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Virtual meeting screenshot, room set up for online teaching, cat sitting in an office chair and a bird peering down through a sky light window

Since April, the Department of Paediatrics have been running fortnightly virtual town hall meetings for their staff and students. Apart from the departmental, administrative and social updates, they were very pleased to have some first-hand information on the COVID-19 vaccine front, thanks to the tireless work of the Oxford Vaccine Group. Additionally, the town hall meetings have featured guest speakers (selected from across the research groups) who talk about their life and work in lockdown – complete with anecdotes, pictures and videos. They explored the research in the department, and got a glimpse of the daily lives of their colleagues – from lockdown in Kenya, to going for dips in the Thames, to organising sock drawers, to the challenges of home schooling, to organising Shackleton-worthy expeditions around Hampstead Heath. The departmental town hall meetings provided a opportunity to catch up and ask questions, and help them develop as a cohesive team. They will definitely continue this tradition in the New Year!

Professor Mike Clarke has gone from teaching in classrooms across Oxford to teaching in his students homes, seamlessly delivering the EBHC MSC Systematic Reviews modules online (with his laptop sometimes precariously balanced on a convenient pile of books!) Read about his experiences.

The Surgical Interventions Trial Unit (SITU) team share some hints, tips, advice, experiences and challenges that they have faced on how they have effectively adapted to working from home in a blog. From morning yoga to an evening walk, the team have shared how they have been keeping motivated. Read SITU's blog.

The Oxford Women in Data Science (WiDS) group was launched despite lockdown. It kicked off with an inaugural meeting on 24 November featuring three guest speakers discussing how they work with data to a virtual audience. Over 150 women and men were interested in joining the new group which forms part of the Global Women in Science Network that started as a one-day conference at Stanford in November 2015. In just five years, WiDS has grown to a global movement that reaches over 100,000 people in more than 60 countries with a number of initiatives to inspire and educate data scientists regardless of gender. Read the Women in Data Science blog interview