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News for Durham University Staff & Students

Mar | Apr 2017



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Welcome to a new issue of Dialogue magazine. It has been a busy couple of months and there is much to report on.

As I write, we have just had news of this year’s QS Subject Rankings, and I am delighted to say that three of our subjects have been placed in the Top 10 in the world and eight subjects in the Top 50. Theology and Religion has been ranked 3rd in the world, in the first year that QS has included rankings in this subject area. Archaeology has also improved its global ranking to 4th in the world, up one place on the previous year. Geography keeps its Top 10 ranking, placed 7th in the world this year. Of course, we are so much more than our league table rankings. Last year, for example, over 300 of our staff took part in University-supported volunteering activities, contributing 3,000 hours to a range of local charities and community partners. But this is just the tip of the iceberg and we know that our staff do a lot more volunteering, both within the University and in their own time, and we would like to know more about this. Find out why on page 5. In February, recruitment to our new


International Study Centre (ISC) began, and I am pleased to say it is going well. We are enjoying a very positive working relationship with Study Group and we look forward to welcoming our first students to the ISC in September 2017.



We have also recently been able to announce the exciting news that a new international residential research library, the only one of its kind in the UK, is to be developed in conjunction with Ushaw College and the Cathedral, in a £2m project led by the University. And finally, many congratulations to Durham Student Theatre who will perform three of the scheduled 14 shows at the National Student Drama festival in Hull this year. I am sure you’ll all agree that this is a testament to the quality and talent of our students – a fantastic achievement.


Tell your story.

With all best wishes

Professor Stuart Corbridge Vice-Chancellor and Warden

Please continue to send your contributions and feedback to News for Durham University Staff & Students





Editor Ulrike Klaerig-Jackson Communications Co-ordinator





Assistant Editor Mark Tallentire Communications Co-ordinator







Contributors Harriet Williamson, HR&OD; Sharon Battersby, CIS; Steph Dawson, Library; Yvonne Flynn, Greenspace; Daryl Dowding, Event Durham; Claire Hall, Karen Frost, Nicky Sawicki & Claire Yates, Marketing & Communications; Jonny Moore, Strategic Planning; Andy Cattermole, Experience Durham; Durham Student Theatre; Professor Jo Setchell, BEER; Adam Harwood, Procurement; Gayle Haywood CEM; Andy Harston, DARO Cover image John Donoghue CUR/03/17/030

Mar | Apr 2017










Durham University and Durham University logo are registered Trade Marks of the University of Durham. Unless otherwise stated, all material in this publication is copyright of the University of Durham. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained here is accurate. Please note that the University’s website is the most up to date source of information and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.




Our favourite posts, tweets and videos over the past 2 months to show you what has been happening around the University!



New research with Prof Jo Setchell shows primates are facing extinction crisis and urgent action is needed http:// …

New international residential research library to be developed at @ushawcollege @durhamcathedral @palacegreenlib

Durham’s @Prof_Phillipson was cited in #SupremeCourt ruling on #Brexit and will discuss the case on @BBCWorld throughout the day DurhamLawSchool/ status/823848108064993280 …

Congratulations to @durham_uni students graduating today. Let’s hope the snow holds off! #DUCongregation #DUmakeithappen pic.twitter. com/YX7Xt3tOe2

Outstanding performance by @DUNorthLights https://youtu. be/59wOvDeRLjs #DUmakeithappen



The Durham Award - com/watch?v=NtgeQse0rqY&t=4s Find out how The Durham Award can help students recognise and demonstrate skills developed during their time at Durham University, making themselves more employable.

PHOTO OF THE MONTH READY STEADY COOK Durham University students Moriah Kennedy, Israa Daoud, Jake Goldman, Ben Leigh, Charlotte Wheeler and Katie Stobbs make a meal for Syrian refugees. This image featured in the local press in an article highlighting the huge role played by student volunteering in the region.






News for Durham University Staff & Students


Durham is one of the most civically engaged Universities in the UK, supporting and linking with our local and wider communities in numerous ways, most visibly through our staff and student volunteering programmes.

Through these programmes, as well as the 1,000 students volunteering annually (contributing over 14,000 hours of time) we also know that last year over 300 of our staff were involved in volunteering, in work time, through the official Staff Volunteering programme, contributing another 3,000 hours to a range of local charities and community partners. This commitment to civic and social responsibility is an important priority of the University as a responsible institution and a central component of our strategy for the future. Although these figures are impressive for any organisation (not just a University) we are aware that our staff do so much more in a range of other ways, both within the University and in their own time – and we’d love to hear more about it, especially:

• Volunteering within the University - Many staff voluntarily add significant value to the University and its work, completely outside of their core roles, but this often goes unacknowledged and unrecorded. This work might include activities such as support for congregation, open days, events, mentoring, research groups, voluntary consultancy, student support or steering groups that are all undertaken in a voluntary capacity. • Volunteering in your own time – Similarly, we would love to hear more about all of the fantastic volunteering that staff undertake outside of the University in their own time. We, of course, appreciate that such work is completely out of work time but nonetheless we would like to hear about it.

Why do we want to gather this information? As a socially responsible institution the University is committed to supporting all forms of volunteering as part of the wellbeing and development of staff. By understanding more about what we all do will allow us to refine and develop our own formal volunteering programmes, identify new potential community

partner relationships, as well as giving us opportunities to recognise and celebrate the amazing voluntary work that our staff do, wherever and whenever that may be - it’s as simple as that. So, if you would like to share some details of your volunteering with us we would invite you to

follow the link below to a very short anonymous survey. There is an added incentive that if you would like to leave your email address you will be entered into a prize draw. There will be a number of prizes including a £75 gift voucher for Kynren at Auckland Castle.

