Membership Policy & Guidelines

June 2020


The UCD Earth Institute is University College Dublin’s research institute for environmental research. It aims to combine its members’ expertise to tackle global, regional and national environmental challenges and, in doing so, to further its reputation as a leading environmental research centre, renowned for its research excellence, innovation, impact and engagement. We are a member-led Institute, addressing challenges relating to (i) ecosystems and evolution, (ii) developing crops for the future, (iii) climate, (iv) water, (v) energy and resources, (vi) the built and constructed environment and (vii) sustainable communities, with cross-cutting interests encompassing research and education; policy and governance; social enterprise and innovation; and society and engagement.


The mission of the UCD Earth Institute is to maximise UCD’s research excellence through funding, output and impact in addressing environmental challenges. It was established to promote interdisciplinary collaboration in environmental research and engagement by stimulating new ideas and facilitating new connections and initiatives. The Institute seeks, through its members, to be a prominent voice in environmental research, policy, management and innovation in national and international spheres. It aims to stimulate and facilitate engagement by UCD researchers with environmental policy-makers, decision-makers, industry and wider publics with a view to maximising UCD’s profile and impact.


The UCD Earth Institute recognises the benefits of a large membership of committed environmental researchers from across the spectrum of disciplines in UCD.  Many of its activities are geared towards establishing and maintaining a diverse and vibrant community of researchers, such that connections can be formed and collaborative relationships developed, enabling rapid multi-disciplinary responses to emerging challenges and opportunities.


The membership policy seeks to deliver maximum benefit to the UCD Earth Institute and its members in both addressing of research challenges and meeting its strategic objectives, as outlined in the UCD Earth Institute Strategy 2018-2020.


Why join the UCD Earth Institute?

We are a multidisciplinary community of active researchers of all career stages and welcome new members from any relevant discipline with an interest in environmental research.


As a member-led Institute, the success of the UCD Earth Institute is based on an active and engaged membership. Members and their teams of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers, technical and support staff are encouraged to contribute to the life of the Institute through their own academic endeavours as well as through being open to interdisciplinary collaboration and by contributing to events and programmes designed to enhance the profile and reputation of the Institute (e.g. keynote events, seminars, conferences etc.). Our aim is to ensure that members will actively support the mission and vision of the Institute and deliver high quality research outputs, while the Institute team will provide a level of support and expertise to assist them.


There are a number of specific benefits to Institute membership including:


  • A vibrant programme of activities and events, providing opportunities to meet colleagues and develop new research ideas and activities
  • Financial and logistical support of multidisciplinary activities that address Institute strategic priorities
  • A training programme to support the career development of members and their teams
  • Access to a network of expertise, mentorship opportunities, advice and supports in:
    • Research and education
    • Social innovation and enterprise
    • Policy and governance
    • Engagement and society
  • Access to the technology platforms and laboratories curated by the Institute and its members
  • Administrative support for Institute-related events or outreach activities
  • Promotion of your research and associated activities through the Institute’s communication channels
  • Searchable public profile on the Institute website.


Membership levels

The Institute has two levels of membership:


Full membership:

  • Open to all research-active UCD academic staff working in environment-related research in UCD
  • Access to full range of membership benefits


Associate membership:

  • Open to all postgraduate, postdoctoral, technical and administrative support staff working in environment-related research in UCD
  • Access to Institute events, activities, training, networking and mentorship

Affiliate membership:

  • Open to visiting academics and others not employed by UCD to recognise contribution to the Institute
  • Access to Institute events, activities and networking


Membership criteria

  • Applications are welcome from independent researchers across all disciplines and at all career stages who wish to make a contribution to the success of the UCD Earth Institute.
  • To be eligible for Full Membership, applicants should be research active, with evidence in their application of activity in one or more of the following areas:
  • research outputs
  • research funding
  • supervision of PhD and/or MRes students
  • innovation, commercialisation and/or policy/management related activities
  • engagement and outreach activities.


