Need to know – 28 July

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Here are the top updates from the Adaptation and Renewal teams working across the University.

1. Guidance for face-to-face research

Detailed guidance for restarting face to face research both in the UK and overseas is now available. This applies to all face to face research, whether in Edinburgh, elsewhere in the UK or in another country. Your proposed activities must be able to comply with the relevant norms on physical distancing. You should refer to the Decision Making Flowchart and Risk Assessment documents.

2. Wearing face coverings

The University will continue to implement Government and Health Protection Scotland guidance to manage and reduce the risk of Covid-19. Physical distancing, good standards of hand and respiratory hygiene, and enhanced cleaning regimes remain the most effective measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

We will also support our staff, students and visitors, in terms of good public hygiene, by strongly encouraging people to wear their own face coverings within University buildings.

3. Digital resources for research available

Lockdown has emphasised the increasing importance of data and digital technologies in conducting research. The University’s Digital Research Services is a single point of access to University-wide data and computing services available to all researchers. There are about 40 resources designed for academics with all levels of experience and for all stages of their research journey. The interactive web service is available at www.digitalresearchservices.ed.ac.uk

4. Updates to travel advice

Travel advice for staff and students has now been updated including information around travelling on University Business, the Go Abroad scheme, going abroad on holiday and UK-based fieldtrips and placements.

Adaptation & Renewal: Expertise in the time of Covid

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Edd McCracken, Head of News, examines how our researchers have been using their expertise to provide insight on the pandemic. 

Among the many things that the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown have brought is a certain metronomic quality to life. For months, the daily rhythm of caring, working, Zooming, eating and sleeping has gone unchanged. The easing of restrictions is adding more interesting and varied beats, but one daily occurrence remains the same.

Turn on your TV, tune into a radio station, open a newspaper or read an article online, and chances are there will be a University of Edinburgh expert providing some insight into the coronavirus outbreak.

Since the first major reports of the virus in Wuhan, China in January 2020, scores of our researchers have been called upon to help us make sense of a world that has been turned upside down.

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Adaptation & Renewal: The Edinburgh Hybrid Teaching Exchange

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Over the past few months the Students work stream in Adaptation & Renewal has been looking at a range of work strands focussed on our returning students. Here bulletin looks at the work that has gone into launching the Hybrid Teaching Exchange website which shares how colleagues across the University are planning and preparing for the shift to a hybrid teaching approach for September.

There’s been a lot of thinking and planning around hybrid teaching recently with a lot more work still to navigate. The Students work stream of Adaptation and Renewal has been exploring how best to support, complement and celebrate the work going on in Schools and programmes.

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Get your fresh air fix

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Now that lockdown is slowly lifting, and we can venture out a bit further from our homes, we asked staff where they’ve been going to enjoy the bonnie Scottish summer.

“We recently visited Tyninghame Beach (otherwise known as Ravensheugh Sands) near Dunbar. It is a beautiful sandy beach with dramatic views of Bass Rock. Parking spaces are limited so it never feels too busy. It’s a great beach to let our dachshund, Shelly zoom around off the lead, she absolutely loves the beach like we do!” – Kristin Mason, Digital and Comms Officer

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When Zoom fatigue becomes Zoom burnout

Reading Time: 5 minutes

We’ve been working from home for a long time, communicating electronically with friends, family and colleagues. Here Kitty Wheater, Mindfulness Chaplain, talks about digital exhaustion and the small things we can do to prevent it.

A couple of months ago I wrote about Zoom fatigue: that specific kind of tiredness created by hour after hour of meeting without meeting, presence without presence. ‘It’s the plausible deniability of each other’s absence,’ Gianpiero Petriglieri – professor of management at INSEAD – writes. ‘Our minds tricked into the idea of being together when our bodies feel we’re not. Dissonance is exhausting.’

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Introducing SHAPE: Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts for People and the Economy

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Often when we talk about research, it’s easy to instantly picture a scientist or a lab, but research exists in so many forms. Our colleagues in the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (CAHSS) are celebrating the launch of a new initiative showcasing their research so it seems a fitting opportunity to join in and recognise their work.

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Thought for the week – 28 July

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This week Professor Mona Siddiqui, Assistant Principal Religion and Society, reflects on wearing face coverings.

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Edinburgh Culture Conversations

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Love them or hate them, Edinburgh’s festivals have a huge impact on our city. Whether you are refreshing your browser to get the best seats for the Wagner concert, grumbling about over-priced pints and nightly fireworks, or just frustrated that you can’t walk anywhere in town without being given a flyer, it is unmissable.

In turn, the University of Edinburgh is intimately connected with the festivals. The University acts as host, participant, landlord and backdrop for the thousands of visitors and locals. Indeed, the history and success of the Edinburgh festivals would not be the same without the support of the University.

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What is Compassion in the time of COVID-19?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Compassion is attentiveness to the suffering of ourselves and others, with the wisdom and steps taken to relieve it. Compassion calls forth action, but with the wisdom to know when, how and what is required.

Harriet Harris and Marti Balaam

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Congratulations to our Staff Pride Network

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Huge congratulations to our Staff Pride Network who have been shortlisted for LGBTQI+ Network Group/Equal Rights Group Award at this year’s Proud Scotland Awards.

2020 is the second year the awards will celebrate champions of LGBTQI+ diversity and Inclusion across Scotland. The awards are set to be announced at a dinner in October.

The nomination for this award shows the dedication and commitment of our Staff Pride Network and its members and we wish them the best of luck for the awards night.

Need to know – 14 July

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Here are the top updates from the Adaptation and Renewal teams working across the University.

  1. Buildings continue to reopen

    The Estates and Health and Safety teams continue to work on reopening buildings safely across our estate. They are producing weekly Reopening Reports which will be updated each Thursday. Please speak to your line manager before entering a building.

  2. Updated guidance available

    Detailed guidelines are now available for staff around home, remote and hybrid working. The document, along with the associated guidance, provides additional advice to provide safe working arrangements for each of these ways of working.

  3. Returning students communications

    Communications will shortly be sent out to reassure our returning students and explain the measures in place to support them over the next academic year. The Students work stream has been working incredibly hard so well done to everyone involved.

  4. Research Culture Survey

    For members of the research community, keep an eye out for the Research Culture Survey, which should be landing in your inbox imminently. Please fill it out to help us share and promote good practice, highlight where there is room for improvement, and understand better how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected you and your work.

Adaptation & Renewal: How far we’ve come

Reading Time: 3 minutes

How many of us have recently had a conversation looking back to March, watching the news of the pandemic unfold, full of uncertainty of what would happen next? For some of us it seems like yesterday, for others, it feels like a lifetime ago.

Over the past few months our working lives have been disrupted in ways we’ve never seen before. With the Adaptation and Renewal phase of the University’s plan now underway, Bulletin takes a look back at where the University has come from in these difficult months.

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Adaptation & Renewal: Research and Innovation

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Here Edd McCracken, Head of News and Communications Lead for the Research work stream, tells us what they’ve been working on and what the future of research at Edinburgh looks like.

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