21 September 2015

Record breaking Meccano Bridge

Aecom's Kerri Dorman and Queen's Dr Danny McPolin celebrate the Guinness World Record for largest Meccano Structure‌Congratulations to students and staff from the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering who set a new world record at the weekend by building a 100ft bridge, constructed entirely of meccano.

The ambitious year-long project, 'The Big Bridge Build', was part of the University’s outreach programme to encourage more children to think about careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Find out more at:

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New documentary series about Queen’s

Students at ElmsQueen’s is to feature in a three-part documentary series to be screened later this month on BBC One Northern Ireland.

Filmed over the course of the last academic year, Queen’s: A University Challenged gives an insight into the day-to-day running of Queen’s and features staff and students from across the University.

The series begins on Monday 28 September on BBC One Northern Ireland at 10.35pm.

Click here to watch a clip from Episode One.

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'Welcome to the Community' Video Launched

Community Living VideoA new Community Living video has been launched this week to highlight the positive impact Queen's students can make in the local community.

Produced by the University's Public Engagement Unit and featuring students, residents and the Students' Union, the video encourages students to engage positively with local residents and neighbours. The video is being promoted via social media and will be screened in all first-year student inductions.

Take a look at the new video.

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Honorary Degree Nominations

Graduation 2015The closing date for submitting nominations for the award of Honorary Degrees in 2016 is Wednesday 30 September 2015.

Nominations should be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office using the nominations form. Further details can be found on the Honorary Degree Nominations section of the website.

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New University Search Service

This week will see the introduction of a new search service across all University websites. In this first phase, the new Microsoft-based service will provide access to the standard range of search features. Over time the service will be developed to provide staff and students with an enhanced search experience, including document preview and advanced filtering.

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Queen's taking part in Belfast BabyDay 2015

Big Ears Little ears SARCThe world's first BabyDay will take place in Belfast on Sunday 27 September with Queen's involved in a number of the events. These include:

Visit the BabyDay 2015 website for more information and details of all the events taking place across Belfast.

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The Great Queen's Bake Off

The Great Queen's Bake Off 2015Do you think you have what it takes to be Queen’s next Paul Hollywood or Mary Berry?

The Environmental Team are looking for staff to take part in this year’s ‘Great Queen’s Bake Off’ competition on Monday 19 October in the Great Hall.

Register by Friday 9 October to take part. The first 20 staff to register will receive a free ‘sustainable’ baking kit.

More information on judging and prizes are available on the Carbon Management website.

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Places available on Parenting Workshops

There are still a few places available on the following parenting workshops:

  • Tuesday 29 September: Stress Management Workshop, 1.00pm – 2.00pm. This workshop will explore how stress can impact on both parents and children, as well as positive coping strategies for managing stressful situations.
  • Tuesday 6 October: Helping with Homework Workshop, 1.00pm – 2.00pm. This workshop will examine the principles involved in making homework less stressful for all.

Further details are available on the Wellbeing Website. Please register to attend by emailing:

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Universities Superannuation Scheme: Finalised Scheme Changes

Changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme have been agreed and all USS members were emailed last week advising them of the finalised scheme changes.  A summary of the final approved changes is available here.

USS has launched a dedicated website, USS For the Future, which includes comprehensive information for members.

If you have any questions regarding the site, contact USS Communications or, for specific issues related to your own pension arrangements, please contact Clare Maguire,

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The Conversation

The Conversation Click on the links below to read the latest Queen's articles published in The Conversation:

Contact if you are interested in writing for The Conversation.

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Queen's Language Centre

European Day of LanguagesEnrolment for Queen's Language Centre courses is now underway. Over 20 different languages are available as well as the opportunity to study for a Certificate in Languages for Business, Tourism or Practical Irish. These computer-based courses are great for those who wish to study in their own time and at their own pace.

Enrol online or for further information visit:‌

Don't forget, European Day of Languages will be marked this week with a language celebration hosted by the Language Centre. Stilt walkers and street performers will be at the front of the McClay Library on Thursday 24 September, 12.00pm – 3.00pm.

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Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series 2015–16

Stormont Buildings (Picture courtesy NI Tourist Board)The first in the 2015–16 Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series (KESS) will take place on Wednesday 7 October on the theme of 'Addressing Social Challenges in a Divided Society'. It will include a presentation from Queen's Dr Gavin Duffy and Professor Tony Gallagher on 'Shared Education and collaboration between schools in a contested space setting'.

