COVID19 Staff FAQ
- COVID-19 FAQs - in relation to working arrangements and special leave
- HSE COVID-19 Information
- FAQs from ECDC
- FAQs from HPSC
- DFA Travel Advice
- Psychological Support - COVID 19
- Guidance for Further and Higher Education for returning to on-site activity in 2020: Roadmap and COVID-19 Adaptation Framework
- Practical Guidance for Further and Higher Education for Returning to On-site Activity in 2020
The government has release a document containing on update on working arrangements for the civil and public service. UCC would like staff to read and familiarise themselves with this document.
The Health and Safety Authority have provided an FAQ for Employers and Employees in relation to Home-Working on a temporary basis (COVID-19)
General UCC FAQ
The 2020-2021 start date for most Taught Programmes and most 1st year students is 28th September 2020. A graphic of the Key Dates 2020/2021 can be found on the Student Examinations and Records webpage
Some programmes traditionally have earlier starts and these can also be found on the Student Examinations and Records webpage
All on-campus activity is subject to the prevailing public-health advice
If you are in any doubt, please contact the Programme Director or School for the programme.
As we plan a resumption of activities in line with the Government’s Return to Work Safely Protocol it is important to emphasise that the safety of our students and staff is paramount. Currently , we advise that staff should continue to work from home, unless you have received permission for access from your function head.
We will approach the next steps collaboratively and keep our staff informed at each step. As we take these steps, a shared responsibility is essential to protect against the spread of Covid-19.
Our colleagues in the Academic Leadership Forum, the Research Business Continuity Group and the Campus Business Continuity Team will work with our community to ensure a phased and gradual return to work in a safe and controlled work environment.
We are developing a university plan that will align with Government advice. Any activity approved to resume must follow several steps before commencing. It will not be possible to resume all activities simultaneously.
If staff have any queries, please contact your line manager in the first instance. Heads of College/Functional Areas can raise questions directly with the Campus Business Continuity Team on your behalf.
Read the detailed FAQ on the procurement of appropriate cleaning materials for COVID 19 infection control to understand the new process.
UCC have created a comprehensive Covid19 Student Induction course to help prepare students for their eventual return to campus. Please encourage all your new and returning UCC students to enrol on and complete this course.
See our Returning to Campus page for information on accessing and or returning to campuse.
The library has created a dedicated information portal for all pressing updates to library services during the COVID-19 closure.
You can access the portal from: https://libguides.ucc.ie/Remote_Working.
The portal contains information on new online collections being added daily, as well as links to the library’s Canvas course for online access to learning materials from our library workshops, our library guide to remote library access, and a list of FAQs related to library services for both staff and students.
updated 8 July
Access to OneSearch, the library catalogue, CORA and other web-based interfaces are all accessible from the library website for users conducting online research. All online library collections such as electronic journals, electronic books and online databases are accessible remotely via the library website for UCC affiliates: https://libguides.ucc.ie/library.
Preqin, a market research database collection, is the only exception to this, as this resource is only accessible within the Boole Library, and therefore not available during the University closure.
Physical Recourses - New Service
The library has unveiled new services designed to improve access to physical library collections.
- Scan & Deliver: Library Users can request a digital scan of a book chapter or journal article from the library printed collections, subject to copyright restrictions. Full details, and application for this service are available from: https://libguides.ucc.ie/scananddeliver
- Click & Collect: From July 20th, library users can avail of the new Click & Collect service. Users may request items from the lending collections for borrowing, and retrieve them from a designated collection point in Boole Library.
Regular in-library borrowing will resume, via the self-checkout options, from August 10th.
restricted from Friday 13 March. Borrowing and returning of books will also not be possible.
Access to Special Collections and Archvies will be available strictly by appointment from July 20th onwards. Appropriate social distancing and public health guidelines will be in place. Further information on the appointment service will be available on the library website.
Library users will be able to renew items already on loan by logging in to their Library Account, detailed at: https://libguides.ucc.ie/libraryessentials/mylibraryaccount. Any borrowed items due back before March 29th will automatically be assigned a new return due date for when the University reopens, and no fines will be incurred during the University closure.
Interlibrary loan requests will still be processed during University closure, however, items will only be available for collection upon reopening.
There is a limited library staff service available online and remotely. The Library’s Ask Us knowledge base is accessible remotely at https://askus.booleweb.ucc.ie/index.php/. The library’s Online Ask Us Live Chat support service from the library website is available during regular business hours Monday – Friday, 10am-5pm. You can also contact the library via email at firstname.lastname@example.org The library will continue to monitor any queries and communications. Consultation services from various library service points (Liaison Librarians, Archives and Special Collections, Research Data Services, CORA) will be available remotely.
