How do I get my researchers back doing research? (for PIs/Research Supervisors)

I am a PI/supervisor, how do get my researchers back doing research?

An image of a flowchart depicting the process of restarting research

Requesting access for researchers/visitors

  • Prior approval must be acquired from the Head of School/RICU, or where delegated, the Head of Department or equivalent before access/research can commence. In certain instances, see RBCT Research Continuity Approval & Reporting Processes additional approval is required from the Head of College. 
  • If your named researchers have already been approved by VPRI/Head of College (up to April 21), they can continue to access research facilities.
  • If you have new/additional researchers who require access - inform your research manager/local Head of Unit.
  • In general (with the exception of during national Covid-19 Level 5 Restrictions) your unit’s existing/approved RBCT Documentation will be sufficient to cover the access requests – new/additional researchers will be added to the existing Covid-19 Response Plan Documentation by the Research Manager/Head.  
  • However, during national Covid-19 Level 5 Restrictions, an additional Justification for Continuation of Essential Research during Level 5 Restrictions 2021 form (see Research Continuity Further Guidelines & Templates) must be completed by you and submitted, via your Research Manager/Head of Unit to the Head of School/RICU, or where delegated to the Head of Department/equivalent, for approval. Prior approval is required before researchers can gain access to research facilities. 
  • You must ensure, in consultation with your local Research Manager/Head, that research access is justified and that Occupancy Logs (see are maintained and that your researchers comply with your unit’s scheduling/rota management system to ensure maximum occupancy (for Covid-19, agreed with Buildings & Estates) is not exceeded.  

Compiling Documentation and Approval

The RBCT webpage provides details regarding Guidelines for Access to Research FacilitiesResearch Continuity Further Guidelines & Templatesand Guidelines for Fieldwork Research Activities.

The RBCT Documentation that must be compiled and submitted for approval can include the following (see )

  • Risk Assessments (RAs) 
  • Lists of research personnel requiring access (Occupancy Logs) 
  • Forms submitted for Justification for Continuation of Essential Research during Level 5 Restrictions 2021 
  • Any updates to the above documentation 

In general, note the following: 

  • Consult with your local unit Research Manager/Unit Head. 
  • For buildings/facilities access, CRPs, Risk Assessments and Occupancy Logs will be managed by your local unit/research manager 
  • For research studies (Fieldwork, Participant Research) – as PI/Research Supervisor, you will be required to have a more active involvement in drafting/updating these CRPs, Risk Assessments and, where necessary a logging system to record what researchers are conducting fieldwork, human participant studies, and studies that involve travel. You should consult with your local Research Manager on this. 
  • For Further information, see Research Continuity Links: Guidelines and Templates. 


National Covid-19 Level 5 Restrictions

  • In addition to obtaining approval for, and already approved, Covid-19 Response Plan Documentation, PIs/research supervisors must complete a Justification for Continuation of Essential Research during Level 5 Restrictions 2021 form (see )
  • The submission of these forms applies to all research activities: access to research facilities, fieldwork, participant studies, research involving travel and desk-based research. 
  • If your researchers have already been approved by the Justification for Continuation of Essential Research during Level 5 Restrictions 2021 form process (Jan-April 21), there is no need to resubmit for approval as your approved researchers can continue to access UCC research facilities.  
  • Once the new/additional researchers have been approved they can access research facilities in accordance with the unit/study CRPs (and, in Level 5, Justification for Continuation of Essential Research during Level 5 Restrictions 2021 form, accessed at Research Continuity Further Guidelines & Templates. 
  • In general, desk-based research is not permitted during Level 5. Under exceptional circumstances, this may be permitted but the request must be justified via submitting the Justification for Continuation of Essential Research during Level 5 Restrictions 2021 form (see )as well as the unit CRP being updated (and approved) to include protocols for desk-based research.

Your Responsibilities

  • You must ensure that research continues, as much as possible, remotely. 
  • Ensure that any access requests and/or requests for commencement/continuation of all research activities are justified and essential. 
  • Ensure that you and your research team comply with RBCT processes in gaining prior approval before access/research can commence and that your research is carried out safely. 
  • Consult with your Research Manager/Head of Unit with all access requests/continuation of research activities. 
  • You must ensure that prior approval is obtained from the Head of School/RICU, or where delegated the Head of Department or equivalent, before access/research can commence. In certain instances, see Research Continuity Approval & Reporting Processes, additional approval is required from the Head of College. 
  • Ensure that your researchers are aware of and comply with national, RBCT and Campus Business Continuity Team (CBCT; Returning to Campusguidelines. 
  • Ensure that your researchers are aware of and comply with all CRP Documentation (including Response Plans and Risk Assessments and SOPs) related to your unit/research study. 
  • Ensure that you and your researchers comply with any additional restrictions deemed necessary by the College and/or during national Covid-19 Level 5 Restrictions. 
  • Feedback to your Head of Unit/Research Manager any issues that may arise from time to time. 
  • See Overview & Responsibilities for further details. 

Additional Links

For additional information, see  

Research and Innovation

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