Staff Survey: Equality and Diversity 2017

Dear colleagues,

We are launching a staff survey:

This survey is designed to collect information about your experience of equality and diversity at the University of Worcester. The information collated will be used to inform our policies and practices in all areas going forward but in particular those relating to HR. It will also be used to inform strategic developments at the University and to feed into, for example, our work in relation to the Athena SWAN charter.

This is a chance for you to be open and honest about how you feel positively as well as any progress that may need to be made.

The survey closes on 6th November and should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete.

We would ask that you please take the time to complete all aspects of the survey as the information is important and we can guarantee that the data will be treated confidentially, i.e. only shared with those responsible for the survey and its analysis; it will not be used for any other purposes than those set out above; and that the presentation of the data will only ever be at an aggregate level and will never identify individuals. We want to collect as much information as possible, but you don’t have to answer every question if you don’t want to.

After the survey closes, we will analyse the results and use them to inform our plans to further improve equality and diversity. A report will be written and presented to the HR Committee before being summarised and published on the staff intranet.

Please find the link to the Staff Survey: Equality and Diversity

Should you be unable to complete the survey online, a hard copy is available from the following receptions:-

  • St John’s campus, Edward Elgar Building
  • Jenny Lind, Building
  • City Campus, Charles Hastings Building

Please return the completed questionnaire to Sarah Hemming, HR Advisor (Athena SWAN Co-ordinator), HR Department, St John’s Campus, Woodbury Building, WR2 6AJ.

If you would like the questionnaire in an alternative format or to complete it by telephone please contact Sarah Hemming ( or 01905 542797).

Share and Inspire

Developing students’ academic skills is central to the higher education experience, but what assumptions do course teams make about the skills students have at the start of their course, and are there effective and innovative ways to support development, working with Library Services?

The next Share and Inspire session, entitled Mapping the Learner Journey, will be led by Dr Sarah Pittaway (Team Leader: Academic Services, Library Services) and will involve colleagues from three Institutes and an Academic Liaison Librarian. Sarah undertook a research project last year which explored staff experiences and expectations of students’ skills at various stages of their degree programmes.   Instances of good practice were identified, including examples of innovative working in partnership with Library Services to embed skills development in the curriculum.

This Share and Inspire session will explore some of the challenges and issues in developing students’ academic skills and share examples of practice from Sport, Health and Education, and will also look at how the Library Services can work in partnership with course teams to develop curricula in support of skills development.

This session will be particularly relevant to course leaders or members of course teams where academic/study skills has been identified by external examiners as something that could be developed.

Please book via the Staff Development Webpages – under the title of Share and Inspire, Mapping the Learner Journey. The event takes place on Wednesday 8 November 2017, 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm in room EE G164, and lunch will be provided.

IHS Research Seminar Series – Involving People Living with Dementia in Research

On 25 October 2017 Jennifer Bray from the Association for Dementia Studies will be presenting a session entitled ‘Involving People Living with Dementia in Research: Different Methods of Engagement and their Related Challenges’. The seminar will take place 1.00pm-2.00pm in EEG164.

Please see the attached flyer for further information.

Flyer – IHS Research Seminar – 25 October 2017


New workshops available from the Learning and Teaching Technology Unit

A new series of Technology Enhanced Learning Workshops are available to book via the Staff Development Booking System.

Workshops include:

  • Using quizzes, tests and surveys in Blackboard
  • Collaborate Virtual Classroom
  • PebblePad Portfolio
  • Bronze, Silver or Gold – how’s your Blackboard site looking?
  • Blackboard Made Simple
  • Camtasia
  • Tracking Student Engagement

A full list and description of the workshops can be found here:

Workshops are open to all members of staff but if the times and dates are not convenient for you, we are happy to run bespoke workshops for course or departmental teams or provide 1 to 1 training if required. Please contact to arrange.