Aiming to encourage debate and improve understanding, KESS is jointly delivered by the Research and Information Service of the Assembly (RaISe) in partnership with the three universities in Northern Ireland.

The free seminars take place on Wednesdays from October 2015 through June 2016. Each seminar starts at 1.30pm in Parliament Buildings, located on Stormont Estate.  To reserve your place, email

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Putting People at the Heart of Human Rights

The ARK Ageing Programme and the Disability Research Network will hold a seminar on 'Putting People at the Heart of Human Rights' on Monday 19 October in the Canada Room/Council Chamber, Lanyon building from 1.15pm – 4.30pm.

The keynote speaker is Professor John Williams, Department of Law and Criminology, University of Aberystwyth. Further details are available online.

Places are limited and should be booked in advance by emailing

A lift and a loop system will be available.  If you have any other accessibility requirements, please email

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Horizon 2020 – Writing workshop for Innovative Training Networks

A writing workshop for the Horizon 2020 Innovative Training Network (ITN) programme will take place on Friday 9 October in the Research and Enterprise Directorate.

This event will be of interest to applicants to the 2016 ITN call. Further information and registration details are available on the Research and Enterprise website.

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Couch 2 5K arrives at Queen's

Couch to 5kStaff Wellbeing are running a second 'Couch 2 5k' programme for staff this autumn.

Couch 2 5k provides a structured pathway to make walking, jogging and running accessible and fun through progressive training sessions led by a team of coaches. The programme is a running plan for beginners, so no matter what your fitness level, everyone is welcome to join.

The 10-week programme starts on Wednesday 7 October. Further details, including how to register, are available on the Staff Wellbeing site.

For any informal queries, please contact Clare Carson:

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Queen's Sport Children’s Activity Programme Autumn 2015

Children's Activity Programme 2015The ‌Queen's Sport Children’s Activity Programme Autumn 2015 is still open for enrolment. It includes all the usual favourites as well as new courses such as Gymnastics (Advanced), Basketball (Seniors) and “Squirrels” Climbing (which is a course for parents and their child).

Courses began on Monday 7 September, however, enrolment is still open at pro-rata prices.

For more information or to download an application form, visit the Queen's Sport website.

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ComputersPlaces are still available on the following courses:

  • Tuesday 29 September: Guide to Computing Facilities, 1.15pm – 2.30pm
  • Wednesday 21 October: Working with SharePoint (for Site Contributors), 10.00am – 12.00pm
  • Thursday 22 October: Working with SharePoint (for Site Administrators), 10.00am – 12.00pm
  • Tuesday 27 October: Getting Familiar with Photoshop - Part 1, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 28 October: Outlook: Making Best Use of Outlook 2013, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Monday 2 November: Getting Familiar with Photoshop – Part 2, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Friday 6 November: Creating Screen Shots and Training Materials using Word and SnagIT, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 10 November: Facebook for Beginners, 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Thursday 12 November: Managing a University Social Media Site, 10.00am – 4.00pm

Course dates can be viewed at:

ECDL: The next test date is Tuesday 6 October, 9.30am – 11.00am. To find out more about ECDL, check out:

Tip of the day: To create an on-screen video of anything on your computer, use PowerPoint 2013. Click the Insert tab, Screen Recording, select an area on screen and click the start button

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STDU 2015–16 Course Programme

Training and DevelopmentThe 2015–16 Staff Training and Development Unit Course Programme is now available.

STDU Courses

  • Wednesday 23 September: Fire Warden and Evacuation Procedures, 9.30am – 12.00pm
  • 30 September, 27 October and 24 November: Writing for Publication (3 days), 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Monday October: Staff Wellbeing Training – Improving Personal Resilience,  9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 6 October: Planning Your Research Career, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Thursday 8 October: Your Learning and Career Development, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Thursday 8 October: Laboratory Demonstrating for Technical Staff, 10.00am – 12.30pm
  • Monday 12 October: Integrated Research Application System (IRAS), 2.00pm – 5.00pm
  • Tuesday 13 October: Applying Your Research to Policy Agendas, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Tuesday 20 October: Manual Handling and Lifting, 10.00am – 12.00pm
  • Wednesday 27 October: Manager Wellbeing Training, 1.30pm – 4.30pm
  • Thursday 28 October: Writing Your Academic CV, 9.30am – 1.00pm

Leadership and Management Development Opportunities
Book now for the following 'Developing for Success' courses in October/November 2015. (Aimed at Professional Support staff Grade 7 and above and Academic Staff Grade AC2 and above.)

