Recipient: Andrea Forde
Unit: UCD Research
Nominator: Triona McCormack, Professor Orla Feely
Andrea Forde is being recognised for doing the quiet work of the organisation, every day looking for ways to improve the work environment for her colleagues. When the pandemic hit, Andrea came into her own. As staff across the unit struggled with adapting to home working Andrea was available to them, providing practical support, a listening ear and a virtual coffee. She was the UCD Research nominee on the Covid Committee and in her ‘spare’ time contributed to the Contact Tracing Team in UCD.
As the pandemic progressed, researchers, in particular PhD students, became distressed and anxious about delays to their research. The HEA recognised the challenge and provided a Covid Extension Fund, with UCD receiving €8.26M from the fund which needed a fast and rigorous system to allocate. In her role as General Manager of the unit, Andrea knew the stresses the pre and post awards team were already under and took on full responsibility for the design, development and implementation of the process. Without question of grade, or whose work it was, Andrea simply stepped in working with Finance, HR, IT and Graduate Studies to design an end-to-end online process that quickly, fairly and efficiently allocated the funds. She is a shining light of internal volunteerism – those who take on the responsibility of making the environment better for those around them. This is just one example of many.
Andrea is being recognised, among other values, for her collegiality through close collaboration with colleagues across UCD and engagement in actively seeking input from the research community.