18 January 2016

NSS 2016 now live

NSS 180116The National Student Survey (NSS) 2016 is now open for Queen’s students. NSS is a high profile annual census, run by Ipsos MORI, which gives students a powerful collective voice to help shape the future of their course and university.

Email invitations have been sent to the approximately 3,900 Queen’s students who are eligible to complete this year’s survey. They will receive reminders up until the survey closes on 30 April. Students who complete the NSS will be entered into a prize draw.

Staff are asked to encourage eligible students to take part at Further information is available in a NSS Staff Briefing and NSS Improving Response Rates case study.  Electronic and hard copy marketing materials have also been made available to Schools.

For further information or support with your School’s promotional activities, please contact: Pat McNally, Education and Skills Development on 028 9097 1435 or

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Staff Wellbeing: £ for lb Weight Loss Challenge

The 2016 Staff Wellbeing schedule of events and activities begins with the £ for lb Weight Loss Challenge.

Starting on Monday 25 January 2016, the aim is for participants to lose between 12–24 lbs in 12 weeks with support and advice from local Champions. Participants are asked to donate £1 for every lb lost to local charity Cancer Focus. Last year, over 90 participants lost 626 lbs and raised over £2,000 for charity.

Sign up for the challenge by email including '£ for lb participant' in the subject line. You should include your name and the location of your workplace. Please note that participants must have a BMI of 25 or over.

Find out about all health and wellbeing events happening in 2016 on Staff Wellbeing website.

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Health and Medicine Editor of The Conversation to visit Queen's

The Conversation The Conversation's Health and Medicine Editor, Clint Witchalls, will visit Queen's on Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 February 2016. He will be ‘hot desking’ in the Communications Office and staff are invited to drop in to talk to Clint about the possibility of writing a piece for The Conversation.

If you would like to meet with Clint, please contact by Wednesday 27 January 2016 at 1.00pm to book a meeting slot.

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SPACE Seminar: Wednesday 20 January

The School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering will host a seminar by Dr Mark Riley, Senior Lecturer, University of Liverpool (Geography and Planning) entitled, Turning farmers into conservationists? Exploring the impact of farmers’ longer-term participation in Agri-environment Schemes. The seminar will be chaired by Dr Linda Price.

The seminar will take place on Wednesday 20 January 2016, from 1.00pm - 2.00pm, Seminar Room 1 (03.005 DKB). A sandwich lunch will be provided.

More information is available on the School website  or by contacting Roslyn Barnes on

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RSPB Talk: Friday 22 January

The Green Team in the Development and Alumni Relations Office has organised for Philip Carson, Conservation Advisor with the RSPB, to come and talk on Friday 22 January 2016 at 10.30am - 11.00am in the Canada Room. 

Find out about the ways in which you can help attract species of butterfly, bees, birds and mammals into your garden, and how to keep them there.  In addition, there will be details on how to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch taking place Saturday 30 and Sunday 30 January 2016.  


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QPol Policy Engagement and Research Blog - Recent Posts

QPol is a vehicle through which Queen's academics can focus their engagement with those involved in the policymaking process by providing independent, evidence-based analysis and solutions to government, politicians and others involved in tackling the major challenges of the day.

Recent posts to the QPol blog, include:

Contact for more information.

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Centre for Experimental Medicine - TRG/NICRN (Vision) Annual Conference

The Centre for Experimental Medicine is pleased to announce that the TRG/NICRN (Vision) Annual conference will be held on Friday 19 February 2016 from 9.00am at the CEM: Welcome-Wolfson Building, Centre for Experimental Medicine, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast.

The conference will bring together scientists/clinicians from Queen’s, University of Ulster and NHS Trusts throughout Northern Ireland to facilitate translational vision research. 

There will be a number of keynote lectures from world-renowned vision scientists, together with a selection of short talks and poster presentations to showcase the best of local research in the field of vision science. Prizes for the best Laboratory and Clinical Research posters will be presented at the end of the meeting.

For further information, please contact TRG Admin

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Call for Proposals for Improving Children’s Lives Small Grants 2015-16

A Call for Proposals under the Improving Children’s Lives Small Grants Scheme has just been released for 2015-16. Details on how to apply for funding under the scheme are available on the Improving Children's Lives website.

The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday 26 February 2016 at 5.00pm. 

For further information, please contact Dr Liam O’Hare, Operations Manager, Improving Children’s Lives,

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QPol Symposium: Thursday 11 February

A QPol Symposium on Ireland’s Election 2016 will take place on Thursday 11 February 2016 at 6.00pm in Lanyon Building Room 01/05. Entitled Parties, Polls and Predictions: Who will win the Irish General Election?, the symposium will feature Professor Gary Murphy (School of Law and Government, DCU); Dr Liam Weeks (Department of Government, UCC); Dr Claire McGing (Department of Geography, NUI Maynooth) and will be chaired by Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh.

