eNews 6 December

Vice-Chancellor's Staff Blog, Employee Engagement Survey action plan, Celebrate Our Staff and more

Principal Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost Professor Hai-Sui Yu standing in front of a wood and glass wall

Employee Engagement Survey action plan published

Details of the University’s institutional-level action plan in response to the Employee Engagement Survey have been published. The plan aims to address the issues raised by colleagues in the survey, which places a clear focus on establishing more constructive dialogue across our staff community.  

Interim Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Hai-Sui Yu, has written to all colleagues about the action plan in his latest blog.


Celebrate Our Staff November 2023 headshots: Aurora graduates, Emily Bell, John Plane, Akintunde Babatunde, Green Gown Awards, and Ana Manzano

Celebrate Our Staff 

Fellowships, memberships and a documentary appearance feature in our regular series celebrating colleagues across the University.   

From Dickens to water, and from Belfast to Gair Wood, read what academic and professional colleagues have achieved during the past month.   

Celebrate Our Staff is open to all colleagues and we love to hear what has been achieved by members of our University community. Fill out our nomination form to make a submission for the next roll of honour.   

Climate modelling research award acclaim 

“Having an impact is why we get out of bed in the morning. We can still make our science much more effective, and I would like to see awards such as these grow in recognition and importance.” 

Work by Professor Piers Forster and Dr Chris Smith in informing international net zero emission targets and national legislation through physical climate model emulators has been recognised with a major UKRI award

Future Leaders tackle global challenges 

“The Fellowship projects led by Jess, Mark and Josie reflect the breadth of our world-class research undertaken at Leeds and the remarkable talent we have working here.” 

The University’s Dr Josie South, Dr Mark Hopkins and Dr Jess Baker are among 75 people awarded UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowships, which aim to develop the next wave of world-class research and innovation leaders in academia and business. 

Winter graduation 

Graduation is a special event that invites our whole community to celebrate, reflect and get involved. This year, graduation will be taking place in the Great Hall from 11-19 December, with virtual graduation on 8 December and a relaxed graduation experience on 19 December. Lots of activities will be happening in and around Parkinson building and Leeds University Union to mark the occasion. 

Did you know?  

More than 4,000 students are registered to attend graduation in the Great Hall this month, with a further 1,000 joining one of the virtual ceremonies. 

Thought pieces 

Fifteen to One | Dr Martin Stow 

Following his appointment to the new position of Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business Engagement and Enterprise earlier this year, we caught up with Dr Martin Stow to hear more about his role and his collaborative vision to help the University make a positive impact on society, the economy and the world. 

Investment Zone boosts city’s innovation ambitions and vision 

“This is a significant investment in the region and a real acknowledgement of Leeds as one of the UK’s leading health tech innovation clusters.” 

Dr Martin Stow, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business Engagement and Enterprise, talks about the role Nexus – the University’s innovation community – will play in developing West Yorkshire as the country’s third Investment Zone.

Christmas at Leeds 

Dates for the diary 

The University will be closed during the Christmas period, with the last working day for the majority of colleagues being 21 December. It will open again on 2 January 2024. This means that 21 December will be the next pay day. 

Helping those struggling alone 

Anyone can feel low, alone and even suicidal, and the festive period can prove a challenging time for many. Take the time to ‘check in with a mate’ this Christmas and let them know it’s OK to talk. You can also learn how you can help anyone struggling by becoming a Suicide Prevention Champion. You don’t need to know the answers or solve someone’s problems, but by simply reaching out and listening, you could help someone who might otherwise be struggling alone. 

Boost your ‘elf’ 

Boost your ‘elf’ by making the most of the special staff rates and tree-mendous facilities at The Edge, including the 25m swimming pool, refurbished gym and spin studio, climbing wall and a range of exercise classes. Yule be glad you did! Visit The Edge website for further information and festive opening hours

DARE Little Listeners | Cinderella
11am to 12.10pm and 1-2.10pm, 16 December 

Enjoy the much-loved fairy tale but not quite as you know it. Led by a cast of professional opera singers and musicians, sign up for this interactive, family-friendly concert of Cinderella and experience the magic of music and storytelling. Tickets include a voucher for a hot or soft drink, a ‘make a wand’ craft activity and a 40-minute performance. 

