Guidelines Related to Covid-19

COVID-19 FAQs for Graduate Research Students

All graduate students received an email to their UCD Connect account on Friday 18 September relating to latest COVID-19 measures. Further updates to follow this week.

Yes, you can expect supervision to continue. It is important that you maintain clear and regular communication with your supervisor and members of your RSP as needed. You should consult with your supervisor, initially by email, to agree what mode of engagement would suit you both and progress from there. Supervision should continue as normal, agreeing deadlines, submitting written material, adopting feedback etc. can all be continued virtually and by agreement with your supervisor. RSP meetings can continue via virtual or remote meetings.

Zoom, which is supported by UCD IT Services, is the recommended virtual system for both supervision and RSP meetings. If internet services are poor in your area, you can set up conference calls on your telephone. The important thing is to keep the lines of communication open with your supervisor and RSP.

This is specific to each student and their supervisor. It should be based on a schedule agreed between you and your supervisor/co-supervisor. Continue meeting virtually as frequently as you would have face to face and agree what kind of feedback will work best in the circumstances and how frequently feedback should be expected.

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. An RSP meeting can be conducted virtually, by Zoom for example. All components of the RPDP can be completed by email, including getting signatures of the Chair, supervisor and other members of the RSP.



Modules will continue to be run virtually and any changes to assessment protocols will be advised by the module co-ordinator. Please also read FAQs prepared for students on taught programmes.

Yes, STAs will go ahead virtually. Zoom is the recommended virtual platform by which STAs can be conducted. Presentations can be shared with the STA panel prior to the assessment and also shared via Zoom during the STA. The outcome of the STA will be communicated to the relevant Governing Board remotely and according to the schedule of meetings for that Board. 

Yes. governing boards will meet remotely and according to their planned schedules. 

Yes. You should follow the E-Thesis Procedures Guide to submit your thesis for examination.

Once agreed with your supervisor that you are ready to submit, your supervisor will confirm approval to submit in the E-Thesis 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 (opening subject to COVID-19 restrictions).
  1. The examining process is now complete.
  2. Please submit the hardbound copy of your thesis to the Student Desk (opening subjuect to COVID-19 restrictions).

We encourage you, where possible, to submit your thesis by the 4th of September 2020 deadline, if that is the date you are due to submit. Where you are unable to meet the 4th of September 2020 submission deadline due to COVID-19 associated disruptions, you will be supported with a single trimester extension to complete your thesis for submission by 8th of January 2021.  This extension is a no-fee cost extension to support graduate research students delayed due to COVID-19 without the financial burden of fees.

If you require this extension, please contact your supervisor in the first instance. As is normal practice, any requests for an extension should be made by you to your school on a specific application form: Covid-19 Thesis Extension Form September 2020, by the 4th of September deadline. In keeping with normal governance, the request will then be submitted by the school to the relevant governing board for approval. Please be assured, where an additional trimester is required, which exceeds the registration period permitted under the Academic Regulations 7.9 and 7.10, this extension of one trimester to the registration period will be approved due to the exceptional circumstances due to COVID-19.

At present, as is normal practice, any requests for an extension can be made on an individual basis to your School on this application form: GSB Thesis Extension Form (Standard fillable). In keeping with normal governance, the request will then be submitted by the School to the relevant governing board for approval. It is important to keep a record of your change of circumstances, especially any documentation to evidence how extenuating circumstance 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. The requirement for other supporting evidence has been waived. We recognise that students are facing many extenuating circumstances, including the personal impact that COVID-19 may be having on you or your family. We also recognise that the professionals who may be supporting you need to prioritise their support of you and others over providing extenuating circumstances evidence. Therefore, for the remainder of the 2020 Summer Trimester, the University will accept extenuating circumstance applications without requiring submission supporting evidential documentation. You will still need to complete the application form: GSB Thesis Extension Form (Standard fillable) so that the impact of your circumstances on your progress can be properly considered. The University maintains the right to investigate the validity of applications.

Vivas can be carried out as scheduled, remotely or virtually/semi-virtually. the recommended virtual platform is Zoom. The Chair of the viva is responsible for assuring arrangements for conducting the viva virtually are in place. All parties must agree to the viva being conducted virtually. The student must be visible at all times during the viva examination. The viva must not be conducted by phone or recorded. See Virtual Viva Guidelines. 

