In Brief, February 2015
In Brief is a new monthly all-staff news
round-up, giving you concise summaries
of the essential information you need.
All articles are short and are clearly categorised as ‘for action’,
‘for information’ or simply ‘nice to know’.
Contact for more information.

Complete online learning modules on diversity and sustainability

Everyone must complete two mandatory online learning modules for diversity and sustainability. You will shortly receive an email inviting you to complete the training, unless you have completed the modules in the past three years. The email will include the relevant links and passwords you need. Every new starter is now required to complete the training within one month in post, so please ensure that this is in an integral part of induction.

Contact Anne Gallagher for more information.

Get involved in Open Days on 19 & 20 June

Registration for our Open Days on 19 and 20 June went live last month. Within the first 24 hours, we had seen close to 2,000 registrations, well ahead of the same point last year. Colleagues from across the University are working hard to build on the excellent attendance and feedback achieved last year. Once again, we want to give prospective students and their families a sector-leading experience, and we need more University ambassadors over the two days.


If you would like to help out on either the Friday or Saturday (or both) from 8am to 5pm each day, please speak to your line manager and then contact Nyola Stewart.

Contact Fiona Blair for more information.

Leave the car behind on 19 & 20 June

More than 800 cars are expected at Whiteknights campus on each Open Day (Friday 19 and Saturday 20 June), so car parks 2, 3, 7 and 9 and the contractors’ car park will be reserved for Open Day visitors, staff directly supporting the events, and disabled members of staff who hold a blue badge (who are guaranteed space). Drivers are encouraged to take public transport or work at home (subject to line managers’ approval). You can collect free return 21/21A bus tickets from Whiteknights House reception from 15 June. If driving is the only option, limited parking is available on a first-come first-served basis in hall car parks.

Contact the Open Days team for more information.


Find out more about
University of Reading Malaysia

Our brand new, purpose-built campus in Malaysia opens its doors to students in September 2015. Come and hear more about this landmark development, and our plans for the future, at a presentation and Q&A session hosted by Professor Tony Downes, Provost of University of Reading Malaysia, on Tuesday 14 July 2015 13:00–13:50 in G11, Henley Business School, Whiteknights. No booking necessary.

Contact Lisa Davies for more information.

Apply for research travel grants for 2014/15 and beyond

If you are presenting at a conference or seminar over the next few months, you could be eligible for a Research Travel Grant. The University's Research Travel Grant Sub-Committee makes awards of up to £550 per person to eligible applicants. We have a small amount of funding still available in 2014/15 and would welcome further applications for travel that can be paid for and claimed before the end of this financial year. The fund will also be available in 2015/16.

Applications must be made in advance of travel. All travel must be booked according to our travel policy (see also travel hints and tips below). For more information click here.

Contact Lisa Davies for more information.


UEB recommends major reorganisation of Systems Engineering

On 1 June, the University Executive Board endorsed the final recommendations of a Review Panel on the future of the School of Systems Engineering (SSE). The recommendations are for a major reorganisation of systems engineering activity, which would retain the best elements of research and teaching in other Schools and Research Divisions, including Computer Science courses, but would mean SSE ceasing to exist as a standalone School. The recommendations now move to the next phase of consideration, with a final decision by the University Council due on 13 July. Read more here.

Contact Professor Robert Van de Noort for more information.

Update on academic structures implementation

Following Council approval of changes to our academic structures, an implementation group has been established to ensure that by the time the new structures are in place – 1 August 2016 – we have considered and resolved the issues which follow from the decision.

The group is currently focusing on how policies and processes which occur at Faculty level or involve a Dean of a Faculty should operate in the future, together with drawing up a revised job description for Heads of School.

Contact Dr Richard Messer, University Secretary, for more information.

Ask the Board – get involved in diversity and inclusion

The focus of the summer Ask the Board sessions last month was diversity and inclusion and the Vice-Chancellor also announced a new Dean of Diversity and Inclusion who will work across all three priority areas of gender, race and sexual orientation. There will be an immediate focus on the submission for Athena SWAN Bronze re-accreditation next year. Read the summary of the sessions here.

Find out about our commitment to diversity and inclusion on our newly updated portal pages, complete your self-disclosure on ESS, and get involved in our staff networks.

Contact Rachel Helsby for more information.

‘Managed Print Solution’ underway

Between now and September 2015, all University buildings will be provided with high-quality, efficient printers (called Multi-Functional Devices/MFDs) for printing, scanning and copying. These will be networked and will replace individual and personal desktop printers, as well as existing shared devices. These machines will have many advantages for individuals and the University, including flexibility and improved ongoing support.

The Miller Building on Whiteknights campus has been used as a pilot for these new machines and the teams are very positive about the experience. Roll-out plans will be communicated via the locally-selected Print Champions, Building Managers and the Procurement website.

Contact the Procurement team for more information.

National Student Survey – 75% of our finalists completed the survey

Over 75% of our eligible final year students have taken part in the 2015 NSS survey, up from 74% last year. Thank you to everyone across the University who supported the completion campaign. This result will give us a broad picture of the student experience: what’s good and what needs to improve. The survey is also an important criterion in the compilation of league tables, which influence student choices and affect our reputation. The results of the survey will be released in early August.

Contact Fiona Blair for more information.

Henley Business School’s strong performance in the rankings


You can find all the facts on the Henley rankings page.

Contact Jenny Gallagher for more information.

Top tips for booking travel and accommodation

A list of top tips for booking travel and accommodation has recently been published. This gives information on who you should contact for different travel and accommodation needs, including flights, trains and visas. We also recognise that there are some circumstances where a different approach will be needed, such as when conference providers offer a discounted rate for attendees – this is also covered in the tips. Take a look at the tips so that you can quickly and easily book your tickets.

Contact the Procurement team for more information.


2015 marketing campaign has gone live

Our second online and outdoor advertising campaign to attract students to study here launched last month. Our objective is to ensure that the best students make the University of Reading a first choice. Building on last year’s campaign, the headline for each undergraduate advert is ‘Get Ready’, with striking images and clear content that explains what Reading offers and invites prospective students and their families to an Open Day. A second campaign which aims to raise our profile and reputation amongst our key stakeholders and influencers highlights four areas of our cutting-edge research and leads people to our website to discover more.

Contact Karen Smalley for more information.

Staff in the News

New Reading research suggests that drinking orange juice could help improve brain function in elderly people. The research was covered widely by UK media including the Daily Telegraph, ITV and Huffington Post as well international outlets including Pakistan Daily Times and Korea Times.

Contact the News team for more information.

Musical weekend 6–7 June

Don’t forget this weekend we are hosting two days of music and festivities. Book your tickets for the Choral Gala on 6 June where the University of Reading Chorus and Chamber Choir will make their debut in Reading’s Town Hall with music from Mozart and Fauré. On 7 June, the University will host its first ever ‘big lunch’ at the London Road Campus. Bring your picnic and celebrate with us as we bring the University and local communities together, featuring music from our Big Band and family-friendly games and activities. Find out more here.

Contact Events for more information.


The Vice-Chancellor invites all staff to a summer celebration

All staff at the University of Reading are warmly invited to attend the annual summer celebration in the Meadow Suite on Whiteknights campus, hosted by the Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, on Thursday 25 June between 15.00 and 17.00.

This annual event aims to celebrate the hard work and achievements of all University staff over the course of this academic year, and is a chance for all staff to get together for an afternoon of music, cake and drinks.

Please email to register.

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