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Durham University

Internal Communications

Dialogue Signposts

21 May 2021

Advance HE 'In Partnership' update - May 2021

We are institutional members of Advance HE who provide a range of information and support for the HE sector including - research papers, development resources and the opportunity to engage with sector wide discussions. In this month’s edition of 'In Partnership' we focus on our member benefit theme for April and May, 'Transforming organisations: from student to board' and will also be exploring the Student Partnerships in Assessment project, the Top Management Programme, longitudinal report and upcoming member benefits and events. To view the newsletter and access any resources you can click here.

(21 May 2021)

All staff training announcement - sign up now

Your students or colleagues may disclose sexual misconduct and violence to you. Do you know what to do? You are welcome and encouraged to attend training to learn more about your role and responsibilities under the Sexual Misconduct and Violence Policy that applies to staff and students and covers forms of misconduct such as sexual harassment, rape, sexual assault, stalking, domestic abuse, online sexual harassment and more. We want to help equip you to respond and help your students or colleagues access the right people within the University and community who can support.

(21 May 2021) » More about All staff training announcement - sign up now

Are you being safe and social online?

As part of our focus on cyber security, we’re asking staff to think about how they can protect their presence on social media and keep their personal information safe. We’ve created a short video to share some tips on how you can protect your social media presence. Social media is well and truly ingrained in our everyday culture. We gather in the virtual world to stay connected with friends and family, celebrate our achievements, discuss plans, share photos and so much more. And for most people, these platforms are places to have fun. However, not everyone plays by the same rules. Cyber attacks on personal social media accounts, as well as business accounts, have seen a dramatic rise in recent years, more so since the start of the current global pandemic.

(21 May 2021) » More about Are you being safe and social online?

Covid-19 Contact Tracing

You may be contacted by the University or NHS contact tracing teams if:

  • You have had a positive Covid-19 test result
  • You have been identified as a close contact of someone who has recently tested positive for Covid-19

We encourage everyone to engage with Covid-19 contact tracing to help control the rate of reproduction (R), reduce the spread of the infection and save lives.

Visit to find out what to do if you are contacted.

(21 May 2021)

Creating an Integrated Student Experience (CISE) Programme

We are passionate about delivering an outstanding world-class student experience – it is core to being a member of Durham University and why we do our job. Although we have many areas of excellent practice, we know that there are parts of the “Student Journey” that students describe as ‘disjointed’, ‘frustrating’ and ‘stressful’, whilst staff tell us that they sometimes feel they do not have the information, technology/systems processes or policies they require to support students effectively. 

(21 May 2021) » More about Creating an Integrated Student Experience (CISE) Programme

Exhibition - Journeys: Reading the World

This exhibition builds on our 'Preparing for a Journey' exhibition launched earlier in the year and explores the themes of travel, adventure and exploration through rare books, diaries, maps and letters. Visit now to investigate the differences between travellers and tourists and examine the legacies of European exploration. You will also find out more about historic journeys to and from Durham, hear stories of pioneering women travellers and walk the fine line between travel fact and travel fiction. The exhibition looks just as good on desktop or mobile, so whether you are stuck at home or out on a journey of your own, why not visit today?

(21 May 2021)

Festival of Teaching and Learning 2021

DCAD is delighted to announce this year’s Annual Learning and Teaching Conference. The format for this year is a Festival of Learning and Teaching with sessions exploring a variety of themes. Participants will be able to reflect on their own experiences of learning and teaching and share ideas on what has really worked for them.

(21 May 2021) » More about Festival of Teaching and Learning 2021

Health Research in Horizon Europe

Are you a Health researcher interested in working on challenge-led, collaborative research projects under the new Horizon Europe programme? Come along and join us on Monday 7 June 10am-12 noon when we will be discussing health-related research funding opportunities under Pillar 2 of Horizon Europe.

(21 May 2021) » More about Health Research in Horizon Europe

HR Policy

HR & OD has incorporated some new and some revised leave polices into one space on the HR policy website under the title 'Other Leave Policy'. This policy covers the following types of leave: Bereavement leave, Emergency leave / time off for dependants, Fertility treatment leave, Jury Service / time in court, Leave of absence, Magistrate’s duty, Unpaid leave, Reservists leave and Special discretionary leave. For more information please have a look at the policy document.

(21 May 2021)

Invasive Species Week 2021

Invasive Species Week runs from Monday 24 May by GB Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) to raise awareness of invasive species and how everyone can help to prevent their spread. Why not volunteer today to reduce the spread of Himalayan Balsam and if you are boat user, help to reduce the spread by following the check, clean, dry campaign?

