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News for Durham University Staff & Students


This year Durham University’s Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR) celebrated its 10th anniversary. IHRR Director Professor Louise Bracken reflects on the work of the institute in its first decade, and how they have marked the milestone.

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DURHAM UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY FUND A fund which has been set up to provide grants to a range of charities and non-profit organisations.


Contribute to your magazine.


welcome Welcome to a new issue of Dialogue magazine. It has been another busy period for our University community, as reflected in this packed edition. Ustinov College is settling into its new home at Sheraton Park, our Academic Recruitment Campaign is well under way and we have negotiated a new staff benefits package, enabling colleagues to obtain discounts from a wide range of providers. The Durham University Community Fund has also been launched, which will provide grants to a range of local charities and nonprofit organisations. The aim of the Fund is to allow the University and our staff to support a range of local charities via payroll giving, which is an easy and tax efficient way of doing so. I am very pleased to welcome David Loudon as our new Director of Estates and Facilities. David is currently Director of Property, Procurement and Facilities Management at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and will take up his position at Durham in February. We have also been joined by Judith Toland, our new


Director of Business Transformation. Judith has previously held the post of Director of Transformation at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), where she has played a leading role in designing and delivering a major transformation programme. Lumiere, the UK’s largest light festival, came to Durham for the fifth time in midNovember. The University was proud to have been a major partner, contributing to and hosting a number of spectacular installations. Finally, I close by inviting you to join me in celebrating the successes of our students at the Winter Congregation ceremonies taking place in January. I look forward to seeing you there.




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


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Editor Ulrike Klaerig-Jackson Communications Co-ordinator







Contributors Harriet Williamson, HR&OD; Angela Marciano, CIS; Yvonne Flynn, Greenspace; Daryl Dowding, Event Durham; Claire Hall, Karen Frost, Nicky Sawicki, Angela Gemmill, Charlie Collins and Mark Tallentire, Marketing & Communications; Abigail Groocock, Student Music; Isabelle Culkin, Student Theatre; Louise Huscroft, Occupational Health; Carolyn Gaw, Culture Durham; Bill Hoare, International Office











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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 two months to show you what has been happening around the University!



Pleased to see Durham ranked 5th in the UK @thetimes & @thesundaytimes Good University Guide – #DUmakeithappen

Welcome to @durham_uni Check your Online Planner to be ready for the busy week ahead and download the MyDurham app tMLn FavDm6bau7

Dr Becky Gowland @ArcDurham on whether new dna evidence proves there were female viking warlords - @guardian

400 students from 30 countries arriving in #Stockton as @durham_ uni International Study Centre opens next week pic.

Dr Spencer-Regan @DPoetryPoetic on how @taylorswift13 became a femme fatale with a little help from Sylvia Plath pic.twitter. com/5yvm5fhH7R




Dr James Kelly discusses the Monks in Motion research project which has investigated the role and influence of English and Welsh Benedictine monks during their exile in Europe from 1553-1800. watch?v=8toE27ZxBso&t=2s

MATRICULATION DUEL Picture from student @lillyrose92 on Instagram, part of the Durham Days photo competition this autumn.






News for Durham University Staff & Students


MyDurham mobile app – University life in the palm of your hand.

Need to check your print credits? Find directions to your lecture? Locate a free computer? View your library record? As mobile technologies become ever more pivotal to modern life, the MyDurham mobile app lets you do all this, and more! Launched earlier this year, the MyDurham mobile app provides a range of information and tools for undergraduate students on the go. Gone are the days when you have to attempt to navigate huge websites on small mobile screens or wait until you’re back in front of a laptop to find that all-important piece of information. Devised to make student life simpler and easier, and ensuring information flows quicker, the app has had over 4,000 new users in September and October alone. It is envisaged that the app will continue to develop over time, with more features and functionality coming on board, in line with growing student needs. This autumn saw the inclusion of the induction planner within the app, helping Freshers make the most of their first week at Durham and plan where they needed to be – from JCR orientation events, to Matriculation and department welcome sessions. The week commencing 16 October also saw a number of stunning projections on University buildings to create awareness of the app, encouraging students to download and use the app to enhance their student life. Fast forward to Easter Term, and students will have access to their exam timetable on the app, eliminating the confusion and worry over timings and venues, and helping students plan through this important period. There is also a profile within the app specifically for open day students, helping them navigate around the University and manage their visit. The MyDurham app gives them a taster of what student life is like; showcasing the best of what Durham has to offer. Going digital of course reduces our reliance on printed materials, eliminating waste and minimising our carbon footprint. Future students have an easy route into all the information they need on a device which is already in their pocket – no need for bulky printed materials. If you haven’t had a look yet, why not give it a go? The app is available for both Android and Apple devices, and is free to download from Google Play or the App Store – just search for MyDurham and download onto your mobile today.

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We’re always happy to receive feedback and suggestions, so do drop us a line


Destruction of property in Nepal through earthquake induced landslides.

Impact flooding in Malaysia.

