Category Archives: Organisational Development

ACU Synthesis – news and opportunities

The latest monthly member update can be viewed on the Association of Commonwealth Universities website.


COP26 Commonwealth Climate Research Cohort – applications now open
Apply now
The ACU-DUT Virtual Engagement toolkit is here!
Access the toolkit 
Apply for a Commonwealth Peace & Reconciliation Challenge Grant 
Apply now


Early Career Conference Grants
Find out more
Blue Charter Knowledge Exchange Training Programme
Find out more

Commonwealth Climate Research Cohort – an invitation to participate

The VC has received the following invitation from the Chief Executive and Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and encourages UC staff to participate.

“In the lead up to COP26, the ACU has partnered with the British Council to launch the Commonwealth Climate Research Cohort – a platform for local researchers to bring multidisciplinary knowledge and expertise to a global stage, build international collaborations, and work with experts to influence on issues related to climate and environment in their communities and beyond.

We are seeking 24 rising-star climate and environment researchers to form the cohort, and as an ACU Council member, I’d like to ask you to share this opportunity with your network and recommend outstanding research talents to apply.

We are especially keen that experienced researchers from the Commonwealth’s most climate-vulnerable regions take part in this opportunity to advocate on behalf of local concerns.

 Benefits of the cohort

ACU members involved in the cohort will have opportunities to enhance the contribution of their researchers to the SDGs and access a platform for partnership development on climate-related issues (i.e. via the ACU’s Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network), resulting in potential new research collaborations.

Throughout 2021, successful applicants will benefit from funded attendance at COP26 in Glasgow (travel restrictions permitting), attend expert-led training to strengthen leadership skills, engage with climate change policy dialogues, connect with other bright minds in the field, and complete a peer-led research-to-action project with seed funding.”

Introducing Yammer

What is Yammer?

Yammer is our enterprise social network, a private and secure online environment.  Use Yammer to discuss ideas, and share updates. Yammer allows both staff and students to connect and collaborate across UC. Yammer is extremely intuitive and easy to use. It’s here to help you form connections across UC.

Yammer lets you:

  • Find answers faster: You can tap into the UC network to see who can answer your question or can show you where to look
  • Brainstorm with anyone in UC. You might find inspiration from within your department or through engagement with other colleges and teams.
  • Stay connected on the go and wherever you are: Follow what’s happening with your co-workers, teams and the larger UC community on campus and off.

Why should I use Yammer?

Working in Yammer is open, easy, and fun.

Here are a few of the ways you can use Yammer:

  • Ask questions and get quick answers even if you don’t know who has the answer.
  • Meet and connect with the staff and students who share your interests.
  • Share news and announcements with the people who need to know.
  • Ask for opinions and ideas from across UC.
  • Coordinate work between different projects and teams.
  • Gain visibility from leaders and insight on what’s happening at UC.
  • Stay connected on-the-go with Yammer mobile apps.
  • Share your photographs so we can easily share across our social media channels.
  • Notify other departments of updates from your department that is relevant to them.
  • Enhance learning and connections with students in and out of the classroom.
  • Create student communities to allow them to engage with staff and students when they cannot be physically on campus.
  • Allow for new networking opportunities across programs and network with the wider UC community.

With Yammer, you can join groups based on your interests and responsibilities. You can also create public or private groups for departments, project teams, or special interests.

When is Yammer being launched?

Early in the New Year we will send you more information about Yammer.  Employees who are not yet signed up for Yammer will receive an email with instructions on how to sign up and join our network.

How do I sign up?

  • First log into Microsoft 365 at using your UC credentials.
  • Next, go to
  • If prompted, type in your UC e-mail address and click Join.
  • Set up your profile on the UC Network. Add a picture, details about your expertise, join groups, follow colleagues, and invite others to join!

NOTE: If you had joined Yammer in the past your previous password will no longer work.  You now need to use your UC password.

Next steps for Yammer?

We wanted to get Yammer up and running over the Holiday Break so staff and our international students could test and engage with the tool. In the New Year we will send more communications with tips around how to improve teamwork, communications and collaboration across departments.

ACU News and Funding Opportunities

Make the most of our membership of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).

Included this in this month’s newsletter:

  • Catch up on The Internationalist  (podcast)
  • Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships – close on 18 Jan 2021
  • New Commonwealth Peace & Reconciliation Challenge Grant applications now open – close on 15 Jan 2021
  • Future of Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges virtual summit – 4 December
  • Going Global 2021 call for proposals – close 15 Jan 2021
  • What’s the place for reparations at universities?
  • Belonging at university – an equal future?
  • Making digital higher education a reality for all.

Plus, sector news:

  • UNESCO ‘World in 2030’ Public Survey: climate change and biodiversity loss biggest concern by far, multilateralism and education most important solutions [UNESCO]
  • COVID-19 crisis accentuating the need to bridge digital divides [OECD]
  • OECD and UNDP launch a plan to align global finance with sustainable development [UNDP]

Karen Mather, People and Culture (formerly HR)