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Durham University

Internal Communications

Dialogue Signposts

12 March 2021

Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine

The coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus. The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. Please visit the NHS website to find out more. 

(12 Mar 2021)

Covid impacts on energy usage

We are seeking volunteers to share their energy bills over the past year, to identify the carbon impacts of working from home.

(12 Mar 2021) » More about Covid impacts on energy usage

Disciplinary outcomes

We would like to update our community on two recent cases that were considered by Senate Discipline Committee. More about Disciplinary outcomes.

(12 Mar 2021)

duo: essential maintenance work

This is a reminder that CIS will be carrying out essential maintenance work to duo this evening (Friday 12 March) between 6pm and 10pm. During this time duo and associated tools (such as TurnitIn) will be unavailable. There will be changes to the text editor functionality after the maintenance work, further details about this will be shared next week. Updates on this work will be communicated via the IT Service Status system.

(12 Mar 2021)

Durham University Race Equality Charter update

Since the University-wide consultations held in Michaelmas Term, work on our Race Equality Charter (REC) action plan and application has been underway. Durham joined the REC in March 2019 as part of its commitment to advancing race equality throughout the University. We are currently aiming to submit our application for a REC Bronze Award this September following a recent announcement from Advance HE that it will be implementing a rolling submission deadline for the July 2021 round in light of the impact of the pandemic. Further updates on our REC work can be found here.

(12 Mar 2021)


Think for yourself, act for everyone? Does that describe you? If so, would you like to find out more about humanism, or simply chat to someone with a similar life-stance? Cuppa in hand, Val Blackett, the University’s Humanist Chaplain, would be happy to host a conversation about humanism or simply chat about ‘life, the universe and everything’. If you are interested, please email Val at and a Zoom invitation will follow.

(12 Mar 2021)

Improving Digital Skills - European Computer Driving Licence

To support the Digital Strategy and encourage the development of digital skills, HR-OD is partnering with New College Durham to offer staff the opportunity to improve their digital skills. The first of these opportunities is the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) qualification. ECDL is a worldwide recognised computer literacy certification programme and can be completed at level 1 or level 2 covering software packages including: email, word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. The programmes will be delivered weekly from week commencing Monday 12 April and will be delivered via blended learning with online tuition via Microsoft Teams by professionally trained tutors supported by independent learning. Further details on the content and delivery of these qualifications can be found at this link. Information on further digital skills development will be coming soon.

(12 Mar 2021)

Interim Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

We are pleased to announce that we have recruited Natalie Saunders to the University as an Interim Director of EDI. Natalie joins us from Clarion Solicitors, where she is a Director and heads up the HR consultancy practice. Natalie has a wealth of EDI experience, including having previously been Executive Lead for EDI at Leeds Beckett University. Natalie will play an important role in supporting our EDI strategic priorities and initiatives on an interim basis until the new PVC (EDI) comes into post later on in the year. 

(12 Mar 2021)

International Women's Day Speakers

As part of our celebration of International Women's Day, St Aidan's College is delighted to welcome a selection of remarkable women who will be introducing us to their experiences and journeys. We welcome you to join us for our last speaker of the series, community musician and disabilities advocate Sarah Fisher, at 7.30pm on Monday 15 March. Zoom link will be sent out an hour before the event, please register interest using the form here.

(12 Mar 2021) » More about International Women's Day Speakers

Lateral Flow Tests

Over 5,000 Lateral Flow Tests have been taken since the start of Term 2. A big thank you to everyone for helping to keep our University and community safe. You should continue to get tested twice a week following new Government guidance. If you’ve already completed the training, you don’t need to do it again and you can book multiple tests at once. If you haven’t done the training, register here.

(12 Mar 2021)

MFA coming to Zoom

From 15 March we are implementing MFA for Zoom, this means that you will be required to authenticate using the Microsoft Authenticator app as part of the Zoom login process. If you are already using MFA for other services then you are setup and ready to go, if not ensure you setup MFA now, full details and FAQs can be found here.

(12 Mar 2021)

New Heads of College

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Tammi Walker and Professor Tom Mole as two new Heads of College. Tammi joins us from Teesside University and will be the Principal of St Cuthbert’s Society. Tom joins us from the University of Edinburgh and will be Principal of Van Mildert College. They will both take up their positions in September 2021. For further details, please visit our web page.

(12 Mar 2021)

New workshop - weekly review webinar

David Longstaff will deliver a weekly review session designed to help us to maintain control, even when things are at their busiest. This session will help us to feel more on top of work and help to ensure priorities are not compromised as much. This is a one hour event and will be supported by an interactive mind-map, video and OneNote notebook to help embed the material. Dates and timings can be found here.