Celebrating 10 years of the IHRR This year Durham University’s Institute for Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR) celebrated its 10th anniversary. Here IHRR Director Professor Louise Bracken reflects on the work of the institute in its first decade, and how they have marked this milestone. Tell us about why the IHRR was established. The IHRR was established in 2007 to support rapid, research-informed responses to major hazard and risk events across the world. A number of philanthropic donors were brought together and generously provided the financial foundation for IHRR, on which Durham University then built. The investment was cemented by a successful bid to host six research fellows (funded by the UK Research Councils). What have been the key achievements from IHRR’s work over this time? Over the last 10 years we have: • Led 12 large interdisciplinary research projects on hazard and risk and contributed to many more.


• Assisted in developing policy and guidance for managing risk and hazard. We advised the Hawaiian government on communicating how people can best protect themselves from exposure to volcanic fog, and our map of earthquake-triggered landslides following the Nepal earthquake (2015) was used to inform relief efforts and risk management. • Offered support to communities affected by hazard and risk. We installed equipment across the earthquake-affected region in Nepal to measure if these areas are becoming more unstable. • Delivered a range of outcomes to help people at risk including; a toolkit to help develop preparedness strategies for extreme weather (cited in national UK guidance); a ‘rapid response’ protocol to test volcanic

ash samples for their potential to cause respiratory disease; tools to help predict and map critical sources of pollution or flooding (bodies); and practical guides for small businesses in flood-risk areas in the UK to help improve preparedness and resilience to flooding. • Supported 15 PhD students and 150 MSc and MA Risk Masters students in the Department of Geography. How has the IHRR marked its 10th anniversary? Throughout 2017 the institute has celebrated its anniversary in ways that truly reflect all that we aim to achieve. In March we joined up with the Resilience Planning team at Newcastle City Council to

News for Durham University Staff & Students


Community disaster management committee, Chhinange VDC, Nepal.

Damage caused by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, Sichuan province.

Damage post-2015 earthquake in Nepal.

Earthquake destruction in Nepal. hold a one-day workshop on women working in disaster and emergency management. This event was organised to coincide with International Women’s Day and included speakers from Public Health England and the UK government’s Cabinet Office.

It was a chance for us to reflect on our achievements, thank all those who have contributed to our success to date and look ahead to what the future holds.

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In June we brought together our alumni, supporters, researchers and students in a celebration of the IHRR in London. It was a chance for us to reflect on our achievements, thank all those who have contributed to our success to date and look ahead to what the future holds. In September we joined forces with the Dealing with Disasters Network to host a three-day conference on the impact of hazard, risk and disaster on Communities. The conference attracted almost 200 delegates from 25 different countries and included speakers from the United Nations, the Pan American Health Organisation, the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Nepal National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET). Finally, we are also publishing a book entitled ‘Narratives of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake’. This book includes perspectives from geography, disaster risk reduction, cultural

heritage protection, anthropology, health and emergency and is a great illustration of the value of the interdisciplinary approach which IHRR champions. What does the future hold for the IHRR? The future for IHRR is bright. We have expanded our management team to include expertise from the Business School and Department of English, to supplement our strengths in understanding and managing consequences from hazards and risks. We are also extending our partnerships with organisations on the ground, for instance NSET, British Red Cross, Health Emergency Management Bureau in the Philippines and UNISDR. We are also involved in a range of new grant applications around flooding, shocks and getting financial support to people following risk and hazard events.


Durham DOES

Durham University Strategy 2017-2027

At the core of the Strategy is a requirement to realign resource to support our primary objectives. We know that we can run things more efficiently using new technologies and will be investing in new systems and processes. A proposed high level operating model has now been shared across the University community. Feedback suggests a general agreement that change is needed and has also provided many examples of how processes could be improved. The model has been endorsed by Council, along with a People Transition Plan, which sets out how staff will be supported and guided through the programme. Workstream leads are developing proposed operating models for their areas of responsibility and more detailed plans will be shared in 2018. We have been joined by a new Director of Business Transformation, Judith Toland, who is responsible for leading Durham DOES to completion, building on the strong foundation laid by the existing team who are continuing to work with her to deliver the programme.

Estate development Our Estate Strategy is well underway with some significant milestones being reached in recent months. The new Centre for Teaching and Learning has received planning permission and we are well on track to open in September 2019. The Centre will host a wide range of learning environments and technologies, as well an education lab to develop innovative teaching and training methods.

Delivering the Strategy Over the life of the University Strategy, 2017-2027, we will make a significant investment in our people, our systems, and our estate to ensure we achieve our core objectives of excellence in research, education, and wider student experience, and secure the future of the University in a competitive operating environment.

Faculty This year we will be hiring around 100 new academic staff to build the critical mass required to enable research excellence across all Departments. A recruitment campaign has now begun, with new webpages and supporting material to reflect our ambition, high academic standards, and to support our equality and diversity objectives. In line with our commitment to raising academic quality


and recognising staff performance, we have put in place new recruitment and progression procedures – and through Durham DOES we will ensure that academics are able to focus on their core activities of delivering world-class research and outstanding education, rather than routine administration. Alongside this we have invested in conference and travel support, provided a higher number of PhD studentships, and put in place a research incentive scheme.

