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Durham University

Internal Communications

Dialogue Signposts

23 April 2021

'Durham University Tours' - brand new app

Our brand new app, ‘Durham University Tours’ is available to download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store now. It allows users to take virtual tours around the city from the comfort of their own home.

(23 Apr 2021) » More about 'Durham University Tours' - brand new app

Academic Electoral Assembly Standing Committee Elections 2021

Make a difference and stand for Senate - Academic Electoral Assembly Standing Committee Elections - Deadline 10 May 2021. Six positions on Senate and the AEA Standing Committee are open for election. The nominations period for the 2021 election closes at 5pm, Monday 10 May 2021. Nomination forms are available here and further information can be found on our web page or you can email

(23 Apr 2021) » More about Academic Electoral Assembly Standing Committee Elections 2021

Academic Staff development workshops (DCAD)

Just a reminder that we have availability on a number of workshops and Virtual Writing Retreats scheduled throughout the Easter term and beyond. Workshop titles include PRP: Applying for Fellowship of the HEA; Student Complaints, Policies and Processes; Student Discipline Regulations, Policies and Processes; and a series of Module Design for Learn Ultra workshops. For further details on all of these sessions and to book a place, please visit our web page.

(23 Apr 2021)

Access VPN Maintenance

CIS will be carrying out routine maintenance to Access VPN on 29 April between 6pm-6.15pm. Users will be unable to connect during this time and any users already connected will have their connections terminated. Please ensure you save any work and, where possible, disconnect from Access VPN prior to 6pm. Once the work is complete you will be able to connect with no noticeable difference. Updates to this information will be posted on our Service Status pages.

(23 Apr 2021)

Coming up: What about content not going to Learn Ultra webinar

As part of our efforts to introduce our new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to staff across the University, we will be running Wednesday Weekly Webinars all about Blackboard Learn Ultra. On Wednesday 28 April from 11am-11.30am, we’ll be hosting a session to help you understand what will happen to content not going across to Blackboard Learn Ultra. Not everything on duo will move to Learn Ultra. This session will talk about the logic behind this and the options for areas like programme sites and staff information sites. Simply visit our Wednesday Weekly Webinars pages and add the event to your calendar and learn more about Blackboard Learn Ultra.

(23 Apr 2021) » More about Coming up: What about content not going to Learn Ultra webinar

Committee Membership opportunities

Would you like to serve on the Ethics, Research, Senate Discipline or Wider Student Experience Committee? All members of the University are encouraged to consider participating in the governance of the University through expressing an interest in serving on one of the committees of the University. Please visit our web pages to see full details of the available vacancies and to express an interest in serving on one of these committees. The last day for expressing an interest is Friday 14 May 2021.

(23 Apr 2021)

Council meeting update

The last meeting of Council took place on 16 March 2021. The key item of business was the approval of the University’s REF 2021 submission. Council expressed its sincere thanks and congratulations to the Vice-Provost (Research) and colleagues across the institution for the extensive work involved in producing the submission.

(23 Apr 2021) » More about Council meeting update

Discover Durham Live

We are running a set of ‘Discover Durham Live’ online sessions for offer holders. These give prospective students a chance to hear from current students and to have the opportunity to ask any questions that they might have. These one hour sessions are running until the beginning of June covering a wide range of different topics. Please feel free to promote these to offer holders who may contact you. Find out more here.

(23 Apr 2021)

Durham a world top 100 university for sustainability

We’ve been ranked 87th in the world for our overall contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we’re in the top 100 in nine of the individual league tables for the 17 UN SDGs. We're really proud of our commitment to a sustainable future. Find out more here

(23 Apr 2021)

Editing your personal details in Oracle

You can now edit your Religion, Ethnicity, Marital Status and Sexual Orientation via the Oracle Self Service portal. A user guide for viewing and amending your personal details is available here. If you have any queries please raise a ticket with the CIS Service Desk in the first instance.

