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Need to know – 19 January

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Here are the top updates from across the University. 

1. A new Scan and Deliver service

The library has launched a new Scan and Deliver service for University of Edinburgh staff and students. You can request one chapter or 10 per cent (whichever is the greater) of a book, journal article, short story, poem or play – if not more than ten pages in an anthology – through DiscoverEd. Full details of the service can be found on the Scan and Deliver webpage.

2. Updated staff FAQs

The Coronavirus FAQs have been updated in line with the latest Government guidelines. The staff section now includes more information on how the University is complying to the latest guidance and the extended school closure. Read more on the University website.

3. Brexit impact and information

The University and Europe webpages have been updated to incorporate the latest advice and guidance now the UK has left the European Union. You can find more information for both staff and students on the University and Europe webpages.

4. Adaptation and Renewal Sharepoint updated

The Adaptation and Renewal (ART) Sharepoint has been updated to include the latest student support and services available, and will continue to be updated with Semester 2 information in line with Scottish Government guidance. Visit the ART Sharepoint.

Brexit and EU Research Funding – January 2021 update

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Now that the EU and the UK have reached an agreement on their future relationship, Áine Ryan, International Research Funding Manager in Edinburgh Research Office, writes about what this means for UK-based researchers’ access to EU funding.

We finally have some clarity about the UK participation in future EU research funding programmes, primarily Horizon Europe. As part of the agreement reached between the UK and the EU, the UK has announced that it will associate to Horizon Europe. Association will give UK-based researchers and businesses access to funding under the programme on equivalent terms as organisations in EU countries.Europe and surrounding areas seen from space.

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Need to know – 15 December

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

1. Covid-19 asymptomatic testing – bookings extended to Friday 18th December

Covid-19 asymptomatic testing prior to the winter break has been extended until Friday 18th December. For Wednesday 16th, Thursday 17th and Friday 18th December, testing will be available from 10am to 1pm only, and this will be at the Pleasance only. Full details about testing and how to book are available in the online FAQs on the University website.

 2. Principal’s end of year message

Professor Peter Mathieson shared his end of year message to the University community last week. You can read the full email on this dedicated webpage.

3. Brexit guidance

The Brexit transition period will end on 31 December 2020. Key information for applicants, current students and staff can be found on the University and Europe webpages.

4. Students returning for Semester 2

Following the Scottish Government’s announcement on plans for the safe return of students after the winter break, there are now detailed FAQs available on the Coronavirus updates webpages.

Need to know – 1 December

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

1. Update from Lee Hamill

Yesterday Lee Hamill shared the latest news on our current financial position. He spoke about our existing operating model, the challenges we face and the essential work underway to reshape and create a financially sustainable future. You can read the email in full on this webpage.

2. Asymptomatic testing for students

Following the information the Scottish Government published for students on the actions they will need to take to return home safely for the winter break, our Covid-19 testing service began this week. Testing is taking place at the Pleasance Sport Complex and Gym and St Leonard’s Land. More information, including FAQs can be found on the Coronavirus section of the University website.

3. Staff survey 2020

The 2020 staff survey is still open and can be accessed through the impulse website. The survey takes less than five minutes to complete and is open until Wednesday 9 December. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard and let the University know how to make our Edinburgh an even better place to work.

Celebrating our colleagues – 1 December

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Each fortnight bulletin highlights and celebrates the latest prizes awarded to our fellow staff members.

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University Carol Service

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The University Carol Service is a popular event each December, with members of the University community and the general public coming together to celebrate Christmas.

Although we can’t gather together this year, the service will still be held online, and will be available to watch from Sunday 13 December on the University homepage. The virtual event will include festive carols and readings from the Principal, University Chaplain Reverend Harriet Harris, and a number of students.

The video will also be published in the next bulletin issue on 15 December.

Nominate your next Rector

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Nominations are open for the next University Rector. Elections take place every three years and all students and staff can nominate candidates.The rector is carried in their chair in Old College Quad

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Need to know – 17 November

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

1. Updates on Semester 2 planning

A new sharepoint page is available with detailed information about Semester 2 guidance and planning. It will be regularly updated in line with the latest announcements from the Scottish Government. Adaptation & Renewal sharepoint website.