  • Wednesday 14 October: Project Management for non–Project Managers, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Tuesday 20 October: Developing your Strategic Focus, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Wednesday 4 November: Enhancing your Report Writing, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Tuesday 10 November: Managing Performance Effectively, 9.15am – 1.15pm
  • Wednesday 25 November: Managing Difficult Conversations, 9.15am – 1.15pm

Preparing for Retirement
Places are still available on the next Preparing for Retirement course on Thursday 5 November from 9.30am – 4.30pm in Training Room C, 7 Lennoxvale.

To book a place on an upcoming training course, log onto Queen's Online at – then select 'Training Courses' from the list on the left of the page and follow the link for 'iTrent Self Service'.


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Centre for Educational Development

Places are available on the following courses:

  • Wednesday 30 September: Being an Adviser of Studies, 10.00am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 30 September: Using GradeMark to Give Feedback, 2.00pm – 4.30pm
  • Wednesday 7 October: Small Group Teaching, 2.00pm – 4.30pm. Only a few places still available.
  • Wednesday 7 October: Using the TurnitinUK Originality Checking Software, 2.00pm – 5.00pm
  • Wednesday 14 October: Using Computer Assisted Assessment (including QuestionMark), 9.30am – 4.30pm. Only a few places still available.
  • Wednesday 14 October: Laboratory Demonstrating, 2.00pm – 4.30pm
  • Wednesday 14 October: Preparing and Giving Lectures, 2.00pm – 4.45pm

Details of all CED events and courses are available here

Careers, Employability and Skills are organising an Event entitled 'How to encourage students to internationalise their degree' on Wednesday 14 October 2015 to promote Go Global Week (a week of promotional activities for students from 2-6 November 2015). Further details are available from Elaine Woodhouse (028 9097 3833,

To book a place on any of the above, log onto Queen's Online ( , then select 'Training Courses' from the list on the left of the page and follow the link for 'iTrent Self Service'.

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The Flexible Teaching Space – Availability

The Flexible Teaching Space (PFC/03/017) is a room specially designed to support active and interactive learning with technology for classes of up to 60 students working in groups. The space affords staff greater opportunity to interact with students in an environment which encourages thinking and questioning on topics as well as group discussion.

There are a number of slots still available for 2015–16:

  • Semester 1: Monday am or Wednesday pm until 3pm (most weeks)
  • Semester 2: Monday am or Wednesday pm until 3pm (most weeks)

If you would like to enquire about available time slots, please contact Timetabling and Room Booking:

If you would like more information about using this environment to support your students’ learning, please contact Gill Kelly, Centre for Educational Development: 028 9097 1569,

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The Welcome Centre

Welcome Centre JigsawQueen’s Welcome Centre has launched a new range of handcrafted jigsaws. The colourful collection includes a wide range of designs including dinosaurs, trains and space rockets to name a few. The jigsaws make a great educational gift, come gift-boxed and have a useful linen bag to keep all the pieces together.

Staff receive a 10% discount in the Welcome Centre.

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This week at QFT

QFT - Miss Julie 21092015‌This week at QFT: 

Miss Julie – Over the course of a midsummer night in Northern Ireland in 1890, Miss Julie, an unsettled daughter of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy, is drawn to Jean (Colin Farrell), her father's valet.

The Second Mother – Brazilian actresses Regina Casé and Camila Márdila shared a Special Jury Prize at Sundance for their performances as a good-hearted housemaid at odds with her progressive teenage daughter in this keenly observed family drama.

Tangerines – Nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film in 2015, Tangerines is the spare yet haunting tale of an older Estonian man who cares for two wounded soldiers from opposite sides of the 1990s-era war in Georgia.

Legend – A classic crime thriller taking us into the secret history of the 1960s and the extraordinary events that secured the infamy of the Kray Twins.

NT Live: Coriolanus – Encore - National Theatre Live's 2013 broadcast of the Donmar Warehouse's production of Coriolanus returns to cinemas by popular demand. One screening only on Thursday 24 September, 7.00pm.

Queen's staff ticket price, £5 (standard ticket price £6.70). Please visit for more details.

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