Student Email Communications 2019/20

Student Communications 2019/20

View prior email communications sent from Graduate Studies to UCD graduate research students. 

‘If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere’.
Seamus Heaney 
This quote from one of Ireland’s best-loved poets has assumed particular resonance during the COVID-19 pandemic. We may not be exploring far-flung destinations just yet, but the University is slowly reopening and plans are underway this summer to welcome students back for the new university year. 
UCD services and resources may take time to reopen fully, due to COVID-19 restrictions. However please be assured that all staff are working hard to ensure the fullest access possible, whilst respecting social distancing requirements. I understand that Library access was to the forefront of your concerns. I have worked with the Library to prioritise access for research students and you may now consult and borrow resources, following these guidelines.
Virtual Coffee Morning for research students will take place tomorrow 8th July at 11am, hosted by your Student Adviser Ms Carita Bramhill, and I would encourage you to attend. This is a great opportunity to connect with your fellow students and the Graduate Studies team and to raise any questions or concerns you have.   

Coffee Morning Details

11am-12pm Wednesday 8th July 
Zoom Meeting Link (available from 11am tomorrow)
Meeting ID: 972 7213 3793
Password: 638794
We continue to maintain a COVID-related FAQ on the website and this is updated regularly. 
I was delighted to award prizes at the recent ThesisIn3 competition, run virtually via Zoom this year and with over 60 spectators. Congratulations once again to our winner, Tom Hall from the School of Agriculture and Food Science, and runners-up George Vathakkattil Joseph (School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering) and Ciara Hayes (School of Veterinary Medicine). Tom goes on to present UCD at the Universitas 21 Three Minute Thesis competition in the autumn. I thank all eight finalists for their entries. It made me proud to witness the presentations from Ciara, Deva, Gianluca, George & George, Lisa, Lorna and Tom, who all represented their topics, Schools and UCD with aplomb. Videos of the eight presentations are now available on the Graduate Studies website.  I encourage all of you to view their entries and to take the opportunity to engage with such initiatives. 

ThesisIn3 Finalists and Results 2020


Tom Hall, School of Agriculture and Food Science
'TB or not TB; Can networks answer the question?'


Ciara Jessica Hayes, School of Veterinary Medicine
'Milking It! Growing Irish dairy cows to increase their production potential'
George Vathakkattil Joseph, School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
'In-Sync: Learning to compute from fireflies'

Students Union Winners

Best at making me care about something that I wasn’t interested in before
Gianluca Fontanesi, School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
'The drone effect'
Best image
George Vathakkattil Joseph, School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
'In-Sync: Learning to compute from fireflies'
Best relatable example/Analogy
Lorna Conway, School of Chemistry
'Clamping Down on Cancer One Drug at a Time'
Catchiest Title
 Tom Hall, School of Agriculture and Food Science
'TB or not TB; Can networks answer the question?'
Devasanthini Devaraj, School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering
'Repurpose the gas networks'
George Merces, School of Medicine
'Much a-Glue About Nothing'
Lisa Rogers, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems
'Power: an ingredient for success or a recipe for disaster'
I would like to congratulate the new UCDSU Graduate Officer, Ms. Carla Gummerson and wish her the best in her new role.  One of her first engagements was with the ThesisIn3, where she judged the Student Union categories in her very first week. 
I was cheered to see keen interest and positive feedback from the recent Thesis BootCamp, provided by Graduate Studies as a resource to help students write their first draft. Again, the 2020 Bootcamp took place via Zoom and had a large attendance of 33 Stage 2 PhD candidates, with positive reports on the virtual format. 
We are working to adjust to the new socially-distanced reality and we will continue to enhance our online offerings in the new academic year.  More information to follow on that.
I also welcome the establishment of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science as a very positive development and we look forward to working with the new Minister.
Otherwise, I encourage you all to take some time to rest and reflect over the summer. The past few months have been difficult across the board.  I recognise and empathise with the stress of working remotely, the uncertainty about what is to come, along with worries about health and about your loved ones. We hope that restrictions can continue to be relaxed and the University is working to bring everyone back safely, in line with Government advice. The UCD COVID-19 website is kept up to date so you can review advice and information at any time.  
I wish you a pleasant summer, wherever that may be, and we look forward to welcoming you back for the new academic year. 
Very best wishes,
Professor Barbara Dooley
Dean of Graduate Studies

UCD Graduate Studies invites you to attend the ThesisIn3 competition 2020

Research students are challenged to present their research in three minutes, using only one slide, to a non-specialist audience. Entrants must distil their niche subjects and intensive research into bite-sized presentations that will inform and entertain.

The winner of ThesisIn3 will go on to represent UCD in the Universitas21 Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®)

When and where
The ThesisIn3 Competition will take place on Friday 19 June 2020, from 11:30-12:30 via Zoom. 

The videos will be shown, followed by a Q&A and announcement of the winning entries by Professor Barbara Dooley, Dean of Graduate Studies and Deputy Registrar. 

