2 March 2015

Latest video message from the Vice-Chancellor

To watch the latest video blog from the Vice-Chancellor, please click here.

A transcript of the video is available on the Vice-Chancellor's blog page.

Return to Top

Imagine! 2015 Festival of Ideas & Politics

Academics from Queen's are part of the lineup for the inaugural Imagine! 2015 Festival of Ideas & Politics which runs from Monday 9 March to Sunday 15 March.

Designed to celebrate and support the role of the citizen in political and cultural life, the Festival will include talks, theatre, workshops, film, humour and lively debate. It is an opportunity for people to have their say and engage with some of the big issues impacting on our lives in a fun and dynamic way.

For further information, visit:

Return to Top

Academic to star on BBC Horizon

Dr Chris Watson from the Astrophysics Research Centre will have a starring role on BBC Horizon tomorrow night, when he describes how astronomers find planets around other stars.

Dr Watson explains how observations of planets orbiting other stars have transformed our views about how our own solar system was born and evolved. These new planets are breaking all the rules, and point to a tale of chaos.

Chris Watson will be featured in Horizon on BBC2 on Tuesday 3 March at 9.00pm.

Return to Top

Team Pedometer Challenge starts today

Over 75 teams have signed up to take part in the Pedometer Challenge which starts today.

Over the next four weeks, the teams will be competing to see who can clock up the most steps. We'll be providing weekly updates in the Round Up on which team is topping the leaderboard.

The Challenge is organised by the Wellbeing and Environmental Teams, with the money raised being donated to local charity, TinyLife.

For further information, click here.

Return to Top

Climate Week and Tree Planting Event

Climate Week starts today and staff are encouraged to focus on ways to reduce their carbon footprint. For details of what is happening during the week, click here.

Woodland Trust Tree Planting Event (10 March, 12.00pm – 2.00pm)
The University has been given over 400 trees to plant on the Estate, and the Environmental Team needs your help to plant them. If you would like to take part, click here to register.

All equipment and lunch will be provided. Please wear sturdy footwear and dress appropriately for the event. More details will be sent out to attendees closer to the time. If you have any queries please, email

Return to Top

Appointments Procedure

The University has recently reviewed its Appointments Procedure, updating the procedure and creating a more streamlined and usable document. The general principles and process for recruitment remain the same. The procedure will be used for recruitment commencing 1 March 2015 onwards. The document can be accessed here.

An online refresher training package for Selection Interviewing is also available via Queen’s Online, located under 'Other' then 'Online Training'.

Return to Top

The Conversation

Three Queen's articles have been published in The Conversation this week:

If you are interested in writing for The Conversation, email

Return to Top

March 2014 – Stop Smoking!

Everybody has their own personal reason for wanting to give up smoking, whether it is to be healthier, to get fit, or to save money. There's a lot of free support available at Queen’s to help you on your road to quitting, including two events this month:

  • Quit Clinics: Wednesday 11 March, 9.30am – 12.00pm, MBC Foyer, and Thursday 12 March, 9.30am – 12.00pm, PFC Foyer. Run by Occupational Health Service. You do not need to register  just drop by for professional support and advice on smoking cessation.
  • Presentation  “3 Ways to Stop Smoking”: Wednesday 11 March, 1.00pm – 1.40pm, MBC, Teaching Centre Room 102 (lunch will be available for attendees). 

For full details, visit the Staff Wellbeing website.

Return to Top

Celebrating International Women's Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on or around 8 March when thousands of events are held around the world to celebrate the achievements of women, to inspire women and to call for greater equality.

The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science will host an International Women's Day event on Wednesday 4 March, 10.00am – 1.30pm, in Riddel Hall. Three guest speakers, Mrs Nikki Cole, Dr Tim Minshall and Dr Leah Ridgway, will talk about their experiences with perceptions and “tropes” of women in Engineering and what we can do to encourage more women to join and stay in Engineering.

If you would like to attend, please register here.

