Monthly Archives: June 2021

people studying and chatting

Four new PhD studentships launched at SSPSSR

Exciting opportunities to join one of two prestigious research centres at SSPSSR have opened up with the launch of four new PhD studentships for scholars interested in researching applied health and social care.

Three of the studentships are based at the University’s Centre for Health Service Studies (CHSS), and the fourth is based with the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU).

Both research centres have close links with each other and are based within the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) at Kent, one of the largest social science communities in Europe. SSPSSR is recognised worldwide for producing excellent research and was ranked 2nd for research power, 3rd for research intensity and 5th for both research impact and research quality (GPA) by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

For all four studentships, we are looking for applicants who are:

  • enthusiastic about applied health and social care research
  • have completed a health or social care related postgraduate training course at Master’s level equivalent to merit or distinction with a substantial research training component (such as an ESRC recognised training course), or be willing to undertake additional research methods training.

As a PhD scholar with CHSS or PSSRU, you will become part of the research communities within the Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS) and the University of Kent. ARC KSS is one of 15 ARCs across England, part of a £135 million investment by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to improve the health and care of patients and the public.

Centre for Health Service Studies (CHSS) 

CHSS is a centre of research excellence which undertakes high quality research into a wide range of health systems and health services issues at local, national and international levels. CHSS also supports and advises health care staff to develop and undertake research projects. CHSS collaborates with a wide range of partners in Kent, the UK and in other countries to improve the links between research, policy and practice.

Apply by Friday 23 July for the following scholarships at CHSS:

For the CHSS studentships, students are required to apply to SSPSSR’s PhD Applied Health Research

Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) 

PSSRU is a leading social care research group that conducts policy analysis, research and consultancy in the UK and internationally. The Unit’s mission is to undertake high quality research on social and health care to inform and influence policy, practice and theory.

PSSRU’s current research programme focuses on needs, resources and outcomes in social and health care, with particular emphasis on economic aspects of community care, residential and nursing home provision, social care markets and commissioning, long-term care finance, and mental health policy. The PSSRU has long had close and productive links with policy-makers in the UK and elsewhere.

Apply by Friday 23 July for the following scholarship at PSSRU:

For the PSSRU studentship, students are required to apply to SSPSSR’s PhD in Social Policy

E-Learning webinar: What will HE look like once the pandemic is over?

The E-Learning Team are pleased to announce that the next event in our series of ‘Digitally Enhanced Education webinars’ will take place on Thursday 8 July, from 11.00-13.30 (BST), with the theme ‘What will HE look like once the pandemic is over?’

Please find the agenda for the event below:

11:00 – 11:05 – Dr Phil Anthony: Introduction.

11:05 – 11:20 – Dr Louise Naylor (University of Kent) : Challenges and opportunities: digital learning and student experience in the Covid era

11:20 – 11:35 – Dr Helen Beetham (University of Wolverhampton): Digital and post-digital thinking: what knowledge matters?

11:35 – 11:50 – Nick Hillman (HEPI): What will HE look like once the pandemic is over

11:50 – 12:05 – Associate professor of practice Maha Bali (The American University in Cairo): Beyond Toxic Positivity – Care and Equity Beyond the Pandemic

12:05 – 12:15 – BREAK

12:15 – 12:30 – Sean Pryor (FutureLearn): FutureLearn’s thoughts on where we see the HE sector once the pandemic is over

12:30 – 12:45 – Jisc’s Jonathan Baldwin imagines a technology-enhanced, post-pandemic HE sector

12:45 – 13:00 – Professor Shigeru Miyagawa (MIT, US): What Will Remain Post-Pandemic?

13:00 – 13:15 – Dr Tony Bates (Research Associate with Contact North): ‘Some post-Covid trends in higher education

13:15 – 13:30 – Dr Phil Anthony: Wrap-up

If you would like to join the webinar series, please express your interest here if you haven’t done so already. We will add you the Microsoft Team linked to the series. Colleagues from outside the University of Kent are very welcome to join –  so please feel free to circulate.

If you would like to present at a future event, please complete this form and Phil Anthony will be in touch.

We hope to see you on 8 July!

