The answers to many of your questions will be contained in the UCD Graduate Studies Research Handbook 2020-21 or in the SPIRe Research Handbook Addendum 2020-21

Other frequently asked questions are answered below:

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UCD has been offering students who are due to submit their thesis the option to request a one-time, one trimester no-fee thesis extension. 

Where you are unable to meet the 8th of January 2021 submission deadline due to COVID-19 associated disruptions, you will be supported with a single trimester extension to complete your thesis for submission by 7th of May 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. Please note that this support is only available to students that have not already received a one-trimester no-cost fee extension due to COVID-19 related circumstances. 

For more information see numbers 11 and 12 of the Graduate Studies Covid FAQ

If your submission deadline is later than 8th January or you  have already availed of a no-fee thesis extension but are still impacted by Covid, you may also be eligible for an extension.

For details on this and how to apply, see number 13 of the FAQ 

HEA Funded Extensions

The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, through the Higher Education Authority (HEA), has now provided funding to higher education institutions to assist in the provision of funded extensions to research activities that are at risk because of delays incurred as a result of Covid-19.

Funded extensions may be granted under the programme to full-time eligible researchers and research students (PhDs, Research Master's & MD) whose research was interrupted by the pandemic, and where a costed extension can compensate for the interruption.

Full details and information on the call can be found here

 

RSP - Research Studies Panel

In addition to your supervisor, your School will appoint a Research Studies Panel (RSP) within three months of the date of initial registration. Typically, RSP members are nominated by the School in consultation with the supervisor. It normally comprises of the supervisor(s), two advisors (one of which will act as the panel Chair) and the student. The purpose of the RSP is to support and enhance the supervisor-student relationship, to monitor progress during the course of the doctoral studies, and to provide advice and support both to the student and the supervisor. One of the nominated advisors will have academic expertise relevant to the student’s research work and also have experience in supervising doctoral students.

The RSP should have its first meeting within six months of the student’s initial registration in order to review the student’s Research and Professional Development Plan (RPDP). At least one additional meeting should be held in the first year of the student’s registration. Thereafter, it is recommended that students should have two RSP meetings per academic year. Students should be pro-active in arranging such meetings in conjunction with their supervisor. The student, or another member of the RSP, may convene a meeting of the panel at any stage if it is considered desirable or necessary to address any relevant issue(s) that may arise.

Students should submit a copy of each signed RSP report to the PhD Administrator for central record-keeping and they should also upload themselves on InfoHub.

RPDP - Research and Professional Development Plan

The RPDP consists of three sections. The first highlights guidance on research planning, the second highlights guidance on professional development planning and the third section is the RPDP Form itself. Part 1 of the RPDP form is a record of the student’s activities and Part 2 is the Research Studies Panel (RSP) Meeting Report.

Academic Regulations 2020-2021, effective from September 2020, stipulate that the completed and signed Research and Professional Development Planning Form from your most recent RSP meeting is submitted as one of the required documents to a Transfer Assessment Panel (TAP) where a student seeks to:

  • transfer from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of a Doctoral programme, or
  • transfer from a Research Master’s Programme to a PhD Programme.

 

Helpful Links

 

Further Detail

For full information on the RPDP process see the Graduate Studies page

 

RPDP - Research and Professional Development Plan

The RPDP consists of three sections. The first highlights guidance on research planning, the second highlights guidance on professional development planning and the third section is the RPDP Form itself. Part 1 of the RPDP form is a record of the student’s activities and Part 2 is the Research Studies Panel (RSP) Meeting Report.

 

Academic Regulations 2020-2021, effective from September 2020, stipulate that the completed and signed Research and Professional Development Planning Form from your most recent RSP meeting is submitted as one of the required documents to a Transfer Assessment Panel (TAP) where a student seeks to:

  • transfer from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of a Doctoral programme, or
  • transfer from a Research Master’s Programme to a PhD Programme.

 

Helpful Links

 

Further Detail

For full information on the RPDP process see the Graduate Studies page

Students should submit a copy of each signed RSP report to the PhD Administrator for central record-keeping and they should also upload themselves on InfoHub.

