Author Archives: Wendy Raeside

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Entries open for Research and Innovation Prizes 2021

Entries are now open for the University’s Research and Innovation Prizes 2021.

The annual prizes are designed to celebrate the achievements of academic and professional services staff across a range of areas – especially activities that have had a transformative effect, created new knowledge, benefited a particular community and/or supported others in the research and innovation ecosystem.

This year’s prizes include:

  • Starting Research Prize
  • Consolidator Research Prize
  • Advanced Research Prize
  • Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Prize
  • Technician of the Year Prize
  • Professional Services Support of the Year Prize
  • The 2021 Kent Research and Innovation Community Prize

Entry deadline is 12.00 on Friday 28 May. To find out more about the categories and how to apply, please see our Research webpages.

Kent bids for first year of Turing funding

The University has submitted its first funding application to the Turing Scheme – the UK’s new global programme for study and work abroad.

The application has been submitted by our International Partnerships team, who will manage the University’s activities within the Turing scheme, in consultation with Divisions and other relevant parties across the University. We will receive the outcome of our bid by the end of July 2021, allowing us to support students going abroad in 2021-22.

In this first year of the Turing scheme, we have bid for funding for Kent students going on a term/year abroad outside Europe and, if successful, additional grants will be available to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Those going to Europe will continue to be covered by Erasmus funding during 2021-22.

We have also bid for additional funding to support students taking part in shorter-term, co-curricular activities abroad such as summer schools. Priority will be given to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and under-represented groups.

We look forward to sharing the results of our bid in July and working with colleagues in Divisions and professional services to promote and support the opportunities available to Kent students.

For more details, please contact internationalpartnerships@kent.ac.uk or visit the Turing Scheme webpages.

Coronavirus

Staff Webchat on Health and Safety on Campus – Thursday 20 May

Our next staff webchat will take place on Teams on Thursday 20 May, from 12.00-13.00. The theme will be Health and Safety on Campus.

The webchat, will be chaired by Professor Richard Reece, DVC Education & Student Experience, and takes place as the latest lockdown continues to ease. Richard will be joined by our Head of Safety, Health and Environment, Dr Jim Bloor, who will outline what the University has been doing to ensure everyone stays safe and how staff can help as more of us start returning to campus.

Ahead of the session, it would be helpful to have as many questions as possible so we can do our best to cover everything in the time. To do this, please sign-up via the form where you can include your question when prompted.

Webchat in June

You can also sign-up to our webchat taking place in June:

Thursday 10 June, 12.00-13.00: Kent Summer – Our plans to mark the end of term with a fortnight of fun and community on our Canterbury and Medway campuses from 21 June to 2 July. Sign-up via this form.

Find out more

Recordings and slides from all previous webchats are available on our staff webpages.

The Gulbenkian with red flowers at the forefront of the image.

Covid-19 update: Staff returning to campus

As the Government continues its easing of lockdown, we have a roadmap for staff returning to campus from 10 May 2021 onwards.

Roadmap for return

You can find an accessible version of this image on our Roadmap for staff returning to campus webpage.

What’s changed

Starting from 10 May (the start of our Summer Term), our criteria for staff returning to campus is changing. As well as essential staff (eg, those who provide practical support for students or work in a lab), those staff who cannot work from home for various reasons will be able to return to work on campus. This might apply if you:

  • need access to lab equipment
  • perform critical activities unable to be done remotely
  • would benefit for physical/mental health
  • are unable to work from home effectively due to eg, lack of space/Wi-Fi issues/childcare close to campus

Working on and off campus

As highlighted at our recent Covid-19 Staff Webchat, flexible working will become more and more of a feature of how we work as more staff come back onto campus. From September onwards, this will become University policy under our new Hybrid Working Scheme. Further details will be shared with colleagues shortly.

Staying safe

On return to campus, it is important that you help everyone stay safe by following latest guidelines (subject to Government review), including:

  • Following the two-metre social distancing rule and room occupancy limits
  • Using the hand sanitiser on entering a building and wearing a face covering (unless exempt) at all times, unless in a single occupancy office
  • Opening windows, if possible, when sharing a room with others
  • Not dropping your guard in informal settings

The University has an Asymptomatic Test Site on campus and all staff and students are eligible for two free Covid tests per week. Everyone regularly on campus is strongly encouraged to take up this opportunity or, if attending on an occasional basis, arrange a test before coming in. Where facilities are available closer to home, you may prefer to be tested regularly at a local symptom-free Community Test Site.