Survey link via the Staff Volunteering website Mar | Apr 2017



This August we will be welcoming five new Heads of Department in the Science Faculty. We would like to give a special welcome to Professor Richard Crisp who joins us from Aston University as Head of Psychology after we embarked on a global search operated by Perrett Laver. Richard is currently Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise at Aston Business School. At the same time we thank those Heads of Department who have been in charge for the last three or more years and whose term of office ends on Monday 31 July; Professor Jon Trevelyan (School of Engineering and Computing Sciences), Professor Madeline Eacott (Department of Psychology), Professor Mark Wilson (Department of Chemistry) and Professor Colin Macpherson (Department of Earth Sciences).

Faculty of Science Professor Andrew Aplin Earth Sciences

Professor Karl Coleman Chemistry

Andrew has degrees from UEA and Imperial College and was a Royal Society European Fellow at CRPG in Nancy. He spent seven years at BP before moving to Newcastle University, acting for four years as Head of the Fossil Fuels and Environmental Geochemistry Postgraduate Institute. He joined Durham in 2013 and has been Director of CeREES (Centre for Research in Geoenergy) since 2015. He is currently an “Academic Master” at the China University of Petroleum in Qingdao. His research is on geoenergy, with a particular focus on the safe exploitation of petroleum resources and subsurface containment. As a Vintage (aka old) triathlete, he is hoping that he will still have time to stagger around the odd course during his tenure as Head.

Karl’s research is focussed on nanomaterials in particular the chemistry of carbon nanotubes and graphene. He joined Durham in 2004 from the University of Oxford. His work has been recognised with numerous awards, including the international Royal Society of Chemistry Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2011 for his work on graphene, and the Times Higher Education Research and Innovation Award 2012. He is the chairman of the Chemical Nanosciences and Nanotechnology subject group of the Royal Society of Chemistry and sits on a Programme Expert Group for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as part of the National Measurement System. Karl established the successful Durham University spinout company Applied Graphene Materials in 2010, which is now listed on the FTSE AIM index.

For further information please see academic/?mode=staff&id=11542


For further information please see

News for Durham University Staff & Students


Professor Richard Crisp Psychology Richard Crisp is a psychological scientist specialising in quantitative and experimental approaches to the study of social behaviour. He has published over 150 papers in journals such as Advances in Experimental Social Psychology and Science. He is Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Applied Social Psychology and author of the introductory textbook, Essential Social Psychology. Richard is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and past winner of the British Psychological Society President’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychological Knowledge. He recently published a popular science book titled The Social Brain: How Diversity Made the Modern Mind. For more information please see academic/wop/professor-richard-crisp

Professor Simon Hogg Engineering

Professor Gordon Love Computer Science

Simon Hogg returned to academia from industry in January 2010. He holds the DONG Chair in Renewable Energy and has been the Executive Director of the Durham Energy Institute for the last three years. He has research interests in power generation turbines (wind, steam and gas), energy systems and waste heat recovery. Currently, he is the Principal Investigator of the EPRSC Future Conventional Power Research Consortium and is a Co-Investigator of the EPSRC Supergen Wind Hub and the recently launched EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration. Before joining Durham Simon worked in industry for 12 years for ALSTOM Power (now part of GE) and was the Engineering Director of their Steam Turbine Retrofit Business from 2007. He graduated from the University of Manchester and held University positions at Oxford (Rolls Royce funded Research Fellow) and Leicester (University Lecturer) over a 10 year period before he joined ALSTOM.

Gordon Love will become head of the new Computer Science Department in August 2017. He is currently the Deputy Head of the Science Faculty (Undergraduate), Professor of Physics, and this year has led the team overseeing the split of the current School of Engineering and Computing Sciences into two departments. His research involves optics, astronomy, imaging, graphics, and vision science and is firmly interdisciplinary covering aspects of physics, engineering, psychology, and computer science. Gordon is passionate about Durham having spent 20 years here as a faculty member, following postdoctoral positions in the USA and India. He’s excited about the challenges of helping a new department to develop and significantly grow.

For more information please see

For more information please see

Mar | Apr 2017



Sexual Violence & Misconduct Operations Group - an update from the Chair Owen Adams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience) gives an update on the work of the Sexual Violence & Misconduct Operations Group, which he chairs. Durham is a special place to live, work and study. Yet sexual violence and misconduct is an issue of international concern affecting all universities. I am committed to working with colleagues to eliminate sexual violence and to help create an environment where all members of our University community feel safe and respected. Our Sexual Violence & Misconduct Operations Group (SVMOG) includes colleagues from the Colleges and the Counselling Service as well as a representative from the Students’ Union and specialist local partners such as the Rape & Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre.

Implementing recommendations We are implementing the recommendations which were made by the Sexual Violence Task Force. These include: • Development of a training programme to include: awareness-raising and training

for all new students, online consent training, disclosure training for staff and bystander training for student leaders;

• A new Sexual Violence & Misconduct website is now available

• Clearly signposting the support options available so that individuals can make an informed decision on how to progress their report.

• A full list of internal and external resources available to students can be found on the website. This will be updated regularly.

The SVMOG has made good progress with many of these actions already delivered or in development.

Updates • The work of SVMOG has been separated out into work streams. They are: Generating Culture Change, Policy and Procedure, Training and Education, Support and Communications. A member of staff has been allocated to lead each work stream area. • An online course entitled Consent Matters, which covers consent, boundaries and healthy relationships, has been made available on DUO to students and staff.