2. Christmas travel preparations

Last week communications went out to students about preparing to travel home for Christmas. In line with the Scottish Government plans to enable students to travel home safely, the University has started preparations for departure dates and safe travel as well as support for those students remaining in Edinburgh over the break.

3. Plans for Covid-19 testing

The University is working closely with the Scottish Government on implementing testing facilities for our students. Covid-19 tests will be available on a voluntary basis for students who wish to travel home. Communications have gone out to students and the University will continue to share the latest updates as soon as possible.

Student recruitment in a digital landscape

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How can you organise an open day with global restrictions on travel? How can you show off Edinburgh without walking around the city? And how can you support and communicate with prospective students when they are spread out across the world?

These are just a few of the challenges facing the Transitions into the University Strand of the Adaptation and Renewal Students Work Stream as they approached the new recruitment cycle.

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Top tips on using People and Money, your new HR and finance system

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Now that our University’s new HR services, supported and enabled by the People and Money system, are now live, make sure you take time to go in and explore the system.

As a reminder, all of us can now log in via MyEd to complete everyday HR tasks like requesting or approving leave, recruiting to new roles, gaining approvals for job changes or amending our personal details.

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A Christmas message from the Principal

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Each November, when the Principal switches on the lights of the huge Christmas tree in Old College Quad, staff and students gather to drink mulled wine, listen to Christmas carols and look ahead to the winter break.

Although this year we’re not able to gather as normal, the ceremony will be online for everyone to join in at home. On Friday 27 November the Principal will turn on the Christmas tree lights and share a message with staff and students.

The video will be available to watch on the University website and will also be included in the next edition of bulletin on Tuesday 1 December.The Christmas tree in Old College Quad

Staff Survey 2020 – the University wants to hear from you!

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As the end of the year (and more importantly the winter break!) rapidly approaches, many of us will begin to reflect on the previous 12 months.

The changes to the way in which we work have increased the importance of understanding how our whole staff community feels. This is why the University has decided to end 2020 by conducting a staff survey to get your feedback directly.

On Wednesday you will receive an email containing a link to the survey which can be completed online.

This is your opportunity to have your voice heard and let the University know how we can make Edinburgh an even better place to work.

The survey takes less than five minutes to complete and is open until Wednesday 9 December.

Extended Christmas closure period

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Bulletin shares a communication from James Saville, Director of Human Resources.

This has been an extraordinarily demanding time for everyone. You will have seen from the Principal’s recent note his deep appreciation for the huge efforts that you are all making in the face of such prolonged uncertainty.

The Principal and the Senior Leadership Team have decided to extend the period in which we close the University from 5pm on Friday 18th December 2020, reopening on Tuesday 5th January 2021.

This will help many staff have a proper break over the Christmas period. The normal working days of Monday 21st, Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd December will be “respite days”. They will not and should not be recorded in People and Money and any staff with leave already booked on those days should cancel it and take the leave at another time.

We recognise unfortunately that not everyone will be able to benefit from the full shutdown, noting that exams continue until Monday 21st December and that there are specific challenges facing some teams, for example, ISG. Every effort will be made to ensure all staff get a period of leave during the closure period. However, any staff who are required by their manager to work on any of these respite days will be able to take the equivalent time off between now and the end of December 2021.

In the exceptional circumstance that a staff member is required by their manager to work on any of these respite days and is already carrying over the maximum annual leave (10 days), a payment can be made for those days if their manager confirms they will be unable to take them before the end of December 2021. Existing practices for premium payments will continue as normal.

We are acutely aware that we are likely to need more people to work than normal, in particular to support those students who will be staying with us over this period, to maintain critical research activity and to keep essential services running. A big thank you in advance for those of you who will be doing this. For this year only, to recognise this additional effort we will make an ex-gratia payment of £150 to staff who work on four days or more during the Christmas closure period at management request.

Thank you once again for all your efforts throughout this incredibly challenging period.

You can find more information on the Christmas closure period on our Coronavirus updates webpages.

Photography: George Clerk/GettyImages

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