Establish Governance structures for large-scale programmes

Governance, for a programme or a project, is a combination of individuals filling executive and management roles, programme oversight functions organised into structures, and policies that define management principles and decision-making.

Certain research programmes (particularly those with large budgets) have a formal requirement for governance and advisory committees to be appointed to oversee the programme. The funder and/or the funding programme will usually specify the composition and expectations of any governance or advisory committees that are needed.

In addition to this, UCD requires good practice in relation to governance. These requirements are supported by UCD Research and Innovation.

  1. The research proposal should include governance sections that comply with both UCD's and the funder's requirements.
  2. Potential members of governance boards should be suggested to UCD's VP for Research, Innovation and Impact, and formal invites should come from the Office of the VPRII and not from the PI, the School, or the programme.
  3. Any changes to governance board membership should be made in consultation with UCD Research and Innovation.
  4. Any changes to governance structures will need to be made in consultation with UCD Research and Innovation and the funding agency.
  5. Governing board members should have clear Terms of Reference, and Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) should be in place.

Although governance reporting to the funder is ultimately done via the UCD President's Office, the reports should first come to UCD Research and Innovation, who will then liaise with the President's Office to finalise the communication to the funder.

Establishing Governance structures may comprise the following:

  • Define and set up roles for Programme Director, Programme Managers and support staff.
  • Define the programme roles, decision-making hierarchy, programme execution strategies and best practices.
  • Establish a project or programme review, and issue or change management mechanisms.
  • Implement mechanisms to provide guidance and direction on policies, governance principles, and decision or authority specifications, ensuring that they comply with funders terms and conditions.
  • Establish a communications network and protocol for effective programme and project communication to internal and external project stakeholders.

Central Supports

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The Research Partners Team can provide advice on good practice in governance. In addition, UCD Research and Innovation liaises with the President's Office in relation to governance reporting.

Research Partner team members
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Network open to all research professionals in the university, sharing knowledge and best practice, processes and procedures - offering help and advice especially for those new to research management and administration. See the URMAN website for events, workshops and training sessions.

URMAN Advisory Group