11 December 2017


Erskine House Tree is Tree of the Year

The Erskine House Tree has been crowned as the Woodland Trust's Northern Ireland 'Tree of the Year' 2017.

A direct descendant of the 'Plane tree of Kos', it was planted from seeds gifted by Greek physician, Dr Dimitrios Oreopoulos in the 1960s.

Nominated by Dr Gerard Gormley and Professor Peter Maxwell, Queen's University, and Dr James Douglas, Belfast City Hospital, the Erskine House Tree attracted widespread support across the region, garnering 1,732 votes against competition from five other nominations from Northern Ireland.

Find out more on the award here.


Core Values

Vice-Chancellor's Research Prizes 2017

The winners of the Vice-Chancellor's Research Prizes 2017 have been announced. Awards were presented in four categories: Research Impact; Research Innovation; Early Career Researcher; and Post-Doctoral Researcher.

Details of the winners are available on the Corporate Plan website.




Green Impact


This Christmas, the Lo' Lo' Lo' Big Christmas Switch Off campaign will once again take place across the University. Staff and students are encouraged to switch off as much electrical equipment as possible over the Christmas holiday period.

Those who get involved could win a prize for their School or Directorate. The winners will be the School and Directorate that achieve the greatest percentage of reduction. This year's winners will receive a £250 prize to be used to host a staff event.

More information on the Big Christmas Switch Off campaign can be found on the Carbon Management website.

Information Services coffee morning Dec 17

Fundraising Event

Annual Information Services Coffee Morning

The Annual Information Services Coffee morning will take place in the Great Hall on Tuesday 12 December from 10.00am – 11.30am. All are welcome. Proceeds will go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Raffle tickets are available to purchase beforehand and also at the event: £1.00 each or six for £5.00. Any donations of prizes, hampers, etc, would be very welcome. Please contact a member of the Information Services Social Sub-Committee for information:

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Christine Carrothers c.carrothers@qub.ac.uk 028 9097 6322
Julie Caulfield j.caulfield@qub.ac.uk 028 9097 6346
Michael Goodall m.goodall@qub.ac.uk 028 9097 6260
Barry McKinney b.mckinney@qub.ac.uk 028 9097 6147
David Robinson david.robinson@qub.ac.uk 028 9097 6164

Prizes include:

  • Kindle Fire HD 10
  • Amazon Echo Plus
  • Restaurant vouchers
  • Overnight stay for two at Malone Lodge and Jury’s Inn hotels
  • Amazon voucher – £100
  • Tickets for the Belfast Giants
  • Tickets for the Lyric Christmas show and QFT
  • Bottle of champagne
  • Christmas hampers


Porters' Christmas Toy Appeal

This year's Porters' Christmas Toy Appeal is now accepting donated gifts.

Toys can be sent directly to the Porters office or put under the tree in the Administration Building, main campus.

The closing date for donations is Friday 15 December.

All toys will go to the joint St Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army Christmas toy appeal.


Student experience

McClay Library: Christmas Opening Hours

During the week before Christmas, the McClay Library will close earlier than normal, at 8.30pm, and at 5.30pm on the Friday and Saturday.

The University Library will be closed from Christmas Eve until New Year’s Day; however, during that period, the McClay Library will provide study access, and a limited staff service, on three days (Wednesday 27, Thursday 28 and Friday 29 December) from 9.00am until 5.00pm.

Normal term-time opening, 8.00am until 2.00am, will resume on Tuesday 2 January 2018.



Queen's Christmas Cards

Staff can now send electronic Christmas cards internally via Queen's Online.

To make use of this service, click on this link.






Internal Vacancies

Please see below for details of this week's internal vacancies.

Vacancies should be viewable on Queen's Online.

Please note that other vacancies are often advertised externally and are on the Jobs page

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  • Student Recruitment Officer 
    Domestic Recruitment and Events
    Ref: 17/106126 
    Closing date: 3 January 2018 
    Anticipated interview date: 12 January 2018
  • Clerical Officer (Grade 4)
    Centre for Public Health
    Ref: 17/106131
    Closing date: Wednesday 3 January 2018
    Anticipated Interview date: Tuesday 16 January 2018


Welcome Centre – Christmas Craft Fair

Queen’s Welcome Centre is hosting the annual Christmas Craft Fair on Tuesday 12 December, from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

The Fair showcases a range of crafts from a variety of local artists along with live music and free mulled wine.