The library will continue to monitor the range of services it can provide remotely, and will review this throughout the course of the closure. For updates on the status of library services during University closure, please continue to visit http://libguides.ucc.ie.
The library is working towards our phased reopening plan, which has milestones as follows:
The Quad Reading Room in the Boole Library will open with limited capacity as a unsupervised reading room. Seats will be reserved ahead of time, and subject to social distancing and guidelines. Access by appointment to Special Collections and Archives will also be available.10
The Boole Library and Brookfield Health Sciences Library will both reopen. Social distancing and other public health guidelines will be in operation. As a result of this, the occupancy of the library will be significantly reduced, and access to UCC Library will be managed inline with health guidelines.
The operating hours for UCC Library will be Monday-Friday 9am-5pm for the foreseeable future. For full details on the phased UCC Library Reopening plan, please see: https://libguides.ucc.ie/reopening.
All incoming post is being retained in the post room until normal service resumes.
Posters emphasising the importance of hand washing and respiratory etiquette are available for downloading and use in local units of the university.
The ideal locations include public lobbies, outside washrooms and adjacent to locations where food is consumed. The posters are available in English Poster agus tá leagan Ghaeilge ar fáil chomh maith Póstaer
IT and Technical FAQ
Yes there is IT support available. On foot of the Presidents email, all staff have now moved to a remote working scenario, IT Services want to remind staff that they can still get IT Support in this situation.
A list of our remote services are available on https://www.ucc.ie/en/it/remote-working/
Some useful contact information for colleagues:
PC, Laptop, Remote working, user accounts, devices, security, etc.
This is the fastest way to get your call dealt with.
Use the 24/7 Canvas Help option within Canvas
Using the online ‘chat’ is the recommended route.
Additional Support Resources for Online Learning
Audio Visual Media Services
Student Support services
If you don’t know
This new way of working is also new to our IT team, but we are here to support you and we hope these resources are useful. We will be prioritising support for critical services, such as teaching and critical administration services, so please be patient and we will get to your queries. If you need our help, please let us know and we will try and get to your request as soon as possible.
A guidance note has been drafted to help staff take appropriate measures when working remotely to protect the security of the devices they use and the data they process. In light of GDPR, it is particularly important that we meet our obligations to keep all University information safe and secure.
Please read the Working Securely When Off Campus section of the IT Services website and take any actions you deem necessary to meet your GDPR obligations.
Buildings and Estates look after the provision of mobile devices (phones or broadband dongles) for UCC staff. Visit the Mobile Devices page for the answers to the following questions
Pay and Finance FAQ
In the event that the University is instructed to close due to the Covid19 Virus, the Finance Office has put in place measures to ensure it has the capability to continue to function remotely. While some services may be limited, the Office will continue to pay staff and suppliers, process research funding claims and engage with students who may find it difficult to pay outstanding fee balances.
- All Payroll information should be sent electronically to email@example.com
- All Supplier Invoices with a valid purchase order (PO) number should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
- All fees queries should be directed to Fees@ucc.ie
- All queries relating to Research Grants Claims should be directed to email@example.com
- An employee with no COVID-19 symptoms will be medically/HSE advised to restrict his/her movements for 14-days if he/she is a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or lives with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms. This is to avoid contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. The 14 day period is from the last date of contact with the diagnosed person.
- The employee who has been advised to restrict his/her movements must arrange a COVID-19 test as soon as possible.
- The latest criteria for restricted movement and as updated by the HSE must be followed. The current advice on restricted movements is at: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/if-you-live-with-someone-who-has-coronavirus.html#restrict
- An employee who has been advised to restrict his/her movements must complete the Declaration Form at Appendix B and return this form immediately to the employer, accompanied by medical certification (GP/HSE). Where medical diagnosis changes the employee must inform the employer immediately.
- An employee who has been advised to restrict his/her movements and is medically fit for work, remains available for work. The employee should be assigned work for the 14 day period and the employer must therefore facilitate alternative working arrangements to the maximum extent possible e.g. working from home. If remote working in an employee’s current role is not feasible, then the assignment of work may be outside of their usual core duties. All employees must cooperate with all such flexibilities while they are restricting their movements. Further details are available below at 4.1 Alternative Working Arrangements
- An employee on restricted movement must be recorded by the employer as such on the relevant HR/payroll system.
