15 February 2016

Faculty Directors of Operations

Another Vision 2020 milestone has been achieved with the appointment of the three Faculty Directors of Operations. We welcome John Stewart (Faculty of AHSS), Claire McAlinden (Faculty of EPS) and Alistair Finlay (Faculty of MHLS) into this key leadership role to support the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor in determining the strategic direction of the Faculty. Working alongside the PVC, they will be pivotal in building the Faculty Executive Board and supporting the delivery of approved Faculty targets. As members of the Professional Services Executive Board, they will also work closely with the Registrar and Chief Operating Officer and the Directors in delivering the Vision 2020 targets.

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Register of Interests

The University is committed to maintaining the highest standards in the conduct of its business. This requires everyone associated with the University to conduct themselves with integrity, impartiality, honesty and professionalism at all times, and to avoid any conflict arising between their official University duties and their private interests. 

To support this process, Senate has approved a Register of Interests Policy, which applies to all University staff. It is important that you are familiar with this policy and the related reporting and approval procedures, full details of which can be found here.

To enable the University to safeguard against potential conflicts of interest, the Registrar’s Office also maintains an institutional Register of Interests. It is the responsibility of all individuals to ensure that their entry on this Register is current, updated annually, and that it properly reflects their personal circumstances. 

At present, only 76% of staff have an up-to-date entry on the institutional Register and we are keen to increase this to 100% – full compliance.

To facilitate this, those who have not yet done so, are required to complete the electronic proforma which is accessible under the ‘My Services’ section on Queen’s Online. “Nil” responses are also required in order to ensure that a full and accurate central database is maintained.

Further information is available from the Registrar’s Office on request.

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Travel Safety

Travel InsuranceA number of events occurred during 2015 which highlighted the importance of staff and students following the appropriate University policies and procedures when undertaking travel on University business. It is for the safety and wellbeing of staff and students that you are asked to comply with these requirements, which are outlined below.

The University’s travel insurance policy provides cover for staff and students who undertake authorised travel. In advance of commencing travel outside the UK and Ireland you must complete the online travel insurance form, which is accessible on the Travel Insurance webpage. In the event of an incident arising, this will enable the University, and the University’s insurer (UMAL), to respond quickly in providing the required assistance.

In addition, when travel is booked through the University’s appointed Travel Management Company, Selective Travel, they can assist staff and students who experience any difficulty or problems with their travel plans. Contact details for Selective Travel are +44 (0)28 9044 2073 (during office hours) / +44 (0)28 9044 2063 (emergency out of hours).

You should also ensure that your ICE number (in case of emergency number) and associated emergency contact details are up-to-date. These details can be checked and updated in Queen’s Online under the Services > Other menu.

If you have any queries in relation to this matter, please email or telephone the Insurance Section on 028 9097 1476.

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Help shape our Core Values

Core ValuesThe second ‘Coffee, Cake and Core Values’ event for staff will take place on Wednesday 17 February 2016 in the MBC, Room 0G/120. Call in for 15 minutes anytime between 10.00am – 12.00pm and share your thoughts on what our Core Values should be.

Take a look at the Vice-Chancellor's latest blog post to find out what colleagues said at the first event which was held last week in the David Keir Building.

If you can't make it to the MBC, a third staff event will take place on Thursday 25 February 2016 in the Great Hall or you can share your thoughts online.

Find out more about the Core Values Campaign.

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Internal Vacancy

This week's internal vacancy is:

Assistant Faculty Finance Business Partner
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Ref: 16/104423
Closing date: Friday 26 February 2016
Anticipated Interview date: Week commencing 7 March 2016

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Northern Ireland Science Festival: 18 - 28 February 2016

Northern Ireland Science Festival 2016The second NI Science Festival – an annual celebration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics – takes place from 18 – 28 February 2016.

Throughout the 11-day Festival, Queen’s will host 17 events which will give the public the opportunity to experience first-hand the world class research that takes place at the University.

For a full programme of events, including availability, times and locations, please visit:

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Senate News Briefing

The latest Senate News Briefing is now available online.  Please use your staff credentials (staff number and password) to access it.

This briefing covers the meetings held on 24 November and 15 December 2015.

