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Staff Conference: Connect and Collaborate – 13-17 September 2021

Come join us for our Staff Conference: Connect and Collaborate week!

Starting from Monday 13 September and continuing over the five days, we have a number of sessions each day for you to sign-up to and get involved in.

Mainly online and with one or two sessions on campus, each session will be run by colleagues across the University, who will highlight a variety of interesting and important topics showcasing what Kent is all about. From a spotlight on sustainability to discovering what exciting plans are in store for Medway campus, there’s something for everyone!

To say a big thank you to all of you and to finish off the week in style, there’ll be a staff BBQ on Canterbury campus for us all to enjoy.

Feel free to sign-up to as many as you fancy, and don’t worry if you miss one as every online session will be recorded. You’ll find the programme for the week and the sign-up links below:

Staff Conference programme

Monday 13 September

11.00 – 11.30 – WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION – An update on Kent 2025 Strategy & Mid Term Review: Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Cox will kick off the week with an update on Kent’s 2025 Strategy and where we are after a mid-term refresh. Sign-up to the session.

11.30 – 12.15 – Spotlight on Sustainability at Kent: Led by Dr Catherine Morris, If you want to find out about our sustainability commitments and how we are addressing them, have your say or discover how to get involved in sustainability projects, then this session will be for you. Sign-up to the session.

11.30 – 12.15 – The history of Kent – Farm to University Campus : Learn how the Canterbury campus went from being a farm to the institution we now know from Carole Barron, Head of Knowledge Exchange & Innovation. Sign-up to the session.

12.15 – 13.00 – The Turing Scheme: International placements: a whole new (virtual?) world: Find out what the successor to the Erasmus scheme means for global mobility and explore virtual exchange opportunities at Kent from Hannah McNorton and Emma Marku. Sign-up to the session.

12.15 – 13.00 – An introduction to KMTV and what it can do for you: Want to know more about KMTV and how it can support your work? Tune in to find out more from Sadie Appleby. Sign-up to the session.

Tuesday 14 September

11.00 – 13.00 – RESEARCH AND INNOVATION: Introduction and Overview: Led by Professor Shane Weller (chair). To register for this session or any of the following three presentations, please click here.

  • An introduction to the Signature Research Themes: ‘Future Human’ and ‘Migration and Movement’ are two of the three new Signature Research Themes. Find out more from the theme leaders, Dr Lex Mauger and Professor David Herd.
  • Collaborative Innovation Projects at Kent: Calling all academics and PSD staff! This 30-minute session led by Janine Coomber and Dr Anastasios Tsaousis, is for all colleagues interested in finding ways to collaborate with external organisations, with information, case-studies and Q&As.
  • The KEF and the Concordat – an overview: Find out how two key initiatives are driving change in the way universities engage with businesses. Led by Carole Barron.

11.00 – 11.45 – The Medway strategy: Find out about the exciting plans for the Medway campus from Dr William Collier. Sign-up to the session.

11.45 – 12.30 – QA-ccessibility: How do we incorporate accessibility into our working practices so that digital services are available to all? A session led by Alison Webster and Ben Watson. Sign-up to the session.

12.00 – 13.00 – Tea, Talk and Text – the Staff Reading Group Theme “People and Work: Searching for Meaning” – ON CAMPUS in the Chapel, Eliot College: Led by Revd Dr Stephen Laird, join us for a 50-minute ‘taster session’, where we inform our discussions and reflections with short pieces of text from a variety of religious thinkers and traditions. To register, please email so that reading material can be sent to you in good time.

Wednesday 15 September

11.00 – 13.00 – CIVIC MISSION – Introduction and Overview: Chaired by Dr Philip Pothen, this session will explore how three different initiatives are demonstrating the University’s commitment to its communities, its external partnerships and its wider civic mission. To register for this session or any of the following three presentations, please click here.

  • iCCi and Creative Kent: Learn how these two initiatives are set to bring creative opportunities to our campuses and communities from Professor Catherine Richardson.
  • The Kent and Medway Medical School: one year on: Find out how KMMS’s first year of operations has gone, and how the medical school is opening-up career opportunities for so many from our region, from Dr Anna Romito.
  • The high street and civic mission: a pop-up shop in Ramsgate: In this interactive session led by Dr Vicky Mason, find out how to engage and get involved in a world outside academia.

11.00 – 12.15 – GLOBAL CHALLENGES SHOWCASE: Hear about how three research projects are making a global impact.  To register for this session or any of the following three presentations, please click here.

  • Meet May & Bay, tackling sextortion and child trafficking in Thailand and Cambodia: Led by Emma Soutar and Professor Jane Reeves .
  • Empowering Women in Science: A Global Challenge: Led by Professor Jen Hiscock (Natural Sciences) and Dr Jen Leigh (Centre for Higher Education).
  • Sustainable Architecture in a Modern World: Led by Professor Henrik Schoenefeldt, Architecture, Arts & Humanities.

12.15 – 13.00 – QUALITATIVE FINDINGS FROM THE BAME STAFF NETWORK ALL-STAFF SURVEY: Come along to this session led by Dr Barbara Adewumi and Dr Bridget Ng’andu where findings of the survey – conducted by the BAME Staff Network – will be revealed. Outlining key themes to improve race quality from recruitment to career progression, this is a great opportunity for us to discuss what we as an institution can do better. Sign-up to the session.

Thursday 16 September

11.00 – 12.20 – LEARNING AND TEACHING AND THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE – Introduction and overview: Led by Professor Richard Reece, find out the latest on our approach to health and safety, teaching spaces, the format of staff-student interactions in the new academic year. To register for this session or the following presentation, please click here.

  • Student priorities for the new year, with the new President of Kent Union, Aisha Dosanjh: Followed by Q&A

11.00 – 12.15 – A cuppa and conversation – for members of staff who are Kent alumni: Were you once a Kent student and are now a staff member? Want to share your memories of your time here? Or do you have ideas about how we should engage with our alumni? Now’s your opportunity to let us know and to help shape our future plans! Sign-up to the session.

12.15 – 13.15 – A Virtual Tour of Special Collections and the Archives: Based in the Templeman Library, our Special Collections & Archives team care for over 150 archive collections. In this virtual tour, you’ll get the chance to go behind-the-scenes, exploring our basement storage areas, and understanding how we care for the historic material in our care. Sign-up to the session.

12.30 – 13.15 – Two highlight sessions from the Medway Festival of Learning and Teaching: the Medway Festival of Learning and Teaching is jointly organised by the Medway universities to share, promote and celebrate best practice in learning and teaching. Sign-up to one or both sessions below.

  • Guided Relaxation for Stress Reduction: Led by Annikki Laitinen.
  • Phenomenal Women: Led by Patmarie Coleman.

Friday 17 September

11.00 – 12.00 – Implementing an antiracism strategy for the University: As an institution, and as individuals, we need to challenge and deconstruct systemic racism. In this session, we will introduce the draft Antiracism Strategy for Kent and suggest how you can get involved in this vital work. Led by Professor Georgina Randsley de Moura. Sign-up to the session.

12.00 – 12.45 – Outreach to schools – our widening participation strategy: Dr Marta Almeida Hill will give examples of outreach work we are currently delivering in schools and how we evaluate and measure impact. Sign-up to the session.

13.00 – 15.00 – Staff Summer Fete/BBQ – ON CAMPUS: Book your place now.

If you want to know more or have any queries re the Conference, please get in touch with the organising team at