Ad Astra Fellow Performance Assessment Process

About the Ad Astra Fellowship scheme

The UCD Ad Astra Fellowship scheme was launched in 2019, this initiative seeks to bring some of the best early career academics from around the world to University College Dublin. 

The scheme has associated Appointment Terms and Research Support which include an initial contract term of five years with the possibility of permanency after a four-year review of performance against targets set with the Line Manager. The Ad Astra Performance Assessment Process is in place to ensure Ad Astra Fellows have a clear understanding of how their performance will be assessed against the set criteria.

Ad Astra Fellow Performance Assessment Process

In accordance with the UCD Ad Astra Fellowship scheme and associated appointment terms, the following process will enable a formal review to be carried out by the Line Manager which will in turn inform their recommendation to the College Principal for decision to either offer a permanent contract, or to affirm that the temporary contract will end on the contractual end date.

What's involved?

  • Following the Ad Astra Fellows successful completion of their probationary period, the Line Manager will set performance criteria and indicators of satisfactory achievement for the coming year. 
  • On the second and third contractual anniversary date the Line Manager will conduct an assessment of performance against the set criteria with the Ad Astra Fellow. Annual assessments will be recorded in the UCD InfoHub System.
  • At the end of year four, predicated on the assessment of performance, the Line Manager will make a recommendation on permanency or otherwise to their College Principal.
  • The College Principal will review the recommendation and associated online record and other materials if made available and make a decision to either offer a permanent contract to the Ad Astra Fellow, or to affirm that their temporary contract will end on the contractual end date. 

Using the online system

The Ad Astra Fellow online Performance Assessment form is the formal annual record of performance against agreed criteria and indicators of satisfactory achievement. This form is accessed via ‘Tasks’ (located in the top navigation bar) of the UCD InfoHub System.

The annual process is initiated by an automated email which is issued each year to the Line Manager notifying them to contact the Ad Astra Fellow and arrange the performance assessment meeting. This action must be completed outside of the system, directly with the Ad Astra Fellow and is necessary as the date will be required to initiate the online performance assessment in the InfoHub system.

Further information on the process is outlined in the flowchart below.

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Requirements for satisfactory performance will be determined and set with the Line Manager, which should be tailored to norms within the discipline and College/School/University objectives.

The Ad Astra Fellow performance criteria and indicators of satisfactory achievement will include, but are not limited to:

  • Applying for a minimum of one externally funded research grant each year, and there will normally be an expectation that at least one of these grant applications is successful for the four-year review to be satisfactory.
  • A specified number of high-quality research publications appropriate to the norms within the discipline to be agreed on an annual basis.
  • The management of research support, which will normally consist of a PhD student scholarship and a budget for research costs of €5000 per annum.
  • The completion of the UCD Professional Certificate in University Teaching and Learning where the Ad Astra Fellow does not currently hold a formal university teaching qualification.
  • Agreed School/College related leadership and contribution activities which enhance the University community and the effective functioning of the School.
  • The Ad Astra Fellow has the right to appeal the decision of the College Principal. Any appeal must be made in writing to the Central Pool Appointments Committee (CPAC) (exclusive of the President) which is a subcommittee of the University Management Team consisting of the Deputy President and Vice-President (Academic), the Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact, and the Vice-President for Global Engagement, cpac@ucd.ie.
  • The appeal must be submitted within 10 working days of the communication of the decision concerned. The appeal should clearly set out the reasons for why it is believed there are grounds for appeal.
  • The CPAC will convene an appeal hearing within 28 working days of receipt of the notification of the intention to appeal. Following the appeal hearing, a decision will be issued within 10 working days. This decision is final.

The University is committed to advancing equality of opportunity and in sustaining an environment that values and celebrates the diversity of its faculty and is steadfastly committed to non-discrimination on the grounds of age, civil status, disability, family status, gender, race (which includes nationality or ethnic origin), sexual orientation, religion, and membership of the Traveller community.

This process shall uphold the University’s commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Consideration will be given to any personal, family or non-academic circumstances, which may have impacted on performance for a limited period including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as this this may act as an impediment to the Ad Astra Fellow fully realising their ambitions and associated objectives.

Learn more about Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in UCD.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Consistent with all faculty and staff in the University, the UCD Probation Process should be engaged with for the first 12 months of employment where performance criteria should be set. The online Ad Astra Fellow Performance Assessment will dovetail with the successful completion of Probation.

The Line Manager of the Ad Astra Fellow should complete the Performance Assessment, ordinarily this will be the Head of School or Head of Subject.

No, the online System does not schedule the meeting. The Line manager must contact the Ad Astra Fellow directly and arrange the meeting details including location, date, and time. The meeting date will be required to initiate the Performance Assessment in InfoHub and therefore must be set-up in advance of actioning this Task.

Click on Tasks in the top blue navigation bar in InfoHub or click this InfoHub link.

Yes, once the Ad Astra Fellow Submits their record of the achievements to their Line Manager this will also give their Line Manager access to see the Faculty Development Workspace until the assessment is marked as Assessment Complete. (this does not give access to any Faculty Promotion Application currently being drafted).

The Ad Astra Fellow, their Line Manager and College Principal can view the completed Performance Assessment via InfoHub.

Completed forms can be viewed in the follow locations:

  • Ad Astra Fellow; InfoHub>Human Resources> My Development Workspace
  • Line Manager/College Principal; InfoHub>Human Resources>My Responsibilities>My Ad Astra Fellows

Consistent with all faculty and staff in the University and having completed their probationary period, all Ad Astra Fellows will participate in the Performance for Growth (P4G) process. This should be viewed as an enabler, complementing, and aligned to the Performance Assessment process. To this end the Head of School or Head of Section will conduct the annual P4G conversation with the Ad Astra Fellow.

This functionality is not required until academic year 2022/23 and will be available in the online system closer to this date.