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Monday Morning Messages
18th March 2024
Finance Notices
2024/25 Budget 

The annual budgeting cycle is upon us again however due to the implementation of the Finance White Paper (FWP) we need to take a slightly different approach. The purpose of the FWP across the University was to:

  • improve transparency
  • Better support strategic conversations and decision making in the University
  • Align financial and academic priorities together with accountability
  • Achieve the best use of resources in pursuing the University’s academic mission
  • Incentivise departments, divisions and services to increase income and improve efficiency

This means we need to ensure our budgets are accurate and that we can deliver against them. This will safeguard our Department’s financial sustainability by protecting future reserves generated. In order to do this, the new Head of Finance (HOF) is introducing participative budgets. This means budget holders will be provided with a template to complete so that they can ensure their submission accurately reflects their intentions for the year ahead.

As the Department’s budget needs to be submitted to Division by mid-April we are asking for the completed templates by 22 March. This is to allow the finance team sufficient time to update the appropriate systems and to ensure our group plans are affordable. If you need any support please reach out to Samantha Branch (HOF).

Click here to email the HoF
Finance survey closing soon!

Your finance and grants teams would like your feedback on the services they provide. Your opinion makes a big difference so please spare 10 minutes to respond to the survey and to help them improve their offering. All answers are anonymous and the survey will close on 28 March. Thank you!

Click here to access the survey
Wellbeing notices
Your wellbeing committee needs you!
We are setting up a Wellbeing Committee within our wonderful Department and would love you to get involved! The aim of the committee will be to improve our mental and physical welfare within the workplace and to plan different initiatives over the course of each year.

Membership is open to everyone, and we are looking for a mix of researchers, students and administrative staff to join so that we can safeguard our wellbeing from everyone’s perspective. Meetings will be once a term and the committee administration will be taken care of, so the ask is truly minimal.

The first action for the committee will be to assign roles and to define the Terms of Reference along with a strategy so this is a unique opportunity for you to help shape the course of wellbeing in the Department into the future. The committee will meet for the first time at the end of April so reply now to book your seat at the table.

Do also feel free to get in touch, if you would like to discuss the role before committing.
Email to find out more
Science-based strategies to improve wellbeing
The World Wellbeing Movement, in collaboration with Oxford's Wellbeing Research Centre, has just released the first iteration of their Work Wellbeing Playbook. Researchers from the University of Oxford’s Wellbeing Research Centre reviewed more than 3,000 academic studies of workplace wellbeing interventions to identify strategies proven to increase the wellbeing of employees across diverse work environments.

The World Wellbeing Movement has distilled their findings into a high-level summary of research-informed insights, presented in an accessible, plain English resource for busy business leaders seeking to develop holistic work wellbeing strategies.
Read more here
Wellbeing events coming up:
21 March 2024 | 12:30pm

Meet on the steps at the University Offices, Wellington Square to walk around green space and spot (and hopefully identify) birds. Binoculars optional. 

27 March | Oxford Central Library (Westgate)| 6:30-8pm,

Join Geoff Marlow for an enlightening discussion on cultivating resilience that's applicable to all aspects of life. Whether facing personal challenges, professional setbacks, or global uncertainties, learning how to bounce back and adapt is crucial. Register via the link below. 
Register for the talk here
Postgraduate courses
Three programmes now open for applications!

Our Postgraduate courses in Paediatric Infectious Diseases are now open for entry in September 2024! Three programmes are on offer: A postgraduate certificate, a postgraduate diploma and an MSc. The international panel of tutors is led by Sir Andrew Pollard, Ashall Professor of Infection and Immunity and Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group. The programme draws on world-class research and teaching and offers a unique opportunity to gain an understanding of the principles that underpin paediatric infection and to translate this understanding into good clinical and research practice. For entry in September 2024, the courses will be run by the Department of Paediatrics.

Read more and apply
Talks and events
Careers beyond academia conference for Oxford researchers - Registration open

18 - 21 March 2024 | Careers Service | Online and in person
The 2024 careers conference for Oxford University DPhils and Research Staff, Careers Beyond Academia: Options and Pathways for Researchers, is free to join. It includes online panel talks with PhD holders and former academic researchers speaking frankly about their daily working lives in a variety of sectors. There will be in-person networking events with peers and employers, and interactive workshops to help you identify skills and strategies for optimising your career preparedness. Whether you are curious about or actively pursuing a career beyond academia, you can explore the conference schedule  and register via the link below. 

Click here to browse events and sign up
Ineos Oxford Institute on antimicrobial research (IOI) updates

22 March 2024 | Mathematical Institute | 11am to 1pm
Prof Stewart Cole, Executive Chair of the IOI, will present medium-term plans, including new IOI collaborative calls to support an Oxford-wide AMR network launched with Professor Craig MacLean, Professor of Evolution and Microbiology in the Department of Biology. Over the last year Craig has been working with colleagues across the University to facilitate an Oxford-wide AMR network to increase opportunities for collaborations between researchers and increase the impact of Oxford AMR research.

