Overview & Responsibilities

Overview & Responsibilities (for Heads/Directors, PIs & Research Managers)

While the Heads of College (HoC) and the Vice President for Research and Innovation (VPRI) will have oversight over RBCT processes, in practice, and going forward, the principle of subsidiarity means that approval will be delegated for the most part to Heads of Units - Heads of Schools/RICUs, and where delegated Heads of Departments/or equivalent.  

For additional information, see:

About the RBCT and Revision to RBCT Processes April 2021

  • The UCC Research Business Continuity Team (RBCT) was established in April 2020 to support the research community to plan for restarting and continuing with essential research during the Covid-19 Pandemic. In line with national guidelines, the RBCT has been working closely with the researchers, the Campus Business Continuity Team (CBCT) and the UMT to ensure that research at UCC continues safely during this time. 
  • The RBCT processes have been revised in April 2021, in recognition of the need to provide a sustainable Covid-19 management system for the UCC Researchers going forward. The purpose of threvision to the RBCT processes is to streamline the return to and continuation of essential research and aims to address the need to balance the growing and pressing requirement to maximise and streamline the efficiency of approval processes for research that is essential and highly time-sensitive, whilst also ensuring institutional/UMT oversight and management of access/research activities during this time. 

Oversight/Responsibilities

Local Units (PIs, Research Managers) 

  • Ensure, in so far as possible, that all work is conducted remotely, particularly in the case of national Covid-19 Level 5 Restrictions. Desk-based research is generally not permitted in Level 5. 
  • Compile RBCT Documentation in accordance with RBCT processes (see Research Continuity Approval & Reporting Processes) and the Campus Business Continuity Team (CBCT) guidelines (Returning to Campusand submit to Head of School/RICU, or where delegated, to the Head of Department or equivalent, for approval. 
  • Ensure that any access requests and/or research activities such as fieldwork, research involving human participants, travel, desk-based research, is justified and essential, and that access does not exceed the agreed maximum Covid-19 capacity (as agreed with Buildings & Estates). 
  • During national Covid-19 Level 5 Restrictions, the Justification for Continuation of Essential Research during Level 5 Restrictions 2021 form (see Research Continuity Further Guidelines and Templates) must be submitted in addition to other approved RBCT Documentation (Response Plans, Risk Assessments). Prior approval must be obtained before access/research can commence. 
  • Address any queries that the approving person (Head of Unit/College) may require, in order to issue approval. 
  • Research Managers/unit authorised persons must submit weekly access figures to the RBCT Coordinator (irene.kavanagh@ucc.ie); copy to their Heads of School/RICU, or where delegated, Heads of Departments/equivalent. 
  • Authorised persons, for each unit, must, in accordance with their Covid-19 Response Plan, carry out regular Quality Control and Compliance Checks in their research area/unit. 
  • Feedback any issues/queries to the Head of School/RICU, or where delegated, to the Head of Department or equivalent, who will inform the RBCT group at their monthly meetings. 
  • Ensure that all RBCT Documentation/communications are managed and stored in line with your agreed/approved unit’s processes for managing documentation (see Research Continuity Approval & Reporting Processes) 

Heads of Schools/RICUs, or where delegated, Heads of Departments/equivalent 

  • Ensure, in so far as possible, that all work is conducted remotely, particularly in the case of national Covid-19 Level 5 Restrictions. Desk-based research is generally not permitted during national Covid-19 Level 5 Restrictions. 
  • Heads of Schools/RICUs have the overall responsibility that research is carried out in a responsible and safe manner (in the School/RICU/research area), in line with RBCTthe Campus Business Continuity Team (CBCT; Returning to Campus) and national guidelines. 
  • Approve RBCT Documentation in accordance with the Research Continuity Approval & Reporting Processes
  • Ensure that any access requests and/or research activities such as fieldwork, research involving human participants, travel, desk-based research, is justified and essential, and that access does not exceed the agreed maximum Covid-19 capacity (as agreed with Buildings & Estates). 
  • Liaise with PIs/Research Managers with any additional queries you may require to issue approval. 
  • Ensure that during national Covid-19 Level 5 Restrictionsresearchers requiring access/resume research activities submit Justification for Continuation of Essential Research during Level 5 Restrictions 2021 form (see Research Continuity Further Guidelines and Templates,  Research Continuity Approval & Reporting Processes)
  • Ensure that additional Head of College Approval is obtained where required  submit RBCT Documentation to the Head of College as necessary (see Research Continuity Approval & Reporting Processes)
  • All National Covid-19 Restriction Levels: additional Head of College approval is required for certain research activities: research involving more than one School, access requests for research students from other HEIsUCC researchers wishing to travel abroad, access requests for visiting researchers from abroad.  
  • National Covid-19 Level 5 Restrictions: For certain research activities, the Head of College will determine and communicate if additional College approval is required, i.e. desk-based research, fieldwork, studies involving participants and research involving travel. 
  • Ensure that authorised persons, for each unit, in accordance with the Covid-19 Response Plan, carry out regular Quality Control and Compliance Checks in your research area/unit. 
  • Liaise with your Head of College to ensure that there are sufficient processes in place to manage/store/share RBCT Documentation (see Research Continuity Approval & Reporting Processes)
  • Provide feedback to your Head of College, as necessary. 
  • Provide feedback to the RBCT group (monthly meetings), as necessary. 
  • Update researchers on RBCT processes as required. 

