In Brief
In Brief February 2018
In Brief is a 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.
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New Re-Use policy to cut down campus waste

A new Re-use Policy is now in effect, encouraging staff to reuse surplus items in good condition. Taking positive steps to reduce waste will benefit the whole University and our wider local community.

The policy provides a re-use hierarchy staff should apply:

Firstly, prioritise re-use within the University.
If not possible, consider donating to the local community (e.g. charities, clubs).
If this is not suitable, consider whether items can be given to staff or students for personal use.
The final option is disposal – please ensure items are appropriately disposed of (IT equipment needs extra care for security reasons).

Please familiarise yourself with the Re-use Policy.

Contact Sustainability Services for more information.

University’s finance chief to join VC in staff talks

The University’s Chief Financial Officer, Samantha Foley, will be joining Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, at his three all staff briefing sessions this month. Details are as follows:

19 February (1-2 pm) – L022 (G01), London Road
20 February (10-11 am) – National Grid, Greenlands
21 February (1-2 pm) – Madejski Theatre, Agriculture, Whiteknights

Sam Foley will provide an overview of the University’s finances, the challenges we face in an increasingly competitive sector and the choices we have.

All staff are welcome to attend. The sessions will also offer the opportunity to understand the strategic priorities over the coming year, and ask questions.

Contact Communications for more information.

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Ben Pedley Award to honour passion for music

We are proud to open nominations for the inaugural Ben Pedley Award for outstanding contribution to our musical community, in memory of second year undergraduate student Ben Pedley.

This award is open to all second year undergraduate students who regularly take part in musical activity at the University or within the local community. Nominations are invited from University staff and students, as well as members of the local community – visit the Ben Pedley Award page for full details. Nominations must be received by 5.00 pm, 15 February. The winner will receive a monetary prize of £150, which will be presented at the Ben Pedley Memorial Concert (see event listing below).

Contact Music at Reading for more information.

Undergraduate student survey campaign – live now

We recently launched our undergraduate student survey campaign, which runs until the end of April. This year, we’re asking all undergraduates for feedback:

Undergraduate finalists - National Student Survey (NSS)
Undergraduate non-finalists - UK Engagement Survey (UKES), run by the Higher Education Academy, focussed on students’ academic experience, and the Reading Student Survey (RSS), focussed on wider support services and facilities

Please promote these surveys to students so we can gain further insight into what’s working well and areas for improvement. Resources have been supplied to each school by Marketing Communication & Engagement. Results from all three surveys will be circulated in the summer.

Contact Jennifer Rich for more information.

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Apply for our Teaching and Learning awards

We’re immensely proud of the efforts our teaching and learning colleagues make here every day to enhance student learning. In recognition of these skills, we are accepting applications to the following awards schemes:

Collaborative Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning: A celebration of collaborative projects that enhance the student learning experience. Nominations to be submitted by 12.00 pm, 26 February. Read our staff portal story for full details.
Teaching and Learning Enhancement Projects Mini Awards Scheme: Grants start-up funding between £500 and £2,500 for small teaching and learning focused projects. Applications to be submitted by 12.00 pm, 19 March. Read our staff portal story for full details.

Contact the CQSD team for more information.

REF 2021 Unit of Assessment Leads

We are looking to appoint 22 Unit of Assessment (UOA) Leads to shape our submission for Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. These are leadership roles and key to ensuring a strong submission that maximises our reputation, achievement and quality-related research funding.

UOA Leads will make recommendations to the REF Planning Group on the shape of each individual UOA submission. They will report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Innovation on related tasks, and would be supported by the REF & Research Planning Manager, the Research Intelligence Unit, Research Deans and other professional services as relevant. Further details are available online (University log-in required). Applications must be received by 20 February.

Contact Wanda Tejada for more information.

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Show your support for LGBT History Month

February is LGBT History Month, a great time to show our support for our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans community.

Display an LGBT+ Ally postcard/ wear a rainbow lanyard – available through main receptions at Whiteknights House, Henley Business School, Palmer Building, London Road, Greenlands and RUSU.
Join our LGBT+ Allies Information and Recruitment Session on 15 Feb, 12.00 pm – 1.30 pm, hosted by the VC, LGBT Plus Staff Network and RUSU.
Attend an event – join our round table discussion on supporting LGBT+ staff and students in HE, watch the public lecture Queer Classics: Sexuality, Scholarship, and the Personal, or take our popular Trans Awareness Training.
Read community stories at the #diversereading blog, Faces of Reading website, and displays in RUSU.

See the staff portal for more information.

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Final chance – your views on campus travel

Have you told us how you travel yet? The staff and student travel survey is the perfect opportunity to share your views on improving travel facilities around the University. It will take just 15 minutes and you could win an iPad for taking part!

