Due to Government restrictions on non-essential travel, RCSI research staff are not permitted to access RCSI buildings and are asked to work remotely where possible. Access is only allowed for essential staff and must be agreed in advance (details below).
The Director of Research and the Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) are sending regular email updates as the situation evolves so we ask that you continue to monitor your email accordingly.
Technology solutions have been put in place to enable staff to work remotely so please ensure you use these tools to maintain close contact with your colleagues and the continuity of research activities.
We are engaging with other universities and national funders to ensure that any negative impact of protracted access restriction to research facilities for researchers is minimised as much as possible.
The HRB, SFI and IRC have come together and issued a joint statement which says that they are “taking a pragmatic approach” to the challenges presented by COVID-19 to research. On a case-by-case basis, they will give consideration to budget reallocations or exceptional charges to grants arising from travel/other restrictions, no-cost extensions as well as restructuring of project deliverables and timelines for researcher mobility and collaborations, where direct adverse impact has occurred.
Other international funders have also made announcements addressed to grant applicants and grant holders. For example, the European Commission have indicated that beneficiaries may request an amendment for an extension of up to six months of initial project duration in response to challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Current restrictions and the uncertainty around their duration are putting a number of projects which are at a critical stage ( i.e. only have a few months left prior to their termination and the time left is critical for project completion) at risk.
If you are a PI leading such a project, and you haven’t done so already, we recommend that you carry out a risk assessment and identify ways to minimise the effects that a protracted closure of the RCSI Campus, and wider restrictions related to COVID-19, may cause.
Before assessing all viable options, please review the terms and conditions of the funding agreement, in particular the clauses which relate to budget reallocation, force majeur, project suspension and termination. Among the viable options, you may, where permissible, move budgets between categories, revising work and staff plans, etc.
If, as a result of your assessment, you come to one of the following conclusions:
- it is an essential requirement that research continues, staff travel and (where applicable) gain access to research facilities
- research cannot continue for staffing reason
please contact us ASAP, providing the following information:
- Project title
- Project end date
- Immediate challenges identified
- Possible solutions
- Residual issues that you are unable to address
In include the subject line 'project(s) affected by COVID-19' in your email.
Upon review, if needed, a member of the ORI team will be touch to offer support and guidance.
All non-essential laboratory work should now have ceased. Access to RCSI buildings is only granted where it has been demonstrated that the work being carried out is essential. If you require access to the University campus during the closure, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are endeavouring to support healthcare providers with requests for certain instruments, reagents or PPE at this very challenging time. To ensure transparency, institutional oversight and no duplication of effort, please forward all such requests to Christopher Byrne.
The ORI was prepared for the possibility of working from home for some time and during the Campus closure we continue to support grant applications and post-award activities as normal.
You will be alerted of any major funding calls by email and upcoming deadlines can be found on the internal RCSI staff portal.
There remains a relatively high volume of research recruitment ongoing.
Again, before progressing with any recruitment campaign during this period of closure please ensure it’s absolutely required.
While the RCSI HR department will continue to work with you to progress your campaigns to as far a stage as is reasonable, they will generally not be in a position to issue contracts or agree a start date until the University reopens. In the exceptional circumstance that a PI wishes to commence employment during the closure it will initially require advance approval by the Director of Research and Innovation. These requests will be reviewed weekly.
The purpose of this is not to stifle research in any way but more so to ensure consistency and alignment with our other measures, including access, during this period of closure. Approvals will generally only be granted in instances where the role can be undertaken remotely with limited IT infrastructure support available (email, OneDrive, Microsoft Teams) for an extended period (months) and there are clear plans to fully induct and support the new recruit.
- Step 1: Please support our IT colleagues at this time by following the advice outlined in the online IT guides; these are accessible even if you do not have access to the network. You will find information in relation to setting up remote access, accessing your email from an Apple or Android device, using OneDrive and more.
- Step 2: If you require further support, please contact your IT super user. One of which has been nominated per department. If you do not know who your super user is, please contact your manager.
- Step 3: If your super user cannot provide assistant to resolve the issue, they are asked to escalate the issue (along with any others your colleagues may have encountered) with their nominated IT resource. Please do not contact the Helpdesk directly.