In Brief
In Brief March 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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Suggest titles to diversify Library stock

The University Library is looking for suggestions for resources which represent more LGBT+ and ethnic groups or geographical areas, to help support a more diverse curriculum. If there is a title or theme you think would make a worthy addition to the Library’s collection, please complete the Diversify our collections suggestion form.

Recommendations for specific titles and authors are welcome, but you can also suggest a general theme if you think there is a gap in the collection (e.g. LGBT+ in higher education, construction industry in Africa, history/political situation in a particular country).

See the Library blog for more information.

Me@Reading: engage with applicants and students

Our Me@Reading web portals are a great way to promote events and news from your department.

Me@Reading Applicant allows applicants to access personalised information on their application and hear about news from their department or the wider University. You can submit articles online (University log-in required) or watch our video on YouTube.
Me@Reading Student is a one-stop shop for current students to access key resources, including emails, Blackboard, RISIS and their academic timetable. It’s tailored to all students, so is a great way to share news and updates. Visit the Student Services information page for full details or watch our video on YouTube.

Contact the Applicant Engagement or Student Communications teams for more information.

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Researchers: update your outputs in CentAUR

The next Research Outputs Support System (ROSS) snapshot for research staff will take place in April. The deadline for submitting research outputs into CentAUR in time for the next assessment is Wednesday 4 April. Once live in CentAUR, your selection of research outputs can be managed by using the ‘ROSS Your Selection’ tool.

Research divisions must then input scores and comments into ROSS by Friday 20 April. Please look out for communications from your research division leaders about any actions to take so that deadlines are met.

Please see the Research Intelligence Unit page for further guidance (University log-in required).

Contact Alison Sutton for more information.

University's Endowment Fund invites bids

The Endowment Fund is awarded by the Vice-Chancellor and supports the running of departmental, school or function events involving the public or external stakeholders.

The fund is inviting applications for events taking place before the start of Autumn Term 2018. You can bid for up to £1,000 by completing this short form explaining the objectives, focus and benefits of your event, (University log-in required) and emailing it to

The closing date for applications is Monday 9 April. We will aim to notify applicants of outcomes by Monday 16 April.

Approved funding will be allocated directly to the department, school, or function budget. A short post-event evaluation will be required.

Contact Sinead O’Flynn for more information.

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UCU industrial action: information for staff

The latest communication updates related to the UCU strike action are available on the staff portal. The UCU industrial action: information for staff page collates all updates, including links to the latest Frequently Asked Questions for students. This can be accessed easily from the staff portal homepage through the ‘Hot Topics’ section.

In any communication with students, please remind them that the strike will not affect all classes. Unless they have been told that a particular class has been cancelled, they should continue to attend as normal. Please encourage them to report any cancelled classes using the ‘Cancelled Class Form’.

See the staff portal for more information.

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Email accounts move online in March 2018

The email accounts of all University staff are being migrated to Microsoft’s Office 365 this March. The migration will begin 8.00 pm Friday 9 March and will continue over that weekend.

Following the migration, all emails and calendars will be stored in Office 365 (on Microsoft servers), instead of University managed servers. Mailboxes will automatically be increased to 50GB and there will be improvements to spam filtering.

If you use Outlook on Windows and macOS, you will be prompted to restart the application once your email has migrated. Mobile phone and tablet users are advised to download the Outlook app. Other mail clients, e.g. those using IMAP, will also work with Office 365.

Contact IT for more information.

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2026: TRANSFORM updates

Work will soon begin on two major projects under our ambitious 2026 TRANSFORM capital investment programme:

RUSU’s 3sixty refurbishment: Popular nightclub 3Sixty is getting a £2.9m refurbishment, with upgrades set to improve AV equipment, accessibility and décor. Work is due to begin late March and is expected to be complete by the start of the next academic year. Read the full story on the staff portal.
Contractor appointed for Health & Life Sciences project: Construction of our new Health & Life Sciences building will begin in late March, with completion expected by winter 2019. Read the full story on the staff portal.

Contact Communications for more information.

New Provost for University of Reading Malaysia

Dr Wing Lam has been appointed as the new Provost and Chief Executive Officer of University of Reading Malaysia, replacing Tony Downes, who will be retiring on Monday 30 April.

Wing brings diverse leadership experience in the areas of institution-building, transnational education and digital pedagogy – and was most recently the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of GlobalNxt University in Malaysia, part of the Manipal University Group.

Wing will join us once the contractual formalities have been completed, and plans to visit the UK before the end of this academic year to meet the Heads of School and other colleagues involved in our Malaysia campus.

See the staff portal for more information.

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EMA programme – one year on

The Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA) Programme began one year ago. This three-year programme aims to deliver the University’s long-term vision for online assessment and further improve the assessment experience for both students and staff.

Significant progress has been made over the last 12 months and an update on the project outlines what has been achieved and what colleagues can expect over the coming year. You may also like to view the new, short videos on the EMA website, which explore what the programme is delivering and show the new RISIS assessment reporting capabilities that are now available.

Contact the EMA team for more information.

