Starting Out at the School of Agriculture and Food Science
Welcome to the UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science. We appreciate that starting out in a new environment can be difficult, so we have collated some useful links and information for you to help you on your way.
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UCD offers a range of scholarships to facilitate widening participation in UCD. Through UCD Access and Lifelong Learning, students from a variety of backgrounds including mature students, school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds and those with a disability are encouraged to progress and succeed at UCD.
UCD recognizes Student excellence and achievement in academic affairs, sport and performing arts and recognises the importance of student contribution to college life and to the wider community through a wide variety of competitive scholarships and awards. For full details go to: www.ucd.ie/scholarships
You should receive a checklist with your contract covering essentials such as getting a staff card and registering with UCD's IT Services. Once you have set yourself up, your PI or supervisor will introduce you to those elements of the School most relevant to your project or area.
UCD runs regular orientation events for new researchers to help familiarise them with the University. We recommend you reserve a place at the earliest opportunity by booking at https://www.ucd.ie/researchcareers/eventscalendar/
There is also a dedicated one-day Postdoc orientation session where you will be introduced to Postdoc-specific supports and opportunities as well as the UCD Research Careers Framework. You can book your place at https://www.ucd.ie/researchcareers/eventscalendar/
Once you are settled in, you will work with your PI to establish a Research Skills and Career Development roadmap to achieve what you need from your time at UCD to advance your career.
We also advise incoming researchers to consult UCD's Postdoc Handbook, which features a range of advice from researchers and mentors on practical matters such as career scoping, engagement and outreach, and how to progress your personal and professional development while at UCD.
At School level, you should complete your Local Induction Checklist with your Head of School or PI. This will help inform you about essentials such as getting set up with IT passwords, locating and accessing various facilities and getting to know key members of SAFS staff and fellow researchers. If you are arriving from overseas, your PI will also provide advice on practical matters such as setting up a bank account, getting a social security number, or securing accommodation.
Postdocs are entitled to 3 professional development days a year as part of UCD’s Research Careers Framework and we strongly encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities by engaging with UCD’s Career Development Centre. This service provides a number of supports and resources that will help you enhance your skills and develop your career. Postdocs can also take advantage of UCD Innovation and Research Services, where they will find assistance with research proposals, skills and careers consultancy.
In addition to your local induction checklist, UCD offers a Getting Started Information Pack which covers essentials such as getting your Personnel Number, your staff card and registering with UCD's IT Services. UCD runs regular orientation events for new staff to familiarise them with the University and ensure they get the most out of their time here. These half-day sessions will be advertised to you upon joining the University, and we recommend you reserve a place at the earliest opportunity by booking at https://www.ucd.ie/peopledevelopment/ourservices/newtoucd/
Technical and Administrative staff receive local induction from their line manager. This will be tailored to the specific needs of their role and duties but will also include items general to the School such as identity of key members of staff, facilities, and the various social/community events we run regularly.
The School has over 100 academic, technical and administrative staff that teach, conduct research and provide service at many levels to the agriculture and food industry. We have a wonderful community spirit and are always looking for ways to expand our social activities. A dedicated voluntary Staff Common Room team ensures that the kettle is boiled, and tea, coffee and biscuits are on offer (as well as wide ranging opinions on current topics!) in the staff room at 11am each weekday morning. Charity coffee mornings, Christmas, Valentine’s and Easter raffles are held in the staff room and draw a lively crowd. We take pride in sponsoring teams to participate in the many UCD charity events, look out for the posters during the year.
The student Common Room located on the Lower Ground floor also offers a community space for students with tea and coffee on offer each morning at a kiosk run by the Agricultural Science Society (AgSoc). Other student societies with origins in SAFS include the UCD Horticulture Society and the Nutrition Society.
The Ag Soc Committee presenting a cheque for €65,000 to their chosen charities
Commencing in September each year, the School Research Innovation and Impact Committee organises a lunchtime Research Seminar Series, where invited scientists from the school, the wider UCD community and external institutions present seminars about their current research. The seminars are designed to inform and foster discussion about current research activities across disciplines and to highlight the latest developments across the major research themes underpinning the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science. The seminars are open to both UCD staff and students and to individuals from outside UCD.
Dr. Bridget Lynch, School of Agriculture and Food Science presenting her research at the School research seminar.
A great way for students to get involved in the School comunity is through the Great Agri-Food Debate. The Great Agri-Food Debate offers a platform for SAFS students to represent the school and showcase their speaking and debating skills in front of prospective future employers in the Irish Agri-food sector. The school team is selected over two rounds of heats held in Semester 1 and staff are encouraged to support the heats and participate in the team selection and subsequent mentoring.
The school debating team pictured with staff in advance of a recent debate.