Staff Case Studies

The following case studies are based on the experiences of new staff members within the Schools, Departments and Research Centres of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.
New Staff members have shared their experiences of their induction below:

Professional Services Academic Research

Professional Services

Administrator: Academic Department

What made your induction experience positive?

My post was new to the department and I was moving to Leicester for the very first time. This should have been a really stressful period, however, it wasn’t due to the support from my department and the wider University team. My induction was fantastic and I settled in really quickly. Everyone was so welcoming, from the academics, administrators to the porters! Throughout my induction I kept asking lots of questions and the positive attitude of the staff gave me the confidence to keep asking. Luckily, my first week of induction coincided with a full staff meeting which I was invited to attend and the Head of Department warmly welcomed me to the team during the meeting. I also had a tour of the building during my first week which helped me to become familiar with my surroundings.

The team are really friendly and frequently pop in to the office to say hello. I have developed a support network which has really helped me to feel at home.

What was your biggest challenge?

One of the biggest challenges so far has been learning the jargon, abbreviations and terminology for meetings. The University’s jargon buster has really helped with learning the different acronyms. I would recommend having an electronic copy of the University jargon buster and College jargon buster to hand during your first few departmental meetings.

Advice that you would give to a new starter?

Keep on asking lots of questions and don’t be afraid to ask the wrong person as no question is too small!

Administrator: Research Centre

What made your induction experience positive?

I joined a very small and friendly team; this helped me to get to know my colleagues quickly and to feel comfortable within my role. One of the best aspects of my induction was being introduced to the College during my second week. One of my colleagues mapped out the College structure via diagram form and this definitely helped with my understanding. I think it’s important to know your role within the College and the part you play within the wider University structure, this motivates you within your own work as you feel a part of something bigger.

If in doubt, ask as many different people as possible for help, this provides a great opportunity to network and to get to know faces within your Department.

What was your biggest challenge?

Due to working within a small team and being a part-time member of staff, it has been difficult to meet and interact with colleagues from Professional Services across the College’s Schools and Departments. Events such as the Food for Thought sessions and the College Forum have helped with meeting other colleagues from Professional Services across the College and the University.

One piece of advice that you would give to a new starter?

I would recommend looking at the College Structure Charts to gain an understanding of who’s who within the College. Also, have a thorough look around the University website, there’s lots of helpful information available, especially on the webpage: How do I..?

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Academic

Lecturer: Academic Department

What made your induction experience positive?

One of the best aspects of my induction was the pre-arrival contact with my Department. Before my first day, I met with my line manager over lunch to discuss my workload and role in more depth. I also had a tour of the campus during my interview day which helped me to find my way around during my first week. Overall, I found my induction experience to be very well organised and supported. The Department’s Professional Services team were great and were always on hand to help if I had any questions.


Due to starting my role at the beginning of a new term, I began teaching during my second week. However, I had a vast amount of support from my line manager and colleagues to support me with this transition.

What was your biggest challenge?

I had previously worked as an Academic at another institution which used a different VLE system. As a result, I found it difficult to operate Blackboard and this proved to be a challenge, especially for preparing my modules. I asked the Professional Services’ team for guidance and the team signposted me to the University’s Blackboard Help webpage. This significantly helped me to improve my Blackboard skills and I would recommend anyone who is new to using Blackboard to visit these web pages.

One piece of advice that you would give to a new starter?

If you’re a teaching member of staff, I would advise visiting your teaching spaces before your session. This gives you the opportunity to explore the campus and to design your teaching to suit particular teaching spaces.

Lecturer: Academic School

What made your induction experience positive?
I am an international member of staff who joined the School during the start of a new academic year. This was an extremely busy time for the University, consequently, there was a delay in my IT account being set up. The support from colleagues helped considerably and the delay in my IT account enabled me to spend my first week familiarising myself with key documentation and meeting core members of the School’s staff. Additionally, the College hosted an Academic Welcome Event which introduced me to key staff from the College and the research landscape.

The College Academic Welcome Event was really helpful and provided me with the opportunity to meet fellow new starters from other disciplines.

What was your biggest challenge?
The majority of the School’s Professional Services’ team are based within a separate building. Without an IT account it was difficult during the first week to get in touch with the team. However, the School is extremely friendly and the open door policy enabled me to approach colleagues with any questions.

One piece of advice that you would give to a new starter?
Use your mentor for help, particularly during your settling in period – don’t be afraid to ask them lots of questions, even the trivial ones!

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Research

Research Associate: Academic School

What made your induction experience positive?
My project PI (Principle Investigator) facilitated my induction and helped me to settle in quickly. My induction consisted of a tour of the facilities and regular meetings with my PI. My induction was designed so that I could begin work on my research straight away. I have previously worked for the University as a GTA, (Graduate Teaching Assistant), therefore I was already familiar with the University, department and campus.

I think it’s important to connect with what’s going on around you and to see the changes occurring within the University as a whole.

What was your biggest challenge?
Due to working on a sole project, it’s difficult to feel a part of the University. Attending University and College events, such as the University’s guest lectures and the College Forum have helped me to feel a part of the University of Leicester community.

One piece of advice that you would give to a new starter?
Try to meet as many different staff members as possible. As a researcher, it’s easy to become disconnected, however, departmental cross-collaborations can assist you with your research and can provide vital connections for the future.

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Contact Details

College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities

Kathy Baddiley-Davidson
(PA to Head of College, Henrietta O'Connor):
+44 (0)116 252 2679

Denise Challinor
(PA to Director of Operations, Ruth Daly):
+44 (0)116 252 3875

socsci@le.ac.uk

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