25 March 2019

People and Culture

Staff Survey 2019 launches this week

The 2019 Staff Survey will launch on Friday 29 March. 

Please have your say and share your honest feedback about your experience working at Queen’s.

The survey will be conducted by ORC International, an independent research organisation, who will email you directly in relation to completing the Survey. Responses are strictly confidential and cannot be traced back to you individually. 

Over the last year, there has been lots of change taking place within People and Culture – and across Queen's. Here is a video that reflects on some of our progress so far. We know there is a lot more to do, and that is why we need you to keep engaging and keep giving your opinion.

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The survey will run for three weeks, closing on Thursday 18 April.

At Queen's, we are committed to putting our people at the centre of everything we do. Our People and Culture Strategy, People First, sets out our commitments to make Queen's a great place to work and listening to what our staff have to say plays an important role in achieving this.



Student Development

Development Weeks: May 2019 activities

Staff are asked to encourage students to browse and book the wide range of Development Weeks activities available on the website.

Please note: students can achieve Degree Plus Accreditation in a number of ways by taking part in Development Weeks. Please see the website for more information.

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Eighty-six proposals have been received for the May 2019 Development Weeks, from both staff and students, including internships, workshops, masterclasses and information sessions. All are viewable on the website.

The Development Weeks team have circulated a Social Media Toolkit to key contacts across the University to aid promotion and would appreciate as much support as possible in promoting the Programme of Events with the hashtag #TrySomethingNew.

If you haven't received the toolkit but can help with promotion, please contact developmentweeks@qub.ac.uk.


Research Policy

REF 2021: Staff feedback survey on draft Code of Practice

An online survey has been launched to receive feedback from staff on the University's draft Code of Practice for REF 2021.

All UK higher education institutions (HEIs) submitting to REF 2021 are required to develop, document and apply a Code of Practice on the fair and transparent identification of eligible staff and selection of their outputs.

Full details on the University's draft Code of Practice, including links to the relevant documentation and online survey, can be accessed via the University's internal REF 2021 webpages.


Student Experience

Postgraduate Experience Surveys, March – June 2019

The University has launched the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES), from Tuesday 5 March – Friday 17 May 2019, and the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES), from Tuesday 19 March – Friday 14 June.

Staff are asked to please take any opportunity to remind students how valuable their feedback is, and to complete the surveys. 

For further information, please contact The Graduate School: graduateschool@qub.ac.uk.

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Students will have received emails from The Graduate School with an individual link to their survey into their Queen's email account. There are prizes available for students who take part.

This is a national survey primarily for the purpose of enhancing the research student experience. Responses will be combined with those of other postgraduates to tell us what is working well, and to help inform improvements to the postgraduate experience. The aggregated results are also used nationally to help advise policy and improve the postgraduate experience across the sector.



Parenting NI – Raising your Child's Self-Esteem

Parenting NI will hold a talk for parents on Thursday 11 April at 1.00pm on how to help raise the self-esteem of your child. The talk will include tips on issues that children face in relation to their self-esteem.

Please register here. Refreshments will be provided. The venue will be confirmed upon registration.

Close up of the letters PhD in gold on a blue book cover


Theses Digitisation Project

The Library at Queen's is undertaking a new initiative to retrospectively digitise theses of the University.

One hundred of the most heavily used theses will be digitised and uploaded to Pure, making them available online, free of charge, through Queen's Research Portal.

The purpose of this special project is to widen access to these theses, which are a vital source of research. The theses span a wide array of disciplines and it is anticipated that they will be accessible online by late summer 2019.

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This initiative is envisaged as the first phase of a long-term project that will see further print theses digitised in the future.

For those who do not wish their thesis to be digitised, we run a take-down policy. See our blog entry for further details.

If you require additional information about the thesis digitisation project, contact the Institutional Repository Officer, Dr Michael O'Connor: michael.oconnor@qub.ac.uk.



Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 2019

Queen's Annual Learning and Teaching Conference will be held in the Peter Froggatt Centre on Wednesday 17 April.

This year's theme is 'Shaping Change in an Educational Setting'.

Registration is now open. Please visit the conference website for more information.


The Conversation

Writing for a Public Audience

The Conversation's Health and Medicine Editor, Clint Witchalls, will visit Queen's on Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 April, to advise and support Queen's academics interested in sharing their research via the outlet, which has over 8 million readers each month globally.

Two sessions are available:

  • Tuesday 2 AprilWriting for a Public Audience, Lanyon Building. Register here
  • Wednesday 3 AprilWriting for a Public Audience, Wellcome-Wolfson Institute. Register here.

To discuss your idea or research with Clint Witchalls individually, please contact Judith or Siân in the Communications Office, as one-to-one sessions are available: 028 9097 3672 / comms.office@qub.ac.uk.

