18 April 2016

Staff Survey Update

Staff Survey logoThis is the final week of the Staff Survey and your last chance to share your views and help shape our future.

47% of staff have so far completed the survey. Reminder emails will be sent today to those staff who have yet to participate.

The Survey closes on Friday 22 April 2016 at 5.00pm, so don't miss out on this opportunity to have your say.

Further information is available on the Play Your Part webpages. If you have any queries about the survey, contact or your Survey Champion.

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Pedometer Challenge Week One Update

This year's pedometer challenge is off to a great start with 88 teams and 28 individuals registered. In week one, the teams walked over 21 million steps, approximately 16,650 kilometres, the equivalent of walking from Belfast to Adelaide, Australia (as the crows flies).

The top ten teams are as follows:

Team Name                                    Week One Total Steps
PSSS 417,544
Walk your Buns Off 402,647
The Dirty Half Dozen 397,729
Cirque du Sore Legs 385,821
Gait Watchers 384,055
The Walking Dead (T McCrory) 370,128
The A Team (Security) 363,449
Will and the Blister Sisters 361,852
Never Admit De Feet 356,975
Between a Walk and a Hard Pace 353,536
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Campus Food and Drink Market

Campus Food Market - outside Elmwood Hall 180416Following the success of the Campus Food and Drink market held in February, Queen’s Accommodation will host a series of food and drink markets in and around campus. The markets will raise the profile of local producers and their products, offering a taste of home.

The next Campus Food and Drink Market will take place on Thursday 21 April 2016 from 11.00am at Elmwood Hall, University Road. This market is being run in conjunction with the Students’ Union as part of the Culture Week celebrations, but will also support the NI Year of Food and Drink 2016.

Everyone is welcome, so pop down and grab something tasty to eat. For more information, or to view the list of traders attending, like Queen's Accommodation's Facebook page and event.

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New Queen's website to launch tomorrow

New websiteThe University's new website will go live tomorrow evening (5.00pm, Tuesday 19 April 2016).

The website has a clean, mobile-friendly design, coupled with a leaner and more user-focused approach. The content and individual layouts for Faculties, Schools and Directorates have been developed by staff from these areas.

The new site is a marked change from the current online presence, but one that is designed to meet our user expectations and help deliver the University’s strategic priorities.


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Staff Discount Scheme – Perks

Perks card logo 180416Did you know all staff have access to Perks? By using your Perks Card you can access over 1,500 discounts of up to 50%. From eating out to shopping, days out to golf, hotels to big high street names, there is something for everyone with significant savings in a short space of time, for example:

  • Marks and Spencer, 5% discount
  • Sainsbury’s/Tesco, 4% discount
  • Dominos Pizza, 33% discount

Activate your 2016 Perks Card to avail of these great discounts. Click here for further details.

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The Big Spring Clean takes place this week

Big Spring CleanThe BIG Spring Clean is Northern Ireland’s biggest volunteer clean-up. Last year, almost 90,000 volunteers got involved in clean up events across Northern Ireland, removing an amazing 107 tonnes of litter.

Queen's, in conjunction with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, will be conducting its own Big Spring Clean on Thursday 21 April 2016, meeting in Peter Froggatt Centre/01/020. The event will run from 12.00pm - 2.00pm with lunch and PPE equipment provided.

For more information and to register, email

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RSPB Swift Spotting Training

RSPB Swift Spotting logoGreen at Queen's has organised a training session for anyone who would like to undertake surveys in the summer months to assist in determining the location of swift nest sites within South Belfast.

Join Philip Carson from the RSPB at the training session on Thursday 28 April 2016, 5.00pm-7.00pm in the Lanyon Building, Room 0G/074.

To confirm your attendance, email

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EPSRC Visit: Tuesday 26 April 2016

A combined EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences team of portfolio managers will be visiting Queen’s on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 April 2016.

An open session will be held on Tuesday 26 April at 2.00pm. This session would be of benefit to anyone who is considering applying for an EPSRC Grant or who is interested in hearing about the changes to the Council’s existing funding opportunities; for example, First Grant Scheme.

Anyone who would like to attend this session should email to register their interest.

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Open call: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellowships 2016 call is now open. The guide for applicants for the call has been published. Along with the standard panels and Individual Fellowship modes available in 2014 and 2015, the 2016 call sees the introduction of the Society and Enterprise panel.

The call deadline is 5.00pm Brussels time - 4.00pm UK time - on 14 September 2016.