Staff receive 20% off everything in store. 


An Open Learning short course tutor delivering a leacture


Finance Training Programme

The Finance Directorate is pleased to note the level of interest in the 2017–18 Finance Training programme. Places are still available on a number of courses in January 2018 including Applying for and Managing Research Grants for staff in the Faculty of EPS; Risk; and PCI DSS Awareness. Courses are available in:

  • a classroom based environment, delivered by the Finance team, and
  • through the medium of e-learning, (self service, on demand)

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The programme focuses on the following competencies: Accounting; VAT and Pensions; Budgeting and Forecasting; Compliance and Governance; Policies and Procedures; Procurement; Research Finance; Systems and General Finance.

For 2017–18 there are a number of new courses including TRAC and TAS; Pensions; Modern Slavery and Finance for non-Finance Managers. In addition, e-learning modules are now available for Purchase Card (PCard) holders (on PCI DSS) and for those staff who are involved in tender evaluation.

Further information, including details on how to register via iTrent, and how to access online learning materials, is provided on the Finance Directorate website. Alternatively, please email financetraining@qub.ac.uk.



Department for Infrastructure Residential Parking Scheme

Following a period of consultation, the University has been informed by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) of its intention to proceed with a residential parking scheme for the Rugby Road/College Park Avenue area.

While DfI do not have an exact date, it is anticipated that the scheme will have a launch date in early 2018. The scheme will introduce a total of 236 parking bays. Of these, 117 will be Residents' (permit only) parking bays and 119 will be Pay and Display bays.

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Over the coming weeks DfI will commence the installation of signage and other associated equipment related to the scheme. A drawing, detailing the area covered by the scheme, as well as some of the scheme guidelines, can be found at this link

Lanyon building from right hand side with blue sky

Research Event

Global Challenge Networking Programme

The final event in the 2017–18 Global Challenge Networking Programme (GCNP) will take place on 1 February 2018. The theme will be 'Sufficiency'.

Please click here for more information and to register.

Staff can also find out more about each GCNP event, and register for attendance, at this link.

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The GCNP is an opportunity for researchers at Queen's to develop interdisciplinary networks and collaborations while addressing some of society's major problems. The programme for 2017-18 has three themes: the first, 'Artificial Intelligence and Society', took place in September, with 'Global Uncertainties', our second event, held in November.

As with the previous themes, 'Sufficiency' will include a kick-off event which will involve an opportunity for attendees to network with colleagues in different disciplines, consider the main issues connected to the theme through open plenary discussions, and explore new collaborations in detail through focused sub-groups.


Core Values

Teaching Awards 2018 – Briefing Session

A briefing session on the Queen's Teaching Awards Scheme will be held on 23 January 2018, 1.00pm – 2.00pm in Room OG/010, Main Site Tower. Lunch will be provided from 12.45pm.

The aims of the briefing session are:
» To provide information on the Teaching Awards application process, including any changes to the Scheme
» To encourage colleagues to apply for an Award
» To provide guidance on the type of information that might be included in an application

To book a place, please email e.mcdowell@qub.ac.uk

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Further information about the Teaching Awards Scheme, including application forms and notes for guidance, are available to download on the CED website. Queries should be directed to Liz McDowell at the email address above or telephone 028 9097 5301.



Learning and Teaching Conference 2018 – Call for proposals

This is a call for proposals from staff from all Schools for oral and poster presentations on the theme of 'Creativity and Innovation in Teaching'. All abstracts should be submitted to ced@qub.ac.uk by Monday 5 February 2018 at 12.00noon. Staff will be notified if their proposal has been accepted by 19 February 2018. All submissions should be in PDF or Word format.

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The Annual Learning and Teaching Conference will take place on 28 March 2018.

The theme will include:

» Creative and innovative learning activities
» Creative and innovative assessment practices
» Use of digital technologies in teaching and assessment
» Encouraging creativity and innovation in students

Those interested in presenting should submit an abstract of no more than 500 words detailing your proposal. It should state clearly how your presentation meets the theme of the conference. It should stand alone and not contain references or notes. Abstracts will be published on the website prior to the conference. A maximum of five keywords should be supplied.

Oral presentations will last either 20 or 10 minutes. Students and staff are encouraged to produce joint posters on the above theme as it relates to their discipline.




Following the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the University has new obligations to prevent modern slavery from occurring in its supply chain, and within the organisation. Modern Slavery is a term used to encapsulate both offences in the Modern Slavery Act: slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour; and human trafficking.

