eNews 17 January

eNews: Fixed term contracts, recognising outstanding teaching, digital accessibility, COP28 reflections and more.

An aerial photograph of campus taken from above the Parkinson building


Major progress made on reducing fixed-term contracts

The percentage of colleagues on fixed term arrangements has been halved in a year, from 25% of total employees in July 2022 to 12.5% in August 2023, underlining our commitment to improve job security for colleagues.

Recognising outstanding and innovative teaching. January 2024

Recognising outstanding and innovative teaching

“Identifying excellent work happening around us and taking the time to recognise and reward our colleagues is an important, collegial and fun way to build community. I look forward to seeing applications from colleagues across the institution.”

Applications are now open for our University of Leeds Teaching Awards, celebrating excellent practice in student education. Book your place for an online briefing event, taking place from 1-2pm on 6 February, to find out more.

Two cleaning services colleagues and one colleague from IT Services sat at a computer taking part in one of the digital literacy sessions

Working together to ensure colleagues have digital access

“This has been an amazing and impactful initiative to see flourish. Having said that, we entered into this with a very clear goal of it ultimately not being required moving forward.”

The ‘Learning to Log on’ initiative has helped colleagues improve their digital literacy and access key online University systems. Organisers Harriet Boatwright, John Dodds and Dawn Abel are now planning to spread the initiative wider in 2024.


Professor Karen Throsby

Fifteen to One | Professor Karen Throsby

“As Head of School, I am responsible for creating a vibrant and inclusive environment where both staff and students can thrive; that is a safe, respectful and opportunity-rich space for all; and that is alive with exciting sociological research and teaching.”

From developing a new school strategy to swimming the English Channel, we caught up with Professor Karen Throsby, the new Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy.

Climate and sustainability

Greenpeace vs Sunak: an ambivalent confrontation. August 2023

COP28: The Fossil Fuel COP

“The fossil fuel COP28 produced an international agreement among countries; it is up to us citizens to ensure that this agreement has political meaning now.”

Richard Beardsworth, Professor of International Relations and Head of the University of Leeds Delegation to the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28), reflects on the outcomes of the climate change conference. Richard also featured in the University’s podcast in 2023 talking about Net Zero.

Register | COP28: What went well, what went badly and what comes next?
12 noon to 1pm, 24 January

Hear from colleagues and students following their involvement with COP28. The event will outline the outcomes of COP28, priorities for COP29 and how the University community can align with both. Register and attend the COP28 session on Zoom.

Sustainable Labs on Tour

The Sustainable Labs roadshow tour of campus continues this week. Find out how you can reduce resource, energy and cost, and learn more about the work of the Sustainable Labs team. The next sessions are in the Chaston Chapman Lounge in the School of Chemistry on 19 January and in the Bragg Atrium at the Sir William Henry Bragg Building on 24 January.

Campus life

Staff and Senior Leaders Forums | Talk to our leaders about the issues that matter most to you

Join our Interim Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Hai-Sui Yu, and the University’s leadership team for a new series of all-staff forums.

Hear a short update from Hai-Sui, ask your questions and contribute to the discussion.

Bookings will open about 4-6 weeks before each event and you will receive an email invitation within your faculty or service.

Feedback | Cultural Engagement Strategy

Help shape the future of cultural engagement at the University and contribute to the final iteration of the Cultural Engagement Strategy. Colleagues who aren’t attending the Cultural Engagement Strategy consultation on campus today (17 January) can still provide feedback by completing this short form before 5pm on 23 January.

Staff Festival 2024 | Nominate your chosen charity

Nominations are open until 5pm on 26 January to choose the charity to benefit from this year’s Staff Festival.

All colleagues, family and friends are invited to join us on campus on 28 June for an enjoyable afternoon of activities, full details of which will be announced nearer the time.

Update | Water supply in Social Sciences, Ziff and Edward Boyle Library buildings

Work to resolve the loss of water pressure in Social Sciences, Ziff and Edward Boyle Library buildings is delayed due to the late delivery of equipment. It’s now expected to finish at the end of February.

There will be planned interruptions to supply overnight and at weekends in the next two months as work continues. We will let you know those dates when agreed with the building managers and you can contact the Estates Helpdesk at eshelp@leeds.ac.uk if you have any questions. We apologise for the inconvenience caused by these issues.

Register | Developing a Sustainable Health and Social Care Workforce
5.45-7.30pm, 18 January

With the UK’s health and social care workforce under unprecedented strain, join a panel including Lord Nigel Crisp, former NHS Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health, to explore how we can build a sustainable health and social care workforce for the future. Register to attend the N8 event in person

Disruption | New Woodhouse Lane
Until 19 January

Leeds City Council is conducting improvement works in New Woodhouse Lane, Inner Ring Road Slip and Portland Way, Monday to Friday from 7.30pm to 6am. Parking restrictions, full road closures and diversions are in place. The route will open as normal outside of these times. Contact the Highways Helpline on 0113 2224407 for further information.

Footpath diversion

Alternative routes through campus are being signposted following closure of the footpath at the back of the LC Miall building in Clarendon Way due to safety reasons. We will keep you updated in eNews and the staff Twitter/X account.

Fresh Start Festival 
29 January to 4 February 

The Fresh Start Festival is back for 2024 – a week of food, fun, friends and opportunities. Help students make the most of everything life at Leeds has to offer by checking out our range of information and templates to use in your own communications. 

Did you know?

Thanks to your generosity, Homeless Street Angels and Zarach – charities both helping those in need break the cycle of poverty – received £1,200 each from last year’s Staff Festival fundraising. Nominate a charity of your choice to benefit from this year’s event.