Yes, you can defend your thesis from an external location to UCD. The virtual system recommended in such cases is Zoom. All parties must agree to the viva being conducted virtually or semi-virtually. 

Graduations will continue though it is likely that ceremonies may not take place as normal in the coming months. See UCD Conferring Schedule for details. 

The Library is reopening on a phased basis, with limited services for staff, reseach and taught postgraduates. Please visit the UCD Library website, where there is information on remote access and reopening plans, as well as significant online resources. The Library has a limited number of bookable study spaces for taught and research postgraduate students.  Keep your supervisor informed and see if there are alternative activities that could be worked on. 

The National Library, like other libraries, has restrictions in place due to COVID-19. Please check the library websites for access to resources and current opening arrangements. Keep your supervisor informed and see if there are alternative activities that could be worked on in this period.

If your research/data collection involves an external source to UCD which is currently unavailable and that part of your work needs to be put on hold, please keep a record of these delays. Keep your supervisor informed of this and see if there are alternative activities that could be worked on in this period. 

Please clarify with the relevant organisation if continued collection of data is possible, if unavailable and that part of your work needs to be put on hold, please keep a record of these delays. Keep your supervisor informed of this and see if there are alternative activities that could be worked on in this period.

UCD has a UCD Return to Campus Working Plan in place, please review this for the most up-to-date information on access to the UCD campus. Please liaise with your supervisor, who can advise on your particular curcumstances or on alternative activites that may be worked on.

General advice can be found on the UCD COVID-19 website.

These FAQs will be updated in line with government restrictions on movement.
At all times information on COVID-19 is available from the HSE .

 

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 Ms. Carita Bramhill. You can reach her at carita.bramhill@ucd.ie

The UCD campus is reopening and 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. 

Keep your supervisor informed of this and see if there are alternative activities that could be worked on in this period. 

Yes, the university is operational and plans are underway for a phased return to campus, subject to public health guidelines. Staff are either continuing to work remotely or returning to campus.  Please email your school or college contact, as emails are being monitored, but please allow additional time for a reply.

UCD has a UCD Return to Campus Working Plan in place, please review this for the most up-to-date information on access to the UCD campus. 

General advice can be found on the UCD COVID-19 website.

These FAQs will be updated in line with government restrictions on movement.
At all times information on COVID-19 is available from the HSE .

 

UCD has a UCD Return to Campus Working Plan in place, please review this for the most up-to-date information on access to the UCD campus. 

General advice can be found on the UCD COVID-19 website.

These FAQs will be updated in line with government restrictions on movement.
At all times information on COVID-19 is available from the HSE .

 

The UCD Graduate Studies website will keep updated guidelines and a FAQ, that are specific to graduate research students.

  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. You can also instant message the Student Desk via Hangouts Chat or schedule a video call. See www.ucd.ie/askus
  3. For advice on Funding, please contact your Principal Supervisor in the first instance. Please note that HRB, IRC and SFI have issued a statement explaining that they are taking a pragmatic approach and will give due consideration on a case-by-case basis to the following:

a. Call deadlines 
b. Deadlines for progress reporting
c. Deadlines for the return of award documentation
d. Budget reallocations or exceptional charges to grants arising from travel/other restrictions
e. No-cost extensions
f. Restructuring of project deliverables and timelines for researcher mobility and collaborations, where direct adverse impact has occurred

If you wish to discuss other issues in relation to your studies or other concerns, please get in touch with your student adviser. The UCD Student Adviser for graduate research students is Ms. Carita Bramhill. You can reach Carita at carita.bramhill@ucd.ie

Any requests for a no-fee extension can be made via the Standard Student Thesis Extension Form to your School. In keeping with normal governance, requests will then be submitted by the School to the relevant Governing Board for approval. If there are particular circumstances where fees cannot be accessed from a research account, please contact the Student Desk via the Student Connector. Please visit the individual research funder websites for their COVID-19 contingency planning. 

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.

Revenue have introduced temporary measures, effectively giving new students commencing postgraduate research on a remote basis outside the State, permission to receive scholarship payments without a PPS number. This is as long as usual scholarship exemption conditions are met, the travel restrictions are COVID-19 related (the student should retain evidence of such) and of course the scholar will have to obtain a PPS number as soon as they are in Ireland.

Please see Revenue Commissioners Temporary Measures in relation to the Scholarship Exemption for further information and contact Revenue with any related queries. 