PhD Modules: Autumn Trimester, 2020-21

UCD term starts 21 September, 2020

POL 50070 Quantitative Methods I (CORE)
Dr Thomas Chadefaux
Mondays: 11am-2pm
Trinity College Dublin
10 credits


PhD Modules: Spring Trimester, 2020-21

UCD term starts 18 January, 2021

CSSL50020 Social Science Methodology (CORE)Dr Thomas Daubler
Thursdays: 2pm-4pm
ONLINE
10 credits

POL50050 Quantitative Methods II
Assoc Prof Jos Elkink
Tuesdays: 11am-1pm
ONLINE
10 credits

**Please note that POL50200 Qualitative Research Methods (Core) has been postponed to Autumn 2021**


Additional SPIRe Modules

SPIRe offers PhD students the opportunity to enroll in certain Graduate Taught modules (subject to availability).

The list for 2020-21 is appended below:

There are a range of additional modules across the college that are available to graduate research students. Click here to access these modules.

Additional University Modules

There are a range of additional discipline-specific modules across the university that are available to graduate research students. Click here to access these modules.

Auditing Modules

Students enrolled to any graduate programme at University College Dublin have the opportunity to enrol to a module for Audit from within the list of modules offered by the University. A student may audit a module if they wish to attend the module but not gain any credits for the module. This means that they do not receive a grade for the module, but the module will appear on the student’s transcript as having been audited.

Students must seek the permission of the relevant Module Co-ordinator in order to do this, as well as the Programme Co-ordinator for the programme in which the student is enrolled. 

The registration process for this will also fall under Graduate Studies.

Further Information

For full details on the process go to the Graduate Studies page

 

The majority of students will be able to sign up to modules on SisWeb.

For certain modules, and for Jan or May start students, an online module registration process is in place.

For further information on both methods, click here

Note that, outside of core modules, students must liaise with their supervisor before registering for any additional modules.

Graduate Research and Innovations Fund

Research students are actively encouraged to take part in national and international professional associations, to present their work as soon as possible at conferences, and eventually to seek to publish their work in high-quality academic outlets. Your supervisor will advise you in these matters.

To enable you to present your work at conferences, or to acquire further professional training, you may apply to the competitive College of Social Sciences and Law’ Graduate Research and Innovations Fund (GRIF). At least two calls for applications under the GRIF are made each year (October and April) for grants of between €100 and €1000. More information can be found on the CSSL website:

http://www.ucd.ie/socscilaw/graduateschool/graduateresearchinnovationfund/

UCD Seed Funding

UCD has a funding scheme available that is open to staff and research students to apply for relatively small grants, for example attendance at a conference or other dissemination costs. Procedures change year-on-year, but further details can be found here:

http://www.ucd.ie/research/about/internalfundingschemes/

SPIRe Research Committee Fund

Funding from the UCD SPIRe Research Committee is for PhD researchers to facilitate research and dissemination of research by supporting costs including for organizing academic events, for research support (e.g. access to databases, research assistance, translation, software) travel, accommodation, conference or summer school registration fees and subsistence.

The amount of the grant is up to €300 for any single request.  Applications will be reviewed tri-annually by the UCD SPIRe Research Committee and funding calls will be communicated via the SPIRe e-mail ListServ. 

 

These are the main sources of information on Thesis Submission and the Viva Voce

 

The SPIRe Student Guide is an addendum to the above.

Note: Students in thematic programmes should consult their respective handbooks for any items specific to their programme e.g. credit requirements.

Alternative Thesis Format

SPIRe has adopted the current College of Social Sciences and Law guidelines on alternative thesis format.

These guidelines can be accessed here

If you intend to pursue an alternative thesis format, this should be discussed in advance with your supervisor.

  • Are you a late-stage PhD student struggling with the writing-up battle?
  • Do you put off writing tasks until ‘tomorrow’?
  • Are you finding it tough ‘going it alone’?

UCD is running a Thesis Bootcamp in January 2021

Who can attend Thesis Boot Camp?

