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Testing out a theory

Laptop on top of table beside a vase of flowers

Care first webinars w/c 17 May 2021

Our official Employee Assistance Programme provider, Care first offers a numbers of services and provide useful advice and support, including weekly webinars.

This week’s (Monday 17 May – Friday 21 May ) webinars are as follows:

Monday 17 May 2021 – ‘How Care first Can Support You’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Tuesday 18 May 2021 – ‘Understanding the new COVID-19 guidelines and things to consider’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 19 May 2021 – ‘Easing of Lockdown Anxiety‘
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 20 May 2021 – ‘The benefits of Nature on our Mental Health’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 21 May 2021 – ‘Things to consider when returning to the Workplace’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex

ARC KSS Researcher’s Week – for applied health and social care researchers

Calling all applied health and social care researchers – the Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) KSS Academy is running a Researcher’s Week from Monday 12 to Friday 16 July 2021.  Over the course of the week, there will be a varied programme of workshops and presentations from ARC KSS colleagues and external speakers in the areas of capacity building, co-production, Public and Community Involvement and Engagement (PCIE),and Implementation.

The full programme of events and booking details are available

As part of Researcher’s Week a poster competition is taking place for outstanding contributions to research.

The aim is to recognise and celebrate the contributions that applied health and social care researchers have made, over the last 12 to 18 months.

The competition is open to any applied health and social care researchers working in Kent, Surrey and Sussex including academics, health care professionals, social care professionals or anyone who works to support health and social care in our region.

Closing date is 17.00, 18 June 2021

Find out more on the NIHR website 


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.

Darren Weir holding his award

COVID Hero Award for Darren Weir

Kent Law School Director of Lawyering Skills, Darren Weir, has been honoured with a ‘COVID Hero Award’ by Kent Law Society. The award was presented in recognition of Darren’s work on the Law School’s Lawyering Skills Programme.

The honour was one of a number awards made by Kent Law Society in recognition of legal professionals across the county “who have gone above and beyond over the last 12 months”. Award winners were announced by Stephanie Boyce, President of The Law Society, at an online ceremony held on Friday 7 May.

Darren was recognised for his work in directing the innovative Lawyering Skills Programme at Kent. He said: ‘This programme, which had to largely move virtually, would not have been possible without the help and assistance of the very many legal practitioners and judges (too many to mention). Thank you to them and thank you to the hundreds of students who have been coping with all their studies this year and taking part in the programme. What a great evening arranged by Alexandra Gordon TEP CTA and her team and sponsors. So many worthy winners.’

Darren was called to the Bar in 1998. For 12 years he specialised in criminal and regulatory law and practised from Stour Chambers in Canterbury following his London pupillage. Darren prosecuted and defended an array of offences from motoring to murder and appeared in all level of court including the Court of Appeal. He was the ‘go to’ local counsel for the Crown Prosecution Service at the time in cases of fraud and sexual offences. He was formally a member of the Criminal Bar Association and is a member of Middle Temple. Having previously been a pupil supervisor, he is undertaking further training to train pupil barristers in advocacy.

Catherine Mayer talk – how the pandemic has affected gender equality

As part of the University’s Belong and Grow week Catherine Mayer will be giving a talk on Monday 17 May at 10.00 ‘ titled ‘; ‘The Coronavirus Pandemic is taking Gender Equality back decades’.

Catherine will be talking about how the Pandemic has affected Gender Equality on individual and organisational level. She will also touch upon the topic of loss, grief and trauma. The talk will be about 30-40min with plenty of time for questions, comments and dialogue at the end.

How to book:

  • Log into Staff Connect
  • Go to ‘My Training Details’ à Training Requests
  • Search with the date 17/05/2021.

‘If you have any questions email ldev@kent.ac.uk

Association of University Administrators – upcoming events

Do you have an administrative job in a professional service department or academic school? If so, you might benefit from joining the AUA (Association of University Administrators).

The AUA @ Kent network is a cross-institutional group, encompassing all backgrounds, grades and levels of experience, which aims to support and enhance its members’ professional development.

Who’s who in the AUA at Kent

There are many active AUA members at Kent with different roles within the University and the nationwide AUA organisation.

AUA Advocates at Kent this year are:

  • Natalia Crisanti, Student Engagement and Communications Officer, Student Services
  • Emma Spiller, Education & Student Experience Manager, Study of Law, Society and Social Justice
  • James Redmond, Director of Operations, Division of Natural Sciences

In this unprecedented year, we’ve had to flex and grow as HE professionals, and we hope that he AUA @ Kent network will be a source of inspiration, practical ideas and support for colleagues.

Upcoming events

Here are some of the upcoming networking and learning opportunities and events available for members of the AUA @ Kent group:

Looking after your mental health – Wed 12 May 12.30 – 13.30

A brief overview of the psychological impacts of the pandemic, including those most pertinent to the HE sector. To book, visit the AUA South Network website.

