COVID19 Staff FAQ

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.

Yes. The Irish Government announced that  on 12 March that all higher education institutions should close. Following this directive UCC closed the campus. The safety and welfare of our students and staff is paramount.

Online teaching and learning  is being provided for students. 

Critical services (including critical research infrastructure) will be maintained. UCC staff are working remotely to the maximum extent possible during this period, in line with the Government advice. 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.

Please continue to monitor this page, your student and staff email and our social media platforms.

The Irish Government announced that on 12 March that all higher education institutions should close.

Following this directive UCC closed the campus. 

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 until the lifting of the directive 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: 

  1. 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);
  2. Identify yourself at UCC security reception on arrival to campus and show a copy of the letter from the University Management Team member;
  3. 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
  4. 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 the lifting of the directive 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.

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

Online Recourses

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.

Special Collections

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.

Online Renewal

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 Loans

Interlibrary loan requests will still be processed during University closure, however, items will only be available for collection upon reopening.

Library Supports

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 library@ucc.ie 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:

20 July

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 

10 August

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.

Reopening Plan

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/

The best way to reach us is by using our support portal, https://servicedesk.ucc.ie/. Alternatively you can reach us by email on helpdesk@ucc.ie

Some useful contact information for colleagues:

 Query Type

Email

Web

General Queries

PC, Laptop, Remote working, user accounts, devices, security, etc.

helpdesk@ucc.ie

https://servicedesk.ucc.ie/

This is the fastest way to get your call dealt with.

Office 365

helpdesk@ucc.ie

https://servicedesk.ucc.ie/

Microsoft Teams

Join Teams@ucc

https://www.ucc.ie/en/it/remote-working/teams-cheat-sheet/

Canvas Support

Use the 24/7 Canvas Help option within Canvas

https://canvas.ucc.ie  

Using the online ‘chat’ is the recommended route.

Additional Support Resources for Online Learning

LTU@ucc.ie

panoptosupport@ucc.ie

instructionaldesign@ucc.ie

https://www.ucc.ie/en/it/remote-working/

Audio Visual Media Services

avms@ucc.ie

https://www.ucc.ie/en/avms/

Website support

cmssupport@ucc.ie

https://www.ucc.ie/en/dewg/

Student Support services

sit@ucc.ie

https://www.ucc.ie/en/ask/

https://sit.ucc.ie/

If you don’t know

helpdesk@ucc.ie

https://servicedesk.ucc.ie/

 

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. 

Mobile phones can be used as a 'hot spot' and tethered to a laptop to allow internet access using the phones data.

View our detailed instructions available for both Adroid Phones and iPhones.

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 payrollqueries@ucc.ie
  • All Supplier Invoices with a valid purchase order (PO) number should be sent to invoice@ucc.ie
  • All fees queries should be directed to Fees@ucc.ie
  • All queries relating to Research Grants Claims should be directed to mcusack@ucc.ie

HR FAQ

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.

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

The following are tips from the BBC to stay efficient and keep your spirits up:

  1. Get Dressed
  2. Establish Boundaries
  3. Get Out and About (if not self-isolating)
  4. Pick Up the Phone
  5. 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

Academic FAQ

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.

Reasonable Accommodations

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 dssinfo@ucc.ie  

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 libraryresources@ucc.ie. 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 r.madden@ucc.ie.

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 has suspended student placement in Ireland and abroad until further notice. Further details can be found in the Student FAQs. 

UCC students currently on a study abroad programme have been strongly advised to return to Ireland. Further details can be found in the Student FAQs.

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

Research FAQ

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.

Funding

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): uccresearch@ucc.ie

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 

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.

 

Medical FAQ

Health Service Executive

Please follow advice published on the HSE website.

Seeking help

In office-hours: Contact your local GP

Out of Hours: Contact the GP Out of Hours services in your county or region:

Search for out of Hours GP services by county

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)

If you develop symptoms you will need to self-isolate and phone your GP. The people in your household need to restrict their movements.

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. 

Emergency Management Team

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