Register | Staff Sports Tournament 2023 
1-4pm, 20 December 

Fancy a spot of festive football, or maybe you prefer netball at Noel? It doesn’t matter if you’ve been good or badminton this year, you can still sign up for the 2023 Staff Sports Tournament at The Edge. It promises to be a Christmas cracker, with team prizes up for grabs in all the above sports. Entry fees and festive bake sale proceeds on the day will provide the perfect present for Gryphons Abroad, our international sport development project in South Africa. Register by 5pm on 15 December. Contact event coordinator Rachel Harrison at R.J.Harrison1@leeds.ac.uk for further information. 

Campus life 

Update | Water supply issues 

Work to resolve the loss of water in Social Sciences, Ziff and Edward Boyle Library buildings should be completed by the end of January. Insufficient pressure in the Yorkshire Water street mains is affecting the supply to the upper floors. Estates and Facilities is installing a permanent break tank and water booster pump to bypass any future fluctuations in the supply. We apologise for any inconvenience in the meantime. 

Photoshoot volunteers wanted 
10am-4.30pm, 11 December 

Could you spare 30-45 minutes? Become a star for the day and feature in some new photos of Leeds University Library Galleries and the Brotherton Research Centre. The photoshoot will take place across eight time slots; you can take part in as many sessions as you like and you can use the professional images for your own use. Please email Rowland Thomas at R.Thomas6@leeds.ac.uk if you’re interested in taking part. 

Book | Join the latest Professional Services Open Meeting 
1-2pm, 15 January 

Join Chief Operating Officer (COO) Rachel Brealey at the latest COO session, where you’ll hear updates on the work planned in response to the Employee Engagement Survey. Director of Digital Education Service (DES), Dr Megan Kime, will introduce colleagues to DES and share highlights from the past year with an overview of their Annual Report. She will talk about work done to develop partnerships with other professional services and examples of ongoing collaboration with both the University Library and the Careers Service. Our Chief Information Officer, Dan Simms, will discuss his responsibilities at the University. He will provide an overview of the IT Services leadership team, their primary duties, recent achievements and current priorities. 

Join | Cultural Engagement strategy consultation 
12.30-3pm, 17 January 

Colleagues are invited to shape the future of cultural engagement at the University. Contribute to the final iteration of the strategy during this interactive session, covering research, student education, employability, civic engagement and campus experience for both staff and students. Lunch will be provided. 

You’re invited | Developing a Sustainable Health and Social Care Workforce 
5.45pm, 18 January 

With the UK’s health and social care workforce under unprecedented strain, join a panel discussion focused on innovative solutions. Panellists include Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, and Lord Nigel Crisp, former NHS Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health. Register to attend in person or join the event online.  

Climate and sustainability 

Blogs | Leeds at COP28 

Read the latest insights from our experts as the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) enters its second week of negotiations. The University has sent a delegation of staff and students to host events in Dubai and contribute to the accountability of the process. Keep up to date with the latest developments by visiting the Priestley Centre COP28 webpage and by following the centre on Twitter

Repair Café on campus 
12.30-4.30pm, tomorrow (7 December) 

Visit the latest monthly Repair Café at the Makerspace facilities in the Edward Boyle Library. Save money and reduce waste by taking along your broken items – including textiles and small electronics – for skilled volunteers to help fix. 

UK Disability History Month 

Hearing from those in the know 
16 November to 16 December 

Interested to hear about navigating the world as a disabled person? Join Disability Services for its ongoing series of events during UK Disability History Month. 

Digital developments  

External email banner 

We recently introduced an email banner to let you know if an email is from an external source. This could help you spot phishing emails, which are pretending to come from the University, and is one of a number of ways we’re improving our cyber security. After listening to your feedback, we’ve now reduced the size of this banner, added more systems to the safe senders list that aren’t flagged and are continuing to review this list

What’s new in IT Services? 

