Author: Charlotte Davidson Page 1 of 11

Need to know – 22 September

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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

1. New Covid-19 reporting form for staff

If you (or someone you line manage) need to self-isolate, please inform the University here.

You will also need to contact your manager and let them know.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have informed the University that you are self-isolating and then subsequently test positive for Covid-19, you will need to resubmit this form and let us know about the positive test.

Further guidance on self-isolation, Test and Protect and the Protect Scotland app can be found in our University health, safety and travel information pages.

2. Voluntary Severance Scheme closing

The Voluntary Severance Scheme is due to close at 5pm on Wednesday 23 September, 2020. Anyone wishing to find out more about this scheme before it closes can find all the information on the dedicated VS SharePoint site.

3. Support for early career researchers

The range of support available to early career researchers (ECRs) and their line managers has been published. The resource was developed in recognition that the careers of ECRs have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

On a related note, the University has announced that it is looking to appoint new 30 Chancellor’s Fellows. These prestigious five-year tenure track fellowships will be drawn from the existing pool of talent within the University and are designed to support ECRs and innovators to develop their careers in a supportive, world-leading environment. You can find more information of how to apply here.

4. Video for staff returning to campus

As Scottish Government guidelines continue to shift, it’s natural that you and colleagues will have questions about what things will be like when you return to campus. This short film provides a snapshot of the measures that you will see in place when you return – whether that be in the coming weeks or further down the line.

Messages explaining the University’s expectations around student behaviour will continue to be communicated to new and returning students throughout Semester 1 and beyond.

Getting back to campus

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Five months ago, Edinburgh was deserted. As we all came to terms with lockdown, and our lives shrunk to the size of our living rooms, the University and its estate was quieter than it had been in a long, long time. Only our key workers were continuing to travel in to work, keeping an eye on things and making sure the disturbance to our community was as minimal as possible.

Now, Scotland is slowly opening up and we’re beginning to welcome back more of our staff and students. Bulletin invited you to share your snapshots and stories so we can celebrate our staff who are gradually returning to work, as well as those who never stopped.

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Improving support for early career researchers

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Professor Christina Boswell, Dean of Research in the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, understands what it’s like to wrestle with uncertainty at the start of a career in academia. Here she shares why early career researchers have been hit so hard by the pandemic, and explains how the University is improving the support available.

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Looking after your mental health and wellbeing

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How are you sitting as you read this? Are you hunched forward? Is your neck sore, your jaw clenched? Are your eyes squinting at the screen?

Take a deep breath.

We’ve been through a lot this year, and the strain of working through an international pandemic has been challenging in so many ways. Month after month of living like this can really start to take its toll.

Asian woman student or businesswoman is working late at night.

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Pausing the PhD to understand Covid-19

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Clark Russell is a medical doctor training in infectious diseases and microbiology. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was undertaking scientific training through a PhD in immunology as part of the Edinburgh Clinical Academic Track.

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A Wild Remedy 

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Many of us have found the outdoors a soothing balm to the stresses and strains of the past months. Here Kitty Wheater, Mindfulness Chaplain, explores the importance of nature in regards to our mental health.

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All together Edinburgh

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Edinburgh’s four universities have come together with a message for our local communities.

Thought for the week – 22 September

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This week Professor Mona Siddiqui, Assistant Principal Religion and Society, reflects on the return of some of our students.

My youngest son is studying at Edinburgh and went back to university last week. In spite of all the uncertainties around teaching and student life right now, he was excited. Having secured a large room in a lovely flat, he stuffed the car with suitcases, his Xbox and as much soft furnishings as he could squeeze!

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Get help with your online teaching

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Information Services have created nine supported media production studios, designed for use by teaching staff, to produce professional media content for hybrid teaching and learning.
The studios incorporate cutting-edge presentational technologies, and are fully supported by media operators and producers, who will work with you to develop bespoke and engaging videos that will allow you to deliver online teaching that you can be proud of, and that meets student needs.

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Winners announced for Principal’s Innovation Awards

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A huge congratulations to the seven research projects named as winners of the inaugural Principal’s Innovation Awards. Each research team receives £10,000 to develop its idea further.

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Protect Scotland app

Reading Time: < 1 minute

NHS Scotland has launched a free, mobile phone app called Protect Scotland which is to designed identify people who may be at risk from Covid-19 because they were in close contact with someone who has the virus.

The app alerts users if they have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive. And if a user tests positive, it can help determine contacts that they may have otherwise missed while keeping personal information private and anonymous.

For more information on the app please visit the Protect Scotland website or download it through the App Store and Google Play.

Need to know – 8 September

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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

1. Guidance on the extended teaching day

New guidance FAQs are available on the extended teaching day. Teaching will now be scheduled between 9am and 8pm, Monday to Friday including Wednesday afternoons. These steps have been agreed in order to provide for more face-to-face, on-campus teaching.

2. Advice and information for students

Student communications teams across the University have been corresponding with new and returning students, undergraduate and postgraduate, from overseas and the UK, to help prepare them for Semester 1. Information around Scottish Government guidelines, safe travel and arrival, what changes to expect on campus and in accommodation, and what is expected of them as good citizens, has all been communicated. You can view the Good Citizen Guide for students here and the Digital Citizen Guide here. Teams have also shared the ‘How to’ sessions, and the course options hub, to help prepare for hybrid learning and first meetings with PTs. In addition, students joining us online only, have been asked to update their location details to assist teaching staff managing hybrid classes.

3. Town Hall answers available

There were a high number of questions submitted prior to, and during, the first virtual all-staff Town Hall on 18 August. Although Peter and other members of the Senior Leadership Team addressed many of these questions during the session, not all topics were covered. The questions submitted have been split into themes and you can find the answers here.

4. New social spaces for students

A two-floor Scandinavian-style lodge in Bristo Square is one of several new spaces being created for students to safely interact between their studies. The spacious venues have been carefully designed to provide students with extra hospitality space, as capacity in buildings has been greatly reduced. The lodge is one of a number of covered structures known as Student Villages which will be assembled across the Edinburgh campuses this month.

What to expect from frontline services

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One of the most important aspects of managing the safe return of students and staff to campus has been to carefully review and update the provision of frontline services to ensure that appropriate safety measures are in place.

Colleagues from the Estates and Digital Infrastructure Work Stream have been working hard for months – in close liaison with Public Health Scotland – to put in place procedures that will be carried out by teams from Estates. These measures are in line with Scottish Government guidance and will be amended as advice changes.

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