Heads of College 

  • Ensure, in so far as possible, that all work is conducted remotely, particularly in during national Covid-19 Level 5 Restrictions. Desk-based research is generally not permitted during Level 5. 
  • Has the overall responsibility in the College that research is carried out in a responsible and safe manner, in line with  in line with RBCTthe Campus Business Continuity Team (CBCT; Returning to Campus) and national guidelines. 
  • Ensure that any access requests and/or research activities such as fieldwork, research involving human participants, travel, desk-based research, is justified and essential, and that access to research facilities does not exceed the agreed maximum Covid-19 capacity (as agreed with Buildings & Estates). 
  • Ensure that during national Covid-19 Level 5 Restrictionsresearchers comply with compiling and submitting the Justification for Continuation of Essential Research during Level 5 Restrictions 2021 form (see Research Continuity Further Guidelines & Templates– these must be submitted in addition to other approved RBCT Documentation (Response Plans, Risk Assessments etc.). Prior approval must be obtained by Head of School/RICU (or where delegated the Head of Department/equivalent); and in some cases additional Head of College approval is required, before access/research can commence (see Research Continuity Approval & Reporting Processes). 
  • Decide on whether and ensure that additional Head of College Approval is required and obtained as necessaryin accordance with Research Continuity Approval & Reporting Processes) and communicate the approval processes for your College to Heads of Schools/RICUs/Departments.  
  • All national Covid-19 Restriction Levels: Additional Head of College approval is required for certain research activitiesresearch involving more than one School, access requests for research students from other HEIsUCC researchers wishing to travel abroad, access for visiting researchers from abroad, research where the Head of School/RICU (the local approving person) is directly involved in the study. 
  • National Covid Level 5 RestrictionsFor certain research activities, the Head of College will determine and communicate if additional College approval is required for desk-based research, fieldwork, studies involving participants and research involving travel. 
  • Liaise with your Heads of Schools/RICUs, and where delegated Heads of Departments/equivalent, to ensure that there are sufficient processes in place to manage/store/share RBCT Documentation (see Research Continuity Approval & Reporting Processes). 
  • Liaise with Heads of Schools/RICUs, or where delegated, Heads of Departments/equivalent with any additional queries you may require to issue approval. 
  • Ensure that, in accordance with the Covid-19 Response Plans, research areas/units, carry out regular Quality Control and Compliance Checks. 
  • Provide feedback to the UMT (weekly) and the RBCT (monthly) meetings. 
  • Update researchers on RBCT processes as required. 

OVPRIVPRI and RBCT Coordinator  

  • The VPRI, along with the Heads of Colleges, have the overall responsibility that research is carried out in a responsible and safe manner, in line with RBCT, Campus Business Continuity Team (CBCT; Returning to Campus) and national guidelines. 
  • The VPRI will ensure, in so far as possible, that all work is conducted remotelyparticularly during national Covid-19 Level 5 Restrictions. Desk-based research is generally not permitted in Level 5. 
  • The RBCT Coordinator will collate weekly access figures from research areas, and the VPRI will forward this to the UMT (weekly meetings). 
  • The VPRI will provide feedback to the UMT (weekly) on RBCT processes. 
  • The VPRI and RBCT Coordinator will organise and facilitate monthly RBCT meetings. 
  • The VPRI will continue to liaise with Heads of Colleges on RBCT matters. 
  • The VPRI and RBCT Coordinator will continue to liaise with the CBCT to ensure RBCT and CBCT processes are aligned. 
  • The RBCT Coordinator, in consultation with the VPRI, will update the RBCT website as necessary and as required and will ensure RBCT processes are aligned with national guidelines. 
  • The VPRI and RBCT Coordinator will disseminate RBCT information/updates to the research community. 

Research and Innovation

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Office of Vice President for Research & Innovation 4th Floor Block E, Food Science Building UCC

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