One-hour Modern Slavery Awareness Sessions will take place on 23 January 2018 throughout the day. The aim of the session is to provide a brief overview of Modern Slavery and how Queen’s staff can help in the fight against it. Please book now via iTrent to ensure your space is secured. 

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Sessions are from 8.30am – 9.30am; 9.30am – 10.30am; 11.00am – 12.00noon; 12.00noon – 1.00pm; 2.00pm – 3.00pm; and 3.00pm – 4.00pm.

The session may be particularly relevant to:

  • Those dealing with International students
  • All teaching staff engaging with smaller groups
  • Those providing student services
  • Those servicing student accommodation including security staff and those involved in other aspects of facilities management, eg cleaning
  • Those involved in major construction projects
  • The session may also be of interest to those leading courses that relate to front-line services such as nursing

Each session will cover information about trafficking and slavery; the indicators potential victims may display; the risk areas within different areas within the University, and the resources available. Find out more information about what modern slavery is here.

The training is being undertaken by Unseen UK, a charity based in Bristol. Their aim is to eradicate Modern Slavery in all its guises through awareness campaigns.

You may also wish to familiarise yourself with the University’s Modern Slavery Statement which can be found here.

If you have any queries please contact financetraining@qub.ac.uk. Thank you for supporting the awareness campaign.




Up-to-date contributions from QPol. Click on the links to read. To submit, email Kevin at qpol@qub.ac.uk.

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The Conversation icon


Staff making UK headlines

See below for the latest Queen's articles published in The Conversation.

Topics include cancer research; Brexit; and the asylum seekers and refugees of Northern Ireland. Click on the links to read each article.

If you are interested in writing for The Conversation, contact comms.office@qub.ac.uk to find out more.

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Anthill Podcast
If you are interested in contributing to the Anthill Podcast the current and upcoming themes are:

» December: Growing up
» January: Things we do wrong, common myths



Translating Loss into Dance

  • Thursday 14 December: Nothing Is in The Right Place (dance performance), 7.30pm – 9.30pm, The Duncairn, Duncairn Avenue, Belfast BT14 6BP

The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice invites staff to a performance that explores how the concept of loss can be translated into the language of dance. The performances are free to attend. The audience will be asked to participate by giving their response and reaction to the performances.

Please register here.

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The dance performance is part of an experimental and interdisciplinary research project 'Loss and Dance', led by Dr Ulrike M Vieten from The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. The project is realised in cooperation with the Istanbul-based dance company Ciplak Ayaklar Kumpanyasi.

Audience members would be expected to participate in the research of audience responses.



Queen’s Accommodation Jobs Open Day

Queen's Accommodation will hold a Jobs Open Day on 10 January 2018, from 12.00noon to 8.00pm in the Great Hall at Queen's. 

If staff know of anyone interested in a career in hospitality, the Accommodation team will help them to explore job opportunities and benefits. Those interested can register their interest, even if not able to attend on the day, by emailing accjobsopenday@qub.ac.uk.

Full details are available here.

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Roles include:

  • Operations Managers
  • Residential Life Coordinators
  • Reservations and Reception Advisors
  • Housekeeping Supervisors
  • Hospitality Hosts

Staff Development

Grit & Grace short leadership course

Returning for its fourth cohort on 25 January 2018, the short course 'Grit & Grace' will help staff members feel more confident as a leader, because it is built on the belief that everyone can learn to be a better leader, and there is no ideal profile.

Interested staff can read more about the course at this link.

The cost is £495 for Queen's staff.

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"This is a unique programme, different from any other leadership course I have been on. The programme helped me learn a lot about myself and the type of leader I want to be. It is a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere and well worth it."

Roisin Murray, Tascomi


Diversity and Inclusion

Forthcoming LGBT events in Belfast

LGBT staff or LGBT allies at the University may be interested in upcoming LGBT events happening in Belfast in 2018.

Details can be found here.






Queen’s Sport – December Events and Programmes

Updates from Queen's Sport for the Winter and Christmas season. Click on the links for information.

Christmas Member and Staff Coffee Morning
Queen's Sport invite staff and members (in Christmas jumpers!) to their coffee morning on Friday 15 December, 10.00am, Clements at the PEC.