Register for the Symposium.

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Inaugural Lecture for Professor Heping Xu

The School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences invites you to the Inaugural Lecture for Professor Heping Xu on Thursday 28 January 2016 at 4.00pm.

The lecture, titled Para-inflammation in the ageing eye, does it matter?, will take place in The Basement Seminar Room, The Wellcome-Wolfson Building, 97 Lisburn Road, and will be followed by a reception in atrium. View the Invitation: Inaugural Lecture Professor Heping Xu.

RSVP to:


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Queen's Sport‌: New Year Staff offer and Winter Activity Programme

Una ‌Staff Offer
‌Queen’s Sport are offering you and a friend ONE free session in our Gym, Swimming pool or a class of your choice. To claim your free trial simply bring your staff card to Queen’s Sport reception.

Plus if you sign up for one of the Queen’s Staff memberships, you get a Queen’s Sport training t-shirt (while stocks last).

Find out more about staff memberships.

For further information, contact Queen’s Sport contact: 028 9038 7684/5 or email Offer ends Friday 12 February 2016.

Winter Activity Programme 2016
Enrolment is now open for Adult and Children courses. Children’s Courses commence this week. Find out more.

Back to Basics 12 week programme
The popular and proven “Back 2 Basics” programme is back for 2016. The programme is for beginner and intermediate trainers with each course focusing on fitness fundamentals, such as exercise and nutrition, giving you the knowledge and confidence to maintain your fitness and manage your own body.

Back to Basic starts this week, hurry before it’s too late! Find out more.

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School of History and Anthropology Newsletter

The current edition of the School of History and Anthropology's newsletter is now available online‌. Read this edition.

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The Welcome Centre

Fabulous felts 2016 The Welcome Centre is now stocking the latest Fabulous Felt 2016 collection. Full range now in store.

Staff receive 10% discount in the Welcome Centre.

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QFT Film, Room‌This week at QFT:

ROOM (15) – Ma has created a whole universe in 'Room' for five year-old Jack, where they have both lived for Jack's whole life. But when Ma decides they have to escape, she risks everything to give Jack the chance to make a thrilling discovery. Adapted from the best-selling novel.

THE REVENANT (15) – Inspired by true events, this is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. Winner of three Golden Globe awards.

SHERPA (15) – In this powerful documentary director Jennifer Peedom and her team set out to uncover the cause of an altercation between mountain climbers and Sherpas, but instead captured Everest's greatest tragedy.

To WIN a pair of tickets to see Room, please email with ROOM in the subject line and the answer to the question: Who wrote the best-selling novel ‘Room’? (deadline for entries is 12.00pm on Wednesday 20 January 2016, winners will be contacted by email).

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

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Continuing Professional Development

All 20152016 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 20 January 2016:  Laboratory Demonstrating; 2.00pm – 4.30pm (only a few places still remaining)
  • Wednesday 27 January 2016: Preparing and Giving Lectures; 2.00pm – 4.45pm
  • Wednesday 10 February 2016: Dynamic PowerPoint Presentations: 2.00pm – 5.00pm
  • Wednesday 10 February 2016: Using GradeMark to Give Feedback; 2.00pm – 4.30pm Participants on this course should be from a School that has agreed to use Turnitin as a submission tool and take part in the GradeMark trial.

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

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

  • Tuesday 26 January:  Selection Interviewing, 9.15am – 3.30pm
  • Tuesday 26 January: Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, 10.00am – 12.00pm
  • Monday 1 February: Communicating your Research, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Tuesday 2 February: Computer Workstation Risk Assessment, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Leadership and Management Development Opportunities

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

  • Wednesday 3 February: Managing Difficult Conversations, 9.15am – 1.15pm
  • Tuesday 23 February: Managing Conflict in the Workplace, 9.15am – 1.15pm

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 1 February: Getting Familiar with Photoshop – Part 1, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Monday 8 February: Excel 1: Essentials (ECDL – Spreadsheets), 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Thursday 11 February: Getting Familiar with Photoshop – Part 2, 9.00am – 12.30pm
  • Monday 22 February: Facebook for Beginners, 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Wednesday 24 February: Excel 2: Managing Data, 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Friday 26 February: Outlook: Making Best Use of Outlook 2013, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Monday 29 February: Twitter for Beginners, 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Tuesday 1 March: Web Authoring: Introduction to CMS (Content Management System), 10.00am – 13.00pm

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'. Course dates can be viewed online.

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).  Find out more about ECDL. The next test date is Friday 22 January, 9.30am – 11.00am.

Tip of the day: Want an IT qualification? Sign up for ECDL. For more information, check out

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