eNews 15 November

eNews: NIHR Research Delivery Network, new student experience Dean appointed, Podcast finale tackling cancer, and more


University to co-ordinate national health research  

“UK health and care research is already recognised as being world leading. The University of Leeds, as part of the Research Delivery Network, is poised and eager to work with the health and care system to make a step change in how we deliver this research.” 

Leeds has been chosen by the Department of Health and Social Care to lead the NIHR Research Delivery Network Coordinating Centre, under a five-year contract from April 2024. 

‘Trailblazing’ new professor helping break down barriers

“I’m hopeful there will come a time when this sort of announcement isn’t exceptional. We’re heading in the right direction but there’s still a long way to go.”

Congratulations to Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso, from the School of Biology, after becoming the second person from Leeds to celebrate success after joining the ground-breaking 100 Black Women Professors NOW! programme. 

Student education 

New Dean appointed to lead student experience and educational enhancement 

“I am truly excited by the prospect of overseeing two vital aspects of student education: enriching the student experience and educational enhancement.” 

Professor Charlotte Haigh has been appointed Dean for Student Education: Educational Enhancement and Student Experience.    

New structure to deliver student education services and support  

We are evolving the Chief Operating Officer’s professional services structure to further bring together colleagues who support the delivery of student education and experience.  

Access and Success Insight Session 
1-2.30pm, 16 November 

Sign up for this online event to find out how we’re progressing the Access pillar of the Access and Student Success Strategy, and how prospective students from a range of backgrounds can see themselves at Leeds and gain a place. Email Jess Burgess at j.l.burgess@leeds.ac.uk to register

Thought pieces  

How do we beat cancer? 

“We all get out of bed with this mission to tackle cancer. We have a fantastic academic research community in Leeds. We will make faster progress by having biologists, chemists, engineers, AI and clinicians working together.” 

Cancer will affect one in two of us in our lifetimes. We can tackle this with smarter, kinder treatments such as tiny robots reaching deep into our lungs to speed up detection. This week’s How to fix… podcast features our brilliant researchers working together to bring hope to millions of patients. 

Listen to the podcast  

Helping our research community fulfil its potential 

“When we go through significant life changes, if we’re supported well, we have more to bring to the table than we did before.” 

Dr Charlotte Stephenson and Bryony Rowntree outline how the outstanding work already underway at Leeds is helping ensure we’re mutually supporting and developing research teams across the University. 


Book | USS Pension information session 

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) Pension consultation closes on 24 November. Make sure you have your say if you’re eligible for this scheme. Hosted by pensions experts, Mercer, the first pension session takes place online on 17 November and the second pension session takes place on the 20 November. You can also read more on our USS Pension In depth page.  

Campus life 

Moon Palace 
1-5pm, 21 November  

Step on board the Moon Palace for a free other-worldly experience combining daytime solar, radio astronomy and cosmic tea! This stunning artwork and mobile observatory has been supported by the School of Physics and Astronomy and was inspired by the legacy of Civil Engineer John Smeaton and his observatory in East Leeds. 

Winter Wellbeing Week 
20-24 November 

Take part in the first Winter Wellbeing Week, offering a great mix of on campus and online health and wellbeing activities. There really is something for everyone including arts and crafts, yoga, Qigong, chiropractic and physiotherapy consultations, wellbeing walks and a gong bath sound therapy session! Check out the opportunities on offer and book your place by visiting the Winter Wellbeing webpage

Key Travel | Campus Engagement Days 
21-23 November 

Key Travel and the University’s Travel Procurement team will be on campus hosting full-day drop-in sessions to discuss business travel, as well as offering booking platform training. Pre-booking isn’t essential but would be appreciated to assist with catering arrangements. 

Book | Christmas meals at Cloth Hall Court 

Book now to secure a treat for your team with Conferences and Events’ festive catering offer. Several packages are available at Cloth Hall Court in the city centre on 15, 18 and 19 December, including a two-course menu, afternoon teas and drinks receptions, as well as other catering possibilities at University House and the Refectory.  

Did you know?  

Now including the University’s oldest manuscript, a celebration of recent important acquisitions will be held in the Gallery from 5.30pm on 21 November. Admission is free, but you’ll need to book your place for the Books and Benefactors: A Celebration event on Eventbrite.  

Sustainability and climate  

Webinar | University of Leeds at COP28: Meet the delegation 
12 noon, 21 November  

The annual United Nations climate negotiations, COP28, will take place at the end of November in Dubai. As an official observer, the University of Leeds is sending a delegation to attend COP28. This online event offers the Leeds community an opportunity to meet members of their COP28 delegation and hear about their activities and hopes for the negotiations. Register to attend the COP28 webinar on Zoom

Taking action to achieve net zero by 2030: a deeper delve into our plan 
4.30-5.40pm, 4 Dec 
Continue the conversation around climate change at our panel discussion where Director of Campus Innovation and Development, Ann Allen will share our recently approved Net Zero Delivery Plan and you will have the opportunity to raise topics for discussion with our panel of experts, including James Dixon-Gough, Dr Cat Scott, Professor Fleur Loveridge, Rosa Foster and Shaun Scholey. Emily Tabern, LUU Union Affairs & Communications Officer will bring a student perspective to the panel. This event is open to staff and students and refreshments will be provided afterwards. 


Get involved | Winter graduation  

“My first ceremony was an honorary ceremony, where Dame Judi Dench received her honorary doctorate. It was my responsibility to lead her into the hall, show her to her seat, and then lead her out again at the end. She was lovely and extremely nervous!” 