Alongside this, our partner Interserve has submitted planning applications for two colleges, a Hub facility and a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) at Mount Oswald. The new facilities, including a new home for John Snow College and a new 17th College, are scheduled for opening for the academic year 2019/20. You can keep up to date with all the atest news and announcements on our Estate Developments web pages, at

More information Keep up to date with how the Strategy is being delivered at, where you can also view Frequently Asked Questions and have your say on Strategy projects.

News for Durham University Staff & Students


‘LULLY LULLA’ When: Friday 8 December, 7.30pm Where: St Margaret’s Church, Crossgate Cost: Standard £10, Concession £7, Student £5, Music Durham £4 The Durham University Chamber Choir invites you to its first concert of the year for a festive feast of choral music. The repertoire will include Francis Poulenc’s Un Soir de Neige, Kenneth Leighton’s Lully Lulla, and Will Todd’s My Lord Has Come. Bringing together some of the university’s finest singers, the choir are delighted to present a programme of Christmas favourites both old and new.

BAND CHRISTMAS When: Wednesday 13 December, 7.30pm Where: Durham Town Hall Cost: Standard £7, Music Durham £5 Join Durham University Brass Band and Durham University Concert Band for their joint Christmas concert. Set in the beautiful

Durham Town Hall, both bands will perform repertoire from their own concerts: Concert Band on Broadway and Brass Band with the Reg Vardy Band: as well as new festive pieces and joint items. Sure to be a fantastic evening of classic band pieces and Christmas tunes, complete with festive refreshments, this is an evening not to miss!

CHRISTMAS CONCERT When: Monday 11 December, 7.30pm Where: Elvet Methodist Church Cost: Standard £6, Student £5, Music Durham £4 £1 from each ticket will be donated to the Salvation Army. It’s back! Following its incredible success last year the Durham University Orchestral Society, Northern Lights A Cappella, and Chamber Choir are back for their combined Christmas concert. Featuring some of the university’s most talented musicians the concert promises an evening of festive hits both classic and new. Festive refreshments included in the ticket price.

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CHRISTMAS WITH A TWIST! When: Thursday 14 December, 7.30pm


Where: Durham University Music Department

When: Friday 15 December, 7.30pm

Cost: Free, donations to Sense

A Cappella Christmas combines the dulcet tones of two of Durham’s youngest vocal groups: Durham Dynamics and Full Score (barbershop society). With a mixture of barbershop classics, a cappella cheese, and festive fun, this concert is the perfect way to round off the term. Keep an eye on for more information!

Durham University Flute Choir, a fresh ensemble on the Durham music scene, presents an evening of spiced up Christmas classics! Following on from their Musical Extravaganza with Horn Society, Flute Choir are hosting their first concert of their own. Expect Christmas music like you have never heard it before, looking out on the beautiful Palace Green and Durham Cathedral.



Durham Student Theatre has an exciting programme of comedy, drama and musicals this term in The Assembly Rooms Theatre. These are just a few of the student theatre productions taking place in and around Durham, and with over 90 productions performed annually, there is always something theatrical to enjoy! For more information, visit our website

24 HOUR MUSICAL Date: Sunday 3 December Time: 7.30pm Venue: The Assembly Rooms Theatre Company: Durham University Light Opera Group (DULOG) Join Durham’s largest musical theatre society as they create and perform a new musical entirely from scratch in just 24 hours!

MOSCOS BY JASMINE PRICE Date: Thursday 7 December – Saturday 9 December Time: 7.30pm (Additional 2.30pm matinee on Saturday 9 December) Venue: The Assembly Rooms Theatre Company: Lion Theatre Company (LTC) Don’t close your eyes. Look! Is that a spaceship? Strange dreams of distant planets are floating down to you through the skylight. Lion Theatre Company’s production is about to send you back to a world of child-like wonder, fusing clown and puppetry in a beautifully choreographed spectacle: MOSCOS.



Date: Thursday 30 November – Saturday 2 December

Date: Wednesday 13 December – Friday 15 December Time: 8pm

Time: 7.30pm

Time: 7.30pm (Additional 2.30pm matinee on Saturday 2 December)

Venue: The Assembly Rooms Theatre

Venue: The Assembly Rooms Theatre

Company: Durham Student Theatre

Company: Ooook! Productions

Join Durham Student Theatre’s newest members as the fresher’s play returns for another year. Don’t miss this display of first-year talent!

Whilst tentatively visiting a friend in Georgia, presumptions emerge that Charlie Baker’s shy demeanour is due to a complete lack of English. Unsuspecting conspirators take no notice of the apparent foreigner, exposing him to dastardly plans only he may stop.

DST FRESHERS’ PLAY Date: Thursday 23 November Saturday 25 November




Venue: The Assembly Rooms Theatre Company: First Theatre Company Isolated and abandoned by every support network surrounding her, the exotic and notorious heroine Medea clings onto her final crutch - her own sanity. After the utter rejection of her husband Jason and faced with fear of banishment, she enacts her own dreadful revenge.

News for Durham University Staff & Students


Durham University

Community Fund The beginning of November has seen the launch of the Durham University Community Fund, which has been set up to provide grants to a range of charities and non-profit organisations that staff and students already support through our amazing volunteering programmes. Using Payroll Giving, staff now have the opportunity to contribute directly to the Fund in an easy, and tax efficient, manner. The Fund is held and managed independently by County Durham Community Foundation.