Click here to register
OX5 Run 2024
24 March 2024 | Blenheim Palace | 9am to 2pm
There is still time to join members of staff from across the Department to run the OX5 RUN - the biggest annual fundraiser for the Oxford Children's Hospital. This is a five mile run, jog or walk around the beautiful Blenheim Palace and all funds raised will go to Children’s Services throughout Oxford University Hospitals. This includes Children’s Intensive Care, Emergency areas, and the Horton General Children’s Ward. Your invaluable support helps make a significant impact on the lives of the thousands of young patients treated in our hospitals each year. Sign up to the Oxford Vaccine Group team using the button below. 
Read more & register
Bake the world a better place
27 March 2024 | CCVTM | 12pm

OVG is hosting a bake sale and book swap to raise funds for their Earth Day event in April (a gardening initiative where staff will plant edible fruit, vegetables and herbs. The proceeds of this sale are being used to buy seeds and seedlings)The sale will be held in the Seminar Room at CCVTM and you can just show up on the day with something you've baked, or you can send Audrey Au Yong a message to let her know you're getting involved.

Email Audrey
A Celebration of DPhil Research
19 April 2024 | Maths Institute | 9am to 4pm

One of the unique features of the Department of Paediatrics is the incredibly broad range of research topics that are housed within it. The admin team has organised an all-day event dedicated to discovering and celebrating the research that our groups undertake. A Celebration of DPhil Research will be held off site at the Maths Institute on 19th April. It will be a whole day of presentations, posters and shared information about the myriad of projects that our researchers and students are working on. In addition, Helen McShane will be discussing her work Developing controlled human infection models with old and new pathogens. They’ve also arranged pizza delivery from The White Rabbit – voted 5th best pizza retailer in the UK no less! – as well as copious amounts of drinks and nibbles. Book your place now via the link below.

Click here to register
Congenital disorders of autophagy and intracellular trafficking
25 April 2024 | George Pickering Education Centre & Online | 10.30am
This is one of a series of MDUK seminars which will discuss congenital disorders of autophagy and intracellular trafficking - a novel class of neurometabolic disorders linking aberrant neruodevelopment and neurodegeneration. The seminar is hosted by Dr. Sithara Ramdas and will be given by Prof Heinz Jungbluth, who is Professor of Paediatric Neurology at King’s College London and Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at the Evelina Children’s Hospital, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
Read more & register
The Power of Personality Diversity
8 May 2024 | IDRM and Online | 11am (workshop); 3pm (seminar)
Richard Etienne, the award-winning personal branding coach and Director of Global Internal Communications at Elsevier, will be delivering a workshop and seminar centred on personality diversity in academia.
The workshop is designed to help you boost your self-confidence and teach you how to master the art of voicing opinions, from presenting at meetings and conferences to effective networking in smaller groups. This will be an interactive workshop format that will include role plays, networking and practical exercises. Register for the workshop here. Spaces are limited.
The seminar will focus on unlocking the power of confident communication. Learn how to navigate challenging academic environments, attract diverse talent, and create relationships that stand the test of time. Find out more and register for the seminar here.
Networking lunch
There is also a networking lunch being held in the IDRM Cafe at 1pm which is open to everyone. Please register here.
Read the abstract on OxTalks
MDUK Town and Gown 10k race
12 May 2024 | University Parks | 10.30am
Sign up to run in the Town & Gown 10k race in support of MDUK. We would love you to join the “MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre” group during registration. If you would prefer to lend your support in other ways, we are looking for volunteers on the day. Please email Chelsea Larabee for more details. 
Read more & register for the race
Sign up for bootcamp!

Fun, free fitness every Wednesday at the IDRM
Join Jim's Fitness Bootcamp every Wednesday at 12pm. Designed to push you to your limits in a friendly and encouraging environment. The sessions last one hour and are tailored for all fitness levels: from athletes keeping fit and mixing-up their training, to those who wish to start or returning to exercise. Jim uses equipment such as tyres, sand bags, cargo nets and more. The goal is to get your whole body working.
Join the whatsapp group to register for each session
The Oxford Colloquy
Latest episode now available
Andrew Pollard's guest in this latest episode of The Pandemic People series is Sir Jeremy Farrar, who serves as the Chief Scientist at the World Health Organisation and was Director at the Wellcome Trust in the UK from 2013 to 2023.

Andrew Pollard and Sir Jeremy Farrar engage in a comprehensive discussion covering Farrar's impactful tenure at the Wellcome Trust, including his role in the COVID-19 vaccine development. They delve into Farrar's early career in Neurology and his significant contributions to the study of infectious diseases, particularly in Vietnam. The conversation also explores lessons learned from past outbreaks, such as the Nipah virus and SARS-1, and concludes with insights into global scientific and societal preparations for future infectious disease challenges.

Listen now
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