We’re still looking for colleagues to support the smooth running of the ceremonies on campus during the winter graduation ceremonies this December. Read about the various roles available and sign up by 21 November to help create a memorable experience for our students and their guests.  

Order | Graduation ceremony gowns 

Academic colleagues attending graduation ceremonies in December have until 27 November to order a gown. Those who’ve ordered before have been sent an invitation to register attendance and submit their requirements. Please check your junk folder if the email hasn’t landed in your inbox. New colleagues should contact the Graduation team at graduation@leeds.ac.uk to set up an account. 


QS Academic Reputation survey   

We’re asking colleagues to identify potential respondents for the QS Academic Reputation survey by 17 November. We will need to contact them for their consent to take part. The survey is based on external colleagues’ opinions of the University and carries a 30% weighting in the QS World University Rankings. 

Digital developments  

SAP migration 

In preparation for moving SAP to cloud-based servers to improve security and reliability, SAP, including the self-service portal (selfservice.leeds.ac.uk), will be unavailable from 5pm on 24 November to 9am 27 November. The actual migration will take place in December when SAP will be unavailable from 5pm on 15 December to 9am 18 December. If you have any queries, please contact SAPMigration@leeds.ac.uk  

Staff guide to assessment systems  

In the approach to the assessment period, take a look at the Staff Guide to Assessment Systems, which includes guides to Blackboard assessment tools and integrated tools such as Gradescope, Turnitin and PebblePad. There’s also lots of information on arranging External Examiner Access and Academic Integrity, including a Summary Guide, and how to report on the Academic Integrity Test. 

Getting started with Minerva  
11am to 12.30pm, 5 December 

Staff can sign up for the Getting Started with Minerva online training session, which is aimed at staff and postgraduates who are new to Minerva and will use the platform to deliver or support learning and teaching.  

Introduction to Blackboard Test in Minerva  
10.30-11.30am, 6 December 

Book your place on the Introduction to Blackboard Test training. Used for formative and summative assessment, Blackboard Test can be accessed by both staff and students. This in-person training is tailored towards staff new to the tool. 


Premiere of film portraying life in Northern towns  

“Uniquely, our research captures the voices of different ethnic and minority groups, with one of the largest qualitative studies ever of Asian British people in the North, of the much less numerous Northern Black British people in the wake of Windrush, as well as the views of said-to-be "left behind" White British people in deprived neighbourhoods and more affluent suburban locations.” 

A documentary providing an intimate portrait of life in Northern towns post-Brexit premiered at the Leeds International Film Festival on Friday. It was made in collaboration with University researchers. 

Apply | Ignite Fund 2023-24 

Offered by the Cultural Institute, the Ignite Fund offers up to £5,000 in research impact funding for projects created between University researchers and cultural, arts and third-sector organisations in West Yorkshire. The deadline to apply is 20 November.  

Leeds Baby Week 

Leeds Baby Week is back for an eighth year, focusing on ‘Culture and Identity’ in 2023. Join webinars, parent meet-ups, sensory play, story sessions and more throughout the week, which concludes on 20 November for World Children’s Day. 

Book | Network launch 
5.30-7pm, 21 November 

Book to attend the hybrid launch of the Remaking Places interdisciplinary network, focused on building partnerships between the University, city council, business and civic groups to tackle climate issues, ecological breakdown and social inequality. 

Apply | Funding opportunity for Early Career Researchers 

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

Wellbeing and support  

International Men’s Day | ‘Zero Male Suicide’ 

Mental health issues can affect anyone, anywhere, and at any time. This year’s theme for International Men’s Day is ‘Zero Male Suicide’. If you are in need of any support, free and confidential services are available from the Staff Counselling and Psychological Support team for anyone experiencing personal and/or work-related challenges. Outside the workplace, the University’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) offers access to a 24/7 helpline and counselling services for colleagues and their immediate family. 

Learning and development  

Keep up to date with the latest learning and development opportunities from the University on our For Staff website, including: 

  • Professional Recognition in Student Education (PRiSE) 

  • Inclusive learning and teaching workshop 

  • Policy Engagement Kickstart programme 

  • Career Development Programme (Grades 2-5) 


Being Human Festival 2023 
Until 17 November 

Sign up for the final events in the Being Human Festival, an annual celebration showcasing how the humanities influence our lives and societal understanding. 

2023 Festival of Social Science 
Until 17 November 

Look out for the final events exploring the world of social science, from how society has shaped our local areas to behaviours helping fight climate change, as part of the 2023 Festival of Social Science.  

Book | New online catalogue launch for literary treasures 
5-7pm, 20 November 

Join us at the Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute to celebrate the launch of the new online catalogue of the Novello Cowden Clarke Collection with a trio of talks, featuring papers by Dr Rebecca Wade, Dr Bryan White and a keynote lecture by Professor Tim Barringer (Yale University). Donated to the University by family descendants, collection highlights include letters from significant figures such as Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, John Keats, Florence Nightingale and Mary Shelley… as well as locks of hair belonging to Mozart and Beethoven!  

Tickets | Bolton Lecture in Astrophysics 
5.30-6.30pm, 21 November 

This year’s Bolton Lecture in Astrophysics will look back at a year of discoveries with the new Webb Space Telescope, which builds on the legacy of previous space-based telescopes to push the boundaries of human knowledge. 

Ageing Well in a Digital World 
1-3pm, 22 November 

Join the Reimagine Ageing Interdisciplinary Research Network for an interactive discussion on the design and use of digital tools for an ageing population. For more information, and to book your place at the Ageing Well in a Digital World event, please visit the listing on Eventbrite. 

Tell us your story   

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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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