KEY FACTS: Most excitingly, for the first year of operation, the University will match all staff donations up to a maximum of £10,000, plus County Durham Community Foundation will also provide a similar match of a maximum of £8,000 net of their administrative costs, which means this is a fantastic opportunity for us to make a real impact with our community partners. Donating through Payroll Giving means that a small donation of, e.g. £20 per month would (for a standard rate taxpayer) actually only cost the staff member £16 and, including the match funding in year one, could deliver a total of £672 into the Fund at the end of the year to be distributed to our community partners. Staff can be involved at all stages. Initially all staff can vote of their chosen charity theme from a list of eight and then anyone who signs up to donate to the fund also gets to vote on the charities to receive grant funding.

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Charitable themes > Animal Welfare > Arts & Culture > Children & Young People > Criminal Justice > Environmental > Health & Ageing > Social > Sports & Outdoor Activities The Fund will initially support a total of nearly 60 charities, all of whom have been selected as they currently all have existing links with the University via student or staff volunteering.

A Fund Review Panel has been set up which will monitor the progress of donations and liaise with CDCF to ensure donations are made in accordance with staff wishes. We aim to ensure that staff can follow the progress of the fund and their donations via regular updates through Dialogue and the web pages, as well as updates via other established routes. Once the initial donations are allocated to charities in October 2018 we plan to follow up with all successful recipients to see what they have done with the funding and how staff donations have made an impact upon their organisation. There will also be opportunities for staff to be involved as volunteers in monitoring visits.

If you would like to learn more about the Community Fund please see or email 11


Neville House

Sheraton Park Opening An early pillar of Durham’s ambitious University Strategy 2017-2027 has been delivered successfully, with the opening of Sheraton Park as a new home for Ustinov College. The inaugural cohort of new and existing students moved in mid-September. Sheraton Park has been designed with the needs of students in mind; students have been central to the development and continue to play a key role in enhancing the identity of Ustinov College in its new home. Particular attention has been paid to providing a first class student experience. All student rooms are single en-suite rooms in cluster flats or studio accommodation for modern student living. Shared kitchen facilities have been designed to provide welcoming spaces to eat,


relax and work. Our state-of-the-art facilities include a bar, café and fitness suite, and spaces for students to discuss welfare issues with College staff. World-class experience Owen Adams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience), said: “Offering an unrivalled wider student experience is central to our vision for Durham University and we are investing significantly in our Colleges, sport,

music, theatre, volunteering and leadership to make that a reality. “The development of Sheraton Park as a new home for our Ustinov College postgraduate community shows how we will work with staff, students, private partners, local residents and others to deliver a world-class product, for the benefit of all involved.” Sheraton Park is located one mile west of the city centre and comprises of two main

News for Durham University Staff & Students


Left: Kitchens provide a focal point of student living. Above: The cafe/bar area in Sheraton House.

buildings. Neville House is an iconic Edwardian building that harks back to the site’s original function as a place of teaching and learning, while Sheraton House is a new building rendered in a contemporary design. Linking the two buildings, and shared with the local community, is a sculpture garden, influenced by the Edwardian era, which explores ideas of pilgrimage. Fittingly for a diverse multicultural community, poetry greets and welcomes students in 10 different languages. Ustinov College’s unique and vibrant academic environment provides a platform for the community to engage in dialogue and debate across different cultures and disciplines. Our events, which include the Global Citizenship Programme, will benefit from state-of-the-art audio visual equipment when hosting seminars and debates with academics, research students and the local community. Typical student bedroom

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Exciting new era Professor Glenn McGregor, Principal of Ustinov College, said: “The move to Sheraton Park heralds an exciting new era in the history of Ustinov College. Whilst we are in a new home, we are continuing the traditions and activities that make Ustinov so popular with our students and alumni. “Ustinov College’s vision is to be an international exemplar of a postgraduate research community that celebrates the strength arising from diversity, interdisciplinarity and collegiality. As the students settle into Sheraton Park, it’s becoming clear that this new home for Ustinov will provide an inviting and rewarding place where all members of the Ustinov community can learn, live, work and relax.” Local residents of Sheraton Park were invited to view the facilities and meet College staff. Children were warmly welcomed by members of the Graduate Common Room (GCR) to a Halloween-themed family event. The GCR run a number of family-oriented events throughout the year for members of the College community with children who live outside of College accommodation and residents of Keenan House, Ustinov’s couples and family accommodation.

Sheraton House

Ustinov College’s unique and vibrant academic environment provides a platform for the community to engage in dialogue and debate across different cultures and disciplines. 13



RESILIENCE WITHIN THE RUBBLE: RECONSTRUCTING THE KASTHAMANDAP AND ITS PAST AFTER THE 2015 NEPAL EARTHQUAKE An exhibition exploring the role that Durham University archaeologists have played in disaster recovery following the 2015 Nepal earthquake is now open at the Oriental Museum.