All members of the UCD Community are welcome to spectate. Come along with a tea/coffee to enjoy the presentations and support the participating students:

2020 Finalists

Gianluca Fontanesi (School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering),

  • George Vathakkattil Joseph (School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering)
  • Devasanthini Devaraj (School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering)
  • Ciara Jessica Hayes (School of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Lorna Conway (School of Chemistry)
  • Lisa Rogers (School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems)
  • Tom Hall (School of Agriculture and Food Science)
  • George Merces (School of Medicine)

Register here to receive an email with the details and a calendar invite

Zoom details 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 978 6187 7649

Password: 821683

More info on our website.

We hope to see many of you on Friday morning.

Kind regards,

UCD Graduate Studies

Dear students,
UCD life continues online this Summer trimester. I wanted to take the opportunity to check in and help you stay connected with the University at this time. Please be assured we are all working hard across UCD, to ensure your activities can continue virtually and to plan a return to university life as soon as possible. 
Firstly, the question on everyone’s lips - when can we return to campus? We are all glad to see some hopeful signs of the rate of COVID-19 decreasing. The University is actively working to resume or adapt activities, as appropriate. A Working Group has been set up, planning a return to campus once it is safe and with the appropriate social distancing measures in place.  Research is high on the agenda. You should keep in close contact with your supervisor, who can advise when it may be possible for you to return to UCD for research purposes. This link may be helpful. However, a note of caution: we are working on the basis of government guidelines and the situation is evolving. Your safety is of paramount importance. 
In the meantime, we encourage you to reach out and to make use of the resources available from UCD.  I am including information on online supports and resources at the University:
PhD Progression Virtually
As I said, do maintain regular contact with your supervisor, who can advise and support you on work that can be carried out virtually, as well as when you can return to campus.  
  • Supervisor meetings can be held via Zoom. Did you know, you can upload documents (meeting minutes etc.) in your SISWeb account which is shared with your Supervisor? 
  • Stage Transfer Assessments and Viva Voces are being successfully conducted virtually 
  • The UCD eThesis system means you can submit your thesis online. 
  • I would also advise you to work on your Research and Professional Development Plan. All RPDP information and forms are available via the Graduate Studies website.
These resources are being kept up to date, in line with current guidance. 
Student Adviser for Graduate Research Students
We understand that this is a worrying time and we are thinking of your welfare & wellbeing.  If you have specific concerns, UCD Graduate Research students have a dedicated Student Adviser, Ms Carita Bramhill. You can contact Carita directly. Many queries are related to funding and UCD Vice President for Research, Impact and Innovation Prof. Orla Feely continues to liaise and advocate with funding agencies on your behalf.
Virtual Coffee Morning Wednesday 3rd June
Student Adviser Ms. Carita Bramhill organised a coffee morning via Zoom on 2 May last and I was glad to attend and hear directly about issues affecting you. Carita will hold another coffee meeting on Wednesday 3rd June and I will attend once again. These are very informal and we encourage you all to come along. It is a great means of connecting with your fellow students and also to tell me about issues you are experiencing and how we can help.
  • Wednesday 3rd June at 11:00 via Zoom
  • Sign up here  
U21 Researcher Resilience Fund - Call for Applications Now Open!
Funding Opportunity: U21 is launching a Researcher Resilience Fund to support the development of the network’s PhD and early career researchers. This fund is designed to develop researchers' capability and capacity to work digitally or virtually in order to adapt to life as a researcher post-COVID-19. 
Full information and application form here
Transferable Skills: Online Workshops
We are pleased to announce that Hugh Kearns is back to deliver another series of workshops this trimester, following overwhelmingly positive feedback on his April sessions. 
  • Monday 25th May AND Tuesday 2nd June - PhD Masterclass: Defeating Self-Sabotage (2 part course, you must attend both sessions)
  • Thursday 4th June - The Impostor Syndrome
  • Friday 12th June - Presenting your Research with Confidence
More information here and you can sign up here.
Mindfulness (via Zoom)
This pandemic is affecting us all and it is important to stay well in mind as well as in body. Mindfulness classes for UCD students are running via Zoom on Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm, facilitated by fellow UCD graduate student Emily Lewis. More details here.
UCD Student Counselling Phone Consultations
In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the UCD Student Counselling Service is offering brief single-session phone consultations to UCD students who feel they may benefit from psychological support at this time. Full details and sign up are available via their website
UCD Careers Consultations 
Career consultations are ongoing virtually, please book via Careers Connect as normal. Skills Workshops and CV Clinics will be offered online over the summer. Please contact Ms. Ger Lardner if there are specific topics you would like to see in these workshops.
We hope to return to campus before too long and I will keep you appraised of plans.  In the meantime, stay well and do stay connected with each other and with the University.  
I hope to see many of you for the coffee morning on 3rd June. 
Kind regards,
Professor Barbara Dooley, Dean of Graduate Studies
Following positive feedback from the April online sessions, Hugh Kearns is back to deliver a series of Transferable Skills workshops for graduate research students in UCD. 
These will take place via Zoom, meaning you can attend online, from wherever you are located. 
Workshop Details
  • Monday 25th May and Tuesday 2nd June 14:00-16:30 - PhD Masterclass: Defeating Self-Sabotage (Note: this is a 2 part course, you must attend both sessions)
  • Thursday 4th June 9:30-11:30 - The Impostor Syndrome
  • Friday 12th June  9:30-11:30 - Presenting your Research with Confidence
Book now via SisWeb. More information here.
Zoom is the recommended virtual system for video conferencing, supported by UCD IT Services. 
Information on how to download and use Zoom can be found here
Video resources
A reminder that we have some video resources available on our YouTube channel, delivered by the Graduate Studies team.
We hope you will find these workshops helpful. 
Kind regards,
UCD Graduate Studies

