Quality Improvement and Development Funding (QuID)
Established in 2012, the DCU Quality Improvement and Development Fund (QuID) is an open funding call to support community-led quality enhancement initiatives across the University that will impact our staff, students and stakeholders.
The call is open to academic and professional staff (permanent, part-time and contract staff are invited to apply). The call embraces Collective Leadership as a core principle, recognising that staff from across all areas, grades and professions can be empowered to identify opportunities for improvement, pursue new ideas and effect change. Whilst we encourage the involvement of students, please note that staff members must make and oversee each submission and project.
A limited amount of funding is made available annually and each year, the Quality Promotion Committee selects a theme for the call. For details on this year's theme and further information on the application process, please see details in the below sections.
Some of our funded projects
In 2023 QuID funding helped acquire high-quality LED-lit display cabinets, enabling the Library to extend a DCU-wide programme of exhibitions and displays to the Cregan Library. We already have curated three major exhibitions in the O'Reilly Library, including currently 'Charles J. Haughey: Politics in a changing Ireland'.
The cabinets were received in August, just in time for our visually exciting 'Children's Books Ireland Collection' exhibition launched in September, which will be on display in the Cregan Library foyer until Easter. The exhibition celebrates DCU's ongoing partnership with Children's Books Ireland and features winners of the CBI annual awards, showcasing the breadth of themes, publishers, and age ranges in Irish children’s literature. This exhibition is a snapshot of the growing collection of almost 4,000 English and Irish titles available for consultation in DCU Special Collections & Archives in the O'Reilly Library.
The Library looks forward to using the new cabinets to bring an even greater variety of book and archival collections to the attention of the students, staff and members of the public who visit the Cregan Library.
Prof. Vlad Glaveanu and Patrick Boylan from the School of Psychology obtained QUID Funding in 2023 to acquire VR headsets for a series of workshops with young people from secondary schools in north Dublin. The theme of these workshops is user innovation in the use of technology within the classroom. This project starts from the basic premise that we should involve students in imagining what technologies - like those that make virtual and immersive realities accessible - can offer teachers and learners alike. Young people are often more engaged with such technologies than their teachers are and this experience can be leveraged to find new and creative ways of enhancing education with the help of VR. In addition, empowering students to become agents in their own education is likely to positively impact their (technology-enhanced) learning and creativity. Some of the ideas coming out of these workshops will form the basis for a seminar on the real impact of virtual worlds in education, to be co-organised in 2024 by the School of Psychology at DCU and the Centre for the Science of Learning and Technology at the University of Bergen.
Over a period of 10 weeks in 2023, 13 DCU staff from across the University were engaged in a collaborative programme, to acquire new artwork for the DCU Art Collection. The participants were provided with acquisition knowledge and curatorial tools to facilitate an informed choice of new work.
Funded by DCU's QuID initiative, facilitator and artist Helen Barry was engaged to assist with the project and to introduce the group to artworks in the collection through Visual Thinking Strategies, a facilitation method used to create inclusive conversations, build confidence and support critical thinking. Helen oversaw the planning and coordination of the project and assisted the group with the development of a list of artists for the selection process.
"The Art facilitator was an excellent choice to lead us through the project, I felt empowered to discuss openly and contribute to the project."
"Meeting and working with a cross-section of colleagues across the University further added to the richness of the project, I would participate again in a heartbeat."
The artwork entitled Spreag was installed in DCU's main reception, on Glasnevin campus in September 2023. Further information on the project can be viewed here.
After obtaining QuID funding in January, the All Hallows Community Garden was established and has since flourished into a vibrant hub of fresh produce and rich biodiversity.
Consisting of a polytunnel and numerous raised beds, the Community Garden has already seen 32 varieties of vegetables and plants grown on-site using the most sustainable and organic methods.
The Community Garden’s success is largely owed to the collaborative efforts of several departments and personnel at DCU and is maintained by Paddy Browne (Estates) and members of the Community Employment (CE) scheme. The initiative has allowed various external community members, including school groups, to come to the garden and learn the benefits of horticulture.
