking place in the Worsley Building and hosted in conjunction with the Thackray Museum, celebrates his immense contribution to medical education and history. The keynote presentation will be delivered by Dorcas Gwata, a Global Health Specialist working with young people and families affected by gang culture in London. 

Register | Coffee with Professor Jo-Anne Murray 

9am to 2.30pm, 25 October 

Book your place to speak with Professor Jo-Anne Murray, our Pro Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation, on a one-to-one basis to hear about the exciting work she’s doing and to ask any questions you may have. Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be provided. 

University of Leeds International Concert Series 

Various dates 

Enjoy a packed programme of free concerts on campus throughout the autumn. We start with an open mic session at 6pm today (27 September), followed by award-winning pianist Ignas Maknickas at 12.30pm on 6 October. Taking place in Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, entry to both events is free. Booking is required for the Ignas Maknickas concert. 

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 the staff Twitter account

With best wishes, 

The Internal Communications and Engagement team

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