- Where an employee on restricted movement tests positive for COVID-19, the following will apply (1.1 Application Procedures for Special Leave with Pay):
1.1 Application Procedures for Special Leave with Pay – COVID-19 Diagnosis and/or Self-Isolation
- An employee who has been HSE/medically diagnosed with Covid-19 and/or recommended to self-isolate must immediately inform the manager and complete the Application Form at Appendix A to apply for special leave with pay.
- The completed Application Form should be forwarded by the employee to the employer as soon as possible.The completed form must be accompanied by appropriate HSE/medical certification to include estimated date of fitness to return to work.
- The employee must arrange a COVID-19 test as soon as possible and must immediately inform the manager of the COVID-19 test result.
- Where the employee does not return to work immediately following a negative test result, the terms and conditions of the Sick Leave Scheme applies.
- The current Government advice is not to travel overseas.
- Any person coming into Ireland (apart from Northern Ireland and individuals arriving in Ireland from locations with a security rating of normal precautions “Green List”), is required to restrict their movements for 14 days.
- Responsibility to provide for the period of restricted movements arising from non-essential travel overseas is a matter for each individual employee. Where there is an intention to undertake non-essential travel overseas, all employees must make provision for the 14 day period of restricted movement, by way of an annual leave or unpaid Leave application, in line with the normal terms and conditions.
- Employees must advise their employer in advance in writing of such travel abroad and to include the travel details. This requirement is necessary for the protection of public health.
- Should an employee return from a “Green List” country, there will be no requirement to restrict his/her movements. However, an employee should notify his/her employer in advance in writing, to include the travel details, of their intention to travel abroad to a “Green List” country. The “Green List” will be regularly reviewed and may change, and employees should be aware that whatever restricted movement requirements are in place on their date of return will apply to them.
- Employees should log on to dfa.ie immediately prior to their return to Ireland to ensure they are fully appraised of any changes to the “Green List”, and any necessary requirement to restrict their movements.
- The HSE advice on the ‘very high risk’ groups is at: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/people-at-higher-risk.html
- Having considered the HSE advice and information available on the HSE website, an employee who believes he/she is at very high risk of serious illness from contracting COVID-19 must declare to their manager that they believe that they are at very high risk from Covid–19. The manager will advise Human Resources and you will be asked to complete a Consent Form for onward submission to our Occupational Health Service (OHS) providers.
- The employee will then be contacted by the OHS provider for assessment, and the employee should submit a completed ‘Report from Treating Consultant’ (Covid 19 Risk Assessment) (Appendix C). Where such a report cannot be obtained from the treating consultant within a short timeframe, a copy of the latest treating consultant’s report can be obtained from the employee’s GP. Having considered the medical information provided with the ‘OHS Risk Assessment’, the OHS will provide the employee with a ‘COVID-19 Risk Assessment Report’ which advises whether he/she is at a very high risk of serious illness from contracting COVID-19.
- For employees where the ‘OHS Risk Assessment Report’ advises that they are at a very high risk of serious illness from contracting COVID-19 and cannot attend the workplace, the Declaration Form at Appendix D must be completed by the employee and returned immediately to the employer accompanied by the OHS Covid-19 Risk Assessment Report. Where medical diagnosis changes, the employee must inform the employer.
- In accordance with DPER guidance, where an employee who is at a very high risk of serious illness from contracting COVID-19 and is medically fit for work, the employer should prioritise alternative working arrangements to the maximum extent possible e.g. working from home. If remote working in an employee’s current role is not feasible, then the assignment of work may be outside of their usual core duties. Further details are available at https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/support/hr/Universities.pdf (section 12)
- Where an employee who is at very high risk of serious illness from contracting COVID-19 and has been assessed by the OHS as medically unfit for work, the terms and conditions of the Sick Leave Scheme apply.
- This must be recorded by the employer as such on the relevant HR system
- The HSE advice on the ‘high risk’ group is at: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/people-at-higher-risk.html An employee in the ‘high risk’ group who is not ill must attend the workplace, unless advised otherwise by the OHS.
- In accordance with HSE advice, an employee in the ‘high risk’ group should take extra care to practice social distancing and hand hygiene. The use of face coverings and personal protective equipment may also be considered where maintaining social distancing is difficult.
- Where concerns remain, particularly where an employee in the ‘high risk’ group has a role that requires close contact with students and others for prolonged periods, the employee must immediately contact their manager and the process at section 3 above will be followed.
- Where an employee has been advised by the OHS not to attend the workplace, the administrative processes below (4.1 Alternative Working Arrangements) will apply.