• The University’s Sexual Violence & Misconduct Policy and Procedure is currently going through the internal governance processes and once approved will be communicated widely. Updates are posted on the dedicated webpage after each meeting.

Town Hall meetings In February we held Town Hall meetings for staff and students in Durham and Stockton. I would like to thank all those who attended; your ideas, thoughts and comments made were very insightful and we will look at how we address these challenges through the SVMOG.

Open Dialogue We have made good progress but there is still clearly more to do. Inevitably the process of education, training and support needs constant reflection, attention, resource and review. We rely on an ongoing dialogue and engagement with our staff and students, and if you have any thoughts or suggestions on how we can best do this, we would be pleased to hear from you. Please contact

If you have been affected by sexual violence, details of support available to you can be found on the website: sexualviolence 8

News for Durham University Staff & Students


Eating space pilot 27 February – 2 June 2017

Durham Students’ Union and Durham University Library are very pleased to announce that there will be a trial eating space in the Bill Bryson and the Queen’s Campus Libraries running from Monday 27 February – Friday 2 June 2017. This trial has been prompted by feedback from students on the inadequacy of eating space close to the libraries, and will run over the busiest study period in terms two and three. During the pilot, drinks with lids and cold food will be permitted on Level 2 in the soft seating area near the Help and Information Point in the Bill Bryson Library and in Room D205 in the Queen’s Campus Library. At the end of the pilot feedback from students, other library users, library staff and housekeeping staff will be reviewed with the Students’ Union. If successful, it would mean permanent eating space in the Library. However, the long term sustainability of having this space will depend on students using and respecting the space and the other parts of the libraries during the trial period.

Library 24/7 Easter term The Bill Bryson Library will be open 24/7 again from Tuesday 18 April – Friday 2 June ending at 10pm. Library 24/7 will also run at Queen’s Campus Library from Saturday 22 April – Friday 26 May ending at midnight. We know that the run up to exams and deadlines can be a stressful time, so we’ve planned a few things to help make your life that little bit better… 28 April – Forgotten your pen? Need a bag for your books? Do you just need to squeeze something to relieve that stress? We’ll be giving out study essentials and stress balls to aid your studying needs. (12pm - 2pm) 5 May – Interacting with animals can help reduce stress, so we’ve gathered the furriest and cuddliest animals we could muster to help you reduce your stress levels. (11am - 2pm at the Bill Bryson Library). 12 May – Would petting a dog lift your spirits after a tough week? Community engagement dogs Jet and Ben return to help cheer you up! (12pm - 2pm at the Bill Bryson Library).

Lisa Whiting, Durham SU Academic Affairs Officer said: “As coursework intensifies and exams approach, it’s important that students’ are encouraged and supported to take regular breaks from study, particularly eating breaks. Feedback from students has been that they need more eating space, and I’m really happy that we’ve been able to work with the Library to trial a solution. I would encourage all students working regularly in the Library to make use of the space, to treat it well, and to provide feedback on the space if you have questions or concerns.” Mike Wall, Deputy University Librarian added: “The Library has recognised the lack of space for students to eat and drink and has worked in close partnership with the Students’ Union and Housekeeping to develop a solution that we can pilot. Our aim is to provide pleasant library environments that balance the wide range of study needs. This pilot is one way of exploring a new provision in one area.”

Mar | Apr 2017



Providing academic expertise to the media The press and broadcast media are always looking for unbiased experts to comment on current events and academics are well placed to meet this need. The deadlines are short – a radio or television interview request will often give less than four hours’ notice, whereas a written comment piece will be for the following day – and preparing and participating in an interview does take time and patience. Since arriving in Durham just over five years ago he has participated in over 700 media appearances, including BBC News, ITV News, Sky News, ABC News, Al Jazeera and CNN with interviews with Andrew Marr and Kay Burley. He writes a column on immigration for The Daily Telegraph and regularly writes columns for New Statesman and The Journal (Newcastle).

as an academic. It’s exciting knowing so many are watching – and seeing change afterwards. “I’ve also found a particular value in my media work for supporting student recruitment. Television commentary is a great way to get ‘Durham University’ a wider airing in the UK and internationally raising global profile and awareness.”

He says:

Professor Thom Brooks However, the media is a powerful way of communicating with millions of people worldwide and in addition to the obvious benefits of increasing your academic profile and promoting the University to the general public, media engagement can reap unexpected rewards. The media is an influential national and global platform creating a conduit to a broad audience which may include policy makers, politicians and other potential users of your research and by building up your appearances you can ultimately be seen as a noted specialist in a particular field. Media coverage gets further profile on social media networks like Twitter and LinkedIn. Professor Thom Brooks, Head of Durham Law School, regularly appears on television, radio and in the print media. His willingness to comment on current affairs relating to his research means he has become well known as a leading intellectual on the issues of British Citizenship and immigration law and policy.


“I’ve benefited enormously from my media involvement. Receiving widespread exposure for your ideas and latest research is invaluable. Through radio and especially television, the potential audience is incredible and has opened up opportunities for me that I’d might not see otherwise. It’s much easier to get noticed by MPs, Peers and think tanks when they recognise your name from a major news item leading to high level engagement fairly quickly – and this work has been very useful for bringing new perspectives to bear on my research. “In turn, my media work has also led to an increase in invitations to give keynotes at academic events which has benefited further my research profile – so a real win-win. I’ve been able to not only develop my research into immigration law and policy, but help shape public debates. A particular highlight was writing my book Becoming British for leading commercial current affairs publisher Biteback last year. “While I never set out to do any media work, now that I have embraced it this has become one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had

Thom has this advice for fellow academics seeking to increase their media profile: “It takes time to create a media profile and it can sometimes be frustrating, but the rewards are worth the effort. I recommend starting small with a distinctive hook and use it to begin building a wider reputation as you gain in exposure, experience and confidence. I’d take full advantage of social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn to make media contacts. Opportunities may come few at first, but once it starts they can take off – as I’ve been fortunate to experience.”