Return to Top

First and Second Year Experience Surveys 2015

The First and Second Year Experience Surveys 2015 are now open and staff are asked to encourage their first and second year students to participate. Students can only access the online questionnaire by following the unique link in the email invitation sent to their Queen's email address from
To generate reliable results, it is important that the highest possible response rates are achieved. Students who complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw with the opportunity to win one of four prizes of £25. The surveys will close on 1 May 2014.
For further information, contact Pat McNally (Careers, Employability and Skills), 028 9097 1435,
Return to Top

Postgraduate Experience Surveys

This year, the University will participate in two national postgraduate surveys:
  • The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES), which collects feedback on the experiences of current postgraduate research (PGR) students. Launches 2 March, closing 14 May.
  • The Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES), which collects feedback on the experiences of current postgraduate taught (PGT) students. Launches 18 March, closes 18 June.
During the survey periods, PGR and PGT students will receive a series of emails, unique to them, requesting that they complete the survey questionnaires.
Supervisors, lecturers and other staff are asked to encourage their PGR and PGT students to participate.
Return to Top

Blood Transfusion Service on campus this week

The Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service will be in The Space in the Students' Union from Monday 2 to Wednesday 4 March between 10.30am  1.00pm and 2.15pm  5.00pm for anyone wanting to give blood.

Return to Top

Diabetes Research Information Evening

Interested in finding out more about diabetes? Staff are invited to attend an information evening on the Queen’s diabetes research programmes in the Canada Room on Tuesday 24 March from 7.00pm – 9.00pm.
The evening will include an overview of the current research from Professor Timothy Lyons, followed by brief talks from doctors and researchers working to prevent and cure diabetes and its complications. Following the short presentations there will be an opportunity to meet the clinicians and researchers.
To register your attendance, please email by Tuesday 10 March.
Return to Top

Changes to Visitor Parking

To assist with Visitor Parking, Estates have made some changes to the current booking process. Please click here for more information.

Return to Top

School of Law Bake Off

Raising money for Comic Relief as part of the Great Comic Relief Bake Off, the School of Law will host a Bake Off and Coffee Morning on Monday 9 March, 10.00am – 11.30am, in the Old Staff Common Room. All are welcome to attend.

Return to Top

Queen's Sport

Queen’s Staff Membership
Staff memberships can be paid via salary deduction which means NO admin fees. For more information, click here or to book a tour, email
Queen’s 5K 2015
The Race Around the River will take place on Wednesday 25 March. For more information on the race and to enter, click here.
Mixed Touch Rugby
The inaugural Mixed Touch Rugby Competition starts on Friday 6 March. The competition will run over four weeks on the PEC artificial pitch and teams are made up of six with four males and two females. The cost is £5 per person. For more information, please email
Return to Top

The Welcome Centre

Brooke and Shoals, a pure organic and Irish-made range, is now available at the Welcome Centre. With their premium scented-candles and diffusers, natural body products and special gift-sets, they will make the perfect present. Fragrances include White Lily and Ylang Ylang; Lavender Cyclamen and Sea Salt; and Green Fig and Vetiver Wood.

Return to Top


This week at QFT:
THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL: The follow-up to John Madden’s phenomenally successful comedy about a group of British retirees living the high life in India.
IT FOLLOWS: A stylish, suspenseful horror in the tradition of Ring and John Carpenter's original Halloween. The film follows 19-year-old Jay who is terrorised by a spectral figure after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter.
THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY: Forget Fifty Shades of Grey, Peter Strickland’s latest film reconfigures the vintage erotic melodrama into something altogether deeper and darker – the story of an amateur butterfly expert whose wayward desires test her lover’s tolerance.
RSC LIVE LOVE’S LABOURS WON: Christopher Luscombe directs the second of Shakespeare’s matching pair of comedies that rejoice in our capacity to find love in the most unlikely places.
A WORLD NOT OURS: An intimate, humorous portrait of three generations in exile in the refugee camp of Ein el-Helweh in southern Lebanon. The film is introduced by Cahal McLaughlin, Head of Film Studies at Queen’s University, and followed by a panel discussion with director Madhi Fleifel.
Coming up from Friday: Still Alice; Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter; BAFTA Shorts 2015.
Staff ticket price: £5; standard ticket price: £6.50. 
Please visit for more details.
Return to Top


Continuing Professional Development

Please note there are limited places available on each course/event and early registration is recommended.