AUA Conference Presentation – Thurs 27 May 12.00 – 13.15

Hear highlights from the AUA Annual Conference 2021. This will include a shortened version of one of the working sessions delivered by Kent colleagues on Think Kent Global Showcase and the GOLD programme, and perspectives from a session on Networking. Email aua@kent.ac.uk to receive a Teams link.

HE Beyond Brexit and Pandemic: future plans – Thurs 10 June 12.30 – 13.30

Brexit, Covid-19, and the climate emergency are forcing us as a sector to review, and in some cases, reset the way we do things. To book, visit the AUA South Network website.

Reflection on pandemic working – Fri 2 July 11.00 – 13.00

This is an opportunity to discuss our experiences and learnings of the past year and think about how we’d like to develop over the coming year. Whether you joined Kent recently, changed jobs within the organisation, or had to flex your way of working to respond to changing needs, this will help reflect on the challenges and strengths we can take forward. Email aua@kent.ac.uk to receive a Teams link

Canterbury picnic – July tbc

Informal lunchtime gathering outside Dolche Vita cafe (or an alternative location depending on weather conditions!) come and meet others and discuss how you’ve found remote working/ return to campus/ feelings on September return. Email aua@kent.ac.uk to be included in a Doodle poll to find a date.

 Wellbeing days on Canterbury campus – Jul/August tbc

Several sessions to help staff recharge and enhance their wellbeing such as Mindfulness, Tai Chi/ yoga/ workshop on improving sleep. Email aua@kent.ac.uk if you’re interested to be included in a Doodle poll to find a date.

Keep in touch

To join our mailing list, find out about joining the nationwide Association of University Administrators or suggest future AUA @ Kent events, please email us at aua@kent.ac.uk.

The Summer Festival of Food

The beginning of the Summer term marks the start of a brand-new food festival on the University of Kent campus.

The 6-week-long Summer Festival of Food will take place on the Registry lawn around an impressive stretch tent structure and will feature a dazzling array of street food dishes from around the world.

The festival will run from Monday 10 May to Friday 18 June, and will be open Monday to Friday, 11.30 – 14.30, and Friday evenings 18.00 – 21.00.

The Street Kitchen, Smokeworks, Canvas, and Taste of Thailand will join forces to create the ultimate multicultural foodie experience. Each week, the street food stalls will serve food from a different part of the world, meaning visitors will be able to enjoy vibrant dishes from Europe, Africa, Asia, and The Americas. There will also be a special week dedicated to Kentish cuisine, featuring Kentish Old Spot Sausages, Brogdale beef burgers, beer-battered haddock with chips, and gypsy tart.

Themed weeks:

  • 10 May – 14 May – Flavours of Europe
  • 17 May – 21 May – Flavours of Africa
  • 24 May – 4 June – Flavours of Asia
  • 7 June – 11 June – Flavours of The Americas
  • 14 June – 18 June – Flavours of Kent

On Friday evenings, visitors will be able to enjoy live music, a pop-up bar, and an outdoor cinema (on selected nights).

Screenings for the outdoor cinema will be held on the Gulbenkian lawn. Tickets must be pre-booked in advance via the Gulbenkian box office. Each ticket is for a zoned area which can accommodate up to 6 students. Food and drink can be purchased through the OnTapp app.

Friday 28 May – 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Friday 4 June – Dazed and Confused (1993)

The Summer Festival of Food will be laid out in a socially spacious way, allowing a safe experience for everyone following all government guidelines. Visitors can keep themselves and others safe by respecting all people on site and following all guidelines/procedures that have been put in place, maintain good hand hygiene, and keep a safe distance between other households/groups throughout their visit.

Find out more by visiting the Summer Festival of Food webpage.

Oscar Films Screened at Gulbenkian from 18 May

The University’s cinema at Gulbenkian is opening again from Tuesday 18 May 2021.

From the 18, the Gulbenkian will be screening this year’s Oscar film winners:

  • Nomadland
  • Minari
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Mank and Sound of Metal plus Ammonite
  • The Dig and Rocks and more.

Tickets are only £6.95 for Uni Kent Staff and £6 for Students. Go to the Gulbenkian website for full listings and tickets (note Box Office open for screenings only from 18 May so please book online).

UK Philanthropy Archive: Shirley Lecture – 13 May 2021

From UK Philanthropy Archive:

We are delighted to be holding the inaugural UK Philanthropy Archive Shirley Lecture, and even more delighted that our speaker will be Dame Stephanie Shirley CH – IT entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of the Shirley Foundation.