News for Durham University Staff & Students


Recruitment opened for the International Study Centre (ISC) in mid-February and applications are now being received. In the area of university preparation, this is a unique opportunity for high-quality students to join a pathway programme to one of the highest ranked universities in the UK.

From left to right: Professor Antony Long, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost; Neil Schneider, Chief Executive Stockton Borough Council; James Pitman, Managing Director Study Group

Where will the ISC be based?

About Study Group

The ISC will occupy part of the Queen’s Campus, in keeping with the University’s ongoing commitment to Stockton and the Tees Valley. In 2017/18, the ISC’s base will be in the Ebsworth Building, with teaching taking place in a range of locations across the Campus. From 2018/19, the intention is for the ISC to consolidate its operations into the Holliday Building, with all of its facilities – teaching and study space, library, staff offices, and so on – being based there.

Study Group is a global leader in preparing students for international academic success and rewarding careers through a life-changing learning experience. Study Group offers customised programmes across higher, language and online education starting from high school to lifelong learning. Bellerbys College is also a part of Study Group and, over the years, Durham University has accepted many students from both the Bellerbys A level and foundation programmes.

ISC students will be “associate students” of Durham University, meaning they have similar access to all of our facilities and the wider student experience. It is important that ISC students feel as integrated into the University as possible during their studies at Queen’s Campus.

Mar | Apr 2017

Study Group was selected through a competitive tender process to find the best partner to work with in delivering pathway programmes which meet the strategic priorities of the University. Throughout the process members of the Durham ISC project team, led by Professor Antony Long, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, were impressed by Study Group’s genuine desire to partner with us to create an ISC uniquely positioned to prepare students for a Durham education.

For more information on Study Group, visit 11


Musicon Concert Series 2016/17

THE BRODSKY QUARTET Tuesday 2 May, 7.30 pm Department of Music, Palace Green, Durham University For the final concert of this season Musicon is delighted to welcome back ‘The Brodsky Quartet’.

Durham World Heritage Site - the first 30 years! A whole range of activities took place throughout 2016 to celebrate 30 years since the inscription of Durham Castle and Cathedral as a World Heritage Site. A lecture series welcomed speakers from other World Heritage Sites in the UK and a fun-filled day reached out to our younger audience. An exhibition in the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre asked visitors to write on a postcard what Durham World Heritage Site means to them, and showcased the winning entries of a photo competition held over the summer. In November, we held an international conference which explored issues related to World Heritage Sites around the world.

Since its formation in 1972, the Brodsky Quartet has performed over 3,000 concerts on the major stages of the world, and has released more than 60 recordings. Their energy and craftsmanship has attracted numerous awards and accolades worldwide, while ongoing education work provides a vehicle for passing on experience and staying in touch with the next generation. Full programme details and ticket prices can be found on the Musicon website

Find us at: Durham World Heritage Site @durhamwhs

Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre is open daily, and can be found at 7 Owengate. Do call in!

TIME, OBJECTS & DESTRUCTION Friday 16 June – Sunday October A new exhibition will go on display this summer at Durham University’s Museum of Archaeology, in Palace Green Library. Created by the MA Museum and Artefact students ’Decay: Time, Objects & Destruction’, will showcase the impact of time on objects. By investigating the science of decay, the exhibition will show the life cycles of different objects. In looking to the future, the exhibition will ask how time will affect modern objects. The exhibition will be open Monday, 12pm – 5pm and Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm.


News for Durham University Staff & Students


Palace Green Library Above, Professor Stuart Corbridge and Jonathan Ruffer sign partnership agreement

Our Cultural Contribution In the last issue of Dialogue, we explored the positive contribution the University makes to the economy of North East England. In this issue, we focus on our cultural contribution.

The facts

Zurbarán Centre We’re proud to be working with North East charity the Auckland Castle Trust to create The Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art in Bishop Auckland, County Durham.

Situated at the heart of the World Heritage Site, Palace Green Library is a place where visitors and researchers alike can explore the University’s treasures and collections from around the world.

Auckland Castle is home to paintings of Jacob and his twelve sons, by Spanish master Francisco de Zurbarán, in whose honour the new Centre is named.

It regularly has in excess of 120,000 visits to its year-round exhibitions, café, archive search rooms, activities and events. In recent years it has hosted the return of the Lindisfarne Gospels and a major exhibition celebrating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

The Centre, which is due to open later this year, will link the University’s academic research to the curatorial programme at Auckland Castle’s new Spanish Gallery, which is due to open in 2019, and support public engagement and regional regeneration.

Upcoming developments include a new DLI Collections Gallery in partnership with Durham County Council, the conservation and opening up of the Medieval Exchequer and a major exhibition on time machines.

The University will support the Centre with £1 million of investment over five years and Santander will donate £600,000 over three years – the largest single donation made by Santander to a UK university.

In 2015/16, the Learning Team worked with 21,585 school children – reaching over 90% of primary schools in County Durham.

As well as playing a key role in the Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site, the University operates such popular attractions as the Oriental Museum, the Museum of Archaeology, Palace Green Library and the Botanic Garden. An independent study by BIGGAR Economics found 231,270 people visited University attractions in 2014/15 and the extra visitors the University brought to North East England generated £7.6 million for the economy. In addition, we deliver award-winning schools education and our staff and students volunteer across many tourist attractions and activities.