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

Please work with your supervisor and RSP on what is best for you. If you are not in a position to carry out your research you may be able to concentrate on writing up a chapter of your thesis or carrying out statistical analysis of your data etc. However, if your circumstances are such that none of this is a possibility, you could consider applying for Leave of Absence (LOA) for the next trimester and return to your studies in January 2021.

You can apply for LOA online via SISWeb. Further information on how to apply can be found here.  You should read the LOA Policy before applying.

Please work with your supervisor and RSP on what is best for you. If you are not in a position to carry out your research you may be able to put some time into writing up a chapter of your thesis, carrying out statistical analysis of your data, carrying out literature research etc.. If your circumstances are such that LOA is considered appropriate, then you can apply online. Please refer to the UCD LOA policy.

Students should make every effort to work as normal and should, in most cases, be in a position to complete thesis revisions. Please liaise closely with your supervisor and internal examiner toward meeting relevant deadlines. However, if the deadline cannot be met through illness then the normal application for extension can be sought in UCD. The IRC are taking a pragmatic approach to the situation and will be revising call deadlines. See further information and a revised call schedule on the IRC website

In the current circumstances if a conference is cancelled refunds are usually processed via the conference organiser and the airlines are also processing refunds and alternative arrangements.

Please refer to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) webpage for advice on travel outside Ireland. Currently, the DFA advice is to avoid non-essential travel to other countries until further notice.

Yes - if you are visa required. While we are still working toward all students joining us on campus in September, should circumstances require that you commence your studies online, it is anticipated you will be facilitated as quickly as possible to re-join classes taught through traditional (face-to-face teaching delivery) on campus, and accordingly you will require a visa.

We expect that visas will be issued to students before they commence their course - with the visa sticker post-dated to allow entry to Ireland when needed.

The Research VPN Service has been initiated as a temporary measure due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is designed to allow researchers who are engaged in active research on behalf of the University to use the UCD Research VPN in order to gain access to internal UCD systems. This service is suitable for researchers who do not have access to a Staff account and are therefore unable to use the Staff VPN.

Before availing of this service you will need to do the following:

  • Ensure that your Principal Investigator or Research Supervisor is aware of your request and has given written permission to researchit@ucd.ie prior to your application
  • Review the UCD Remote Access Procedure and complete the Research VPN form

 British students will still be eligible for the same fee structures as EU students in Ireland. See Department of Education & Skills for further information. 

Planning for the coming academic year remains challenging as the COVID-19 situation continues to have ups and downs around the world. While the UCD community is looking forward to welcoming students back to campus in September 2020, the health and safety of our students is our utmost priority. Each graduate research student is unique in the nature of their research, the methodology used in carrying out their research and in their individual personal circumstances. Therefore, there cannot be fixed guidelines for all graduate research students who are due to embark on their research studies in September 2020. Research students are advised to work closely with their Principal Supervisor as to how to best proceed for Trimester 1 of the 2020-2021 academic year.

  • Many STEM research students will be able to begin their research in laboratories/studios on campus where there is ample physical space to maintain the 2M Social Distancing rule.
  • Students whose research does not require a dedicated research space and can work with online library resources can begin their studies off campus. Bookable reading/study space has extremely limited availability at present.
  • Where a student cannot access a vital laboratory/ field work/essential library archives, it may be best to postpone their registration to January 2021 but this decision rests with the individual student and their Principal Supervisor. Please contact your School for information on the process to postpone admission.

Regarding discipline-specific modules, each of the six Colleges within UCD is devising a teaching and learning schedule that best suits the subjects in that college. Specific information relevant to your programme of study will be published as soon as possible.

Research students can avail of other online training and support from September e.g. Research Integrity training and Transferable Skills training

In line with government advice, students travelling to Ireland from a number of countries will be asked to restrict their movements for 2 weeks after arrival.

For incoming international students, please see the UCD Global FAQ for comprehensive information.

There will be a orientation day for all incoming graduate research students. This will be held virtually on Wednesday 23rd September 2020, 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm and attendance is compulsory. More details will be communicated in September.  

COVID-related FAQs for Graduate Research & Taught Programmes - September 2020

Last updated 21 September 2020

The Autumn Trimester begins on Monday 21st September 2020 for graduate taught and graduate research students. 

We understand that the current COVID-19 crisis has created real uncertainty for all our future students, particularly those who need to travel from outside Ireland to take up their place at UCD. We're absolutely committed to delivering the highest-quality learning and student experience at UCD and we're very much looking forward to seeing students on campus as soon as we can; however, we recognise that this might not be possible for a little while.

