The UCD Humanities Institute comprises a vibrant research community of postgraduate, postdoctoral and academic researchers in the interdisciplinary fields of the humanities. The Institute has over fifty members from among the academic staff in the UCD Colleges of Arts & Celtic Studies, Human Sciences and Engineering & Architecture as well as hosting visiting fellows from other universities. The Institute’s research theme, ‘Culture, Society and Change’, provides a broad framework for members' research initiatives in the areas of 'Memory', 'Gender, Culture and Identity', 'Environmental and Global Histories' and 'Digital and Media Cultures'. 

National and international experts regularly give lectures at the Institute as part of conferences, symposia, seminar series and other academic events. These talks are archived in the Institute’s podcast series which has, to date, been had 38,000 downloads. The Institute has, moreover, links with scholars based in a range of international locations, through alumni, research associates and memberships of consortia (European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure (CLARIN), the Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes (CHCI), the European Consortium for Humanities Institutes and Centres (ECHIC), the Consortium for Humanities Institutes and Centres (CIAS) and Universitas 21). The Institute was home to a number of research and training initiatives, including the Centre for Gender, Culture and Identities, the Graduate Research and Education Programme (GREP) in Gender, Culture and Identity, the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive (IVRLA) and currently houses UCD Press. Doctoral and postdoctoral residents thus have opportunities to meet and discuss their own research with established and experienced researchers from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary backgrounds, members of the institute, visiting fellows and distinguished guest lecturers.

The Institute is active in researcher training, convening a series of career development workshops for early stage researchers in the humanities, as well as a research writing group and various reading groups. The Career Development Workshop Programme provides early stage researchers (PhD students and postdoctoral fellows) with practical guidance regarding the professional experience required when applying for positions in academic institutions and elsewhere. Workshop delegates are offered opportunities to meet and discuss their work with a panel of academics and other professionals who talk about their experiences of, for example, managing research projects; presenting research; publishing research and assessing materials for publication; applying for funding and assessing funding applications; conducting viva voce examinations; organising events; interviewing candidates for academic positions; and working post-PhD within, in collaboration with, and outside academia. The Research Writing Group meets each month to discuss a short piece of research writing (draft thesis chapter, conference paper, article, book chapter) by a member of the group. Group members read the sample in advance and discuss it in depth with the author. This process facilitates the author thinking through their ideas in a supportive and encouraging environment, guided by the members of the group.