The earthquake was a humanitarian disaster which caused substantial loss of life but also triggered a cultural catastrophe by destroying hundreds of temples and shrines in Kathmandu’s UNESCO World Heritage site. These exceptional monuments were central to the daily lives and rituals of thousands and formed an essential part of Nepal’s tourist economy. However, rapid reconstruction has the potential to irreversibly damage their historic authenticity. The exhibition focuses on the Kasthamandap, from its origins to its collapse and renewal after the earthquake. Historic illustrations and images taken by first responders are interwoven with photographs of recent discoveries made during excavations by the team led by Professor Robin Coningham, Durham University’s UNESCO Chair in Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage. The exhibition is open until 28 January 2018.

Attractions Durham’s award winning annual Christmas Festival will return with a wide range of festive entertainment for all the family in and around the World Heritage Site of the Cathedral, Castle and throughout the City Centre. The Festival will take place from Friday, 1 December until Sunday, 3 December, a perfect start to the festive season. The marquee on Palace Green has nearly 200 stalls selling a wide variety of crafts and gifts, perfect for Christmas presents. The Festival will be open on Friday from 10am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 6pm, Sunday 10am to 4.30pm. Entry charges apply. Durham Cathedral will host over 30 regional food producers in the Cathedral Cloisters with locally sourced, high-quality food and drink on offer, and there is no charge to access. The food market will be open on Friday from 10am to 5pm, Saturday from 9am to 5pm, Sunday from 12noon to 3pm. See for further information.


News for Durham University Staff & Students


Academic Recruitment Campaign 2017 /2018

2nd Internal Learning and Teaching Conference Durham University’s second Internal Learning and Teaching Conference took place on Thursday, 14 September at St Aidan’s College. With over 110 participants from 24 Departments, the programme included over 50 talks from academic and support staff and students from across the institution. Highlights of the day included a welcome from Professor Alan Houston, Pro-ViceChancellor (Education); a panel session on student engagement; and a session dedicated to the memory of Dr Eva Schumacher-Reid,

former Vice Master of University College, on the role of Colleges in the Wider Student Experience. A fascinating keynote lecture was given by Dr Camille Kandiko-Howson, Senior Lecturer in Higher Education, Academic Head of Student Engagement, Kings Learning Institute, Kings College, on student engagement and learning gain. Slides and a video from the conference are available now at

Supporting Our Staff Following a busy summer, we have enhanced our staff development offering, to support staff in their roles and careers. A full programme of courses is available: We have negotiated a new staff benefits package for our staff, enabling colleagues to obtain discounts from a wide range of providers. The package My Durham can be found at; paypensionsreward/benefits/ mydurham

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The Academic Recruitment Campaign is now well underway. Continuing the successful ‘Durham University: So Much More’ theme, the Campaign is underpinned by the relaunch of the recruitment microsite at recruitment. Details of all current academic posts can be found there, along with a wealth of information about the University, its Departments and Colleges, and living around Durham and the North East, as well as information on the services and support we offer around relocation. The website contains a promotional video featuring colleagues from across the University, as well as a brochure and information pack for candidates invited to interview. Durham is recruiting to a total of 111 posts, with an international digital media campaign, and a targeted social media campaign. We are working with TMP Worldwide (UK) Limited to deliver the campaign, including outsourcing the application functionality to enhance candidate experience. Briefing sessions have been held with departmental administrators on the new recruitment processes and colleagues from HR and the Provost Office have held drop-in sessions focussing on search activity. Departments continue to carry out targeted search activity to engage with the broadest possible field of candidates. Colleagues in HR and CIS are working in partnership to deliver an online recruitment pack, using Sharepoint as the platform. This will be rolled out prior to the first closing dates of the campaign. Departments are receiving weekly updates on applicant numbers and reporting on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion data will soon follow.



Centre for Developmental Disorders (CDD) Describe your centre in one sentence. The Centre for Developmental Disorders is a multidisciplinary research centre that focusses on a broad range of neurodevelopmental conditions that impact upon daily living across the lifespan. What are the three main things people should know about the Centre for Developmental Disorders? The CDD is based in the Department of Psychology at Durham University, but draws together leading researchers from across the University (Education, Biology, Anthropology, CEM), throughout the UK, and further afield (USA, Japan, Australia). Research conducted by members of the CDD has both a theoretical focus (e.g. how does memory develop in children with autism?) and an applied focus (e.g. can we develop interventions for anxiety in individuals with Williams syndrome?). We work closely with a range of non-academic strategic partners to ensure that our work has maximum impact beyond academia (e.g. North East Autism Society, Williams Syndrome Foundation). What three words do you most associate with the Centre for Developmental Disorders? • Multidisciplinary • Developmental disability • Impact. How can staff and/or students engage with you and your work? There are many ways staff and students can engage with our work and our researchers. For example, the CDD website ( provides information on all aspects of our research projects, impact beyond academia, guest speakers, and events. Staff and students can follow us on twitter