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The sessions will begin with an overview of The Conversation – what it is, its aims and objectives, and why you should write for it. It will then cover how to write – tips on style, tone and structure, and finding the news value. 

Further information on The Conversation, including upcoming events and the benefits of writing, is available on Queen's Conversation page.

The Conversation icon


The Conversation

Please see below for the latest Queen's articles published in The Conversation. Click on the link to read.

If you are interested in writing for The Conversation, or contributing to the Anthill Podcast, contact comms.office@qub.ac.uk to find out more.



QPOL Policy Engagement and Research Blog

Below are recent staff articles on QPol. To submit an article, email Kevin at qpol@qub.ac.uk



Imagine Belfast Festival 2019

The 2019 Imagine Belfast Festival runs from Monday 25 – Sunday 31 March. There are lots of events taking place on campus. Please register here.

  • Event: Imagine: the UK's Future Relationship with the EU, Wednesday 27 March, 1.00pm – 5.00pm, Canada Room and Council Chamber.
    Please register here.

Queen's is once again one of the main funders of the festival, thanks to support from the AHSS Faculty, the Mitchell Institute, the School of Law and the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics.



2019 Spring Fulbright Roadshow

Fulbright will be visiting Queen's on Tuesday 9 April as part of the 2019 Spring Fulbright Roadshow to promote Fulbright Irish Awards opportunities for 2020/2021. 

The Fulbright Irish Awards provide grants for Irish citizens to research, study, or lecture in the USA. 

The presentation is open to staff, researchers, undergraduates and postgraduates and will take place at 11.00am in Room TR6, Graduate School.

For more information and to register, please follow this link.



ERC Events at Queen's

European Research Council (ERC) is a pan-European funding body which supports frontier research from any discipline.

Staff are invited to the Annual ERC Seminar at Queen's, to be held on Tuesday 2 April from 12.00pm until 2.00pm, to find out more about ERC and eligibility.

The seminar will feature talks and discussion with ERC grant holders based at Queen's and other UK universities.

Please register here. A light lunch will be provided.

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ERC writing workshop
Research Development will host an ERC writing workshop on Wednesday 17 April for Queen's applicants to the 2019 and 2020 calls. The workshop will be delivered by Yellow Research. Further details, including registration, are available here.

Queen's crest on main gate with Lanyon building in the background


Reflections Newsletter

The next issue of Reflections is due to be published in June 2019. For this edition, the Centre for Educational Development are particularly interested in hearing about the work being carried out within Communities of Practice. This might involve working with colleagues or students in your School, your Faculty, across the University or outside the University.

If you are interested in submitting an article about your work, please submit an expression of interest (for planning purposes) to e.mcdowell@qub.ac.uk by Friday 29 March. The deadline for article submission is Tuesday 30 April.

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Contributions can take the form of a one or two-page article (approx 750 words per page) or a shorter 'newsflash' item, (approx 300-450 words).

Images and photos to accompany your contribution are very welcome, but please ensure you have the written permission from those included in photos for use within Reflections (in hard copy and in the electronic version on the website).

If you would like some further information please contact Liz McDowell / 028 9097 5301.




This year's McCosh Lecture will take place on Friday 10 May from 2.00pm – 4.30pm in the Great Hall. All are welcome. Registration is not required. 

The guest speaker will be Onora O'Neill CH CBE FRS FBA FMedSci, Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge and Former President of the British Academy.

The title of her lecture is 'What Ought We Do?'.

For further information please contact theology@qub.ac.uk.



Irish Language Speakers' Circle

All staff are invited to the next Irish Language Speakers Circle on Friday 29 March in Junction Café, for an hour of conversation as Gaeilge

Ciorcal Comhrá, ag bualadh le chéile i Junction san Fhoirgneamh MST, Aoine 29ú Marta, 12.00pm – 1.00pm iarnóin. Caint. Caifé. Craic! Bígí linn! Teagmháil / Contact Michael Pierse for more information: m.pierse@qub.ac.uk.

There are five simple steps to help maintain and improve your wellbeing: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. The Irish Language Speakers' Circle can help staff to Connect and Keep Learning. Keep up to date with the Irish Language Speakers' Circle on Facebook.



Cancer Research in Northern Ireland: Creating a Brighter Future Together

  • Cancer Research in Northern Ireland: Creating a Brighter Future Together: Tuesday 26 March, 4.30pm – 6.30pm, Belfast City Hospital, Postgraduate Lecture Theatre

Staff are invited to this event to hear about new advances in cancer treatment and how you can get involved and influence cancer research.

This is a free event and open to the public. Download the event poster here.

The full programme can be viewed here.