The University and its culture related activities play a crucial role in making Durham an attractive place to study, work, live, visit and invest. BiGGAR Economics

Mar | Apr 2017

For more information on how the University is So Much More than the sum of its parts, visit or follow us via #DUsomuchmore 13


CEM’s CSE Project Board with their certificate of achievement

CEM receives the rubber stamp of excellence The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) has achieved a first for Durham University by gaining national certification in the government-backed Customer Service Excellence (CSE)® standard. After launching a programme of customerfocused change in 2012, CEM has now joined the ranks of recognised customer-focused organisations such as the Big Lottery Fund, Driving Standards Agency and Her Majesty's Passport Office. Head of the CSE Project Board and CEM’s Business Operations Manager, Neil Defty describes the route to success.

What does the CSE standard mean? The CSE award is independently assessed and awarded by the Cabinet Office and it involves rigorous assessment of our customer-facing activities. We had to provide a great deal of evidence covering 57 different elements of our customer service. Basically, the assessment includes five key areas across the whole organisation: •

Customer insight

The culture of the organisation

Information and access

• Delivery •

Timeliness and quality of service

Why did CEM decide to pursue certification in CSE? CEM has developed considerably since we were first established in 1983. We have grown from a small group of people working with a handful of schools in the North East of England to now working with thousands of schools in over 70 countries. We have developed a national and international reputation for our ground-breaking educational research and influence on educational policy. We also provide diagnostic assessments to improve teaching and learning for around one million students worldwide every year. Some of our customers have been with us since the beginning and we wanted to make sure we were still doing our best for everyone. The route to achieving the CSE standard has been invaluable in giving an independent validation that we are continually improving.

How were you assessed? We worked with a consultant CSE assessor for a number of years to track our progress. Then, in November 2016, after spending several months gathering evidence, the assessor visited CEM for the day-long certification visit. He scrutinised our evidence,

spoke to the whole range of CEM staff, from the Directors to the front-line staff, and observed our Customer Support team in action.

What does this mean for the future? As we continue to grow, the goal for us now is to maintain our good practice with customers and, as a result, uphold the Customer Service Excellence standard. Establishing what our customers think of our service is important. We don’t want to simply assume we know what our customers want. CEM’s service has definitely been strengthened by our commitment to excellence through this process. As the first department within the University to have attained this benchmark, we are absolutely delighted to be flying the customer service excellence flag. We would encourage more departments to apply for the CSE certification. Feel free to contact me: Going forward we will continue to engage our customers and thoroughly embed the CSE principles into the core management and planning of all of our services.

For more information about Customer Service Excellence: 14

News for Durham University Staff & Students


Your views and taking action A Staff Survey is planned for late spring. A Task & Finish Group has been brought together to ensure input from across the University in the design of the survey questions, communications and once the results are known help with action planning and disseminating findings.

Moving forward

The University is committed to share the outcome, and work with staff to implement any actions arising from the survey.

People strategy Durham University unveil its first people strategy. The fundamental goal of the People Strategy is to ensure that Durham University has a workplace which is collectively able to deliver world class research and engagement, education and a wider student experience on a consistent and sustainable basis. This primary goal is underpinned by five strategic aims:

1. To structure the workforce in the most effective and efficient ways to deliver the University Strategy; 2. To attract, retain and reward the best talent; 3. To develop leadership at all levels, ensuring that all staff are supported realise their potential and understand their contribution to achieving the University’s core goals; 4. To ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged; 5. To promote and support the well-being of the workforce.

We are now planning the implementation of the delivery over the next five years. Clare Curran, Director of HR & OD, said:

This is Durham’s first People Strategy and is bringing together all our plans, aspirations and support for our staff and future staff in a coherent document, which underpins the delivery of the University Strategy and its enabling strategies. This is a great achievement.

Mar | Apr 2017

Teaching in an International Classroom Earlier this month a workshop took place aimed at all members of university staff who teach and/or support learning, in particular diverse international groups. It offered opportunities for discussion and sharing of practical strategies and feature contributions from colleagues with a background and interest in teaching across cultural and language boundaries, including those with active research in the area of internationalisation of Higher Education. The conference proved popular and planned to run again in the future. Check out the CAROD website for other development opportunities.

NUS extra card The NUS Extra Card is a student discount card which University staff are also eligible for. From only £12 for a year, staff can buy an NUS Extra Card to access hundreds of national high street discounts, both in-store and online. For more information, please visit the HR Benefits Page.

Free home use Microsoft Office 365 Eligible staff and research postgraduates can now download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365, for use on up to five home PCs or Macs and five mobile devices. This software includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote Access, and Publisher. For more information, please visit the HR Benefits Page.



New international residential research library to be developed A new international residential research library, the only one of its kind in the UK, is to be developed at Ushaw College, in a ÂŁ2m project led by the University.


News for Durham University Staff & Students


We are excited at the prospect of welcoming researchers from across the world to Ushaw to explore the fantastic collections we have here. It is intended that leading researchers from around the world will visit Ushaw to study and work with its collections, along with those of Durham Cathedral and the University’s Palace Green Library, enhancing the thriving scholarly community that already exists in and around Durham City. Visiting researchers will be able to reside at the 200-year-old establishment and, as well as using the library resources, contribute to a growing public engagement programme, including public lectures, cultural events and learning opportunities.

Work to begin Work on the refurbishment of the library, in order to equip it to welcome international visitors, will begin during the academic year 2017-18. The partnership will make Durham the first UK university to offer such a residential research library and will raise the profile of the collections at Ushaw, the University’s Palace Green Library and Durham Cathedral.