What to do next

In the first instance, you will need to talk to your line manager about the nature of your role and how this affects when you might return to campus. You should also discuss whether in the future, you may be eligible and wish to work partly at home. Once you have agreed a return date to campus, you will need to return any office equipment you have been using to work from home eg, chairs, computers, screens, keyboard/mouse.

You should also ensure you are aware of current safety measures, including the University’s Risk Assessment.

Find out more

You can keep up-to-date with latest Covid-19 changes and guidance on our staff coronavirus pages.

With best wishes,

Richard

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

Webinar on Pedagogy and Practice when Teaching Online

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 10 June, from 11:00-13:30, with the theme ‘Pedagogy and Practice when Teaching Online’.

Please find the agenda for the event below:

11:00 – 11:05 – Dr Phil Anthony (University of Kent): Introduction

11:05 – 11:20 – Dr Sam Lau (Hong Kong Baptist University): Engaging Quiet Students in Online Teaching

11:20 – 11:35 – Assistant Professor Phinu Jose (Christ University, Bangalore – India): Teaching Digital Natives-Privilege or Pain

11:35 – 11:50 – Dr Maren Deepwell (Chief Executive of the Association for Learning Technology): Key Insights from ALT’s Annual Survey for Teaching Online

10:50 – 11:05 – Kate Lister (Open University): Embedding mental wellbeing in technology enhanced learning

12:05 – 12:15 – Break

12:15 – 12:30 – Assistant Professor Alexandra Mihai (Maastricht University): Active learning online? Yes you can!

12:30 – 12:45 – Lara Bird (Office for Students): Gravity assist: Propelling higher education towards a brighter future – Where are we now?

12:45 – 13:00 – Dr David Martin (University of Dundee): Taking engagement in lectures to the next level – an experimental improved audience response system.

13:00 – 13:15 – Dr Lisa Quinn (University of Leicester): Integrating Multi-Source Inputs into Pre-recorded & Remote Live Lectures

13:15 – 13:30 – Professor Barbara Oakley (Oakland University, US): The magic of the brain’s hidden learning system

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 I will be in touch.

We hope to see you on 10 June.

Phil Anthony and the E-Learning Team

Child sitting on floor playing with toys

New, comprehensive guide for parents-to-be

A new online guide for parents-to-be at the University is now available.

The Parents Pack has been created by our Athena SWAN team, in response to comments, questions and queries from parents and carers via focus groups, workshop, surveys and interviews.

The new pack is a source of key information for both those becoming parents while working at Kent and their line managers. Sections include:

  • Before becoming a parent (including maternity leave and pay, and shared parental leave)
  • When life does not go as planned (eg additional leave and pay for premature babies)
  • During your leave (eg keeping in touch)
  • Returning to work
  • Work-life/home-life balance (eg flexible working), and
  • Childcare support (eg workplace nursery salary sacrifice scheme)

The new guide is available now on our HR webpages. If you have any questions/ comments, don’t hesitate to contact: athenaswan@kent.ac.uk

Virtual roundtable on Medical Racism – 29 April

All staff are invited to join a virtual roundtable on Medical Racism: Protecting Ourselves, Our Families and Our Communities on Thursday 29 April, from 17.30-19.00.

Structural racism has increased mistrust and hesitancy to engage with the medical system among Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities. Historical examples of unethical experimentation and medical mistreatment of Black people has heightened suspicion of endeavours to promote public health.

This virtual roundtable, organised by the universities of Kent and Oxford BAME/BME Staff Networks, will feature a panel of expert medical practitioners and scholars, including:

  • Dr Winston Morgan, Reader in toxicology and clinical biochemistry, Medicines Research Group, University of East London.
  • Dr Mohammed Sakel, Director NeuroRehabilitation, Consultant Physician, Director Research & Development, East Kent Hospital University
  • Dr Roberta Babb, Chartered Psychologist, Registered Clinical Psychologist, Registered Forensic Psychodynamic Psychotherapist, Media Psychologist, Life Coach and Organisational Consultant, The Hanover Center
  • Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, Emeritus Professor of Nursing, Patron of Sickle Cell UK
  • Dr Aadil El-Turabi, Vaccinologist specialising in Virus-Like Particles, Jenner Institute

To sign-up for the roundtable, click on this Eventbrite link. We look forward to seeing you there.

