Research Newsletter – Issue 67: Information and Updates

DCU Research Ethics Committee Announcements and Updates

Welcome to the new DCU REC Chairperson (Dr. Melrona Kirrane)

DCU REC are pleased to announce Dr. Melrona Kirrane (DCU Business School), as our new DCU REC Chairperson.  Dr. Kirrane takes over from her predecessor Dr. Geraldine Scanlon (School of Human Development), bringing with her a wealth of research ethics experience and expertise:

“I am honoured to be appointed as Chairperson of DCU REC and look forward to continuing my work with the excellent team in the Research Office and my committed colleagues on the committee. To give you a little background, I have been a faculty member of DCU Business School for 22 years. My PhD is from the School of Psychology at Queen’s University, Belfast and my MSc is from the School of Medicine, University College Dublin. I am an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. I have been Academic Chair of a number of post-graduate programmes including the MSc in Work & Organisational Psychology, the MBS in HR Strategies, the Executive MBA (twice), and the Leadership Development for Women programme. I currently hold these latter two roles. My research has been published in top tier journals including the Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology, European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology, HRD Quarterly, Systemic Practice and Action Research and the Journal of Change Management. I have been a member of the DCU REC for the last five years, and have been involved with multiple other committees (internal and external to DCU) in both a member and chairing capacity.

Taken together, I hope to use this experience, along with the expertise and dedication of all members of REC, to serve as Chair of REC to the best of my abilities. Should you wish to get in touch, please email me at or our dedicated REC inbox at

We hope you will join us in wishing Dr. Melrona Kirrane every success in her new role.


Thank you to  Dr. Geraldine Scanlon

Following Dr. Geraldine Scanlon’s recent departure as REC Chair, DCU REC would like to thank her for the significant contributions she personally provided to facilitate the conduct of ethically sound research at DCU, in addition to her overall dedication to the work of the Research Ethics Committee. During her time as Chairperson, Dr. Scanlon brought in many new initiatives, processes and procedures to address the recommendations set out in the independent report of DCU REC. Most notable of these was the tailored support she provided to researchers in navigating the research ethics approval process, increasing engagement with the research community and the overall profile of the committee within DCU.


Newly Appointed REC member

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Silvia Rocchetta, based in the Business School, to the committee. Dr. Rocchetta will be joining the committee on a temporary basis during REC member Dr. Marta Rocchi’s absence.



DCU Professional Skills for Research Leaders Programme 

This week saw the launch of the Professional Skills for Research Leaders (PSRL) 2021-2022, a DCU-certified programme.

The PSRL is targeted towards those at postdoctoral researcher level and early career academics. The programme consists of a blended-learning approach enabling researchers to identify a range of strategies to establish themselves as research leaders from writing compelling and competitive funding applications to managing relationships with team members and collaborators.

There is a €100 contribution per participant towards the cost of the programme.

Further information and registration link can be found here.



MSCA and Erasmus + Synergies

The European Commission has put together an information note on synergies between the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and the Erasmus+ programme (available here).

This note focuses specifically on possible synergies and complementarities between the MSCA and Erasmus+ (including the European Universities Initiative which draws funds from both programmes), given that both programmes offer various opportunities to the higher education and research and innovation sectors. Besides some explanations on the different opportunities, the note also proposes a series of best practice examples which could serve as inspiration.



The European Commission’s Guidance Note on Gender Equality Plans

The EC has published a Guidance Note on Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) on the 4th October 2021. This Guidance supports organisations to meet the Gender Equality Plan (GEP) eligibility criterion of the Horizon Europe for calls from 2022 on. Certain categories of legal entities applying to Horizon Europe must have a GEP or equivalent strategy in place to be eligible for funding. The Guidance builds on existing materials and resources that support gender equality in research and innovation (R&I), in particular the Gender Equality in Academia and Research (GEAR) tool, co-developed by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation, that includes further advice, case studies and resources for developing a GEP. 

Specifically, this Guidance: 1) presents the components of the eligibility criterion as set by the European Commission and detailed in the Horizon Europe technical and administrative documents; 2) explains what these requirements mean in practice when developing and implementing a GEP or reviewing the equivalence of existing plans or policies; 3) provides examples to illustrate the steps taken by other organisations and identifies guidance or resources that are already available.



DCU Horizon Europe Budget Templates and Guides

DCU Research Finance have developed Horizon Europe Budgeting Guides and Templates to assist researchers applying to Horizon Europe calls. These resources are available on the Research FInance website.



TORA downtime

Please note that, due to essential maintenance which is being carried out on the Agresso system, TORA will be unavailable on Monday, 8th November, from 8am to 1pm.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.