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Durham University

Internal Communications

Dialogue Signposts

12 February 2021

'New Words for a New World: The Language of the Space Age, 1946-1973'

You are invited to this talk by Dr Alexander Geppert (NYU) taking place via Zoom on Thursday, 25 February, 5pm–7pm. Dr Geppert is an eminent historian of the popular culture of outer space and space exploration, and has just published the final instalment of his European Astroculture, a trilogy of edited volumes on the subject—Militarizing Outer Space: Astroculture, Dystopia, and the Cold War (2021). Please register via Eventbrite.

(12 Feb 2021) » More about 'New Words for a New World: The Language of the Space Age, 1946-1973'

'Picture a Scientist' film screening for International Women's Day

We have secured a 72-hour screening of the documentary film 'Picture a Scientist'. The film was selected for the Tribeca Film Festival 2020. It chronicles the challenges that women scientists (in the US) have faced in academia, including explicit descriptions of harassment, implicit gender and racial bias, and entrenched institutional discrimination. It also focuses on the role of active bystanders and also how policies in relation to equal rights in universities have changed over time. The film will be available to watch from 12pm Friday 5 March to 12pm Monday 8 March, and will be followed by an interactive panel discussion at 1pm-2pm on 8 March (International Women's Day). Durham University staff and students can sign up to receive a link here.

(12 Feb 2021) » More about 'Picture a Scientist' film screening for International Women's Day

(Virtual) Post-offer visit day launch

Our Post-offer visit day will launch on Monday 15 February with 2,696 bookings to date. Hosted on the vFairs platform, the Post-offer visit days will run until Wednesday 12 May to provide offer holders with the opportunity to find out more about their offer, their allocated college and the wider student experience and professional services. Live dates on Wednesday 17 February and Saturday 20 March will allow offer holders to engage directly with staff through a range of live activities and events. The Post-offer visit day guide is available if you wish to find out more.

(12 Feb 2021)

2021 Freshers Showcase: Unheard voices

The Freshers Showcase is a must see if you're interested in seeing a collection of monologues and songs from our freshers' favourite musicals and stage-shows. We are proving that theatre can still thrive in lockdown. Enjoy an evening of drama and musical theatre demonstrating the incredible talent of our 2020/2021 freshers. Ranging from Hamlet to the Little Mermaid, the showcase will have a performance fit for everyone's taste. Tickets are free and available here.

(12 Feb 2021)

Access & Widening Participation Programmes

Applications are now open for the following Summer Schools for Year 12 students from under-represented student groups at Durham University:

Programme Information, eligibility and selection criteria can be found on our web pages, along with bookings for Information Events and how to apply.

(12 Feb 2021) » More about Access & Widening Participation Programmes

Alumni newsletters and events

The deadline for submissions for the next edition of Newswire will be next Thursday 18 February. Please send all news items to by 5pm on the Thursday. Read on for more on your alumni events and emails.

(12 Feb 2021) » More about Alumni newsletters and events

Composer Will Todd gives talk on composing jazz choral music and growing up in Durham

English composer Will Todd is known for his beautiful and exciting music. His anthem, The Call of Wisdom, was performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and his arrangement of Amazing Grace was performed at President Obama’s Inauguration Day prayer service in 2013. John’s Music Society are delighted to host Will Todd, who will be speaking about composing jazz choral music and growing up in Durham at 7.30pm on Saturday 13 February 2021. This event will be held over Zoom, please RSVP via and you will be sent the link by email.

(12 Feb 2021) » More about Composer Will Todd gives talk on composing jazz choral music and growing up in Durham

Durham Bus Station closure

From Monday 15 February, Durham Bus Station will be closed to allow demolition and redevelopment work to begin. The bus station is due to be closed until September 2022, and a range of new bus stops will be introduced on North Road and at Millburngate. This will start with stand A at the northern end of North Road towards the viaduct and work back towards the city centre.

(12 Feb 2021) » More about Durham Bus Station closure

Durham wellbeing cafés

Our HR-OD team is launching their wellbeing cafés on 10 March. Start a conversation; share, collaborate and offer support. A wellbeing café is a one hour virtual event, where all colleagues are welcomed and invited to come together, to champion wellbeing, engage, network and support each other. Each wellbeing café will be focused around one of the NHS 5 ways to wellbeing. Starting with Connect, we will hear from The Revd Gavin Wort (Coordinating Chaplain) and have the opportunity to share experiences and identify future wellbeing support that could be helpful to our Durham community. Join the event starting at 2pm. Click here to join the meeting.

(12 Feb 2021)

Gender Equality Staff Survey 2021

We are building a more equal and inclusive university, where all members of our community can thrive. Take our Gender Equality Staff Survey to have your say. Visit our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion web pages to find out more. The survey will remain open until 21 February 2021.

