28 November 2016

New Team Brief System

Following a pilot project undertaken earlier this year, the new Team Brief system is being rolled out across the University as a new staff communication channel from Monday 5 December 2016.

The aim of the Team Brief is to keep staff informed about key University decisions, information and progress.  It operates as a cascade with managers throughout the University delivering a mix of core University and local information to staff. It also provides a channel for staff to feedback and input.

Ideally the brief will be delivered face-to-face. However, it is recognised that there is not one single cascade method suitable across the whole University, so Faculties and Directorates have been working on developing the most suitable cascade mechanism for their individual areas.

More information on the Team Brief is available on the Staff Gateway.

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Final week to enter the Staff Excellence Awards

Staff Excellence Awards logoThe deadline for Staff Excellence Award entries is this Friday (2 December)‌. The Staff Excellence Awards celebrate and recognise the achievements of staff right across Queen's. Open to all staff, awards will be presented in six categories with individual prizes of £1,000 available.

The six award categories are all based on our Core Values, and are open to all staff regardless of your role or whereabouts you work at Queen's.

For more information, visit the Staff Excellence Awards website.

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Payroll cut off dates in December

Please note that pay day in December will be 21 December 2016.

To facilitate this early pay day, all information to be included in the December pay run must be with the Salaries Office by 5.00pm on Friday 2 December. Any information received after this cut-off date may not be processed until January 2017.

For further information, please contact, Michael Stevenson, Payroll Manager, 028 9097 3040 or

Please note that relocation expense claims should to be with the Finance Office by Thursday 1 December for inclusion in December salaries.

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Christmas and New Year Payment Arrangements 2016

Staff should note the following Payments Office arrangements over the Christmas and New Year period for paying correctly authorised and registered Supplier Invoices, Request for Payment Forms and Staff Expenses Claims:                 

  1. Invoices received by 5.00pm Wednesday 30 November 2016 and Requests for Payment and Staff Expenses Claims received by 12.00pm Thursday 1 December 2016 will be paid by week-ending 9 December 2016.
  2. Invoices received by 5.00pm Wednesday 7 December 2016 and Requests for Payment and Staff Expenses Claims received by 12.00pm on Thursday 8 December 2016 will be paid by Friday 16 December 2016.
  3. Invoices received by 5.00pm Wednesday 14 December 2016 and Requests for Payments and Staff Expenses reviewed by 12.00pm Thursday 15 December 2016 will be paid by Wednesday 21 December 2016.
  4. Invoices, Requests for Payments and Staff Expenses received by 5.00pm Monday 19 December 2016 will be paid by week ending 6 January 2017
  5. Normal payment arrangements will apply for all payment requests received week commencing 2 January 2017.

While the Payments Office will make every effort to comply with this timetable, due to the volumes of payment requests received at this time of the year, and to ensure payment before the holiday, staff are requested to process all such transactions well in advance of these deadlines.
Further clarification of these arrangements, if required, may be obtained from the Payments Office 028 9097 3029.

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The Conversation: Editor’s Visit

The Conversation Stephen Harris, Science Editor for The Conversation, will visit Queen’s on Thursday 1 December to speak to academics and postgraduate students.

The day will begin with a talk and Q&A session on “An introduction to The Conversation” at 11.00am. This will explain the background of The Conversation, what it does and the benefits of writing for it.  Attendees will have the option of discussing their potential article ideas with Stephen.

Stephen will deliver a “Honing your writing skills” workshop at 2.00pm.  The session will guide writers through the process of writing for The Conversation, from identifying an initial idea to use of language and style.

In addition, staff can book a one-to-one session with Stephen throughout the day.

For further information, or to book a place, please contact Judith Rance, Communications Office,, 028 9097 3087.

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Internal vacancies

This week's internal vacancies:

  • Head of Research Development (Maternity Cover) (12 months commencing 1 March 2017)
    Research and Enterprise
    Ref: 16/105098
    Closing date: Friday 9 December 2016
    Anticipated Interview date: Monday 19 or Tuesday 20 December 2016
  • School Manager (Temporary)
    School of Mathematics and Physics
    Ref: 16/105102
    Closing date: Friday 9 December 2016

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Delivery of Personal Mail

Staff are reminded that they are not permitted to use the University Mail Room for the delivery of personal mail.