We are excited by what visiting researchers will discover in the Ushaw library and our support further demonstrates our commitment to North East England, in this case in conserving and enhancing our shared heritage. Professor David Cowling, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Arts and Humanities) Mar | Apr 2017

Peter Seed, Director of Operations at Ushaw

Fact box Ushaw was founded as The English College, a Roman Catholic seminary in Douai, now north east France, in 1568. Its communities were expelled from France in the 18th century, and Ushaw College, four miles west of Durham City, was purpose-built between 1804 and 1808. Its library includes around 30,000 early printed books and a major collection of archives and manuscripts, some of which formed part of the medieval monastic library of Durham Priory.

This is a wonderful use of the historic library at Ushaw College. The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon, Archbishop of Liverpool and Chairman of the Trustees of Ushaw College

We look forward to hearing about the new discoveries which will be enabled by this exciting new development The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, the Dean of Durham 17


Greenspace Fortnight During Greenspace Fortnight (Monday 27 February – Sunday 12 March), which incorporated celebrating the national Fairtrade Fortnight, many events, activities, competitions and promotions took place across the University. These included the Big Fairtrade Bake, a local produce stall, Nordic walking, eco-driving, Dr Bike sessions, and an increase in vegetarian food in retail catering outlets. Many colleges also held ‘Green Formals’, incorporating Fairtrade and local foods into their menus. Full details can be found on the Greenspace Fortnight website. Thank you to everyone involved and who took part.

Earth Hour Between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on Saturday 25 March, we took part in Earth Hour to show our commitment to tackling climate change. As well as asking all staff and students who were in our buildings during this time to switch off any non-essential lights, we also switched off the exterior illuminating lights to Durham Castle. This dramatically altered the night skyline of Durham City, as the public were not able to see this iconic building illuminated for this hour. The University, as always, switched off as many non-essential lights as possible during the official Earth Hour, supported by our Security Team. Being part of Earth Hour brings everyone together in a united action helping to demonstrate that small actions by the masses can make a difference. Thank you to all who took part.

Inter-collegiate Energy Competition The inter-collegiate energy competition took place from Monday 30 January to Monday 13 February. All colleges competed to reduce their electricity consumption by the greatest percentage compared to a prior test period by adopting behavioural changes to eliminate electricity wastage. Information was collated on the Greenspace Energy webpage, including energy saving tips for staff and students, and an energy awareness quiz. The results from the competition can be found on the Greenspace Energy Awareness webpage along with tips and advice for all staff and students.

Water Fountain A new water fountain has been installed in the Chemistry Atrium on Lower Mountjoy. This is another Greenspace initiative, working closely with Estates and Buildings, to improve student access to drinking water. People can drink directly from the fountain or use a refillable drinks container. The University is committed to reducing waste, and this new water fountain allows us to reduce our plastic bottle waste whilst staying hydrated.

Every small step leads to big change 18

News for Durham University Staff & Students


Durham Student Theatre shows to star at National Student Drama Festival. Following on from their success at the National Student Drama Festival 2016 (NSDF), Durham Student Theatre (DST) is delighted to have another three shows selected to perform at this year’s festival. The annual festival is being held in Hull, as part of the City of Culture 2017 celebrations and will feature 15 selected shows from student theatre companies across the country. The fact that three of those shows will be produced and performed by Durham students is testament to the quality of those productions and the talents of our students.

story of four young New Yorkers as their lives intersect in their search for fulfillment, happiness, love and cabs.

In addition to this, a theatre company set up by Durham Alumni in 2015, has also been selected to take part in the NSDF. The company, Poor Michelle, has been invited to take their show, Thick Skin written and directed by recent graduates Catlin McEwan and Ellie Gauge to perform in Hull.

The DST productions selected for the NSDF are: Hidden supported by Battered Soul Theatre, directed by Alex Prescott and produced by Henry Winlow, is a darkly comic story of six characters, their secrets and the intriguing puzzle of how they interweave and unravel in a modern urban world. 'Hidden' peels back the skin and explores the inside. Ordinary Days DULOG are thrilled to have been chosen for the second year running to take their musical production, directed by Sophie Forster, produced by Gen Burns, to the festival. With equal doses of humour and poignancy, ‘Ordinary Days’ is a musical that tells the

‘Swallow’ powerfully tells the story of three strangers as they struggle with their lives. Painful yet playful, poignant but uplifting, this 80-minute contemporary play takes a long hard look at the extremes of everyday life, and the often chaotic ways in which we deal with them.

Ordinary Days Swallow Directed by George Rexstrew, produced by Gen Burns, Piccolo’s production tells the story of Anna who hasn’t left home for months; she’s stopped eating and she is smashing her flat up bit by bit. Rebecca is so furious with her ex-partner that she turns that anger on herself. Samantha is struggling to become Sam, to look in the mirror and really see himself, the real person inside.

The NSDF was founded in 1956 by The Sunday Times and offers a week of professional led workshops as well as the opportunity to meet the top performers at other student theatres across the country. The festival offers networking with all the professionals and getting feedback and advice for working in the theatre professionally.

For further information on DST and their forthcoming productions visit Mar | Apr 2017



Spotlight on... What does the future look like for BEER? BEER will continue to bring together academic and research staff and students to facilitate interactions and develop and enhance cross-department and crossfaculty collaborations. For example, we have identified potential for collaborative teaching that we do not currently exploit.