(12 Mar 2021)

New workshop date: 'Improving Productivity - Using OneNote'

Following the success of the OneNote workshops, the HR OD team is pleased to announce additional workshops in March. 'Improving Productivity – Using OneNote' is a two hour live, hands-on event created by productivity expert David Longstaff. Microsoft OneNote is a great app to include a professional and academic tool kit. But it can be confusing – which version should I use? How can I sync it across my devices? How will it help our team? For further information and dates please visit the OneNote web page.

(12 Mar 2021)

Postgrad Awards 2021

The past year has been tough for staff and students alike, but we’re pleased to share information of the upcoming Postgrad Awards from and, recognising excellence in such challenging times. Nominations are now open for:

  • Masters Student of the Year
  • Masters Teacher of the Year
  • PhD Student of the Year
  • PhD Supervisor of the Year
  • Best PG Marketing & Recruitment Campaign
  • Best PG Wellbeing Initiative

The awards are a great way to showcase the talent and dedication across our University and, crucially, demonstrate the depth of our Postgraduate offering. All winners are showcased on FindAMasters/FindAPhD’s worldwide platforms, and student winners are eligible for a cash prize of £500. For further information and nominations please visit here.

(12 Mar 2021)

Recruitment - using Taleo

The HR Recruitment Team will be holding several workshops to support colleagues in using the Taleo for recruitment. To book a place, please visit our web page.

(12 Mar 2021) » More about Recruitment - using Taleo

Research storage of up to 100TB

Are you an active researcher who needs additional storage? Our Personal Research Storage (PRS) and Shared Research Storage (SRS) services are ready and waiting. PRS gives research-active staff an automatic 1TB of storage space for personal research with the ability to self-provision increases up to 5TB through our Storage Manager Tool. SRS gives users the option of additional shared storage beyond the limits of PRS (up to 100TB per share), and research projects. This can be requested using this Self Service Form and managed through the Storage Manager Tool. Details on how to access the storage and share data with colleagues you are collaborating with please visit our web pages.

(12 Mar 2021)

Survey of impact of COVID-19 in North East

Local authorities in the North East, with collaboration from Durham University Business School, are conducting a survey to better understand public attitudes to Covid vaccination, mass testing and social isolation to inform system-wide policy and service planning. Please contribute here - the survey will take about five minutes to complete.

(12 Mar 2021) » More about Survey of impact of COVID-19 in North East

The Big 3 project has successfully concluded

Following on from the delivery of the highly successful first phase of The Big 3 in 2019, CIS has undertaken and now completed the second phase of the project to further enhance the University’s IT network. Director of Operations, Crispin Bloomfield said, “We have now completed both phases of the Big 3 project which has given us a much more robust, resilient foundation from which our IT services can grow in the future. We know that in the coming decade, the demands on our network to provide reliable, fast connectivity are only going to increase. By having this solid infrastructure in place, we will have the confidence and capacity to ensure this can happen”. Watch our short video to find out more about The Big 3 and how we’ve improved the University’s IT infrastructure for the future. Read on for more information about The Big 3.

(12 Mar 2021) » More about The Big 3 project has successfully concluded

Ustinov College celebrates International Women's Day 2021

As part of their celebrations for International Women's Day 2021, Ustinov College held 16 student-led interviews with inspirational women, as part of their 'Ustinov meets' series. Interviews were conducted by their Global Citizenship Programme scholars and fellows via Zoom with inspirational women from a range of sectors including the emergency services, higher education, health, research, media, publishing, music and the arts. To view the interviews and for more information, please visit the web page.

(12 Mar 2021)

Webinar: Referencing and avoiding plagiarism in academic work

Using other people’s ideas, data or creations as evidence in your own work is an essential academic skill in every subject and at every level of study. This Zoom webinar will look at how to cite these sources as references in your academic work.

(12 Mar 2021) » More about Webinar: Referencing and avoiding plagiarism in academic work

Worktribe system upgrade

To ensure we have the latest version of Worktribe, we will be upgrading our system on Monday 15 March. Worktribe will not be accessible between 5.15pm and 8pm on that day. We would therefore be grateful if you could log out before the upgrade work commences. If you have any questions about the upgrade, or indeed Worktribe, please contact us on As always, we thank you for your co-operation and continued support. 

(12 Mar 2021)

Zoom Live Transcriptions

We’re pleased to confirm that Zoom now offers ‘Live Transcriptions’ functionality. Many will be used to ‘Live Captions’ being available within Microsoft Teams but there is a key difference for Zoom. Whereas in Microsoft Teams both meeting organisers and participants can enable Live Captions, in Zoom transcriptions will only work once a meeting host has joined the meeting and enabled the service. Participants are unable to switch on this functionality themselves. This is also important to be aware of as many meetings/sessions take place without the host present. In such cases it would not be possible for anybody to enable Live Transcriptions.

(12 Mar 2021) » More about Zoom Live Transcriptions