In Brief
In Brief December 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.
University of Reading logo white decoration and lettering to red background

VC recruitment – 12 candidates in the long-list

The Selection Committee overseeing the appointment of the University’s new Vice-Chancellor has identified a long-list of 12 candidates. They are drawn from a strong pool of candidates, all of whom have significant academic backgrounds and experience of senior leadership roles in universities. Two of the long-listed candidates are women.

Odgers Berndtson UK, an external agency assisting with the recruitment, will now speak with the candidates to explore further their interest in the role. It will report to the Selection Committee in January 2019, with shortlisting due on 24 January.

Two rounds of interview will follow – the first by three separate panels of students, academic colleagues and professional/managerial colleagues on 14 February, followed by the Selection Committee interview on 15 February. The University Council will approve the appointment by early March.

The 2018 Staff Survey - final chance to contribute

The 2018 Staff Survey closes at 09:00 on Monday 10 December. We want to hear from as many colleagues as possible, so please complete the survey if you haven’t already. You can complete the survey online, on paper or over the telephone with a trained member of Capita Surveys team.

More information is available on the 2018 Staff Survey webpage. Your response is completely confidential and is being managed by Capita Surveys & Research.

Our People Plan Programme is already working on the feedback from the 2017 Staff Survey, and we shared updates from the different projects earlier this year.

Requests for information from the police

Colleagues are advised that the Information Management and Policy Services team are now responsible for all information requests from police. If you receive such a request from the police, please refer to the IMPS team immediately.

In some instances, requests can be time-sensitive so please ensure these are referred on at the earliest opportunity.

European Union glaf gold stars to blue background

EU Settlement Scheme pilot

EU citizens and non-EU family members of EU citizens working in the higher education sector can now register to take part in an EU Settlement Scheme pilot. Those participating can make an early application for a new UK immigration status to continue to live and work in the UK after the end of the planned implementation period on 31 December 2020.

An application fee of £65 will be charged for those 16 or over but is free if the applicant has a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to enter or remain. The University Executive Board has agreed that the cost of the application fee, where applicable, can be re-claimed as an expense in the normal way.

More information on the Staff Portal.

Funding available for Events and D&I activities

The Acting Vice-Chancellor has allocated £10,000 from the University’s Endowment Fund to support staff and students running departmental, school or function events taking place between Monday 14 January and Friday 14 June 2019. Events which include participation from local communities, public or external stakeholders are particularly encouraged. More information on the Staff Portal.

A separate fund for Diversity and Inclusion initiatives is also inviting applications. A funding of between £500 and £1000 is available. Projects can be led from anywhere across the University that would benefit from a small amount of funding to either support staff time, produce materials for teaching, recruitment or support, or to hold an event with a diversity and inclusion relevance. More information on the Staff Portal.

Apply for Research Output Prize 2019

Applications are now open for the Research Output Prize 2019. The prizes will be given at the meeting of University Court in March.

The Research Output Prize recognises and celebrates excellent research work by early career researchers. One prize will be awarded for each Research Theme.

Researchers may submit their own work or might be nominated by others. Research Division Leaders will define a mechanism to select the best output from the Division to be put forward for consideration for the prize.

The deadline for submission is 17:00 on 18 January 2019 – so if you would like to submit or nominate an output for consideration, contact your Research Division Leader well in advance of that date.

More information on the Staff Portal.

Registration for Teaching and Learning conference open

Building an Academic Community is the theme of the 2019 Teaching and Learning Conference, scheduled to take place on 23 January 2019 (9:30-16:00) at the Meadow Suite.

Key strands will be:

Student-Staff Partnerships in Teaching and Learning
Implementing the Academic Tutor System

Keynote speakers are:

Dr Catherine Bovill, Senior Lecturer in Student Engagement, University of Edinburgh
Dr Alison Stenton, Senior Tutor, University of Oxford

More information or to register here.

Christmas closure logo white lettering to black background

University closure over Christmas

The University will close for Christmas from 22 December 2018 until 2 January 2019. The pay date for this month will be 20 December 2018.

Several student services will remain open outside of term time:

Student Support Centres open 09:00 - 16:00 (closed 22 December - 2 January).
Student Helpdesk, Carrington open 09:00 - 17:00 Monday - Thursday and 09:00 - 16:30 Friday (closed 22 December - 2 January).
Student Financial Support, Carrington will hold final drop-in session on 19 December, 09:30 - 12:00. Sessions recommence 3 January.
Counselling & Wellbeing and Disability Advisory Service will run until 21 December and resumes on 2 January.
Careers and Employability will run until 16:30 21 December (closed until 2 January).
Library and URS Building opening times vary between 15 December and 11 January.

Contact Communications for more information.