An inspirational and engaging speaker, Dame Stephanie will talk about her life and experiences, her charitable interests and philanthropy. She arrived in the UK as an unaccompanied child refugee on the Kindertransport, an experience she describes as leaving her wanting to give something back to the country that became her home. After experiencing sexism and difficulty getting promoted and recognised professionally within the male-dominated IT industry in the 1960s – she went on to found a hugely successful IT software company that specialised in employing women, usually freelancers who often had caring responsibilities and worked from home.

After the sale of her company Dame Stephanie used the wealth she achieved in business to give back to society through her charitable foundation – The Shirley Foundation – which granted more than £60 million to a variety of projects before spending out in 2018. The inspiration for much of her philanthropy was initially technology after her professional interests, and later autism research, after her son Giles was diagnosed as profoundly autistic. Autism research and supporting families and children with autism to live happy and successful lives became the main focus and passion of her philanthropy over many years.

In 2019 Dame Stephanie generously donated the papers of The Shirley Foundation, as well as further archive material relating to her personal life and experiences, to Special Collections & Archives initiating the development of the UK Philanthropy Archive.

This is a not to be missed opportunity to hear from Dame Stephanie herself – so please join us next Thursday! You can book via the EventBrite webpage.

Please email Beth Astridge, Project Archivist at b.astridge@kent.ac.uk and let her if you would like to purchase a signed copy of one of Dame Stephanie’s books – ‘Let it Go’ and ‘So to Speak’ which will be available to order with all proceeds going to Autistica – the UK’s leading autism research charity.

National Day for Staff Networks

From the Talent & Organisational Development Team:

On Wednesday 12 May 2021 Staff networks in organisations across the UK are celebrating the National Day for Staff Networks.

Also known as Networks Day, it aims to encourage collaboration, support aligned activity and further inspire the voice of network members. Many staff networks provide employees from under-represented groups with valuable guidance and timely advice as they navigate their organisation’s culture and endeavour to offer their authentic best in the workplace. ​

The theme for 2021 is #Togetherness.  

Why not connect with one of our Staff networks?

The Networks provide an opportunity for new and existing staff to meet people outside their own department.

Meetings run termly and dates are advertised on the website Staff Equalities Networks – Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity – University of Kent

The EDI Forum

The overall purpose of the EDI network is to represent the views of staff and students, and act as a channel of communication for equality, diversity and inclusivity topics. Membership includes the departmental EDI Representatives, Staff and Student networks, harassment contacts and student union.

EDI Network – Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity – University of Kent and join in the conversation on the EDI forum Teams site

The LGBT+ Staff Network

The network aims to raise the profile and promote positive attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) staff and all colleagues in the Rainbow Community across the university. We support LGBT+ colleagues in the workplace, and aim to contribute to the development of relevant university policies and practices so that they are LGBT-inclusive, so that Kent is truly a welcoming space for colleagues of all sexualities and gender identities. It has a Microsoft Teams channel which you can join by using the code skd6691.

LGBT+ Staff Network – Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity – University of Kent

The Disability Staff Network (DSN)

The Disability Staff Network’s ambition is to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for colleagues with disabilities at Kent. Its purpose is to support disabled staff and those staff working with disability or with an interest in disability. It provides a forum to share information and consider good practice, providing recommendations to enhance University policy and practice where appropriate.

The DSN has a Teams/SharePoint page. If you experience any issues with accessing this please email dsnchair@kent.ac.uk to request to be added.

Disability Staff Network – Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity – University of Kent

The Women’s Network

The Women’s Network has been running since 2004 and has been a positive initiative over the last few years. At a time when the University is keen to promote the recruitment, retention and recognition of women in higher education, and Kent in particular, the women’s network has been a group that offered valuable support to members, and feedback to the University on priorities for action.

Women’s Network – Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity – University of Kent

Harassment contacts

The harassment contacts comprise of individual members of staff who have volunteered to take on the role of the harassment contact. The University has appointed and trained some members of staff as harassment contacts to allow staff a point of contact should they feel they have been subjected to or witnessed any form of harassment.

Harassment Contacts – Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity – University of Kent

The BAME Staff Network

The BAME Staff Network launched in October 2019 to support the University’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity and provide an active forum for BAME staff to discuss issues and share experiences important to them. The network bring a range of experience and knowledge related to both staff and students – critical to a nuanced contextual understanding of BAME experiences at the University. It creates a community for academic and professional staff who identify as being part of a Black Asian Minority ethnic group.  The aim is to help each other connect in ways that will create a sense of belonging through sharing our experiences and providing support that will drive progressive equitable change. Email: bamestaffnetwork@kent.ac.uk

BAME Network – Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity – University of Kent

Other networks – Contact Equalityanddiversity@kent.ac.uk for further information 

WREN – Women’s Researcher Network

Inclusion Allies and Mental Health Allies

Allyship is an active, consistent, and arduous practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person in a position of privilege and power seeks to operate in solidarity with a marginalized group