With the Community Garden’s first spring and summer seasons of growing now under its belt, plans to further engage with both the internal and external DCU communities are progressing - with hopes to further educate, inspire and encourage the ways of GIY (Grow It Yourself).
Application Guidelines for the QuID Funding Call 2024
Transitioning AI from a Threat to a Tool: Empowering and Supporting a 21st Century University
The advent of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now a reality that higher education institutions cannot afford to ignore. Aligned with the new DCU Strategy ‘Transformation for an Unscripted Future’, this year’s QuID theme provides an opportunity for DCU staff to leverage AI as a powerful tool capable of supporting and enhancing our teaching, learning, research, service and support activities.
Colleagues from all areas, professions and grades are invited to submit AI-focused proposals that explore creative and innovative ways to integrate AI effectively and ethically across all facets of the University’s activities.
How and when do I apply?
The application form is available here.
Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section on this webpage before submitting an application.
Completed application forms should be submitted on or before 11 January 2024. If you have any queries before submission, please contact Fiona Dwyer (email@example.com).
The following criteria will be taken into consideration when allocating the funding:
- A clear and concise overview of the project aims and objectives
- How the project will contribute to the overall theme identified in the call
- How the project will contribute to quality enhancement at DCU, including:
- Information on the potential to make a clear contribution to quality in the applicant(s)' work area as well as the broader university
- The potential for the project to be replicated, mainstreamed or have impact for broader audiences
- Alignment with broader strategic objectives and initiatives
- Alignment with the outcomes of quality assurance processes and activities
- Realistic and achievable costings within the academic year of the call
- Clear times and project goals
When will the next call launch, and will a decision be made?
The call will be announced on 1 December 2023.
A decision will be communicated to each applicant on or before 22 January 2023.
Who can apply for funding?
Applications are welcome from all members of the DCU staff community across all of our campuses, including part-time and contract staff. Whilst we encourage the involvement of students, please note that staff members must make and oversee submissions.
It is important to note that this is a competitive process, supported by a limited budget. It is anticipated that the budget for 2023/24 project will be €30,000; projects should be costed, and no individual proposal should exceed €5,000.
What sort of projects might receive support?
The primary objective of this initiative is to provide funding to specific projects that will contribute to quality enhancements in the University. Projects must be aligned to the selected theme for that year.
QuID funding in 2024 is limited to projects which can be initiated and completed by the end of the academic year. Therefore, all expenses should be completed by the end August 2024.
Please note that QuID funding cannot be used to fund short-term contracts of employment.
Who reviews the QuID proposals?
A sub-committee of Quality Promotion Committee (QPC) will assess the applications and approve successful projects. The sub-committee will be chaired by the Director of Quality and Institutional Research. An additional member of staff, with expertise aligned to the selected theme, may be invited to join the sub-committee by the Chairperson.
QPC Membership is available here: http://www.dcu.ie/qpo/qpc_structure.shtml
Can I use my QuID Funding to recruit and pay DCU staff members?
QuID funding cannot be used to hire and employ DCU staff. This is due to both the tight timescale for the projects, and the administrative burden of additional or new employment contracts to complete projects.
What happens if I am successful?
The successful applicants should complete their project by the end of August 2024. The QuID funding will be provided to the relevant Head's budget code on receipt of paid invoices or equivalent by the date of project completion. Successful applicants are required to submit an interim report midway through the project and a completion report once the project has been completed. Completion reports will be published on the QPO website.
How is the project funded?
All monies awarded for the project must be claimed in one payment before the end of September 2024. Purchase of goods or services should be paid using the school/area budget code of the nominated Head in the project proposal. Once the project is completed proof of payment in the form of receipts or paid invoices must be provided to: Fiona Dwyer from the Quality and Institutional Insights Office so that an internal transfer of funds from the requested budget code can be transferred.