(21 May 2021) » More about Invasive Species Week 2021

Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) service evaluation

There’s still time to take part in our COVID-19 LFT service evaluation to help us shape future improvements to the programme. The survey is anonymous and by completing it you will be entered into a draw for one of three cash prizes: £50, £30 and £20. Complete the survey here

(21 May 2021)

Learn more about Learn Ultra with our workshop series

Like many teaching and learning staff, you will no doubt be starting to turn your attention to next academic year. Part of your planning this year will include how you will move your course content across to our new Virtual Learning Environment, Blackboard Learn Ultra. To support you to do this, DCAD will be hosting a series of online workshops over the coming months. This is a continuation of the Learn Ultra workshop series that has been running throughout April and May, and will be cover different subjects, from making your course more accessible and incorporating tools like Turnitin, to using Learn Ultra analytics and finding new and innovative ways for your students to collaborate. These workshops are individually designed to give you a deeper dive into specific areas and use cases of the VLE, and to support you every step of the way. For more information about the workshops and the plethora of support available from DCAD, visit our Learn Ultra site today. We’ll be recording all sessions and posting the links to this site, so feel free to watch the recordings if you aren’t able to make the live sessions.

(21 May 2021)

Love to ride? Join us in June

Bike Month is a celebration of biking and a chance to ride your bike and encourage and support you and your friends, family and community to get out and ride too. Why not log your rides on the Love to Ride website - where you can get all the benefits that cycling can bring, soak up some of that summer sun and go into the draw for prizes.

(21 May 2021) » More about Love to ride? Join us in June

Microsoft 365 'Blitzing the Basics' - sessions and snappy videos

In response to requests to re-visit some of the basics of the Microsoft 365 functionality ahead of the O365 Engagement & Enablement project closing in July, we have 3 new types of sessions to offer the University. We'll be hosting a series of live interactive webinars to showcase the most popular Microsoft 365 apps, how these work together and also group sessions for users to work with their colleagues to use the functionality specifically for their work areas. More about the M365 sessions available on the Learning Hub. You can also access a library of short snappy videos of the most common M365 apps, tools and tasks for Durham University or make use of the Microsoft resources signposted on the project Learning Hub.

(21 May 2021)

Music, Sound and Maternity

You are invited to join Erin Johnson-Williams (Durham Music Department) and the Durham University MAMS Network for a roundtable discussion about sound, music, colonial history and maternity on Friday 18 June at 12 noon. This event is open to all and we hope to see you there. Please sign up for your free ticket here. For further information, please contact

(21 May 2021) » More about Music, Sound and Maternity

Recruitment of two Co-Directors

The Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing is still looking to recruit a Co-Director from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health. If you are looking for an exciting opportunity to further develop your leadership skills and exercise your networking muscles, please do get in touch. The advertisement has been extended until 13 June to ensure we have achieved as diverse a field as possible. Should you have any questions, please do contact The post details are available here

(21 May 2021)

Senate Discipline Committee outcomes

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

(21 May 2021)

Staff network coffee break

Our next informal staff network coffee break chat will take place (via Microsoft Teams) on Thursday 27 May at 3pm. With recent changes being implemented as part of the Government's Covid roadmap, now is a great time to chat about these changes and how they will hopefully positively affect you - such as places in Durham to eat, leisure activities available etc. This is the opportunity to chat to colleagues, those who have been here a while, those who have just joined and those who may still be due to arrive over the next few months; to support each other, discuss any challenges and issues faced at this time and to meet new people. Pop the event in your diary and just click on the link at the time.

(21 May 2021)

Ushaw College

Since 2015 Ushaw College has been developing its facilities to reflect its role as a significant heritage and cultural attraction in the North-East. It has had to reinvent its offer to respond to Covid-19 and now charges for admission to its gardens and grounds to help support the extensive estate, buildings and collections.

(21 May 2021) » More about Ushaw College

Virtual Open Day launch

We have now launched bookings for our Virtual Open Day on Saturday 19 June, 9am-7pm. With our interactive platform, video content, and live events, students are able to get the full Durham experience virtually. Prospective students will have the opportunity to speak to university staff and current students in our chatrooms and ask lots of questions. Once booked, students can also access all our online content on-demand from 17 June to 5 July. So they have plenty of time to explore what we have to offer. Students can book here now.

(21 May 2021)

Volunteer Awards 2021

The Volunteer Awards nominations are now open for 2021. This is opportunity to recognise and celebrate the incredible work that both staff and students in our community have been doing over the past year. The deadline for nominations is 9am on 24 May 2021. Please use this link for nominations.

(21 May 2021) » More about Volunteer Awards 2021