Describe your centre in one sentence. The Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution Research (BEER) Centre is a crossfaculty group of researchers studying behaviour, ecology and evolution in diverse organisms. What are the three main things people should know about BEER? BEER unites more than 80 staff and students studying behaviour, ecology and evolution in five departments (Anthropology, Archaeology, Psychology, Education and Biosciences), in two faculties (Social Sciences and Health, Science), to facilitate interactions and develop and enhance collaborations. BEER researchers draw on a diverse set of methodological and disciplinary perspectives. We work on organisms including mammals (seals, ungulates, carnivores, primates including humans - and extinct species), fish, birds and plants. The methods we use include mathematical models, behavioural observation, non-invasive endocrinology, molecular methods, geometric morphometrics and geospatial analysis. BEER enables postgraduate students and researchers at all levels to identify and interact with researchers that share their interests in other departments, broaden their interests, and cross disciplinary boundaries. It facilitates the development of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research programmes.


What three words do you most associate with BEER? Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution How can staff and/or students engage with you and your work? By joining the Research Centre and the mailing list, attending seminars, sharing their interests and experiences, attending our annual workshop at which staff and students present current work, and by interacting with us on Twitter. What is your main objective as a centre/what do you want to achieve? Durham hosts more than 80 researchers studying behaviour, ecology and evolution. In many institutions these research themes are concentrated in the biological sciences. Durham is distinct in having leading researchers in behaviour, ecology and evolution in multiple departments. BEER formalises these strengths to increase the visibility and profile of the group, enhancing its ability to attract postgraduate students, independent research fellows and new staff, increasing its capacity for collaboration and improving the coordination of funding bids.

BEER is particularly important for postgraduate students at Durham, enabling them to identify and interact with researchers that share their interests in other departments, broaden their interests, and cross disciplinary boundaries. BEER will also increase interactions among staff with shared research interests. This will facilitate the development of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research programmes, sharing useful experience (for example with large grant applications) and facilitating peer mentoring, as well as student mentoring. BEER will increase the visibility of these cross-faculty interests at both national and international levels and promote our research to colleagues from other universities, potential students at all levels, and the general public. Our research has the potential to excite great public and media interest, and BEER members work with the Marketing and Communications Office on high profile stories. BEER also opens up new opportunities to foster impact by bringing together staff with different approaches, expertise, experience, contacts and users. Do you use social media? If so, how? We’re on Twitter @beer_durham

What would you say is your main challenge? Potential collaborators, researchers, students and the media do not always realise that they can find life scientists outside the Science Faculty. BEER addresses this challenge by increasing our visibility to the outside world.

“Did you know…?” 60% of the world’s primates are threatened with extinction but there is still hope: and

News for Durham University Staff & Students


Buy in Meet our New Purchasing Team Within the Purchasing Team there are two Purchasing Team Leaders, five Purchasing Officers and one Advanced Apprentice. The Purchasing Team Leaders, Angela Healer and Wendy Woollett, are responsible for supervising staff within the team. They undertake sourcing exercises in the University eProcurement System ‘Acquire’ and ensure procurement requirements are consistently processed. The Purchasing Officers, Teresa Hogg, Adam Harwood, Bradley Skeen, Joanne Yewdell and Ken Davis, are responsible for undertaking quotations in ‘Acquire’ and processing requisitions on a daily basis. They also provide the help desk service offering guidance and assistance in resolving issues. Advanced Apprentice Amy Dresser is working towards her NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration. Mar | Apr 2017

Asset Registers – Thank You The Insurance Service is currently working on the first part of our Insurance Renewal, which focuses on the values for which we insure our buildings and their contents. Thank you to everyone who updated their departmental or college asset registers and returned them to the Insurance Service, as this ensures that the figures we declare are as accurate as possible.

£2.5m contract awarded The University has awarded a £2.5m contract for building products to Grafton Merchanting GB Ltd via a small competition conducted by the Crown Commercial Services Framework for Building Products and Associated Services. The contract will run for four years and will make savings by utilising one supplier for a large number of different products including plumbing, electrical, joinery and fixtures/fittings. The contract will also ensure that the number of deliveries and delivery vehicles on site are minimised, helping the University reduce its impact on the environment.

Waste Disposal Tender Our General Waste Contract, currently with Biffa, will shortly be advertised in the European Journal for General Waste, Recycling (Paper/Card - Plastics - Tin/Cans – Glass), Skip Hire, Confidential Waste, Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) and Food Waste. The new contract is due to commence on Tuesday 1 August 2017.



A new service management tool: helping us to help you better! The University's IT Service Desk is often your first port of call for questions about IT and related issues, and their activities to help you are underpinned by a service management tool. This provides a central repository to record, allocate and document information and monitor the timings of calls and queries you raise via the IT Service Desk or any other member of CIS. Early in 2017, we replaced our existing tool (Remedy) with an improved product provided by UniDesk. This is managed and developed by people in higher education, for people in higher education and based on IT industry best practice as defined by the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) standard. UniDesk supports improved processes, better information sharing and its reporting function gives us an accurate picture of our performance and trends in calls, all of which will contribute to improving our


services and how we respond to your queries. As part of a successful launch in January, we implemented the first phase of the introduction of a self-service portal. This allows you to log new calls online and view the status of calls you have already logged via your acknowledgement email (more about using these options can be found at portal giving you another route to contact the IT Service Desk. Over the coming months we will be introducing more features to make it quicker and easier to log a call and potentially find answers for yourself. We are also working on refining our Change Management and Service Asset & Configuration Management processes and bringing them into the UniDesk tool too. Check the weekly Dialogue Signposts email and for updates on these activities.

