21 January 2013

National Student Survey now open

The National Student Survey (NSS) 2013 is now open, so please encourage your final year students to participate.

NSS is an annual survey of over 400,000 students across the UK, which gives students the opportunity to express their opinions on their experience of university.  It is open to Queen’s students from today and will close on 30 April 2013.

The results of the survey are published to help prospective students decide what and where to study. At Queen’s, the NSS results are used to help us improve student services and facilities, learning and teaching and the wider student experience. The more students who complete the survey, the more representative are their responses.

The NSS is conducted by the market research organisation, Ipsos MORI.  It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete online and responses are completely anonymous. This year, students will be invited to participate, if they wish, in the Intentions after Graduation Survey.  This is a new pilot survey commissioned by HEFCE which asks students about their immediate intentions after graduating.

Eligible students can complete the survey online or via their smartphones at  They may also opt out of the survey at any point by contacting Ipsos MORI.  Students who complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw conducted on behalf of the University by Ipsos MORI with the opportunity to win an iPad.

If you have any queries about the survey, please contact Pat McNally, Educational Developer, CED, on 028 9097 1435 or by email

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Medical Research at Queen's: Wednesday 30 January

Staff can hear about the exciting medical research projects being led by Queen’s teams and their impact on improving patient outcomes at an event on Wednesday 30 January at Riddel Hall.

Speaking at the Medical Research at Queen's: Discovery to Recovery event are:
  • Professor Joe O’Sullivan, representing the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, who will speak about his team’s research into prostate cancer
  • Professor  Ian Young, representing the Centre for Public Health, who will discuss his work to reduce heart disease
  • Professor Danny McAuley, of the Centre for Infection and Immunity, who will share his work to find new ways to treat failing lungs, and
  • Professor Usha Chakravarthy, of the Centre for Vision and Vascular Sciences, who will outline how her research work into age-related macular degeneration can help to reduce sight loss.

Further information is available at: Medical Research Impact event  

The event will take place on Wednesday 30 January from 5.30pm.
Places are limited. Please express your interest in attending by emailing:

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Applications are invited from REF returnable academic and research staff across Queen’s for the award of small grants through the Improving Children’s Lives initiative.

The deadline for the submission of applications is 4.00pm on Friday 8 February 2013. More details can be found here.

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Copy deadline for Queen's Now

The copy deadline for the next edition of Queen's Now is Wednesday 23 January. Articles should be sent to
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RAG Charity applications now open

Applications are now open for local charities to apply to become one of RAG’s four chosen charities for the year.

RAG raises funds through voluntary donations which are distributed on an annual basis to local (preferably independent) charities.

If you are involved with, or know, a local charity that would be interested in applying, please forward the application form which is available to download by clicking on the link: RAG Charity Application Form 2013-2014 The closing date for submitting applications is Friday 22 February.

If you require further information, please contact Aidan Hughes, the Vice President Community, on 028 9097 1050 or

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Every year since 1908 International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on 8 March with events taking place throughout the month to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. The theme for 2013 is The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum.

To celebrate International Women's Day 2013, the IWD Committee of the Queen’s Gender Initiative will issue a Calendar of Events taking place around the University and externally.

If you are organising, or know of, an event in March that will mark International Women’s Day and would be of interest to staff, students or the general public - for example, conferences, debates, concerts/recitals, lunches, dinners, exhibitions or films - please let the Committee know.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 28 January, and the calendar will be distributed shortly afterwards.  Please email information, including the date, time, venue, target audience and a short summary of your event to or

Please also send through details of relevant events taking place outside Queen’s that you may know about and these may also be included on the calendar.

For further information on IWD, and to see the range or activities that took place last year around the world, please visit:

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Free Santander shares for staff

Santander is offering staff the chance to receive 10 Santander shares free of charge if you open a new Santander 123 Current Account, transfer from an existing Santander Current Account or switch from your current bank to the Santander 123 Current Account.
This offer is limited to the first 38 university staff whose application is processed through the Santander Queen’s University branch.
The Santander 123 Current Account gives cash back on your household bills and interest on your balance. To be eligible you must pay a £2 monthly account fee, fund the account with £500 a month and set up a minimum of two direct debits.  For cash back, household bills must be paid by direct debit.  
To contact the branch, call 055 1143 1212 or email the Branch Manager, Colm Quinn, at
For security reasons, please don’t include personal or account details in emails. You can also visit the branch from Monday to Friday, 10.00am-6.00pm, except on Wednesdays when the branch closes at 5.00pm.