The Graduate School

Innovation After Hours, with Camilla Long

The next event in the Innovation After Hours series takes place on Thursday 4 April from 6.00pm – 8.00pm in The Graduate School Social Space.

For more information and to book, please see the Eventbrite page. Food and refreshments will be provided.

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Camilla Long is a facilitator with the people-development agency that she co-founded in 2015, Bespoke Communications. In this talk, Camilla will discuss how you can push yourself out of your comfort zone, moving on from the mediocre, and how to bring your best self to your brightest opportunities.

Innovation After Hours is a chance to meet up with people who are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship and to be inspired by those who are working on interesting ventures. A casual meet-up open to everyone.

The lanyon building with views of Belfast in the background


Estates Directorate – Week Ahead

Details of ongoing works being carried out across the University campus can be found on the Estates Directorate webpage.

For information, please follow this link.




McClay Library Phase 3 Expansion Project

The McClay Library Phase 3 Expansion Project is now well underway. This project will realise a significant number of additional PCs and study seats in the library and involves the following key elements:

  • The courtyard area on the ground floor (behind Borrower Services and Short Loan) is being re-developed to provide over 100 PCs and nine additional group study rooms.
  • The student lounge on the ground floor will be doubled in size. 

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  • A new silent study room with 67 seats will be created at the bottom of the atrium.
  • Additional study seats and PCs will be added to floors 1 and 3.

Work will continue throughout the spring and summer period. The extended facility will be available to students from autumn 2019.

Monthly updates are posted on the Library blog. In the meantime, please contact library@qub.ac.uk with any feedback or questions.


Arts and Entertainment

Music Events

Please see upcoming music events below. More information on all events can be found on the School of Arts, English and Languages website. All events are free, everybody is welcome.

Workshop | Audition Technique with Sestina Music, Wednesday 27 March, 1.00pm, Harty Room

Learning the skills to deliver a great audition is essential for all musicians. In this workshop, Sestina's Musical Director, Mark Chambers, will coach singers on their audition pieces as well as working on general audition technique such as body language and presentation.

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Concert | Flowers for the Graces – Sestina Music, Thursday 28 March, 1.10pm, Harty Room. 

A quartet of Sestina singers perform madrigals ancient and modern to include Four Madrigals by Ned Rorem, Britten's Flower Songs and Renaissance madrigals by Lassus and de Rore.

Concert | Celebrity Recital – Paul and Huw Watkins, Thursday 28 March, 7.30pm, Harty Room. 

This Celebrity Recital offers a classic chamber programme of old and new for cello and piano, and marks a welcome return to Belfast for the Watkins brothers: Huw Watkins is a regular visitor to Music at Queen's as pianist and composer, while Paul is cellist of the world-renowned Emerson Quartet, and a former Chief Guest Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra.


Arts and Entertainment

Concert – Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble

  • Wednesday 27 March: Across the Pond, 7.30pm – 10.00pm, Harty Room

Queen's Ensemble in Residence Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble (HRSE) continue to celebrate their fifth anniversary with this concert of chamber music with a strong USA thread.

USA works to be performed include Elliott Carter's monumental and challenging Triple Duo, alongside a new commission and new work from Northern Ireland-based composers Piers Hellawell and Greg Caffrey, and Winter Reflections from Connecticut-born Irish composer (and HRSE's 2018/19 Featured Composer) Jane O'Leary.

Please follow this link for full information and booking.



Final Offers from the SU Shop Offer Booklets

Final Offers available to staff from the SU Shop Offer Booklets:

  • Save 25% off Totum NUS Extra discount card and benefit from discounts on many products from a variety of retailers and travel including worldwide flights. Please see here for more information.
  • Save 20% off selected Queen's-branded notebooks and files.

For these offers and more, pop over to the SU Shop on Elmwood Avenue (just behind the old Students' Union Building).


Arts and Entertainment

Queen's Film Theatre listings

Please see this week's QFT listings below. Staff ticket price: £5. Full film details are viewable on the QFT website.

IMAGINE! FESTIVAL: The Imagine! Festival comes to QFT with Black Staff and Students Matter!, No Stone Unturned + Discussion, On Her Shoulders and It Is Not the Homosexual Who is Perverse but the Society in Which He Lives + Discussion.

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US: After sending shockwaves across contemporary culture and setting a new standard for provocative, socially-conscious horror films with his directorial debut Get Out, writer/director Jordan Peele returns with another original nightmare. 

EVERYBODY KNOWS: Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, and Ricardo Darín are at their very best in this captivating tale of suspicion, money, and kin from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, The Salesman). 

THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER: Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a career-best performance as a kindergarten teacher who finds herself in an ethical quagmire after discovering the poetic talents of a precocious student.