Quick reminder: where to find information during a major IT service outage

We work hard to ensure your IT services are available when you need them but sometimes, despite our best efforts, things break. On those rare occasions when there is a major IT service outage, our usual channels of communications which rely on our IT aren't available. In those cases, we use Twitter to share information and updates: make sure you know what is happening and follow us at: @Durhamuni_cis You should also follow the University's main Twitter feed at: @durham_uni

News for Durham University Staff & Students

shaker runs dry. Be involved as a trusted adviser in major affairs of state for an hour or two. Snooze, piano practise, dinner in West Hollywood, live music and dancing. Then fall to sleep having prayed for God’s welcome if I go in the night. What’s your greatest vice? Elton John. What’s your favourite film?  Tombstone with Kurt Russell & Val Kilmer. Or Philadelphia with Tom Hanks & Denzel Washington. Any nicknames? Shiny nose. Big Harst – both from school.

NAME: Andrew Harston JOB TITLE: Deputy Director, Development (DARO) DEPARTMENT: Development and Alumni Relations

What achievement are you most proud of? Personal: producing three amazing children. Professional: either meeting the Pope or playing “Your Song” whilst Sir Tom sang along in the basement of the Savile Club. What were your best subjects? Music, English and French. When was the last time you laughed and why? This morning when I was watching Mighty Boosh – “Do I look like a reasonable man, or a peppermint nightmare!”

Have you got any pets? No, I’m highly allergic to most animals; and when I lost 7-10 goldfish in my youth I decided the emotional toll was too high to have animals in my life. What are you reading at the moment? West of Rome by John Fante. What would you like you epitaph to be? Lord Harston of Billingham: he raised a few quid and a few smiles. Which historical figure would you most like to be? A cross between Hunter Thompson and St Michael…I think that is John Fante, actually. What was the first record you bought? Best of George Formby – it came with a set of 22 special edition postcards.

Mar | Apr 2017

What did you want to be when you were a child? Normal / uninteresting to the field of child psychology. What skill or talent would you most like to acquire? It’s a toss-up between playing every musical instrument to an incredibly high standard, speaking Italian and Japanese proficiently, or possessing historic omniscience. Could make a few quid with the last one; and help with justice issues, etc. Give me a picture of your ideal day: Wake up at 6am. Realise I retired at age 40 and I have nothing specific in my diary. Swim with my children in the California beach house. Volunteer at the local library/university/bar for a few hours. Read books (or write a book) whilst facing out across the Pacific, until my cocktail

What’s the worst job you’ve ever done? Door-to-door sales, selling pizza vouchers. Lasted two weeks – was conned by an advert. What’s your favourite place in the world? In my girls’ arms. And Southern California. Tell me a secret: I had pictures of the middle one from Hanson (Taylor) all over my school books because I thought it was a girl and I had a massive crush on her. Turns out they’re three brothers. What luxury item would you take to a desert island? A bottle of Makers Mark (plug for one of our alumni) and my Hanson Collectors Fanbook. And probably my iPhone with a solar charger, or I wouldn’t survive the day. Pass the buck: Finally, who would you like to see in the hot-seat? Mrs Tess Mantzoros, Head of Legal Services.


what’s on at the University







THE DLI COLLECTION GALLERY: COURAGE, COMRADES AND COMMUNITY DATE: Saturday 11 March VENUE: The DLI Collection Gallery, Palace Green Library Developed in partnership with Durham County Council and the Trustees of the DLI, this new gallery provides an Collection Gallery introduction to the Durham Light Infantry and those who served with it. Featuring items from the DLI Collection it focuses on the lives of the soldiers, the actions they were involved with and the links the Regiment had with County Durham. FREE ENTRY

april A GOOD REPUTATION ENDURES FOREVER: THE CHINESE LABOUR CORPS ON THE WESTERN FRONT DATE: Friday 7 April – Sunday 24 September VENUE: Oriental Museum An exhibition exploring the role of the thousands of Chinese who risked their lives alongside the British armed forces during the First World War. This exhibition examines the vital role of the Chinese Labour Corps using historic photographs and objects created by the men at the front.


DATE: Saturday 22 April and Sunday 23 April TIME: 10am – 4pm VENUE: Durham World Heritage Site Enjoy a weekend of family friendly activities at Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral celebrating the history of the World Heritage Site.

GLOBAL GOVERNMENT AND THE POLITICS OF PRETENDING DATE: Wednesday 26 April TIME: 7.30pm VENUE: Great Hall, Durham Castle Professor Michael Walzel, Professor Emeritus, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton University, one of America’s foremost political thinkers, visits Durham to deliver this public lecture as part of the Durham Castle Lecture Series 2016/17.

EASTER HOLIDAY ACTIVITY CAMPS DATE: Monday 10 April - Thursday 13 and Tuesday 18 April Friday 21 April TIME: 9.30am – 4.30pm VENUE: Maiden Castle Sports Centre Team Durham Community will be running a range of Holiday Camps and activities for children and young people aged 4-16 years old. These camps include our popular Mini and Multi Sports along with a Learn to Row week, Cricket, Tennis, Performing Arts and a week of outdoor adventure activities! Prices from £12 per child per day. For more information visit


DATE: Easter Sunday 16 April and Bank Holiday Monday 17 April


TIME: 10am – 4pm

DATE: Saturday 13 May

VENUE: Botanic Garden

TIME: 1pm – 5pm

Bring the family along to visit the Garden this Easter to join in the annual Easter Chick Hunt. Come along and see how many chicks you can spot hiding in the Garden. We recommend visitors use the kiosk entrance and park at the Park and Ride.

VENUE: Oriental Museum Visit the Oriental Museum and join in the celebrations for Buddha’s birthday. Activities will include meditation, traditional Buddha bathing and crafts for all the family.

For more information on University events go to

Dialogue issue 50  

News magazine for staff and students