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Queen's scientists on the hunt for source of gravitational waves

Last week saw the announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves by LIGO, in what is being described as the most important breakthrough in physics for decades. Now scientists from Queen’s Astrophysics Research Centre are leading the hunt for the source of these ripples in space.

To find out more, watch the below video featuring Professor Stephen Smartt, Director of the Astrophysics Research Centre, who leads the project. You can also read the full story here.

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Horizon 2020 – SC5 Drop-in Clinic

Horizon 2020 150216The Horizon 2020 NI Contact Point for the Environment will visit Queen's on Tuesday 23 February 2016 from 10.00am – 1.00pm. She will hold a drop-in clinic for those seeking advice or information on Horizon 2020 and is keen to speak to those interested in applying under the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 5 (SC5) or Cross-cutting Activities Work Programmes. To arrange a meeting, please contact or telephone 028 9025 6692.

Alternatively, you can drop in when she is free. The drop-in clinic will be held in the RED room, 2nd floor, Research and Enterprise, 63 University Road, Belfast.

The next Horizon 2020 NI Contact Point visits are planned to take place on:

  • Thursday 14 April, 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Thursday 26 May, 10.00am – 1.00pm
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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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Horizon 2020 – UKRO visit Queen’s

Horizon 2020 150216The European office of the UK Research Councils will visit Queen’s on Wednesday 24 February 2016. UKRO delivers a subscription-based advisory service for research organisations (in the main UK HEIs) and provides National Contact Point services on behalf of the UK Government. UKRO's mission is to maximise UK engagement in EU-funded research, innovation and higher education activities.

To find out more and to register, please visit the Research and Enterprise website.

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QPol Policy Engagement and Research Blog – Recent Posts

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

QPol event

The School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy invites staff to attend 'Northern Ireland’s Fuel and Energy Insecurity: The Bio-Energy Contribution', a QPol discussion seminar that will take place on Wednesday 17 February 2016, 7.00pm – 9.30pm. The event will be chaired by John Barry, Professor of Green Political Economy and Roy Douglas, Professor of Internal Combustion Engines and Clean Energies, as part of the Centre of Advanced Sustainable Energy (CASE) Dual Fuel Vehicle Project.

Further details are available on the QPol website. To register, email

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Opportunity for departments to obtain PCs

This summer Information Services will be undertaking another PC refresh in two of the Student Computing Centres. This is an opportunity for individual Schools to acquire free PCs. The PCs – 137 in total – are from two sites: The RVH and MBC.

If you would like to avail of this opportunity, please contact Denver Gilpin (Information Services – IT Systems and Services):, 028 9097 6102. In the event that demand outstrips supply, Information Services will seek to distribute PCs as fairly as possible.

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Seminar hosted by the Centre for Children’s Rights

The Centre for Children’s Rights at Queen’s will host a seminar, titled 'The right to do wrong? Children’s rights and criminal responsibility' on Tuesday 22 March 2016, 12.30pm – 2.00pm, in Room G007, School of Education, 69-71 University Street.

It will be delivered by Professor Karl Hanson, Professor in Public Law at the University of Geneva in Switzerland and the Deputy Director of the University of Geneva’s Centre for Children's Rights Studies. Find out more about the event.

To register for this event, please contact Deirdre Davies,

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SPACE Seminar

The School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering invites staff to attend ‘Academic freedom, Democracy and the Public Policy Process: The case of renewables and limits to democracy’, a seminar by John Brydon, Emeritus Professor, University of Aberdeen, President, International Rural Network. The event will take place on Wednesday 24 February 2016, 1.00pm – 2.00pm, in Seminar Room 1 (03.005 DKB), and will be chaired by Dr Ruth McAreavey.

Lunch will be provided. For further information, visit the Institute of Spatial and Environmental Planning website or contact Roslyn Barnes (

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Queen's Sport: Staff Free Trial Offer

QUB Sport 12.02.2016

Queen’s Sport are offering you and a friend ONE free session in the gym, swimming pool or a class of your choice. To claim your free trial, simply bring your staff card to Queen’s Sport reception.

Click here for more information about staff memberships.