Students show entrepreneurial spark

“I found getting the scholarship massively helpful. I spent the £3,000 grant on stock, such as fully assembled beehives, and building a website, which has been instrumental to my business.”

Two young entrepreneurs are forging ahead with business start-ups following University backing. Graduate Harry Simpson and current student Rosie Musk are Spark scholars. The Spark programme offers free support to enable University students and graduates to set up their own business.


Artwork proposed for Woodhouse Moor to make it feel safer for women

“This is a fantastic opportunity to explore and showcase the powerful role that arts and culture can play in animating places and making them safer and more inclusive, as well as more attractive.”

A public art and lighting project to make Woodhouse Moor feel safer and more welcoming is being developed by the University following a recent study of women and girls from across West Yorkshire, which found that most feel unsafe in parks in some situations.

Last chance | Bragg Exchange 2024 
23-24 January

Book tickets to attend the Bragg Exchange 2024, with engaging presentations from distinguished experts in materials science, poster sessions for you to shine a light on your research and networking opportunities with fellow researchers, students and industry professionals. 

MyGreenLab International Freezer Challenge 2024

Sign your lab up to the MyGreenLab International Freezer Challenge, which each year sees thousands of scientists around the world learning how to be more energy efficient with their lab’s cold storage. Register for the challenge online and join the global launch event online at 4pm on 18 January.

Software & AI – the journey from research to impact and commercialisation
8.30-10am, 8 February

Sign up for a breakfast event looking at how a commercial product or service can be developed from research into software and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Open to researchers working in the software and AI fields, the event in Nexus will include sessions with Northern Gritstone, the University commercialisation team and Slingshot Simulation Ltd., which took AI research from the lab to the market.

Leeds Creative Labs | Creative Health edition

Leeds Creative Labs: Creative Health edition is looking for academics with research interests in health to apply. The programme pairs researchers with artists to collaborate on an open-ended creative research residency. For this iteration of Labs, the Cultural Institute has partnered with the Bradford Producing hub and will be offering up to five sets of labs. The deadline to apply is 12 February.

Leeds Creative Labs | Smeaton300 edition

To celebrate the tricentenary of Leeds-born Father of Civil Engineering John Smeaton, the Leeds Creative Labs: Smeaton300 edition gives academics from the School of Civil Engineering the opportunity to collaborate with artists. Drop-in surgeries will take place in the Bragg building café on 29 January and 21 February. The deadline to apply is 4 March.

Funding available | International Researcher Mobility (IRM) Award

Researchers from across the University can now apply for up to £2,000 in funding from the International Researcher Mobility (IRM) Award. This is aimed at research to strengthen global collaborations and strategic partnerships between Leeds and institutions that are members of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) or the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA).

Digital developments

Research Ethics is changing

Phoenix – the online research ethics application system – is being released to two faculties (Arts, Humanities and Cultures, and Engineering and Physical Sciences) today (17 January). Paper-based applications from these two faculties will no longer be accepted after this date. You will need to apply through Phoenix. Look out for the latest updates at online drop-in sessions by visiting the Research Ethics webpages.

Introductory session | SimVenture business simulation tool
1.30-2.30pm, 18 January

Book your place to discover more about SimVenture, which helps support enterprise, entrepreneurship and employability learning and teaching through business simulation tools. This in-person event is taking place in the CoLab Space (room 7.10a) in HELIX.

Survey | Where do you store your files?

Help us understand where you currently store your files and what resources could help you make the most of OneDrive. Complete the short IT survey by 31 January.

Wellbeing and support

World Cancer Day | Wellbeing Lunchtime Learning session
12.10-12.55pm, 29 January

As part of World Cancer Day and Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, the Leeds Health Awareness Team is hosting a symptoms and screening presentation at the LOGIK Centre on campus. There will be an opportunity to ask private and confidential questions after the talk.

Sign up | New Year Step Challenge
29 January to 4 February

Sign up today and join colleagues across the University challenging themselves to move more! We encourage people of all abilities to get involved, offering a range of methods to measure and track your movement. Those registering will be randomly assigned to a team of six colleagues. There are photo bonuses up for grabs and a lively Microsoft Teams chat to keep you motivated. Registration closes at 5pm on 25 January.

Learning and development

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

  • Pedagogical Power of PebblePad workshops     
  • Academic Personal Tutoring (APT) discussion group 
  • Register | Adult Learner Drop-in 
  • Springboard development programme 
  • Concordat Awareness Month
  • Development sessions for mentors
  • Leading in Student Education Development 


Data science at LIDA | Transport and travel
10-11am, 8 February

This installment of the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) data science mini-series features 10-minute lightning talks from three data scientists about their research on Transport & Travel. The speakers are Toluwani Osabiya, Aditi Sudhakar and Lydia Wharton. The event is taking place in LIDA room 11.87 in the Worsley Building and online. Full information and registration.

Data science at LIDA | Societal and environmental challenges
10-11am, 14 February

This installment of the LIDA data science mini-series features 10-minute lightning talks from three data scientists about their research into societal and environmental challenges. The speakers are Ahmad Ammash, Preeti Sharma and Abdelrahman Ibrahim. The event is taking place in LIDA room 11.87 in the Worsley Building and online. Full information and registration.

Smeaton300 | Be Curious at Leeds Industrial Museum 
12 noon to 4pm, 17 February

Meet University researchers at the family-friendly Smeaton300 event, packed full of excitement and discovery. Learn about local Leeds legend and the UK’s first Civil Engineer, John Smeaton, through hands-on fun, with activities to explore our researchers’ work.

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. 

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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/X account.   

With best wishes,   

The Internal Communications and Engagement team  

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