(12 Feb 2021)

Half term activities via MyDurham

Users of MyDurham, our employee benefits platform, can access a number of activities during half term and beyond. This week the ‘make a cress creation’ competition was launched, with the chance to win one of four £15 e-vouchers. You can also gain 20% discount on Virgin Experience Days, with a wide range of virtual experiences now being offered including online escape rooms, wine and gin tasting, and masterclasses in cookery, baking and cocktail making. Further details can be found here, including how to enter the competition and how to access MyDurham.

(12 Feb 2021)

Happy Year of the Ox

To all our staff and students who have celebrated the arrival of the Year of the Ox this week, we wish you a very happy New Year. Why not celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Ox by exploring our Knowledge Across Borders webinar series with the Chinese Academy of Sciences? Or, you could take a virtual tour of our exhibition of the works of Lu Xun, leading left-wing writer and print maker who became one of the most important cultural figures of 20th century China. Our Oriental Museum also has a range of online activities and videos to help you learn more about the New Year and how it is celebrated.

(12 Feb 2021)

Hedgehog bake off

We'll be having a hedgehog bake off from Monday 22 February - Sunday 7 March. All you have to do is create a hedgehog-themed bake, send your photo via social media or to, and (if you can) donate to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. Cakes, biscuits, pies, pancakes - if you can make a hedgehog, we want to see it.

(12 Feb 2021) » More about Hedgehog bake off

HR-OD Wellbeing and Development for colleagues working differently web pages

These pages are updated regularly with new information and guidance, including guidance for Parents/Guardians and Carers. Please see our SWAY detailing key aspects of guidance, support and advice for colleagues (and their Leaders/Managers) with caring responsibilities, Conversation Compass (Wellbeing Prompt update). The Conversation Compass has been provided as a framework for conversations between Leaders/Managers and colleagues for some time. Most recently we have updated the ‘Wellbeing’ conversation prompt for Leaders/Managers and colleaguesThis also includes links to Mental Health Training Modules available on DUO, and ‘Development’ conversation prompt for Leaders/Managers and colleaguesThese resources may be useful for you to familiarise yourself with and especially as we are in ADR / APDR season so we have also included a link to the eLearning package available on DUO for Annual Development Reviews for reviewers and reviewees.

(12 Feb 2021)

IAS - 2022/23 Call for project proposals and fellowship nominations

The Institute of Advanced Study aims to support academic staff in developing ambitious, novel and excellent interdisciplinary research. Its call for projects and fellowship nominations is now open, and colleagues are warmly invited to submit proposals. Details of the IAS’s current project call are here.

(12 Feb 2021) » More about IAS - 2022/23 Call for project proposals and fellowship nominations

Invitation to USS events

You are invited to attend one of the upcoming events for current and prospective members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). These include guidance webinars, targeted to specific career stages, and information webinars, to provide updates on the latest developments in the USS valuation process. Further information on all of these events including dates, times and registration can be found here.

(12 Feb 2021)

Lateral Flow Test

We are encouraging staff and students in Durham to take a Lateral Flow Test every week. Regular testing will reduce the spread of Covid-19 in our University and local community. Tests can be taken at Maiden Castle, Palace Green and The Palatine Centre. If you have previously completed training and registration, please use the booking link you received via email after registration where you can book multiple tests. If you haven't completed training, please visit here.

(12 Feb 2021)

LGBT+ History month

Join us for a LGBT+ History Month conversation around physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing on Thursday 25 February 2021 at 12 noon. You can register here and find out more about LGBT+ History Month on our EDI pages.

(12 Feb 2021)

Live in Lockdown series - 2020 event stats

DARO’s Live in Lockdown online events series has proven to be a successful alternative mode of events delivery for our global community over the pandemic when they haven’t been able to connect in person. We have just published statistics from the series last year.

(12 Feb 2021) » More about Live in Lockdown series - 2020 event stats

Make them care...about your research

Funded by Durham’s ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), this workshop has been tailored specifically to help researchers enhance communication skills and learn how to engage external audiences with their research. Participation in the programme is free, but there is a limit of 30 places, so booking will be on a first come first served basis.To book a place on this four-part workshop please click here. Please note: Whilst the training programme is open to all Durham academics and early career researchers, it is funded by the ESRC IAA Fund which means, if there is great demand for places, priority will be given to social science colleagues. 

(12 Feb 2021) » More about Make them care...about your research

Professional Recognition Pathway scheme

Have you heard of our Profession Recognition Pathway? This is a Durham-based scheme that supports experienced colleagues in gaining HEA Fellowship at various levels. Please click here for more information. 

(12 Feb 2021)

Random Acts of Kindness Week

Next week is Random Acts of Kindness Week, championing the creative ways that people can show kindness to one another. We’d like to encourage you spread kindness through considering which colleagues you would like to recognise or thank, particularly considering the people and teams who live the University values and those whose hard work, or commitment and achievements you would like to commend. In support of this, the HR Reward Team has launched a selection of recognition e-cards which can be sent via email or Microsoft Teams. The e-cards and instructions on how to send them, can be found here.