Thesis Boot Camp is a free event provided by UCD Graduate Studies. You are an eligible Thesis Boot Camp recruit if you are:

  • A late, stage two PhD research student at UCD
  • In the final stages of completing your research degree and are ready to ‘write up’. The ultimate aim of Thesis Boot Camp is to write up to 20,000 words of first draft material. It is not for editing, revising, preparing presentations or grant applications etc. In other words, you must be able to identify the particular chapter or chapter(s) of your thesis that you will specifically work on as part of your Thesis Boot Camp goal
  • Able to clearly identify how you would benefit from an intensive Boot Camp of drafting a particular section of your thesis
  • Willing and available to attend all sessions and to commit to the ethos of dedicated writing required at Thesis Boot Camp
  • Able to provide details of an academic referee to support your application (e.g. your supervisor or member of your Research Studies Panel)

For more details and to sign up click here.

Deadline for applications is 4th December 2020 and it is limited to 35 participants

 

UCD Training and Development

There are a number of training and development opportunities, which can be accessed via the Graduate Studies website

SPIRe Seminar Series

SPIRe organises a seminar series for all staff and graduate students in the school. Attendance at these seminars provides an excellent opportunity for you to develop your presentation skills, learn about research that takes place across the school, and practice providing constructive feedback in an academic setting. For these reasons, this is a core requirement of the PhD program and all students with supervisors in SPIRe are expected to attend all seminar sessions.

After the transfer to Stage 2 of the PhD program (during the 3rd year of the program for full-time students), all students will be required to present at the regular weekly seminar series.

Workshop 

In the first stage of the PhD program, there will be a workshop session scheduled at the end of each semester. All PhD students with supervisors in SPIRe will be required to present at these workshops at the end of their 2nd (usually May) and 4th trimester (usually December). The first of these two presentations could potentially take the form of presenting your research design. The second should take the form of a proper academic research presentation, i.e. either a paper or a chapter of your thesis. These presentations are required for transfer to Stage 2. For each presentation, one of the academic staff members of the school will be assigned as discussant.

Postgraduate Applications

UCD Research provides a range of supports for the IRC postgraduate call - details can be found here


Post Doc Applications

UCD Research provides support for applicants to the IRC Post-doctoral Fellowship

Details can be found here.

If you are unable to access the site, you will need to submit the Google request form

Further information is available on the UCD Research Portal

 

SPIRe has a boilerplate document of various facts and figures relating to UCD. Please email dara.gannon@ucd.ie to request this.

Students who, under unforeseen circumstances, need to take time out of the programme, can apply for a leave of absence (LoA). An LoA can be for up to a maximum of one-third of the length of the programme (four semesters for full time students and six semesters for part time students).

Ordinarily you should apply for an LOA in advance of the start of the Leave of Absence but, in principle, you can apply for an LOA up to eight weeks into a trimester. Normally you are eligible for a refund of any fees paid but it's best to check with the Student Desk to confirm this. Anything beyond the eight weeks and it's considered a retrospective leave of absence, which is more difficult to obtain.
Note also that, barring very exceptional circumstances, you cannot obtain an LOA for the first trimester of your studies.

 

More detail on the process and an FAQ can be found here

In the first instance, students should contact their supervisor, School or Graduate School on the process. A student on LoA cannot be active on the programme i.e. they cannot meet with supervisor(s), attend lectures, access the library or receive grants/scholarships. However, students will continue to have access to their UCD Connect account, including email, during this time.

Please ensure to inform the PhD Administrator if you apply for a Leave of Absence online

  • You can apply for a Leave of Absence up to eight weeks into a trimester (normally you will be refunded any fee payments made)
  • After the first eight weeks of a trimester, and where there has been programme activity, you can apply under the Policy on Extenuating Circumstances. A Leave of Absence application is considered retrospective when the period of time applied for has passed e.g. applying after the eight-week mark of the trimester. Retrospective Leave of Absence is not normally permitted. However, it may be granted by a Programme Board where it is satisfied that you have extenuating circumstances, and there is no other available solution for you given your circumstances, and you have not normally engaged in any programme activity

 

For more details, see the FAQ on this page