• TOPMed10
    Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions COFUND Programme

Working Environment

Working Environment

On the commencement of their employment in UCD, Fellows will be granted access to all facilities and supports needed for their professional development including world class research infrastructure on a welcoming, well-situated campus near the city centre.

Research Infrastructure

The UCD TOPMed10 Programme offers a comprehensive infrastructure for personalised medicine research, at our research centres in UCD, our affiliated hospitals and our partner organisations.

Systems Biology Ireland is an international leader in the application of computational and mathematical modeling to biomedical questions. Its research focuses on elucidating the basic principles of the design and function of biological signal transduction networks so as to design new therapeutic approaches based on a systems level, mechanistic understanding of biomolecular networks. To do this, the centre draws on the expertise of experimentalists, computational scientists, bioinformaticians, biostatisticians, physicists, engineers, software developers, chemists and clinicians.

SBI specialises in the development of new network based diagnostics and treatment strategies in cancer. Since its establishment in 2009, the centre has identified and validated new and promising therapeutic targets for treatment of breast cancer, melanoma, neuroblastoma, and colorectal cancer. The centre’s team of some 80 researchers from over 20 countries has secured ~€37 million in direct funding, supported 26 postgraduate fellows and 35 internships, established collaborations with >100 private and academic organisations worldwide; and published 198 original articles and 41 reviews.

UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research is the largest interdisciplinary Irish life science institute dedicated to the investigation of the molecular causes of diseases. The institute houses more than 450 research, technical and administrative staff amongst which are 120 postdoctoral and research fellows; making it Ireland’s largest postdoctoral training facility. The international flavour of the institute is boosted by the fact that over 50% of the 350 early career researchers who have trained in the Conway Institute in the past decade came from abroad. Key research areas include cancer and inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease.

Since its inception, the Conway Institute has sought to build critical mass in a number of well-funded, developing scientific disciplines which are supported by a world-class suite of technology platforms in areas of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics, flow cytometry and imaging.

Over the last 10 years, Conway Fellows have produced  more than 3200 publications. More than 80 scientific publications by Conway researchers have been cited over 100 times. These highly cited studies have emerged from across the full range of scientific areas and reflect the world-class research taking place. Prof Des Higgins, Professor of Bioinformatics at the UCD Conway Institute and SBI, has over 100,000 total citations for his work on DNA sequence comparisons; making him the most cited Irish, and one of the most cited researchers in the world.

UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology is the only dermatology research institute in Ireland. It has a focus on skin inflammatory diseases and melanoma. In January 2014, Martin Steinhoff, a clinician scientist, was appointed to the Professorial Chair of Dermatology and Director of the Charles Institute. He joins UCD from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), where he was the Professor in Residence in the Departments of Dermatology and Surgery. At UCSF he established clinics for eczema and rosacea, a successful NIH-funded research group for neuroimmunology, and clinical trials on novel treatments for pruritus and atopic dermatitis.

Prof Steinhoff’s vision for the Charles Institute is to become a world leader in dermatology research and training in order to improve patient care through the discovery of molecular disease mechanisms that result in new diagnostic tools and therapies. Associated with the Charles Institute are two dermatology university clinics located in St Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (MMUH) linked via UCD Clinical Research Centre. This provides basic researchers with invaluable patient access for human studies and translational skin research. The Charles Institute is equipped to the highest standards with state-of-the-art laboratory space. Situated in the heart of the UCD Health Sciences Complex, researchers have full access to comprehensive and advanced analysis platforms for life sciences and biomedical research available in the Conway Institute and leading expertise in cellular signal transduction networks in SBI.

UCD Clinical Research Centre purpose-built clinical investigation and laboratory support facilities were established in 2006 at MMUH and in 2007 at SVUH, two of Ireland’s largest teaching hospitals. UCD CRC undertakes advanced research in a caring environment that aims to progress medical treatment for patients suffering from a wide range of illnesses. The approach to this research is truly a team effort with doctors, nurses, technicians, scientists and patients working together towards the common goal of developing new treatments and improving patient health.

Over 3,000 patients participate annually in research studies in areas such as cancer, dermatology and inflammatory arthritis. Core activities supported by UCD CRC include clinical research, clinical trials phases I-IV, population studies, bio-banking, data collection/handling, biostatistics and provision of training.

UCD Campus

UCD campus offers world-class facilities for students, staff and the wider community. It is located on a beautiful 133-hectare parkland area close to Dublin’s city centre.

It includes a range of facilities for staff and students, including shops, cafes, banking, sport facilities, crèche‌, post office and more. There are over 8 km of woodland paths for walking jogging and cycling on the campus.

The campus is very well connected to Dublin city centre and the surrounding areas with public transport links and cycling infrastructure.

Employment Conditions

UCD will sign an employment contract with each Fellow for the entire duration of the Fellowship. The employment contract will contain information about the statutory working practices and will determine the conditions for implementing the project.

The Fellows will have an option to join a group scheme with one of the Irish private health insurance companies and the University will facilitate payment through payroll. All Fellows will receive a pension from UCD.  Once they have paid into the pension fund for 2 years, they are entitled to receive a pension upon retirement.

All TOPMed10 Fellows, where relevant, are entitled to 26 weeks maternity leave. Under Irish law, mothers receive a basic social security Maternity Benefit. UCD will also continue the Fellowship to its full 2-year term.