(12 Feb 2021)

Space Bookings system - change to release time of bookings

Following the ongoing review of our services and feedback from our users and to support student wellbeing, we are changing the time at which bookings are released for our study spaces and Browse and Borrow service on the Space Bookings system. Currently, these bookings are released on a rolling basis at midnight each day. As of Thursday 11 February, the release time for bookings will change to 6.30pm. Bookings will still be released at midnight going into Thursday 11 February (00:00hrs) then brought forward to the earlier time of 6.30pm from Thursday evening onwards. You can still make your booking up to four days in advance. Please continue to only book if your visit is essential and cancel any bookings you don’t need in advance. If you have any queries, please contact our Virtual Enquiry Desk.

(12 Feb 2021)

St John's Café Scientifique - Lockdown or Great Barrington Declaration?

We are pleased to invite our community to an exclusive talk with insights into Covid-19 and lockdown from James H. Naismith FRS FRSE FMedSci, Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute (Oxford, UK) on Monday 1 March at 7pm. Professor Naismith is a world leading expert on structural biology and will deliver a talk on the current response to Covid-19 and the potential drawbacks of focusing only on shielding the most vulnerable as suggested by the Great Barrington Declaration. If you would like to attend, please register here.

(12 Feb 2021)

Staff contact details

Oracle Fusion has now been in place for over a year. Through Oracle you can access your pay slips, details of your employment, claim expenses, book annual leave and other related Human Resources functions.

(12 Feb 2021) » More about Staff contact details

The blueprint for our digital future

Today, we are delighted to be sharing our Digital Strategy with the University. The strategy outlines why as a leading global University, with ambitious future plans, it is vitally important that we underpin our work and study with the appropriate digital tools and technology. Read on to find out more about our Digital Strategy.

(12 Feb 2021) » More about The blueprint for our digital future

UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) Training

The UKVI training will take place on 18 February 2021 from 11am –12noon. The training session will provide an overview of the University’s obligation to ensure UKVI compliance and will outline the responsibilities for colleges and departments in relation to monitoring and record keeping for visa holding staff members. Book your place here.

(12 Feb 2021) » More about UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) Training

Understanding Antisemitism panel discussion

Join us in a panel discussion exploring the various forms of Antisemitism and its profound impact, as well as strategies to tackle and challenge it in various contexts. Co-hosted by the University’s Chaplaincy Network and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit, this online event will take place on Thursday 18 February 2021 at 2pm. Interested parties can register through Eventbrite. This event is free and open to all.

(12 Feb 2021)

Volunteer with Cosin's Library

Interested in local history? Want to improve your archival skills? The Cosin's Library Project team at Palace Green Library are looking for volunteers to help us with transcription and research.

(12 Feb 2021) » More about Volunteer with Cosin's Library

Wellbeing hub

Wellbeing Hub – A single point for the whole Durham community. Both Students and Staff can now access one Wellbeing hub, and select specific resources tailored for their specific needs.

(12 Feb 2021)

Whispers & Shouts

We invite you to take part in Whispers & Shouts, a fantastic project celebrating and exploring our belonging and identity with the University. We would like to promote a clear commitment to ensuring and demonstrating a positive culture that shouts about inclusion, acceptance and value, and also addresses whispers of uncertainty and disempowerment. Whispers are also the dreams that eventually reality shouts out, as diversity thrives and is celebrated across our community. We would encourage you to have a conversation with us and/ or join us in creating a story, poem, song or spoken word about your experiences of working and studying at Durham. Our aim is to hear from a rich diversity of students and staff from our Colleges, Academic Departments and our Professional Services during February 2021. Skimstone Arts will create a radio show including stories, spoken word, songs and poems inspired by your stories, to be broadcast on Tuesday 30 March 2021. If you would like to take part in Whispers and Shouts please contact Claire Webster Saaremets at

(12 Feb 2021)

Working and Studying in Schools 32 Years After Section 28

Join Professor Catherine Donovan (Department of Sociology) and guest speakers in this LGBT History month event on Friday 26 February between 1pm-3pm. Further information including the full programme, and details on how to register can be found on the Eventbrite page here.

(12 Feb 2021) » More about Working and Studying in Schools 32 Years After Section 28

Bomb threats: would you know what to do?

While we have no information suggesting Durham University is a specific and current target for bomb threats, hoax or real, we would like to make the community aware of what to do should you receive a bomb threat message.

(5 Feb 2021) » More about Bomb threats: would you know what to do?

Mental health support for students

Miindset is the first mental health platform to deliver time sensitive and tailored support for students. This cutting edge AI platform is for students who seek to improve their mental wellbeing. Unlike other mental health platforms, Miindset delivers immediate and tailored solutions such as articles, videos and podcasts to support an individual in the moment, so there is no need to wait days to see a counsellor or search for a relevant online programme to watch. Miindset is available anytime, anywhere and across multiple devices.This deck provides all students need to get started.

(5 Feb 2021)

Video message from the VC

The latest of the weekly videos from the Vice-Chancellor is available for all staff to view online. 

(5 Feb 2021)