(@DurhamDevDis) where we regularly post updates about our work, including new papers or projects. It is also possible to get in touch by emailing us at What is your main objective as a centre/what do you want to achieve? The main objective of the CDD is to achieve real advances in understanding neurodevelopmental conditions from both applied and theoretical positions. We work closely with individuals, parents, families, children, schools and a wide range of organisations to make sure that we are asking the right questions that will matter most to the people that we work with. The multi-disciplinary focus of the Centre means that we are pulling together insights from psychology, education and many other approaches to develop rigorous research and make an impact. With this approach, we hope to both advance current knowledge of theories of cognition, behaviour and mental health in the groups that we work with, but also make real impact that can enhance education and daily living for individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions and their families. What would you say is your main challenge? One of the challenges facing us in our work is that very often we work with groups who have relatively rare conditions and who are spread throughout the UK and further afield (e.g. Williams syndrome has a prevalence of 1 in 18,000). This can make it difficult to recruit and work with sufficient numbers of individuals. Our working relationships with important organisations, such as the Williams Syndrome Foundation and the North East Autism Society, are really important for supporting our research and with the establishment of the Centre for Developmental Disorders we hope to develop more partnerships with organisations such as these.

What does the future look like for Centre for Developmental Disorders? The future looks bright! We are lucky to have among our members a very vibrant group of researchers in Durham and further afield. This includes early career researchers (such as PhD students and post-doctoral researchers), academics in the UK (Durham, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Coventry, Oxford, Warwick) and overseas (U.S.A, Japan, Australia). We have lots of exciting projects underway and more to come as we continue to attract significant external funding for our work. We also have some fantastic events marked in the calendar, for example in December 2017 the CDD will bring over 100 academics to Durham as we host the Seattle Club national conference (on intellectual and developmental disabilities).

“Did you know…?” Classroom displays, typical of most primary school classrooms, may not be helpful for children when trying to pay attention in the classroom. They can be particularly distracting for children functioning on the autism spectrum (Hanley et al., 2017). Impulsivity, linked to ADHD, has been found to be positively associated with academic progress (Merrell et al., 2017; Tymms & Merrell, 2011). Do you use social media? If so, how? Yes – we use to twitter (@DurhamDevDis) to regularly post updates about our work, including new papers or projects.

News for Durham University Staff & Students


Workplace health and wellbeing has risen sharply up the public policy agenda over the past decade and it is now recognised that an effective employee wellbeing programme should be at the core of how an organisation fulfils its mission and carries out its operations. Durham University is committed to being a ‘world leading employer’ and to support this aim a health and wellbeing strategy is being developed to promote and maintain the health, safety and wellbeing of its staff. the risk of backache and upper limb problems and the University has a legal duty to ensure risk assessments are carried out and appropriate equipment is made available. Specific guidance and a risk assessment template can be accessed via the Health & Safety Intranet site, under Display Screen Equipment. Individuals should carry out a self-assessment in the first instance and if any concerns are identified then the local DSE assessor can be contacted for further advice and support. If staff experience musculoskeletal problems caused or aggravated by work Physiotherapy assessment and treatment is available and can be accessed following a Management Referral to the Occupational Health service.

Plans for the future What works? Louise Huscroft, Lead Occupational Health Adviser, explains: ‘Wellbeing is everyone’s responsibility and an integrated approach is essential in creating a working environment that is not only safe but also promotes and supports health and wellbeing’. The HR department is working with colleagues in the Health and Safety Service and the Counselling Service to review the health and wellbeing support currently provided to ensure it meets the needs of staff and managers.

Priority areas Managing work related stress is a legal requirement and appropriate action includes carrying out risk assessments and acting on the findings. Guidance and a risk assessment template are available to support line managers with this legal responsibility. The guidance covers how to carry a stress risk assessment for individuals, and your team and Department.

Nov | Dec 2017

An online training module on Mental Health in the Workplace is also available which provides information and frameworks to support individuals in the workplace. The module can be found on duo under the My Organisations & Online Training menu on your duo homepage. A range of support services is also available: The Education Support Partnership provides a 24/7 helpline for staff working in education, and you can self-refer for telephone counselling or coaching. Helpline number - 08000 562 561. Staff can also access individual counselling sessions and the online psychoeducational programme SilverCloud. These services can be accessed following a Management Referral to the Occupational Health service. Following the referral the Occupational Health Adviser will discuss the options available and refer you to the most appropriate one for your needs.

The Occupational Health website is currently being developed to provide a user-friendly platform for accessing the health and wellbeing information and evidence based support tools based on the National initiatives and campaigns. Additional guidance and tools will also be developed to assist Managers to support staff with disabilities. Keep checking the HR and Occupational Health Website for updates….

Wellbeing is everyone’s responsibility and an integrated approach is essential in creating a working environment that is not only safe but also promotes and supports health and wellbeing.

The regular use of Display Screen Equipment (DSE) (ie computers and laptops) can increase



UniCycle Campaign

Water Awareness Campaign

UniCycle, a walking and cycling campaign for students, was set up to help students get to know the City, showing the best cycle routes and how to get around in a healthy, fun and eco-friendly way and raise awareness to cyclists 'to be seen and be safe', making sure they used lights whilst cycling.

