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Research Support

In order to implement the new Research and Innovation Strategy for DCU, a number of additional support units have been created to support staff in their research activity. Please visit the links below to find out how we can help you. 


How can the Research Support Office help you?

Our team can help you with any aspect related to the acquisition of external funding for research, for example:

  •  identify sources of funding,
  •  provision of coaching to develop European funding bids and links with enterprise,
  • advice in management of pre- and post-award stages of grant awards.
  • budget and proposal preparation

We encourage staff to contact us to discuss potential applications, seek advice on proposal preparation, and critically, liaise with us regarding costing and pricing of research proposals.

 Our services also include:

  • Co-ordination, review and/or provision of Collaborative Research Agreements for collaborative projects with Industrial or Academic partners (i.e EU Consortium agreements, etc);
  • Award administration (Processing award documentation and liaising with the finance office to set up research accounts)
  • Provision of ethical approval process through the university Research Ethics Committee
  • External liaison with funding bodies and other organisations seeking access to DCU research
  • Development of research related policies to provide an institutional framework for the research activity. 
  • Publicising DCU research successes via the DCU website and social media
  • Provision of metrics related to research performance for internal and external stakeholders
  • Development of training courses and information sessions to support the research career development of junior and mid-career staff.
  • Management and coordination of internal funding schemes
  • Support the Vice-President for Research and Innovation on the implementation of the Research and Innovation Strategy.

Invent’s mission is to assist the research community in commercialising their research. The services that we provide include:

  • providing support to researchers in preparing commercialisation fund applications and in reviewing impact statements for Enterprise Ireland and SFI TIDA grant applications
  • managing DCU’s Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio;
  • negotiating IP terms in all research agreements on behalf of DCU;
  • commercialising technologies arising from DCU research;
  • serving as a point of contact for industry seeking access to University research expertise, facilities and technologies;
  • supporting innovation at DCU through enterprise development programmes such as Tech Venture and through  Innovation Partnerships with Irish companies;
  • working with researchers to develop business plans for spin-out companies, introducing potential business partners and providing introductions to angel investors, seed funds and venture capital companies.

Working closely with the research and enterprise hubs the team at Invent DCU is happy to talk to researchers at any stage of their research. In our experience, researchers who engage with us early in the process often  achieve  better commercial outcomes and over the last three years have had much higher success in Enterprise Ireland grant applications. 


The Support Team in the Research and Enterprise Hubs can help you with the preparation of proposals and engaging with enterprise partners:

Funding Diversity team

  • assisting with proposal preparation
  • coordinating the generation and submission of proposals
  • supporting the coordination of large consortia in the generation of collaborative proposals
  • integrating the inputs of different contributors (collaborators, hubs and admin teams) into proposals
  • drafting non-technical parts of research proposals (for example, the impact and the management sections)
  • coordinating the final submission of proposals to the relevant funding body
  • Liaising with Research and Innovation Support in the preparation of budgets and intellectual property management statements for applications

Business Development team:

  • identifying new national and international funding opportunities
  • raising the profile of DCU in European circles
  • making connections in enterprises (national and international; commercial, social and cultural)
  • Identifying opportunities for major engagements and opportunities with industry
  • Marketing DCU expertise to potential partners


For further information please Contact us.


The STEP Research Administration Unit is a new unit that aims to implement operational excellence in the way DCU runs the administrative management of externally funded research.

The service provided by the STEP Administration Unit is designed to alleviate the administrative burden of academic staff involved in externally funded research projects, and to ensure effective financial and administrative project management, in parallel with efficient and streamlined operational support. The unit also provides administrative support to RIS approved Research Centres.

The unit commenced operations in September 2014 and is in the process of acquiring its full staff complement. Hence the services will be rolled out in stages.  When the unit is fully operational, the services provided* will include:

Support for Individual PIs

  • Administrative and financial management of research projects
  • Assistance with recruitment of staff associated with research projects
  • Assistance with reporting, researcher profile updates and KPI data management
  • Events, outreach and communications support
  • Dedicated support available for PI’s who are Coordinators or Partners of EU projects including project management, administration and financial support, meeting organization, track and reporting of deliverables etc.

Support for RIS approved Research Centres 

  • Management support for Centre Director
  • Centre operations support
  • Centre events, outreach and communications support
  • Administration support for centre members
  • Assistance with staffing issues associated to research projects
  • Procurement of Research materials and equipment
  • Administrative and Financial management of research projects
  • Assistance with reporting, researcher profile updates and KPI data management

*Note not all services are provided free of charge.  Dedicated support is available to a Project(s) or PI(s), but the dedicated service will be largely self-financing via direct funding e.g. coordinator administration budgets in H2020 projects, or specific budget lines in approved project proposals or from overheads recouped from research projects.

Services explained:

  • Management support for centre director - Includes and in addition to subsequent listings below, Management meetings, Management reporting (centre applications/equipment maintenance etc.), financial analysis and planning, credit card administration, staffing projections, travel support, support for centre meetings and events.
  • Centre operations support - Front of house contact point, phone/email queries, post, couriers, deliveries, centre internal communications, staff listings, information circulation, website and contact details updates etc.
  • Centre events, outreach and communications support - end to end support, planning, preparation and budgeting for Centre events, Project and Centre knowledge and results dissemination,  Centre website maintenance and updates, Centre internal and external communications, Student Exchanges, Summer Interns, Planning, communication and implementation of workshops, seminar series, conferences and symposia. Site visit support.
  • Administrative support for centre members - Front of house point of contact point for Centre and individual PI’s and research teams, general internal and external queries, Travel support, taxis’s, core expenses,  room bookings, catering bookings, post, couriers, deliveries,  inter-departmental support, etc.
  • Assistance with staffing  issues associated to research projects - HR liaison for all aspects of research staff hire – job descriptions/hosting agreements, staff request forms, budget analysis, payroll setup, PG student support – induction and procedural training etc. Dedicated HR presence in STEP unit.
  • Procurement of Research materials and equipment - Purchase Order processing, delivery monitoring, supplier queries, invoice processing, new supplier set-up, travel support, core expense process support, tender administration, ensuring adherence to funding agency and DCU procurement regulations, subcontracting and service agreements
  • Administrative and financial management of research projects - All financial queries, pre-submission budget checks, EU portal updates, new subcost setup, procurement, internal transfers, budget checking and monitoring, liaison with DCU Finance, liaison with funding agencies and partner institutions, knowledge and expertise relating to all major funding agency regulations, monthly internal reporting, adhoc reporting requirements, budget spend projections, budget management advice and planning, spend compliance issues.
  • Assistance with reporting, researcher profile updates and KPI data management - Internal monthly “snapshot” reporting on subcost codes, formal external funding agency reporting preparation and submission, centralized compilation and maintenance of data metrics, liaison re all reporting enquiries for STEP supported subcost codes.
  • Dedicated support for PI’s who are Coordinators or Partners on EU projects including project management, admin and financial support - STEP maintains a dedicated research project team with expertise in requirements of all major funding agencies, including EU coordinator support for comprehensive project management including project management and coordination reporting (technical and financial), communications, meeting planning (from kick-off to final meeting), including all key required project functionality of procurement, financial reporting’s, timesheet maintenance, staffing, deliverables, events, dissemination etc. Dedicated support is available to a Project(s) or PI(s),  the dedicated service will be largely self-financing via direct funding e.g. coordinator administration budgets in H2020 projects, or specific budget lines in approved project proposals or from overheads recouped from research projects

Please contact us to discuss your requirements.


The STEP Research Facilities Unit has been set up to manage key research equipment and facilities in DCU with the ultimate goal of sustaining well-maintained and calibrated equipment to ensure research outputs are of the highest verifiable standards.

This will be achieved through the introduction of user-friendly systems to control priority access to high value, high utilisation instruments/facilities, provision of structured access policies, implementation of an equipment quality system and the availability of a highly trained technical support team.

We aim to increase the self-sustainability of these key instruments and facilities by expanding the income generation capacity via implementation an access charging policy which will be linked to dedicated budget lines for access and technical support in appropriate grant applications, along with intensive hands-on training courses targeting industry, and expanding contract research activities.

Initially, the STEP research facilities unit will focus on high-value, intensively used facilities and equipment housed within the National Centres and the NRF, but once stress-tested, the model will be rolled out more generally across the campus.

STEP Research Facilities Unit – key activities

  • Develop sustainability of key research facilities and equipment
  • Assist with equipment installations
  • Develop a searchable Research Infrastructure Database
  • Provide structured access programme for use of research infrastructure
  • Promote key research facilities and equipment capabilities to potential external clients and research partners
  • Ensure prioritised research facilities are maintained to required standards
  • Assist with grant proposal budgets to ensure appropriate costs are included for infrastructure access and technical support
  • Integrate new and existing equipment into function based suites
  • Manage lab space, office space and instrumentation for new and active projects
  • Manage the Equipment Maintenance Fund call and distribution of awards

For further information please contact us.


The key objectives of the Societal Impact Platform are:

1) to evaluate and advise DCU Research and Enterprise hubs and the DCU research community in general on social issues and societal impact associated with their research proposals and with the outputs of such

2) to increase public engagement with DCU research and innovation, through 'outreach' programmes, the Innovation Campus and other science/society interaction

3) to identify and facilitate where the humanities and social sciences can partner with the physical sciences in H2020 and other research opportunities emerging through the Hubs, and aligned with international academic, administrative, industry and civil society networks

How we can help you:

The Societal Impact Platform engages with the DCU research community through the following mechanisms:

  1. Support with funding applications in particular to EU and other funding bodies on identified impact, with particular emphasis on identifying humanities and social science expertise in DCU across Horizon 2020; 
  2. Supporting outreach and research showcase activities, as well as integrating our researchers within Responsible Research and Innovation and the 'Science with and for Society' strand in Horizon 2020;
  3. Collaboration across the sciences, between STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and AHSS (arts, humanities and the social sciences), to increase the added value to national or European consortia;
  4. Identifying and evaluating social impact and DCU response through protocols and outputs related to  Responsible Research and Innovation as defined by DCU Ethics Committee;
  5. Recognising the potential to include Civil Society Organisations and social enterprises in matchmaking processes, for example identifying community issues and internal DCU research and teaching expertise to address these issues, as facilitated by our Community Knowledge Exchange.
  6. Developing training programmes on:
    • Communicating research outside the University environment
    • Engaging with media
    • Dialogue with community-based and civic organisations and social enterprise

We encourage DCU academics who want to engage with externally-funded research, particularly linking AHSS to STEM disciplines, to contact


The core objective of the Business Innovation Platform will be to enhance research and enterprise engagement activities of academics in business, education, humanities and social sciences across the whole of DCU.

 The Business Innovation Platform currently supports DCU staff through three main activities:

1. Data Set Access and Support

The Business Innovation Platform is actively working with DCU researchers to:

  • acquire the rights to social media data sets
  • access existing open and licensed datasets
  • support the storage and management open and licensed datasets
  • support the analysis of large data sets
  • support cross-faculty and multi-institutional collaboration on big data research projects
  • support proposals for funding for research projects making use of big data and specifically social media datasets
  • upskill in big data analytical techniques and related areas

2. Research Impact 

The Business Innovation Platform is involved in a number of activities to increase DCU research impact. This includes:

  • research and training on best practice to increase research publication impact for academia, industry and civic society
  • support to academics to optimise visibility and associated impact of existing publications
  • support and participation in research consortia requiring dissemination resources

3. Enterprise Engagement for Business, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences Research

Many enterprises are seeking business, education, humanities and social sciences researchers to advise or conduct research with them on an ongoing or intermittent basis. Similarly, many researchers need assistance commercialising or gaining access to industry audiences. The Business Innovation Platform supports DCU staff Business, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences Research in a variety of ways including:

  • introductions to enterprises to DCU staff with relevant research interests and vice-versa
  • support for DCU staff and enterprises in grant applications and proposal writing
  • support and participation in research consortia requiring end user or industry requirements gathering and analysis and/or commercial exploitation expertise
  • training on best practice processes for enterprise engagement

For further information please contact us.  

DCU Strategy for Research and Innovation 

Research Brochure Cover

 The RIS Office provides a key support to the DCU Research Community and is an instrumental enabler of the goals outlined in the DCU Strategy for Research and Innovation. This is one of the component strategies of the DCU's strategic plan "Transforming Lives and Societies". The brochure ‘A fresh vision for research and innovation at DCU’ summarises our goals for research and innovation at DCU and outlines the activities that will ensure the fulfillment of the University’s vision, that by 2017 DCU will be recognized internationally as a research-intensive university of enterprise with a focus on translating knowledge into benefits for society and the economy.