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Queen’s Sport: Free off-peak entry for staff

Try Queen’s Sport
Queen’s Sport is offering free off-peak entry for staff from 21-27 January. Staff can avail of the fitness areas, swimming pool, racquet sports as well as off-peak classes. Off-peak membership runs Monday-Thursday, 6.30am-3.30pm, with full access all day Friday-Sunday.

An extra Lunchtime Zumba class will take place on Wednesday afternoon. You can book a class by phoning 028 9068 1126.

View the Winter Activity Programme:,364172,en.pdf

Queen's Sport also offers favourable membership rates for staff. Salary deduction payment options are available.

View all Staff Membership options:

Queen’s Sport Launch Back 2 Basics Programme - 12 week training challenge
Back 2 Basics is a new 12 week programme aimed at Beginner and Intermediate trainers. The programme concentrates on both fitness fundamentals; exercise and nutrition.

For further information, click here.

Special Introductory Price: Members: £200           Non Members: £350

New Year, New Programme
Enrolment is now open for Queen's Sport's Activity Programme which includes classes and courses to suit everyone.  Pilates, yoga (various types), swimming, climbing, boxing, Jive & Swing, and Ballet are just some of the courses offered at Queen’s Sport. The courses are open to Members and Non Members.

For further information, visit or contact reception on 028 9068 1126.

Queen's Sport Children's Activity Programme
There are limited places available on Queen’s Sport Children’s Climbing and Swimming Courses. For more information, please click here. For further information, visit or contact reception on 028 9068 1126.

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COST Funding Programme: talk by Dr Caroline Whelan (European Commission) Monday 11 February

Dr Caroline Whelan, Scientific Officer for the COST programme, will visit Queen's on Monday 11 February to give a presentation on COST.

COST ( is an intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, allowing the coordination of nationally-funded research on a European level. It does not fund research itself but research networks which are essential to plan future collaborative research, publish on specific research needs and influence future funding.

COST actions have a duration of four years, involving a minimum of five COST Member countries, and are organised through a range of networking tools, such as workshops, conferences, training schools, short-term scientific missions, publications, etc. The financial support averages EUR 130 000 per year.

Applicants from any type of institution can submit an Action proposal in any field of interest at any time of the year (continuous call). The coming collection date is 29 March 2013 (17.00 Brussels time).

The presentation will start at 12.00pm and will last one hour (a buffet lunch will be provided). To attend, please send an email to Lorraine Carew,, with your details (School, team, position, contact details) by Thursday 31 January. Venue information will be communicated to the registered attendees a week before the event.

If you are in the process of preparing a COST proposal, please email and it might be possible to arrange a small group discussion with Dr Whelan after the general presentation.

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Commercial Skills for Researchers: Thursday 21 February

The commercial exploitation of research is central to the 'Impact' agenda of the Research Councils. The Research and Enterprise Directorate has organised a training course aimed at academic and research staff with little or no commercial experience who are looking to acquire new skills to support commercial engagements and knowledge transfer.

Details are:

  • Thursday 21 February, 9.30am-4.00pm
    Target Audience: Research staff, academic staff
    Venue: Conference Room 2, Riddel Hall

For further information and to book a place on the workshop log onto Queen's Online - - then select Training Courses from the list on the left of the page.