Full Membership application process

  • Applications can be made at any time.
  • Full Membership applications are reviewed by the Institute Director in conjunction with a Membership Sub-Committee of the Institute’s Executive Management Committee.
  • In order to assist the Membership Sub-Committee in considering all new applications for membership, applicants are asked to fill out the online Application Form and submit it to the Institute Manager (, including:
  • a short CV outlining career achievements to date
  • an accompanying brief statement on you they are interested in joining the Institute (max 300 words). The supporting statement should also indicate which of the Institute’s research challenges the applicant sees themselves as helping to address and how they see themselves engaging with and contributing to Institute activities.
  • 5 key words relating to current research, an indication of which (if any) of the UN Sustainable Development Goals align with your research interests, and a high resolution image (1MB+) for use on your personal profile on the Institute website.
  • a signed and dated Membership policy acceptance statement (see page 7)
  • a completed expertise questionnaire (see page 8)
  • The Institute’s Membership Sub-Committee will review all applications and make a final recommendation regarding membership status. The Institute Director reserves the right to recommend to the Executive Management Committee members who, regardless of the criteria above, demonstrate an ability to make a significant contribution to the Earth Institute.
  • The Institute Director will bring the findings of the Membership Sub-Committee to Executive Management Committee for consideration and approval. Applicants will receive a written outcome immediately after this process. The Director will meet with all incoming members to discuss the practical implications of membership.


Associate Membership application process

  • Open to all postgraduate, postdoctoral, technical and administrative support staff working in environment-related research in UCD
  • If a PI is a full Member, all members of the PI’s research group and associated staff are automatically considered Associate Members and should contact to be entered onto the membership mailing list if they are not already receiving emails.
  • Other prospective applicants for Associate Membership should submit their name, current position, including PI where appropriate, and a UCD email address to with ‘Associate Membership application’ in the subject line. Associate Membership will typically be confirmed within two weeks.


Affiliate Membership application process

  • Open to visiting academics and others not employed by UCD to recognise contribution to the Institute
  • Applications can be made at any time
  • Affiliate Membership applications are reviewed by the Institute Director in conjunction with a Membership Sub-Committee of the Institute’s Executive Management Committee.
  • Prospective Affiliate Members should be proposed by a current Full Member of the Earth Institute (see for full listing of our current members). The nomination should be sent to and include a short CV and rationale for Affiliate Membership, including details of contribution to the activities and life of the Institute
  • Affiliate Members may avail of desk space in the Earth Institute, where appropriate and subject to availability


Policy on provision of research space

Members of the Institute may request office space in the Earth Institute space on the 4th floor Science Centre East, subject to availability. The Institute Director will consider all requests for space in consultation with the Executive Management Committee and under the guidelines of relevant University space allocation policies (e.g. Science Centre Space Management Policy). Final decisions about allocation of space in the Science Centre are made by the Science Centre Space Management Committee. PhD students and Postdoctoral researchers associated with the member may also be granted space, subject to availability, but the Institute management team is not in a position to:


  • guarantee that space will be continually available for expanding groups or
  • that space allocated to team members will be contiguous.


The Institute management team will make every effort to satisfy the requirements of members with regard to space allocation, but we ask members to be mindful of the many demands on our infrastructure, given the size of our membership.


Institute members are able to access the technology platforms and research supports within the Institute, regardless of their own location, and can do so by contacting the Institute management team for more details. Members availing of research space provision will be obliged to adhere to the Earth Institute policies pertaining to management of research space.

Full Membership terms and conditions

  • Full Membership is typically reviewed every 5 years.
  • If the Director, in conjunction the Member, concludes at any time that membership of the Institute is no longer of mutual benefit, membership can be terminated.
  • Members will periodically be asked to list and describe successful research activities that have been contributed to by Earth Institute activities, e.g. through establishment of contact with new researchers, through ideas stimulated by Institute events or due to direct support of any kind.
  • Members will periodically be asked for news items and images for dissemination through the Institute’s communications platforms and are requested to actively disseminate Institute news items through their own platforms.
  • A policy of ‘dual affiliation’ will apply, whereby publications and activities undertaken by members will acknowledge both the person’s School and the Institute, when your membership of the Institute has contributed in some way. This applies to publications, grant applications, grants, press releases and other public communications.
  • Members are encouraged maintain an up-to-date profile on the UCD Research Management System (RMS), allowing the Institute support team to report against key metrics of success.
  • All applicants for membership are required to indicate their agreement to the terms and conditions by signing a Membership Policy Acceptance Statement (on Page 7 below) and completing the Expertise Questionnaire, returning the document to


Membership Application Form