(23 Apr 2021)

Engineering podcast

The Engineering Department now has its own podcast. We have been releasing a new podcast every week onto our YouTube Channel and across our Social Media Platforms, these include volunteers from our Academic Staff, Professional Support Staff, industrial partners, PhD and final year students. Please feel to subscribe to us and look out for new content. If you have any queries, please contact

(23 Apr 2021)

Identifying and reporting Covid-19 symptoms

If you develop any Covid-19 symptoms including:

  •  A new continuous cough
  •  Loss of, or change to, smell or taste
  •  A high temperature

You must:

Please follow these steps even if you have had your Covid-19 vaccination. Visit the NHS website to find out more about Covid-19 symptoms and self-isolation guidance.

(23 Apr 2021)

Impact Funding - ESRC IAA call

The next call for ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) Impact Funding opens on Monday 26 April. The Durham ESRC IAA fund is available to social science academics and independent researchers to help develop impact resulting from their research. IAA funding grants of between £1-15k for projects lasting between 3 months -1 year are available, as long as your research has already been carried out and you now want to realise and/or test its impact potential.

(23 Apr 2021) » More about Impact Funding - ESRC IAA call

Living Streets - Walking works campaign

Happy Friday everyone. Here is some news from the wellbeing front. Starts with a puzzle: What’s free, works any time of day, makes you immediately feel better and doesn’t require a prescription? Kind of a miracle cure… exercise. We’ve teamed up with Living Streets to give staff an opportunity to get involved in their walking works campaign and promoting different ways you can get involved in 'National Walking Month of May'.

(23 Apr 2021) » More about Living Streets - Walking works campaign

Madan Sara film screening

This film screening of Madan Sara, a Haitian documentary by director Etant Dupain who will also join us for a Q&A session will take place on Thursday 29 April from 5pm. You can register for the event here. After registering you will be sent a link to the event on the day.

(23 Apr 2021) » More about Madan Sara film screening

National Pay Negotiations 2021-22

The Higher Education Pay Negotiating Round for 2021-22 is now open. Negotiating meetings began in March and will continue through April and May. Ahead of this, a joint Trade Union claim was submitted to UCEA, who then issued an employers' statement. Both of these documents are available on the UCEA web pages along with further information.

(23 Apr 2021)

New Information Security and Data Protection Training for staff is now live

The second eLearning package to be launched for all staff on Oracle Learning went live on 16 April. Completing this “required learning” will help the University to demonstrate its compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and give you a better understanding of how to manage personal data appropriately. It also covers how information security and data protection affects your day to day work. You can access this training by logging on to your Oracle Portal and clicking on the Learning button.

(23 Apr 2021) » More about New Information Security and Data Protection Training for staff is now live

New spaces of waiting: Furlough study

Can you contribute to a study of the lived experience of being furloughed? The Office for National Statistics figures (February 2021) report that cumulatively 11.2 million people have been furloughed since the announcement of the Job Retention Scheme on 20 March 2020. The scheme enables employers to keep workers on their payroll in sectors affected by COVID-19 restrictions. Employees receive 80% of their salary from their employers, who in turn can recover part of the cost from HMRC. Furlough is not a new workplace tactic, but the introduction of the Job Retention Scheme has seen an unprecedented amount of people furloughed at the same time. PhD candidate Victoria J E Jones is looking for for more participants to be interviewed for the study. Participation is confidential and anonymised. It involves an one hour, recorded interview over Zoom. If you or someone you know can contribute to the study, please email

(23 Apr 2021) » More about New spaces of waiting: Furlough study

Pearn Kandola presents - One year in lockdown

Pearn Kandola is running a week-long series of free webinars presenting the research they have conducted since March 2020 – with much of that time being spent in lockdown. Topics include - How you can make living and working from home work for you, How anti-Chinese prejudice has changed over the past year and the psychological impact of furlough. For more information on each webinar and links to register click here.

(23 Apr 2021)

Qualify as a social worker at Durham

The Master of Social Work (MSW) Programme is recruiting. We train key workers across a wide range of social work fields. There is very strong demand for Durham MSW graduates by employers in local authorities and non-government organisations regionally, nationally and internationally.

(23 Apr 2021) » More about Qualify as a social worker at Durham

Resource request form

When you come to make a request from the Library, you can now choose how you want to access your item from the options we have available. Simply find the item you want via Discover and complete our new Resource Request form – this will automatically fill in the details of the item on the form. Alternatively, visit our web page to enter all the details manually. 