There has been an increase in parcels being received from online fashion retailers such as Next and ASOS.  Deliveries such as these, which are obviously not work-related, will not be accepted.  In the case of other companies, like Amazon, which may be used to order work-related items such as books and IT equipment, staff are asked not to abuse this by ordering personal items to be delivered to the University Mail Room.

The practice of using the University mailing address fror the delivery of personal items puts an additional, and unnecessary, pressure on Portering staff that is not work-related.  Please respect your work colleagues by only using the University Mail Room for the delivery of mail and parcels that are for official University business.   

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Dynamite Nutrition Sessions: December 2016 – February 2017

Following the successful Mindset and Motivation session back in August, Kim from Dynamite Nutrition is returning to the University offering a range of lunch-time bite-size sessions to staff, these include:

  • Stress/Relaxation Strategies. Thursday 8 December 2016. Register here.
  • Promoting Mental Health in the Workplace and Home. Thursday 5 January 2017. Register here.
  • Healthy Eating. Wednesday 18 January 2017. Register here.
  • Exercise and Promoting a Healthy Work-life Balance. Thursday 2 February 2017. Register here.
  • Time and Sleep Management Protocols for High Performance. Thursday 23 February. Register here.

Staff Wellbeing have organised these sessions for staff and they will be delivered by Dynamite Nutrition. These sessions will help you learn to identify cycles and habits of behaviours that are holding you back and offer step-by-step guides to mastering your fears and creating new positive cycles.

Lunch will be provided.

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Launch of Disability Awareness Week

Michael McKillopOn Monday 5 December the University hosts a special event in the Senate Room to mark International Day for Persons with a Disability (Saturday 3 December 2016) and the start of the Students’ Union Disability Awareness Week (Monday 5 December – Friday 9 December 2016).

The event, which is jointly organised by the University’s Equality and Diversity Unit, the Students' Union and Disability Services, will take place at 10.30am and will be attended by University students; staff; representatives from statutory and community bodies; and Honorary Queen’s Graduate and triple Paralympic Gold Medallist, Michael McKillop.

The event will be promoted on social media using the hashtag #DisableTheLabel

Click here for further information.

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Global Challenge Networking Programme

The second Global Challenge Networking Programme workshop on Productivity will take place on Wednesday 14 December, 11.00am – 2.30pm, in the Canada Room and Council Chamber.

More information on the workshop and how to register are available on Eventbrite.

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Recent posts:

If you are interested in submitting an article to QPol, please contact Kevin at

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Charity Coffee and Cake Morning in Elms Treehouse

Elms Village will hold a Charity Coffee and Cake Morning in the Treehouse on Wednesday 30 November, 11.00am – 2.00pm. The event is open to staff, students, and local residents. There will be a raffle on the day with some great prizes including afternoon tea for two at the Europa; dinner for two at the Birdcage; and food and beauty hampers. Raffle tickets cost £1 and will be on sale on the day.

All proceeds will go to Aware NI, Autism NI, and The Welcome Organisation.

Elms are also accepting donations on the day for the Welcome Organisation’s homeless winter shoebox appeal. They need:

  • Underwear – especially for men;
  • Socks;
  • Track suit bottoms
  • Deodorant;
  • Shower gel;
  • Rucksacks;
  • Laundry bags
  • Hats, scarves and gloves;
  • Trainers and boots

They will also accept second-hand hoodies, waterproof or winter coats and sleeping bags, but they must be clean and in good condition.

All staff are welcome to attend.

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Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI Christmas Coffee Morning

CCRCB Christmas Coffee Morning 2016Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI invite staff to join them at their Christmas Coffee Morning on Thursday 9 December from 10.00am in the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB).

There will be tea, coffee, a selection of delicious treats and a chance to pick up a prize in the raffle.  All money donated will be used to fund vital research into leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma by the researchers based in the CCRCB.

For further details, please contact

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QFT 281116This week at QFT:

A United Kingdom (12A) – Director Amma Asante follows her previous film Belle with another elegant, impassioned drama that also reveals a painful episode in the history of British race relations and imperial politics.

