COVID19 Staff FAQ
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
UCC convened a group to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation in late January 2020. This group has met regularly to consider and implement recommended actions advised by the HSE and HPSC.
Regular communications have been issued to students and staff advising of appropriate infection control measures and travel advisory notices. These communications have been supplemented by the creation of the COVID19 Information and Updates webpage which is updated regularly.
The university Emergency Management Team meets regularly to oversee the overall university response and co-ordinate the ongoing operations of the university whilst making contingency plans to deal with the expected escalation of the situation. The Emergency Management Team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes. The Government announced that from 6pm on 12 March until 19 April, all schools and higher education institutions should close.
UCC is following this directive and closing the campus during this period from 6pm 12 March. The safety and welfare of our students and staff is paramount.
Online teaching and learning will be provided for students from Monday 16 March. We will seek to ensure studies and exams are not unduly affected.
Critical services (including critical research infrastructure) will be maintained. UCC staff will work remotely to the maximum extent possible during this period, in line with the Government advice issued today. Please agree your remote working arrangements with your relevant line management. A guide to remote working has been prepared and is available to all staff.
UCC’s Emergency Management Team will continue to meet regularly to ensure its community is protected. Please continue to monitor this page, your staff email and our social media platforms.
UCC confirms that two cases of COVID 19 have been confirmed.
Contact tracing is underway for both cases and any one deemed to have had close contact with the individual is being be contacted directly by HSE Public health.
The HSE has expressly advised that anyone who needs to be contacted by the HSE Public Health will be contacted directly, and you do not need to make contact with that department. HSE Public Health will have appropriate public health advice for those in close contact with the confirmed case.
Mental Health Support
If you are seeking mental health support, UCC’s Crisis Text Line is available. The Crisis Text Line's anonymous text message support service is available to UCC students and staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Text 'UCC' to 086 1800 280 to chat anonymously with a trained volunteer 24/7.
Updates and Contact
UCC will continue to keep you updated on our dedicated UCC COVID-19 webpage and our Emergency Management Team can be contacted at email@example.com. [Monday-Friday 8am-7pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm and bank holidays 10am-5pm]
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.
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 - Not Accessible
It will not be possible to access physical collections in main lending, high demand and restricted from Friday 13 March. Borrowing and returning of books will also not be possible.
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 (March 17th excepted). 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.
On the 27 March the Irish Government announced a series of heightened public health measures which will apply until 12 April.
At the core of this message is that, as a community, we must stay at home to the maximum extent possible. Full details of the measures are published on Gov.ie. In the context of work activities, the Government’s message is clear: “If [an employee is] not engaged in the provision of essential services, then [they are] not permitted to travel to and from work until 12 April 2020”.
As has been the case since the closure of the campus on 12 March 2020, all staff should complete their work activities remotely from home to the maximum extent possible.
By virtue of the Government’s new public health measures, access to the University campus/facilities between now and the 12 April will be strictly limited to essential services/activities.
The University Management Team will issue letters of authorisation to staff members who will be permitted access to campus during this period in order to complete essential services/activities. These letters will be issued to staff on Monday 30 March.
For staff members who are granted permission to access campus, the following conditions will apply from Tuesday 31 March:
- When travelling to and from work, you should at all times bring your UCC identification and the letter of authorisation from the University Management Team member (you may be asked to produce this by State authorities monitoring adherence to public health measures);
- Identify yourself at UCC security reception on arrival to campus and show a copy of the letter from the University Management Team member;
- Strictly adhere to public health guidelines on matters such as infection control and social distancing at all times (see https://healthservice.hse.ie/filelibrary/staff/covid-19-leaflet-a5.pdf ); and
- Limit your in campus services/activity to the minimum duration necessary.
If you do not receive a letter from a member of the University Management Team authorising you to access campus and you consider that access prior to 12 April is essential, please contact your line manager who will submit a request to your relevant University Management Team member for consideration.
We appreciate your co-operation with these new measures as UCC plays its part in adhering to the Government’s public health measures.
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
The Government today announced that from 6pm today (March 12th) until 19 April inclusive all schools and higher education institutions should close, and institutions should make other arrangements for teaching and learning and other activities in line with their business continuity plans.