(23 Apr 2021)

Staff network coffee break

Our next informal staff network coffee break chat will take place (via Microsoft Teams) on Thursday 29 April at 3pm. 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.

(23 Apr 2021)

Staff survey

Staff surveys are a great opportunity for all of us to share our open and honest views of working at Durham University. In June 2021 we will be opening a new staff survey and would encourage as many colleagues as possible to contribute their thoughts on the positives of working at Durham University and things that they would like to see change. Further details will be available nearer to the time of the survey launch.

(23 Apr 2021) » More about Staff survey

Study a language this summer

Registration for our Centre for Foreign Language Study’s summer course programme is now open. Courses are available in 17 languages. All will be delivered online by experienced, professional language teachers, in an engaging and interactive virtual classroom. For full details including dates, times and fees, please see our web page.

(23 Apr 2021)

SU Annual Awards: It’s time to celebrate Durham students and staff

Nominate incredible students and staff for an SU Annual Award today. Those that have given us entertainment or education through the medium of Zoom. Those that have stood up for student rights when it felt like no one else would. Those that have kept their college spirit strong. Those that have brought the Durham community together, when we were far apart. Deadline: 9 May. Prizes to be awarded at an online ceremony this summer.

(23 Apr 2021)

The Staying Strong Project

Team Durham is launching ‘The Staying Strong Project’, a holistic training programme for any individual aged 40+. As we get older we experience a decrease in muscle mass, muscular strength and bone density. Strength training offers multi-system benefits which combat these effects, improving overall quality and longevity of life. Although the benefits are understood, it’s often a lack of knowledge and confidence which means adults are less likely to focus on resistance training.

(23 Apr 2021) » More about The Staying Strong Project

Theft Cover

As part of the University’s cover for theft, there are certain conditions that must be complied with to ensure that theft cover is not invalidated in the event of a loss. This includes the setting of intruder alarms when the premises are closed. Further details of these conditions can be found here. For any queries in relation to this, please contact either or

(23 Apr 2021)

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) People's Choice vote

We have already held our heats for the 3MT competition this year and our seven finalists have been chosen. The Durham final will be a live Zoom event on 5 May. One of the prizes up for grabs is the People's Choice Award. Unlike the other prizes - which are decided by our judging panel - this prize is decided by the PGR community and staff.

(23 Apr 2021) » More about Three Minute Thesis (3MT) People's Choice vote

Undergraduate module evaluations

We will be entering an end of module evaluation period next week. The evaluation period runs from Monday, 26 April 2pm until Sunday 9 May midnight. Undergraduate students will be invited by email to complete end of module evaluation questionnaires and they can also access these via the MEQ Tab in duo. A 50% return rate is required for each evaluation and teaching staff play an important role in helping to achieve this - please read on to find out more.

(23 Apr 2021) » More about Undergraduate module evaluations

University Library and Collections Services for Easter Term

As we approach the start of Easter Term, we want to reassure you that whether you return to Durham or continue to work remotely, we will continue to support you through our online services which are available to you anytime, anywhere. We have a vast collection of online resources accessible through Discover and the Library Catalogue. There is specific subject support available on our subject guides. Our friendly team can offer help and support through our Virtual Enquiry Desk. We’ve made a few changes to our services for Easter term, including increasing opening hours, introducing more study spaces and extending our free Postal Loans Service. Visit our website for full details.

(23 Apr 2021)

USS 2020 valuation: New resources available

Universities UK (UUK) has produced a range of resources to help explain the proposed USS changes. The resources include frequently asked questions, a short video by Professor Julia Buckingham, UUK President, and an interview with Iona Bain, Founder of Young Money Blog and Agency. Visit our USS webpages to find out more.

(23 Apr 2021)

Webinar - Black Holes, Galaxies and the Evolution of the Universe

From supermassive black holes to the hunt for dark matter, our scientists are at the forefront of investigations into the evolution of the universe. Want to find out more? Sign up to the next webinar in our Knowledge Across Borders series with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. You can book your place here.

(23 Apr 2021)

Dialogue magazine is back and this time it's digital

We’re looking for your ideas and contributions so if you’ve got a great story to share, something new to update on or would like to celebrate your/your team’s successes with the university community, please email us at

(16 Apr 2021)