Read about the latest behind-the-scenes activity in IT Services, from project updates and awards to a look back at the recent Quarterly Open Meeting and more. The team also raids the archives again to see what the department was up to back in 1994!  


Winter closures | Student communications templates 

With many students in Leeds during the winter break, or needing support while the University is closed, it’s important to share clear guidance on where they can go for help. You can access templates to share, including emails, newsletter stories and email signatures on the Student Communications team SharePoint site, and find useful information to help create your own communications on the Holiday Info pages on For Students. There’s also a student guide to events and activities for anyone in Leeds during the holidays. 

Register | Student Success Forum: Perceptions of inclusive pedagogy 
2.30-4pm, 12 December 

Hear students and colleagues discuss their perceptions on inclusive pedagogy. Find out about the challenges of teaching, learning and assessing in an inclusive way, and contribute to identifying possible actions to help support this activity across the University. 

Register | Student Education Conference (SEC) 2024 
11-12 January 

Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) has announced that SEC2024 is open for registration. Check out the full SEC2024 programme showcasing the breadth of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research activity across our institution, and register for the sessions you’d like to attend


Launch | Early Years Employment Research Hub 

Members of the Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change have launched the Early Years Employment (EYE) Research Hub. The EYE Hub will support the development of research and evidence-based policy, and tackle the workforce challenges faced in early years. 

Research Culture Café 
2-3pm, 12 December 

Book your place at the next Research Culture Café. Taking place on campus, this event aims to promote a positive and inclusive research culture at Leeds through café-style conversations. They help colleagues propose solutions for change, share experiences and create a community network. Dates and themes for sessions running until August 2024 are also available to book. 

Blog | New research partnerships announced 

Discover how four new partnerships are being supported by the Horizons Institute Connect Fund. The Fund aims to help research-aligned colleagues explore early-stage collaboration with third sector organisations.  

Wellbeing and support 

Welcome event for new staff    
10-11.30am, tomorrow (7 December) 

Book your place at the next virtual welcome event for new staff. Find out more about Leeds, meet new colleagues and explore the range of benefits, support and advice available. If you can’t make this event, an additional date is available to book on 24 January. 

Have your say | Events Health and Safety Protocol consultation 
8 December 

The Events Health and Safety Protocol has been updated and is still open for colleagues to provide comments. Have your say by visiting the consultation webpage for further information, access to the documents and the online feedback form. 

Learning and development 

Beginner’s guide to LinkedIn Learning  
10-11am, 7 December  

There’s still time to sign up for a virtual event to explore LinkedIn Learning and see how it can support your learning and development. 

Academic personal tutoring (APT) discussion group  
12 noon to 1pm, 11 December  

Sign up to join a focussed APT discussion group for colleagues interested in the development of APT at Leeds. 


Exhibition | Open Bracket 
6-7 December 

Open Bracket is a collective exhibition displaying the works in progress of Level 3 Fine Art students from the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies. Each artist’s contribution acts as an informal introduction to their work and, collectively, their debut as the graduating class of 2024. Colleagues are all invited to the preview from 5-7pm today (6 December). 

Visiting Artist’s Talk | Kerry Harker 
2-4pm, 11 December 

Fine art alumna, and one of the founding co-directors of The Tetley, Kerry Harker presents the work of East Leeds Project, a practitioner-led visual arts organisation she co-founded with Claire Irving. Kerry will talk about the production of Moon Palace, the travelling observatory which visited campus last month. 


eNews deadlines  

Due to the Christmas University closure, eNews will be taking a break during the festive period. The final edition of 2023 will be on Wednesday 13 December, with the deadline for submissions on Friday 8 December. The first eNews edition of 2024 will be on Wednesday 10 January. 

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.    

Submit a request   

You can submit a request for an eNews entry via this form. Please contact us in advance of the deadline (the Friday preceding the relevant Wednesday circulation date), so we can advise you on our editorial and content guidelines.   

Other than in exceptional circumstances, eNews entries should be no more than 50 words long, as these are designed to be bite-sized chunks of news linking to other trusted sources (such as University websites) for full details.   

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

Posted in: