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Need to know – 27 July

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Here are the top updates from across the University.

1. Scottish Government guidance for moving to beyond Level 0

The First Minister has confirmed the latest easing of Covid-19 restrictions, with Scotland moving to Level 0. This aligns with central planning assumptions for learning and teaching for the 21/22 academic year.

The Scottish Government has also published further guidance specifically for the sector. You can find out more information at the below links:
Scottish Government guidance for laboratories and research facilities
Scottish Government guidance for operations in academic year 2021 to 2022 – beyond Level 0
Scottish Government guidance for universities, colleges and student accommodation providers

2. Working abroad guidance available

Any staff currently working abroad, whose work does not require them to work abroad, have been asked to return to the UK for the start of Semester 1 2021/22.

HR has since published further guidance, which also explains what support is available to staff who need to self-isolate in managed quarantine accommodation. This is applicable whether staff are relocating to Edinburgh from overseas or are required by the University to work abroad: Working abroad guidance for managers and staff.

3. In-person graduation celebrations

Bookings opened last Monday for the outdoor graduation celebrations at Edinburgh Castle in August 2021. Eligible students who graduated in Summer/Winter 2020 and Summer 2021 have been emailed with further details: Summer 2021 graduations webpage.

To help staff with responses to any enquiries from students, a briefing is available: Staff briefing

Bulletin schedule update

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Please note that Bulletin will be taking a short break over the summer.

We will return in the new academic year, with the next issue being published on Tuesday 14 September.

As always please do send any thoughts, or stories, to the bulletin team as we love to hear from you. You can reach us at bulletin@ed.ac.uk.

We are open: a message from the Principal

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The University is committed to offering students as much in-person teaching and support as possible next year. Ahead of a wider return to campus, Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, talks about the plans in place to keep our community safe.

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Q&A: Hybrid working at Edinburgh

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The University’s Hybrid Working Programme is looking at how working practices might evolve as we transition out of the pandemic and how best to support all staff whether working on or off campus. Here Gavin McLachlan, Vice-Principal and Chief Information Officer of the University, explains more.

A man is sat at his laptop where he is watching a woman on zoom

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New micro-grants aim to bring green solutions to local communities

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Green Micro-grants worth up to £1,000 are available for local projects that improve the environment or have a positive social impact.

Community groups, small charities and other organisations can apply for one of the new micro-grants offered by the University.

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Bulletin schedule update

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Please note that there will be a small adjustment to the bulletin schedule over July.

The next issue will be published in three week’s time rather than two. This means the next publication date will be Tuesday 13 July.

The next issue will then be a fortnight later on Tuesday 27 July.

As always please do send any thoughts, or stories, to the bulletin team as we love to hear from you. You can reach us at bulletin@ed.ac.uk.

Need to know – 8 June

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Here are the top updates from across the University.

1. Last chance to complete the hybrid and home working survey

All staff are reminded to complete this survey which closes on 9 June. It aims to find out more about staff working experiences and will take around 15 minutes to complete: Access the survey.

2. Covid-19 testing

Staff are invited to join Edinburgh’s TestEd study to help develop accurate, cost-effective ways to detect Covid-19 in people who are infected but don’t have symptoms. Find out more: TestEd study

3. New Students website live

The New Student website and ‘Getting Started’ Guide in the University events app have gone live, providing incoming students with important information to help their transition. These will both be regularly updated, including with information about Covid-19 vaccinations and international check-in once finalised: New Students website 

4. Get PairEd up for student support

The PairEd Up project is seeking staff volunteers who are willing to meet up with a student in Edinburgh for activities such as a walk, run or cycle. Committing a couple of hours of your time to this initiative can help create a sense of community and alleviate students’ isolation. Activities are now paused until August, but volunteers are still welcome to sign up for later in the year. Find out more: PairEd Up project

New Research Staff Hub

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A new section of the University website, dedicated to research staff, is now live.

The Research Staff Hub, supported by the Institute for Academic Development (IAD), has been created as part of the University’s commitment to the Researcher Development Concordat.