4.1 Alternative Working Arrangements
- An employee who is medically fit for work and who has been advised to restrict his/her movements, or an employee at very high risk of serious illness from contracting COVID-19 is available to work remotely.
- The work assigned to the employee should be determined by the employer, in consultation with the employee, and may include relevant duties that support the work of the employer in developing and delivering its programmes of teaching and learning for students and others. If remote working in an employee’s role is not feasible, then the assignment of work may be outside of their core duties.
In light of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic and the relative proximity of end of semester two, the university has decided to substitute all remaining continuous assessments and end of semester written examinations with online assessments.
At a time of uncertainty, it is important that we make this decision now so that both you and our students can prepare and adjust.
In what are exceptional circumstances, it is important to highlight the following:
- All substitute forms of assessment should ensure that the same competencies are assessed and that Learning Outcomes are met. Your Head of School is responsible for endorsing alternative assessment arrangements provided approval is granted by your Head of College/ACE Director.
- If your programme or module is externally accredited please ensure that the accrediting/professional/regulatory body is aware and formally supportive of any proposed substitute form of assessment.
- In order to avoid delay and disruption to result processing and associated activities, it is important that all substitute forms of assessment for written examinations be completed according to the timetable laid down in the existing written examination schedule. It is understood that the start dates and duration times for substitute forms of assessment may need to vary from those specified in the orthodox schedule.
- External examiners have been notified that they will perform their duties remotely. Examination boards will be conducted online using Microsoft Teams.
Many online assessments will take a timed, open book format. In addition, short answer tests and essays/projects may also be suitable for certain modules.
If you have been contacted by a student requesting Reasonable Accommodations such as extra time, spelling and grammar waiver etc for an exam or assessment and you have queries please contact the Disability Support Service at firstname.lastname@example.org
Further Information and support
For detailed instructions on how to use Canvas to upload examination papers and oversee this form of assessment, please visit here: https://www.ucc.ie/en/keep-assessing
Canvas also provides UCC with an excellent 24x7 user support facility which can be availed of once you log in to the system.
Keep up to date with the dedicated UCC COVID-19 webpage available here for staff FAQ’s and information on remote teaching and learning.
Yes. Some of our eBook suppliers are proactively adjusting the licenses of our eBook collections to expand our access or to increase our number of simultaneous users accessing e-content.
If you have queries about eBook licenses, please contact email@example.com. Library staff continue to work directly with our vendors and suppliers to increase the amount of eBooks available to UCC at this time.
You can find a list of the latest additions to our e-content on the dedicated library website page.
Yes. Academic staff should continue to send in proposals for eBooks and new books as normal, although eBooks will be prioritized as they are particularly useful at this time. While not all eBooks can be purchased with an institutional licence, library staff will investigate the options. See Library Acquisitions https://libguides.ucc.ie/acquisitions, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes. Library staff are prioritising the purchase of eBooks during this time. If you have requests for eBooks, please see Library Acquisitions for details on recommending books for purchasing.
Additionally, library staff continue to work with our existing eBook suppliers. UCC students and staff will now have access to an extra 177,000 eBook titles via ProQuest’s Ebook Central database, including exclusive titles from key publishers like Wiley. This is in addition to the 1,834 eBook titles that the Library has previously purchased on Ebook Central. Cambridge University Press have also made 700 ebook titles available until the end of May 2020. All titles will be available with an unlimited user licence during this time period.
The eBooks can be accessed through OneSearch on the Library website, or through Ebook Central on the Library's A-Z Databases List. For the latest on additional ebook available, please visit the Library Website.
The University recommends that international students currently studying at UCC continue to engage with their programme in UCC by following the instructions in relation to engaging with online learning.
However, UCC understands that international students may wish to return home and such students have been advised that they will not be disadvantaged in terms of academic assessment should they choose to return home.
Further details can be found in the Student FAQs
The impact of the COVID-19 closure of the University on researchers and research activity is clearly very significant - most research teams are actively working remotely focusing on writing papers, reports, accessing library resources etc. over the period of closure, but without the ability to undertake key research activities which require access to the University facilities.
As national public health restrictions and guidelines remain in force, a Research Business Continuity Team (RBCT) has been established to restart research activities which require campus access and to restart fieldwork in a manner which adheres to the public health guidelines. Preparations are underway to facilitate a phased re-opening of research facilities in line with the Government’s roadmap for easing COVID-19 restrictions.