Paterson (15) – Adam Driver's star continues to rise with another pitch-perfect performance in Jim Jarmusch's (Broken Flowers, Only Lovers Left Alive) Paterson.

Black Girl (15) – Part of the Ousmane Sembène season. Sembène’s first feature is by turns tough, swift, and true in its aim. The film tells the tragic story of Diouana, a young Senegalese woman who finds work as a childminder for a French couple in Dakar.  Monday 28 November, 6.30pm.

One More Time With Feeling (15) – Given the phenomenal response to the limited September release of One More Time With Feeling, the Andrew Dominik film featuring Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds returns for two encore screenings.  Thursday 1 and Saturday 3 December.

Congratulations to the QFT ticket completion winner Emma Byrne from Information Services. Look out for another competition in December.

From Friday 2 December: Chi-Raq and Blue Velvet.
Queen's staff ticket price £5, standard ticket price £6.70. Please visit for more details.

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The Welcome Centre

Welcome Centre 281116A range of handmade glass Christmas decorations by King’s Forge Glass is now in stock in the Welcome Centre.

Staff are reminded of their 10% discount.

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Bite Size Open Access Training

Open Access is now a requirement for REF eligibility. To ensure that you comply with the policy, go along to the next thirty-minute course. There will be time following the session to answer any specific questions you have.

The next session will take place on:

  • Tuesday 13 December 2016: How to comply with HEFCE’s Open Access Policy for the REF, 2.00pm – 2.30pm, The McClay Library, Gillespie Room.

To register, log in to Queen's Online and click ‘Training Courses’ from the ‘Other’ section. Alternatively email Open Access and staff can book the course on your behalf.

The full training schedule is available on the Open Access LibGuide.

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QUB Teaching Awards 2017
The QUB Teaching Awards Scheme 2017 is now open. Further information is available on the Centre for Educational Development's website. Queries should be directed to Liz McDowell:, 028 9097 5301.

Continuing Professional Development
Please note that there are limited places available on each course/event so early registration is recommended.

Wednesday 30 November: Mindfulness and Teaching with Emotional Intelligence, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Wednesday 7 December: Linking Teaching and Research, 2.00pm – 3.30pm
Wednesday 14 December: Design and Development of eLearning Content with the CMS, 2.00pm – 5.00pm.  Pre-Requisite: Staff wishing to attend this course must have already been trained in the use of the Content Management System software.

Guest Speaker Series 2016-2017

  • Wednesday 7 December: Embedding Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum, 10.00am – 1.00pm in the Auditorium, the McClay Library.
    Led by Dr Pauline Hanesworth, Academic Development Advisor at the HEA, Scotland, this three-hour interactive session will explore equality and diversity in learning, teaching and assessment practices and will equip you with relevant theories and practical examples and facilitate collaborative activities that will ask you to apply the theory to your own practice.

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'.

Professional Development Series
To book on any of these events please click on the link below.

Further details of all courses and events are available on the CED website.

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Places are available on the following Staff Training and Development Unit courses:

  • Wednesday 30 November: Career Exploration of Researchers, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Monday 5 December: Applying your Research to Policy Agendas, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Monday 5 December: Introduction to Chinese Language and Culture, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 6 December: Manager Wellbeing Training, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 13 December: An Introduction to Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity, 9.30am – 12.30pm

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 the Staff Training and Development Unit on Twitter: @QueensStaffDev

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IT Training Courses

Places are available on the following courses:

  • Thursday 1 December: Introduction to Visio 2013, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 7 December: SPSS 2: Data Analysis using SPSS, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Monday, 12 December: Outlook: Making Best Use of Outlook 2013, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Tuesday 17 January: Web Authoring: Introduction to CMS (Content Management System), 10.00am – 1.00pm

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 here.

If you know of any postgraduate students within your School for whom the following course could be of interest, please advise them that there are places available:

  • Thursday 8 December, Intro to SPSS 1 for PG students. Enrolment is by email to

The next ECDL test date is Monday 5 December, 10.00 am – 11.30 am.  To register your interest in taking ECDL or ECDL Advanced, email

Tip of the day:  
Add the 'Document Info' control to the Quick Access Toolbar in Word to insert information such as the document file path into your open/saved document.

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