Research Continuity Approval & Reporting Processes (for all Researchers)

Flowchart for RBCT Approval and Reporting Processes

An image of a flowchart depicting the research continuity approval and reporting process


The Figure above is a schematic diagram which outlines the revised RBCT Approval and Reporting Process.  

RBCT Approval Processes

Compilation of documentation: 

  • Research mangers (and PIswill compile the RBCT Documentation for further approval. 
  • Templates for RBCT Documentation can be accessed at Research Continuity Further Guidelines & Templates
  • The RBCT Documentation can include:  
    • 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 (see Research Continuity Links Guidelines & Templates). 
    • Any updates to the above documentation 
  • For all RBCT documentation that has been approved by the previous RBCT approval process, the approval for this RBCT documentation still remains, and the documentation does not have to be resubmitted.  


  • Head of School/RICU/Department ApprovalCompiled documents are submitted to the Head of School/RICU, or where delegated, the Head of Department (or equivalent) for approval. 
  • Additional Head of College Approval: In certain cases, additional approval by the Head of College is required.
  • All National Covid-19 Restriction Levels: In all instances the following submissions must have Head of College Approval in addition to approval by the Head of School/RICU/Dept:
    • Studies which involve more than one School.  
    • UCC researchers requesting travel abroad. 
    • Students from another HEIs who wish to undertake research at UCC research facilities. 
    • Visiting researchers from abroad. 
    • If the approving person (Head of School/RICU/Dept) is directly involved in the study, independent/additional approval is required by the Head of College. 
  • National Covid-19 Level 5 RestrictionResearch studies involving desk-based research, fieldwork, research participants (Research at Interface with Society, research involving volunteers on Campus) and travel. 
  • Individual Heads of Colleges are to determine and communicate to researchers if further/additional approval is required by the Head of College for research carried out in their respective College. 


RBCT Reporting Processes

Oversight will be maintained by reporting processes [ie RBCT reporting outputs] which involve the following: 


  • Access figures for research areas will continue to be submitted to the OVPRI RBCT Coordinator Irene Kavanagh ( from Local Research Units, on a weekly basis. 
  • The VPRI will continue to forward access figures to the UMT, and provide feedback on RBCT processes, on a weekly basis.

Quality Control and Compliance Checks 

  • Local Units must, in line with their Covid-19 Response Plan, conduct regular quality control and compliance checks in their area.
  • RBCT also conducts periodic quality control and compliance checks in research facilities. These checks are carried out on behalf of the RBCT by UCC’s Biological Safety Officer with, in some instances, the relevant Head of College. 

Feedback to RBCT Monthly Meetings 

  • VPRI/RBCT Coordinator will continue to provide access figures and updates on RBCT processes. 
  • Feedback on quality control and compliance checks from local units/areas. 
  • Heads of College will provide feedback on Research Continuity matters to the RBCT, for their area.
  • Units to feedback to the RBCT group on any issues/RBCT matters. 

Management/Administration of Documentation

  • RBCT Documentation will no longer be submitted to and managed centrally by OVPRI/RBCT Coordinator. 
  • It is the responsibility of Head of Schools/RICUs, or where delegated, by Head of by the Head of Department/equivalent to manage the administration and storage of all relevant documentation/communications for RBCT processes. The arrangement for local administration is to be agreed at a local level in consultation with the Head of College. 
  • It is the responsibility of Head of Schools/RICUs, or where delegated, by Head of the Head of Department, to ensure that all researchers are made aware of, have access to, and adhere to all protocols detailed in their RBCT Documentation. 
  • Management of RBCT Documentation should be agreed with the Head of College/College Management and involve storing the documentation on the UCC NAS system/or another UCC Sharing Portal (which has sufficient security/encryption and sharing capability). 
  • Access to shared folders must be limited to relevant personnel as per agreed by the Heads of Schools/RICUs and the Head of College/College Management. 

Additional links

Research and Innovation

Taighde agus Nuálaíocht

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