Newsletter about environmental legislation

Environmental Legislation Update is an annual newsletter that distils new, updated and important legislation into a jargon-free and easy-to-read format. The newsletter aims to update you on legislation related to the environment and the University’s core operations. It also signposts additional information should you want to read more. The 2018 edition of the newsletter can be found here.

Further information about environmental management can be found on the University’s Sustainability Services webpage.

Colour photographic view of exterior of University of Reading Malaysia Campus

Presentations from NUIST, UoRM sessions

Colleagues from across the University attended the information sessions on NUIST-Reading Academy and University of Reading Malaysia (UoRM) in November. The NUIST-Reading Academy session talked about the partnership, employment opportunities in Nanjing and a new seed fund of £100,000 that the two institutions have put together to develop transnational research collaborations or support existing ones.

The UoRM session was led by its Provost, Professor Wing Lam. He talked about the higher education landscape in Malaysia, our challenges and how we are dealing with these.

Prospective student reception at Carrington Building

Global Recruitment and Admissions (GRA) have launched a new Prospective Student Reception facility in the ground floor of Carrington. Staffed Monday to Friday, (09:00-17:00), it has GRA staff available to discuss studying and life at the University, programme information, entry requirements, application process and next steps once an applicant has received an offer to study.

If you have any prospective students (both pre-applicants and applicants) visiting your department or Support Centre, please encourage them to visit us at Carrington.

Contact Katherine O’Sullivan for further information.

Never Ok logo white lettering to orange background

#NeverOK campaign and updated policy on harassment

#NeverOK is the University's joint campaign with RUSU highlighting our shared values of respect, tolerance and inclusivity and identifying behaviours that will not be tolerated on our campuses. We have also updated our policy and procedures around Harassment and Bullying and associated reporting and support.

The campaign and new policy and procedures follow a Universities UK Taskforce report that examined violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting students. A number of UK universities have used #NeverOK nationally.

Clearer information about contracts

If your work requires you to have a contract in place with another organisation, it is now much easier to find the right department to help you. In response to the feedback that it is not always clear from whom contract advice should be sought, Procurement, Research and Enterprise Services (RES) and Legal Services have produced a directory detailing whom to contact to put different types of contract in place. Please familiarise yourself with this document.

Colour photograph of vehicle fuel gauge

Changes to fuel allowance - use new form

The University has updated its policy on mileage rates to reflect the changes made by HM Revenue as part of its quarterly review of fuel allowance. The changes affect staff who have purchased cars using the salary sacrifice scheme and is reflected in the updated Finance Expenses Claim Form (Version 2.20) and the Online Expenses Tool.

Please use the latest claim form to submit any claim. Finance will accept the previous form (Version 2.19) up to 30 September 2018, but after that date Accounts Payable will process only the latest version. This allows sufficient time for claims already in progress to be completed, approved and delivered to Accounts Payable.

Contact Accounts Payable for more information.

University Christmas card type blocks to snow covered background

Christmas card and coffee mug now available

A Christmas themed cup is now available for sale at all major catering outlets. The limited edition cup featuring Santa Claus on his way to deliver presents costs only £4. Grab one quickly before they all go!

A digital version of the University's Christmas card is now also available. It features metal type from printing collection housed in the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication. You can download the card here.

Blackwell's Christmas Shopping Week

Next week (10-14 December) Blackwell’s on campus will be offering an exclusive 15% discount to Reading University staff on full priced items in shop. This applies to all stock in the shop and books ordered through the shop. Blackwell's will be open all week from 09:00 to 17:00 with staff on hand to help with any enquiries. From law to lemurs a range of books are on sale - so take advantage of this offer.

Also, please note that Blackwell's will be going cashless from 2 January 2019

Colour photograph of four rowers standing in ocean-going canoe

Heads Together and Row

Next week, a team of four amateur rowers known as Heads Together and Row will set off on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2018, a 3,000-mile ocean row said to be the world’s toughest. Their headline partner is Henley Business School and they are the focus of a research project led by Henley academics, looking at individual and team resilience.

The crew are aiming to break the world record for a mixed-fours crossing, which is 56 days, and are raising money for mental health charities. The race, from the Canary Islands to Antigua, is due to start on Wednesday 12 December. Henley will be posting regular updates on its website and social media channels.

Contact Henley Business School for more information.

Events highlights

Events over the coming weeks include:

10 December 2018: Wassail!, 19:00, Christ Church, Reading.
12 December 2018: Cole Museum Christmas Fayre, 14:00-17:00, AMS Tower Foyer, Whiteknights Campus.
17 December 2018: Children's Christmas Lecture, 16:30-17:30, G10, Palmer building, Whiteknights campus.
22 December 2018: University closed until 02 January 2019

Contact Events for more information.

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