Your views do make a difference – they flag areas that need improving and help us monitor progress against our University Travel Plan. Responses to the previous survey led to the widening of the path between Meteorology and Friends Bridge, installation of electric vehicle charge points and a larger bus shelter on Chancellor’s Way. Please share your views by Wednesday 7 February.

ContactTravel for more information.

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Joint appointment for PVC Research & Innovation

Professors Parveen Yaqoob and Dominik Zaum have been appointed, in a job-share arrangement, as the University’s new Pro-Vice-Chancellors for Research and Innovation.

Their appointment follows a competitive process that began in November, and was overseen by the Chair of the University Council – our governing body – Dr Paul Preston. Parveen currently heads the School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy while Dominik is the Research Dean for Prosperity and Resilience. They will start in their new role in a job-sharing capacity on 1 August 2018 and will be the first members of the University Executive Board to operate in this way.

See the staff portal for more information.

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Forthcoming UCU industrial action

John Brady, Director of Human Resources, has provided an update on the forthcoming industrial action proposed by the University and College Union (UCU). The industrial action relates to proposed changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

See the staff portal for more information.

Important changes to Parking+

As a result of changes to HMRC regulations for certain salary sacrifice schemes, we regret that the Parking+ scheme will be withdrawn with effect from 31 March 2018.

With effect from 1 April 2018, parking permit charges will be taken as a deduction from your net salary. There will be no change to the parking charges and you will retain your current permit, this is just a change to the way in which the charges are paid. This change will happen automatically and you will not need to take any further action.

See the staff portal for more information.

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The General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the new EU legal framework for data protection. It comes into effect from 25 May 2018 and will replace our current Data Protection Act. The GDPR strengthens the rules around the protection of personal data and gives people greater control over how organisations collect, use, share, store and retain their personal information.

Some information on key changes under the GDPR are explained on our dedicated GDPR information page – please take a few moments to familiarise yourself with its contents. Further information will be shared over the coming months.

Contact the IMPS team for more information.

Advancement teams to relocate in space move

Teams within the Advancement Group (Marketing Communication & Engagement, Global Recruitment & Admissions, and Campaigns & Supporter Engagement) will move to new locations this month, with the first phase as follows:

Global Recruitment, Marketing & Campaigns, Marketing Operations, Research Communications will relocate to LO27 London Road.
Corporate Communications (Press, Social Media, Staff, Student and Community Engagement) will consolidate into 3.01 Whiteknights House.

Prospective students who have questions for the Recruitment teams (Global, UK and International) or Admissions should be directed to the ground floor of the Miller building, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm, Monday–Friday.

Contact Communications for more information.

2018 style guide now available

The 2018 edition of the University of Reading Style Guide is now available on the Marketing, Communication & Engagement page.

The guide sets out the University’s house style and is a useful resource for those responsible for communicating within each school and function. For consistency, we ask that all communicators adapt the style points noted within the guide. Any feedback should be shared with the Content Team, who will collate all comments for future editions.

Contact the Content Team for more information.

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Support Cara at the Reading Half Marathon

The Reading Half Marathon takes place on 18 March. This year, our staff and students are running in support of our partnership with the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara), which helps academics in immediate danger find sanctuary – and they need your help.

A funding page has been set up so that colleagues can sponsor those running the marathon. Visit the funding page to make a donation – all gifts are greatly appreciated. Please share your support for staff and students across the University taking part!

See the funding page for full details.

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Singers and musicians wanted for Remembrance Festival and Ben Pedley Memorial Concert

In the run-up to the Ben Pedley Memorial Concert we are seeking choral signers and orchestral players to join the concert ensemble.

Rehearsals for the Remembrance Festival will take place over 10 and 24 February, before performing at the Ben Pedley Memorial Concert on 10 March. Instrumentalists will join Festival Sinfonia, and singers will join Festival Voices to rehearse Karl Jenkins’s The Armed Man. The performance will take place in the Great Hall, London Road campus, with rehearsals taking place around the London Road campus.

Please register your intention to play by 9 February through the Remembrance Festival page.

Contact Music at Reading for more information.

Events highlights

Highlights over the coming weeks include:

7 February - Annual Chaplaincy Lecture with Michael Mears for a WW1 play & discussion (19:00, G03 & G04, LO22)
10 February, 24 February & 10 March – Remembrance Festival (09:30 - 16:30, Great Hall)
21 February - Alumni Lecture featuring Craig Bennett, CEO Friends of the Earth (18:00 – 21:00, HBS G11)
27 February – Annual Edith Mary Gayton Lecture on future trade relationships between UK and Ireland (18:00, Madejski lecture theatre, Agriculture)
28 February - Public Lecture - Brain Glue: Sticking it to Dementia by Dr Mark Dallas (19:30 - 20:45, HBS G11)
1 March – Annual Lecture – Inside the Beast; Politics and Law of Education (18:00, L022, G01)
10 March – Ben Pedley Memorial Concert (19:30, Great Hall, London Road)

Contact Events for more.

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