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STEP Research Administration Unit

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the purpose of the STEP Research Administration Unit?

Q2. What is STEP’s dedicated project service?

Q3. How can Principal Investigators (PI’s) avail of the STEP Unit’s project support?

Q4. What activities are involved in the provision of STEP dedicated project support?

Q5. STEP External Funding Experience

Q6. Can I avail of administrative support for pre-award proposals?

Q7. Does STEP provide meeting and conference support?

Q8. Events where STEP has provided administrative support.

Q9. Does the STEP Unit provide support to Faculties other than Science & Health? 

Q10. Who are the members of the STEP Unit?

Q11. Where are the STEP offices located and what are the opening hours?

Q12. Do I need an appointment to make an in-person enquiry?

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Answers to FAQ's

A1. The services provided by the STEP Unit are 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.

A2. STEP’s dedicated project support service assigns a STEP Project Administrator to your specific project(s) to provide dedicated administrative support. See Q4 for the administrative activities involved.  Dedicated project support is self-financing via direct funding e.g., from coordinator or administration budgets in H2020 projects, specific budget lines in approved project proposals or from overheads recouped from research projects.

A3. Funding for STEP project management support may be built into project budgets at proposal stage. Budget templates are available here.  To discuss STEP administrative support for your project, contact Jennifer Egan, STEP Research Administration Unit Manager at Email:, Tel Ext: 6991, to arrange a meeting. Jennifer’s office is located on the 3rd floor of the Stokes Building, Room No. S305.

A4. Dedicated project support is customised according to the budget available to the PI and the support level required, i.e. coordinator level or partner level support. Examples of administrative support provided by STEP include the following:

  • Act as both internal and external administrative point of contact for your research project(s), (project partners, funding agencies, DCU departments etc.)
  • Coordinate, edit, format and submit project deliverables and annual reports to relevant funding agencies and any other requesting parties;
  • Liaise regularly on project related matters with the respective funding agency project officer and maintain appropriate communications channels;
  • Coordinate and implement project events such as workshops and conferences;
  • Compile and submit project financial reports in consultation with DCU Finance;
  • Develop and maintain a communications framework for projects including project websites and dissemination materials;
  • Coordinate and support the recruitment process for new staff and students;
  • Liaise closely with the PI’s, Finance office and project research teams to ensure appropriate allocation of research budgets, accurate and correct spend and compliant and timely reporting;
  • Provide comprehensive budget and financial planning support to PIs/researchers in consultation with the Finance Office, Research and Innovation Support.

Click here for an indicative listing of administrative support areas.

A5. The STEP Unit’s dedicated research project team has several years’ experience and expertise in reporting on and knowledge of the financial and other reporting requirements of the major funding agencies including:

  • Enterprise Ireland
  • EPA
  • ERASMUS+ Programme
  • EU COST Actions
  • EU Horizon 2020
  • Fáilte Ireland
  • INTERREG Europe Programme
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (RISE, ITN etc.)
  • Marine Institute
  • Science Foundation Ireland

A6. The STEP Unit provides administrative support for post-award projects only. Pre-award proposal support is available from the Research and Innovation Support.  The STEP Unit can however can provide administrative support for bid preparation and for conference funding support proposals such as SFI’s Conference Support Programme, Fáilte Ireland’s Conference Support Scheme and the Wellcome Trust’s Conference Support Programme.

A7. Yes, STEP provides a full range of administrative support for the coordination of meetings, conferences and workshops etc. to all DCU Faculties, Schools and Campuses. Support is billable either as an event package or by the hour. There is a number of support packages available which can be tailored to PI’s specific needs according to the available budget. Billing for STEP administrative support will be based on the assessment following the initial consultation outlining the PI’s requirements for an event. Scheduling and lead times will factor into support levels available. PI’s should request support as far in advance of an event as possible.

A8. Events organised by STEP are listed below:

Events 2015-2018

A9. Yes. The STEP Unit provides support to PI’s with external research funding in all DCU Faculties, Schools and Campuses.

A10. The STEP Unit comprises 14 members as follows: (1) the STEP Research Administration Unit Manager, (2) seven Research Project Administrators, (3) three Unit Administrators, and (4) three Front Office Administrators. A full listing is available here.

A11. The STEP offices are located on the 3rd floor of the Stokes Building (formerly the Research & Engineering Building) and the office hours are Monday to Friday from 9.15 to 17.30.

A12. No. The STEP offices have an open-door policy

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