Research - 2002/2003 Statement by the Vice-President for Research


2002/2003 statement by the vice-president for research

The year 2002-2003 has been a very busy and successful year for the DCU research community. Once again, our researchers achieved significant external research funding, totalling over €12 million, despite extremely high levels of competition. My thanks to those individuals and teams who submitted proposals, whether successful, or unsuccessful. Proposal generation is extremely time consuming, and for those whose applications are rejected, it can be a difficult experience. We will therefore introduce during the coming year, a proposal tracking process that is designed to capture all proposals, whether funded or unfunded, so as to provide a catalogue of research effort on the campus.

The official opening of the PRTLI Cycle 1 Centres (RINCE, NCSR and NCPST) was a major highlight, and marked a milestone in the history of DCU R&D infrastructural development. DCU involvement in all three of the SFI CSETs shortlisted for site visit is a major achievement.

Over the past year, new policies have been introduced to stimulate growth and development of research activity. For example, the policy for research overhead distribution is designed to reward the successful applicant, and provide funding for indirect costs to units involved in supporting the research effort. Research track contracts will, for the first time, allow key researchers and research support staff to be offered permanent status on a locally funded basis. Establishment of a research ethics committee and adoption of a policy for good research practice are two further critical elements in the development of our research portfolio. Further details on these, and other OVPR initiatives can be found on our website at

In addition the OVPR has administered the distribution of internal research funds totalling ca. €2.0 million. This has been achieved through unit-based schemes to National and University Designated Research Centres and Schools, and the administration of competitive awards under a number of programmes designed to stimulate research activity generally on campus.

A highlight of the last year was the announcement of the President's Research Awards. The award acknowledges outstanding achievement in two fields of research: humanities and related areas and the sciences, engineering and related areas.

This year the President's Research Award recipients were Professor Anne Scott, School of Nursing, in recognition of her contribution to research in nursing and health care ethics and Professor Alan Smeaton, School of Computing, in recognition of his contribution to research in science and engineering.

The coming year will witness a number of very significant external awards through initiatives that have been in progress for many months. These will integrate research strengths at DCU with complementary strengths of selected industry partners, clustered in the ICT and Biotech sectors. Through these initiatives, we will demonstrate our public commitment to strengthen the research base of the economy, as this is the ultimate basis for sustainable investment in research by the taxpayer through the various state agencies.

Finally, I wish to express my thanks to the many people in DCU who have contributed to research initiatives and activities over the year - the members of the research committee, and research advisory panel, catering, security, communications, buildings, senior management, technical and administrative staff, academics, and all those individuals who helped.

In particular, I wish to thank my staff at the OVPR, for their dedication and effort in coping with a rapidly increasing workload. The team has expanded from three to seven over the past year, and more appointments are anticipated. Simultaneously, a network of research support specialists is emerging across the campus in research centres, faculty offices and schools. Growth and restructuring is a necessary foundation for future success. We at the OVPR look forward to working closely with the DCU research community to ensure we play a leading role in the development of the knowledge based society.

Go raibh mile maith agaibh go leir.

Dermot Diamond