We're currently planning for every eventuality in order to follow Irish government advice and either begin the new semester wholly online, or deliver some activity on campus but provide our lectures and some other aspects of learning online. What this means is that students will still be able to engage with their programme effectively, and receive the highest quality learning and student experience, no matter what the circumstances.

We're also committed to providing the most up-to-date information about studying at UCD and are pleased to reassure our future students that there will be little change to our start dates and everything will be in place so that students can begin their study with us in September.

More details about the precise timetable during this period will be posted regularly over the coming weeks. See Key Dates on UCD Registry.

There'll be a small number of programmes that will have different start dates, such as our Clinical and Health Professional programmes, so your academic School will be in touch with you should this be the case for your programme of study.

There will be an Induction Event for all incoming graduate research students. This will be held virtually on Wednesday 23rd September 2020 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm and  incoming graduate research students must attend. 

  • Further information on Graduate Orientation can be found here

There will be a Virtual GradsConnect Welcome for all incoming postgraduate students, both taught and research, on Friday 25th September 2020 2-2.30pm. This will take place virtually due to social distancing constraints and you can tune in live on YouTube

  • More Graduate Orientation information can be found here
  • Please consult with your School for information on their Orientation programmes

Students will be charged the full published tuition fees for 2020 entry.  There will not be a discount. We are absolutely committed to delivering the highest-quality learning and student experience at UCD and are very much looking forward to welcoming students onto our campus as soon as we can. We are currently planning for every eventually to follow Irish government advice. We are confident that students will still be able to engage with their programme of study effectively and receive the highest-quality learning and student experience, no matter what the circumstances.

‘Online teaching’ will take place where it involves large groups of students or we are unable to ensure that we follow the government’s social distancing rules. Large lectures will be delivered online in virtual spaces and supported with timetabled activity to structure the study week. The online lecture material will allow students to work at their own pace, where and when this suits them. It will also bring opportunity for Q&A and other interactivity, across different formats in timetabled slots. The lecture material will be available for students on Brightspace whenever they wish, to catch up on anything they may have missed. When government and public health advice allows for the campus to operate normally, some lectures will revert again to face-to-face, student lectures will still be captured digitally where possible so that students can watch them back online, with our lecture capture service.

‘On-campus teaching’ will be activities such as seminars, small group sessions and practical elements of courses. Students will have safe face-to-face contact with our world-leading academics through seminars, tutorials, practicals and other teaching activities on campus. Exactly how this works will depend on Irish government advice, especially on social distancing, at the time.

In the 2020/21 academic year we aim to provide as much face-to-face teaching as possible on our safe and welcoming campus.  You will debate topics in seminars, develop practical skills in labs and tackle big issues in workshops. We are putting measures in place to help you stay safe. This may mean teaching in smaller groups, delivering shorter sessions or staggering start times.

Large group activities, like lectures, will take place through digital methods. You will be able to ask questions, contribute to discussions and, with recorded sessions, look back on what you have learned. Methods and systems will vary from course to course. Your School will provide more details closer to the start of the year.

We expect you to enjoy as much classroom experience as we can provide, and therefore expect you and support you to be here on campus. We hope we can increase the amount of face-to-face engagement and social activities that we are able to offer over the year. This will depend on Irish government advice and when COVID-19 is brought under control.

We understand that some of you will not be able to join us in UCD, due to circumstances caused by COVID-19 which are beyond your control. This may be due to travel restrictions or because your health situation requires you to shield.

If you are in this position, we will do our best to help you maintain a strong connection to our University community and your programme of study. This will be through online options that will allow you to engage with your learning and assessment.

As the year starts, you will need to tell us if you are in this position [needing to study online only] so that we can support you effectively. You will need to submit an online form which will be available soon.

If you can return to the on-campus experience before the end of the academic year, complete the same form to tell us. We will support you to do this wherever possible.

We have made the decision for all lectures to happen online for the first semester due to their size and it being extremely hard to manage social distancing with large groups of students. Students will have safe face-to-face contact with our world-leading academics through seminars, tutorials, practicals and other teaching activities on campus. Exactly how this works will depend on Irish government advice, especially on social distancing, at the time.