Renewing our T&L Strategy 2018-21

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching & Learning, Professor Gavin Brooks, and the Teaching and Learning Strategy Board (TLSB) would like to thank the many colleagues from across Schools and Functions, the RUSU officers and some of our student course representatives who contributed over the autumn term to the consultation on a renewed Teaching and Learning Strategy.

TLSB are currently reviewing your feedback and will be developing the final T&L Strategy 2018-21 for launch in the summer term.

Contact Helen Williams for more information.

Potential rail disruption from 12 March

Staff commuting by train may wish to note the closure of the line between Newbury and Reading starting this month.

Work will take place over the following four working-day periods:

Monday 12 to Thursday 15 March
Monday 23 to Thursday 26 April
Monday 14 to Thursday 17 May
Monday 4 to Thursday 7 June
Monday 9 to Thursday 12 July
Monday 16 July to Sunday 5 August TBC
Tuesday 28 to Thursday 30 August
Monday 8 to Thursday 11 October
Monday 19 to Thursday 22 November

Departure times may change, so passengers are advised to check times before travelling.

See for more information.

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Occupational Health explained at coffee morning

Following the success of its first coffee morning last November, the newly-formed Staff Disability Network will be holding another informal coffee morning on Monday 26 March, 11.30 am – 12.30 pm, in room 125, Edith Morley.

The meeting will be themed around occupational health, and will include a short presentation from Dawn Grout, the University’s Occupational Health Advisor. Dawn will explain the services Occupational Health can provide, and there will be opportunities to discuss the theme further in smaller groups. We hope the session will be helpful for colleagues both with and without impairments and/or long-standing conditions. Please email the Staff Disability Network to register your interest.

Contact the Staff Disability Network for more information.

Edith Morley Lecture: VC in conversation with Polly Vacher MBE

Polly Vacher MBE is a University of Reading graduate whose motto is ‘never give up’. Seeking to raise money for charity, she challenged herself to learn sky-diving – setting off a chain of events that led to her becoming the first pilot to complete a solo flight around the world via both Poles in a single-engine aircraft; claim 3 world records and be awarded an MBE for her services to charity.

On Monday 5 March (6:30 pm, Van Emden Lecture Theatre, Edith Morley), Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell will interview Polly Vacher on her incredible achievements. Admission is free – book your place on the events registration page.

Contact Events for more information.

LGBT activist Jessica Lynn presents guest lecture

International public speaker and advocate Jessica Lynn will deliver an emotive guest lecture this month on her experiences as a parent and transgender woman.

Jessica visits university campuses around the world with an aim of highlighting the need for better social awareness and understanding towards transgender individuals. Her mission in educating students on her story is to reunite with her youngest son, who was taken from her due to her transgender status.

The lecture takes place on Friday 9 March, 6.00 pm, HBS G10. Book your place via Employee Self Service.

See the event poster for more information.

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Women@Reading Network announce 2018 events

Our Women@Reading Network recently announced a series of lunchtime events taking place across the year.

The events are open to all colleagues, irrespective of gender. All events run 1.00 pm – 2.00 pm, so please bring along your lunch (tea and coffee will be provided):

20 March: Thinking Fast and Slow (Professor Patricia Riddell)
3 May: Mindfulness at Work (Jenny Robinson)
29 May: Women in the Army (Colonel Colette MacDonald OBE)

Places can be booked within Employee Self Service via the ‘Training’ tab.

The Network plans to host events exploring topics including the gender pay gap and leadership under pressure – dates will be announced when available.

Contact Susan Thornton for more information.

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Reading Half Marathon, Sunday 18 March

The Reading Half Marathon returns on Sunday 18 March. Over 10,000 runners take part every year, including many of our staff and students.

Cheer runners on as they pass through campus: Come along and show your support! We’ve posted the route through campus on the staff portal so you’ll know where to stand.
Free health checks: The Reading School of Pharmacy will be offering free health checks for runners and supporters at the Madejski Stadium race village – head over to the University stand!
Support staff and students running for Cara: A funding page is accepting donations for those running in support of the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara) – all gifts are greatly appreciated.

See the staff portal for more information.

Events highlights

Highlights over the coming weeks include:

5 March –Edith Morley Lecture: VC in conversation with Polly Vacher (6.30 pm, Van Emden Lecture Theatre, Edith Morley)
9 March – Design for a Nation: V&A in the 21st Century (1.00 pm, G11, HBS)
9 March – Jessica Lynn’s Transgender Journey (6.00 pm, G10, HBS)
10 March – Ben Pedley Memorial Concert (7.30 pm, Great Hall, London Road)
12 March – The Great Debate: Engineering Better Food Systems (7.00 pm, G10, Palmer)
13 March – CELM public lecture: Celebrating Multilingualism (7.30 pm, Van Emden Lecture Theatre, Edith Morley)
14 March – Public Lecture - The Bee's Needs: How to Save the World's Pollinators (7.30 pm, G11, HBS)
21 March - Fairbrother Lecture: Would you let your phone tell you what to eat? (7.00 pm, G11, HBS)
29 March – 3 April: University closed (reopens 4 April)

Contact Events for more information.

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