Water Awareness Week will run from Monday, 20 November until Sunday, 26 November. This campaign encourages everyone to reduce water consumption from taking shorter showers to reporting dripping taps. Read some water saving tips, take the water quiz and find out other environment tips at

Working in partnership with Durham County Council, Cycling UK, Living Streets, Recyke Y'Bike, Durham Constabulary and Breeze, the UniCycle campaign offers bike freebies, cycle rides and guided walks, finishing with a Celebration event on Thursday 23 November 2017 at St. Mary's College. The event includes stalls, freebies and free bike security marking. Students were also encouraged to night-bling their bikes and the best bike and walker won a prize. The event concluded with a three mile night bike ride and a ghost walk around the City. Full details are available at

College Eco Tumble Dryers As part of the new Managed Laundry Contract the University has installed BREEAM rated laundry machines for their efficiency on energy and water usage. The washing machines have an eco-cycle and a more efficient spin to remove more water, enabling quicker drying using less energy. The dryers also are set on eco mode which means they go to “sleep” when not in use. The display will not be lit until the door is opened which will “wake” it up ready for use.


News for Durham University Staff & Students


Waste (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Awareness Week Many different activities ran during the University’s Waste Awareness Week encouraging all University members to reduce their volume of waste and to ensure everyone to follow correct recycling procedures. Competitions included ‘Slim Your Bin’, kindly sponsored by O’Briens with shopping vouchers as prizes accumulating up to £250, staff and students could make a pledge on how they would reduce their waste and ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ to encourage students to only take sufficient food they would consume at College and at home. A Durham County Council ‘Waste Less, Save More’ Roadshow took place along with a free ‘Swishing Event’ in the City, a fashionable alternative to a jumble sale, asking people to donate their clothes or textiles otherwise destined for a life at the back of a wardrobe or the bin, in exchange for receiving other people’s clothing in a similar condition. Any items leftover after the event closed were donated to a pre-chosen charity.

Christmas E-Card Did you know that there were over 2700 e-cards sent from the Greenspace website during December 2016? Sending a Christmas e-card saves both the production and travel associated with sending paper cards. Why not send an e-card this Christmas. Take a look at Images from previous years' e-cards

Full details available at wastecampaign/

Green Move Out Scheme This year’s ‘Green Move Out’ Scheme collected 2650 bags in total from students both residing in College and Living Out. Congratulations to the staff and students at Stephenson College, Queen’s Campus for their tremendous support and fantastic contribution who won all three categories this year. The ‘Green Move Out’ Awards recognise the Colleges that collect the greatest number of bags and are split into three categories, Best Undergraduate Performance (highest bag:bed ratio), Best Postgraduate Performance (most bags collected after 1 August, and higher than last year’s total) and Most Improved Performance (total bags in 2017 compared to total bags in 2016). Well done to everyone who took part and were involved in this initiative including our partners County Durham Furniture Help Scheme, Durham County Council and Durham Constabulary. Full results and further details of the scheme are available on the Greenspace website

Every small step leads to big change Nov/Dec 2017




News for Durham University Staff & Students


Look around you and the influence of medieval poet Dante Alighieri is everywhere. For centuries his work has inspired artists and writers from the painter Botticelli to popular novelist Dan Brown. This new exhibition follows the story of Dante’s most famous work, The Divine Comedy. Visitors will join Dante in his imagined journey through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, meeting a cast of familiar and unfamiliar characters along the way. Displaying a rich array of books, manuscripts and artworks, the exhibition shows Dante’s writing as reflecting the entire human experience; the power of resilience through difficult times and ultimately a message of hope. The exhibition is brought to life through Durham University’s own art and rare book collections, including lithographs by Salvador Dali and illlustrations by Gustav Doré. These will be shown alongside spectcular items from the internationally-renowned collections of Mr Livio Ambrogio, including early versions of Dante’s seminal work in books and manuscripts, on show in Durham for the first time. Today, Dante’s influence can be found in contemporary art, literature, music, film and popular culture. His striking depictions of the consequences of sin in Inferno, the struggles of purgatory and ultimately the splendours of Heaven reflect our own stories; the choices we make, the consequences of our decisions, our behaviour and our resilience. Look closely enough and you may even find yourself.

Palace Green Library, 14 October 2017 – 25 February 2018 the empyrean



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Michaelangelo Caetani, Figura universale della Divina Commedia, 1855

Opposite: Gustave Doré, Dante and Virgil Leaving the Dark Wood, 1868 Above left: Michaelangelo Caetani, Figura universale della Divina Commedia, 1855 Above centre: Sandro Botticelli, The punishment of the heretics, c.1480-c.1495 Above right: Monika Beisner, Inferno Canto 8, 2001 ©Monika Beisner

Nov | Dec 2017



Supporting our students to get

IT ready

Like most departments, CIS finds the period from mid-September to mid-October the busiest time of our year. We join with colleagues across the campus in welcoming back returning students and supporting newcomers - both students and staff - as they navigate through the first few weeks of their journey at Durham University.

