Coronavirus COVID-19: Research FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs relate to the services provided by UCD Research and Innovation during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  It will be updated as new questions and new information emerge.

Questions on research students and their supervision are answered in the Graduate Studies FAQ.

General information on COVID-19 arrangements in UCD is available at UCD COVID-19 FAQs

IT have created a FAQ and support page for staff remote working, more information can be found here.

Throughout these evolving circumstances, an important source of information will be the UCD Research Bulletin, which will now be sent on a weekly basis and is also available here.

If you have any questions directly relating to the work of our unit which are not addressed here or in other UCD FAQs, we will endeavour to assist.  Please direct your questions to the relevant team member (contact details are here), or to ucdresearch@ucd.ie



How should I continue my research and scholarship?

Almost all research is being conducted from home during this period, but essential research and research support activities are continuing on campus.  Working from home may involve delaying experimental work for a period and concentrating on conducting literature reviews, writing papers and preparing grant proposals etc. until normal activity resumes. The University is continuing to provide normal supports for research and scholarship where these can be delivered remotely.  Regular research group meetings and research supervision should continue through remote mechanisms, and further information on this is available in the Graduate Studies FAQs. (See link above.)  

 

Which research and research support activities are to be continued on campus at this time?

From Tuesday 31 March until 12 April 2020, in keeping with the Government directive of 28 March, all employees will work entirely from home, with the exception of those involved in delivering the following essential services, where delivering that service requires presence on the campus:

1. Delivery of a COVID-19 related service and other services to the community included on the Government list

2. Student residence services, including catering and support services

3. Security and essential maintenance

4. Critical support for animal, organism and plant facilities

5. Continued operation of critical infrastructure for the support of remote operation of the University

6. Preservation of resources that are critical to the research process and not easily reproducible (e.g. biobanks, frozen cell and tissue cultures, etc.)

7. Support for cryogenic research equipment and other equipment where temporary decommissioning would create major difficulties

8. Hazardous waste management

9. Equipment oversight for critical safety purposes and checking of facilities for any operational issues including floods, power outages and temperature fluctuations

10. Safety walk-throughs by technical staff

11. Emergency response

12. In a small number of exceptional cases of essential scientific research, for example where the research directly supports the response to COVID-19, or where a long-running and critical set of experiments would be invalidated were the research to be interrupted.

Employees who must attend campus for one of the reasons above must obtain an email to this effect from their head of unit. Employees commuting to the campus under these arrangements must carry the email and UCD identification with them for inspection by the Gardaí.

Faculty who wish to request access to the campus to continue research under point 12 should, after gaining the approval of their Head of School, apply for permission to the Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact, Professor Orla Feely, noting that permission will only be granted in truly exceptional circumstances, or where the research is directly supporting the fight against COVID-19.

In all cases where research is conducted on campus

  1. Social distancing must be strictly adhered to https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/protect-yourself.html 
  2. University and school protocols for lone working apply. Further details can be found at ucd.ie/sirc/healthsafety/workplacesafety/loneworking/
  3. If you are authorised to have access to a UCD building check  ucdestates.ie/ on how to gain access. If access is arranged for you, in order to protect security, you will be asked to produce your UCD identity. You require evidence of Head of School authorisation, please ensure that you have this with you.
  4. For the purposes of health and safety and in order to keep track of who is in each building, you must email estates@ucd.ie when entering and exiting a building. 

 



Are the normal supports available from UCD Research and Innovation?

Yes, you can access the team as usual, and contact details are here.

What remote supports are available from UCD Library in support of research and scholarship?

Please click here for up to date information

 

Where can I get updates on research funding programmes?

From 18 March, the UCD Research Bulletin will be sent on a weekly basis, and it is also available here.

Can I continue to apply to funding programmes?

Yes.  The UCD pre-award proposal support service will continue as normal on a remote basis.  This means applicants must continue to adhere to internal submission deadlines to ensure that sufficient support is fully provided in advance of deadlines.  Please aim for early submission where possible, due to the fact that our team are working individually from home.

Please contact proposalsupport@ucd.ie in advance of submission.  For EU collaborative proposals please contact the euresearchoffice@ucd.ie.

I want to conduct research in the area of COVID-19.  Are there funding programmes available

Yes, a number of funders have initiated such schemes. Details will be in the Research Bulletin.

 

Where can I find up-to-date information related to European Commission research in the area of COVID-19?

For further information on updates from the European Commission please click here. There will also be regular updates in the Research Bulletin.

 

Have the research funding agencies changed any submission deadlines?

In some instances they have, and in many of these cases they have been in direct contact with applicants who are registered on their systems.  Please see the Research Bulletin for details as we receive them, and also keep an eye on the funder websites..

What happens if I miss deadlines or deliverables on my existing grants?

You should seek to maintain progress on your research grants through the mechanisms outlined above, but it is recognised that it will not be possible to operate as normal.  Funders are aware of this, and a number have issued statements outlining their response here: 

How do I manage my research work with external partners?

Principal Investigators should contact external partners to agree how your shared research can continue during this period, taking into account the circumstances of all organisations.

How do I manage the financial aspects of my proposals and grants?

As normal.  In particular:

Budget review at proposal stage and account set up

At proposal stage, all budgets must continue to be sent to Aidan McElwaine, the Pre Award accountant.  Aidan can advise on all elements of the budget.  Financial review and approval of awards on RMS will continue as usual and will be unaffected by the current situation. 

For the main part queries will continue to be dealt with via email

Cost extensions/No Cost Extensions

Cost extensions will continue to be processed.  A copy of the form can be sent to GrantReg@ucd.ie – we will get approvals by email and process in the usual way.  Similarly, confirmation of No Cost Extensions can be sent to GrantReg@ucd.ie and arrangements will be made to update the respective systems.

Sign off reports

As normal, reports are to be sent to the Research Finance Office, who will then liaise with UCD Research to provide sign off.

Registering an award

Continue to send the Letter of Offer to GrantReg@ucd.ie in the normal way.  The normal process will continue and, where necessary, we will be back in touch for further information.

Letters of offer and research agreements/contracts

Letters of Offer will be reviewed and signature provided by way of email and photocopy. Contracts will be managed in a similar fashion. Should an issue arise we will deal with it on a case by case basis.

Are the NovaUCD and Nexus Buildings open?

No, both buildings are closed except to clients who meet the Government criteria for providing essential services.  These clients have access to their offices and labs but only for essential work and they require an authorisation letter from their company that they are providing essential services, have company ID and a letter from the Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation confirming that their company is based at NovaUCD or NexusUCD.

Are Nova and ConsultUCD staff available?

Yes, NovaUCD and ConsultUCD staff are working from home and are available to support you.  Contact details.

Is there additional support if I have an invention that can help people through the pandemic?

Yes, the NovaUCD staff will prioritise inventions that can make a real difference.  Please contact Knowledge Transfer Staff. Contact details.

How do I manage the IP aspects of my research – Enterprise partners, the Commercialisation Section of Research Proposals, Non-Disclosure Agreements, Research Collaborations, Inventions, Patents, Licences and establishing a Spin-out?

NovaUCD staff will continue to support you in the usual way. Contact details.

Will Commercialisation Bootcamps and VentureLaunch happen in 2020?

Yes, the NovaUCD team are developing online versions for both and will advertise them when they are finalised.

Will Start-up Stars happen in 2020?

Yes, the NovaUCD team are developing an online version and will retitle the programme NovaUCD Student Enterprise Competition.