The EU office can support your search for a suitable candidate. Click here to contact your EU advisor.

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Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series (KESS) Call for Submissions 2016-17

The Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series (KESS) has released a Call for Submissions for 2016-17. Those interested in participating in the 2016-17 session can receive further information and submission forms by contacting Dr Claire Dewhirst, Research Impact Manager,

The closing date for submissions is Monday 9 May 2016.

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The Conversation

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

If you are interested in writing for The Conversation, contact to find out more.

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QPol Policy Engagement and Research Blog

Click on the links to read the latest posts from the QPol Policy Engagement and Research Blog:

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Inaugural Lecture: Professor Lisette Josephides

The Head of the School of History and Anthropology invites staff to attend the inaugural lecture by Lisette Josephides, Professor of Anthropology. The lecture, 'The Art of Thinking: Knowledge and the imagination in ethnography and science fiction', will take place on Wednesday 4 May 2016 at 5.00pm in the Canada Room/Council Chambers and will be followed by a reception.

RSVP by Tuesday 26 April 2016 to Jade Hutchinson, 028 9097 3700,


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School of History and Anthropology Newsletter

The School of History and Anthropology has published its latest Newsletter. Read March 2016 School of History and Anthropology Newsletter.



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CCRCB April 2016 Bulletin

To read the latest Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology Bulletin, click on the link:April 2016 CCRCB Bulletin.

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Queen's Sport

Adult Activity Programme 2016Queen’s 5k – Volunteers required
Queen's Sport are hosting the 5k race around the river and are expecting up to 1,000 entrants. Volunteers are needed to assist with a range of activities,  from runners registration and marshalling the course and event, to handing out water and collecting race chips.

Date: Wednesday 20 April
Time: 4.00pm - 9.00pm (flexible)

Contact to register your interest in volunteering.

Couch 2 5K
Couch 2 5K is back with the aim to provide opportunities for people to get active. The programme, which is coordinated by Queen’s Sport, is targeted at beginners, so, no matter what your fitness level, everyone is welcome. Sessions take place every Wednesday and Friday. Click here for more information and to register.

Adult Activity Programme Spring 2016
Queen’s Sport Activity Programme is open to everyone and is packed with classes and courses to suit all. This Spring Queen's Sport are offering progressive courses in Yoga (various types) as well as all the favourites such as Pilates and Swimming.

Also new this term is a series of strength and conditioning courses called Summer Sculpt. For more information, visit the Queen's Sport website or book your space today at Queen’s Sport Reception.

Queen’s Staff Membership
Treat yourself to a Queen’s Sport Staff membership this Spring from £17 per month. There are a range of options available so whether you are interested in classes, racquet sports, climbing, swimming or the gym, there is something for everyone. Remember memberships can be paid via salary deduction which means NO admin fees.

For more information on memberships, visit the Queen's Sport website or to book a tour email:

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QFT Terence DaviesThis week at QFT:
The Belfast Film Festival is back for its 16th festival and a ten-day residency at QFT. Here are a handful of highlights from a programme stuffed to the gills with incredible new films from around the world.

Terence Davies Q&A – Tuesday 19 April 2016, 7.00pm.
Terence Davies will be in conversation with Belfast Film Festival about his life, work and influences in this special event. Liverpool-born Terence Davies, lauded as ‘Britain’s greatest living film maker’, has made an outstanding contribution to cinema and culture.

Traders + Q&A  – Thursday 21 April 2016, 6.40pm.
A dark, exciting thriller about recession- hit Ireland and the extreme, brutal lengths people will go to hang on to wealth and status. Followed by Q&A with lead actor Killian Scott (Love/Hate) and directors Rachael Moriarty and Peter Murphy.

Son of Saul (15) – Thursday 21 April 2016, 9.15pm
A devastating portrait of life in a concentration camp, seen from the extremely subjective perspective of a Sonderkommando, this is a blistering debut from Hungarian director László Nemes. Son of Saul won best foreign language film at the 2016 Oscars.

Green Room (18) – Wednesday 20 April 2016, 9.00pm
From the director of Blue Ruin, Jeremy Saulnier, comes this ultra-violent tale of a punk band falling prey to a gang of neo-nazis.

From Friday 22 April: Dheepan; The Brand New Testament; Miles Ahead; and Mapplethorpe.

Normal concessions do not apply during Belfast Film Festival. Please visit for more details.