As in previous years, our start of year activities were geared towards ensuring new students could get up and running with their IT straightaway. The main difference for our freshers in 2017 is that they were the first to benefit from the new MyDurham app – where we created a first iteration of an in-app IT Guide with all the key info they need in one place. We also ran a number of sessions for Freshers’ reps (Freps) with the aim of getting IT assistance to students in the colleges as swiftly as possible. These well attended events covered quick fixes and useful top tips – and our closer working ties with the Freps also meant potential technical issues were spotted and solved quickly! Last but not least, we were pleased to welcome six of our current undergraduates with IT know-how to the CIS team this year. Recruited as temporary staff to help run the main ‘Get Online’ surgery at the Bill Bryson Library, their involvement proved to be a hit with our new students, who also benefited from their local knowledge and advice about life on campus. So valuable was their contribution, we hope to repeat this approach next year.


Our start of term in numbers: • Over 40,000 student devices connected safely and securely to our DU Student wireless network – more than ever before • Out of all these devices, only 2% of our students had to visit a ‘Get Online’ surgery to connect successfully • iPhones continue to be the mobile of choice, making up 40% of all devices connected • During the four week period 11 September – 15 October, we resolved 13,116 requests and reported incidents. Of those, 9,340 were resolved by the IT Service Desk without the need for escalation. • 3,923 campus cards were printed and sent out in advance to colleges or departments ready for our new students • A further 2,808 cards were printed out on their arrival at the campus card roadshow

Have a University IT query? Get in touch with the IT Service Desk: Use the self-service portal at: Call us: 0191 334 1515 or extension 41515 (8am - 6pm, Monday to Friday) Outside of these times and on weekends and public holidays/ University customary days, your calls are still answered by our Out of Hours team. Visit us: • Bill Bryson Library, 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday • Queen’s Campus Library, 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday (during term time only)

Keep informed! Always know what’s happening with University IT. Follow us on Twitter @durhamuni_cis

News for Durham University Staff & Students

NAME: Bill Hoare JOB TITLE: Regional Manager (Europe) DEPARTMENT: International Office

Give me a picture of your ideal day: A morning swim in the sea then a walk along the coast. Followed by a pub lunch watching football with friends; obligatory Arsenal win. In the evening a BBQ and live music. What was your best subject? English literature or History, I get lost in books easily.

What luxury item would you take to a desert island? A Hawaiian Sling.

Where will you be going for your next holiday? If I say something ambitious I might stick to it so I’ll say Laos and Cambodia, though it’s more likely to be a Greek island.

What’s your greatest indulgence? Music.

What skill or talent would you most like to acquire? I would like to learn a foreign language. I have colleagues who are excellent at languages but it’s always been a struggle for me. Have you got any pets? Nope. I had a hamster as a child and it bit me, this was my last interaction with any kind of domesticated animal. What are you reading at the moment? ‘1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus’. The author makes some interesting arguments about population size and how people lived before colonisation. What was the first record you bought? Blur: Parklife What achievement are you most proud of? I wrote to Jack Charlton when he resigned as Ireland football manager after the 94’ World Cup asking him to stay on. He kindly wrote back by hand explaining he wanted to spend more time with his family and fishing. I’ve still got it somewhere.

Nov | Dec 2017

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you care what other people think of you? I thought about a 7, though given how long this has taken I’m leaning towards 9.

Pass the buck: Finally, who would you like to see in the hot-seat? Jack Coates, Team Durham.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

What’s your greatest vice? Burritos, Durham’s limited options mean I don’t get the chance to overindulge. What’s your favourite film? ‘The secret in their eyes’, an Argentinean thriller with a great ending. What’s the worst job you’ve ever done? I’m not a morning person, as my colleagues will attest, so how I kept a paper round for three years is a mystery. What’s your favourite place in the world? The ring of Kerry, stunning scenery, family memories and it looks good in the rain. A necessity for the west coast of Ireland.

Tarzan, till I fell down a flight of stairs wearing a carrier bag banging my chest. 23

what’s on at the University







WINTER WONDERLAND AT THE BOTANIC GARDEN DATES: 1 December - 22 December 2 January 2018 - 31 January 2018 TIME: 10am – 4pm Pick up a leaflet from the Visitor Centre and see what you can discover on a Winter walk through the garden.

BETWEEN WORLDS: FOLKLORE AND FAIRY TALES FROM NORTHERN BRITAIN VENUE: Palace Green Library DATE: Until 25 February 2018 TIME: 9am – 5pm This new temporary exhibition takes its inspiration from medieval romance, ballads, and collections of folklore. If you are visiting as a family, ask at reception for your free Fairy Investigator Pack to help you explore the exhibition. This exhibition is supported by funding from the Leverhulme Trust.


THE CURIOUS WORLD OF HIERONYMUS BOSCH - FILM SCREENING VENUE: ER201, Elvet Riverside 2, Durham, DH1 3JT DATE: Wednesday 22 November TIME: 5.45pm This film is from the ‘Exhibition on Screen’ series of documentaries from Seventh Art Productions. These focus on the work of individual artists based on major exhibitions of their work.

DATES: 2 December 2017 - 18 March 2018 TIME: 9am – 5pm This new temporary exhibition follows the story of Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Join his imagined journey through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, meeting a cast of familiar and unfamiliar characters. The exhibition is brought to life through Durham University’s collections, displayed alongside books and manuscripts from the internationally-renowned collections of Mr Livio Ambrogio, on show in Durham for the first time.

For more information on University events go to

Dialogue 54  
Dialogue 54