The E-Learning Team

Pride Picnic heading on tartan blanket

Join our Pride Picnic on Monday 28 June

28 June marks the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1969, and so LGBT+ colleagues and allies are warmly invited to join us on the Canterbury Campus from 17.00 on that Monday for a low-key post-work picnic.

Bring yourself, some drinks and some nibbles and meet us on the lawns between Rutherford and Eliot Colleges. All LGBT+ staff and allies are welcome. University of Kent rainbow lanyards will be available for anyone who wants one while stocks last!

For more information contact lgbtstaffnetwork@kent.ac.uk.

Collage of images representing Pride Month

Why is Pride important to you?

To mark Pride Month, LGBTQ+ staff and student networks at University of Kent posed the question ‘Why is Pride important to you?’ Along with their answers, members submitted pictures that made them think of pride. These pictures have been turned into the eye-catching Pride Collage above.

Why is Pride important to you?

“Pride is important to be because it makes me feel visible, included, and part of something bigger”

“The LGBT+ community is one of the most diverse, all-embracing, inclusive communities on the planet. The + is very important. The ability to self-define and still be accepted is a fundamental part of this community, which is what makes it so very special. And it’s not just about who’s allowed in; it’s about the support once you arrive. We look after each other, support each other, and use discrimination against us as fuel to support other minoritised groups”

“Pride Month is when I feel closest to my community. Wherever I am, knowing that the core nature of this community is to protect its own and speak its truth gives me a sense of balance and belonging”

“Pride comes in many different colours, and the LGBT+ community covers many different communities, some more marginalized than others”

“I am not proud because I am gay – I was born gay; I’m proud because I’m not afraid any more”

“When I think of Pride, the first word that comes to me is ‘freedom’. Freedom of being who I am, how I look like and what I wear, what I believe in, and who I love. Unfortunately too many people around the world still don’t have such freedoms, so having a month to celebrate and reflect on the meaning of Pride is still very important, even in 2021”

“Pride is important to me because for the other 364 days of the year, I find it hard to be proud”

“As an ally, Pride to me is a reminder of my privilege and that the rights of LGBT+ friends, family and colleagues are far from being won. Pride to me is an ongoing effort to make sure I do all I can to recognise and fight against inequality and to call out injustice, standing side by side with the LGBT+ community with respect and friendship”

“Pride to me never used to mean much, apart from a nice day out and lots of rainbows. That was before I was out as a pansexual/queer person. Now, on the other hand, pride is so incredibly important to me. It is important because it is genuinely the ONLY time and place where I can hold my partner’s hand and not feel worried about harassment and stares. It is the ONLY place where I can feel like I am ‘normal’ and a part of the majority, and nobody will judge me. I don’t think anyone can really understand this without experiencing years of ‘coming out’ in every possible social situation. It also makes me so happy to see younger generations at Pride festivals and in Pride month just being visible and being who they are, in a way that was never possible when I was that age. I enjoy being a role model and making sure that generations to come can feel proud to be who they are and know that they are not alone”

“For me, Pride is a time to reflect on the progress we’ve made thanks to the work of queer heroes, and recognise that there’s still so much to do. I don’t always feel comfortable expressing who I am, but Pride allows me to celebrate – even if it is in very small ways!”

“To me, Pride is radical. It is self-acceptance; it is rejecting the voices that define you as ‘less than’. It is a celebration AND a fight… and there are still lots to fight for. We can only be proud if we stand with and for one another.”

For more information about the LGBTQ+ community at Kent visit the LGBTQ+ webpages.

iCCi showcase young Kent creatives in online festival

BounceBack is a new online festival celebrating the fantastic creativity of young people across Kent, showcasing new work created over the past 12 months.

Each day of the festival (24-27 June), new performances and discussions will be released for free on Youtube or Instagram and remain available for 3 days. So audiences can enjoy the festival unfold in real time, watch again, or catch up later across the 4 day event.

On Saturday 26 June, BounceBack will be coming live from the Gulbenkian Arts Centre, with a number of live-streamed events and discussions across the day – a chance to meet and hear from the talented BounceBack artists themselves.

