Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the Autumn edition of the UCD HR Newsletter and to another academic year. We hope that you find it to be a useful and helpful resource. You will find the following in this edition:


As always we are keen to hear your thoughts and ideas, so please send us your feedback to

Previous editions of this news letter & other UCD HR notices are published at



Cycle to Work Scheme Staff update

Picture of Dublin Cycle lane

UCD has introduced the Cycle to Work Scheme which is open to all permanent, indefinite duration and fixed term contract staff.  This new cycling initiative allows staff to purchase a bicycle and associated equipment tax free up to the value of €1,000.  The intention around the scheme is to encourage more staff to cycle to work. The tax incentive works through a salary sacrifice arrangement whereby UCD bears the full upfront cost of the bicycle and/or equipment and the staff member pays back through salary deduction, normally over a 12 month period.

The exemption from income tax in respect of benefit-in-kind can only be availed of once in any five year period.  As part of the UCD commuter strategy, it is anticipated that this scheme will be open annually.

The closing date for the scheme is Friday, 16th October 2009.  For further details, please refer to


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Government Approved Schemes Important Dates

The university sector has been advised that a number of schemes announced by the Government in the Spring budget now apply to eligible staff in the sector.  These are:

  • Incentivised Scheme of Early Retirement (ISER)
    Amended Closing Date for Applications is 16 October 2009.
    Please note that the requirement to be aged 50 by 11 September 2009 has been extended to 16 October 2009.
  • Shorter Working Year Scheme (Term time) – closing date 31 December 2009

Applications for the Special Incentive Career Break Scheme 2009 closed on 14 August 2009.

The HEA/Department of Finance have produced circulars outlining the details of the above schemes along with a set of frequently asked questions.  Full details on the schemes can be accessed at


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Launch of Research Careers Implementation Project

The Research Careers Implementation project was officially launched on Friday September 18th by the joint sponsors of the project, Professor Desmond Fitzgerald, Vice President for Research and Eamon Drea, Vice President for Staff.

The project represents a collaboration between UCD Research and UCD HR with significant staff resources from both areas supporting it.

The main objective for this project is to develop a clear and structured career path for current staff of researchers that will assist in attracting the brightest to UCD, while supporting the delivery of the university’s strategy and contributing to the government plan of building the smart economy.

At the project launch, Professor Fitzgerald, Vice President for Research noted “The post-doctoral community represents a very important part of the delivery of our ambitious research programme. The development of a career path will assist us in attracting and retaining the best researchers, thereby enabling us to deliver on key strategic initiatives, such as the UCD/ TCD Innovation Alliance”.

In delivering this project, UCD is taking a sectoral lead on the development of career paths for researchers and the provision of more structured and targeted training and development. It will also support researchers in managing their own careers into academia, enterprise or public service. The successful delivery of this project, in collaboration with the research community, will contribute towards UCD’s ongoing success in attracting large-scale, collaborative programmes and funding to UCD.

The project is chaired by Professor Dolores Cahill, a member of the Advisory

Picture of UCD Researcher in Lab

Science Council (ASC). The ASC provides policy advice to the Irish government on medium and long-term science, technology and innovation (STI) issues and contributes towards the development and implementation of a coherent and effective national strategy for STI. Professor Cahill previously chaired the development of the ASC policy document “Towards a Framework for Research Careers”, which provides the direction for the development of researcher careers for the sector.

Further information on this project is available at the dedicated Research Careers intranet site, which is accessible using your Connect username and password:


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Employee Assistance Programme Main Features

The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provides confidential counselling and information services to UCD staff and their family members and retirees.

The purpose of the EAP is to provide staff, their family members and retirees of UCD with easy access to confidential short term counselling and information services to assist in dealing with a broad range of issues such as personal, work-related, financial or legal issues.

The service which is free to staff was introduced as part of UCD’s commitment to the health & well-being of all staff. It was re-launched last September and is provided through the Equality & Diversity Office in HR, by Vhi Corporate Solutions, an external provider. The EAP team is bound to confidentiality by codes of ethics and practice. This means that any contact with you remains confidential.

Many staff may not be aware of the extensive nature of the provision under this programme. As part of the re-launch, the programme was broadened to include a specialist information service covering a wide range of topics such as legal, finance, and work-life balance. 

Service Features:


  • EAP Extranet:
    You can also avail of a wide range of EAP related information by accessing the following weblink and entering the username and password listed:
    To access the extranet:       Username: ucd Password: employee
  • New Parenting Newsletter:
    A new parenting newsletter will be issued bi-monthly throughout 2009/2010 commencing this September. The parenting newsletter will be available under the EAP section of the equality and diversity website:
Parenting Newsletter
  • Information and EAP related seminars:
    Information sessions on the programme took place throughout the year. As an add-on to the agreed suite of services through the EAP, 4 related seminars will be provided by Vhi Corporate Solutions during 2009/2010. The seminars offered are:
Personal well-being (Half day seminar) 30th October 2009
Financial planning (Lunchtime seminar) 25th November 2009
Personal well-being (Half day seminar) 15th January 2010
Financial planning (Lunchtime seminar) 10th February 2010

These seminars are free but prior registration is required. For further information or to register for any of the seminars above please e-mail

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Planned Upgrade of Employee Self Service (ESS) to new "CorePortal"

UCD HR is in the process of upgrading ESS to CoreHR’s most recent offering called CorePortal.  The new Portal will provide a future platform for UCD HR to enhance the self service options available to UCD Staff.