Copy deadline for The Hive What’s On guide


The next copy deadline for The Hive What’s On guide is Monday 13 November 2017.  Please send the following to Min Sowden on or before this date:

  • Title
  • Copy – 50 to 75 words
  • Date and time
  • Cost
  • Web address
  • High res image – 300 dpi

The guide is covering events and activities from 1 January to 31 April 2018.

Upcoming Recruitment and Selection workshop – Last minute spaces

Recruitment and Selection Workshop – Thursday 19th October

This workshop is compulsory for staff who have any role to play in the recruitment and selection process of either staff or students. This session is suitable both as a refresher session or for colleagues who have not attended one before at the University. By the end of the session delegates will have gained and refreshed knowledge of the legal framework affecting recruitment and selection, diversity and equality of opportunities and will have reviewed all elements of the recruitment process and have considered “best practice”. Delegates must complete the online ‘Equality and Diversity’ module before attending this workshop.

Please book via Staff Development page.

Open Access week

Open access is an increasingly important aspect of the scholarly communication chain, making research outcomes available to everyone. The 10th International Open Access week takes place between the 23rd and 29th October and coincides with 10th anniversary of the University’s research repository  WRaP (Worcester Research and Publications). To celebrate these two anniversaries we are planning a number of events over the week:

  • An exhibition of original research articles, books and other research outputs in The Hive. An opportunity to showcase the research that the University of Worcester carries out, and to explore the role of open access in research dissemination.
  • We will also run three Open Access drop in sessions during the week:
    • Wednesday 25th October 11am-3pm near the main reception at St John’s campus
    • Thursday 26th October 11am-3pm near a reception at City campus
    • Friday 27th October 11am-3pm near an atrium at The Hive,

During these drop in session the Research Team will be available to answer questions around Open Access and share tea and cake.

Karol Kosinski
01905 542909

How to avoid common cycle commuting mistakes

1 Hugging the kerb

Cycling at the edge of the road encourages vehicles to push past you when there isn’t room. It makes you less conspicuous to other drivers. It gives you less room to manoeuvre, to avoid potholes and rubbish.

Be bold: ride wide and use the whole lane: take up as much space as a car and don’t be forced in.

2 Pretending mudguards aren’t necessary

Cycling media will tell you that mudguards aren’t cool. Unless you’re the kind of person who likes to be covered in mud, or would drive an open-top car in the rain, fit mudguards, not those little pointless plastic fig leaves that clip under the saddle.

Fit full length mudguards. They’ll stop cold, dirty water spraying over your feet, backside, luggage, and your bike.

3 Choosing procrastination over lubrication

The last thing you want to do when you get home soaked is see to your bike. Yet it’s worth spraying some water displacing lubricant like “WD40”on the chain right away; it’ll only take a minute.

Light rain won’t wash all the oil off your bike’s chain, but a downpour could sluice it all off and leave the gears and chain dry and spotted with rust by morning.

Periodically clean and properly oil it. If you’ve ridden on slushy, gritted and or salted roads, hose the bike down before attending to the chain. Salt and salt water are highly corrosive!

4 Letting the tyres go soft

Tyres that are too soft drag on tarmac, waste your energy and make every journey longer. They readily pick up sharp debris which can then puncture the tyre.

Invest in a floor pump (also known as a track pump) and keep your bike’s tyres inflated to the pressure stamped on the tyre walls.

5 Forgetting your bike lock

Getting to work and realising you’ve left your lock at home is a dilemma. Have you got enough time to return and fetch it? Can you take your bike inside? No?

You’ve got one security chain left: the bike chain.

Using your chain tool, remove the quick link and split the chain. Wrap the chain around the bike and the anchor point, then rejoin it. Next time, ensure your bike lock is in your commuter bag, or leave a spare bike lock at work.

6 Overdressing

Cycling generates more body heat than walking because cyclists work that bit harder. If you dress for cycling like you’d dress for walking you’ll overheat in less than 15 minutes.

The key is to lose the insulation. Generally, you’ll need a windproof outer layer and a comfortable base layer, but that sweater or suit jacket probably belongs in your commuter bag.

Conversely, your extremities will get colder due to increased windchill.


Library News: Live Chat, Oxfam & Resource Lists

Live chat with askalibrarian

Following a trial of live online chat in Semester 2 2016/17, Library Services will be providing this service 13:00-16:00, Monday-Friday, from 23rd October. From that date we can be contacted via the ‘Can we help? Live chat’ tab on the Library Services webpages. This is in addition to emailing, texting us at 01902 504126 and visiting the desk on Level 3 in The Hive. Please help us by promoting the chat service to your students.

Over £1000 raised for Oxfam at the Great Hive Book Rescue

Thank you to all staff who donated books to the Great Hive Book Rescue. At the event on 4th October we sold over 2,000 books to students and raised over £1000 for Oxfam!

Made a mistake linking your Resource List using the LTI tool in Blackboard?

Good news! There is now a relink option when using the Resource List LTI tool in Blackboard should you need to make any changes. Your 17/18 Resource Lists will need to be published in order to link in Blackboard and for students to view them. Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian or if you need assistance.


Half Marathon runners raise money for the University’s Charity of the Year

A team of staff took to the streets of Birmingham yesterday in the city’s Half Marathon, raising money for the University’s Charity of the Year, Smile for Joel.

Charlie Bassett, from the Finance team, Mark Kilburn and Steve Harborne from Facilities, and Neil Laurenson, who works in the University’s Careers Service, all completed the challenge.

Neil finished in 1:17, Charlie in 1:58, Mark completed in 2:15 and Steve in 2:19.

Smile for Joel was set up by the family of Joel Richards, who was tragically killed in the Tunisian terror attack in 2015, alongside his uncle, Adrian Evans, and grandfather, Patrick Evans. It aims to support other families who are victims of murder and terrorism.

Joel was a Physical Education and Sports Coaching Science student at the University and his younger brother, Owen, who survived the horrific events, is now studying for a degree in Sports Studies here.

“I think the charity is one that we all feel particularly proud to be supporting due to Joel’s connection with the University before his life was cut so tragically short,” said Mark.

“Given Joel’s enthusiasm for sport, doing a sporting event is a great way of honouring him.”

The Half Marathon runners are still hoping to hit their target of £500. To donate visit


Launch of 2017-18 Students as Academic Partners scheme

Following a successful Students as Academic Partners (SAP) scheme in 2016-17, with very high quality projects being completed, we are pleased to announce the launch of the 2017-18 scheme. Applications are now open until 30 October 2017. Please can you share this information with colleagues who may be interested in applying to the scheme.

Students and staff are invited to submit applications which have a clear emphasis on supporting future course development and improving the course and student experience. The scheme seeks to employ students as active partners of learning and teaching project teams based within the University. SAP is open to all students who are eligible to work in the UK and registered on a course for this academic year, and to all staff at the university.

Information on the scheme and details on how to apply are here:

SAP Project Scheme 2017-18


Final reports from previous years are also available for inspiration!

We look forward to receiving your application. Please contact us if you need any further information:

Karen Blackmore (, academic lead for the SAP project scheme.

Carolyn Nisbet ( project manager for the SAP project scheme.

Funding for Research Workshops

The Research Office is running a series of workshops on finding funding for research, bid writing and bid development, as part of the Researcher Development Programme 2017-18.

Finding Funding for Research and Knowledge Exchange – Karen Dobson

If you’re looking for funding to support research and knowledge exchange activities this session will help you to navigate the opportunities available. The session aims to enable you to be pro-active and reactive to established and new funding opportunities and provides an overview of research funding in the UK. Key research funders, and the activities they fund, are highlighted, alongside the University of Worcester’s own research funding schemes and processes. It will be of use to those unfamiliar with the research funding landscape and also to researchers planning to make their first funding bid.