BounceBack has been developed by a group of young creatives, ART31 Generate, based at Gulbenkian. Following a call out in April, young artists and performers across the county responded with an amazing, diverse mix of music, drama, dance, comedy and visual arts reflected in the final festival programme.

Details of BounceBack and links to all the events can be found on the Gulbenkian website

ART31 is run by iCCi at the University of Kent and supported by Arts Council England and Kent County Council.

man using laptop at table

Internship Experience UK 2021 is open for applications!

Back by popular demand, Internship Experience UK is an immersive virtual experience designed to support school leavers, current university students and recent graduates to get ahead with their career.

As the UK’s biggest internship experience, it has supported thousands of students and graduates with their career. This year, Internship Experience UK is back with brand new three-day virtual programmes across eight sectors, and it’s completely virtual meaning your internship can be completed from anywhere.

Eight sectors to choose from:

  • Professional Services and consulting – Monday 28 June 2021
  • Technology – Tuesday 29 June 2021
  • Investment Banking and Asset Management – Monday 5 July 2021
  • Public Sector, Policy and Charity (New for 2021) – Tuesday 6 July 2021
  • Business Operations and Marketing – Monday 12 July 2021
  • Audit, Tax and Corporate Finance – Tuesday 13 July 2021
  • Engineering and Infrastructure (New for 2021) – Monday 19 July 2021
  • Commercial Law – Tuesday 20 July 2021

Internship Experience UK 2021 is a great opportunity to:

  • Enhance your CV just as employers are looking to hire
  • Explore exciting new career paths and build your sector knowledge
  • Meet new, leading UK employers and gain an industry-recognised certificate

To find out more about the three-day virtual internship, watch the Internship Experience UK 2021 video, and visit their website for information about how to apply.

Covid-19 vaccine sticker

Covid-19: Pop-up Centres in Canterbury

From Dr Lucy Foley | Director of Student Services and University Health Protection Lead

Getting vaccinated is an important part of protecting ourselves, our friends, family and community from Covid-19. Current programmes have already shown that it prevents hospitalisation and saves lives.

Those of you over 21 can already book a vaccination using the NHS online booking system and by the end of the week, all over 18 year olds will be eligible.

Two pop-up Covid-19 vaccination clinics are open in Canterbury this weekend and I would like to encourage you to attend if you can, particularly with the summer vacation in mind.

  1. Saturday 19 June, 10.00-17.00
    First and second Pfizer vaccination doses
    Sea Cadet Hub, Vauxhall Road, Canterbury CT1 1ZN – Google map
  2. Sunday 20 June, 08.30-19.00
    First Pfizer vaccination doses only
    Augustine House, Rhodaus Town, Canterbury CT1 2YA – Google map

The walk-in clinics will be offering the Pfizer vaccine, which means it is most appropriate for people aged 39 and under, but adults of any age are welcome to attend. No appointments are necessary at either of the clinics.

There may be queues outside the buildings, so people are asked to wear appropriate clothing and observe social distancing rules. The entrance for the Augustine House is at the rear, accessed by walking up the pathway to the left of the building. It is walk-in only, with no parking available on site.

Those who receive a vaccination at the clinics are advised to visit the online national booking service a few days after their first jab to book their second dose. Appointments for the second vaccination can be made via the national booking service.

There is more information on the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination in Kent and Medway, and you can find other locations of vaccination sites. More information about the UK Government vaccination programme is also available online.

Even if you are unable to attend these pop-up clinics this weekend, I strongly encourage you to participate in a Covid-19 vaccination programme at your earliest opportunity to do so.

You might also find this NHS vaccination video helpful.

Best wishes,

Lucy

Dr Lucy Foley | Director of Student Services and University Health Protection Lead

A white tea cup with flowers and 2 open books on a table.

How to de-stress and relax after exams

This year has been challenging for many students, with the ongoing pandemic changing the way we engage with our studies and university life as a whole. Therefore, as exam season comes to an end, many of us will be finishing the academic year with a hope to relax and take some time off. To help you, here are some top tips on how to de-stress after exams!