We hope you are staying well and staying connected. We realise that working and studying remotely can present particular challenges. The University is keen to support you, however we can. 


To that end, your Student Adviser Ms Carita Bramhill will be hosting a Virtual Coffee Morning for Graduate Research students.


  • When: Tuesday 5th May at 11am

  • Where: via Zoom

  • Sign up here (we will send the Zoom details to everyone who registers)


Professor Barbara Dooley, Dean of Graduate Studies will attend and we encourage you to come along.  This is a great and informal opportunity to connect with fellow students and ask questions you may have, particularly with the Dean present. 


Please also find attached Staying Well When Doing Research. This is a short adaptation of Hugh Kearns’ book ‘52 Ways of Staying Well’. We hope this may be a useful reference for you. 


We would also like to remind you that we are maintaining a COVID-19 FAQ, which is being updated regularly. We encourage you all to stay in touch regularly with your supervisor.


Finally, a small request: we plan a revamp of the Graduate Studies website and would appreciate feedback from you, the students, as a key user group. Please provide your feedback via this short form.


We hope to see you on campus again before too long.

In the meantime, hope to chat to many of you over a cup of tea/coffee next week. 


Kind regards,


UCD Graduate Studies

Dear students,
We are facing a situation that is unprecedented in our lifetimes, and I know that coronavirus (COVID-19) is altering our lives in ways that would have been unimaginable just a few weeks ago. I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that UCD is here to support you. 
We are now operating fully at a distance, and we have a variety of supports available to our Graduate Research students: 
  • Firstly, do stay in touch with your supervisor.
    Supervision will continue, albeit remotely, and we encourage you to maintain contact via Zoom or phone.  Zoom is supported by UCD IT Services and is the recommended virtual system for both supervision and RSP meetings.
  • Secondly, we realise you have questions. UCD has a dedicated COVID-19 website with information on logistics, access etc. We are maintaining a FAQ on the Graduate Studies website, to provide you with the best and most up-to-date information. The situation is constantly evolving: please check back as it will be updated regularly. 
  • I understand some of you will have concerns about funding and scholarships.  This situation is completely unprecedented and please be assured that our Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact Prof. Orla Feely is actively engaging with funding providers.  If you are facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 crisis, please contact your Student Adviser Ms. Carita Bramhill (, who will be able to advise as to your options.
  • If you have a query that is not covered in the above FAQ, please contact 
We are also thinking of your wellbeing at this time.  There are supports available to you from the University:
  • We invite you to participate in online mindfulness sessions, beginning April 7th. These are run exclusively for students via Zoom, kindly offered by fellow graduate student Emily Lewis. Details are attached and you can sign up via the UCD Mindfulness Facebook page. (Click here to check out the short video “What is Mindfulness”)
  • UCD Student Counselling Service is offering brief single-session phone consultations to students who feel they may benefit from psychological support at this time. For more info and to sign up, see here.
  • Silvercloud is a flexible, effective and easy to use online mental health support system that all UCD students can access.
  • One to One Career Consultations will continue remotely. Please book via Careers Connect. Open group sessions will also be resuming via Zoom. Keep an eye on the bulletins for more details and if you are interested in a particular topic, please contact Career & Skills Adviser Ms. Ger Lardner ( 
  • The UCD Student Adviser for graduate research students is Ms Carita Bramhill. You can reach Carita directly at
The following are some tips and advice to support your mental health and wellbeing during this difficult time:
  • Keep a structure to your day. Keeping a daily routine can help your mental health, particularly when you are living in new circumstances.
  • Build in time for activities you enjoy (self-care) like reading a book, listening to music, drawing/painting or other creative activities, or going for a walk (observing social distancing of course). Even just a few minutes a day consciously spent on self-care can make a big difference.
  • Consider limiting your time on social media and/or consuming news.
  • Continue/implement healthy eating and sleeping habits.
  • Stay connected with friends and family through phone calls/video chats/text messages, etc.
We hope to resume university life, as normal, before too long. Heartfelt best wishes in the meantime to you and your loved ones. 
Stay safe, stay well and stay connected.
Dean of Graduate Studies