  • 16-10-17 12.15 – 13.45 St John’s Campus
  • 17-01-18 12.15 – 13.45 St John’s Campus

Introduction to Bid Writing – John-Paul Wilson and Rishi Verma

This session will identify the major research funders and set out good practice in writing a research funding application, drawing on guidance provided for example by the Research Councils and the experiences of staff who have written both successful and unsuccessful funding bids. This session will be useful for all those considering making an application for research funding.

  • 22-11-2017 12:15 – 13:45 St John’s Campus
  • 14-02-2018 12:15 – 13:45 St John’s Campus

Developing Your Bid – Rishi Verma

For those in the process of scoping a project with the intention to submit a bid – or whom have formed their research ideas in full to have started an application, having already identified a call, this session highlights key aspects for applicants to consider in terms of bid development, and the University’s role in the crafting, refining and submission of each bid. This workshop covers topics, including the internal approvals process to resource justification, enabling researchers to take into account key considerations to aid qualitative, viable and timely submissions to various research funders.

  • 11-12-2017 12:15 – 13:45 St John’s Campus
  • 12-03-2018 12:15 – 13:45 St John’s Campus

How to book

Please book online through the University’s Staff Development Workshops booking portal (click on the ‘Research’ tab).

For more information about these workshops, please contact

Karen Dobson, Research and Knowledge Exchange Facilitator, Research Office


Research Seminar on sports nutrition

Staff and Students are invited to attend a research seminar on Tuesday 17 October 2017. This will take place in EE1061 between 1pm – 2pm.

Blackcurrant, a New Ergogenic Aid in Sports and Exercise Nutrition?

Dr Matthew Cook
Lecturer in Sports and Exercise Science

Sports nutrition is a fast changing landscape, with a vast array of supplements on the market all purported to have some ‘ergogenic’ benefit, with different amounts of evidence to support their use. A recent addition to the sports nutrition market has been ‘functional foods’. Defined as those foods that provide additional benefits above their macronutrient content. For example, beetroot has been examined for its effects on lowering oxygen consumption to steady state exercise and exercise performance, while cherry has been examined for its effects upon recovery. This research seminar will discuss findings from recent studies using blackcurrant and highlight how it can have ergogenic effects during exercise and identify some of the mechanisms for the effects observed.


Debt advice service

The University Money Advice Service are hosting a visiting debt advice service via the Local Citizens Advice Bureau.

The advice is free and confidential and will be available on the second Thursday of each month at Firstpoint 2-4pm. The service commences Thursday 12 October.

Drop in or contact firstpoint to book a slot.

Half-term holiday club at Lakeside Campus

October 2017 Lakeside programme

The University of Worcester Lakeside Campus presents a series of fun-packed holiday clubs of outdoor adventure, sport & activities. These clubs offer 6-14-year-olds an exciting time in the outdoors to broaden their minds and exercise their bodies. Typical activities will include canoeing, archery, raft building, bushcraft and much much more.

The next club is being held during the October half-term break (23rd – 27th October) and booking is open now at this site here or by contacting us directly: 01905 622 223 or email:


Check out the new Worcester Rewards

Worcester Rewards’ new website offers an amazing range of discounts, just for University staff. Current discounts include 11% at B & Q, 8% at M & S and PC World, 7.5% at Argos, 6% at Sainsbury’s. These are just a few of the fantastic savings you can make by checking in to Worcester Rewards. If you’re not already registered, it’s really simple. Find Worcester Rewards at the bottom of the right hand side of the staff page (no need to log in) – it’s really simple to use and you can get started right away. All you need is your staff number and date of birth. There’s also a great app you can store on your phone, so if you’re out and about and spot a bargain you can save even more with Worcester Rewards.

If you’re using any of the great local offers make sure you check the discount before you buy as sometimes staff change and aren’t aware of the offers agreed, so always best to ask before you buy !