Think positively

Rather than focusing on where you might have gone wrong in a particular exam, focus on the things you did well. You’ve worked hard and completed your exams, so you should know that you did the best that you can. Remind yourself of your strengths, and that you can no longer control the outcome. If you continue to think positively, this should allow you to focus on the joy of having finished exams rather than the future results. In such a difficult year, you should be proud of yourself for getting through the entire exam season!

Tidy up your workspace

De-cluttering your workspace and tidying away your exam/revision resources can really help to clear your mind. By moving revision materials that you no longer need out of view, this can help you let go of exam nerves and start getting excited for summer!

Celebrate!

After a difficult exam season and academic year, you deserve to celebrate! Organise a celebratory meal or movie night with friends or family, and be proud that you got to the end of your exams.

Catch up with friends

Over the exam period, many of us can find it increasingly difficult to stay in contact with friends as we become so caught up in revision and exam stress. Therefore, it’s important to reach out and speak to the people you care about when you can! Check up on your friends and see if you can schedule a time to meet. If you’re worried about results, this can be especially helpful as many of your friends will be in the same boat, so this can help you remember that you’re not alone.

Take some time for yourself

The stress of exams can often mean that students work long hours with very little downtime, but it’s so important to take time off and relax! Once your exams are over, try taking some time to yourself and doing some of the things you’d been longing for during exams. This could be something as simple as binging a new series, or giving yourself an at-home spa day. Whatever you enjoy, it’s important to reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve put in, and to take some time appreciating the simpler things that you might have neglected during exam season.

Spend time outdoors

Spending time outdoors can be great for your mental health, and can really help with post-exam nerves. You can use this time to exercise by going for a walk or run, or you could find a nice outdoor area just to sit and relax. If you’re in the Canterbury area, there are many beautiful outdoor spaces to explore, so take advantage of the scenery Kent offers! Going for a long walk can also help you to feel rejuvenated after spending a lot of time sitting at a desk, and you can use this time to listen to podcasts or music, which might help to take your mind off of exams.

Make plans for results day

If you plan something enjoyable for results day, this might calm your post-exam jitters! Maybe organise a celebration with your household, or a fun activity with some friends. This should help shift your focus to a more positive outlook, and allows you to keep reminding yourself that there is something to look forward to.

Plan for Kent Summer Fest

Kent Summer Fest is a great opportunity to unwind, as a vast range of activities are on offer. This includes outdoor cinema screenings, food and drink, live music, and workshops. Make plans with friends to head to campus and enjoy the activities available!

No matter what you decide to do, remember that you have done your best. In a year of so many complications and difficulties, you managed to keep going and got through your exams. Well done!

Supporting our Trans and non-binary colleagues at Kent

We at the University of Kent are committed to fostering a positive working environment where all staff are treated fairly, with dignity, courtesy, respect and consideration. All staff have a responsibility to create an environment that is free from harassment, bullying, unlawful discrimination and victimisation.

In recent years, the trans and non-binary community has become more visible in society and the public eye. We have been pleased to see increased awareness of the diversity of the trans community and increased understanding of the breadth of gender identities. Unfortunately, this increased visibility has come with increased hostility towards some members of the trans community.

Trans and non-binary people face discrimination and harassment:

  • At work, including from colleagues, managers, customers and clients;
  • In public, including verbal and physical abuse;
  • Online, particularly on social media where targeted harassment, bullying and abusive comments and even attempts to find and share trans people’s previous names and current address are increasingly common;
  • They also face barriers to accessing healthcare, such as long waiting lists for treatment, and  transphobia.

We will not stand by while trans people are fighting discrimination every day on multiple fronts, and facing harassment and violence. We are committed to trans inclusion. Recent news events and discussions related to Stonewall have amplified the discussion, particularly online, and we have published our response to this confirming our continued membership of Stonewall. This response underlines our commitment to freedom of speech, academic freedom, and inclusion, which are all University values.

As an institution, we are committed to speaking out when we witness or hear transphobia, challenging decisions that exclude trans people, including ways of thinking that perpetuate a rigid gender binary, learning how best we can support our trans colleagues at all times and educating ourselves and those around us.

For members of our trans, nonbinary and intersex communities

Gender Neutral Toilets

We recognise that this is a particular concern for trans members of our community, and we have maps of both our Canterbury and Medway campuses highlighting the location of gender neutral toilets.