  • Wednesday 4 March: Using Computer Assisted Assessment (including QuestionMark) (Only one place available), 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Wednesday 11 March: Creating Interactive Learning Resources using Excel 2013 (Limited number of places available. This is an advanced Excel course therefore participants should have significant previous experience of using Excel 2013), 2.00pm – 5.00pm
  • Wednesday 18 March: Teaching Larger Classes (Only two places available), 2.00pm – 5.00pm
  • Wednesday 18 March: Using the Personal Response System in your Classes (Some previous experience with PowerPoint is necessary for attendance at this workshop), 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Higher Education Lunchtime Forum
  • Wednesday 11 March: Blogging in Teaching and Learning, 1.00pm – 1.55pm, in the Geography Building, OG/033. A sandwich lunch will be provided from 12.45pm. The session will be led by Dr Suzel Reily, School of Creative Arts. 
Registration for all courses and events is via Queen’s Online.
A full list of all CED events and courses together with further information can be accessed here.
Return to Top


The following Staff Training and Development Unit courses are available for booking:

  • Thursday 12 March: Personnel Procedures, 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Friday 20 March: Health and Safety Induction, 10.00am – 12.00pm
  • Tuesday 24 March: Staff Wellbeing Training – Improving Personal Resilience, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 25 March: Laboratory Demonstrating for Technical Staff, 10.00am – 12.30pm
  • Thursday 26 March: Selection Interviewing, 9.15am  4.30pm
Leadership and Management Development Opportunities 
Aimed at Professional Support Staff Grade 7 and above and Academic Staff Grade AC2 and above, the following Developing for Success workshops taking place in March/April are available for booking:
  • Monday 23 March: Project Management for Non-Project Managers, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Wednesday 25 March: Creative Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Thursday 16 April: Managing Difficult Conversations, 9.00am – 1.00pm
  • Tuesday 21 April: Emotional Intelligence and Leading Others, 9.00am – 1.00pm
  • Monday 27 April: Project Management for Non-Project Managers, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Tuesday 28 April: Assertiveness, 9.00am – 1.00pm
Development Opportunity – Staff Coaching Service
 When was the last time you actually had the chance to reflect on and think through work challenges? Coaching is widely recognised as a useful development option as it supports you, through conversations with a trained coach, to explore options and develop insights around work-based challenges in a completely confidential, one-to-one environment.
Last year, Queen’s invested in training a number of staff to act as internal coaches alongside their main job role via an ILM-endorsed programme. STDU piloted the Coaching Service last Spring and Summer and feedback was excellent. Round 2 of coaching will begin after Easter, and this round is being offered to Academic Staff Grade AC1/2 and Professional Support Staff Grade 6/7.
If you are interested in taking up this development opportunity, please contact Paula Teggart (STDU) for an application form. Further information is available on the STDU website
Book a place on any of the courses via iTrent.
Return to Top

IT Training courses

Places are available on the following courses:
  • Wednesday 4 March: Web Authoring: Introduction to CMS (Content Management System), 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Tuesday 10 March: Analysing Social Media Metrics Using Excel, 2.00pm – 4.30pm
  • Monday 30 March: Working with SharePoint (for Site Contributors),10.00am – 12.00pm
  • Tuesday 31 March: Working with SharePoint (for Site Administrators), 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Tuesday 14 April: Adobe Photoshop 2: Further Topics, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Monday 20 April: Dynamic PowerPoint (covers ECDL Advanced), 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 29 April: SPSS 1: Introduction to SPSS, 9.30am – 5.00pm
A full list of semester 2 courses are available for booking on Queen’s Online. Course dates can be viewed here.  
ECDL – The next test date is Tuesday 10 March, 9.30am – 11.00am. For more information on ECDL, click here.
Tip of the day: You can use PowerPoint 2013 to create an on-screen video of anything on your computer: click the 'Insert' tab, 'Screen Recording', select an area on screen and click the 'Start' button (see Dynamic PowerPoint course above for more).
Return to Top