If you would like to speak to a member of staff about this offer or about membership of Queen’s Sport, contact 028 9038 7684/5 or email



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Spotlight - QFTThis week at QFT

SPOTLIGHT (15) – The story of the Boston Globe’s investigation into the cover-up of child abuse within the Catholic Church. Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

TRUMBO (15) – Bryan Cranston gives a stellar performance as Dalton Trumbo, the Hollywood screenwriter who was blacklisted in the 1940s.

RAMS (15) – When disease threatens their beloved rams, two estranged brothers must come together to save their flock in this wry, tender Icelandic comedy.

THE SURVIVALIST (18) – In post-apocalyptic Ireland, a paranoid loner must learn how to deal with a starving mother and daughter who find his hideout.

From Friday 19 February: Bone Tomahawk and Janis: Little Girl Blue.

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


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Welcome Centre

Moustache WaxA new line of natural products from The Handmade Soap Company is now in stock in the Welcome Centre. Produced in Co. Meath, the soaps and lotions are handmade with care and use only natural ingredients from plant and mineral extracts. Kind to both skin and the environment, the range is paraben free with no synthetic colours or fragrances.

Staff receive a 10% discount in store.

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Continuing Professional Development

All 2015–2016 courses are now available for booking. Upcoming courses are listed below. Please note that there are limited places available on each course/event so early registration is recommended.

  • Wednesday 24 February: Creating Interactive Learning Resources using Excel 2013, 2.00pm – 5.00pm. This is an advanced Excel course therefore participants should have significant previous experience of using Excel 2013
  • Wednesday 2 March: Adaptive Assessment using QuestionMark Perception, 2.00pm – 4.00pm. Participants must have previously attended a Using Computer Assisted Assessment (including QuestionMark) course

To book a place, 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'.

A full list of all CED events and courses, together with further information can be accessed on the CED website.

Queen's Teaching Awards 2016

The closing date for receipt of applications for a Queen's Teaching Award 2016 is 5.00pm on Friday 11 March 2016. Further information is available in the Teaching Awards Notes for Guidance which are available to download on the CED website along with application templates and examples of previous applications.

For more information, contact Liz McDowell on or 028 9097 5301.


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

  • Wednesday 17 February: Biological Safety and Genetic Modification, 10.00am – 11.00am
  • Tuesday 23 February: Staff Wellbeing Training – Improving Personal Resilience, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 23 February: Manual Handling and Lifting, 10.00am – 12noon
  • Monday 29 February: The Effective Mentor, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Monday 7 March: Scientific Creativity, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Tuesday 8 March: Doing Focus Group Research, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Tuesday 8 March: An Introduction to Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Thursday 10 March: Project Planning and Time Management for Researchers, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Friday 11 March: Health and Safety Induction, 10.00am – 12noon
  • Tuesday 22 March: Staff Wellbeing Training- Improving Personal Resilience, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 23 March: Manager Wellbeing Training, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Leadership and Management Development Opportunities

Book now for the following Developing for Success course in February 2016:

  • Tuesday 23 February: Managing Conflict in the Workplace, 9.15am – 1.15pm (This course is aimed at Professional Support staff Grade 7 and above and Academic Staff Grade AC2 and above.)

Follow the Staff Training and Development Unit on Twitter @QueensStaffDev

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.

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IT Training courses

Places are available on the following courses:

  • Monday 22 February: Facebook for Beginners, 10.00am – 13.00pm
  • Friday 26 February: Outlook: Making Best Use of Outlook 2013, 9.30am – 13.00pm
  • Monday 29 February: Twitter for Beginners, 10.00am – 13.00pm
  • Wednesday 3 March: Guide to Computing Facilities, 13.15pm – 14.30pm
  • Tuesday 16 March: Excel: Creating Charts Using Excel, 10.00am – 13.00pm
  • Tuesday 22 March: Working with SharePoint (for Site Contributors), 10.00am – 12.00pm
  • Wednesday 23 March: Working with SharePoint (for Site Administrators), 10.00 am – 12.00 pm

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'. Click here to view course dates.

Please note that a separate programme for PGR students is 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).  Click here for more information on ECDL.

The next test date is Tuesday 23 February, 11.00pm – 12.30pm.

Tip of the day: Got a table that expands more than one page in Word? From the Table Tools Layout tab, click Repeat Header Rows to show the top heading row on every page.

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