In line with this directive, the UCC campus will be closed for this period from 6pm 12 March. The safety and welfare of our students and staff is paramount.
Online teaching and learning will be provided for staff and students from Monday 16 March and critical services (including critical research infrastructure) will be maintained during this period
UCC staff are expected to work remotely to the maximum extent possible during this period, in line with the Government advice issued today. Please agree your remote working arrangements with your relevant line management. View our guide to remote working for more information.
Staff who are medically diagnosed with COVID-19 will be placed on special leave with pay and this period will not count as part of your sick leave record.
The application of special leave with pay will apply for the number of days advised by the HSE/doctor.
Appropriate medical confirmation of a diagnosis of COVID-19 will be required. This will be recorded as ‘CV19 special leave with pay’ on HRIS for reporting purposes.
Staff who are medically advised to self-isolate will be placed on special leave with pay and this period will not count as part of your sick leave record.
The application of special leave with pay will apply for the number of days advised by the HSE/doctor to self-isolate.
Appropriate medical confirmation of the need to self-isolate will be required. This will be recorded as ‘CV19 special leave with pay’ on HRIS for reporting purposes.
Yes, special leave with pay is paid leave.
Please find application form at: https://www.ucc.ie/en/hr/policies/leave/covid19
Staff will only be asked to cancel leave if this is completely unavoidable to provide essential cover.
- Preferably leave your work in an ordered way, prioritised, at the end of each working day.
- Staff members should not attend work if they have been medically diagnosed as having contracted COVID 19/instructed to self-isolate until certified fit by their doctor.
- If medically diagnosed inform your Line Manager by telephone as soon as possible and keep them informed as to your return to work date.
- Seek the appropriate medical confirmation and ensure you provide it to your line manager
- If you are in contact with a confirmed/diagnosed case of COVID -19 You should contact your doctor or the HSE and follow the medical advice provided. Then inform your Line Manager as to the advice given
Applicants should continue to apply for open recruitment competitions until the advertised closing date and time.
The following are tips from the BBC to stay efficient and keep your spirits up:
- Get Dressed
- Establish Boundaries
- Get Out and About (if not self-isolating)
- Pick Up the Phone
- Take Regular Breaks
Read More at: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51868894
Its strongly recommended to create a daily timetable. Here is an example that might be useful for students, created by Lisa Halton, OT. Daily Schedule Suggestion
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.
Access has been arranged through the Colleges for staff to ensure maintenance of ongoing research infrastructure which is time sensitive - if a Principal Investigator requires access for a time sensitive issue please liaise with the relevant College to arrange.
Contact UCC Research Support Services (RSS) : email@example.com
UCC Innovation continue to function 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.
The Irish Government has announced that from 6pm Irish time on the 12 March until the 19 April inclusive all schools and higher education institutions should close. This follows the World Health Organisation’s declaration of the COVID-19 situation as a worldwide pandemic.
Based on the foregoing developments, the University has suspended field work in Ireland and abroad until further notice.
Field work includes for example: door data collection for research and work on or from boats.
We understand that this decision, based on the direction from the Government, will inconvenience those due to undertake field work in the coming weeks. The situation is regrettable but unfortunately necessary. The safety and welfare of our students and staff is the highest priority for the University and the decision was taken with that in mind.
Whilst the Government’s direction extends to the 19 April, we can anticipate that the COVID-19 situation may continue to evolve. In the interests of forward planning for students and staff, we confirm that the decision regarding field work will be reviewed again on the 1st May 2020.
UCC will ensure students on taught programmes are not academically disadvantaged by cancellation of any fieldwork or a field trip as a result of this decision and alternative arrangements for the current semester will be made for a student’s academic requirements where necessary.
Research students should liaise with their supervisors to organise their work in a manner which minimises the impact of this suspension of fieldwork on their research.
We regret that it is not possible to provide an Interlibrary loans service at this current time. Most of our partner institutions in Ireland and elsewhere are closed or are experiencing significant difficulties in providing a service. We are monitoring the situation closely and if a service does become available, we will keep readers informed;
It is unlikely that we will be able to provide access to physical books on loan for some time.
If you have already made an ILL request, and a Library staff member has not been in touch to cancel the request, we will endeavou to process the order as soon as service resumes. We sincerely regret any inconvenience this causes.
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.