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IT training courses

IT Courses for Semester 2 can be booked now, including dates for social media training. Places are available on the following courses:

  • Monday 4 February: Managing a University Social Media Site, 10.00am - 4.00pm
  • Tuesday 5 February: Adobe Photoshop 1: Basic Digital Image Editing, 9.30am - 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 6 February: Introduction to Social Media, 2.00pm - 5.00pm
  • Thursday 7 February: Making Best Use of Outlook 2010, 9.30am - 1.00pm
  • Tuesday 12 February: Word 1: Essentials (ECDL - Word Processing), 9.30am - 1.00pm
  • Wednesday 13 February: Introduction to CMS (web authoring), 10.00am - 1.00pm
  • Thursday 14 February: PowerPoint 2: Advanced, 9.30am - 12.30pm
  • Monday 25 February: Facebook for Beginners, 2.00pm - 5.00pm

To book a course, go to Queen’s Online – - and under ‘Other’ click Training Courses. Course dates are listed in this PDF file.  Course descriptions are available at

For more information, contact or 028 9097 6189. Twitter feed:

ECDL testing: The next test date is Wednesday 30 January, 12.00pm - 1.30pm. For inquiries about ECDL and ECDL Advanced, contact or 028 9097 6189.

Today’s Tip – Get more from Microsoft Word, for instance, use Heading styles to provide an automatic table of contents and cross-referencing. Materials are available at

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National Teaching Fellowship Scheme 2013 (NTFS)  - closing date 31 January 2013
The closing date for submitting applications to CED to be one of the University's nominees to the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme is 31 January 2013.

Further information and details on how to apply are available on the Centre for Educational Development website. If you have any queries about the Scheme, please contact Linda Carey, or 028 9097 3099, or Liz McDowell, or 028 9097 5301.

HEA Northern Ireland Bulletin
The HEA Northern Ireland Bulletin is designed to keep colleagues up to date on HEA news, events, resources and funding opportunities. Click here to access the bulletin.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
The following January courses are available for booking:

  • Wednesday 23 January: An Introduction to Queen’s Online for Learning & Teaching, 2.00pm – 5.00pm
  • Wednesday 23 January: The Dyslexic Student at University, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 23 January: Laboratory Demonstrating, 2.00pm - 5.00pm
  • Friday 25 January: Small Group Teaching, 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Wednesday 30 January: Preparing & Giving Lectures, Part 1: Tips and theory, 2.00pm – 5.00pm
  • Wednesday 6 February: Preparing & Giving Lectures, Part 2: Practical session in small groups, 2.00pm – 5.00pm

Please note that a decision is made one week in advance as to whether or not to run the course so early booking is advisable.

Registration is via Queen’s Online.  Full instructions for booking are on the website.  For information or for assistance with registration, please email the Centre at or telephone 028 9097 1447.

A full list of all CED events and courses together with further information can be accessed here.

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Places are available on the following courses:

STDU Courses

  • Friday 25 January: Understanding and Supporting Students with Mental Health Problems, 9.30am - 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 29 January: Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CoSHH), 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Monday 18 February: General Risk Assessment, 10.00am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 20 February: Handling Conflict for Support Staff, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Thursday 21 February: Motivating the Team for Supervisory Staff, 9.15am – 1.00pm
  • Tuesday 26 February: Writing Skills for Support Staff, 9.30am – 1.00pm

Researcher Development

  • Wednesday 23 January: Career Exploration for Researchers, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Monday 28 January: Turbocharging Your Writing, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Monday 28 January: Communicating the impact of your research, 2.00pm – 4.30pm
  • Wednesday 20 February: Writing Your Academic CV, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Thursday 21 February: Introduction to Qualitative Data Analysis Techniques, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Friday 22 February: Research Ethics for University Staff, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Wednesday 27 February: Induction for Research Staff, 9.00am – 4.30pm
  • Thursday 28 February: Intellectual Property Rights and Research, 9.30am – 5.00pm

Leadership and Management Development
Developing for Success: (Aimed at Professional Support staff Grade 8 and above and Academic Staff Grade AC3 and above)
Book now for February/March courses:

  • Tuesday 5 February: Managing Change in Higher Education
  • Wednesday 27 February: Introduction to Coaching as a Management Style
  • Tuesday 5 March: Project Management for non Project Managers
  • Tuesday 26 March: Creative Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making

View the full range of courses in STDU's online programme.

For further information on the above courses and to view all available courses, please select the following link:

To book a place on the above courses, log onto Queen's Online - - then select Training Courses from the list on the left of the page.

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