RISE Winter 2018 with Paul Reynolds
RISE (Reactive Intensity Strength Endurance) is now open for enrolment for Winter 2018. Sign up at the PEC reception and get #fittogether in the New Year.

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Winter 2018 Active Children's Programme 
Winter 2018 Active Children's Programme is now open for enrolment. Courses start on 8 January 2018. Fun and dynamic children's activities include Hip Hop Dance, Climbing, Taekwondo, Basketball and more. 

Winter 2018 Adult Activity Programme 
The Winter 2018 Adult Activity Programme is also open for enrolment. Courses start week beginning Monday 15 January 2018. New courses include Flexibility for Athletes, KickFit Self Defence, Intermediate Yoga. Returning favourites include Boxing, Swimming, Barre, Climbing, Pilates and more.


Arts and entertainment

Queen's Film Theatre listings

Please see below for this week's screenings. Staff ticket price £5 (standard ticket price £6.70). More information and booking on the QFT website.

Now screening at QFT

Menashe – set within the New York Hasidic community in Borough Park, Brooklyn, Menashe follows a kind but hapless grocery store clerk trying to maintain custody of his son Rieven after his wife, Lea, passes away.

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Song of Granite – film about traditional Irish singer Joe Heaney blending 'fictional' re-creation, archive footage and musical performance.

A Matter of Life and Death – glorious love story meets grand cosmic adventure.

Blade of the Immortal (12 – 14 December) – stunning swordplay adventure.

French Film Festival 

Redoubtable (12 December) – director Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) takes on the French New Wave.

The Workshop (13 December) – a mix of social relevance and tension where high school students, off for the summer, attend a workshop for fictional writing headed by a well-known French novelist.

L'amant double (14 December) – sleek but gleefully irreverent erotic thriller mixing sexual tension with the tongue-in-cheek.

Christmas Film Season

It's A Wonderful Life (8 – 23 December)

White Christmas (21 and 23 December)

Miracle on 34th Street (21 – 23 December)

The Muppets Christmas Carol (15 – 23 December)

The Polar Express (16 and 17 December)

Arthur Christmas (21 – 23 December)

Arthur Christmas (Autism Friendly) (17 December)

Elf (18 – 23 December)

Love Actually (18 – 20 December)

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (21 – 23 December)

QFT Late: Bad Santa (22 December)

Die Hard (15 – 17 December)



Winter 2018 physical activity programme

The Winter 2018 Activity programme begins week commencing Monday 8 January 2018. Suitable for all ages, genders and levels of fitness.

Further inquiries to courseenquiries@qub.ac.uk / 028 9068 1126.

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Class Date Time Location
Introduction to Dance Monday 8 January 1.10pm – 1.50pm On Campus
Pilates Tuesday 9 January 1.10pm – 1.50pm On Campus
Yoga Wednesday 10 January 1.10pm – 1.50pm On Campus
Blast Tabata (day change) Wednesday 10 January 1.15pm – 1.45pm Queen's Sport, Physical Education Centre
Tone and Trim Thursday 11 January 1.10pm – 1.50pm On Campus
Barre Friday 12 January 1.10pm – 1.50pm On Campus

Registration and Payment: Visit PEC reception; each 11-week course costs £22. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

These classes will run to week commencing 19 March 2018 inclusive; there will be no Intro to Dance class on Monday 19 March due to the St Patrick’s holiday, therefore there will be an extra class added on Monday 26 March. 

Please note that phone registration is no longer available.



Students' Union shop

The Students' Union Shop has a range of clothing gift options.

Staff can call in anytime to see the full range.






Staff Prayer Breakfast

A prayer breakfast for Queen's staff is being held on Wednesday 13 December at 8.00am in The Hub Cafe, Elmwood Avenue, hosted by the Church of Ireland, Methodist and Presbyterian chaplaincies at Queen's. All are welcome.

Staff can go along on the day or RSVP to barry@thehubbelfast.org if you wish to be kept updated about future breakfasts and events.




Public Engagement

Collection for South Belfast Food Bank – Results

The Centre for Educational Development's Green Impact Team would like to thank everyone who contributed to the collection for South Belfast Food Bank: all staff and students across various Directorates and Schools who donated the items, the Porters who helped to transport the food to the warehouse, and everyone who spread the word to make this project a success.

Altogether, donations amounted to 286kg, with an estimated 800 items donated.




Centre for Medical Education Coffee Morning

The Centre for Medical Education would like to thank all staff who contributed generously to the Coffee Morning held on 8 November, in memory of all those who have lost a loved one to cancer, and anyone else who has been affected by the disease.

With your help and generosity a fantastic £2,065.75 was raised, bringing the Centre's total raised to date to £11,927.50. All money raised will go to the local charity Cancer Focus and therefore benefits the local community.



Staff perks

Perks Directory 2018 Launch

The Perks Card for 2018 will be received by all staff before the Christmas holidays, via internal mail.

With over 1,500 offers and discounts, there are substantial savings of up to 50% to be enjoyed at venues across the country, from food to fashion, sport and fitness to car travel, and getaways and holidays to family memories.

To view all the offers available, access new offers added throughout the year, enter exciting competitions and more, remember to activate your new 2018 Perks Card before 14 February 2018 for a chance to win a £50 Shopping Card.

Book Swap image

Around Campus

Pop-up Book Swaps

This Christmas there are more options than ever to share your love of reading and to give away old books in an environmentally friendly way.

HOPE Café, Junction and Clements at the PEC are teaming up with the McClay Library Green Impact Team to host a selection of books from the McClay Library Book Swap. On your next visit to any of these cafes, feel free to pick up something new or drop off a good book you have finished. All genres of books are welcome.

If you would like to browse more books, permanent book swaps with a wider selection can also be found in the McClay Library, the Biomedical Library (located in the MBC) and the Medical Library.



Cancer Focus Stop Smoking Support

Staff interested in finding out about Cancer Service NI's Stop Smoking service are encouraged to contact Suzie from Cancer Focus: suzymccotter@cancerfocusni.org.

Smoking causes one third of all cancer deaths in Northern Ireland and is our greatest cause of preventable ill health. It not only increases the risk of cancer for the smoker but also for everyone else around them. Cancer Focus NI's award-winning Stop Smoking service is funded by the Public Health Agency and offered in GP practices, health and wellbeing centres, community, workplace and youth settings including schools.

Irish Lanaguage Circle


Irish Language Speakers' Circle

The next Irish Language Speakers' Circle takes place on Friday 15 December, from 12.30pm to 1.00pm in the foyer of the Main Site Tower (beside Junction cafe). All welcome.

Contact Michael Pierse for more information: m.pierse@qub.ac.uk

Keep up to date with the Irish Language Speakers' Circle on Facebook.


Learning and Development

Learning and Development Programmes

The Learning and Development 2017-18 course programme is still available for booking. To book a place on any of the courses or workshops below, log onto iTrent Self Service.


IT training



A number of the Centre for Educational Development run courses for the 2017-18 academic year have been listed on iTrent self-service, and are now open for booking. Places are limited.

Further details of courses and events are available on the CED website. Log on to iTrent Self Service to book your place.

For up-to-date information please follow CED on Twitter or check the CED website.

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  • Tuesday 16 January 2018: Small Group Teaching, 2.00pm – 4.30pm
  • Wednesday 17 January 2018: An Introduction to QOL for Learning and Teaching, 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Wednesday 17 January 2018, Laboratory Demonstrating, 2.00pm – 4.30pm
  • Tuesday 30 January 2018: Professional Development Series: Assessment for Learning, 1.00pm – 2.00pm
  • Wednesday 7 February 2018, Using the TurnitinUK Originality Checking Software, 2.00pm – 4.30pm
Line of PCs


IT Training Courses

Please see below details of upcoming IT training courses, now available to book on iTrent.

Course dates can be viewed here

Tip of the Day: If you are seeking advice about social media visit blogs.qub.ac.uk/socialmedia/

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  • Tuesday 16 January: Web Authoring: Introduction to CMS (Content Management System), 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Thursday 18 January: Excel: Creating Charts Using Excel, 9.30am – 12.00pm
  • Tuesday 23 January: Excel 1: Essentials, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Wednesday 24 January: Working with SharePoint (for Site Contributors), 10.00am – 12.30pm
  • Thursday 25 January: Working with SharePoint (for Site Administrators), 10.00am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 30 January: Excel 3: Data Analysis using Excel, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Monday 5 February: Adobe Photoshop 1: Basic Digital Image Editing, 9.30am – 12.00pm
  • Friday 9 February: Introduction to Visio 2013, 9.30am – 12.30pm

ECDL: To register your interest in taking ECDL or ECDL Advanced, email ecdl@qub.ac.uk
Click here for more information on ECDL.


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