FAQs for Graduate Research Students

FAQs for Graduate Research Students

Last updated: 30th September 2021. 

Please note that information relating to thesis extensions can be found here

You can expect to be supervised in person subject to Government guidelines. You should consult with your supervisor, initially by email, to agree what mode of engagement would suit you both and progress from there. It is important that you and your supervisor maintain clear and regular communication and that you keep in contact with members of your RSP as needed. Supervision should continue as normal, agreeing deadlines, submitting written material, adopting feedback etc. but can be conducted virtually if needed. RSP meetings should be conducted in person. 

STA will normally be conducted in person in line with the timelines in Academic Regulations.

Zoom, which is supported by UCD IT Services, is the recommended virtual platform if needed.

Note: UCD graduate research students are eligible for a Zoom Pro account. Please see the IT Services website for further information.

This is specific to each student and their supervisor. It should be based on a schedule agreed between you and your supervisor/co-supervisor. This practice should continue whether supervision is in person or virtually.

Part 1 of the RPDP, the Record of Student Activity, should be completed by the student and can be shared with the RSP before the RSP meeting. All components of the RPDP can be completed by email, including getting signatures of the Chair, supervisor and other members of the RSP. See full RPDP details hereYour RPDP form is treated as confidential and is normally only available to your supervisor and RSP. In addition, as part of the Stage 1 to Stage 2 assessment process the Transfer Assessment Panel,  staff associated with the Transfer Assessment process (the School Administrator, the Governing Board) will also have access to the RPDP.

Upon award of a research degree by the ACCE (Academic Council Committee for Examinations), a digital copy of a UCD research thesis is automatically deposited in the Research Repository UCD (RRU) and, without an embargo being set, is immediately publicly available to view.

The default position of the university is to not place an embargo on a research thesis.  If there is a valid reason to delay the online dissemination of a thesis via the RRU, such as the protection of intellectual property (IP) or future publications, then an application for an embargo should be made to the University Graduate Research Board.  Information on this process can be found under the Thesis Embargo Guidelines page on the Graduate Studies website. 

Please note that an embargo on a thesis should be sought prior to submission of the thesis. The application must have the support of the student’s Principal Supervisor and be accompanied by relevant supporting documentation.

Yes. All research theses are submitted to the University for examination via the UCD e-Thesis System.  There is an eThesis student webpage which contains the most up to date guide for students and includes FAQs etc.


Once agreed with your supervisor that you are ready to submit, your supervisor will confirm approval to submit in the eThesis system and you will receive an email inviting you to submit your thesis. You will then upload your thesis in PDF format (one combined document including appendices).

  1. The examiner nominated to oversee the corrections, usually the internal examiner, can provide you with the sign off form electronically. 
  2. Then email the completed Thesis Corrections Sign Off Form to ACCE@ucd.ie. This will complete the examining process.
  3. You should submit the hardbound copy of your thesis to the Student Desk.

The examining process is now complete.

  1. Please see the thesis submission checklist page for up-to-date information on Final Hard-Bound Thesis guidelines.

Please note: For all extension requests, it is important to keep a record of your change of circumstances, especially any documentation to evidence how extenuating circumstances have impeded your progress, such as no access to a laboratory, recruitment and data collection from participants paused, essential archival material normally accessed in a library. 


Information on how a viva voce is conducted, including roles and responsibilities, can be found on a dedicated page on the Graduate Studies website.

See the UCD Conferring Unit website for information about graduation ceremonies.

It is important to check public health guidelines and contact your supervisor and/or student adviser for assistance/support. The UCD Student Adviser for graduate research students is Mr Eamonn McHugh. You can reach him at eamonn.mchugh@ucd.ie.

UCD IT Services provide both onsite and remote support. Please find details on remote and bookable on-campus support here. Please work with your supervisor if further support is needed. 

The University is fully operational on campus. Contact details of administrative supports can be found in pages 2-4 of Research Student Handbook.

  1. For advice on your research project, please contact your Principal Supervisor or Programme Director for those research students in for example Centres for Doctoral Training, professional doctorates etc.
  2. For advice on Student Fees, please contact the Student Desk via the Student Connector.
  3. For advice on Funding, please contact your Principal Supervisor in the first instance. If you wish to apply for a no fee extension based on extenuating circumstances, please click here here.

Extensions can be sought if a student has reached the maximum period of registration for their programme (Sections 7.10 and 7.11 of academic regulations).  It may be possible to receive an exemption from fees, for the period of an extension, as the same time that you seek an extension.  Please see the information provided on extensions on the Graduate Studies website.

If there are particular circumstances where fees cannot be paid, please contact the Student Desk via the Student Desk Connector for additdional advice. If your fees are paid from a research account then you may wish to consult with your supervisor or visit the individual research funder websites for their COVID-19 contingency planning (if the reasons for difficulty in paying fees are COVID related). 

Please contact your supervisor in the first instance who will guide you as much as possible. Also contact your Scholarship funder for specific terms and conditions.

Please contact your supervisor in the first instance who will guide you as much as possible. Also, contact your Scholarship funder for specific terms and conditions.

If you have a circumstance where you believe fees should be refunded, please contact the Student Desk via the Student Desk Connector.

If you feel that you need to take LOA, please discuss this with your supervisor. If your circumstances are such that LOA is considered appropriate, then you can apply online. Please refer to the UCD LOA policy.

To access the Research VPN Service you need to do the following:

Under the Common Travel Area (CTA) the Government of Ireland and the UK Government have agreed that UK and Irish citizens have the right to access all levels of education in either state on terms no less favourable than those available to the citizens of that state.

See UCD Fees websiteFurther and Higher Education and Brexit for further information. 

A UCD graduate research programme, such as PhD, cannot be completed 'at distance'. During the pandemic, a student may have had to work remotely for a period of time but such arrangements were temporary.  If a graduate research student does not return to campus, they are in breach of regulations as they do not have permission to be off campus. (AR 7.18).  If a student is unable to return to campus, or their research site, then a leave of absence may be appropriate.  

It is worth noting that the information above is distinct from the occasions when a graduate research student may have to spend a brief period of time on another research site, such as another academic institution or industry partner.  If such visits are longer than a trimester, and if this was not identified and approved at the time of admission, then a request must be made to the Graduate Research Board for the student be supervised off-site by an external supervisor (AR 7.18, 7.20-7.23).

Please read the government advice for the most up-to-date information about travelling to Ireland.

Please see the UCD Global FAQ for comprehensive information.

Yes, UCD graduate research students are eligible for a Zoom Pro account, which has added features e.g. meetings for up to 300 participants. This is enabled automatically once you create a Zoom account, within 30 days of registering as a student. If you have not created a Zoom account within this timeframe, please contact IT Services via the Service Support portal to set it up for you. 

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Although we are keeping our FAQ updated, we're aware this is not an exhaustive list. You may have a question specific to your research, wellbeing, or other areas. If you have a query that we haven't answered, or you need help, please contact us.

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