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The Welcome Centre

Welcome Centre scarvesDaiva’s Textiles, a beautiful assortment of vibrant coloured scarfs, handmade in Ireland and individually hand painted, are now in stock at the Welcome Centre. All scarves are unique and distinguished by brushstrokes and a watercolour-like signature. A variety of sizes can be found in silk, linen and a silk and linen blend.

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Continuing Professional Development
There are limited places available on the following course:

  • Wednesday 27 April: Becoming a Fellow of the HE Academy,  2.00pm – 4.30pm (only a few places still remaining)

New: Assessment Seminars
In response to a call from the Schools and Faculties at Queen's, the Centre for Educational Development will be running a series of Lunchtime Assessment Seminars to address any final outstanding concerns regarding new assessment strategies. The sessions will run from 1.10pm – 1.50pm with tea and coffee at 1.00pm. Please feel free to bring your own lunch.

There will be a limited number of places available at the sessions so booking early is recommended.

  • Wednesday 27 April: Writing learning outcomes to support and guide good learning and teaching
  • Wednesday 4 May: Formative Assessment: a balance of activities to achieve learning outcomes

New: Workshop

  • Friday 29 April: Academic Writing for Publication, 9.30am– 1.00pm.

Facilitated by Saranne Magennis, this workshop will assist participants in the preparation of their academic writing for publication. Consideration is given to writing and the publication process for AISHE-J, but includes productive working and methods for general publication.

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'.

Hold the date: New Academic Year Conference

The New Academic Year Conference, ‘Harnessing Change to Improve Student Learning’, will take place on Thursday 23 June 2016.

Proposals are now invited for oral presentations, case studies and poster presentations on innovative approaches to assessment strategies which monitor and evaluate learning.   The deadline for submission of abstracts for case studies and posters is Friday 29 April 2016. Submissions should be made via

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Upcoming Courses

Places are available on the following courses:

  • Wednesday 20 April: An Introduction to Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 27 April: Career Exploration for Researchers, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Wednesday 4 May: Manual Handling and Lifting, 10.00am – 12.00pm
  • Thursday 5 May: General Risk Assessment, 10.00am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 10 May and 17 May: Presentation Skills for Researchers (two day course), 9.30am – 4.30pm (Day one) and 9.30am – 1.00pm (Day two)
  • Tuesday 10 May: Integrated Research Application System (IRAS), 2.00pm – 5.00pm
  • Tuesday 10 May: An Introduction to Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 18 May: Computer Workstation Risk Assessment, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 18 May: Biological Safety and Genetic Modification, 10.00am – 11.00am
  • Thursday 19 May: Applying Your Research to Policy Agendas, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Thursday 19 May: Health and Safety for Coordinators, 10.00am – 12.30pm
  • Friday 20 May: Staff Wellbeing Training – Improving Personal Resilience, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Leadership and Management Development Opportunities

Book now for the following 'Developing for Success' course taking place in May 2016 (Aimed at Professional Support staff Grade 7 and above and Academic Staff Grade AC2 and above):

  • Thursday 31 May: Instilling a Customer Focus, 9.30am – 3.00pm

To register for an upcoming training course, 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'.

Follow us on Twitter @QueensStaffDev

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IT Training courses

Places are available on the following courses:

  • Monday 25 April: Working with SharePoint (for Site Contributors), 2.00pm – 5.00pm
  • Friday 29 April: Working with SharePoint (for Site Administrators), 11.00am – 1.00pm
  • Wednesday 4 May: Outlook: Making Best Use of Outlook 2013, 10.30am – 1.00pm
  • Wednesday 11 May: LinkedIn for Beginners, 2.00pm – 5.00pm
  • Monday 16 May: Getting Familiar with Photoshop – Part 1, 9.30am -  12.30pm

To book a place on a training course, 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'. View course dates. Please note that PGR students have a separate programme organised through The Graduate School.

ECDL – The new improved test system allows the candidate to practice and diagnose what topics need revision (note – this is not used for ECDL Advanced).  More information on ECDL. The next test date is Friday 22 April 2016, 1.00pm – 2.30pm.

To find out more about the ECDL or ECDL Advanced (European Computer Driving Licence) and obtaining a BCS IT qualification, attend the staff information event on Tuesday 10 May 2016, 1.05pm in The Auditorium, Ground Floor, The McClay Library. Bring your own sandwich; tea/coffee will be provided.

Tip of the day:  In Excel, use the COUNTBLANK function to count the number of cells in a range that are blank. E.g. =COUNTBLANK(A1:A10) will return the number of cells in the range A1:A10 that are empty.

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