The Hub brings together resources from across the University to support research staff to undertake their role, develop themselves and progress their career.

It contains a wealth of information on topics such as open research, ethics and integrity and research partnerships, as well as funding, health and wellbeing, and community and networking.

There are also dedicated resources to help managers of researchers support the research staff they employ.

View the Research Staff Hub.

Need to know – 25 May

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Here are the top updates from across the University.

1. Hybrid and home working survey now open

All staff are invited to complete this survey which complements the Working from Home questionnaire completed in the summer 2020 to find out in more detail about your working experiences. It will take around 15 minutes to complete and will remain open until 9 June. Access the survey.

2. Learning from international examples

As the Curriculum Transformation programme progresses, the team has spoken with leaders in universities across Europe, Africa and Asia to learn about their experiences of developing their curriculum. They examined evidence on the importance of co-creation and engagement, getting timing and resourcing right, the value of good governance and leadership and the best ways to take the process forward. To learn more about these examples you can read the paper on the SharePoint site.

3. Timetabling update

As redrawing of teaching rooms at one metre spacing has continued, more teaching space is available than initially thought, including large teaching spaces. If space is a constraint, please speak to the Timetabling Unit as soon as possible and they will try to accommodate.

Further guidance to assist Schools with timetabling questions is now available on the Timetabling SharePoint.

4. Student travel guidance now available

The University is committed to offering students as much in person learning and teaching as can safely be delivered during the 2021/22 academic year, and will continue to follow Scottish Government guidance at all times. However, travel rules and disruptions are likely to continue. You can find detailed guidance on travel exceptions for students on the Academic Year Planning SharePoint.

Need to know – 11 May

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Here are the top updates from across the University.

1. Teaching Awards

The Students’ Association Teaching Awards take place virtually tomorrow, Wednesday 12 May, celebrating the achievements of staff from across the University. Winners will be announced throughout the day on the Students’ Association Facebook page.

2. Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. The Staff News twitter account will be showcasing some of the fantastic projects and resources available from across the University, and sharing the stories of members of our community. If you have something you’d like to share with staff or students, you can contact the team at staffnews@ed.ac.uk. You can find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week on the Staff Wellbeing Hub.

3. Guidance for staff returning to on-campus activities

From 17 May, the University will be able to resume some campus-based activities for our PGT students. This means that some staff will be returning to campus for the first time in a while. With this in mind guidance for working on campus has been updated by colleagues in HR and Health and Safety. There is also additional guidance for managers on staff returning to campus on the Covid-19 webpages.

Covid-19 testing available to students and staff

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There are now a number of free Covid-19 testing options available to staff and students, and the University encourages regular testing for anyone returning to campus.

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Need to know – 28 April

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Here are the top updates from across the University.

1. Staff Q&A session recording

Last week the Principal and members of the senior leadership team held a live Q&A session with more than 1,400 staff. All questions and comments will be considered in ongoing planning. The recording can be viewed at: Staff Q&A session

2. Hybrid working

The University is currently developing a new hybrid working framework to support and guide staff. This is being tested and refined by a Hybrid Working Programme consisting of colleagues representing teams across the University.

Visit the hybrid working website for more information and sign up for the newsletter.

3. University gyms reopening

In line with Scottish Government guidelines, the University reopened the Pleasance and Easter Bush gyms on 26 April. Staff can purchase a 30-day membership for only £19. Find out more on the Sport and Exercise website.

Need to know – 13 April

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Here are the top updates from across the University.

1. His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The University will hold a celebration of his life at a date to be announced. To read the University’s statement and sign the virtual book of condolences, visit the University website.

2. New guidance for staff working abroad

New information and guidance is available for staff and line managers about working outside of the UK. This includes information on taxation, social security and immigration regulations. You can read more on the HR webpages.

3. Staff Town Hall reminder

The Principal will be holding an all staff Q&A session on Thursday 22 April with the senior leadership team. The session will run from 9:30 to 11am and all staff are invited to attend. You can find out more, including how to submit your own questions, and sign up to the event on the staff news website.

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