Bridget, Dave, Barbara and Vanisha, Co-Chairs of the BAME Staff Network

Challenging Racism – Live Webinar 19 April and Inclusion Circle 22 April

Continuing with our ‘Challenging Racism’ campaign, staff are invited to join us at two key events – a Live Webinar on 19 April and an Inclusion Circle session on 22 April.

For our final Live Webinar on Monday 19 April at 13.00, we are delighted to welcome Dr Jason Arday on ‘Let’s talk about race’.  The 90-minute online webinar is facilitated by Inclusive Employers, with a guest speaker, panel discussion and Q&A session.

We will be looking at why talking about race is difficult and why silence is so damaging to all of us, including:

  • What we can all do to encourage and improve conversations around race
  • Language and saying the ‘wrong’ thing
  • Top tips for starting conversations about race

Dr Jason Arday is an Associate Professor in Sociology at Durham University and Deputy Executive Dean for People and Culture in the Faculty of Social Science and Health. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at The Ohio State University in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, an Adjunct Professor at Nelson Mandela University and a Trustee of the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading Race Equality think tank. He is a presenter, with Heidi Mirza, of a podcast on Dismantling Race in Higher Education. 

Book your place today via Eventbrite. You can listen to our two previous live webinars on the Challenging Racism Together webpages (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

Inclusion Circle

Our next Inclusion Circle ‘Taking action on race inequality and inclusion’ will take place on Thursday 22 April at 10.00, and is open to staff from all ethnic backgrounds.

The aim of the Inclusion Circles is to create a safe environment to listen to staff concerns, shared lived experiences, discuss a variety of topics, and show solidarity. The 90-minute session is facilitated by Inclusive Employers consultants Aminata Pungi and Addison Barnett, and will include:

  • An open discussion on how to tackle racial inequality.
  • A facilitated conversation focusing on the problems and ideas for solutions.

Spaces are limited so please email ChallengingRacism@Kent.ac.uk if you would like to join.

About Challenging Racism

The aim of the ‘Challenging Racism’ campaign is to promote unity, not division and to help understand and develop more inclusive behaviours. To do that, we all need to increase our awareness and understanding of racism and how it can be tackled within Kent, to ensure all staff and students feel safe and empowered.

Please share this and encourage your contacts and teams to sign-up so that we can all work together and take the first steps to address racism at Kent and beyond.  If you have any questions, email challengingracism@kent.ac.uk

#EDI #challengingracismtogether #choosetochallenge

Marking Ramadan 2021

Ramadan begins on the evening of Monday 12 April and ends on the evening of Wednesday 12 May 2021. Muslims follow the lunar calendar, so the exact start and end dates depend on the sighting of the moon so these dates can vary slightly.

Ramadan is followed by the festival of Eid-ul- Fitr, a celebration to mark the end of Ramadan, which will take start on the evening of Wednesday 12 May and the evening of Thursday 13 May 2021.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the name of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

Muslims believe it is the month during which the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) over 1400 years ago. Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for Muslims and it is considered that the reward of good deeds during this month are multiplied several fold.

During Ramadan, from dawn until sunset, Muslims are obliged to abstain from all forms of food, drink (including water), smoking and sexual activity. Most Muslims will wake before dawn for a meal before the start of their fast (also known as Suhoor), and break their fast (also known as Iftar) with dates and water at sunset, and then a meal.

This year, fasts in the UK will last around 15-16 hours. The start and end times vary as the month progresses.

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. The overall purpose of the fast is to gain Taqwa (which means to gain piety or God consciousness). This is achieved through an increase in prayers, reading the Qur’an, self-reflection and self-discipline.

Find out more

For further information and guidance for managers and staff, take a look at the Inclusive employers Ramadan 2021 fact sheet.