Network Support

Join our communities – the Staff LGBT+ Network, Kent Union LGBTQ+ Network and Trans, non-binary, intersex and questioning peer support group are here to support you.

Harassment Reporting

We fully support and encourage all our students and staff to report incidents of racism, harassment and discrimination.

This is though INK for Students or the Reporting Tool for Staff.

For Allies

We recognise that it can be challenging to know how to support other members of our community facing discrimination and harassment or speaking out when we witness or hear transphobia. Below are some actions that you can take.

Update your email signatures

Add your pronouns to your email signature, (Pronouns means how you identify — he/him, she/her, they/them, for instance — and how you’d like other people to refer to you. This is a great, inclusive practice for everyone, even or especially if you’re cisgender – if you’re not sure what this means, Stonewall have put together a helpful glossary).

Active Bystander Training

‘Active Bystander’ is an innovative and award-winning training session which gives staff and students the skills to challenge unacceptable behaviours, including those which may have become normalised over time.

We have 3 sessions planned which are 90 minutes long running in June/July and August all bookable via Staff Connect. Students have an online Bystander module that is part of the expect respect module within the student moodle.

The session includes:

  • A video demonstrating bystander apathy
  • References to high profile examples of inappropriate/unacceptable behaviour
  • Decision-making techniques to help people overcome fear and self- doubt when faced with a challenging situation
  • Assertiveness techniques to give them the confidence and tools to speak out, whether they are dealing with the challenge directly or calling for help from others.

Each session features four scenarios of negative behaviour, and there is group discussion and interactivity as part of this.

Learn more about the challenges members of our community face

Online training in Staff training Moodle on – Transgender Awareness and LGBTQI – these are easily accessible, available at any time and give an introduction to the challenges members of our community face. We recommend that all staff engage with these training opportunities.

Access resources

Using the resources available removes the burden of questions, explanations and discussions from members of the trans community – the links below are an excellent starting point for people wanting to understand more.

Our LGBT+ network have a fantastic blog that covers ongoing news, events and challenges – stay up to date with the issues affecting the community.

Mermaids UK and Stonewall have easily accessible resources and Q&A that cover many of the relevant issues.

People walking on Canterbury campus

Covid-19 update – delay to roadmap and Kent Summer Fest

From Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education and Student Experience

As you may already know, the UK Government announced yesterday evening a delay in moving to the next step of their roadmap out of lockdown. Step 4 has now been put back to no earlier than 19 July 2021, meaning for now the vast majority of the ongoing safety requirements will remain as they are.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued cooperation throughout the ongoing lockdown period. I know that this delay will come as a disappointment to many of you, but it is vital we all keep supporting one another by following all Government guidance during this additional stage of lockdown release.

Kent Summer Fest

For those of you looking forward to joining us on campus for Kent Summer Fest next week, the good news is that we will we going ahead from Monday as planned.

Whilst yesterday’s announcement means we will be making some changes to our programme to fit within the current restrictions, we have had safety and flexibility built into our planning throughout and we will still be offering a full programme of events.

I hope to see as many as possible of you for a fortnight of fun-packed events and a chance to socialise and relax together after such a difficult year. We will share final details of ‘what’s on’ via our Kent Summer Fest webpages later this week.

Testing

A huge thank you to all of you who have taken part in the additional enhanced testing in Canterbury both on our campus and across the city. The testing finishes at the end of today, so please do try and get along to the testing vans on the Keynes and Darwin carparks today if you can for one of your weekly tests.

Whilst this focus on new variants is coming to an end, remember that you do still need to get regularly tested, especially if you are living on campus, coming to Kent Summer Fest or accessing other campus facilities. The campus asymptomatic testing centres are still open in Canterbury and Medway and in Canterbury we also offer home testing kits for you to collect. For those not able to collect from campus, please order your home kits from the NHS directly.

For those of you with symptoms or who test positive, please self-isolate immediately, arrange an NHS PCR test and let us know. Further information is in our ‘What to do if you have Covid-19 symptoms or advised to self-isolate’ online guide.

Please do continue to get in touch with CovidSupport@kent.ac.uk if you have any questions or concerns.

Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience