☰       Show/Hide Menu

☰       Department Menu

Research Support

Frequently Asked Questions on Research 

Research & Innovation Support

What is RIS?
What can RIS do for me?
Where is RIS?
What kind of help is available? 

Publishing Your Research 

How do I publish my profile to the DCU web?
How do I market myself as an academic?
How do I compare my academic research profile to other academics?
How do I get my research published in journals?
How do I choose the right journal for publication?
What do I do if my draft is rejected?
How do I publish a book?
How do I find out about the impact of my research?

Research Funding

Why do I need funding for my research?
Where can I find funding for my research?
How much funding do I need?
How do I apply for research funding?

Budget Preparation

Are there budget templates to help me with budget preparation?
Why do I have to include overheads?
How do I budget for students and staff on the project?

Research Ethics

What is ethical approval?
Does my research require ethical approval?
Who is responsible for conducting ethical review and issuing approval?
How do I obtain permission to use animals for my research?
When should I submit my research project for ethical approval?

Got Awarded - What Now?

Who signs the contract or letter of award?
How do I get access to my funding?
What do I do when I get a research account?

Skills Development

Where do I find help to prepare my proposal?
How do I build a consortium/find partners?
How can I develop my proposal writing skills?
How can I enhance my research career opportunities and ensure my development as a researcher?

How can I get an academic and research mentor in DCU?
What academic, research development and transferable skills can I develop while in DCU?

Research Infrastructure

Where do I find what equipment and infrastructure exist in DCU?
How do I access equipment or research facilities in DCU?
Where can I find information on university policies that relate to research?

Research Integrity

What is research integrity?
Does DCU provide research integrity training?

 

Research & Innovation Support

What is RIS?
RIS stands for Research and Innovation Support. Our mission is to provide professional support for research across all fields in a proactive, researcher-centric way, in order to facilitate the development and funding of research at DCU and assist in the implementation of DCU’s research strategy.

Our webpages on the DCU website can be found using the following link: http://www.dcu.ie/researchsupport/index.shtml

What can RIS do for me?
Among a range of supports on offer, we can help:

  • Identify sources of research funding
  • Interpret call documentation
  • Prepare proposals
  • Formulate budgets
  • Develop training courses and information sessions e.g. for research career development, research information systems, funding calls etc.
  • Publicise DCU research activity and successes
  • Provide and review consultancy and collaborative research agreements
  • Process award documentation and create awards on internal systems
  • Facilitate ethical reviews via Research Ethics Committee and provide Research Integrity training
  • Provide DCU research metrics

For more information on any of our supports, check out our Research Support webpage on the DCU website: http://www.dcu.ie/researchsupport/index.shtml

Where is RIS?
The RIS offices are located:

  • Ground Floor, Invent Building, DCU Glasnevin Campus       
  • B138, DCU St. Patrick’s Campus
Publishing Your Research 

How do I publish my profile to the DCU web?
You can publish your academic profile on the DCU website using Research Engine.  This is an intuitive and easy-to-use system developed for DCU researchers to showcase their profile to peers, prospective and current students and wider society.  You can find Research Engine in the Apps section on the dcu.ie website or for quick access simply type dcu.ie/researchengine into the url address. For access to the Research Engine user manual and Research Engine FAQs, click the following link: www.dcu.ie/researchsupport/rss.shtml. If you require any assistance with the system, please email research@dcu.ie.

How do I market myself as an academic?
It is important to maintain and update your academic profile on the DCU website. To learn how to maximise your profile, HR Learning and Development offer a short training course on the subject. To learn more about the course and to register, following the following link: https://www4.dcu.ie/hr/training/maximisingresearchprofile.shtml

How do I compare my academic research profile to other academics?
DCU has a subscription to SciVal, which is a user-friendly tool used to gather and analyse bibliometric data. Bibliometric analysis is becoming an increasingly important way to measure and assess research impact.

SciVal uses data from Scopus and allows you to benchmark individual researchers, groups of researchers and institutions based on a variety of different metrics including:

  • Scholarly output
  • Citation count
  • Field-weighted citation impact
  • Outputs in the top percentiles
  • H-index
  • Journal count
  • Collaboration Impact, etc.

To use SciVal, go to www.scival.com, create a log in and access from any DCU computer.

How do I get my research published in journals?
Your research maybe published in a variety of outlets. The process to get published varies depending on the outlet. Journals normally have a manuscript formatting guide or a template as well as a specific set of instructions that you need to follow when writing your article, chapter or book in order to comply with all submission guidelines. Guidelines for each publication would be specific for the publisher and generally available online. Once the article, etc is written, it must be sent to the publisher following the instructions on the guidelines for editors, and there is usually a waiting time that varies between a few weeks to a few months to receive a response. New authors can find comprehensive information about publishing in scholarly journals and how to find the right journal is available in Elsevier.

How do I choose the right journal for publication? 
Make sure that your paper is within the scope that the Journal covers. A good and free online resource to help you find relevant journals is JournalGuide. To use it you need to have ready the title and the abstract for your article. 

What do I do if my draft is rejected?

After submission, the publisher may either accept the material for publication as it is (rarely), request some changes or additional work to be completed within a given period of time, or the manuscript maybe rejected and generally feedback is received. Always take the feedback on board. Even if you dont agree with it, try to understand why they are saying it. 

Don't give up and resend it to a different publisher. 

How do I publish a book?

If you want to publish your first academic book it would be useful to have a mentor or an experience colleague who has done it before to guide you through the process and to help you choose the best publisher. Read the following article in the Times Higher Education Rankings website "10 point guide to dodging publishing pitffalls" , by Dale Edwin Murray or visit  Alison Kirk blog article "How to get your academic book published- some advice"  to get started. 

How do I find out about the impact of my research?

The DCU library, in collaboration with other Irish universities, has created an excellent online resource to help academics and early career researchers to understand the impact of their research and to understand bibliometrics. The link is available in the DCU library website. 

Research Funding

Why do I need funding for my research? 
Research drives innovation and advancement across all sectors in society. It is fundamental to economic competitiveness, environmental management and sustainability, cultural development, advances in education, new discoveries in healthcare and the translation of these into tangible benefits for people.

Funding is required to advance research across all these areas by covering the costs of undertaking the particular body of research – these include time and personnel, equipment, materials and any other resources required to undertake and advance the piece of research. 

Research funding is also important from an academic perspective in terms of advancement and promotional opportunities. A track record of successful bids for research funding and successful delivery on research projects are key for progressing within academia.

It should be noted that it is never too early to seek independent funding, even during doctoral study there are often opportunities available for travel grants, equipment, conference attendance etc.

Where can I find funding for my research? 
Funding comes from a variety of sources, the most common being the national funding agencies, government departments, charities and industry.  DCU subscribes to an excellent funding database called Research Professional (www.researchprofessional.com), which will allow you to search for open funding opportunities within your area of research interest and expertise.

In terms of competitive bidding for national research funding, the main sources of funding come from the following bodies: Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Enterprise Ireland (EI), Higher Education Authority (HEA), Irish Research Council (IRC), Health Research Board (HRB), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Teagasc.  The funding landscape is highly competitive; engaging with the Research Support Office well ahead of your application deadline will allow the Research Officers review your application and ensure that you are best placed to compete for the available funding.  It is important to ensure that your area of research matches the funding remit and that you are eligible to apply for the award.

See also: Where do I find help to prepare my proposal?

How much funding do I need? 
It is important to plan the resources required for your research and to ensure that the body of research you plan to undertake can be completed with the funding available (either from the grant amount allocated by the funding agency or that you are submitting an accurately costed proposal to an enterprise partner).  The amount of funding that can be requested and the eligible costs allowed are normally outlined in the call documentation, you should read this carefully as eligible costs vary across funders.

Research funding is needed to cover the costs of undertaking the particular body of research – these include time and personnel, equipment, materials, travel  and any other resources required to undertake and advance the piece of research. 

For detailed information please download our guide on how to approach resourcing your project.

How do I apply for research funding? 
Once you have developed your research idea, identified an appropriate funding opportunity and planned the resources, you need to write the application.

See our online guide, which is intended to give DCU researchers an overview of the main steps involved in preparing research grant applications for submission to external funding agencies.

You should notify the Research Support Office of your intention to apply for a grant.  All applications to external funding agencies must be submitted for institutional approval a minimum of 5 days before the deadline via the Internal Proposal Approval System (IPAS).  This allows for institutional approval of your budget and submission.

We are happy to assist at an earlier stage in your proposal and can advise on: interpreting call documents, budgets, supplying institutional generic data, reviewing early drafts etc..

Budget Preparation

Are there budget templates to help me with budget preparation? 
The majority of funders provide tables or templates specific to their funding opportunity.  Budgets should include all your actual costs - typically: salary, materials, travel, equipment, overheads and VAT.  You should use the funder's table/template, if supplied, and submit the application and budget to the Internal Proposal Approval System (IPAS) for signoff. Templates are provided for H2020 applications at https://www4.dcu.ie/researchsupport/proposal-templates.shtml

Why do I have to include overheads? 
Overheads include costs not directly associated with the project. These include lighting, space, central supports etc.. When possible, it is essential to include these costs, otherwise the University is subsidising the project and incurring a financial loss on the project.

How do I budget for students and staff on the project? 
When the person involved in the project is known you should include the actual gross salary plus employer contributions. The employer contributions are typically 10.75% for PRSI and 20% for Pension for non-academic staff.  Typically, the IUA salary scales should be followed if a funder does not have a dedicated scale.  For academic staff, please contact the Research Finance Office as employer contributions may vary.

We would recommend that you request student stipend funding at €18,500 per annum plus €5,500 in fees and these must be funded for 4 years if possible under the programme.

Research Ethics 

What is ethical approval? 
Ethical approval is written authorisation from the institution to proceed with a research project, following the review of the ethical aspects of that project by the appropriate institutional ethics review body.

Does my research require ethical approval? 
Ethical approval is required for all research undertaken by any staff or student at DCU that involves human participants and/or animal subjects. No project should commence before the appropriate approval is in place.

Who is responsible for conducting ethical review and issuing approval? 
For masters by research, PhD, professional doctorate and staff research projects, ethical review and approval is the responsibility of the DCU Research Ethics Committee. For undergraduate and taught masters projects, ethical review and approval is the responsibility of the relevant school or faculty based review panel, who have the delegated authority from the DCU Research Ethics Committee to review and approve research activity by undergraduate and taught masters students in part completion of module learning outcomes.

How do I obtain permission to use animals for my research? 
Staff or students carrying out research work involving animal subjects, whether on DCU premises or elsewhere, must do so in accordance with protocols which have been approved by the DCU Animal Welfare Body and must be ethically approved by the DCU Research Ethics Committee. The DCU Animal Welfare Body (AWB) reviews all research proposals involving the use of animals. Researchers must submit their proposal in the relevant application form for consideration by the AWB members before commencing any research on animals. The AWB is an advisory body to the DCU

Research Ethics Committee (REC) and proposals that have been endorsed by the AWB are sent to REC for final ethical approval. No proposals involving the use of animals must be sent to REC without the pre-approval of the AWB. 

When should I submit my research project for ethical approval? 
An application should be submitted only after the research project has been developed and agreed upon by the research team (and in the case of student applicants, agreed with their supervisor). Documentation for potential research participants and evidence of approval from the appropriate authority to access those participants should be included. For applications to the REC, the calendar of REC meetings is available online

Got Awarded - What Now?

Who signs the contract or letter of award? 
The letter of award or agreement is signed by an authorised person in Research and Innovation Support. Once you receive a Letter or agreement for signature or review it should be forwarded to RIS via the Research Officer responsible for the award or if in doubt through the RIS Research Officer responsible for your school.

How do I get access to my funding? 
All external awards received by DCU researchers need to be set up with a research account (Pcode). The Pcode will only be issued once the executed letter of award or agreement and budget details have been uploaded onto DCU’s award management system. A Pcode will then be issued by the finance office to the Principal Investigator.

What do I do when I get a research account? 
The Principal Investigator on the project receives an automated email when the account is created, letting them know the Pcode and asking them to fill in an online form identifying who will be allowed to spend from the project ("requisitioners"), who will need to approve the requisition requests ("interventionists" - not mandatory) and who will make the purchases ("buyer" - typically the School or Centre Administrator).

Skills Development

Where do I find help to prepare my proposal? 
The Research Support Office can help you with all aspects of research proposal development. We work closely with other relevant units in DCU including Research & Enterprise Hubs and cross-cutting Platforms, Finance, Human Resources, Invent, Information Systems Services and provide tailored assistance to DCU research community. We developed a comprehensive set of resources (available heregive link details?) to guide you through the proposal development process and to help you to prepare competitive funding applications. Our contact details can be found heregive link details? 

Please get in touch, we are here to help you!

How do I build a consortium/find partners? 
Finding suitable partners is key to having a successful proposal and impactful project. Most national and international funders, including the EU, support collaborative projects and require a specific number of partners to form a consortium. Consortiums are usually international, inter-disciplinary and multi-sectoral and include a diversity of academic and non-academic partners such as universities and research institutes, private companies, and non-for-profit organisations. There are a number of ways of how to find partners for your consortium:

  • Leverage your existing professional networks
  • Use specialized partner search services provided by funders, professional networks and other entities (such as CORDIS partner search, Ideal-ist partner search, Enterprise Europe Network Cooperation Opportunities Database)
  • Attend networking and brokerage events organized by funders, professional associations and governmental agencies
  • Apply for institutional and national seed funding to organize workshops and networking events and invite potential partners to discuss collaboration opportunities
  • Join an existing COST Action or propose a new COST Action (see http://www.cost.eu/ ) to develop a new research programme and apply for subsequent funding.

How can I develop my proposal writing skills?
RIS in collaboration with the Training and Development Unit in DCU Human Resources have developed a comprehensive Research Development Programme with the aim of supporting academic and research staff with the development of skills related to the performance of research. Modules include themes such as orientation for researchers, grant writing, project management for researchers, intellectual property, commercialisation of research, CV clinics, writing for high impact publications, etc.

How can I enhance my research career opportunities and ensure my development as a researcher?
DCU has developed a structured career path development programme for early career researchers and post-doctoral scholars – DCU Research Career Framework. The Research Career Framework is designed to attract and retain the best postdoctoral researchers to DCU, provide significant professional development and give the best opportunities in terms of their wider career path. More details on the Framework including how to enter onto the Framework and progress through it can be found here

How can I get an academic and research mentor in DCU? 
DCU Mentoring Scheme connects junior lecturers and research staff with more senior and experienced academic staff, and provides support in advance of taking a new leadership position; identifying key priorities for professional, career and personal development; networking and raising research profile both within and outside DCU.

What academic, research development and transferable skills can I develop while in DCU?
Throughout the year Training and Development in DCU HR in collaboration with RIS run a number of specialised courses aimed at academic and research development e.g. data protection essentials, recruitment and interview skills, writing for publications, academic speed reading, intellectual property research integrity etc. Transferrable skills courses focus on professional and interpersonal development, leadership and management, career development, equality and diversity, and computer skills. More information can be found  here

Research Infrastructure

Where do I find what equipment and infrastructure exist in DCU?
Equipment and research facilities available for access to the academic and research community in DCU belong to the DCU Research Infrastructure network. Information can be found in the Research Infrastructure Network website which contains a search facility whereby you can find equipment using the name of the equipment or a keyword. 

How do I access equipment or research facilities in DCU?
The items of equipment listed in the Research Infrastructure Network website are either centrally managed, locally managed (at centre or school level), or individually managed by a single group or PI. Access information for each piece of equipment or facility can be either booked online (centrally managed) or by contacting the relevant individual as indicated in the equipment record on the website. 

Dublin City University has set up the Research Infrastructure Network to enable easy access to its vast array of state-of-the-art research equipment and facilities. The Research Infrastructure Network provides means of access to equipment for DCU researchers, non-DCU researchers and also for companies who wish to use services on the equipment or in some cases have their own people run the equipment.  For more information, see https://www.dcu.ie/research/infrastructure-overview.shtml

Where can I find information on university policies that relate to research?
You can find this on the DCU website at https://www4.dcu.ie/researchsupport/Research-Policies-and-Guidelines.shtml  Please contact us via research@dcu.ie with any particular queries on these policies

Research Integrity

What is research integrity?
Research integrity is about knowing and meeting your responsibilities as a researcher. It means performing research to the highest standards of professionalism, at all points of the research process – from design through to dissemination of results. DCU is committed to ensuring the highest standards of integrity in all aspects of our research, as outlined in the National Policy Statement on Ensuring Research Integrity in Ireland. This commitment is formally expressed in our research codes and policies, such as the DCU Code of Good Research Practice, the DCU Code of Practice on Authorship and the DCU Policy for Responding to Allegations of Research Misconduct. Further information is available on the Research Integrity section of the website

Does DCU provide research integrity training?  
Yes - DCU provide training on Research Integrity in order to promote best practice in responsible research behaviour. Research Integrity is an online course delivered in five subject tracks, each tailored to a specific research disciplinary area. It is designed to enable researchers to conduct research of the highest quality, helping them meet the criteria for key funding bodies. The course provides researchers with a better understanding of the obligations and responsibilities that today’s researchers have, along with practical advice on how to deal with the complex situations in which they may find themselves. The course is automatically available to staff and research students through LOOP

Research integrity is a key component in the induction of graduate students and research supervisors. The Research Integrity Training Programme has been jointly developed by Research and Innovation Support and the Graduate Studies Office to complement the content of the online course. Over the academic year, a number of face-to-face sessions are delivered by DCU staff with expertise in the issues surrounding research integrity.