Pilot Programme - Enabling Access
A pilot programme was initiated on May 18th enabling access to three research-intensive buildings on campus: ERI (Lee Road Building and LIR Wave Tanks), BSI and Tyndall National Institute. The pilot was expanded to the INFANT facilities in CUMH on 25th May. The safety of the research community is a key concern and the pilot programme ensures that the phased re-opening is carefully managed and adheres to national restrictions and health and safety guidelines. It will be followed by re-opening of other research facilities in the following weeks.
Further details will be communicated in due course. Compliance with the national guidelines on social distancing will require substantial decrease in occupancy levels; furthermore, access will only be provided for work which cannot be undertaken remotely.
As research teams continue to work remotely, the main Irish and EU funding agencies have published guidance documents and FAQs that provide further information in relation to their funded awards and future calls in the context of the COVID-19 crisis: SFI policies and guidance; IRC guidance; HRB guidance; European Commission guidance. We strongly encourage researchers that hold relevant awards, or those interested in applying to upcoming calls, to consult this information carefully. As always, UCC RSS is available to answer your queries, discuss potential funding opportunities, and the service continues to provide general research support and the administrative management of funding applications and contracts.
Contact UCC Research Support Services (RSS): email@example.com
UCC Innovation also continues to support researchers remotely, and are contactable via this link.
What is happening in regards to PhD vivas?
The UCC procedure for viva voce examinations during the closure is available online from Academic Affairs and Governance..
In recognising the impact of this unprecedented situation on research activities and contracts, the statement from the funders HRB, IRC and SFI is very welcome.
Will work with External Research partners be affected?
With a view to managing external expectations, we would also advise that Principal Investigators reach out to, and keep the lines of communication open with their external research partners and funders (and, in particular, their enterprise funding partners), to keep them informed about the impact of the closure on the delivery of relevant research projects and the institutional steps that are being taken to manage the situation.
The patience of the research community is very much appreciated at this time.
COVID-19 has impacted my research. What should I do?
Issues should be captured using the dedicated online form that is available on the UCC RSS website. Via this form, you can advise us about issues that are impacting on the delivery of your research, and the steps that are being taken at a local level to mitigate against these impacts. The information gathered will also help us to target our support to the research community and also help us keep track of the status of the research operating environment.
Due to the current situation, the University has suspended field work in Ireland and abroad until further notice. A Research Business Continuity Team (RBCT) has been established to to restart to restart fieldwork, as well as other research activities that require campus access, in a manner which adheres to the public health guidelines.
RBCT Pilot Programme
The RBCT is currently planning to enable some limited forms of essential scientific fieldwork which is time sensitive to restart. A pilot programme will be initiated during the week 1st June to restart some limited fieldwork in the School of BEES and ERI. This pilot fieldwork has been authorised by UMTO via the VP Research and Innovation and relevant Head of College.
The safety of the research community is our key concern and the pilot programme will ensure that the restarting of fieldwork is carefully managed and adheres to national restrictions and health and safety guidelines. The pilot will be expanded to include other essential time-sensitive fieldwork in the following weeks. Further details will be communicated in due course.
Compliance with the national guidelines on social distancing will require significant changes to the way in which fieldwork is carried out; furthermore, permission will only be provided where scientific fieldwork is essential and time-sensitive. Researchers whose fieldwork is essential and time-sensitive should contact their Head of College.
Yes. The library has reinstated a partial interlibrary loan service which will allow us to request digital copies of materials from other libraries.
Due to continued closure of library buildings we are unable to process requests for print items. However, we will investigate the purchase of e-books as alternatives where possible. Interlibrary loan charges are waived until August 31st 2020 except for material sourced from the British Library.
For more information on submitting an interlibrary loan request, please visit: https://libguides.ucc.ie/interlibraryloans.
Health Service Executive
Please follow advice published on the HSE website.
In office-hours: Contact your local GP
Out of Hours: Contact the GP Out of Hours services in your county or region:
Call 112 or 999 only in the case of a medical emergency
Managing anxiety: Tips for self-care
HSE Psychological Services advice on managing anxiety with tips on self-care: hsecovid
Crisis Text Line
Text 'UCC' to 086 1800 280 to chat anonymously with a trained volunteer 24/7.
Any Issue. Any time. (Standard SMS rates map apply)
Inspire Workplaces Counselling Services
Inspire Workplaces Counselling Services provide the University’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) service. University staff and their immediate families (those living at home with them who are 18 years of age and older) can avail of emotional support such as telephone counselling by calling 1800 817 435
Crisis Text Line
Text 'UCC' to 086 1800 280 to chat anonymously with a trained volunteer 24/7.
Any Issue. Any time. (Standard SMS rates map apply)
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The GP will assess you over the phone. If they think you need to be tested for coronavirus, they will arrange a test.