Arts and Entertainment

Seamus Heaney Centre

  • Annual lecture by Ireland Chair of Poetry, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, 'Instead of a Shrine: Poetry and Ritual': Thursday 28 March, 7.00pm – 8.00pm, McMordie Hall, Music Building, Queen's University

This event is free, but RSVP to irelandchairofpoetry@gmail.com.

Other upcoming events and news are listed in the latest SHC newsletter, here.

Subject to Change exhibition

Arts and Entertainment

Naughton Gallery News

EXHIBITION | Subject to Change
Running until Sunday 7 April.

New York-based collaborative artists Loney Abrams and Johnny Stanish's exhibition Subject to Change looks at how hybrid bodies – chimeras, monsters, cyborgs, avatars – can be useful metaphors for 'The Other' in society, and can help us imagine the breakdown of barriers between binaries like us/them, self/other, human/non-human, sex/gender, and natural/artificial. The artists will exhibit new sculptural works that materialise video game avatars, contextualised within both scientific and feminist critical discourse.

male lecturer annotating notes on a projection screen



Introduction to Research Data Management and Open Research Data: Thursday 28 March, 11.00am – 12.00pm, Seminar Room, 63 University Road

This training is open to academic and research staff. The session will cover the responsibilities of researchers in terms of data management practices. It will also give an overview of the facilities the University has put in place to support researchers, to help them to both securely archive unpublished data, and ensure published datasets meet the demands from research funders and publishers for data to be discoverable, citable and reusable.

Staff interested in attending this session should email rdm@qub.ac.uk.



Mediasite EXPRESS Training

Mediasite is a rich media platform managed and supported by Information Services. It gives University staff the ability to create, manage and distribute video content, presentations and rich media for use on the web.

Mediasite will become the main video tool for lectures and educational content. Fundamental knowledge of this service is essential for use in Queen's new VLE (Canvas), as video supported content grows within the University.

Mediasite Express Training is now available throughout March and April. No prior knowledge of video editing is required. For more details, and to book your place, please visit iTrent Self Service.

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This course will demonstrate a wide range of Mediasite features including:

  • Collaborative online space to create and manage your media
  • Editing, publishing and sharing your content
  • Managing permissions with your class or external parties
  • Adding links and chapters
  • Including polls or quizzes in your video content
  • Tagging your content (for search)
  • Online editor
  • The use of captioning (subtitling your content)

Attendees should have basic IT skills and be familiar with the Windows / Mac environment.



Canvas VLE

Canvas is Queen's new, University-wide Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and will enable us to move towards active blended learning, meeting the needs and ambitions of a diverse digital student body and enhancing the student experience.

Assistance is available 24/7/365 to staff and students via phone, email and live chat from the Canvas Support Team.

For more information, please visit the website.


Continuing Professional Development


A number of Centre for Educational Development courses for the 2018-19 academic year are now open for booking and listed on iTrent self-service

For up-to-date information, please follow CED on Twitter or check the CED website.

  • Wednesday 27 March: Using TurnitinUK Originality Checking Software, 2.00pm – 4.30pm

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  • Friday 12 April: QuestionMark (For Computer Assisted Assessment), 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 16 April: An overview of Queen's MyFuture Career Management System: Tools and System features of Faculty Manager and Student Accounts, 2.00pm – 3.00pm
  • Wednesday 15 May: Using the TurnitinUK Originality Checking Software, 2.00pm – 4.30pm
  • Friday 14 June: QuestionMark (For Computer Assisted Assessment) , 9.30am – 12.30pm.
Computer image


IT Training Courses

Please see below details of upcoming IT training courses, now available to book on iTrent.

Course dates can be viewed here.

Tip of the day
Did you know Microsoft Publisher comes with the Office suite of applications? To create posters, leaflets, etc, enrol on the course on Tuesday 9 April (below).

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Places are available on the following courses:

  • Wednesday 27 March: Introduction to Mediasite, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Tuesday 9 April: Diagrams Made Easy with Microsoft Publisher, Word and PowerPoint, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Thursday 11 April: Working with SharePoint (for Site Contributors), 9.30am – 11.29am
  • Thursday 11 April: Working with SharePoint (for Site Administrators), 11.30am – 1.30pm
  • Monday 15 April: Twitter for Beginners, 9.30am – 11.30am
  • Tuesday 16 April: Facebook for Beginners, 2.00pm – 4.30pm
  • Wednesday 1 May: Outlook: Making Best Use of Outlook and Exchange, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Wednesday 1 May: LinkedIn for Beginners, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

To register your interest in taking ECDL or ECDL Advanced, email ecdl@qub.ac.uk. For more information on ECDL: go.qub.ac.uk/ecdlqub


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