Your safety and wellbeing are our priority.  We are implementing social distancing measures across our campuses.  As part of our approach we will use dedicated entrances and exits along with one-way systems, queues and distance markers combined with other safety measures like hand sanitising stations. This will include:

  • teaching and study spaces
  • residences
  • laboratories
  • social and sports facilities
  • libraries
  • and our outdoor spaces.

Our buildings will be cleaned and disinfected regularly, and additional handwashing and sanitising facilities will be provided.

We will follow government guidance between now and the proposed physical re-opening of our campus. Any action we take will be made with your safety in mind.

Many of our academics are undertaking world-leading research on public health and our pandemic response protocols are founded on the latest science and expertise. We are busy making our campus safe, putting appropriate social distancing and new cleaning measures in place.  Students will receive clear guidance on how our teaching spaces, libraries, study spaces and labs will operate to ensure everyone’s safety. Students will be fully briefed on health and safety, as part of our welcome and induction activities. 

We will follow government guidance between now and the proposed physical re-opening of our campus. Any action we take will be made with your safety in mind.  Plans are in place to ensure we can support you towards your desired learning outcomes, whatever the circumstances.

We expect most students to join us in UCD for the start of the academic year. However, we are aware that there might be some students unable to join us at that time, for example due to travel restrictions or medical advice. To ensure that no-one is excluded or disadvantaged, we can confirm that students will be able to access our welcome and induction programme online and then study wholly online until they are able to join us later in trimester 1 or at the start of trimester 2. Graduate research students are advised to work closely with their Principal Supervisor as to how to best proceed for Trimester 1 of the 2020-2021 academic year.

  • Graduate students on taught programmes should follow these guidelines 
  • Graduate research students should contact your School for information on the process to postpone admission. 

Our Careers Network is now offering many of its services online.  This includes help finding internships and a range of other supports.

The UCD modular system ensures that you will be exposed to a range of different types of assessment.  There will be no face to face invigilated examinations at end of the first trimester. Depending on your School, your Module Coordinator will plan alternative assessments for each module taking account of the learning outcomes to be assessed for that module. This will mean that once to commence your studies you will be working towards your assessments through essays, project work, online activities, practicals, laboratory work and in some cases where appropriate online examinations. Graduate research student should discuss expectations with their Principal Supervisor.

We understand that UCD students value the opportunity to learn in a campus setting, but we also recognise that our response to COVID-19 will require that some campus activity may not be possible.  The University has indicated that as much activity, in line with Government and Public Health advice pertaining at the time should be delivered face-to-face.  Academics delivering modules and programmes are best placed to determine which elements are best suited to an online experience, and which elements should be delivered in class or through an equivalent face-face activity.  Therefore, the experience for each student will vary considerably depending on your programme of study and even your year/stage of study.  The exact details for each student will only become clear when module registration commences in late August/early September.  However, each programme is developing guidance based on the prevailing social restrictions with the aim of making this available to you as soon as possible in August. Graduate research students are advised to work closely with their Principal Supervisor as to how to best proceed for Trimester 1 of the 2020-2021 academic year. Please also see the comprehensive FAQ specific to Research Students above.

New and continuing students are encouraged to plan to spend as much time as possible on campus so that they can experience the benefits of personal interaction and engagement with their fellow students and faculty.  The University has remained partially open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and will be open to students in the Autumn.  We are planning to have our facilities available to students within the constraints of Government and public health advice and are planning our teaching so that as we can deliver as much as possible on campus recognising that students may not be available to attend for periods throughout the trimester.

The University has indicated that as much activity, in line with Government and Public Health advice pertaining at the time should be delivered face-to-face. Our initial advice was communicated to all continuing students in early July. At that point, we expected, complying with public health guidelines, that most undergraduate students would be in classrooms around 40-60% of the normal schedule, with most graduate students having between 75 and 100% of normal classroom time.  These estimates were based on an analysis of revised room capacities under 2m and 1m social distancing and the initial thinking of Schools basing their timetables on 1m social distancing as a planning assumption. We are awaiting further specific advice appropriate to the University sector and our planning will be finalised based on this advice.  Academics delivering modules and programmes are best placed to determine which elements are best suited to an online experience, and which elements should be delivered in class or through an equivalent face-face activity.  Therefore, the experience for each student will vary considerably depending on your programme of study and even your year / stage of study.  The details for each student will only become clear when module registration commences in late August/early September.  However, each programme is developing guidance based on the prevailing social restrictions with the aim of making this available to you as soon as possible in August. 

You should contact your College or School Office or your Student Adviser.

 

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

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