The portal is expected to be live in the coming weeks and the following benefits will be immediately recognisable to staff:

  • Secure & easy access using your UCD Connect (network) authentication details
  • Improved look & feel with more intuitive menu options
  • Enhanced Payslip with improved layout & readability
  • More user friendly eRecruitment interface with a summary view of internally & externally advertised posts
Screen Grabs of new CorePortal
New CorePortal

Further information regarding the upgrade will be posted at over the coming weeks.

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HR Training & Development:
Learning & Development Programmes for 2009/10

2009/2010 Staff Learning & Development Directory

The 2009/2010 Staff Learning & Development Directory is now on-line. For an overview of the learning & development opportunities currently available to staff in the University please view . Having the directory online for 2008/09 proved to be convenient as it offered a quick and easily accessible reference source for those preparing for UCD PMDS reviews as well as being a cost effective method of publicising the programmes available. This year we have included information on tailored programmes being run by NovaUCD and UCD Library.

UCD PMDS reviews have influenced the range of courses offered in this directory as we are now providing programmes based on the learning and development needs identified and collated within your schools and units. Programmes have been prioritised based on requests. UCD training providers are now offering a more targeted approach to training, focusing on supporting staff in their work roles and linking learning to school/unit objectives, as well as taking into account the current external environment. To support this targeted approach, the programmes in this directory are listed under new categories: development pathways, programmes for managers, as well as the traditional listing under individual training providers.  Development pathways are guides or supports to help staff to identify specific programmes most relevant for each academic/professional group.


Skills Seminars, Health & Wellbeing Sessions – Book your place now!

UCD HR offer many other learning and development programmes outside of the PMDS process. Both UCD Staff Orientation and Pre-Retirement Planning  are regularly scheduled throughout the year. Our increasingly popular UCD Skills Seminars and Health & Wellbeing seminars for October to December 2009 seminars are listed (see table below).

Please regularly check our HR staff development site for updates on further scheduling of these types of courses.

Please also see in the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) section in this newsletter for details of a new series of wellbeing courses which are being delivered by VHI Corporate Solutions as part of the wide range of support services hosted by UCD’s EAP.

Upcoming seminars:

The following UCD Skills Seminars and Health & Wellbeing programmes are being run between September 2009 and December 2009. Bookings for these seminars can be made using the online seminar booking request form.


UCD Seminars Sept – Dec 2009




UCD Pensions: Notional Service & AVC's

16th October 2009

1 Hour

Pre-Retirement Planning Programme

22nd & 23rd October 2009

2 Days

UCD PMDS Refresher Reviewee Information

28th October 2009

1 Hour

UCD Pensions: New Starter

4th November 2009

1 Hour

UCD PMDS Refresher Reviewer Information

12th November 2009

1 Hour

The Skilled Interviewer

17th November 2009

2 Hours

Pre-Retirement Planning Programme

19th & 20th November 2009

2 Days

UCD Orientation

25th November 2009

1 Day

Interview Skills for Candidates

26th November 2009

2 Hours

MABS: Steadying Your Personal Finances

27th November 2009

1 Hour

UCD Pensions: New Starter

2nd December 2009

1 Hour

Key Skills to Managing Pressure

9th December 2009

1 Hour

Mid Career Financial Planning

14th December 2009

1 Day

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Christmas Holiday Arrangements 2009

Arrangements for the closure of University offices and other facilities for the 2009 Christmas holiday period are as follows:

  • University offices and general University facilities will close on the evening of Tuesday 22 December 2009.
  • General University facilities – other than offices and catering - will return to work on the morning of Monday 4 January 2010.
  • University Offices, Laboratory staff and other amenities will re-open on the morning of Tuesday 5 January 2010.

November Payroll Deadlines

Monthly Payroll - Salaried staff
Payment Date: Monday, 30th November 2009
Documentation Deadline (All Staff, including Research Funded Staff): Tuesday, 27th October 2009 (5.00 pm)

Monthly Payroll – Hourly paid staff

Payment Date: Monday, 30th November 2009
Documentation Deadline*: Tuesday, 3rd November 2009 (5.00 pm)

December Payroll Deadlines

Monthly Payroll - Salaried staff
Payment Date: Monday, 21st December 2009
Documentation Deadline (Research Funded Staff): Friday, 6th November 2009 (5.00 pm)
Documentation Deadline (All Other Staff): Friday, 13th November 2009 (5.00 pm)

Monthly Payroll – Hourly paid staff
Payment Date:  Monday, 21st December 2009
Documentation Deadline*: Tuesday, 1st December 2009 (5.00 pm)


January Payroll Deadlines

Monthly Payroll - Salaried staff
Payment Date: Friday, 29th January 2010
Documentation Deadline (Research Funded Staff): Friday, 4th December 2009 (5.00 pm)
Documentation Deadline (All Other Staff): Friday, 11th December 2009 (5.00 pm)

Monthly Payroll – Hourly paid staff
Payment Date:  Friday, 29th January 2010
Documentation Deadline*: Tuesday, 5th January 2010 (5.00 pm)


*Receipt of Timesheets, Overtime Claims etc must be received by UCD HR Compensation & Benefits, Roebuck Offices, by this date.


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Tá súil again gur bhain sibh taithneamh agus tairbhe as an nuachtlitir.
Beir bua agus beannacht.

If some colleagues in your area do not have access to e-mail, please print this newsletter and circulate it. If you have any suggestions about future topics or articles that you would like to see appear in this newsletter, please send your ideas / comments to