27 February 2017

Launch of the Discretionary Awards Scheme

Staff feedback from the Staff Survey last Spring and Listening Exercise have identified the need to improve how we reward and recognise performance, in line with our Core Values, particularly that of Excellence.

As a result, a comprehensive review of Reward and Recognition will be carried out.  As a temporary interim measure, however, the Schemes for Discretionary Awards for Exceptional Performance for Academic and Research Staff, and that for Academic Related, Clerical, Technical and Operational Staff are being launched today, with some important amendments:

  • The purpose of the schemes has been revised to ensure alignment with the Core Values
  • The guidelines now include an improved method of communicating the Schemes to raise awareness and encourage nominations across all staff categories and at all grades and gender
  • Nominations will continue to be made by managers but an additional clause has been written into the process to outline senior management’s responsibility for encouraging nominations and to pose a challenge where numbers are disproportionately low.

Full details of the revised schemes are available on the Human Resources website. The deadline for nominations is Monday 13 April 2017.

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Assembly Election - Information for staff

Public Engagement InfographicIn the run up to the Assembly Election, the Public Engagement Unit has developed a set of infographics for staff to use when they are engaging with election candidates.

The infographics contain information which can be used to question candidates and ask them to 'act' on developing a sustainable funding model and plugging the annual £55m funding gap between Northern Ireland universities and institutions in Great Britain.

Also included are some key facts about:

  • our reduced annual block grant allocations
  • further reduction in the higher education budget, totalling £16.1m
  • less than a third of our talented students that seek education elsewhere return to Northern Ireland
  • implications of funding cuts, including significant damage to Northern Ireland’s economy and international reputation

View the infographic.  For further information, contact

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Fairtrade Fortnight

Today marks the start of the annual Fairtrade Fortnight event and Queen’s will be participating once again to show its commitment to using Fairtrade products and buying as ethically as possible.

Don’t miss the Students’ Union ‘Big Brew’ event this coming Friday 3 March, 11am - 2pm, or grab a Fairtrade cuppa next Monday 6 March in the Isdell Courtyard, Riddel Hall, 8.30am - 9.30am.

Coinciding with Riddel Hall's Fairtrade coffee morning will be the launch of a loyalty card for the Executive Lounge at Riddel Hall with ‘Bring your own cup’ incentives. There will also be a book and stationery amnesty, so take the opportunity to declutter your office or home.

Clements in the Students’ Union, meanwhile, is running a Buy-One-Get-One-Free offer on all takeaway hot drinks for the whole of Fairtrade Fortnight!

Full details of Queen's events, promotions and even a free raffle for Faitrade Fortnight available here.


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Help Shape our Brand: Coffee Mornings

A series of consultation events will take place over the coming weeks to update staff and students on the progress of the proposed Brand Review which has already been informed by over 2,000 staff and students.

At the events, which will take place at various venues across the campus, you will get the opportunity to share your views and influence the new brand visuals and how they could be used in your School or Directorate.

Staff are invited to drop in anytime from 10.00am – 1.30pm at a venue that is most convenient to you:

Date Venue
Thursday 2 March SU Enterprise Room
Monday 6 March QFT – foyer, bar area
Friday 10 March Great Hall
Monday 13 March MBC foyer
Tuesday 14 March Computer Science Building Social space    
Wednesday 15 March                    ECIT Lobby
Thursday 16 March Great Hall
Friday 24 March MBC foyer
Monday 27 March Riddel Hall - atrium
Tuesday 28 March David Keir – new Hub social space
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Staff Excellence Awards Video

‌Earlier this month, the Staff Excellence Awards Ceremony took place in the Whitla Hall to celebrate and recognise the achievements of staff.

Take a look at the video from the Ceremony. Full details of the six winners and shortlisted members of staff can be found on the Staff Excellence Awards website.


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Staff Wellbeing

Back Care Drop in Session

Staff Wellbeing at Queen’s has teamed up with the Occupational Health and Safety Service and will be offering staff the opportunity to get help and advice on how to increase your comfort while working at your PC and make simple changes to address the poor postures that cause aches and pains.

Safety Officers Julie McConkey and Colin Richardson will be on hand on Friday 10 March in Lanyon 0G/074 (main campus, beside Student Plus) from 12.00pm to 2.00pm with example workstations and a range of ergonomic computer equipment. This is a drop in session so please call in for some advice on your computer workstation set-up and general back care in the office.

For more advice on Back Care, visit NHS Top Ten Back Care Tip.

The Pedometer Challenge

The pedometer challenge is a four-week challenge coordinated by the Environmental and Staff Wellbeing teams to get you walking outdoors and it is a great team building activity. It’s a fun and easy way for you to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. It is also an opportunity to help the environment by improving your carbon footprint and ditching the car or bus and walking to work.

At the same time we will raise money for charity, all participants will pledge £3, which will be donated to the nominated local charity through a dedicated page. To get the competition going, please send your pics and tweets to @WellbeingQUB using #LoveQUBStaff

Find out how to register here.

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The Conversation

The Conversation Deputy Editor at The Conversation, Jo Adetunji, will visit Queen’s on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 March to speak to academics and PG students.

Staff are invited to attend “A beginner’s guide to writing and pitching for The Conversation” and “Researcher to Writer: how to reach a wider audience” workshops.  In addition, 15 minute one-to-one sessions with Jo can be booked throughout the visit.

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

Recent articles by Queen's academics published on The Conversation include:

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Postgraduate Taught and Research Experience Surveys

The University launches the Postgraduate Taught and Research Experience Surveys (PTES and PRES) this week. These are national surveys to gather feedback from PG students. Students will have received an email with a link to the survey in their Queen’s email account. Course Co-ordinators, Advisers of Study, Lecturers and other staff are asked to encourage their students to participate.

With Vision 2020’s focus on PG students, there could be no better time for our PG student population to provide views on their experience at Queen’s. Schools will have leaflets, posters and PowerPoint slides to help communicate with students. Students will also receive regular reminders by email and Graduate School social media.

The closing date is Thursday 18 May for PRES and Friday 16 June for PTES. Students who complete the survey will be entered into one of two draws to win £250. For further information contact the Graduate School,

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Campus Food Market

The next Campus Food Market will take place on Pancake Tuesday, Tuesday 28 February, 11.00am – 3.00pm at the front of Elmwood Hall.

The market brings together a fantastic selection of hot food stalls showcasing Northern Irish produce and foods from around the world, including The Crepe Maker, Linenhill and Tapitas along with new traders South African Kitchn, Crispsticks and The Fancy Fox.

Keep up to date with everything on the Campus Food and Drink Facebook page.

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International Women’s Day

Queen's University will host a number of events to mark International Women’s Day 2017:

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Please remember to register your Perks card by Tuesday 28 February to be entered into a draw, for your chance of winning a £50 gift card.

The winner will be contacted by Club Marketing Services in early March.

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Autism Awareness Session

The Equality and Diversity Unit is hosting an Autism Awareness Session in conjunction with the Orchardville Society on Thursday 9 March at 1.00pm in the Senate Room, lasting 60-90 minutes.

Autism is a lifelong disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. There are currently more than 20,000 people in Northern Ireland on the Autism Spectrum. The National Autistic Society found that only 15% of adults on the autism spectrum were in full-time employment despite the fact that many can and want to work.

If you are interested in attending, please email no later than 5.00pm on Monday 6 March.

Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and lunch will be provided. If you have any dietary requirements please advise.

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Parent Teacher Association Groups Showcase

Eventus is hosting an Afternoon Showcase for Parent Teacher Association Groups on Thursday 2 March, 3.00pm - 5.00pm. Please feel free to attend if you are involved in your child’s PTA or forward to anyone who might be interested.  

For further information please contact Melissa Kent, Eventus Culture and Arts,, 028 9097 3768.

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Consultation Meetings with the Professoriate (Professorial Gender Pay Gap)

Members of the Professoriate have been invited to attend consultation meetings in relation to Professorial Gender Pay Gap.

The final meeting is on Wednesday 1 March in Lanyon 0G.074 at 1.00pm. Please register online to attend.

The meeting will be facilitated by Professor Tom Millar, Director of SWAN and Professor Yvonne Galligan, Director of QGI.

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Global Challenge Networking Programme

All staff with a research interest relating to the theme of ‘Resilience’ are invited to join Professor James McElnay, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research, Enterprise and Postgraduate Affairs, for a networking lunch followed by a discussion on Monday 6 March, 12.30pm – 3.00pm, in the Canada Room and Council Chamber. Researchers from all disciplinary areas and at all career stages are warmly invited.

The workshop is open to those who attended the first event as well as any other researcher who is interested in exploring the possibilities for collaborative work on the following three sub-themes:
•    Vulnerability, Adversity and Resilience
•    Resilience and Space
•    Critical Resilience Studies

A guest presentation will be delivered by Professor Adrian Van Breda (University of Johannesburg) on conceptual debates and future lines of enquiry.  This will be followed by a group speed networking event. For further information and to register please email

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Welcome Centre

The Welcome Centre now stock the number one bestselling children's book range by award-winning author, Benji Bennett.

These books help to create a unique, loving and happy reading experience for parents to share with their children at bedtime.

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As Northern Ireland's leading independent cinema, QFT aim to provide great films for everyone. Whether you go to the QFT every week, or have never been before, your feedback is important to learn how to improve the services we offer. Fill in our questionnaire and enter a prize draw to win a £50 Amazon voucher.

This week at QFT:

  • Best - He was football’s first rock and roll star – a handsome, charismatic Belfast boy who could thrill and excite the crowds with every turn of the ball.
  • The Fits - 11-year-old tomboy Toni (a showstopping Royalty Hightower) is bewitched by the tight-knit dance team she sees practicing in the same Cincinnati gym where she boxes.
  • Moonlight - Named 'Best Picture' at this week's Academy Awards, Moonlight is the tender, heartbreaking story of a young man’s struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life.
  • Taxi Driver - Robert De Niro punches in for another shift as Travis Bickle, the insomniac Vietnam veteran struggling to navigate New York's streets of vice in Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader's searing, seething state of the nation address.
  • Exhibition on Screen: I, Claude Monet - Using letters and other private writings I, Claude Monet reveals new insight into the man who not only painted the picture that gave birth to impressionism but who was perhaps the most influential and successful painter of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Staff ticket price £5, standard ticket price £6.70. Please visit for more details.

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Students' Union Shop

The SU Shop is now stocking a new vegan lunch range from ‘that vegan café’ brand.

The fresh, healthy and competitively priced range includes:

  • Granary Sandwiches: Chickpea and Salad £3.25; Korean BBQ £3.25; Beetroot Houmous £3.25; Pear and Peanut £2.95
  • Salad Boxes: Vegan Quiche £4.25; Beetroot Houmous £4.00
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Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 event‌UKRO visit

Dr Helen Dewberry from UKRO will visit Queen's on Wednesday 1 March.

The UK Research Office (UKRO) is the European office of the UK Research Councils. It 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.

Please register for Dr Dewberry's seminar online.

ERC – Meet with Panel Members

On Thursday 16 March an ERC-Behind the Scenes event, focusing on the evaluation process of Horizon 2020 ERC grants, will be held at Queen’s. A representative of the ERC Executive agency will present an overview of the process and three panel members will share their experience for the three schemes (Starting, Consolidator and Advanced) and three disciplines (Social Sciences and Humanities, Physical Sciences and Engineering and Life Sciences).

Register for the event online.

Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowships Information Session

A MSCA Individual Fellowships Information Session will take place on Tuesday 28 February at 12.30pm. Lunch will be provided.

The Fellowships aim to enhance the creative and innovative potential of experienced researchers (post-doctoral researchers) by diversifying their skills acquisition through advanced training and international and/or inter-sectoral mobility. There is also support for individual researchers to re-start their careers after a break, and for the re-integration into Europe of researchers previously active in Europe but currently working outside Europe.

Further information and registration details here.

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Queen's Teaching Awards

The closing date for receipt of applications for a Queen’s Teaching Award 2017 is 5.00pm, Monday 13 March.  Applications should be submitted in Word via e-mail to

The Notes for Guidance, application templates and examples of previous applications are available to download. For further information, lpease contact Liz McDowell,, 028 9097 5301.

Continuing Professional Development

  • Wednesday 08 March: Using Technology to Enhance Online Learning, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 22 March: Using the Personal Response System in Your Classes, 2.00pm – 4.30pm
  • Wednesday 29 March: Flipping the Lecture, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Further details of courses and events are available on the CED website. 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 the below, click on the links.

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Upcoming courses:

  • Monday 6 March: Introduction to Chinese Language and Culture, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 7 March: Doing Focus Group Research, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Friday 10 March: Writing your Academic CV, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Wednesday 15 March: Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, 10.00am – 12.30pm

Leadership and Management Development Opportunities

Book now for the following Developing for Success courses (aimed at Professional Support Staff Grade 7 and above, and Academic Staff Grade AC2 and above):

  • Wednesday 15 March: Managing Difficult Conversations, 9.15am – 1.15pm
  • Thursday 23 March: Project Management for non-Project Managers, 9.30am – 4.30pm

To register for an upcoming training course, log onto Queen’s Online, 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:
  • Tuesday 28 February: Word Processing: Tables and Form Design using Word, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 8 March: Diagrams Made Easy with Microsoft Publisher, Word and PowerPoint, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 8 March: Outlook: Making Best Use of Outlook 2013, 9.30am – 1.00pm
  • Thursday 9 March: Working with SharePoint (for Site Contributors), 10.00am – 12.30pm
  • Friday 10 March: Working with SharePoint (for Site Administrators), 10.00am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 15 March: Excel 1: Essentials (ECDL Spreadsheets), 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Tuesday 28 March: Excel 2: Managing Data, 10.00am-1.00pm
  • Thursday 20 March: Excel3: Data Analysis, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Monday 10 April: Twitter for Beginners, 10.00am – 12.00pm

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 next test date is Monday 6 March, 8.30am – 10.00am.  To register your interest in taking ECDL or ECDL Advanced, email

Tip of the day: Need to share files with colleagues? Use Office 365 OneDrive.  Sign into your Office 365 account at

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