Blog posts

Tweeting a day in the life of Imperial – 17 June

Imperial will be supporting Universities Week 2011 by tweeting a day in the life of the College on Friday 17 June. To tell as full a story as possible, the organisers from the Communications and Development Division are seeking ideas from staff and students about activities to tweet about on 17 June. Suggestions could include:

–       Research projects or experiments that staff or students are working on

–       Excursions organised by student clubs or societies

–       Field trips organised by departments

–       Activities that would offer behind-the-scenes insight into Imperial’s operations

–       Events taking place on campus

–       Student projects

–       Highlights from everyday work or study

Please contact J-P Jones with ideas for tweets or if you hold a Twitter account and are keen to help tweet a day in the life of Imperial.

Read more about Day in the Life here

Vouchers for Union Shop available

Vouchers for the Imperial College Union Shop on the South Kensington Campus are now available and can be used for any purchases made there. Vouchers come in denominations of £5, £10 and £20 and may be useful for departments wishing to offer incentive prizes to staff or students. The Union Shop, located on the walkway, sells a range of Imperial branded merchandise – from clothing to diaries – alongside stationery and giftware.

To purchase vouchers contact Phil Stewart by email, phone 020 7594 8473, or drop by the shop.

New provider of UK rail tickets for College or personal use

Staff booking UK rail tickets for College or personal travel will soon be able to use the online self-booking tool operated by RedSpottedHanky. There are no booking fees, no credit card/debit card fees and no delivery fees. Bookers and travellers will be able to pick up tickets from any machine at National Rail stations or the two machines on Imperial campuses – one on the South Kensington Campus (located on the ground floor of the Sherfield Building next to the cash point machines from mid February 2011) and the other on the Hammersmith Campus (from March 2011). Travellers will be able to collect loyalty points when booking their train tickets and will be able to redeem these towards future travel on College business. Payment for College travel can be made through a purchase order, or by using a personal credit/debit card (with the cost claimed back as a College expense). For personal rail travel a personal credit/debit card should be used.

The site will launch on Thursday 24 February and will be accessible via the Purchasing web pages

Additional paternity leave and pay

New Government regulations have been introduced to give parents of children due, or matched for adoption, on or after 3 April 2011 greater flexibility in how they use maternity and paternity provisions through the introduction of Additional Paternity Leave and Pay. This is an interim piece of legislation which is likely to change in the future.

The Human Resources Division has updated their Maternity/Paternity Support Leave Policy to reflect the new legislation.

Access the policy here

Record your international collaborations

Academic staff are asked to add details of their international links in areas of education, research and innovation to the College’s database for international collaborations by 31 May. Collaborations may be at individual, departmental/divisional or faculty level and could include Memoranda of Understanding with institutions outside the UK, student exchange schemes and collaborations with industry, as well as research partnerships.

Staff are able to use this valuable pooled resource to find out about international links across the College. Acting as a map of Imperial’s networks, the database also informs the College’s strategies for working with different regions of the world.

To record details of international collaborations, follow the instructions here

iTunes U

The College’s extensive media library of audio and video clips is now available through iTunes U. At its launch it contains over 700 pieces of audio and video content from all areas of the College’s activities. They include gems from the Imperial archive, films about accommodation, London and College life for prospective students, and interviews with academics explaining their research. For the full experience search for Imperial College London on the iTunes U store (you will need the iTunes software). Content is also available via the College’s Media Library, which requires no additional software

Childcare vouchers and tax relief

Tax relief on childcare vouchers is being restricted for higher rate tax payers from 6 April 2011. The monthly limit for tax-free vouchers will be reduced from £243 to £124 for higher rate (40%) taxpayers and to £97 for additional rate (50%) taxpayers. There is no change for basic rate taxpayers.

The change applies only to new joiners to the childcare voucher scheme after 5 April 2011. Anyone already registered with the scheme before that date can continue to claim at the existing monthly rate of £243, even if they are higher rate taxpayers.

It is in the interests of staff who are higher rate tax payers and have a child born before 6 April 2011 to register for childcare vouchers as soon as possible, even if they do not immediately intend to claim these. Provided that staff begin claiming for childcare vouchers before 5 April 2012, their tax position will be protected for subsequent tax years. Managers should pass on this information to any staff currently on maternity leave who could benefit.

More information on maternity pay, childcare vouchers and income tax is available here

Coaching available to help staff with work-related challenges

Help with work-related challenges and support to refine skills and explore options for action is available to staff from trained Imperial coaches. 28 coaches, who are members of staff in a range of academic and professional services roles across the College, are willing to assist other staff to address work issues and support career development. All coaches have participated in the College’s Coach Development Programme and receive regular support and training. They take on coaching assignments in addition to their main responsibilities and, unlike mentors, do not need to have expertise in the work or discipline area of their ‘coachee’ to offer support.

Coaches are able to offer up to four confidential meetings over a period of three to six months and have worked on issues including:

  • Developing strategies for managing time and external pressure more effectively
  • Enhancing the quality of delegation and staff motivation
  • Improving interpersonal/communication skills
  • Enhancing decision-making and influencing skills
  • Managing a change project

To find out more about how coaching could play a part in your development visit this site, or email Judy Barnett, Talent Development Manager if you are interested in working with an Imperial coach.

Deadline for next round of Knowledge Transfer Secondment applications – 8 June 2011

Applications to the next round of Knowledge Transfer Secondments (KTS) to external organisations, which aim to build on and share knowledge derived from EPSRC sponsored research, are invited and should be submitted by 8 June 2011 in all Faculties. If you are currently employed on an EPSRC-funded project, you are able to freeze your funding to embark on a secondment, returning to the project once the secondment is complete.

Applications will be considered by the Cross College Research Proposals Review Group and should be submitted to the following people:

Further information on the KTS can be found here, or by emailing Angela Kingman


Enrol for summer term evening classes in the Department of Humanities

The Department of Humanities is again offering a short summer evening class programme with a range of evening classes in languages at different levels (including Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Mandarin Chinese as well as modern European languages and English Conversation for non-native speakers).  The programme is also offering short arts courses in Creative Writing, Friedrich Nietzsche Philosophy and Music Technology.  Courses comprise two two-hour evening classes a week for 5 weeks from 18.00 – 20.00 on weekday evenings from Tuesday 31 May to Monday 4 July 2011. Online enrolment starts on 28 March 2011.

For full details and to enrol online visit the Department of Humanities site