Professional Services Conference

The Professional Service Conference: Staying Connected, will take place from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday 23 September via Teams Live. 

Five sessions, spread across a single day, will provide professional services colleagues with an opportunity to consider the University’s major challenges and opportunities ahead; to share experiences of how we have adapted our working practices during the pandemic; and to think about ways that you can continue to grow professionally here at the University.  

We will also hear more about how as a group, professional services, have been integral to supporting the University throughout the pandemic; and there will be opportunities to nominate exceptional colleagues to be recognised at the event.  

All colleagues in administrative and professional roles are welcome to attend, both in the central University and in academic divisions, departments and colleges. 


About the sessions

Find out more about each session below. You can sign up to all of the sessions – or just one or two.  

To sign up, please visit the registration page. Please ensure you register by 18 September, to receive joining instructions. 

Session overviews 

NB: All sessions will include Q&A sessions. You will have an opportunity to submit questions beforehand for the Registrar's Update, via the registration form, or during the other events on Teams Live. 

Registrar’s update 10-10.50am

The Registrar Gill Aitken gives an update about the University’s continued response to the pandemic and – and looks forward to consider the University’s plans for the academic year ahead.  

Professional services beyond the pandemic 11-11.50am

Leaders of the University’s professional services outline the challenges and opportunities that have emerged from COVID-19 – with a focus on how our services have adapted, the lessons they have learned, and how these will change the way we work in the future.  
Chair: Lukasz Bohdan, Director of Assurance 

Developing yourself 1-1.50pm

Find out about the support that is available for your professional development – through People and Organisational Development, locally in departments, and through new initiatives included in the Focus on People programme.  The session will give you an opportunity to reflect on your own professional development, and to share ideas that will shape the support we provide you in the future.  

  • Sophie Brotherston. Professional Development Framework Practitioner 
  • Anna Sanders. People and Organisational Development

New ways of working 2-2.50pm

Representatives from HR and Occupational Health will highlight how the University is supporting on-site and home working in the coming months, with advice and tips on wellbeing to ensure we all maintain good physical and mental health during these challenging times.

  • Sarah Thonemann, Deputy Director of HR
  • Ruth Kinahan, HR Policy Manager
  • Kate Butler, HR Policy Officer
  • Les Wright, Interim Director of Occupational Health and Safety
  • Clare Wakeham, Organisational Development Adviser (POD)
  • Sarah Stephenson-Hunter, Staff Disability Advisor

Professional services and Covid-19 3-3.50pm

Hear from the professional services and academic staff shaping the progress of the Oxford covid-19 vaccine – both those developing and implementing the vaccine, as well as those working on plans make up to 400 million doses available through a partnership with AstraZeneca.  

  • Professor Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity,  
  • Parvinder Aley, Operations Manager, from the Oxford Vaccine Group 
  • Adam Stoten, Chief Operating Officer at Oxford University Innovation 




To ensure you do not miss out on the ability to connect with new people or the chance to share ideas and experiences of working over the last few months, Microsoft Teams groups will be set up – giving you an opportunity to pose questions, share hints and tips and discuss topics related to the day’s sessions. If you would not like to be included in the Teams groups, you can state this via the registration form

Nominate an exceptional colleague 

Would you like to nominate an exceptional colleague who has helped an individual or team through the last few months? Whether this has been working on a large-scale project, to just taking some time out of your day for a virtual cuppa, when it was needed most, we would like to hear from you. 

You can nominate a colleague via the relevant section of the registration form. This can be anonymous, if you wish. We will share some of your nominations during the Registrar’s update.  

The usual face-to-face Professional Services Conference will take place on the 19 April 2021.

Contact us

UAS Communications

Academic Administration Division

University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD