Delegated Authority (L9/10) Self Evaluation Report 2008

Delegated Authority (L9/10) Self Evaluation Report 2008
Institute of Technology Tallaght
Self-Evaluation Report
Application to the Higher Education and Training Awards
Council for Delegation of Authority to Make Awards:
Research Degrees Level 9 and 10
Contents
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Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
1.1
Foreword
1.2
Rationale for the Pursuit of Research
1.2.1 National Context
1.2.2 Institute Development
1.3
Delegated Authority for Research Degrees
1.3.1 Context and Justification for the Institute’s Application
1.3.2 Selection of Areas for the Delegated Authority Application
1.4
The Submission Document
1.5
The Self-Evaluation Process
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PART ONE OPERATION AND MANAGEMENT
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CHAPTER 2 INSTITUTE MISSION AND PROFILE
2.1
Mission and Purpose
2.2
Values and Objectives
2.3
Context and History
2.4
Regional Profile
2.5
Growth and Development of the Institute
2.6
Evolution of Research
2.6.1 Establishment of Research (1992 -1997)
2.6.2 Research Prioritisation and Strategic Development (1998 – 2001)
2.6.3 A Period of Rapid Development for Research (2002-2007)
2.6.4 Significant Research Milestones
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CHAPTER 3 GOVERNANCE, ORGANISATION AND ADMINISTRATION
3.1
Legislative Framework
3.1.1 Regional Technical Colleges Acts
3.1.2 Institutes of Technology Act 2006
3.1.3 The Higher Education Authority
3.2
Corporate Governance
3.3
Institutional Governance
3.3.1 Governing Body
3.3.2 Academic Council
3.4
Institute Management Structure
3.5
Management Groups
3.5.1 Senior Management Team
3.5.2
Total Management Team
3.5.3 General Committees
3.6
Research Management & Organisational Structure
3.6.1 Research and Development sub-Committee
3.6.2 Postgraduate Policy sub-Committee
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3.7
3.8
3.9
3.10
3.6.3 Ethics sub-Committee
3.6.4 Academic Management of Research
3.6.5 Operational Management of Research
Academic Administration Organisation
3.7.1 Administrative Support for Research in the Office of the Registrar
3.7.2 Administrative Support for Research in the Development & External Services Office
3.7.3 Administrative Support for Research in the Finance Department
Audits and Reviews of Management and Administrative Operations
3.8.1 Internal Audits by Consultant Auditors
3.8.2 Periodic Institutional Audits
3.8.3 Audit of the Comptroller & Auditor General
3.8.4 Internal Audit Sub-Committee of Governing Body
3.8.5 Management Quality Review Group
3.8.6 Internal Peer Audit
Management and Governance National Context
Future Directions on Management Capacity in the Institute Sector
CHAPTER 4 PLANNING AND EVALUATION
4.1
Strategic Planning in Higher Education
4.2
Institute Planning Processes
4.3
Development of the Institute Strategic Plan
4.4
Strategic Plan Implementation and Evaluation
4.5
Research Planning and Development of an Institute Research Strategy
4.6
Research Strategy 2008 – 2013
4.6.1 Research Mission
4.6.2 Research Prioritisation
4.6.3 Future Strategy for Research Programmes
4.6.4 Innovation and Enterprise Support
4.6.5 Technology Transfer
4.6.6 Broadening Strategic Alliances
4.6.7 The Research – Teaching Linkage
4.6.8 Strategic Goals
CHAPTER 5 ACADEMIC AND STAFF POLICIES
5.1
Policy Framework
5.2
Academic Policies
5.2.1 Institute Admissions Policy
5.2.2 Transfer and Progression Arrangements
5.2.3 Exemptions Policy for Accredited Prior Certified Learning
5.2.4 Continuous Assessment Policy
5.2.5 External Examiners
5.3
Guidelines on the Promotion of Equality of Opportunity
5.4
Access Policy
5.5
Provision for the Protection of Learners
5.6
Staff and General Operational Policies
5.7
Development of Policies for Research
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5.9
5.10
5.7.1 Institute Research Policy Statement
5.7.2 Intellectual Property Policy
5.7.3 Ethics Policy
Adult and Continuing Education Policy
Communications Processes and Institute Policies on Consultation and Co-Operation
5.9.1 Communications Processes
5.9.2 Institute-wide Consultation and Co-Operation
5.9.3 External Consultation and Co-Operation
Staff Training and Development Policies and Overview
5.10.1 Management of Training and Development
5.10.2 Staff Training & Development: Teaching & Learning
5.10.3 Staff Training & Development: Research
5.10.4 Institute Support for Staff Conducting Postgraduate Studies
5.10.5 Other Staff Training & Development
CHAPTER 6 FACILITIES AND RESOURCES FOR TEACHING AND RESEARCH
6.1
Campus Environment
6.2
Campus Development Plans
6.3
Research Facilities and Resources
6.3.1 Current Research Facilities by Department
6.3.2 Centre of Applied Science for Health
6.3.3 Future Plans for Additional Research Facilities
6.4
Library and Information Resources
6.4.1 Library Organisation and Staff
6.4.2 Library Collection Profile
6.4.3 Dedicated Library Facilities and Information Resources for Researchers
6.4.4 Library Committee
6.4.5 Links with Other Libraries
6.4.6 Irish Research eLibrary (IReL)
6.5
Information Technology Facilities and Resources
6.5.1 Staffing
6.5.2 Network Infrastructure
6.5.3 Security
6.5.4 Other IT Resources
6.5.5 Management Information Systems (MIS)
6.5.6 Recent Developments in Computing Services
6.5.7 Student Support Service
6.5.8 Additional Information Technology Services for Postgraduate Researchers
6.5.9 Printing & Copying Services for Postgraduate Researchers
6.6
Financial Resources and Management
6.6.1 Services Provided by the Finance Office
6.6.2 Finance Staff
6.6.3 Institute Finances
6.6.4 Financial Returns
6.6.5 Internal and External Audits
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Research Support
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CHAPTER 7 LEARNER SUPPORTS AND SERVICES
7.1
Learner Supports
7.1.1 Mentorlink
7.1.2 FLASHE
7.1.3 MAP
7.1.4 One Step Up
7.1.5 Centre for Learning and Teaching (CeLT)
7.1.6 E-Learning Supports
7.1.7 Collaborative Network for Innovation in Teaching and Inclusive Education
7.1.8 Department of Lifelong Learning and Student Support Services
7.2
Learner Services
7.3
Additional Researcher Supports and Services
7.3.1 Postgraduate Scholarships
7.3.2 Statistics Support
7.3.3 Career Planning Workshop for Postgraduate Students
7.3.4 Academic English Support for Postgraduate Researchers
7.4
Strategic Innovation Funded Projects
7.5
Researcher Training & Skills Development
7.5.1 Induction Training
7.5.2 Generic & Discipline Specific Training
7.5.3 Future Plans for Training of Postgraduate Researchers
7.5.4 4th Level Education Provision
7.6
Innovation and Enterprise Support
7.6.1 Synergy Centre
7.6.2 The M50 Enterprise Platform Programme
7.7
New Initiatives for Graduate Education and Institute-wide Research Support
7.7.1 Addressing the Needs of the Knowledge Economy
7.7.2 The Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance. (DRHEA)
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CHAPTER 8 PUBLIC RESPONSIBILITY AND INTEGRITY
8.1
Financial Reports and Accounts
8.2
The Towards 2016 Partnership Process and Interactive Governance
8.3
Communications and Publications
8.4
Marketing and Public Affairs Office
8.4.1 Public Affairs Section
8.4.2 Marketing Section
8.5
Freedom of Information
8.5.1 Institute Obligations under the Freedom of Information Act
8.5.2 Freedom of Information Requests
8.5.3 Role of Information Officer
8.5.4 Development of Standard Operating Procedures
8.5.5 Freedom of Information Training
8.6
Health, Safety & Welfare
8.7
Promotion of Research
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8.7.1
8.7.2
8.7.3
Research Awareness
Promotion of Research
Research Dissemination
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PART TWO EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAMMES
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CHAPTER 9 TAUGHT PROGRAMME PROFILE
9.1
Introduction
9.2
Disciplines of Study and Programme Portfolio
9.3
Programme Structure
9.3.1 Routes to Award
9.3.2 Collaborative Programmes
9.4
Student Numbers and Demographics
9.5
Learner Diversity
9.6
Student Recruitment
9.7
Transfer and Progression
9.7.1 Transfer Arrangements: Taught Programmes
9.7.2 Progression Arrangements
9.8
Completion Rates
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CHAPTER 10 RESEARCH DEGREE ENROLMENTS AND GRADUATES
10.1
Postgraduate Enrolments
10.1.1 Historical Information
10.1.2 Current Live Register
10.1.3 New Enrolments and Future Trends
10.1.4 Non-Completion
10.1.5 Student Demographics on Entry to Research Programmes
10.1.6 Numbers of Research Active Staff/Supervisors
10.2
Graduation Numbers
10.2.1 Graduation Statistics and Analysis 1996 – 2007
10.2.2 Submissions for 2008 Graduation
10.2.3 Destination of Graduates 1996 – 2007
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Impact of Research on Teaching and Learning
10.3.1 Research in the Teaching and Learning
10.3.2 Impact of Research on Undergraduate Programmes
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CHAPTER 11 RESEARCH FUNDING AND AREAS OF EXPERTISE
11.1
Sources of Funding for Research
11.1.1 External Funding
11.1.2 Internal Research Funding
11.2
Performance Indicators
11.3
Institute Designated Research Centres
11.3.1 Bio-pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Research Centre (BPNR)
11.3.2 Centre for Pharmaceutical Research & Development (CPRD)
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11.3.3 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Institute Centre for Spectroscopy (NMRics)
11.3.4 Centre for Research in Electroanalytical Technology (CREATE)
11.3.5 Centre of Microbial Host Interactions (CMHI)
11.3.6 Bioengineering Technology Centre (BTC)
11.3.7 The National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies (NCFIS)
New Research Centres
11.4.1 Centre of Applied Science for Health (CASH Centre)
11.4.2 Microsensors for Clinical Research + Analysis Centre (MiCRA)
National Research Centres
11.5.1 National Centre for Plasma Science & Technology (NCPST)
11.5.2 National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR)
11.5.3 National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB)
11.5.4 National Pharmaceutical Education Centre
11.5.5 Centre for Applied Microelectronics (CAM)
Research Groups
Postdoctoral Researchers
Consultancy Related Research
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CHAPTER 12 QUALITY ASSURANCE SYSTEMS
12.1
Introduction
12.2
Institute Quality Assurance Structure
12.3
Institute Quality Manual
12.4
Institute Quality Management System
12.5
Academic Quality Assurance Procedures
12.5.1 Procedures for Design and Approval of New Programmes, Subjects and Modules
12.5.2 Procedures for the Assessment of Learners
12.5.3 Procedures for Ongoing Monitoring of Programmes
12.5.4 Procedures for Evaluation of Each Programme at Regular Intervals
12.5.5 Procedures for Selection, Appointment, Appraisal and Development of Staff
12.5.6 Procedures for Evaluating Premises, Equipment and Facilities
12.5.7 Procedures for Evaluating Services Related to Programmes of Higher
Education and Training
12.5.8 Procedures for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Quality Assurance Procedures
12.5.9 Programmatic Review Process and Procedures
12.5.10 Institutional Review Process and Procedures
12.6
Continuous Improvement
12.7
Standard Operating Procedures
12.8
Research Quality Assurance Framework
12.8.1 The Postgraduate Research Board
12.8.2 Monitoring the Quality of Research Degree Programmes
12.9
Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes
12.9.1 External Research Funding Application Procedure
12.9.2 Postgraduate Recruitment & Selection Process
12.9.3 Selection & Appointment of Supervisors
12.9.4 Admissions to Research Degrees
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11.5
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11.8
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12.9.5 Transfer Arrangements: Masters to Doctoral Degrees
12.9.6 Procedures for Monitoring Research Progress
12.9.7 Annual Assessment Review
12.9.8 Notice of Intention to Submit for Examination
12.9.9 Submission and Examination Process
12.9.10 Feedback, Complaints & Appeals Procedures
12.9.11 Procedures for Dealing with Research Misconduct
Research Ethics Process and Procedures
12.10.1 The Research Ethics Committee
12.10.2 Procedure for Submitting an Application for Ethics Review
12.10.3 Multi-centre studies
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PART THREE THE DELEGATED AUTHORITY PROCESS AND CONSULTATION
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CHAPTER 13
DELEGATED AUTHORITY APPLICATION & EVALUATION: TAUGHT PROGRAMMES
13.1
The Delegated Authority Application 2006
13.2
The HETAC Evaluation Process
13.3
HETAC Grants Delegated Authority Status
13.4
Evaluation Group Report and Findings
13.5
Institute Response to Issues Highlighted in the Findings
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CHAPTER 14 RESEARCH ACCREDITATION PROCESS
14.1
Introduction
14.2
Commitment to Supervisory Training
14.3
General Criteria Comments in Findings & Institute Responses
14.4
Research Environment Comments in Findings & Institute Responses
14.4.1 Biology and Chemistry
14.4.2 Engineering
14.4.3 Computing
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CHAPTER 15 IMPLEMENTING DELEGATED AUTHORITY: NEW PROGRAMME DEVELOPMENT
15.1
Stages in New Programme Development
15.1.1 Stage One: Initiation of a New Course
15.1.2 Stage Two: Management Strategic Review
15.1.3 Stage Three: Internal Review
15.1.4 Stage Four: External Review
15.1.5 Stage 5: Final Approval
15.2
Process for Minor, Special Purpose and Supplemental Awards
15.3
Procedures for Modifications to Existing Programmes
15.3.1 Minor Change Process
15.3.2 Major Change Process
15.4
New Programmes Validated and Approved Under Delegated Authority
15.4.1 Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Mechanical Engineering
15.4.2 Bachelor of Arts (Hons) In Advertising And Marketing Communications
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15.4.3 Higher Certificate In Science In Bio & Pharmaceutical Analysis
15.4.4 Bachelor Of Science (Hons) In Information Technology Management
15.4.5 Higher Diploma In Business Marketing Management
New Programmes under Development
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CHAPTER 16 CONDITIONS ATTACHED TO DELEGATED AUTHORITY
16.1
Introduction
16.2
Graduation Arrangements
16.3
Co-operation with HETAC
16.4
Procedures for the Assessment of Learners
16.5
Access, Transfer and Progression Procedures
16.6
Consultation
16.7
Provision of Informaation to HETAC
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CHAPTER 17 OBJECTS OF THE QUALIFICATIONS ACT 1999
17.1
Support for the Development of a System for the Co-ordination and
Comparison of Higher Education and Training Awards
17.3
Promotion of Lifelong learning
17.4
Recognition of Knowledge, Skill or Competence Acquired
17.5
Contribution to the Realisation of National Education and Training Policies
17.6
Co-operation with other Providers
17.7
Promotion of Diversity within Higher Education and Training
17.8
Contribution to the Realisation of National Policy and Objectives in Relation to
the Extension of Bi-lingualism in Irish society
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CHAPTER 18 THE SELF-STUDY PROCESS AND STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION
18.1
Phase 1: Initial Self-Evaluation Process and Stakeholder Consultation
18.2
Phase 2: Follow-on Self-Evaluation Process for Research Accreditation and
Stakeholder Consultation
18.2.1 Self-Evaluation Process for Research Accreditation
18.2.2 Stakeholder Involvement for Research Accreditation
18.2.3 Research SWOT Analysis 2006
18.2.4 Consultative Meetings with Academic Staff
18.2.5 Consultative Meetings with Postgraduate Students
18.2.6 Consultation with External Stakeholders
18.3
Phase 3: Updated Self-Study and Stakeholder Consultation
18.3.1 Internal Process and Consultations
18.3.2 External Consultation
18.4
Conclusion
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Appendices
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3
Appendix 4
Appendix 5
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Institute Research Charter
Intellectual Property Policy
Ethics Policy & Code Of Conduct For Researchers
In-House Academic Researcher / Supervisor Training Events 2007
Research Supervision Workshop Programme
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Appendix 6
Appendix 7
Appendix 8
Appendix 9
Appendix 10
Appendix 11
Appendix 12
Appendix 13
Library Resources For Research
Hetac Leve 9/10 Standards & Where They Are Met In Research Degree Programmes
List Of Current Research Degree Students
First Destination Of Research Degree Graduates
HEA Research Facilities Enhancement
List Of Academic Members In The Centre Of Applied Science For Health
Standard Operating Procedures For Research
Minutes Of Meeting With Research Students January 2008
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Chapter 1
Introduction
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Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 1
Introduction
1.1
Foreword
The Institute of Technology Tallaght is a diverse and dynamic education establishment. It provides flexible
educational opportunities and provides taught and research programmes which reflect current and emerging
knowledge and practices of relevance to the regional economy and society. Our aim is to make a major
contribution to the economic, social and cultural development of South Dublin County, where the Institute is
based. It is our belief that the presence of the Institute in the region, and the quality of our graduates, has been
a prime driver in the development of the region overall.
An Institute-wide quality system has been put in place to ensure consistent and fair standards are maintained.
Performance is regularly reviewed through critical self-evaluation. It was awarded delegated authority for
taught programmes up to and including Masters Level in 2006. This is a sign of that the Institute has matured
in the 15 years of operation to take responsibility, and be accountable, for its own programmes from inception
to award.
The Institute has been steadily building a solid reputation as one of the leading Institutes of Technology in the
areas of Research and Innovation. The Institute recognises that a research culture is conducive to the success
of its educational and training programmes, since research and teaching are closely inter related. Therefore,
research is a mainstream activity. It also strives to maximise its impact on the local economy by engaging in
collaborative research with industry and business, and supporting innovative concepts. This is emphasised in
the Institute’s Strategic Plan 2005 - 2008. The presence of the Synergy Centre on campus significantly
strengthens the capacity of the Institute in the arenas of enterprise development, commercialisation of research
and technology transfer.
A number of important initiatives have been undertaken to ensure the realisation of the goals outlined for
research in the Strategic Plan, for example the development of the concept of Institute Research Centres and
internal funding scholarships for postgraduate researchers. These have helped to enhance the quality of
research being carried out, something that is reflected in the increased research income secured from external
funding agencies in recent years and is evidenced annually in steadily increasing output of research graduates
at both Masters and PhD levels.
It is recognised that the rapid development of our national research capacity is critical to meet Government and
EU targets and that a collective “step-up” is required. The Institutes with 50% of all new entrants to higher
education in Ireland,1 and a track record of collaboration with industry, have expertise and potential capacity
to play a central role in building Ireland’s knowledge economy. All aspects of research are pursued from the
fundamental seeking of new knowledge, through to development, innovation and technology transfer at the
Institute of Technology Tallaght. The Institute has demonstrated it has the capacity to deliver highly skilled
researchers for the national economy and play a significant role in the creation of a knowledge economy as
well by publishing research of the highest international standards.
1 Addressing the Needs of the Knowledge Economy, Report from IOTI and DIT, 2007.
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Since its foundation in 1992 the Institute has developed a strong reputation as an Institute that conducts high
quality research. From modest beginnings it has grown to be a third level college with 2,300 full-time students,
1,700 part-time students, 80 post graduate researchers and a range of in-company bespoke training initiatives.
As a higher education and training provider it is committed to the provision of high quality research degree
programmes from which it aspires to deliver graduates ready to meet the needs of business, industry, the public
sector and society. Following on from the success in securing delegated authority for taught programmes, it
seeks now to submit an application to the Higher Education and Training Awards Council for delegated
authority to make its own research awards, namely Masters by Research and Doctoral Degrees in the discipline
areas where research has been most active.
1.2
Rationale for the Pursuit of Research
1.2.1 National Context
The Institutes of Technology are a dynamic growing part of Irish higher education. They have played a pivotal
role in making higher education accessible across in all regions. They are strategically located to give maximum
effect to national development priorities in the areas of workforce development, lifelong learning, regional
economic development, Research & Development, technology transfer, community, rural and tourism
development.2
Indeed the RTC Act of 1992 provided an early clear mandate for all institutions governed by it to engage in
research and innovation:
‘To engage in research, consultancy and development work, and to provide such services in
these matters as the Governing Body of the Institute considers appropriate.’
Since then, policy makers in Ireland have taken major steps to build expertise in basic research, particularly in
science and technology. This catalysed the development of a more strategic and planned approach to research
in the context of higher education in the late 1990s which resulted in the launch of initiatives, such as the
Technology Foresight Exercise. The Technology Foresight Report3 generated by the ICSTI, the Irish Council
for Science, Technology and Innovation, concluded that for Ireland to become an internationally recognised
knowledge-based economy it needed a knowledge framework, with appropriate investment, to be formed to
grow “world class research capability of sufficient scale in a number of strategic areas within our universities
and colleges.” Though ICSTI is concerned with science and technology, the role of the social sciences and the
humanities in socio-economic development was stressed in the report as well. The report recommended the
concentration of research efforts into Centres of Excellence and more industry-education co-operation, two
elements in which this Institute has delivered on successfully to date.
In 2000, high level objectives were agreed by EU Member States in Lisbon, the main one being to make Europe
“the world’s most competitive economy” by 2010. A specific target was agreed in Barcelona in 2002 to bring
Europe’s investment in research and development to 3% of GDP per annum by 2010 (from approximately
1.8% at the time). Since then growing research capability has become a core component in the National and
European drive to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy.
2 Council of Directors of the Institutes of Technology (2003), Institutes of Technology and the Knowledge Society-their future positions and roles.
3 Technology Foresight Report, ICSTI, 1999.
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Chapter 1 Introduction
Expert strategy groups established from 2004 onwards, such as the Expert Group on Future Skills provided
advice on the development of action plans to deliver on a strategic approach to research in the context of skills
development and training for industry. The importance of research in the context of innovation and enterprise
development was outlined in the Irish Action Plan for Promoting Investment in R+D to 20104 in the following
statement:
‘Ireland will be internationally renowned for the excellence of its research and be at the
forefront in generating and using new knowledge for economic and social progress, with
an innovation driven culture’.
In order to realise this vision, the following actions were recommended; development of a national proinnovation culture; develop a new approach to R+D support that encourages a systematic and continuous
approach to R+D within enterprises; sustain Ireland’s commitment to building an international reputation for
research excellence; make Ireland a highly attractive environment for high quality researchers and research
centres. The importance of the applications and commercialisation of research were deemed to be central to
progress in generating a competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy. This Institute has made
significant contributions to these actions so far. It has (a) enabled an innovative, sustainable research culture
to be developed; (b) created the capacity to attract highly qualified researchers onto the academic staff; (c)
generated high quality research degree graduates from its Masters and Doctoral programmes; and (d) set up
structures to support the commercialisation of research and the establishment of collaborative industrial links.
The 2004 Enterprise Strategy Report, Ahead of the Curve, identified five key areas in which it believes Ireland
can establish competitive advantage in building sustainable enterprise,5 namely:
1. Knowledge of customers and market needs
2. The ability to develop new products and services to satisfy those needs
3. A world-class education and training system that is responsive and flexible and that supplies
the skills required by the changing needs of enterprise
4. A competitive taxation regime
5. An effective, agile government system.
The Strategy Report acknowledges Ireland has historically enjoyed a strong reputation for the calibre of its
educational system and indicates that it must now adapt to produce the skills to drive future enterprise. It
specifically targets the quality and quantity of post-graduates. It recommends
“The proportion of graduates in Ireland should be in the top decile of OECD countries and
the quality of awards from the higher education sector should be benchmarked
internationally.”
The Institute has consistently delivered high quality research degree programmes. Performance has been
monitored by HETAC in that regard along with international panels when securing research funding. A number
of our graduates at Doctoral Degree levels have progressed to become Research Fellows in national and
internationally renowned Universities/Research Centres, including the Harvard Medical School. The progression
of our graduates is presented in Chapter 10.
4 Building Ireland’s Knowledge Economy, The Irish Action Plan for Promoting Investment in R+D to 2010. Report to the Inter Departmental Committee on
Science, Technology and Innovation, July 2004.
5 Enterprise Strategy Report, Ahead of the Curve, Ireland’s Place in the Global Economy, July 2004.
16
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The 2004 OECD Review of Higher Education in Ireland reinforced many of the recommendations of the Expert
Working Groups on the future of the Institutes of Technology. It took the view that research in the Sector
should be
“more targeted towards particular areas of applied research so that they can act as
technology development partners to industry, especially SMEs, particularly on a regional or
even a national basis”.
However, it is difficult to precisely segment ‘basic’ and ‘applied’ research and development. For example,
Science Foundation Ireland’s CSET programme has a strong industry-driven focus. While the spend on SFI
programmes was rapidly stepped up in that agency’s initial years of operation, the spend on applied research
is now increasing faster.
Enterprise Ireland have also stepped up their spend on industrially important research and in 2005 established
a new scheme - the Applied Research Enhancement Programme – to increase the research capacity of the
Institutes of Technology. The programme provides significant funding to research with potential for
commercialisation for a 5 year period.
The Engineering a Knowledge Island 2020 Report (2005) supports the concentration of research efforts into
Centres of Excellence6 and makes the following recommendation in relation to advancing engineering research:
“The limited resources of the institutes of technology be used to maximum complimentary
effect so that economies of scale, and world-class performance are realised.”
The report also highlights the need to expand educational programmes supporting linkages between industry
and third level institutions. A number of industry-related collaborative projects have contributed to new module
development in the Engineering School to date.
While participation in research was always encouraged within the Institute Sector, the establishment of the
Technological Sector Research (TSR) initiative by the Department of Education and Science in 1996, directed
exclusively at the Institutes of Technology, sought to attract more involvement from the Institute Sector
academics in research and catered for basic and applied research funding through the Strand 1 and 2
programmes. The core research strengths of the Sector were recognised by the Department in 2000 with the
establishment of the TSR Strand 3 programme. A total fund of £30 million (€38 million) was to be made
available over the period 2000 – 2006 to support these initiatives.7 The Institute of Technology Tallaght has been
one of the most successful Institutes in securing funding through TSR programmes. It secured 11% of the total
Strand 1 funding and 13% of the total Strand 3 funding between 2000 – and 2003.8 In 2006 it secured the
highest ever number of awards under the TSR programme, a total of 23% of the funding for the year in
question.9 A significant number of research outputs have been generated as a result (as presented in Chapter
11).
Recent years have seen an expansion in the area of funding for research through Science Foundation Ireland
(SFI) and the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI). The PRTLI Impact Assessment Report
(2004) recognised the important role the Institutes play in advancing research.10 It highlighted the following as
one of its achievements to date:
6
7
8
9
10
Engineering a Knowledge Island 2020, Irish Academy of Engineering Engineers Ireland, Oct. 2005.
Mid Term Review of the Technological Sector Research Initiatives, Mar. 2005.
Mid Term Review of the Technological Sector Research Initiatives to the Council of Directors, Mar.2005.
Council of Directors 2006 TSR Strand 1 Research Award Listing.
The HEA Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) Impact Assessment Report, 2004.
17
Chapter 1 Introduction
“Remarkable advances are being made in getting institutions to work together, including
the institutes of technology. We have strong evidence of an emerging collaborative culture
between all these institutions.”
This Institute has contributed to these advances and to date has been involved with three PRTLI successful
applications in 1999, 2001 and most recently in 2007.
The EU Framework programmes have been a crucially important source of funding in supporting the growth
of the Irish research base, and have helped to increase the knowledge and credibility of the Irish research
community.
The cumulative reports, surveys and discussion documents have contributed to a new road map for the future
development of research and associated strategies,11 as published in June 2006 in the Government Strategy for
Science, Technology and Innovation 2006 - 2013.
The recent developments in national policy are illustrated in Figure 1.1, showing an increased coherence and
consistency in the development of interlinked education and enterprise policies.
Strategic Review of
Irish Higher Education
Sector in the context of
Ireland’s ambition as a
knowledge economy
Strategic development
of the third level sector
Strategy for research
excellence that will
underpin an innovation
driven, knowledge
economy
Commitment of
resources to fund the
development of fourth
level Ireland
2004
2005
2006
2007
• OECD Review of
Higher Education
• Ahead of the Curve
– Ireland’s Place in
the Global Economy
(Forfas)
• Building Ireland’s
Knowledge Economy
– Action Plan to
2010
• Announcement of
Strategic Innovation
Fund
• Announcement that
the Institutes of
Technology to under
HEA
• Strategy for Science,
Technology and
Innovation
• Forfas Research
Infrastructure
Report
• PRTLI Round IV
(2007-2011)
• National
Development Plan
(2007-2013)
Figure 1.1 Summary of the Impact of National Policy upon the Strategic Development of Research.
One of the key aspects of the National Development Plan (2007–2103) includes major investment in education
at all levels with a particular emphasis on the 3rd and 4th levels in tandem with continued investment in labour
force training and lifelong learning. The Government has placed Research and Development (R&D) at the heart
of its economic development strategy in order to build the skills necessary for a modern knowledge based
18
11 Irish Council for Science, Technology and Innovation Consultation Paper, Sept. 2004; Ahead of the Curve: Ireland’s Place in the Global Economy (Report of
the Enterprise Strategy Group), July 2004; Report of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, August 2004; the OECD Review of Higher Education in Ireland,
2004; Forfas, Survey of Research and Development in the Higher Education Sector, 2004; Engineering a Knowledge Island 2020, Irish Academy of
Engineering Engineers Ireland, Oct. 2005. The European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, 2005; The
HEA/IRCHSS/IRCSET Graduate Education Forum – Key Guiding Principles, published in Feb. 2006.
A p p l i c a t i o n t o t h e H i g h e r E d u c a t i o n a n d Tr a i n i n g Aw a r d s C o u n c i l f o r D e l e g a t i o n o f A u t h o r i t y t o M a k e Aw a r d s : R e s e a r c h D e g r e e s L e v e l 9 a n d 1 0
economy and to strengthen our research base. Hence, national funding for research has been increased. The
recently launched Government Strategic Innovation Funding Scheme is also being used to enhance research
education and training for the needs of the workplace.
The structural changes that have taken place since 2005 will also enhance the research position within the
Institute Sector. The Institutes and Universities have been brought under a common funding authority - the
Higher Education Authority to facilitate greater collaboration between the two sectors and also “to prevent
mission drift in either direction”.
In 2007 Forfás conducted a review of the status of research infrastructure, for the HEA, in the higher-education
sector in Ireland. The Forfás Research Infrastructure Report made the following recommendations for future
support:
• A restructured PRTLI that will accommodate support for new proposals and for existing investments, as well
as for pre-determined infrastructures, disciplines or areas, on an open competitive basis;
• Re-instatement of the mechanism formerly operated by the HEA for replacement, updating and renewal of
research equipment;
• Discussion within research groups, and with the HEA and Forfás, of both the general and specificissues
pertaining to the development of proposals for future rounds of infrastructure investment;
• Establishment of a systematic and periodic process for infrastructure reviews in the future.
The proposed changes will expand the facilities and resources dedicated to research and enhance the
development of this Institute further.
1.2.2 Institute Development
While knowledge of the application or product is essential to informing fundamental research, the basic
research element itself is vital for the advancement of taught educational and training programmes. This is
particularly important in the context of the recommendations of the Enterprise Strategy Group, where it
recommends that ambitious targets must be set to improve education and skills attainment across all levels,
not just in the area of post-graduate research. An active research programme is vital in a dynamic education
system seeking to respond to the needs of students, employers and society in general, and in helping
educational institutions retain a relevance to the marketplace. Therefore a key ingredient to the Institute’s
strategy is that research impacts upon both the teaching activities of the institute as a whole at both
undergraduate and postgraduate level. To this end both academic management and lecturing staff at the
Institute have been proactive in strengthening the link between research and undergraduate teaching.
It is essential that the strategic development of the courses relevant to the requirements of enterprise and its
R&D complement each other. This ensures the maximum use of staff expertise and of resources. Therefore, in
order to keep abreast of rapidly emerging concepts and technologies, and to maintain an immediacy and
relevance to our courses, it is necessary that those involved in the teaching of our programmes at
undergraduate level, particularly at honours degree level of higher be actively involved in research. The
flowchart in Figure 1.2 below shows how research informs the content of new and existing modules and
courses to enhance the pursuit of educational excellence at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It also
shows how research can contribute to industry enhancement.
19
Chapter 1 Introduction
Research Strategy
Postgraduate
Research
Existing Courses
Final Year UG
Projects
Research
New courses
• Undergraduate
• Postgraduate
Innovation
Business & Industry
• Training
• New Knowledge
•Product Development
Seminars/Workshops/
Specialist
Training Modules
Figure 1.2 Flow-chart showing how research informs teaching and learning.
The rationale for conducting research derives from:
1. High quality track record and reputation of the researchers particularly in Science and Engineering;
2. The evolution of world-class research at the Institute and the reputation of Research Centres of Excellence
on campus;
3. The importance of increasing critical mass of researchers in the higher education and training system to
sustain the future knowledge economy;
4. National strategic importance of the close-to-market research and innovation culture that already exists in
the Institute;
5. The impact on the quality of taught programmes and the provision of industry-specific training;
6. Consistency with the National Policy, Strategy and more locally the Institute Mission and Strategic Plan in
the context of enhanced regional development.
The Institute recognises that an active dynamic research culture is essential to its future development as it seeks
to address the needs of an increasingly innovation and knowledge driven economy. It has formulated a
Research Charter, a comprehensive Research Strategy and put in place improved structures and supports to
pursue this core activity at the highest level. The remainder of this submission document presents a detailed
evaluation of the Institute with particular emphasis on research under the headings of management, operation,
education and training as part of its application to HETAC where it seeks delegated authority to make awards
of its own research degrees.
20
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1.3
Delegated Authority for Research Degrees
1.3.1 Context and Justification for the Institute’s Application
As part of its progressive approach to third-level education and training, the Higher Education and Training
Awards Council (HETAC) has adopted as one of its functions the ability to delegate authority to make awards
to recognised institutions subject to rigorous criteria and procedures and consistent with the Qualifications Act
1999. In this way HETAC recognises that where Institutes have developed their capacity and processes to
ensure quality is consistently achieved in their programmes, they can now take appropriate responsibility for
those processes relating to programme development, subject to regular review. This is in line with best
international practice.
This approach takes into account the maturation of the Institute in taking ownership of the validating and
awarding process for its educational & training programmes.
As part of the Institute’s commitment to delivering on its mission to provide educational opportunities of the
highest quality, it acknowledges that the self reflective delegated authority process should play a central role in
its plans for recognition as an educational centre of excellence for its taught and research programmes of study.
The Institute’s decision to validate its research degree programmes with HETAC may be traced to the
development of the current Institute Strategic Plan, which identified the following key objective under Goal 7
Research and Development –
“The Institute will seek authority to maintain a register of postgraduate students and will
seek delegated authority for postgraduate research awards”.
To this end the validation of its research degree programmes through the mechanism of delegated authority
has been identified as a strategic priority for the Institute for a number of reasons, not least because:
• It will provide us with increased flexibility to respond to regional and national needs in relation to economic,
social and cultural development;
• It will enhance our profile as an educational centre of excellence on the international stage;
• It will demonstrate our commitment and responsibility for academic quality assurance and related
procedures associated with the management and operation of our research degree programmes.
The Institute is now at a level of maturity appropriate to consider validating its research degree programmes in
terms of student acceptance, registration, supervision, assessment, examination and recommendation for
award in line with HETAC requirements.
The Institute has been involved in the development of postgraduate research degree programmes since it was
established in 1992.
The number of postgraduates undertaking Masters Degrees by research (Level 9) and conducting research on
Doctoral degree (Level 10) programmes has significantly increased in recent years (Chapter 10, Section 10.1),
as has the number of staff involved in research supervision. In terms of the level of involvement of its academic
staff and funding acquisition, our research base is amongst the highest in the sector, despite our small size and
young existence.
21
Chapter 1 Introduction
It now has a total of 80 students (over 2% of the total student population) registered on research degree
programmes at Level 9 and 10 of the National Qualifications Framework.
To support research the Institute has also updated its research policy and procedures document. It has
formulated a comprehensive Code of Practice for its research degree programmes, which includes regulations,
procedures, and a code of conduct for researchers. It has put in place structures & resources to enable research
activity of the highest quality to be carried out.
In February 2007 the Institute submitted an application to HETAC to maintain its own postgraduate research
degree register in selected discipline areas. Following a comprehensive evaluation by an international evaluation
panel, the HETAC academic committee at its meeting on 16 July 2007, upon consideration of the findings of
the panel and the response of the Institute, decided to accredit the Institute of Technology Tallaght to maintain
a postgraduate research degree register at Master’s level (Level 9) in the areas in Departments of Electronic
Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Science and Computing reflecting the expertise of the research-active
academic staff and at Master’s level (Level 9) and Doctoral level (Level 10) in the areas of Biology and Chemistry
reflecting the expertise of the research-active academic staff .
The Institute now seeks to apply for delegated authority from HETAC to make its own research degree awards
in the discipline areas where research is most active and where we have a proven track record in producing
Masters and PhD graduates, i.e. for the following research degrees:
• Level 9 in Engineering
• Level 9 in Science
• Level 10 in Biology and Chemistry.
This is a natural progression for the Institute, which already has delegated authority to make awards for its
taught programmes up to and including Level 9 (taught) since 2006.
1.3.2 Selection of Areas for the Delegated Authority Application
The HETAC documentation indicates that the application for research register accreditation (and subsequently
delegated authority) be submitted for selected discipline areas and degree awards where there is a significant
level of supervised postgraduate research activity.
A core team, comprising two project managers (seconded from their academic posts) and lead by the Registrar
was established in 2005 to steer the Institute’s applications to HETAC for delegated authority. The project
managers were assigned to manage the self-evaluation process and co-ordinate the preparation of the
submission documents: one for the taught programme application and the other for follow-on application for
the research programmes, and they reported to the Registrar.
The core team conducted an evaluation of research for the delegated authority (taught) submission document.
Part of that evaluation included an assessment of the level of postgraduate research being conducted in each
of the three Academic Schools (School of Business and Humanities, School of Engineering, School of Science
and Computing) in May 2005. This involved collection and analysis of research performance data from each of
the discipline areas within these Schools where research degree programmes were active to determine which
22
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areas would be put forward for accreditation, and subsequently delegated authority. A decision was taken by
the Institute’s executive management in June 2005, following the presentation of preliminary results from this
self study to HETAC, to prepare and submit the following applications:
• Institutional application for accreditation to maintain a postgraduate research degree
register
• Application for accreditation to maintain a register for a research degree to Level 9 in
Engineering [Sub-discipline areas of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering]
• Application for accreditation to maintain a register for a research degree to Level 9 in
Science [Sub-discipline areas of Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Mathematics, Physics]
• Application for accreditation to maintain a register for a research degree to Level 10 in
Science [Sub-discipline areas of Biology and Chemistry].
The decision to seek Level 10 accreditation, and now delegated authority, in the areas of Biology and Chemistry
only within the Science area has been based on the higher number of postgraduate enrolments and graduates
in those disciplines and their stronger track record in peer research activities, including publication and external
research funding attainment.
The Institute believes that the areas selected for this application have a sufficient record of achievement in
research and its academic supervision to warrant the granting delegated authority in the areas where it
currently maintains its own research degree register. The self-evaluation submission document will show that
the Institute has the required infrastructure and resources to effectively manage the recruitment, monitoring
and assessment of the postgraduate research students working towards research degree awards and to
manage the thesis submission and examination process, including the approval of examiners and their
recommendations. Although research is conducted in the School of Business and Humanities, we do not wish
to seek delegation of authority in these areas at this point in time.
1.4
The Submission Document
The submission comprises the following documents for the purposes of its application seeking delegated
authority for research awards to Level 9 (Science and Engineering) and Level 10 (Biology and Chemistry):
1
2
3
4
5
The Institute Self-Evaluation Report
The Institute Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes
Process and Procedures for the Management of Ethics: Research Projects
A copy of the Institute Strategic Plan 2005 – 2008 (update 2007 document)
Report of the findings of the Evaluation Panel engaged to consider the application by the Institute of
Technology Tallaght for accreditation to maintain postgraduate research degree register, 2007
6 Report of the Delegated Authority Evaluation Group(Taught Programmes), 2006.
The following documents have also been provided on CD ROM
1 A copy of the Research Accreditation Submission Self-Evaluation Report
2 A copy of the Self-Evaluation Report submitted for the Institute’s Delegated Authority Application for its
Taught Programmes
3 Institute Quality Assurance Manual.
23
Chapter 1 Introduction
The Institute Self-Evaluation Report has been prepared in accordance with the HETAC Criteria and Procedures
for the Delegation and Review of Delegation of Authority to Make Awards (HETAC, 2004) It is divided into
three parts and is organised as summarized below. Appendices are included at the end.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 1 provides background to the Institute’s application for delegation of authority to make awards. It
describes the importance of research in the context of national policies and future trends and explains why a
research culture enhances the role of the Institute. It also provides a guide to the Institute’s Self-Evaluation
Report.
PART 1 OPERATION AND MANAGEMENT
Chapter 2: Institute Mission and Profile
Chapter 2 describes the mission and purpose of the Institute. It sets out a profile of the region and provides a
summary profile of the Institute’s activities. The chapter outlines how research evolved at the Institute and
presents significant milestones and achievements.
Chapter 3: Governance, Organisation and Administration
Chapter 3 provides an overview of the Institute’s organization and governance operations. It describes how the
Institute is managed with particular emphasis on the operation of research degree programmes and their
management. The chapter also describes the roles of the Governing Body and Academic Council and examines
the systems and procedures that are in place to ensure that the Institute complies with best-practice standards
in management and administration.
Chapter 4: Planning and Evaluation
Chapter 4 presents information on the processes in place for future planning and evaluation of its operations.
It places specific emphasis on strategic planning for research and innovation.
Chapter 5: Academic and Staff Policies
This chapter brings together information on the Institute policy framework. It provides a summary of academic
and staff policies, in particular those related to research activities.
Chapter 6: Facilities and Resources For Teaching and Research
A profile of the facilities and resources available to support education and training activities is given in this
chapter, with particular emphasis on Library, Information Technology, Computing Services and Financial
resources. A section on dedicated research facilities and resources is also included.
24
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Chapter 7: Leaner Supports and Services
Details of the learning environment are presented in this chapter. The range of academic supports and services
is described. Initiatives to enhance student retention are discussed. Student service provision is summarised, and
dedicated research support systems are outlined. This chapter focuses on the provision of training to
postgraduate researchers and plans for implementation of 4th Level education going forward. The Strategic
Innovation Funded programmes are making significant contributions to enhancement of learner supports,
hence a summary of the SIF funded programmes, in which the Institute is involved with, is also provided.
Innovation and enterprise support programmes are also presented in the context of support for
commerialisation of research.
Chapter 8: Public Responsibility and Integrity
The integrity of the Institute and its collegial decision-making processes are described in this chapter. It deals
specifically with account reporting mechanisms, communications, marketing, and freedom of information. It
also includes a section on health, safety and welfare. It concludes with a section dealing with the promotion
of research and strategies for the dissemination of research outputs.
PART 2 EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAMMES
Chapter 9: Taught Programme Profile
This chapter profiles the Institute’s educational and training programmes. It provides an analysis of the learner
population. It includes a profile of the part-time and continuing education programmes and provides detail on
the different access routes and presents student recruitment statistics.
Chapter 10: Research Degree Enrolments and Graduates
A detailed analysis of the evolution of research degree programmes with respect to enrolments and graduates
is presented in this chapter. It also describes the links between research and teaching.
Chapte 11: Research Funding and Areas Fo Expertise
The scale of research is covered in this chapter with respect to funding acquisition and the development of
areas of expertise in particular. Research Centre and research group activities are summarised. Publication
activity is summarised in a section that focuses on performance indicators.
Chapter 12: Quality Assurance Systems
This chapter explains the Institute’s Quality Assurance systems. It also describes research quality assurance
framework and associated procedures.
25
Chapter 1 Introduction
PART 3 THE DELEGATED AUTHORITY PROCESS
Chapter 13: Delegated Authority Application & Evaluation: Taught Programmes
Chapter 13 provides a summary of the findings of the 2006 Delegated Authority (Taught) Evaluation Group
and an Institute response to the issues addressed in the final report.
Chapter 14: Research Accreditation Process
Chapter 14 presents a summary of the findings of the Evaluation Panel that recommended the Institute
maintain its research degree register. An Institute response to the findings of the is also included.
Chapter 15: Implementing Delegated Authority: New Programme Development
This chapter sets out to demonstrate how the Institute is implementing delegated authority and describes the
current processes for the development, validation and monitoring of new programmes.
Chapter 16: Council Conditions Attached Delegation Authority
Chapter 16 demonstrates the Institute’s capacity to comply with, and its record where appropriate to comply
with, the conditions determined by the HETAC Council for the purposes of delegation of authority.
Chapter 17: Objects Of The Qualifications Act 1999
Chapter 17 shows how the Institute supports the Objects of the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act
1999.
Chapter 18: The Self Study Process and Stakeholder Consultation
The self-evaluation process and the consultative processes involved in developing the application for delegated
authority are elaborated on in Chapter 18. Stakeholder consultation outcomes are also provided.
1.5
The Self-Evaluation Process
Since November 2004 the Institute has been involved in conducting a comprehensive self-evaluation of its
educational and training activities for the purposes of applying for delegated authority for its taught
programmes in 2006 and the follow-on application to maintain a research degree register in 2007 as prescribed
by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland.12
This was the first Institute-wide evaluation of research conducted in seven years. An evaluation of research was
conducted in the 1998 for the Institutional Review.13 That Review outlined the activities of the academic staff
in that regard in the Schools of Science and Engineering and highlighted strategic areas. It described the links
between research and development through industrial collaborations, and showed how research in Science
and Computing in particular, fed into the Institute Sector Training for Trainers Programmes. In addition School
based Programmatic Reviews have been conducted every five years since the Institute opened and have
provided a forum for discipline-specific evaluations of research.
12 In accordance with the HETAC Criteria and Procedures for the Delegation and Review of Delegation of Authority to Make Awards, HETAC 2004.
13 Institute of Technology Tallaght, Institutional Review, A Self-Study Report, March 1998.
26
A p p l i c a t i o n t o t h e H i g h e r E d u c a t i o n a n d Tr a i n i n g Aw a r d s C o u n c i l f o r D e l e g a t i o n o f A u t h o r i t y t o M a k e Aw a r d s : R e s e a r c h D e g r e e s L e v e l 9 a n d 1 0
The self-study process initiated for delegated authority and accreditation to maintain a research degree register
was the first comprehensive review of research. The current follow-on process provides an update review. It is
a critical self-assessment that examines the Institute’s research activities using data, trends and performance
analysis. Each Department therefore has provided information and details on – research active staff,
postgraduate students on research degree programmes, funding achieved, research indicators such as
publications etc. In addition each Department gave a detailed description of main research areas and
specialisations. Functional area input focused on an evaluation of the supports and services for research degree
students and those who supervise them. The research management structures, resources and support systems
were assessed and recommendations for improvements for the future were identified through the mechanism
of staff and student open discussion meetings and formal surveys. A map outlining the preparations for the
current delegated authority application follows in Table 1.1.
Time Period
Preparation Step
May 2005
Internal review of the Institute Research Policy, Procedures and Regulations
June – October 2005
Institute-wide research self study drafted for the taught DA application. Reviewed by staff including academics and management teams; and Academic Council
September – December 2005
Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research drafted which included Regulations and Code of
Conduct/Ethics Policy. Reviewed by - Academic Staff, Management Teams and Academic Council.
Intellectual property policy drafted and reviewed by Senior Management and Academic Council.
February 2006
Code of Practice approved by Academic Council
March 2006
Code of Practice reviewed by Governing Body and approved
February – June 2006
Institute accreditation self evaluation report drafted and reviewed by staff – including academics
and management teams, which was reviewed by Academic Council in June 2006
June 2006
Code of Practice approved by HETAC
June 2006
Intellectual Property Policy approved by Academic Council and Governing Body
September – November 2006
Science and Engineering accreditation self evaluation report drafted and reviewed by academic
staff and management in these areas
January 2007
Accreditation submission approved by Management and Academic Council and printed for
submission to HETAC
February 2007
Accreditation submission submitted to HETAC
April 2007
Accreditation panel visit
June 2007
Findings of Panel report submitted to HETAC Council
July 2007
HETAC Council recommended the Institute be accredited to maintain a research degree register in
specific areas
September 2007
Quality Improvements to the Research Quality Assurance Framework and implementation of
accreditation
December 2007 – April 2008
Self evaluation process and document preparation for the Institute’s application for delegated
authority for specific research degrees
April 2008
Delegated Authority submission approved by Management and Academic Council
May 2008
Self Study Report printed and application submitted to HETAC
Table 1.1 Steps in the Delegated Authority Evaluation Process
27
Chapter 1 Introduction
28
Part One
Operation and
Management
29
Part One: Operation And Management
30
Chapter 2
Institute Mission And
Profile
31
Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 2 Institute Mission And Profile
Chapter 2
Institute Mission And Profile
2.1
Mission and Purpose
The Institute of Technology Tallaght was established in 1992, the same year that the first RTC Act set out the
functions of higher education institutions providing third level vocational and technical education. Its main
function is to provide educational and training programmes to meet the needs of students, society and the
economy. The Institute mission and purpose are clearly defined in the Institute’s Mission Statement which
underpins the core activities of the Institute’s business:
“We aspire to be a major contributor to the social, cultural and economic life of the
County, and the surrounding region. We will realise this aspiration by teaching and
learning, research and development and providing support for innovation and enterprise.”
The mission and purpose have been elaborated on and refined in many Institute documents over the years.
However, the core parameters for realising our mission remain unchanged - The Institute undertakes:
• To provide learners with excellent flexible higher education opportunities.
• To provide programmes which reflect current and emerging knowledge and practices relevant to the
individual and our region.
• To offer accessible programmes, delivered in a professional manner, in a friendly and supportive
environment.
• To foster graduates ready to undertake the roles, responsibilities and challenges available in business,
industry, the professions, public service and society.
• To be a major contributor to the social, cultural and economic life of South Dublin County and the
surrounding region, through teaching and learning, research and development, and providing support for
innovation and enterprise.
The mission statement is publicly available in the Institute Prospectus. It reflects the Institute’s responsibilities to
the region that it serves and its commitment to be an integral part of the further development of the region.
2.2
Values and Objectives
The Institute places great emphasis on professionalism and excellence in all areas, in particular with respect to
the quality of the services provided to its stakeholders. These include students, employers, the business
community, graduates, parents, schools, state agencies, local development and community organizations. It is
committed and dedicated to providing high quality higher education programmes through maintaining the
following values in its delivery of educational services, management and governance:
• Supportive – We support the needs, goals and aspirations of both our students and staff through small
class groups offering more individual attention and a friendly learning environment.
• Accessible – We ensure equality, diversity and inclusiveness in all the Institutes programmes and activities.
• Friendly – We respond in a positive and welcoming way to anyone who deals with or enters the Institute.
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• Professional – We perform with professional excellence in everything we do, including teaching, research
and innovation, governance and management and public service.
• Relevant – We ensure relevance to industry, business and society within all our teaching programmes,
research and innovation.
These values reflect the Institute’s commitment to excellence in the provision of its taught and research
programmes, to the enhancement of the student learning experience and to its support of local business and
industry.
The Institute has developed a wide range of educational programmes while also providing vocational training
in the area of electrical trades. It has established partnerships with professional bodies and has developed close
links with industry located in the region particularly in the fields of Engineering & Science. Tailored academic
programmes to meet the needs of industry and the public sector have also been developed. Joint education
initiatives have been running for more than ten years and short programmes are continuously being developed
to meet specific skills shortages in local industry. The activities in that regard are discussed in Chapter 9 –Taught
Programme Profile.
Hence, the Institute has become a prime driver in the development of the region overall and the current
Strategic Plan1 sets out a number of objectives to expand and improve in that regard as follows:
• Social Inclusion - The Institute is making every effort to increase participation rates in higher education by
those living in its immediate catchment area.
• Quality Services - By a process of continuous improvement the Institute is enhancing the quality of its
services.
• Student Recruitment - The Institute will provide new and innovative programmes to meet the changing
needs of industry and society, and put in place high quality systems for the recruitment, retention and
progression of students.
• Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development – The Institute will continue to be at the forefront of
providing qualifications based on life long learning and provide bespoke in-company programmes that
support and enhance the workforce. It strives to devise novel initiatives in that regard over the coming years.
• Research and Fourth Level Education – The Institute will continue to establish itself as a world-class
research Institute by collaborating with other research institutions. It will further enhance the quality of its
postgraduate research training to produce graduates for the new fourth level Ireland employment market.
It strives to grow the numbers of postgraduate researchers.
• Staff – One of the cornerstones in the development of the Institute is the quality and morale of our staff.
The Institute has articulated actions going forward to guarantee the highest standards in the recruitment,
support and development of staff.
The current Strategic Plan lays out a number of specific goals and specific actions for how these objectives can
be met in the years ahead. More information on the Institute plans going forward is given in Chapter 4 Planning and Evaluation.
1 Institute of Technology Tallaght Strategic Plan 2005-2008, Update Document 2007.
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 2 Institute Mission And Profile
2.3
Context and History
The college was established in 1992 as the Regional Technical College Tallaght. It joined a network of higher
education providers originally set up in the 1970s to cater for higher educational needs on a regional basis. It
opened its doors the same year that the government published new legislation which formalised the role of
these higher education institutions and their management, in the form of the Regional Technical Colleges RTC
Act of 1992, which defined its remit as follows:
“To provide vocational, technical education and training for the economic, technological,
scientific, commercial, industrial, social and cultural development of the State with
reference to the region served by the college”
The college was designated as the Institute of Technology Tallaght in 1997. The title change was approved by
the Oireachtas under The Regional Technical Colleges Act 1992 (Change of Name of College) Order 1998 (SI
No. 19 of 1998). This was recently confirmed in the Institutes of Technology Act, 2006.
In 2005 the Institute adopted the abbreviated title of ITT Dublin. The title 'ITT Dublin' has no legal standing and
was adopted to emphasise the location of the Institute and as part of the Institute's marketing strategy.
2.4
Regional Profile
The documented history of Tallaght dates back to early Christian Ireland but the many archaeological sites in
the area suggest the presence of Bronze Age and perhaps even earlier settlers in the area. The place name
Tallaght is derived from the words támh leacht, meaning a plague burial place. The earliest mention of Tallaght
in recorded history is the account of Parthalon in the Annals of the Four Masters. The foundation of the
monastery of Tallaght by St. Maelruain in 769 A.D. meant there was a more reliable record of Tallaght’s early
history. The monastery was a centre of learning and piety.
The late 20th century saw the biggest changes taking place in Tallaght, however, when it was decided in the
1960s by Dublin County Council planners that a new town would be built around Tallaght village. This decision
started the process that turned Tallaght from a small country village into the place we know today. Further
significant changes took place in the 1990s with the construction of major buildings such as the Square
Shopping Centre and the hospital. By this time a significant number of industries and businesses had moved
into the region. Tallaght has developed from a small village into a huge suburban area, with a population of
over 100,000 and it is still a rapidly changing area. The designation of tax incentive sites and the arrival of the
LUAS have encouraged a further development boom.
Tallaght has developed a distinctive identity, arising largely from its rapid growth during recent decades. Tallaght
now has a thriving local arts, cultural, sports and economic outlook matched by a distinctive sense of place.
Strategically located in Tallaght Town Centre the Institute is ideally placed to make a professional and relevant
contribution to the continued success of the future development process.
With the reorganisation of local government in the Dublin region, South Dublin County Council came into
existence and set up its headquarters at Tallaght in 1994. This is now the third largest local authority in the
State. South Dublin County contains the large urban centres of Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and the new urban
district of Adamstown, old village centres such as Palmerstown, Rathfarnham, Templeogue and the rural
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villages of Rathcoole, Saggart, Newcastle and Brittas. The population of South Dublin County in 2006 was
246,935 people, an increase of 3.4% on the 2002 census.2 The labour force has expanded and there has been
a significant increase in employment since 1996.
South Dublin County has experienced remarkable economic expansion over the last decade and after Dublin
City has the greatest concentration of industry in the country. There are an estimated 6,377 businesses in the
county. There are 39 industrial estates and 46 business parks, including the two recently developed
international business parks of Citywest and Grange Castle, and these industrial areas account for 2,241 firms.3
There has been significant investment in the region by companies across a range of spheres including
biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, metals and engineering, information technology, hospitality, transport and
logistics. The National Digital Park is situated in the Citywest business campus and is a hub for high-technology
communications and electronic commerce companies in Europe.4 The second major international business
park, Grange Castle, is situated in the north west of the county and is a major location for multinational activity.
It is home to two of the worlds leading healthcare producers, Wyeth and Takeda. More detailed information
on South Dublin, the growth of its workforce and economic development can be found in Chapter 2 of the
Institute of Technology Tallaght Delegated Authority (Taught Programmes) Self-Evaluation Report, Feb. 2006,
and references therein.
While high economic growth has greatly enhanced the quality of life and the opportunities available to many
people, some areas of the county, including West Tallaght, remain economically and socially disadvantaged.
The development of the Partnership Companies5, the RAPID Programme6 and Integrated Area Plans has
contributed to significant regeneration and renewal in many areas, both in the terms of the living environment
and also in the circumstances of local communities.
The Institute has also played an important role by enhancing education levels within the County, promoting
and supporting enterprise activity, engaging in collaborative research initiatives with local industry and the
hospital, and by supporting other organisations contributing to economic and social development.
2.5
Growth and Development of the Institute
The Institute was established in Tallaght at a time when significant change was taking place in the region,
particularly in relation to infrastructure and industrial development. It is the only third level college located in
South Dublin County and is also one of the youngest Institutes in the Sector. Teaching and learning, research
and development and provision of support for innovation and enterprise are the main core activities of the
Institute.
In its short existence the Institute has developed a wide range of programmes at all levels from Higher
Certificate to Masters Level in taught mode, and from Masters to Doctoral Level in research mode. The Institute
currently caters for a total student population of approximately 4100 students. In addition there are 371
students enrolled on professional programmes at the Institute.
The postgraduate student body (124 students) represents 3.4% of the overall student population. Of these by
far the most, i.e. 65%, are registered on research degree programmes to Level 9 or Level 10. A summary
breakdown by programme for the 2007/8 academic year is presented in Figure 2.1.
2 Principal Demographic Results for South Dublin County, Census 2006.
3 Mulvaney and Donnelly, An Economic Audit of South Dublin County 2005.
4 Over 100 companies employing 2,000 people are located in the Citywest Business Campus, including high-tech indigenous and multinational companies
such as Eircom, Iomega, Nortel, TDK, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Viking, Tuchenhagen etc.
5 Set up with the aid of EU Structural Funds in Tallaght, Clondalkin and the KWCD Region (Kimmage, Walkinstown, Crumlin and Drimnagh) to alleviate problems
of unemployment and social exclusion.
6 RAPID Porgramme – Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development launched in 2001 under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness, an
agreement between the Government and the social partners.
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 2 Institute Mission And Profile
13%
6%
13%
MA (Research)
M.Eng. (Research)
M.Sc. (Research)
M.Sc. (Taught)
35%
33%
PhD
Figure 2.1 Breakdown of postgraduate programmes by Degree
The Institute has established partnerships with professional bodies including the Irish Management Institute
(IMI), the Institute of Accounting Technicians (IATI), the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering
(ISPE), and the Institution of Engineers Ireland (IEI). Institute staff have also established close links with the local
community and the industry sector in South Dublin and the Greater Dublin region,7 particularly in the area of
collaborative research primarily in the fields of Engineering & Science. Tailored academic programmes to meet
the needs of industry and the public sector have also been developed for a number of companies including
Intel, Hewlett Packard, Wyeth, Genzyme, Bayer Diagnostics, Microsoft, Smurfit Group, Merck Sharp & Dohme
as well as Tallaght Hospital and the Department of Enterprise and Employment. Joint education initiatives with
for example Intel and IBEC have also been developed along with short programmes to meet specific skills
shortages in local industry. The involvement of Institute staff in consultancy activity and in the provision of
specialist services have led to further links with local companies such as 3COM, Howmedica, IBM, Motorola,
Oral B, Unidare and TopChem Laboratories. International collaboration is a growing feature of the Institute
educational programmes and research activities as discussed in Chapter 9, Section 9.3.2 (taught programmes)
and Chapter 11, Section 11.3 and 11.4 (research collaborations).
Institute academics have also been at the forefront in E-Learning Developments nationally and internationally.
Some recent successes include:
• The Institute’s Pharma Web Campus e-Learning Portal;
• The Learning Support Unit Platform;
• Moodle Learning Management System;
• The EU funded Teaching Undergraduate Programming Using Learning Objects (TUPULO) project with
Computing Academics at this Institute as lead partners;
• Celt NET which has developed e-learning and web based support material for the application of ComputerAided Engineering principles in innovation, product design and manufacturing;
• The Enterprise Ireland funded EnCoMpaSS system in the area of re-usable learning objects, which resulted
in three research students graduating with MEng. Degrees and a number of peer reviewed journal
publications.
The Institute of Technology Tallaght is committed to the advancement of learning and knowledge through the
provision of flexible higher education opportunities which are of the highest quality in a professional and
7 The Greater Dublin Area incorporates the geographical area of Dublin City, Fingal, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, South Dublin County and Counties Kildare, Meath
and Wicklow.
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supportive environment. It strives to achieve this by offering educational and training programmes that reflect
current and emerging knowledge and practices which are relevant to the needs of the individual and the
region. Research and scholarship are recognised as being key elements to its success in this regard. The volume
of research undertaken in the Institute predominantly in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering and
Humanities has grown rapidly over the last decade. Since 2000, over €24M in funding has been awarded to
academic researchers at the Institute through competitive applications to national and international agencies.
Recent years have seen the growth of academic research partnerships with a number of third level institutions.
This has resulted in the establishment of collaborative National Centres of Excellence in specific fields of
research with Dublin City University (DCU), NUI Maynooth (NUIM) and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) as
academic partners. As a measure of the Institute’s commitment to supporting high level research it made
financial provision in 2005 for the formation of designated Institute Research Centres (IRCs) to help sustain the
activities of strategically important high achieving research cluster groups into the future. The alignment of
research groups into centres of excellence was a critical factor in the success of the Institute in being awarded
funding from the HEA under PRTLI Cycle 4 for the building of a Centre of Applied Science for Health on
campus.
The Institute has followed the general tendency in higher education institutions to embrace a third stream of
activity, after teaching and research. This third stream has grown from successes in applied and contract
research in the mid-1990s. It encompasses the areas of Innovation and Enterprise Development. To promote
these activities the Institute spearheaded the development of the M50 Enterprise Platform Programme in 2003
(collaborative venture with University College Dublin (UCD), DCU and IT Blanchardstown) which led to the
establishment of the Synergy Centre on campus in 2006. The Synergy Centre at ITT Dublin is the innovation
centre of South Dublin County, providing office space and business supports to early-stage enterprises. The
aim of the Centre is to enable industry and academia to interact to create viable enterprises for South Dublin
County that will secure the area’s future in terms of job creation, innovation and export potential.
2.6
Evolution of Research
Since it was established in 1992, ITT Dublin has worked in a planned way towards building a capacity
in research and development that would provide real value to its stakeholders. The Institute’s management was
always supportive of promoting and establishing top level research on campus. Research initially developed
opportunistically, and on an ad-hoc basis. The Institute’s research and development base expanded from 1996
onwards as a result of the establishment of the Technological Sector Research (TSR) Initiative, where for the first
time the National Development Plan allowed for the provision of specific research project-specific funding to
support research in the Institute Sector (including the Dublin Institute of Technology).
The report from the Advisory Group on the Implementation of the Technology Foresight recommendations
(July 2000) recognised the need for additional research infrastructure. Following the recommendations of the
Technology Foresight Exercise in 1999 a number of high level funding opportunities for targeting prioritised
research areas were launched. While Science Foundation Ireland was set up to manage and allocate the
expenditure of the Technology Foresight Fund, other high level funding initiatives were also launched. These
include the Higher Education Authority’s Programme for Research in third level institutions (HEA PRTLI) and the
TSR programme-specific Strand III awards open only to the Institute Sector. This resulted in the acquisition of a
larger amount of funding to support research and increase in the number of academic staff involved in
research. It has also enabled the development a healthy track record for research related activity.
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 2 Institute Mission And Profile
Since 2004, a number of key national strategic governmental documents (referenced in Chapter 1) have been
published which have guided the approach of academic institutions in determining the future direction of their
research activities in a regional, national and international context. The opening statement representing the
vision and of the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2006-2013 (June 2006)8 states that
“Ireland by 2013 will be internationally renowned for the excellence of its research, and
will be to the forefront in generating and using new knowledge for economic and social
progress, within an innovation driven culture’ and ‘the strategy aims to deliver world class
people and enterprises with the drive to succeeds and the resources to do so’.
Some of the key actions from the report include:
• An established international profile for Ireland as a premier location for carrying out world class research
and development
• Increased output of economically relevant knowledge, know how and patents
• Increased participation in international Science and Technology cooperation and trans-national activity
• Enhanced contribution of research to economic and social development across all relevant areas of public
policy including agriculture, health, environment and the marine and natural resources.
The Institute is committed to putting the appropriate strategies in place to make a significant contribution the
national research imperative. Information on the development of the Institute’s strategic framework for
planned growth of research are given in Chapter 4 – Planning and Evaluation.
The aforementioned Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation is being driven forward by the
commitment of over €8 billion in the National Development Plan (2007 – 2013) and the funding for
researchers through the HEA PRTLI and SFI programmes. The recent success of the Institute as the lead partner
in the 2007 PRTLI Cycle 4 awards means the there is now dedicated capital investment committed for a stateof-the art research building on campus. This will allow the Institute make a significant contribution to the
achievement of national priorities in driving the knowledge-economy forward through the mechanism of
research in strategically identified areas of expertise.
The OECD Review of Higher Education in Ireland Report in 2004 concluded that Ireland’s tertiary education
system is at a crossroads particularly with respect to the higher education and training of graduate researchers.
Since the publication of this report there have been a number of responses and government actions that will
have an impact on the structure of research degree programmes in the future. One such response sets out a
framework proposal for the reform of 3rd Level education.9 This has been catalysed primarily by the
establishment of the new Government Strategic Innovation Fund for higher education that is to support
educational institutions in achieving excellence into the future. The new vision for post-graduate study
presented first in the OCED Report is:
“the establishment of a world-class 4th Level Sector characterised by internationally
competitive masters and PhD level programmes that will deliver the next generation of
entrepreneurs and leaders capable of the knowledge absorption, generation and utilisation
that will be critical to Ireland’s future success.”
The proposals above pose a challenge to this Institute in relation to the provision of postgraduate research
degree programmes in the future, in particular in relation to quality enhancement and the broadening of the
focus and training experience of the postgraduate researcher. The Institute is an active participant of an
8 Strategy for Science,Technology and Innovation 2006 – 2013, Department of Enterprise, trade and Employment, Jnue 2006.
9 Irish Universities Association Report – Reform of 3rd Level and the Creation of 4th Level Ireland, October 2005.
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Institutes of Technology Research Alliance convened to deliver research education and training to researchers.
It is funded by Strategic Innovation Funding and its aim is to enhance the rate, scope and depth of the sector’s
strategic and professional approach to the delivery of postgraduate research degree programmes in line with
the fourth level criteria.
The Irish Higher Education landscape with respect to research is set to change dramatically in the next decade
as developments from external policy and the proposed environmental changes come into effect. The aim is to
establish the Irish economy as one of the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economies in the
world. A diverse and multidisciplinary research base offers the strongest prospect for underpinning knowledgebased development to sustain and expand a knowledge and highly-skilled economy into the future. The link
between active research and the quality of taught degree programmes is well established. In order to ensure
the quality of those programmes over the long-term, the executive leadership within the Institute recognises
that staff must be engaged with their subject matter at a research level.
By its mission and nature the Institute of Technology sector works closely with industry and has built a distinctive
understanding of industry needs and also the capacity to respond to these needs. The Enterprise Strategy
Group (2004) said:“The Institutes of Technology are well placed to support enterprise through technical
consulting and collaboration on close-to-market applied research projects. However, given
the structural challenges of SME’s, the Institutes must take a proactive outreaching role to
make this a reality”.
(Ahead of the Curve – Ireland’s Place in the Global Economy, Forfas, 2004)
The Regional Technical Colleges Act (1992), the White Paper on Education - Charting our Education Future
(1995), and the HEA Report of the Steering Committee on the Future Development of Higher Education (1995)
acknowledge that Institutes of Technology should engage in Research & Development. In 2003 the Institute of
Technology Sector commissioned an expert working group under the chairmanship of Prof. P. Fottrell to make
recommendations on the future positioning of the Institutes. The resultant report “Institutes of Technology
and the Knowledge Society – Their Future Position and Roles” indicated that research and development should
be a core function of the Institutes.10 The mission statement of Institute of Technology Tallaght clearly points
to research and development as being core activities (Section 1.1). This has been drilled down to individual
Schools, Departments and relevant functional areas who actively encourage and support these activities in their
day-to-day operations. To enhance an institute-wide research culture in all areas within the organisation the
senior management team approved the drafting of an Institute Research Charter in 2006 which has been
approved by Academic Council and Governing Body.. The complete Research Charter is given in Appendix 1.
It recently formulated a research vision for the future in 2007 in light of the changes and challenges facing
research in the external environment and as part of its preparations for the HEA PRTLI application. The research
vision is as follows:
“ITT Dublin aims to be a leader in research and scholarly activity in the region, to become
established as a Centre for targeted research areas which can act as a regional resource and
contribute in a unique way to the success of fourth level Ireland”.
10 Institutes of Technology and the Knowledge Society – Their Future Position and Roles, May 2003.
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 2 Institute Mission And Profile
This vision will take us forward to 2012 and deliver an internationally recognised research centre on campus.
This will be a major step in the evolution of research at the Institute. The main stages in the evolution of
research to date are illustrated in Figure 2.2 below.
Opportunistic research & mainly applied research
1992
Expansion of research base mainly in the area of basic research
1996
Research Seed Fund established
1998
Collaborative research with other institutions & formulation of Institute research strategy
1999
Research strategy updated annually &
thematic areas identified
PhD Continuation Fund established
2001
Establishment of Institute Research
Centres in thematic areas
Internal Masters Studentships
established
Research & Innovation Strategy Redefined and
Research Infrastructures Consolidated
2006
HEA PRTLI Funding awarded to Institute as lead partner - for a dedicated research
building on campus
2007
Figure 2.2 Evolution of Research in the Institute of Technology Tallaght
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2.6.1 Establishment of Research (1992 -1997)
In the beginning much of the research activity emanated from projects related to the previous roles of academic
staff in industry and education. The Institute’s first PhD award, in 1998, was the culmination of an applied
research project begun in Carlow Institute of Technology in the field of Microbiology. The first research Masters
Award was conferred in Mechanical Engineering in 1996, also as a result of an applied research project in the
development of an electronic product. Computing & multimedia, along with pharmaceutical development &
training, were other areas in which significant research, largely applied, was taking place before 1996. The first
company to emerge from research carried out in the Institute, Compupharma Limited, resulted from an applied
research project on the use of multimedia for training in the pharmaceutical industry. European funding,
(Copernicus) was obtained in 1997 to research the use of multimedia to assist the growth of small and medium
Enterprises in Eastern Europe. As the undergraduate programmes of the Institute matured in the mid-90s with
the coming ‘on-stream’ of the first bachelor degree graduates, the overall level of research activity grew,
particularly in relation to supervised postgraduate research. Biology and Chemistry emerged as particularly
strong areas, followed by Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Humanities and Computing.
2.6.2 Research Prioritisation and Strategic Development (1998 – 2001)
During the first five years the research activity in the Institute was project-based and not programmatic
in nature. However, across the schools, research teams were established that had acquired national and
international reputations within their thematic research areas. With the advent of HEA PRTLI, the Institute
reviewed its approach to research and the concept of research prioritisation and building a critical mass within
certain areas was established. Even as early as the first cycle of HEA PRTLI, ITT Dublin was a key partner in the
successful DCU PRTLI HEA Cycle 1 application, as collaborators in the National Centre for Sensor Research and
the National Centre for Plasma Science and Technology. Over the next few years the research alliance with
Dublin City University continued to strengthen. The process of formulating the ITT Dublin Cycle 3 PRTLI
application was a valuable experience, despite it not being successful, as it required the development of a
formal ITT Dublin research strategy. The Institutional Strategy for Research set out a number of goals, reflected
a research prioritisation by the Institute, and identified a number of research areas in which it had demonstrable
capacity. As part of Cycle 3 PRTLI, a key group of academics within the Institute, as well as researchers from
the National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM), were involved as collaborators in the successful DCU led
HEA PRTLI application that led to the establishment of the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB).
This was a further strategic enhancement of ITT Dublin’s collaboration with DCU, and the establishment of an
emerging inter-institutional collaboration with NUIM. This period in the Institute’s development was of
significant importance as it achieved several goals, such as:
• Formalisation of the Institute’s research strategic plan by the Research and Development Committee. The
formal plan possessed clear goals, objectives and implementation plan, was informed by the internal and
external environments, and was based upon research prioritisation;
• Establishment of formal strategic research alliances with DCU and NUI Maynooth.
2.6.3 A Period of Rapid Development for Research (2002-2007)
This was a period of large scale growth in terms of research activity, as reflected in the significant increase in
the Institute’s research indicators. The funding secured by institutional staff increased from around €2M by
2001 to over €17M by the end of 2006, representing an eight-fold increase, with researchers securing funding
from the more competitive funding sources. The number of postgraduate students registered on research
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degree programmes increased almost five-fold for the same time period. The publication rate in peer reviewed
journals also substantially increased over this time period. There were a number of key initiatives introduced
across the Institute that propelled it into a leading role within the Institute of Technology sector. These initiatives
included:
• Refinement of the 1998 research strategy followed by the development of the institutional strategy 20042008. These were informed by national policy, our inter-institutional collaborations and feedback received
from our previous HEA PRTLI applications;
• Refinement of the Institute’s research prioritisation implementation plan with the establishment of Institute
Research Centres on campus, from 2004 to 2006;
• Increased institutional commitment to research through internal funding schemes, increased research
infrastructure and support, and the framework for research management;
• Establishment of the Synergy Business Incubation Centre for research commercialisation and technology
transfer on campus.
The Institute now has an established reputation as a research leader, within its sector, in prioritised
research areas and some milestones are presented below.
2.6.4 Significant Research Milestones
The Institute has awarded the designation ‘Institute Research Centre’ (IRC) to seven research groups since 2005,
all of which had demonstrated outstanding performance in research areas prioritised for support in the
Institute’s research strategy.
Researchers in the Institute have secured the highest number of Strand 1 awards in Science and Technology
under the Technological Sector Research Programme in the Institute of Technology Sector.
Substantial applied research funding has been secured under the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnerships
Programme, and its predecessor the Applied Research Programme, by researchers in Computing, Mechanical
and Electronic Engineering, and Science. A total of 28 projects have been funded under this scheme over a
period of 10 years. These projects always involve collaboration with industry, with a proportion of the funding
coming from industrial partners.
Research collaboration with AMNCH (Tallaght Hospital) is taking place across a range of disciplines, including
Microbiology, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering.
In 2007 academics from the Departments of Science, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering were awarded
over €9 million to build a Centre of Applied Science for Health on campus. Partners include AMNCH, NUI
Maynooth and DCU (through the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology).
Science
1. Inter-disciplinary groups centred on the Department of Science were successful in obtaining Strand III
awards under the Technological Sector Research Programme in each of the four years in which the
competition was held.
2. In 2001 a team of Biologists/Chemists secured recurrent funding totaling approximately €1.7M as
collaborators with Dublin City University (DCU) and the National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM),
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3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
also involving the Adelaide, Meath & National Children’s (AMNCH) Hospital, in the National Institute for
Cellular Biotechnology, supported under Cycle 3 of the HEA Programme for Research in Third Level
Institutions.
In 1999 a team of Chemists/ Biologists from the Institute secured funding as partners in the DCU-led
National Centre for Sensor Research, funded under Cycle 1 of the HEA PRTLI.
The only award under the Enterprise Ireland Basic Research Grants Scheme (predecessor of the SFI Research
Frontiers Programme) to go to an Institute of Technology in 2002, out of more than 100 awards, was
obtained by a team of Mathematicians from the Institute.
A major first for the institute has been the securing of a Marie Curie International Postdoctoral Fellowship
Award through the EU Framework 6 Programme in the area of Electrochemistry. This award enabled the
research staff in the Centre for Research in Electroanalytical Technology (CREATE) Institute Research Centre
to take on a postdoctoral fellow in September 2005.
Through a collaborative application submitted by academic researchers from Chemistry and Electronic
Engineering this Institute was one of only five Institutes to secure Enterprise Ireland Applied Research
Enhancement Funding in 2005 for a 5 year collaborative project entitled Microsensors for Clinical Analysis.
The funding allows for the employment of a Principal Investigator to manage the project along with the
academics involved, along with two postdoctoral fellows and one PhD student. The project started in June
2006.
A number of successful collaborations are ongoing between researchers at ITT Dublin and researchers at
NUIM and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in a Pharmaceutical research initiative. This involves the
sharing of resources and regular student exchanges.
Research chemists and applied mathematicians have also established international collaborations allowing
postgraduate researchers to visit and work in internationally recognised research teams in France, Denmark
and the USA.
Mechanical Engineering
1. The Department has developed collaboration with clinical staff at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital
incorporating the National Children’s hospital (AMNCH) in the area of Biomedical Engineering. One project
involved using CT scans to recreate a 3D model of a damaged hipbone using the SLS Rapid Prototyping
machine. The creation of a 3D model of the bone assisted surgeons in planning the surgical operation
required to repair the damage.
2. In a recent development in April 2006 as a result of collaboration between, the Department of Clinical
Physics in AMNCH and the Centre for Visceral Biomechanics & Pain, Aalborg Hospital, Denmark, the
Department of Mechanical Engineering secured an E.T.S. Walton Visiting Professor Award to the value of
€90,120 which has funded Prof. Gregersen from the Centre for Sensory-Motor Interaction, Aalborg
University, Denmark for a 6 month research visit at this Institute, from Sept. 2006.
3. A team of four researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering collaborated on a substantial
project funded by Enterprise Ireland under the Programme for Advanced Technologies in the areas of rapid
prototyping and bulk sheet forming with a team from Trinity College Dublin (TCD). This project has led to
substantial spin-off research.
4. The Department of Mechanical Engineering was recently successful in a joint application to the European
Interreg IIIA initiative fund. Based on funding of €356,000 the CELTNET programme was established. This
is a joint project with Coleg Menai in North Wales, focused on helping Irish and Welsh SMEs improve their
product and process development capability, primarily in the areas of product and packaging design, rapid
prototyping, product development and testing, tooling development, process improvement, small scale
production and packaging design.
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 2 Institute Mission And Profile
5. Researchers in Mechanical Engineering were successful in an EU Marie Curie Early Stage Fellowship fund
application in the area of Rapid Manufacture of Hard Tissue Implants. This was a joint application led by
DCU, with partners in NUIG that will fund a PhD student over a period of three years.
6. An Academic from the Mechanical Engineering Department obtained funding of €100,000 from
InterTradeIreland under the Fusion programme to work with the Limavady Gear Company to study gear
design and heat treatment processes over two years which commenced in 2006.
7. The Department of Mechanical Engineering received €300K in EU funding under the ENV LIFE programme
in 2005 for an environmental waste management project which will have two postgraduate researchers
working on the project from January 2007. The Institute is the only non-Roman partner in the project which
is the realisation of the City of Rome’s Action Plan to achieve the Kyoto Protocol objective of green house
gas reductions.
Electronic Engineering
1. The Department of Electronic Engineering has been awarded Embark Postgraduate Scholarships in 2004
and again in 2005 by The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology.
2. A team of four researchers from the Department of Electronic Engineering carried out a multi-faceted
research project in Learning Systems Technology with a team from the University of Limerick (UL), funded
under the Advanced Technologies Research Programme from Enterprise Ireland.
3. Electronic Engineering researchers were significant collaborators in the most recent successful Strand 3 and
AREP programmes led by Chemistry researchers.
4. An industry funded research bursary, sponsored by Intel Ireland, was awarded to a student in Electronic
Engineering, bringing with it direct mentoring and substantial support for the research activity from
industry.
Computing
1. Funding for research projects within the Department of Computing has been obtained from a variety of
sources, including Enterprise Ireland, the European Commission, and private industry. Much of the research
has involved close co-operation with other institutions and companies, including Iona Technologies,
MobileAware, CompuPharma, Tallaght Hospital, and St. James’s Hospital, among others.
2. The Minerva funded TUPULO project is led and coordinated by staff from the Department of Computing in
ITTD and involves partners in Spain and Rumania, as well as partners in Dublin City University and IT
Blanchardstown. The project ran from 2005 to 2007 with a total budget of €279,000 which is administered
from ITT Dublin. This project is focused on development of e-learning systems to assist undergraduates in
learning programming.
3. The Department of Computing was awarded an Embark Postgraduate Scholarship in 2005 by The Irish
Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology.
4. There has been an ongoing collaboration with the mobile software development company, MobileAware.
Projects funded under the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnerships scheme to the value of €100,000, are
underway or have just have been completed with MobileAware. Further projects and collaborations are
under active discussion.
Humanities
1. Researchers in the Department of Humanities have been successful with Strand 1 applications in recent
years, and have also obtained significant funding from the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social
Sciences.
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2. In 2007, a total of in € 30,314 EU LEONARDO funding was awarded to an academic in the Department as
one of the Irish partners in the EU VOCAL project partnership [total budget
€ 278,697]. The network consists of 10 European countries, 12 partners, 11 languages including
Irish:
Ireland (3 partners), Bulgaria, Germany, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovakia, Switzerland.
3. In 2006 a designated Institute Research Centre in the area of Franco-Irish Studies was established.
Development & External Services
1. The ITT Dublin-led M50 Enterprise Platform Programme, in which IT Blanchardstown, DCU and University
College Dublin (UCD) are collaborators, was awarded substantially increased funding in 2003 and again in
2007 under Strand 2 of the Technological Sector Research Programme, to support start up businesses,
especially in specialist areas related to its Research & Development (R&D) strengths. The M50 EPP has
recently been recognized by Enterprise Ireland as being one of the top sources for the production of High
Potential Start-Up (HPSU) companies. Of the 85 entrepreneurs supported, more than 20 have gone on to
secure significant levels of external funding from a mixture of private investors, Enterprise Ireland and
Venture Capitalists. The companies employ from a few to in excess of 40 employees.
2. The Institute has been awarded €2.54M by Enterprise Ireland to set up a Business Incubation Centre, the
Synergy Centre, which opened in 2006.
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 2 Institute Mission And Profile
46
Chapter 3
Governance, Organisation
and Administration
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 3 Governance, Organisation And Administration
Chapter 3
Governance, Organisation and Administration
Effective governance enables the Institute to fully realise its mission and achieve its strategic goals in an effective
and efficient manner. It ensures accountability and transparency, thereby benefiting learners and other
stakeholders alike. Proper governance also ensures that the Institute operates within the statutory and
procedural requirements applicable to it. Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined.
Management and governance of Higher Education Institutes in recent years has seen a greater emphasis on
strategic planning, total quality management, project management, benchmarking and continuing
professional development of staff. We have used these techniques to continually improve our operation and
management (outlined in Chapter 4 – Planning and Evaluation).
3.1
Legislative Framework
As a publicly funded Higher Education institution, the Institute operates currently under the aegis of the
Department of Education and Science. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is the planning and development
body for higher education in Ireland. The HEA has wide advisory powers throughout the whole of the thirdlevel education and research sector. In addition it is the funding authority for the universities and a number of
designated institutions. In 2006 the Institutes of Technology and DIT came under the remit of the HEA. This
was one of the changes made in the Institutes of Technology Act 2006.
3.1.1 Regional Technical Colleges Acts
The Regional Technical Colleges Act, 1992 provided for the organisation and development of the Regional
Technical Colleges and defined their functions as follows, modifying the provisions of Section 7 of the
Vocational Education (Amendment) Act, 1944:
“to provide vocational and technical education and training for the economic,
technological, scientific, commercial, industrial, social and cultural development of the State
with reference to the region served by the college”.
Under the 1992 Act, the colleges were specific functions as follows:
• To provide such courses of study as the Governing Body of the college considers appropriate;
• To enter into arrangements with the National Council for Higher Educational Awards Council (NCEA),1 with
any university in the State or with any other authority approved by the Minister from time to time for the
purpose of having degrees, diplomas, certificates or other educational awards conferred;
• To engage in research, consultancy and development work;
• To awards scholarships, prizes and other awards;
• To maintain, manage, administer and invest all the money and assets of the college.
The Amendment Act of 1994 made provision for the appointment of a Commission in certain circumstances
and amended the terms of appointment of Governing Bodies. The Amendment Act of 1999 dealt primarily
with the establishment of the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown.
1 The NCEA is the precursor to HETAC (The Higher Education and Training Awards Council).
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3.1.2 Institutes of Technology Act 2006
The Institutes of Technology Act provided for amendment of the Regional Technical Colleges Acts 1992 to
2001; the Dublin Institute of Technology Acts 1992 to 2001; the Higher Education Authority Act 1971; the
Universities Act 1997; the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 1999; the repeal sections 19, 37 and 38
of the Vocational Education (Amendment) Act 2001; and other related matters.
The main amendments to the RTC Acts 1992 to 2001 included the provision for academic freedom, changes
to provisions in relation to staff recruitment. The role and responsibilities of the Director were more clearly
defined and expanded upon.
Changes were made to the functions of Governing Bodies, specifically with regard to their reserved and
executive functions, including reporting on budgets and the keeping of accounts. The responsibilities of the
Governing Body were expanded to include strategic development planning. They were also charged with
drawing up an equality policy and procedures for the resolution of disputes that arise in the college.
The 2006 Bill primarily provided for the transfer of funding responsibilities for the Institutes of Technologies
from the Department of Education and Science to the HEA. This was a major recommendation of the OECD
report on Higher Education published in 2004.2 It has helped create a unified strategic framework for higher
education in Ireland by bringing the Institutes of Technology and DIT under the remit of the HEA, and removing
the Minister for Education and Science and the Vocational Education Committees from the normal operational
activities of the Institutes. This will provide for greater autonomy for the Institutes to fulfill their missions.
3.1.3 The Higher Education Authority
The Higher Education Authority Act of 1971 established the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and defined its
powers and duties. Section 3 of the Act outlined the principal functions of the HEA as follows:
• To further the development of higher education.
• To maintain a continuous review of the demand and need for higher education.
• To assist in the coordination of state investment in higher education and to prepare proposals for such
investment.
• To allocate among universities and designated institutions the grants voted by the Oireachtas.
• To promote the attainment of equality of opportunity in higher education and democratisation of higher
education.
The HEA was given additional responsibilities under the Universities Act, 1997 including responsibility for (a)
strategic development plans; (b) quality assurance procedures; and (c) equal opportunity policies and their
implementation.
The Institutes of Technology designation Unit was established in March 2006 and was set up to manage
the transition of the Institutes of Technology (IoTs) and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) under the remit of
the HEA in the context of a fair and transparent funding system.
The section oversees the appropriate regulation of the sector in terms of staffing programmes and budgets in
the context of external accountability as determined by the Department of Finance and the Department of
Education and Science. It also supports the development of the Institute of Technology sector in national
education context and will develop the policy perspective for the sector in the context of the national
objectives.
2 Section 4 recommendations, page 22 of the OECD Review of Higher Education in Ireland, 2004.
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 3 Governance, Organisation And Administration
The HEA maintains a continuous review of the demand and need for higher education institutions and advises
the Minister (a) on the need or otherwise for the establishment of new institutions of higher education; and
(b) on the distribution of student places within the higher education system.
3.2
Corporate Governance
Corporate Governance comprises the systems and procedures by which enterprises and institutions are directed
and controlled. In the interests of transparency and accountability, it is important that the corporate governance
of the higher education institutions operates to the highest standards. The Institute is governed by the Ethics
in Public Office Act, 1995. In 2004, the Department of Education and Science published detailed guidelines for
the governance of third level institutions. These guidelines, namely the Code of Practice for the Governance of
Third Level Institutions comprise written codes of conduct for members of the Governing Body and employees.
They also set out procedures regarding internal practices and external relations with the HEA and the Minister.
The Institute is governed primarily by the Regional Technical Acts of 1992, the amendment Acts of 1994 and
1999. The Institutes of Technology, when established in 1971, were entitled Regional Technical Colleges. In
January 1998, the names of the colleges were changed to Institutes of Technology by order of the Minister for
Education and Science. The governance of the Institute is primarily laid down in the following Acts (Table 3.1).
Regional Technical Colleges
Acts 1992 to 2001
The 1992 Act provides for the organisation and development of Regional Technical Colleges
and to defined their functions
Qualifications (Education &
Training) Act 1999
Established the National Qualifications Framework; the Higher Education & Training Awards
Council; the Further Education and raining Awards Council; Provided for Delegation of
Authority to make awards
Ethics in Public Office Act
1995; Standards in Public
Office Act 2001
Provides ethical standards in public service (from 2004)
Freedom of Information Act
Provides for access to information by interested parties
Institute of Technology Act 2006 Allowed for the colleges to be named Institutes of Technology; Amended the functions of the
Governing Body including its executive function and strategic plan development; Created a
unified strategic framework for higher education in Ireland by bringing the Institutes of
Technology and DIT under the remit of the HEA.
Table 3.1 Government Acts that define the Institute’s governance
The Institute produced its own Handbook on Corporate Governance in 2004 as part of its commitment to the
implementation of best governance practice. It provides guidance on codes of practice relating to internal audit
and procurement functions, along with procedures for tax clearance, disposal of assets, remuneration, reports
and accounts, and strategic planning.
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3.3
Institutional Governance
The Governing Body is (collectively) responsible for the management and control of the affairs of the Institute
and for ensuring that an effective system of internal financial control is maintained and operated.3 Academic
Council is entrusted primarily with the role of protecting academic standards and making recommendations to
the Governing Body in relation to academic matters.4 The role and membership of the Governing Body and
Academic Council are set out in Chapter 2 of the Institute’s Quality Assurance Procedures Manual and are
summarised below.
3.3.1 Governing Body
Section 6 of the RTC Act 1992 provided for the establishment of the Governing Body and set out their
functions as follows:
• To manage and control the affairs of the college;
• To approve courses of study as it considers appropriate;
• To approve annual programmes and budgets;
• To determine numbers and terms and conditions of staff subject to the approval by the Minister.
Section 7 of the IoT Act 2006 added the following functions, within the constraints of the college’s budget:
• To control and administer the land and other property of the college;
• To appoint the Director (now President) and such other staff as it thinks necessary for the purposes of the
college;
• To perform such other functions conferred on it by the IoT Act 2006 or any other Act.
The Governing Body consists of a Chairman appointed by the Minister for Education and Science), the President
of the Institute and 17 ordinary members comprising:
• Six persons nominated by the Vocational Education Committee (VEC) in whose regional area the college is
situated. At least three of the six nominated by the VEC must be members of a local authority;
• Two academic staff members (with gender balance);
• one non-academic member of staff;
• Two registered students (one male and one female);
• One representative from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU);
• Five persons nominated by such organisations as the VEC considers require representation having regard to
the activities of the Institute – such as industry, agriculture, commerce and the professions.
The Governing Body meets on dates agreed at the beginning of each year, typically seven or eight times per
academic year. Special meetings may also be arranged by agreement. In addition to the annual report and
accounts of the Institution, the Governing Body is required to submit a comprehensive report to the Minister
for Education and Science outlining all financially significant developments affecting the Institution in the
preceding year. In carrying out its functions, the Governing Body is guided by the guidelines, policies,
procedures and advice of HETAC and by the Code of Best Practice for Corporate Governance in Third level
Institutions (2004). The current membership of the Governing Body is presented in Table 3.2 below.
Section 10 of the Act (1992) requires that each college haven an Academic Council appointed by Governing
Body. Academic Council is entrusted primarily with the role of protecting academic standards and making
3 Section 7 of the Regional Technical Colleges Act, 1992.
4 Section 10 of the Regional Technical Colleges Act, 1992.
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 3 Governance, Organisation And Administration
recommendations to the Governing Body in relation to academic matters. This is discussed in more detail in
Section 3.3.1 below.
In 2002, an internal audit committee was established as a sub-committee of Governing Body. This is discussed
in Section 3.8 – Audits and Reviews of Management and Administrative Functions.
Name
Mr. Tom Clarke (Chairman)
Dr. Tim Creedon (President)
Mr. Peter Kierans
Mr. Seán Ashe
Ms. Marie Griffin
Cllr Eamon Tuffy
Cllr. Jim Ruttle
Ms Darina Kneafsey
Mr. Peter Byrne
Mr. John O’Dea
Ms. Marie Hill
Mr. Arthur Hall
Mr. Kevin Moriarty
Mr. Martin Nolan
Ms. Angela Feeney
Ms. Susan Sweeney
Mr. Ronan O’Sullivan
Ms. Kiristy Maher
Mr. Thomas Stone (Secretary)
Nominating Body
Minister for Education and Science
Institute
Co. Meath VEC
Co. Kildare VEC
Co. Dublin VEC
Co. Wicklow VEC
Engineers Ireland
South Dublin Chamber of Commerce
Enterprise Ireland
Teagasc
Irish Congress of Trade Unions
Fáilte Ireland
Academic Staff
Academic Staff
Support Staff
Student
Student
Institute of technology Tallaght
Table 3.2 Governing Body
3.3.2 Academic Council
The Regional Technical Colleges Act, 1992 provided for the establishment of an Academic Council and defined
its function and composition of the Institute’s Academic Council as outlined below:
• To assist the Governing Body in planning, co-ordination, development and overseeing of the educational
work of the Institute;
• To protect, maintain and develop the academic standards of the courses and the activities of the college;
• To make recommendations to the Governing Body on programmes of research and development work.
The Academic Council fulfils other roles as specified in the Acts, including the making of academic regulations
of the college. The composition of the Academic Council is presented in Table 3.3 along with details of current
members. The Director (now President) and the Registrar are, respectively, Chairman and Secretary of the
Council and are ex Officio members of Academic Council. The following are also ex Officio members – the
Head of Development; Heads of School; Heads of Department; and the Librarian. All other members of Council
are elected for a fixed term of office which has been set at three years.
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Academic Council has its own constitution. The most recent Constitution and Standing Orders of the Academic
Council document was approved in March 2005 to allow for greater representation by academic staff and
students to accommodate the increase in the number of Heads of Department due to the growth of the
Institute.
Academic Council, following a decision of the Governing Body on 8th May 1997:
“is empowered to set up such additional committees as it deems necessary for the efficient
carrying out of its work. These committees are to agree their terms of reference with the
Academic Council”.
Sub-committee membership is drawn from: members of Academic Council; members of staff (from every area
including academic and administrative staff) who wish to be involved or who can bring special expertise; and
outside members (from business, industry etc.) who may be co-opted at the discretion of the sub-committee
in order to widen the experience and knowledge base. The President and Registrar are ex-officio members of
all sub-committees.
The functions of the sub-committees are focused and are evident in their titles. They share similar generic goals
of proposing policies and procedures to deal with issues under their particular remit. The types of subcommittees change as developmental work reaches a conclusion and Academic Council has the power to form
new committees dedicated to new issues as the need arises. Individual Programme Boards also report to
Academic Council. Table 3.4 below shows the current sub-committees and a summary of their terms of
reference.
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 3 Governance, Organisation And Administration
No.
Membership Category
Name
1
President [Chairman]
Dr. Tim Creedon
1
Registrar [Secretary]
Mr. John Vickery
1
Head of Development
Mr. Pat Coman
3
Heads of School
Dr. Michael Ahern
Mr. Pat McLaughlin
Dr. Damien Roche
8
Heads of Department
Dr. Phil Mulvaney
Dr. Barry Feeney
Dr. David Irwin
Mr. Adrian Payne
Mr. James Wright
Mr. John Behan
Mr. Martin Nolan
Ms. Fiona Cranley
1
Librarian
Ms. Gillian Kerins
4
Academic Staff
School of Business & Humanities
Ms. Catherine Fravalo
Ms. Angela Feeney
Mr. James Bridgeman
Mr. Gerard Phelan
4
Academic Staff
School of Engineering
Mr. Paul Dillon
Dr. Richard Gahan
Mr. Gerard Stockil
Dr. Yanyi Blake
4
Academic Staff
School of Science & Computing
Dr. Edwin Carey
Mr. Enda Lee
Dr. Mary Deasy
Dr. Brian Murray
1
Technical & Library Staff
Mr. Dave O’ Mahony
1
All Other Staff
Mr. Brendan Harte
3
Students
Mr. Alan Mulcahy
Mr. Ronan O’Sullivan
Mr. Gary Lanigan
Table 3.3 Composition and Current Membership of Academic Council
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Academic Council sub-Committees Terms of Reference
Constitution of Academic Council
Committee
• To advise on the constitution and composition of Academic Council.
Standing Committee
• To address urgent decisions that must be addressed before the next meeting of
Academic Council.
Access, Progression and Transfer
Committee
• To assist Academic Council in maintaining and developing academic admission,
transfer and progression criteria for programmes of the College.
Academic Marks & Standards
Committee
• To assist Academic Council in maintaining and developing academic standards for
courses and activities of the College.
• To make recommendations to Academic Council on issues related to the assessment of
academic standards to enable the establishment of appropriate structures to
implement the courses of study offered by the College.
• To assist Academic Council in making the Academic Regulations of the College.
• To engage with external academic bodies or accrediting agencies as required by
Academic Council or the Registrar.
Postgraduate Policy Committee
• To assist the Academic Council in analysis, review and development of strategy in
relation to supervised postgraduate research studies.
• To make recommendations to Academic Council on issues related to research policy and
procedures, regulations and codes of practice as applied to postgraduate research.
• To assist Academic Council in the making of Academic Regulations in relation to
postgraduate research degree progression and transfer.
• To engage with external academic bodies or accrediting agencies as required by
Academic Council or the Registrar.
Research and Development
Committee
• Identification, development and recommendation of policy with respect to Research &
Development to the Academic Council.
• Advise on expanding, developing and promoting Research & Development within the
Institute.
• To discuss and make recommendations in relation to research strategy in the Institute
and in individual Schools/Departments.
• To identify issues in relation to implementation of research policy within the Institute
and to make recommendations in this regard.
Ethics Committee
• To assist Academic Council to develop, codes and standards of ethics for staff,
students, employees, partners and contractors of the Institute.
• To make recommendations to Academic Council on issues related to the development
and maintenance of codes and standards of ethics.
• To assist Academic Council in the making, maintenance, review and updating of a Code
of Ethics for the Institute.
• To engage with external academic bodies, supervisory or accrediting agencies as
required by Academic Council or the Registrar.
Academic Teaching, Learning and
Student Support Committee
• To advise Academic Council on teaching, learning and student support strategies such
that the Institute has a holistic view of its core business.
Table 3.4 Academic Council Sub-committees (this table is continued next page)
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 3 Governance, Organisation And Administration
Library Committee
• To advise on improving the provision of appropriate and convenient access to library
and other learning facilities
• To advise on improving the provision of adequate information and communication
technology resources and facilities to support ongoing courses provided by the Institute.
• To advise on evaluating the adequacy and utilisation of the library and its information
resources.
• To advise on promoting the library and its resources among the learning community.
• To consult with Academic Council on the means of continuing to integrate library
resources into the teaching and learning processes.
Irish Language Committee
• To assist Academic Council in the drafting of the Statutory Scheme.
• To assist the Academic Council in making recommendations to ensure improved
availability of Institute services through the medium through the medium of the Irish
language.
• To assist the Academic Council in making recommendations to enhance the Institute’s
ability to provide services through the medium of Irish or English.
• To assist the Academic Council in making recommendations to raise staff awareness of
the Statutory Scheme through induction and regular communications.
• To offer recommendations to Academic Council to enhance staff competency in Irish
through training and development.
• To engage with external academic bodies as required by Academic Council or the
Registrar.
Programme Boards
• Monitoring the quality and delivery of the programme.
• Maintaining the accreditation and development of the programme.
• Planning a timetable of assessment to ensure that there is a reasonable balance and
spread of work throughout the semester.
• Monitoring examination and continuous assessment results and taking or
recommending appropriate action when required.
• Reviewing the programme metrics such as, programme uptake, withdrawals,
performance, progression, transfer and attendance.
• Managing the student induction programme.
• Providing information to students about the programme of study and continuous
assessment requirements.
• Mentoring and supporting students.
• Assessing the resource requirements for the programme including equipment, software
and library texts to be acquired and making recommendations to the Institute.
• Analysing the programme questionnaires.
• Monitoring general issues that relate to students and the delivery of the programme.
• Referring appropriate matters to Head of Department, Head of School, Registrar or
Academic Council.
• Identifying training needs.
• Identifying action items for continuous assessment.
• Producing the Annual Programme Board Report for Academic Council
Table 3.4 Academic Council Sub-committees
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3.4
Institute Management Structure
The approach to management adopted in the Institute emphasises the concept of collegiality, through sharing
of information with staff and students and working towards consensus on all major issues. It is also premised
on the exercise of delegated responsibility by management, within a clear policy framework and centrallyapproved norms and procedures.
The Institute is organised into three Academic Schools and three Supporting Functions and the basic
organisational and management structure is shown in Figure 3.1.
Governing Body
Audit Committee
Academic Council
President
Registrar
Head of
Development
Human Resources
Manager
Academic
Administration &
Student Affairs
Manager
Industrial Liaison
Manager
Finance
Manager
Head Librarian
Estates Manager
IT Manager
Head of Lifelong
Learning
Head of School
Business and
Humanities
Head of School
Science and
Computing
Head of School
Engineering
Secretary/
Financial
Controller
Head of
Department
Management
Head of
Department
Science
Head, Department
of Mechanical
Engineering
Head of
Department
Humanities
Head of
Department
Computing
Head, Department
Electronic
Engineering
Head of
Department
Accountancy &
Professional
Studies
Head of
Department
Marketing &
Business
Computing
Figure 3.1
Institute Management & Organisational Structure
In accordance with the 1992 RTC Act, the Institute has a Director (now President), who reports to the
Governing Body. As part of a change across the Institutes of Technology Sector enabled by the 2006 IoT Act,
the Governing Body approved a name change in September 2007 from Director to President. The President’s
function is to control and direct the activities and staff of the Institute, ensure the efficient and proper
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 3 Governance, Organisation And Administration
management of the Institute’s resources and to be responsible for strategic planning in conjunction with
Governing Body. The President chairs the executive management team, namely the Senior Management Team
(SMT), the Total Management Team (TMT) and Academic Council. The President is also a member of Institutes
of Technology Ireland (IOTI) which enables the Presidents of the 13 Institutes of Technology to co-ordinate the
work of the Institutes nationally.
Specifically IOTI:
• Assists in the development of a common position on higher education policy issues amongst Institutes.
• Promotes and facilitates discussion and consultation between representatives of the Institutes and other
educational and research bodies in Ireland on matters affecting or relevant to the Institutes.
• Advises Government, the Higher Education Authority, the institutions of the European Union and other
relevant agencies or bodies regarding the views and policies of Institutes.
• Provides information to Institutes and others on important Irish, European and other international
educational developments.
• Participates in and contributes to international organisations and committees appropriate to the work of
Institutes.
• Administers research funding programmes on behalf of the Department of Education and Science.
• Promotes international relationships with similar organisations in other countries.
• Nominates persons to statutory and other bodies at the request of the Minister for Education and Science
and other appointing persons or bodies.
The roles and responsibilities of the Institute’s management, including the Heads of School, Heads of
Department and Heads of Function, are explained in Chapter 2 of the Institute’s Quality Assurance Procedures
Manual. The primary areas of responsibility for carrying out the operations of the Institute are can be broadly
broken down and summarised as shown in Table 3.5.
Office
Role And Responsibilities
President
Leadership and Institute Mission; Strategic, Personnel and Resource Planning; Programme and
Budgets
Registrar
Academic Planning; Implementation of Strategic Plan w.r.t. Academic Goals; Admissions and
Examinations; Academic Quality Assurance; Academic Affairs; Library and Information Resources;
Student Support Services; Liaises with HETAC
Secretary/Financial Controller Financial Management; Ensuring Compliance with Legislation; Support Services including Human
Resources, Health and Safety (Chair of Health, Safety and Welfare Committee)
Development
External Liaison; Promotion of Research; Research Project Administration; International Activities;
Adult Education, including Lifelong Learning; Campus Development and Estates Management
Academic Schools
Planning, Management and Leadership in the School; Promotion of School and Institute; School
Strategic and Quality Assurance Development; Planning for and overseeing the management of
research degree programmes
Academic Departments
Academic Programme Design, Management, Delivery and Quality Assurance; Promotion of
Department, School and Institute; Leading and managing research degree programmes
Table 3.5 Summary Management Roles and Responsibilities
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3.5
Management Groups
In line with the recommendations of the Deloitte and Touche Report on Academic Management Structures in
the Institutes of Technology (1998), the Institute has established a number of groups to ensure the good
management of the Institute. These comprise the Senior Management Team (or executive) and Total
Management Team. The schedule of meetings of the different groups is prepared annually by the Institute
President.
Some key changes to the management groups in recent years include:
• Having regard to expansion in the School of Business and Humanities three new Heads of Department posts
were created in 2005;
• Having regard to expansion in the number of part time programmes and students, a new post was created
and a Head of Lifelong Learning was appointed, reporting to the Head of Development, in the 2006/7
academic year;
• In 2007/08 the management group structure was streamlined to ensure more efficient and effective
operation. The Academic Management Team (comprising SMT and Heads of Department) was merged with
the Total Management Team and the frequency of meetings increased.
3.5.1 Senior Management Team
The Institute President is assisted in the management of the Institute by an executive team, namely the Senior
Management Team reporting to him consisting of the Registrar, Heads of School, Secretary/Financial Controller
and Head of Development. The Senior Management Team (SMT) is collectively responsible for executive
decisions in relation to strategy and policy implementation, including the budget. The SMT meet regularly,
normally every two weeks during term, to plan and manage the activities of the Institute. Their main
responsibilities of SMT are to:
• advise the President on matters for decision in accordance with Governing Body policy
• develop Institute policy and implement policies adopted by Governing Body
• provide, in support of the President, leadership of the Institute
• drive the strategic direction of the Institute and the strategic and executive management of the Institute
• draft the programme and budget for the Institute, seek the required resources and allocate the agreed
resources
• develop the overall policies and procedures for quality assurance and take responsibility for their
management, monitoring and review
• implement the quality policy and develop quality procedures for the Institute
• SMT will consider Governing Body agenda items prior to Governing Body meetings and be informed of
Governing Body decisions and views following meetings
• SMT members will liaise with external agencies and organisations and brief colleagues on their interactions
on a regular basis (Institutes of technology Ireland and other sectoral groups, professional bodies,
HETAC/NQAI, etc.)
• SMT may call special purpose meetings involving relevant members of the overall management team and
other officers as appropriate to consider action on specific issues from time to time and establish project
teams normally led by an SMT member to deal with specific matters
• where the SMT is unable to arrive at consensus, the President has the responsibility to decide on a matter.
SMT members are responsible for:
• the implementation of decisions made at SMT
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 3 Governance, Organisation And Administration
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
advising their staff of executive decisions
involving their staff in their section’s internal management and decision making process
bringing staff views to SMT
detailed allocation of agreed budgets
development and implementation of quality assurance procedures
developing strategic planning for their School or function
providing leadership and effective management and operation of their school or function
chairing appropriate Institute-wide committees.
3.5.2
Total Management Team
The Total Management Team (TMT) includes all members of SMT together with Heads of Department and
Central Service Managers. The TMT meets every two weeks to discuss academic matters, developmental issues
and cross-sectoral protocols. The main responsibilities of the TMT are:
• to inform and advise SMT, which is the Institute’s executive body on issues requiring decision, and to allow
Institute-wide discussion on external or internal matters which may impact the Institute
• to advise SMT on strategic direction and policy
• to advise SMT on operational and procedural aspects of Institute-wide policy and on quality assurance
• to ensure the cross-fertilisation of ideas and concepts
• to ensure Governing Body and SMT decisions are understood and implemented uniformly
• to advise SMT on academic matters including - academic strategy; assessment, examinations and results;
teaching and learning; research and development; links with industry
• to advise SMT on operational and procedural aspects of policy, including quality assurance.
3.5.3 General Committees
The Institute also has four General Committees established to achieve specific goals. Table 3.6 sets out the
main purpose of each of the General Committees.
General Committee
Key Objectives
Health, Safety and Welfare
Committee
• to promote health and safety issues within the Institute. This committee was established to
comply with the consultation elements of the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act 1989.
Workplace Partnership
Committee
• promote common ownership by management, unions and staff of the development and
implementation of modernisation programmes
• to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the services of the Institute
• to develop a participative approach to resolving issues and challenges generally
• to enhance the quality of the work environment
Student Assistance Fund
Committee
• to oversee the allocation of grants to students in need of assistance from the Student
Assistance Fund provided by the Department of Education and Science
Student Services Committee
• to promote, co-ordinate, develop and oversee student activities in the Institute. This is
achieved through the development of clubs and societies and the provision of recreational and
cultural activities. The Student Services Committee works closely with the Student Union and
is funded through student capitation.
Table 3.6 General Committees
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3.6
Research Management & Organisational Structure
The Institute has devised structures at institutional, school, committee and functional levels for the maintenance
of high quality and relevant research. The organisational framework to support research is illustrated in Figure
3.2. There are two elements to the management structure for research at the Institute. These are:
• The operational management of research activities, including strategy, administration of research funding –
managed by the Industrial Liaison Manager who reports to the Head of Development through the
Development & External Services Office.
• The academic management of postgraduate research degree progrrammes – managed by the Registrar
through the Registrar’s Office.
Research Strategy & Policy
Governing Body
Research Strategy & Planning
President
Research Policies
Academic Council
• Postgraduate Policy
• Research & Development
• Ethics
Ethics Approvals
Research Ethics Committee
Senior Management Team
Research Programme
Management: Monitoring &
Delivery
Head of School
Research Operations
Management
Head of Development
Academic Management of
Research
Registrar
Head of Department
Operations Research Manager
Industrial Liaison Manager
Registration Approvals
Postgraduate Research Board
Research Academics
Research Centre Management
Committees
Figure 3.2 The Institute Research Management Framework
There are three sub-Committees of Academic Council that are directly involved in the development of research
policies and procedures for supervised research studies. The first Research & Development sub-Committee of
Academic Council was set up in the mid 1990s, in response to increasing research activity, to deal with all
aspects of policy in relation to research and to provide a forum, for staff interested in research, to make their
views known. Its remit also included innovation, development and consultancy activities and its workload
increased substantially as all of these areas grew and expanded in parallel. Academic Council took a decision
in Jan. 2001 to set up a separate dedicated sub-Committee to focus on the academic policies, procedures,
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structures & standards in relation to supervised research degrees. The Postgraduate Policy sub-Committee was
formally established in Oct. 2001. In June 2005 a sub-Committee was set up to draw up a policy on ethics for
the Institute. There are currently three sub-Committees that are directly involved in the development of research
policies and procedures for supervised research studies and more information on these is provided below.
3.6.1 Research and Development sub-Committee
The remit of this sub-Committee is to advise on the development, expansion and promotion of research and
development and to provide a forum to examine research strategy within the Institute.
Recent Activities of the Research and Development sub-Committee include:
• Developed the Institute Intellectual Property Policy;
• Made recommendations on research strategy;
• Made recommendations on training of academic researchers and postgraduate students;
• Made recommendations on the balance of hours assigned to research to teaching activities;
• Provided advice on the drafting of the Institute Regulations for Supervised Postgraduate Research;
• Provided advice on the drafting of the Institute Ethics Policy and Code of Conduct for Researchers;
• Reviewed the status of the Strategic Plan in relation to research and innovation and implementation of
specific target objectives in 2006/07 and more recently in 2007/08.
• Organised visits by representatives from Research Funding Agencies to the Institute to provide academic
staff with additional guidance on funding applications research and to promote the research activities of
the Institute to those agencies;
• Conducted a SWOT analysis for research as part of the self-evaluation process for delegated authority.
3.6.2 Postgraduate Policy sub-Committee
The remit of this sub-Committee is to assist the Academic Council in the performance of its functions in relation
to academic matters associated with postgraduate research studies.
Recent Activities of the Postgraduate Policy sub-Committee include:
• Development of the Institute Research Regulations;
• Development of the Institute Code of Practice for Supervised Research;
• Provided advice on the drafting of the Institute Ethics Policy and Code of Conduct for researchers;
• Drew guiding documents for supervisors on the following - recruitment of masters and doctoral degree
students and the NQAI Level 9 and 10 standards explained for researchers;
• Development of Institute Regulations for Taught Masters Dissertations.
3.6.3 Ethics sub-Committee
The remit of this sub-Committee is to assist the Academic Council in the performance of its functions in relation
to ethical matters, including those associated with research.
Recent Activities of the Ethics sub-Committee include:
• Drafted the Institute Ethics Policy;
• Drafted the Institute Code of Conduct for Researchers;
• Drafted the Institute’s Ethics Clearance Forms;
• Made recommendations on procedures for dealing with research misconduct.
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3.6.4 Academic Management of Research
The Registrar is responsible for the admission and registration of students on the Institute’s research degree
programmes. He/she also manages the overall examination process. Specifically the Registrar is responsible for:
• How the research Regulations & Code of Conduct are communicated to the Schools and prospective &
registered postgraduate students, dealing with all breaches of same.
• Managing the registration process for research degree programmes within the Institute.
• Chairing & managing the activities of the Postgraduate Research Board (that approves admissions for the
Institute).
• Making recommendation regarding HETAC requirements for the provision of support services & training to
the Departments, Schools and the Development & External Services Office for the Institute’s research degree
programmes.
• Overseeing the monitoring of progress for research degree programmes.
• Overseeing and managing the appeals processes that relate to registrations and examinations.
• Overseeing and managing the complaints processes that relate to registrations and examinations.
• Overseeing & managing the examination and final awards process for the Institute.
• Overseeing the promotion the Institute’s research degree programmes to prospective students.
• Ensuring that the student is aware of the Institute’s health, safety and welfare regulations.
• Ensuring the necessary support & welfare services are made available to postgraduate students for the
duration of their studies from the Institute’s function areas, such as Computing Services, Student Services
etc.
• Submitting to HETAC documentation relating to students and supervisors.
• Organising audits to ensure compliance with procedures, to include reporting to senior management on
audits and compliance.
A register of postgraduate students is maintained by the Registrar’s Office in the Institute. All applications for
admission to a research degree register (accredited disciplines and case-by-case applications in approved
disciplines) are evaluated internally by the Postgraduate Research Board (discussed in detail in Chapter 12,
Section 12.8.1) before final Institute approval by the Registrar. The Institute has been accredited by HETAC to
maintain a research degree register in specific discipline areas. The Registrar is responsible for notifying the
Awarding Body HETAC of all applications received in those discipline areas. The Registrar is responsible for the
submission of all Institute case-by-case admission applications to HETAC following Institute approval.
The Registrar also chairs the Research Ethics Committee which has been established to review research
project proposals of those researchers wishing to conduct research involving human and/or participants and
make recommendations to SMT on whether the proposed research of that nature can be conducted at the
Institute or not. More information on the Institute’s process and procedures for dealing with ethics in research
are provided in Chapter 12, Section 12.10.
3.6.5 Operational Management of Research
The Development & External Services Office is responsible for the overall strategic management and promotion
of research activities for the Institute. In that context it is responsible for the non-academic or operational
management of research degree projects including the administration studentship and scholarship funds. In
this role as related to research degree programmes the D&ESO is responsible for:
• Development of Research Strategy.
• Provision of office-type accommodation for research degree students.
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 3 Governance, Organisation And Administration
• Ensuring that the student is aware of appropriate Institutional support systems and sources of advice.
• Administration of research studentships and scholarships, including financial monitoring, orders and claims
& making this information available to Supervisors.
• Overseeing & managing the postgraduate student Induction Training Programme.
• Monitoring and implementing the Institute’s policies and procedures in relation to Intellectual Property
emanating from results obtained from research degree projects.
• Promoting & publishing information on the Institute’s research degree programmes to stakeholders,
including prospective students.
Development and External Services also has responsibility for the following aspects of research:
• Supporting and coordinating applications for external funding for postgraduate and contract research;
• Promotion of research opportunities within the Institute;
• Promotion of the Institute as a research centre to industry and funding agencies;
• Endorsement and filing of research funding applications;
• Financial monitoring and claims.
• Procurement.
• Recruitment of postdoctoral Fellows, postgraduate students and research personnel.
• Working conditions and office facilities of researchers.
• Negotiation of applied and commissioned research contracts with industry.
The Schools, Departments, Academic Researchers and the Registrar’s Office work closely with Development &
External Services in relation to many of these aspects of research. The Finance Department is responsible for
the processing of appropriate fees and payments from studentship funds.
3.7
Academic Administration Organisation
The Academic Administration and Student Affairs Manager reporting to the Registrar, co-ordinates the
academic administration of the Institute. This includes admissions, registration, examinations, graduation and
student records. The day-to-day administration of these areas is carried out by a team of administrative staff
as shown in Figure 3.3. This staffing structure arose from the implementation of the Chapman Flood Mazars
Report on the administrative and library structures in Institutes of Technology. The division of administrative
staff corresponds to a two part structure comprising: (i) administration of the part-time office and (ii)
admissions, registration, examinations and graduation.
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Registrar
Academic Administration and Student Affairs Manager
Part-time Office
Admissions/Registration/
Exams/Graduation
Grade 6
Grade 6
Grade 5
Grade 5 x 3
Grade 4 x 2
Grade 4 x 2
Grade 3
Grade 3 x 3
Figure 3.3 Academic Administration Staffing Structure
The Registrars Office is also responsible for the Institute’s student information system known as Banner, which
has had a significant impact on the Registrars Office, particularly in the areas of admissions, registration and
examinations. The Banner System is managed by the IT Manager (Chapter 6, Section 6.5.5).
3.7.1 Administrative Support for Research in the Office of the Registrar
Administrative support is provided by staff within the Registrars Office, under the supervision of the
Administration & Student Affairs Manager. A total of 19 administrative staff have been assigned to the
Registrar’s Office. The deployment of administrative staff is carried out through a Grade 7 Administrative
Officer. The work assigned to this Officer in relation to postgraduate studies has expanded as a result of an
increase in student numbers, particularly in relation to the monitoring and updating of records.
3.7.2 Administrative Support for Research in the Development & External
Services Office
A significant and growing proportion of research in the Institute is carried out by professional research staff,
such as Principal Investigators, post-doctoral researchers and research assistants, as well as postgraduate
students and recent years have seen an expansion in the level of administrative support provided to all
researchers by the Development & External Services Office. The roles and responsibilities of the administrative
support personnel in relation to research are given in Table 3.7. The Development is currently recruiting another
Research Administrative Officer.
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 3 Governance, Organisation And Administration
Administrative Post
Roles & Responsibilities
Research & Senior Staff
Officer
Grade 6
• Assist with all areas of R&D
• Manage and assist with budgets, funding and financial reporting of research projects
• Provide assistance, support and help with queries from researchers
Research Assistant
Grade 4
• Assist in organising initial set up – including for email access and initiate pay authorisation
• Provide researchers with all relevant forms and official letters needed for tax clearance on
studentships, visa renewal etc.
• Provide researchers with the requisition template for ordering of goods and services (Agresso)
and explain the ordering process
• Provide the researcher with the Research Student Handbook and direct researchers to relevant
contacts in other areas of the Institute
Administrative Support Officer • Organise desk and pc needs
• Direct researchers to relevant contacts in other areas of the Institute
Grade 3
Administrative Support Officer • Assist with queries for ordering of goods and services
Grade 3
• Process order requisitions
Table 3.7 Roles & Responsibilities of Administrative Support for Research
3.7.3 Administrative Support for Research in the Finance Department
A Finance Senior Staff Officer in the Finance Department provides administrative support for the following:
• Processing of appropriate fees and studentship funds.
• Providing Claims forms.
• Setting up on the CORE Payroll system.
• Enabling payment for any part time tutorials/labs/lectures.
• Arranging conference registration payment.
• Applying Tax exemption to your grant payment.
3.8
Audits and Reviews of Management and Administrative Operations
Institutional Reviews and the Periodic Programmatic Evaluations (in each of the Institute’s three Schools)
undertaken by external panels of experts are the main mechanisms for the ongoing monitoring and review of
the Institutes academic programmes and their delivery. Chapter 12, Section 12.5.9 and 12.5.10 section
provides details on the programmatic review and institutional review processes and procedures respectively. The
quality assurance procedures surrounding audits and reviews are discussed in Chapter 12, Section 12.5.8. A list
of internal audits conducted since 2000 is provided in Table 3.8.
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Internal Audits
•Part-time courses
•Research & Development
•Campus Companies
•Human Resources Management
•Risk Management of national MIS project implementation
•The Examinations System
•Fee collection & registration
•Computer Audit
•Completion and uploading of whitesheets
•Final Broadsheets and Examination Board meetings.
Table 3.8 Internal Audits 2000 to 2007
Governance, management and administration within the Institute are reviewed on a regular basis through a
variety of different formats such as:
3.8.1 Internal Audits by Consultant Auditors
The Institute, in conjunction with the Council of Directors of Institutes of Technology, engaged Deloitte and
Touche as consultant auditors to provide an independent audit and appraisal of systems within the Institute
between April 2000 and October 2005. During that period a series of activities in the Institute were reviewed,
including the management of part-time programmes; the examination system; completion and uploading of
results (whitesheets); HR management; and a computer audit and an audit of health and safety.
Internal audits were also carried out in the areas of research & development; campus companies; risk
management of the National Management Information System (MIS) project implementation; collection of
fees; and student registration processes. It is the responsibility of Senior Management Team to review the
findings of these audits and to implement follow up actions. The recommendations made by Deloitte and
Touche to improve operations and procedures in the areas identified above have been implemented. The
implementation process has been reviewed by Deloitte and Touche and documented in their Internal Audit
Follow up Report.
As part of the Institute’s 2006 Internal Audit Plan, Mazars were engaged to undertake an assessment of the
adequacy and effectiveness of (a) the processes in place for the achievement of their strategic objectives, and
(b) the arrangements in place for student retention within the Institute.
The Internal Audit Report on Processes for Achievement of Strategic Objectives concluded that the procedures
in place within the Institute to support the achievement of strategic objectives were in line with best practices
in similar Institutes. The review did not identify any high risk audit findings. The recommendations made by the
audit team are currently being implemented by the Senior Management Team and are at various stages of
completion, and are discussed in more detail in Chapter 4 – Planning and Evaluation.
The Internal Audit Report on Student Retention identified three medium priority issues which are currently
being addressed by Institute management. The audit team noted that a number of significant initiatives to deal
with student retention have already been identified, planned and successfully implemented. These are
discussed further in Chapter 7, Sections 7.1.5 and 7.1.8.
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Internal audits by Consultant Auditors are also proposed in the following areas before the end of the 2007/08
academic year:
• Student Recruitment
• Student Services and Support.
In all cases it is the responsibility of Senior Management to review the findings of these audits and to identify
and implement follow up actions. The reports of these audits are made available to Governing Body and to
the Controller and Auditor General.
3.8.2 Periodic Institutional Audits
In addition to the use of internal audits by consultant auditors, the Institute is committed to a periodic review
of its activities by a team of experts external to the Institute. These audits form a key component of the self
assessment activities in the Institute. The review is a two stage process, consisting initially of an internal selfstudy followed by an external review. The procedures governing such periodic review audits are set out in the
Institute’s Quality Assurance Procedures Manual (pp.173-4). They are conducted in a manner similar to the
Institutional Reviews conducted by HETAC.5
3.8.3 Audit of the Comptroller & Auditor General
The Institute is audited annually by the Comptroller & Auditor General who issues an annual report for
presentation to the Houses of the Oireachtas. The Comptroller and Auditor General reviews Institute activities
to ensure:
1. Expenditure is for the intended purpose as stated in the allocation by the Higher Education Authority
2. Financial controls are properly applied
3. Expenditure provides value for money.
3.8.4 Internal Audit Sub-Committee of Governing Body
In 2002 an internal audit committee was established as a sub-committee of Governing Body. The purpose of
the audit committee is to advise the Governing Body on internal control, corporate governance and any
matters referred to it by Governing Body.
The scope of the Audit sub-Committee is a review and oversight committee which examines internal audit
reports and the responses of SMT on behalf of Governing Body.
The sub-Committee consists of members drawn from the Governing Body. It defined the terms of reference as
follows with respect to audit: To report to the Governing Body, that • Approved policies of the Governing Body are being implemented
• Adequate internal controls and monitoring procedures are in place to ensure the issues raised in internal
and external auditors reports are responded to in an appropriate manner
• Management responsibility is clearly identified so that the sub-committee can confirm a successful
resolution of the issues they choose to examine or are put before them for their attention.
Issues which have been examined by the Audit Committee to-date include
• Issues raised in the Internal Audit Reports
• Registration and fee collection for full and part-time students
5 See Chapter 12, Section 12.5.10 for Institute Process and Procedures. See also Policy on Institutional Review of Providers of Higher Education and Training,
HETAC, Dec. 2007.
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•
•
•
•
•
Banner Computer System / Management Information Systems
Tendering Process for Reprographics
Fees and Refunds Policy
Recruitment of Staff Policy (emphasis on part time staff recruitment)
Cost Savings Initiatives
The committee is currently chaired by the Chairman of Governing Body who is the designated responsible
manager.
3.8.5 Management Quality Review Group
In 2005, a Quality Review Group was established to review the development and implementation of quality
assurance processes throughout the Institute. The main objective of the Quality Review Group is to ensure that
the processes, policies and procedures set down in the Institute Quality Assurance Manual are implemented.
Inputs to these reviews include results of audits, stakeholder feedback, performance metrics, status of
preventative and corrective actions, and follow-up actions from previous management reviews. Members of
the Quality Review Group are appointed by the President and membership includes a member of SMT
(Chairperson), two members of management and two staff (one academic and one non-academic). The
Chairperson presents a report of the review to the Senior Management Team.
The Institute recognises that governance requires the proper identification of the differing roles and
responsibilities of individuals and groups within the organisation, and their interaction with one another and
with external stakeholders. The Strategic Plan 2005-2008 outlines ways to develop and raise staff awareness
of the appropriate policies and procedures concerning the governance, management and organisation of the
Institute, and to engage staff in improving current procedures in their respective areas.
3.8.6 Internal Peer Audit
The audit conducted by an internal review auditor takes the form of a peer review in which a member of staff
of the Institute, trained in auditing techniques, investigates a process or system for which he/she does not have
responsibility. It is the responsibility of SMT to ensure that staff resources are available and that the appointed
person is properly trained for audits. Details of audits conducted since 2005 by trained auditors within the
Institute are given in Table 12.1, Chapter 12, in the section dealing with how the Institute evaluates its quality
assurance procedures.
The Institute has a number of trained auditors, including: Ahern, Mike - Head of Science and Computing;
Costelloe, Liam - Lecturer of Engineering; Feeney, Angela - Lecturer of Languages; Kerins, Gillian - Institute
Librarian; O'Donovan, Josephine; Cassidy, Gwen - Freedom of Information Officer.
Terms of reference (Section 10.4 of the Quality Manual) are as follows:
- Improvement of the effectiveness of the quality management system and its processes.
3.9
Management and Governance National Context
The Institute Strategic Plan,6 in tandem with the requirements for modernisation and flexibility outlined under
the current partnership agreement, Sustaining Progress, has initiated major changes within the Institute. The
6 The Strategic Plan is discussed in Chapter 4 – Planning and Evaluation.
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Sustaining Progress Agreement requires that modern and appropriate performance and accountability systems
are in place at individual, team and organisational level. For the Institute of Technology sector, it specifically
recommends the introduction of a structured system of performance management and development for all
staff, which is aligned to overall strategic goals.
In accordance with the provisions of Sustaining Progress, the Institute submitted its Third Progress Report to
the Education Sector Performance Verification Group (ESPVG) in September 2004. This report outlines the
extent of progress and cooperation that has been achieved in the Institute in implementing the specific actions
set out in the agreed Action Plan for the Institute of Technology Sector. The Institute made significant and
demonstrable progress in the areas defined by the Action Plan. These include specific improvements
implemented to enhance modernisation and flexibility, progress in implementing a partnership approach to
governance, the development of a performance management development system (PMDS), approved quality
assurance procedures, staff development plans and various other innovations and organisational changes
designed to improve education service provision within the Institute.
The Sustaining Progress National Agreement came to an end in 2006, and was followed by a new ten year
framework social partnership agreement, covering the period 2006 to 2016. The new agreement is called
“Towards 2016”, and sets out to Support Modernisation and Flexibility in the public sector, and ensure a Stable
Industrial Relations Climate. Under the terms of this agreement, the Institute is required to submit reports, on
a 6 monthly basis, showing how it has met the requirements set out under the various headings within the
agreement. Three reports have been submitted to date. The Third Progress Report submitted in November
2007 outlines specific improvements made by the Institute that have been implemented in the following areas
– teaching environment; development of new teaching technologies; flexible working and customer service.7
The staff handbook has been revamped and made available to staff on the Intranet.
Future developments within the Institute will continue to be guided by the Towards 2016 Agreement. The
strategic development of the Institute will also be guided by the advice and recommendations of the
Department of Education and Science, HETAC, the NQAI, the state agencies and all other stakeholders.
Management and operations in the coming years will be characterised by a cycle of planning, implementing,
evaluating and capturing the lessons learned from past experience.
3.10
Future Directions on Management Capacity in the Institute Sector
This chapter has reviewed the operation of governance and management within the Institute of Technology,
Tallaght and the various systems and mechanisms in place designed to ensure they are effective. New
challenges, arising due to cultural and demographic changes, the development of the knowledge-based and
innovation economy and lifelong learning, and important changes at an institutional level both nationally and
internationally, are initiating important changes within the Institute Sector. From a governance perspective,
these developments, along with the challenges of managing a more complex organisation arising due to the
increase in student numbers, the evolution of the Graduate School approach to training, 4th Level research
education and the range and diversity of courses to be provided within the Sector, present important challenges
and offer new opportunities for development.
7 The Institute’s Third Progress Report is available on the staff intranet.
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The management capacity of the Institute of Technology Sector was reviewed in 2007 to look at how the
Sector can, through effective management, meet the needs of the changing learner and other stakeholder
groups in the future. The review of management capacity project is one of five strands in a SIF funded
programme lead by IOTI entitled “The Institutes of Technology Sector Learning Network: Delivering Systematic
Change”. The objective of the review was to assess and evaluate management capacity in the sector; to identify
gaps going forward in the changing learner and stakeholder environment; and to make recommendations for
improvement in order to improve service delivery to students, industry and other stakeholders in a more
complex modern environment.
The results of the review are presented in October 2007 Developing and Mobilising Talent and Management
Capacity to Exploit Future Opportunities Report. It is evident from the report, particularly in relation to the
external environment, that the challenges facing the Sector in the future will be significantly different from
those experienced to date. The following were the key recommendations in relation to management capacity:
• Develop management capacity and capability in line with the strategic intent of the Institutes;
• Align organisational structures to strategic priorities;
• Put in place leadership development programmes;
• Develop and recruit specific skills to exploit future opportunities including strategic risk management,
change management, contract development and IP management, Marketing, PR and branding.
The Institute is committed to the ongoing development and implementation of best-practice in its governance,
management and operation. It is also committed to acting on the recommendations presented in the IOTI
Report. This is reflected in the development and implementation of the Institute’s Quality Assurance
Procedures; the Institutes compliance with various regulations and laws pertaining to education, labour and
public procurement as set out in the Institutes Codes of Practice; and the regular reviews of governance,
management and administration within the Institute. The commitment to implement best-practice in
governance is also reflected in the formal planning and evaluation processes within the Institute.8
8 The quality assurance procedures for evaluating academic programmes are discussed in the Chapter 12.
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Chapter 4
Planning and Evaluation
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 4 Planning and Evaluation
Chapter 4
Planning and Evaluation
4.1
Strategic Planning in Higher Education
Efficient planning and evaluation at regular intervals ensures a more unified, cohesive and coherent approach
to delivering on the Institute’s mission and purpose. Successful case studies indicate that strategic planning
which enables establishments to prioritise goals and objectives are the key to effective performance. An
awareness of stakeholder needs along with staff consultation is also critical. New challenges in the form of
increased competition, lifelong learning and pressures to respond flexibly to the needs of industry and the
knowledge-based economy have become important in that regard. Embracing these challenges requires the
development of new practices within the Institute and heightens the importance of planning, especially
strategic planning.
In the past decade, changes to national policy, structures, legislation, funding mechanisms, quality assurance
and accountability requirements have fundamentally altered the landscape in which Irish higher education
institutions operate.1 The most recent of which is the Government’s seven year commitment,2 to evolve
towards a knowledge society, which provides both challenges and opportunities, particularly in the area of
planning the way ahead. This has led to the publication of a number of spin-off surveys and reports in 2007
which were designed to act as a guide to those planning in the higher education sector in this changing
climate.
In April 2007, the Advisory Science Council published the report Promoting Enterprise-Higher Education
Relationships. The report reviewed the relationship between enterprises and higher education (HE) institutions
both in Ireland and in a number of comparable countries. The Council found that the two key constraints to
the deepening of enterprise-HE research collaborations in Ireland are the low absorptive capacity of enterprises
for research, and a gap in the availability of applied research capability that enterprises can readily access. Good
practice in other countries is to apply an enterprise driven approach to define and develop thematically-focused
joint research programmes.
The HEA launched a more research focused report in October 2007 Research Infrastructure in Ireland – Building
for Tomorrow carried out by Forfás which indicates that future planning needs to address infrastructural gaps
that still exist in the Irish research landscape. Since funding for research infrastructure has only improved since
1998 we are still in “catch-up” mode whilst at the same time trying to compete with our international
competitors. The report will be a key guiding document for the forthcoming cycles of PRTLI funding.
In November 2007 the HEA launched the Prospectus Survey of the Irish Higher Education Sector Lead or
Follow? The Global challenge for Irish Higher Education. The objectives of the survey of the Universities and
Institutes of Technology were to:
• Provide a picture of the current position of the Irish higher education sector, critical issues and views of
opinion leaders across the sector.
• Identify and understand the key strategic and operational issues facing the Irish higher education sector in
the future.
1 These have already been discussed and referenced in detail in Chapter 1 – Introduction.
2 Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2006 – 2013.
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• Inform the advancement of third and fourth level education in Ireland, in a global context.
It is first report of its kind in Ireland designed to provide a strong and timely poll of views ranging from a macrolevel overview of the HE sector to more micro-level areas such as policy, governance, teaching and learning,
fourth level, management capacity and organisation development. The report captures the views and opinions
of major stakeholders, who are key players in strategic planning, and system leaders in Irish higher education.
A collective strategy aligned with national priorities matched with the expertise within the Institute Sector, has
recently been proposed by Instituted of Technology Ireland.3 The strategy which has the following key
objectives will act as guide to all Institutes in future strategic planning processes:
• Provision of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of study with a strong focus on the needs and
requirements of the workplace
• Promotion of equality of access and seamless transfer and progression to and through full-time and parttime programmes of study, using the ladder system.4 Recognition and provision of credit for prior experience
and learning and providing flexible and innovative industry and society-responsive programmes of study.5
• Promotion of a research ethos aligned with the development of a national innovation system and the
promotion entrepreneurship that meets the needs of the individual and of society.6
• Integrating of research and teaching in order to share, apply, test and create knowledge.7
• Enhanced management information systems to provide integrated web-based services to learners and
researchers and management of flexible learning environments.
• Development of learning communities working to challenging and clear standards of achievement and
accountability and supporting balanced economic and societal development.
4.2
Institute Planning Processes
In the early years of the college, the Institutional and Programmatic Review self-studies formed the basis for
medium, to long-term planning. There are now a variety of planning processes in place that arise at different
levels and within different areas of the Institute. The main plans produced by the Institute include:
• the Institute Strategic Plan 2005-2008, which charts the development of the Institute over the next four
years. The strategic plan includes a medium-term review process and annual operational plans
• the Institute Masterplan 2003-2009, which is a revision of the Campus Development Plan (2001) and
focuses on the physical development of the Institute8
• the Periodic Programmatic Evaluation Reports, which are carried out at School level and involve a review of
the academic programmes being delivered. As part of the Periodic Programme Evaluation each School is
required to produce a revised plan, outlining the strategic direction of the School for the next five years
period9
• the Institute’s Staff Development Plans which outline the policies and provisions for the training and
development of staff within the College
• School and Departmental plans, for example, to new programme development, modification of existing
programmes and budgeting
• Research, Development and Consultancy Plans: the R&D sub-committee of Academic Council examines and
advises Academic Council on the strategic direction of research, development and consultancy within the
Institute
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Addressing the Needs of the Knowledge Economy, IOTI, October 2007.
This system enables learners to progress to their maximum academic potential while achieving an award at each stage of study.
The IoTs and DIT are particularly strong in providing professional qualifications through formal arrangements with professional bodies.
Building on the successful development of business incubation centres and innovation partnerships to date.
As recommended by the 2006 SSTI strategy.
This will be considered in Chapter 6.
The procedures for the ongoing monitoring of programmes and periodic programmatic evaluation are set out in Section 6 of the Institute’s Quality Assurance
Procedures Manual. These procedures are discussed in Chapter 12 of this self-evaluation report.
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 4 Planning and Evaluation
• the Annual Programme and Budget, which is developed each year and submitted to the VEC for approval
and then to the Department of Education and Science10
• the Institute-wide Planning Strategies developed by individual service groups within the Institute, including
Computer Services, the Library, the Careers Office, Student Services, the Access Office, Sports and
Recreation Services, and the International Office.
A lot of planning is also project-based and is reflected in a number of achievements, including the development
of the National Pharmaceutical Centre, the Technician Development Centre, the Centre for Applied
Microelectronic Fabrication, the Learner Support Unit (recently renamed the Centre for Learning and Teaching)
and the M50 Enterprise Programme. Planning effort is also channelled into community and education-based
activities which include school outreach programmes and other targeted initiatives to promote education
within the Institute’s immediate catchment area.
These various plans and planning processes are interwoven to varying degrees and are guided by the Institute’s
Strategic Plan which provides an overall framework for the development of the Institute. The next section
outlines the development, objectives and implementation strategy of the current Strategic Plan 2005-2008.
4.3
Development of the Institute Strategic Plan
A Strategic Plan enables the Institute to identify and communicate priorities for a defined time period. It can
form the basis for sustaining the development of the Institute. The process in generating a Strategic Plan is such
that it affords staff the opportunity to work together and think about the future direction of the Institute and
thereby take ownership for delivering on the plan. The Strategic Plan is a formal statement of the Institute’s
intended direction for the future. It is also a promotional document for the Institute and provides information
to stakeholders on what the Institute aims to achieve over a defined time period, normally 3 to 5 years.
The development of an Institute Strategic Plan may be traced to a decision by Governing Body in 2002 to
establish a group to address the strategic development of the Institute. This group, which comprised members
of the senior management team and two members of the Governing Body,11 marked the beginning of a formal
process of strategic planning within the Institute. The plan was produced following extensive consultation with
staff through the form of working groups.
Even during of the development stage of the first Strategic Plan, a number of significant improvements were
initiated throughout the Institute. For example, during 2002, a working group was established to study the
marketing of the Institute. This committee, which involved representation from all functional areas of the
Institute, examined external communication systems in the Institute. It recommended a number of positive
changes designed to improve the marketing of the Institute, including the development of a more systematic
approach to the co-ordination of school visits; the development of a style guide for all Institute publications; an
updating of the prospectuses for both full-time and part-time programmes; and the re-development of the
Institute logo. The committee also examined the various marketing media employed by the college and
suggested ways to improve communications with the Institute’s target audience. The Institute also established
a network with guidance counsellors and school principals in the region. The first Strategic Plan was produced
in 2004 and this has recently been updated. The core elements of the 2005-2008 Strategic Plan are presented
in Figure 4.1.
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10 This sets out the Institute’s position in term of current programmes, student numbers and annual teaching hours for the current year. It also provides a
schedule of academic programmes that the Institute plans to offer in the following two academic years, accompanied by a forecast of student numbers. The
preliminary budget outline document is prepared and submitted in November for the following calendar year. The final budget document is prepared,
approved by Governing Body and submitted to the HEA in January of the calendar year. (The Department of Education and Science is no longer involved in
budgets).
11 The Chairman and the Head of Department of Accounting and Professional Studies.
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Aspitational
Mission
Core Values
Strategic Values
Achievable
Development Targets
Strategic Goals
Action Plan for each Goal
Specific
and Tangible
Figure 4.1
Strategic Plan Layout
The Strategic Plan 2005-2008 identifies ten goals which capture the ambitions of the Institute over the next
four years. The ten strategic goals are as follows:
1. Academic Programmes: the Institute will ensure that its academic programs are of the highest quality and
are relevant to the needs of current and prospective students, industry and business and society;
2. Learning Environment: The Institute will ensure that academic programmes will be delivered in a supportive,
professional and flexible learning environment, and in a manner which is friendly and enriches the lives of
our students and staff;
3. Student Access, Diversity and Recruitment: The Institute will widen access to higher education in its region
in both full-time and lifelong learning modes. The Institute will develop and sustain an environment in
which all members of the Institute community have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, by the active
implementation of policies and procedures that promote equality and diversity throughout the Institute;
4. Student Retention and Progression: The Institute will ensure that our students are supported and
encouraged to pursue their studies to the levels they desire, and at the pace which suits their individual
needs and circumstances. We will continuously develop and implement measures to improve retention and
progression at all levels;
5. Lifelong Learning: The Institute will develop a range of educational initiatives to provide a means for
individuals to achieve their lifelong learning goals;
6. Staff Recruitment and Development: The Institute values all members of its staff, it is understanding of their
personal and family responsibilities and needs, and seeks to support them in their quest for personal and
professional development, and job satisfaction;
7. Research and Development: The Institute will grow and enhance its research and development work
through a prioritised, strategic approach involving the establishment of designated Institute Research
Centres and supporting new researchers;
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8. Innovation and Enterprise Development: The Institute will continue to strive to maximise its economic
impact, through its work in innovation, new enterprise development, support for existing enterprise,
commercialisation of research and development, technology transfer, consultancy, training and other
services to industry;
9. Governance, Management and Organisation: The Institution will be a higher education establishment, with
best practice standards of governance, quality assurance, management and leadership, and academic and
administrative procedures;
10.Campus Development: The Institute will extend and enhance campus facilities as set out in the Campus
Development Plan and will implement a program of improvement of the current resources.
4.4
Strategic Plan Implementation and Evaluation
Each of the ten goals in the Strategic Plan is sub-divided into a set of strategic objectives with specific actions.
Each of these objectives has a number of strategic projects assigned to it with delivery dates, resources, funding
etc. Figure 4.2 presents a flow chart with the key processes involved in progressing from the strategic goal to
the implementation stage.
To facilitate the implementation of the specific project actions, each project is assigned a Project Sponsor, who
is normally a member of SMT, to support and facilitate the development of the project by providing the
necessary resources required (both staff and financial). Each project is also assigned a Project Leader/Team,
whose role is to implement the project within the agreed time-frame. The project leader/team is also
responsible for managing the financial aspects of the project and may establish a project team to develop and
implement the objectives.
Strategic Goal
Strategic Objectives
Specific Project
Actions
Project Sponsor
Pr
Project Leader/Team
Project Delivery
Figure 4.2 The Planning Process
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Project plans are agreed with the senior management of the Institute and performance against the plans is
monitored on an ongoing basis. The progress of the individual projects and of the Strategic Plan overall is to
be communicated to staff by the President at established dates during the plan’s timeframe. The SMT is
responsible for ensuring that the various goals are achieved. Staff, the Governing Body and other Stakeholders
are to be kept regularly informed of the progress of the plan and regular reviews take place to monitor
performance against the objectives set out in the plan.
The 2005-2008 Strategic Plan was evaluated in 2007 by the total management team and progress on the
implementation was presented to all staff by the President at a number of meetings held in Functional Areas
and Academic Schools in December 2007. The Governing Body recently published the Strategic Plan 20052008 Update 2007 which is available to all staff and stakeholders on the institute website. In January 2008
President held a one-day meeting with TMT to monitor on how the specific actions recommended for 2007 –
08 are progressing to ensure timely completion by the end of the academic year. The status of the 2007 – 08
specific project actions for Research and Development and their mid-term status (January 2008) are presented
Table 4.1 below. Preparations are already underway for the development of the Institute’s Strategic Plan 2009
– 2013.
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Project Action identified for 2007-08
Current Status (mid-term review)
The Institute will in the first quarter of ’07 develop a detailed strategic plan for
research for the period 2007 to 2011. This strategy will be based on the analysis
undertaken in the Institute submission for Delegated Authority, on the Programmatic
Reviews in each of the academic schools and on discussion with stakeholders
Complete: ’08 update awaiting R&D
Committee and Governing Body Approval
The Institute will implement a detailed strategy for Teaching and Learning for the
further integration of research with undergraduate and postgraduate teaching on
both full and part-time programmes
Ongoing: Initial T&L Strategy draft drawn
up for PRTLI application, to be updated
May-June 2008
Review the performance and status of IRCs. To examine the potential for
consideration and reogranisation with a view to defining selected areas of multidisciplinary research focus commensurate with the scale of activity in the Institute
Ongoing: awaiting the submission of
reports from IRCs
Develop strategic partnerships with other institutions and/or corporations in
prioritised areas of research. Particular attention will be paid to strengthening
partnerships with DCU, NUIM, and the AMNCH hospital including joint research
seminars and funding applications
Complete
Expand and improve the physical infrastructure necessary to support R&D including
the establishment of a dedicated applied research and technology transfer facility
Tech. Transfer Lab. at commissioning
stage. 450sq mtr. space to be configured
for R&D in ‘08
A submission will be made to PRTLI for funding to establish a centre of excellence in
a defined area of applied research and technology transfer
Complete €9.6 million awarded for centre
for Applied Health Science Research
Seek funding for two additional Applied Research Enhancement programmes
Draft submissions in preparation
To undertake initiatives promoting excellence of ITT Dublin as a centre for research
to all relevant audiences including publication of a comprehensive review of current
research
Complete: magazine published; CASH
Centre promotion and launch done Feb.
08; PR Campaigns conducted Feb. 08
Seek delegated authority from HETAC to make our own postgraduate research
awards
Two step process with step one complete
(research accreditation) and step two
submission near completion
To provide and promote revised seed funding to help new research growth
throughout ITT Dublin
Support provided to 2 projects in
Humanities 07/08
To upgrade the quality of postgraduate training by putting in place the
postgraduate research policy, providing training for postgraduate supervisors, and
partnering with other Institutes of Technology involved in the SIF project on research
Institutional activity complete.
Sectoral proposal approved
Table 4.1 Current Status of Strategic Plan Actions for Research and Development
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4.5
Research Planning and Development of an Institute
Research Strategy
The capability of the Institute to deliver to its strategic agenda as a credible research performer on the
international stage is evidenced by the quality of the research outputs that have been achieved, by the level of
research collaboration that has been built up and by the demonstrated capacity of ITT Dublin to support and
enable high quality research to be conducted by academic, contract and postgraduate researchers. Research
capacity and scale are discussed in Chapters 10 (for research programmes) and Chapter 11 (in relation to
funding and areas of expertise).
Strategic planning for the development of research goes back further as far as 1998. Early Institutional research
Strategy was formulated in the context of existing research activities within the Institute. It also took into
account the projections and recommendations of the ‘National Development Plan’ (1999) and the ‘Technology
Foresight Reports’ (1999). The first Research Strategy for the Institute was prepared in the context of the 1999
application to HEA PRTLI. This has been updated annually by a working group reporting to the Research and
Development Committee of Academic Council to reflect evolving priorities. The working group comprises the
Institute President (also Chair of the IOTI Research Strategy Group), the Head of Development, the Industrial
Liaison Manager and a number of Academic Researchers. The Institute has just completed the development of
its research strategy for 2008 – 2012 in light of the changing climate with regard to the knowledge economy
and national policy as previously discussed.
Underpinning all of this has been the commitment of the Irish Government to delivery of the Lisbon agenda.
Key elements of this include the unprecedented commitment of resources that has been made by Government
through the new National Development Plan particularly through PRTLI and SFI. This will see the realisation of
the recommendations of recent key reports and enhanced enterprise support in the Institutes and the
continued support for postgraduate research from the Department of Education and Science through the TSR
programme.
However, internal focus, initiative and momentum have been as important to the development of research at
ITT Dublin as external support. The Institute has invested its own resources to support the growth of a critical
mass of research and has created an environment where academic staff are both equipped and motivated to
carry out quality research. These initiatives have been:
• Research Seed Fund to support short pilot projects adjudged to have the potential to develop into viable
research areas.
• Internal PhD Continuation Fund to facilitate exceptional students nearing completion of their research
Masters in progressing their project to Doctoral Degree Level, following Institute assessment procedures and
successful application to HETAC for transfer to the Doctoral Degree register
• Internal Masters: Studentships primarily set up to assist new academic researchers to establish a track record
of research outputs, including postgraduate supervision and to enhance their credibility when applying for
funding to external agencies
• Institute Research Centres (IRC): this is a designation awarded by the Institute on foot of independent
adjudication to research groups that are adjudged to have achieved a level of critical mass in relation to
number of members, funding, activity and outputs as measured by asset criteria. IRCs are provided with
significant resources to assist their growth. Seven groups have been designated IRCs since the start of the
scheme in 2005.
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The Institute is committed to matching this commitment by pursuing an appropriate and focussed strategy for
the next 5 years that will make a significant contribution to the achievement of national priorities as well as
setting new standards for research within an Institute of Technology that directly reflects the purpose and
mission of the sector.
4.6
Research and Innovation Strategy 2008 – 2012
4.6.1 Research Mission
The research mission of the Institute has been articulated as follows:
“ITT Dublin aims to be a leader in research and scholarly activity in the region, to become
established as a Centre of Excellence for targeted research areas which can act as a regional
and national resource for industry and other stakeholders and contribute in a unique way
to the success of fourth level education in Ireland.”
This mission statement is aligned with the national vision for the role of Institutes of Technology in the
development of research in Ireland as articulated in the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (SSTI).
4.6.2 Research Prioritisation
Since 1999, the Institute research strategy has been centred on research prioritisation across the Institute
research activities, and the building of critical mass in the areas prioritised. This approach will be continued and
strengthened throughout the period of this strategy.
In identifying targeted areas in which ITT Dublin aims to develop deep expertise and ultimately establish centres
of excellence. The Institute has looked at a number of factors including pre-existing core research strengths,
industry requirements (both locally and nationally) as well as access to collaborators and industry partners. ITT
Dublin is also cognisant of the existence of core skills in other third level institution and research centres, and
is seeking to carve out innovative and relevant areas of expertise which will add real value to Ireland’s
burgeoning knowledge economy. Bearing in mind these criteria, ITT Dublin has chosen to concentrate on three
core research areas in Science and Technology and on one in the Business and Humanities area, as well as a
number of smaller “prospecting” areas, over a ten year period.
During the life of the new research strategy, i.e. 2008 – 2012, the concentration in Science and Technology will
be on the area of Health research with a particular concentration on the three areas that form the new CASH
centre. This is a €10 million project to develop a new research centre on the ITT Dublin campus in partnership
with DCU, NUIM and AMNCH. The research activities of the CASH Centre are presented in Chapter 11, Section
11.4.1. The goal is to develop the premier research and technology transfer centre for Applied Health Research
in Ireland by the year 2013.
The second area of concentration will be selected during the lifetime of this plan. Candidate areas at this point
include currently strong research areas in the Institute such as wireless technologies, computing (grid and
distributed) and e-learning, and less well developed areas such as energy and environment. A formal process
will be designed and carried out to identify the second major area for prioritisation by mid-2009. The selection
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will influence subsequent decisions on matters such as staff recruitment, development of undergraduate and
postgraduate programmes and purchase of equipment. By 2013, an active multi-disciplinary Institute Research
Centre in the selected area will be in place. As with the Health area, programmes at third level will combine
with specific enterprise support programmes and technology transfer initiatives to complement a solid,
innovative and relevant fourth level research base in this field.
A similar process will be applied in the lifetime of the plan to identify a major area of concentration in the
Business and Humanities fields.
A key concept in the delivery of research strategies to date has been the development of inter-disciplinary teams
through the creation of Institute Research Centres (IRC) in which coherent groupings of research staff with a
specific discipline focus were brought together. Seven centres have been created to date:
• Bio-pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Research Centre (BPNR)
• Centre for Pharmaceutical Research & Development (CPRD)
• Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Institute Centre for Spectroscopy (NMRics):
• Centre for Research in Electroanalytical Technology (CREATE)
• Centre of Microbial Host Interactions (CMHI)
• Bioengineering Technology Centre (BTC)
• The National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies (NCFIS).
The strategy going forward is to support the further development and expansion of these IRCs. The work of
the IRCs is presented in Chapter 11, Section 11.3.
The Institute also seeks to expand its applied research base during the lifetime of this strategy. It proposes to
expand its close-to-market research base further in the areas of anti-microbial treatments and medical devices.
It already has an Applied Research Enhancement programme in Science, which has led to the formation of the
Microsensors for Clinical Research and Analysis (MiCRA) Centre (Chapter, 11, Section 11.4.2).
Departments and Schools have also identified research clusters in specialist areas or where research activity is
developing and expanding. The key research areas and group activities are discussed in Chapter 11, Section
11.6.
4.6.3 Future Strategy for Research Programmes
The Institute is involved in a spectrum of research commensurate with the range of disciplines represented in
its undergraduate programme. The Institute conducts a mixture of applied and basic research and is also
involved in innovation and commercialisation of research outputs. The Institute recognises the importance of
working with and supporting regional and national enterprises. It is setting a target whereby 15% of its
research and innovation funding will be associated with projects where there is a significant industrial
contribution or which involve commercialisation of research.
The most significant of the research programmes to be developed over the next 5 years will be the PRTLI funded
Centre for Applied Science for Health. The Institute will target further expansion of its research in applied
science for health as part of its application under PRTLI 5.
Associated with the applied health research focus the Institute currently has an Applied Research Enhancement
(ARE) project in the area of Microsensors for Clinical Research and Analysis (MiCRA), two Strand 3 projects from
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TSR an SFI Walton Fellowship, a Stokes Fellowship and a range of other projects. The Institute will develop two
further ARE projects over the next three years plus an additional five Strand 3 projects. The ARE projects will
be focused in the areas of anti-microbial treatments, medical devices and pharmaceutical production and
automation.
Within Humanities and Business research the Institute hosts the National Centre for Franco-Irish studies. The
Institute will continue to develop this Centre in partnership with the University of Nantes.
The Institute’s plans with regard to the provision of Doctoral Degree programmes on the 4th level platform are
given in Chapter, 7, Section 7.4.4.
4.6.4 Innovation and Enterprise Support
The Institute currently has a new innovation centre - Synergy Centre with start-up companies located in a
dedicated incubation centre. Through this centre companies receive support and access to research and
technical expertise in the Institute
The pipeline of projects coming through the centre is of the highest quality. At this time the current building is
over 95% occupied and it will achieve 100% shortly. The Institute proposes to increase its capacity for this type
of enterprise support by 200% over the lifetime of this plan. The Institute will develop and submit a proposal
in this regard to Enterprise Ireland in line with the scheme for extension of incubation centres announced by
the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment in 2008.
To facilitate the development of this enterprise support activity the Institute has put in place a three phase
vertically integrated Synergy Enterprise Development system involving:
• Phase I: an enterprise Start Programme
• Phase II: a twelve month Enterprise Platform programme (M50 EPP)
• Phase III: a two year incubator system involving the location of the company in the Synergy building.
As part of the enterprise support initiative the Institute has a suite of innovation laboratories dedicated to joint
industry, Institute research projects in the disciplines of ICT, RF Technology, and Sensor Technology. The Institute
will develop additional innovation laboratory capacity particularly in those technology or disciplinary areas that
are close to commercial exploitation, or support of same, such as RF, Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical
Product Development and Technology Transfer. This latter centre will be supported by the pilot scale
pharmaceutical plant which exists in the Institute.
The Institute aims to have at least three Innovation Partnership, Proof of Concept or Commercialisation
programmes on-going from the beginning of 2009. The Institute also aims to become involved as a
collaborator in at least one SFI CSET and one SFI SRC during the period of this strategic plan.
4.6.5 Technology Transfer
The capability of the Institute in the areas of research performance and enterprise support is developing rapidly
as described above. Technology Transfer (TT), the third element of the Innovation System in the Institute, and
the piece that connects research and enterprise development, has undrstandably lagged the other two in its
development. Indeed, across the IoT sector, Development Offices are struggling to deal with the issues of
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intellectual property management and research commercialisation while trying to meet obligations under the
National Codes of Practice and the requirements of grant contracts of funding agencies such as Enterprise
Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland. As a result of the new emphasis on knowledge transfer in the major
funding programmes such as HEA PRTLI, TT expertise and organisational infrastructure are critical in order to
be able to compete for funding from these sources. The Institute therefore recognises the need to develop its
capability in TT to maximise the overall impact of its Innovation System.
Support is being received from Enterprise Ireland under the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) Strengthening
initiative in this regard since early 2008, although this does not extend to funding for dedicated TT personnel.
ITT Dublin has set ambitious TT targets under this plan:
• One award per annum of EI Commercialisation Fund funding, under the Proof of Concept or Technology
Development schemes.
• 5 patents per annum arising from Institute research;
• One license per annum and one spin-out over the lifetime of this strategy.
The Institute will endeavour to achieve these targets with existing resources and will take what steps it can in
terms of training existing staff to carry out the specialised activities involved. It will also continue to work with
Enterprise Ireland to develop the necessary increased capability in this critical area, commensurate with the level
of research activity in the Institute.
4.6.6 Broadening Strategic Alliances
Long-standing collaborations have been an essential element in the rapid development of research in the
Institute. The Institute has strong partnerships with researchers in DCU, NUIM, TCD and UL. It is expected that
the CASH Centre, the IRC’s and the EI funded Applied Research Centres will continue to build on existing
collaborations with other national research centres and with industry, and establish new ones during the period
of this strategy. Examples of existing links with other centres include:
• Materials Surface Science Institute, UL
• National Centre for Sensor Research
• Centre for Research in Engineering Surface Technology
• UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular & Biomedical Research
• Physics Department, University of Sheffield.
Through these collaborations the Institute will continue to apply for funding under the major national research
programmes such as SFI and PRTLI.
4.6.7 The Research – Teaching Linkage
An active research programme is vital in dynamic education systems seeking to respond to the needs of
students, employers and society in general, and in enabling educational institutions retain a relevance to the
market place. A key ingredient in the Institute’s research strategy is to ensure that the research priorities for the
institute link to the undergraduate programmes and to improve the linkage between discipline-based research
and teaching at both 3rd and 4th level, through:
• New course development at undergraduate level informed by the Institute’s research activities;
• A suite of undergraduate research projects linked to the existing Institute research centres;
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• Formalised training modules for postgraduate students; and,
• Exposure of researchers at both undergraduate and postgraduate level to resources available in partnering
institutions.
The Institute and its collaborators have established a number of key initiatives that have enabled and will further
develop the research - teaching linkage.
Joint teaching initiatives at postgraduate level will include:
• Short postgraduate teaching modules at ITT Dublin open to all postgraduates;
• Joint seminars / symposia on “Hot Topics” to stimulate new ideas/partnerships;
• Postgraduate participation on 4th level training courses at ITT Dublin and partner institutions; and,
• Postgraduate placements at partner laboratories.
Joint Teaching Initiatives at undergraduate level will include:
• Student project based exchanges via joint undergraduate teaching programmes and via summer school
programmes (i.e. SPUR, UREKA, SURE);
• Guest lecturer delivery by partnering institutions on related modules (e.g. guest lecture by AMNCH’s Prof.
Philip Murphy on Molecular Diagnostics as part of the B.Sc. (Hons) in Bioanalytical Science course; and,
• Joint access and education outreach initiatives as mechanisms to increase participation rates in the Dublin
region, such as links between ITT Dublin and Trinity access programme.
4.6.8 Strategic Targets & Goals
Growth Targets
For the period of this strategic plan the Institute has identified as growth targets
• An expansion of postgraduate numbers to 150
• An increase by 50% in the number of staff engaged in research
• A doubling of academic research outputs such as publications
• One award per annum of EI Commercialisation Fund funding, under the Proof of Concept or Technology
Development schemes.
• 5 patents per annum arising from Institute research;
• One license per annum
• One spin-out over the lifetime of this strategy.
• A doubling of research funding income
• The creation of a second national research centre on campus
• A doubling of incubation centre companies, pending available capacity
• Participation as a partner in the development and delivery of 3 collaborative structured PhD programmes.
To achieve these targets ITT Dublin has identified seven goals, and an associated set of prioritised key actions,
at the core of its research strategy 2008 – 2012.
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Strategic Goals
Goal One:
To carry out research of an international standard that positively impacts upon society in the Institute’s
prioritised research areas, whilst identifying emerging thematic research areas in which the Institute can play a
role.
Rationale:
ITT Dublin can and should deliver research that shows demonstrable value for money by addressing clearlydefined needs. In light of the level and scale of Government investment over the next five years, the outcomes
of research must be of a standard that merits such investment. ITT Dublin believes that there is a body of
research that it is uniquely positioned to deliver, given its close relationships with industry and insights into its
needs. The scale of ITT Dublin enables it to move quickly and flexibly to carry out research and deliver solutions
that will meet the needs of industry.
Specific Objectives:
To regularly review and re-evaluate the mix of prioritised research that is supported by the Institute, with a view
to:
• Establishing a centre of excellence in a number of research areas within the Health Sciences through the
amalgamation of selected IRCs on campus within a specific research area which has been prioritised by the
Institute, in a regional and national context.
• Identifying new potential interdisciplinary linkages between groupings, whether IRCs or smaller/younger
research groups, and encouraging and incentivising new collaborations.
• Consolidating groupings into larger Centres with greater critical mass (ultimately one or more Centres of
Excellence) where possible and appropriate.
• Ensuring a balance is maintained between establishing a base of knowledge and expertise through
fundamental research and the application of that knowledge and expertise through applied research and
technology transfer.
Key Actions:
• Obtain funding under the Enterprise Ireland Applied Research Enhancement Programme and develop two
further applied research centres of excellence in specific technological areas of benefit to Irish industry.
• Obtain Strand 3 funding under the Technological Sector Research Programme for the establishment of three
new research groups with the potential to develop into Institute Research Centres or add new strengths to
existing centres.
• Invite input via the R&D Committee from internal and external representatives of all stakeholders to further
prioritise research, identify emerging research thematic areas and promote private investment.
• Regularly review the Institute’s research performance by external peer review.
• Develop and continuously review new forms of internal seed funding to support emerging research areas.
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Goal Two:
To develop postgraduate teaching and learning to the highest international standard, and to sustain and
improve the linkage between discipline-based research and undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. This
will include the development of fourth level teaching and learning to ensure the development of an appropriate
blend of discipline-based and transferable skills in postgraduate students.
Context:
Teaching and learning are at the core of ITT Dublin’s mission. Fourth level research and learning will be
developed on the basis that excellence in one informs and builds excellence in the other. The Institute has
always ensured close alignment between its research activities and its teaching and learning remit, and will
continue to do so.
Rationale:
The integration of research with teaching and learning ensures that the quality of undergraduate and
postgraduate teaching and learning is enhanced. Integration of research and teaching is important in
supporting the development of a pipeline of researchers by engaging students in research from an early stage.
Specific Objectives:
• To develop structures within the Institute that enhance and support integration between third and fourth
level.
• To achieve the highest international standards for the postgraduate learning experience, including the
development of both discipline-based and transferable skills in students.
• To engage with all students from first year of entry to develop an interest in and understanding of research
as a key part of the curriculum.
• To double the number of postgraduate students in the Institute to 150 over the period of this strategy.
• Consider and appraise new approaches to PhD study that draw from ITT Dublin’s expertise and innovation
in workplace learning.
• Consider the development of a collaborative PhD programmes as an element of Institute submissions to
PRTLI cycles 5 & 6, with existing PRTLI partner institutions.
Key Actions:
• Work with higher education partners in the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance and the Institutes of
Technology Research Alliance to further develop best practice in the educational provision for postgraduate
students, including refinement of the current postgraduate induction programme, the development of
modules covering generic transferable skills, and training of supervisors to enhance their ability to foster the
development of discipline-based skills in students.
• Work with DRHEA partner institutions to develop collaborative fourth level programmes in the areas of
Chemistry and Biomedical Science.
• Work with research partner institutions such as DCU and NUIM to obtain funding for and develop fourth
level programmes in selected areas, in particular under the auspices of PRTLI cycles 5 and 6.
• Seek delegation of authority to make academic awards for research to PhD level in selected areas.
• Regularly review and improve the Institute’s policies and regulations on postgraduate supervision.
• Develop a Postgraduate Skills Record System, that will allow effective monitoring of the training received
by postgraduate researchers.
• Conduct a gap analysis of postgraduate training and skills needs.
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• Continue to provide PhD Continuation funding from internal resources to students who transfer to the PhD
Register to whom financial support is not available from external sources.
• Liaise with industry partners and other relevant stakeholders to identify needs and opportunities for fourth
level workplace learning and roll out programmes accordingly.
• Integrate project-based research into teaching, and ensure that the development of basic research skills is
addressed at undergraduate level. Sustain and further develop current initiatives in this regard such as the
summer undergraduate research scholarship programme, (SURE) in conjunction with TCD and SFI.
Goal Three:
To sustain and further develop the physical infrastructural resources within the institute to support its research
activities
Context:
The unprecedented levels of funding committed by the Irish Government in the past and into the future (20072013) with a view to building sustainable world class research centres of excellence.
Rationale:
The Institute’s strategic objectives for research will only be achieved by substantial development of the
infrastructure on campus to be funded from a variety of sources.
Specific Objectives:
• To ensure that appropriately serviced space and items of equipment are available in a timely manner for all
aspects of the Institute’s growing research activities.
Key Actions:
• To construct and commission the PRTLI Cycle 4 funded Centre of Applied Science for Health, as an integral
part of the expanded Synergy building on campus by the end of June 2010.
• To develop new and refurbished research space that will enable continuing growth of research in the
Institute, through implementation of the campus development plan by means of the €50M capital
development programme for which funding has been assigned by Government, and other capital funding
schemes from agencies such as the HEA, EI and SFI designed to meet the research capacity targets set under
SSTI.
• To develop a further 200 m2 of innovation laboratory space within the expanded Synergy Centre, to add
to the 115 m2 developed in late 2007.
• To continually identify and secure funding for equipment that will enable continuing growth of research in
the Institute.
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Goal Four:
To establish structures and processes that will encourage, support and recognise research activity in the
Institute.
Context:
The scope of the research support function has grown rapidly in recent years. From being a support service for
academic researchers, it now incorporates areas such as international alliance building, strategic and
commercial relationship management, research staff and student training and professional development and
monitoring of research quality and ethics.
Rationale:
A more strategic approach is now required to the development and management of the various offices that
support research and their staff, in light of the research ambitions of ITT Dublin, to ensure maximum impact of
the research investment.
Specific Objectives:
• As the scale and quantum of research expands, ensure that the Institute’s management and support
structures for research remain commensurate with the scale of activity.
Key Actions:
• Regularly review and strengthen research management, administrative and technical support;
• Provide and develop new software and hardware resources to effectively monitor and benchmark research
and innovation performance within the Institute.
• Provide and develop new customer relationship management tools to support technology transfer and the
management of strategic relationships with other institutions and industry.
• Develop a structured programme of training for researchers and potential researchers in research
management and proposal writing.
• Enhance internal and external promotion of the Institute’s research activity, using tools such as the web site,
newsletters and other PR methods.
• Review and improve the incentivisation of researchers to take part in applied / contract research.
• Review and revitalise the current sabbatical policy.
• Establish a mentoring programme for emerging academic research supervisors.
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Goal Five:
To identify, expand and deepen strategic research partnerships with regional, national and international
partners.
Context:
Partnership and collaboration have been among ITT Dublin’s long-standing strengths, with exemplary working
partnerships with other institutions, hospitals and industry partners.
Rationale:
The need to develop research collaborations of this type is central to the SSTI and to other statements of current
Government policy.
Specific Objectives:
• To enhance the current research linkages between the Institute and its partners, particularly DCU, NUIM and
AMNCH.
• To encourage the establishment of new linkages at individual and research group level.
• To increase the international dimension to the Institute’s collaborations, with a view to increased
participation in European research programmes such as Framework 7, and other international programmes,
and to enrich the research culture of the Institute. Participation in 4 consortia funded under European
programmes is targeted.
• To gather information from the internal research community and from external sources on contacts with
other research organisations or with companies that have the potential to generate larger collaborations.
Key Actions:
• To effectively manage and grow the current research linkages between the Institute and its partners within
the Centre of Applied Science for Health - DCU, NUIM and AMNCH – by vigorously pursuing the research
programme of the Centre and operating the management structures of the Centre in an open and
constructive way.
• The CASH Centre will actively explore potential connections with European research networks and
individual institutions, with a view to becoming involved in 2 consortia funded under FP7, Interreg or similar.
• IRCs, ARE Centres and other research groups will be encouraged and incentivised to become involved in
international consortia, with a view to realising a further 2 European projects.
• Develop a suite of pro forma IP agreements to cover different types of collaborations, and the expertise to
negotiate and agree final agreements that will facilitate open and productive collaboration.
• Develop a marketing, branding and communications strategy for research collaborations and partnership
at ITT Dublin.
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Goal Six:
To continue to partner with industry to ensure that the Institute develops a diversified and sustainable research
base and that the focus of research is consistent with the challenges set by an innovative and knowledge driven
economy.
Context:
ITT Dublin has a proven track record in building relationships with industry and enterprise and has directed its
research and teaching efforts towards their needs. It will continue to consolidate these relationships to ensure
that the focus of research effort within the Institute will be aligned with real needs.
Rationale:
The SSTI states that:
“HEIs contain the largest pool of scientists and researchers within the national innovation system and it is a key
policy aim in most countries to encourage industry to make more use of this resource. It is increasingly
recognised that this is essential if significant increases in BERD are to be achieved. A range of current Enterprise
Ireland programmes are the principal mechanisms for promoting such interaction, including the Innovation
Partnerships scheme and more recently, the Industry-led Networks.”
Specific Objectives:
• To sustain existing institutional industrial partnerships whilst identifying new opportunities for industrial
collaboration.
• To exploit all funding mechanisms available to support HEI-industry collaborative research.
Key Actions:
• Liaise with industrial partners and engage proactively with the new industry-led research consortia and
initiatives to identify research areas of common interest, with a view to commencing at least 2 Innovation
Partnership or directly funded research projects per annum.
• Develop the additional Innovation Laboratories referred to in Goal 3, and the support structures necessary
to expand the capacity of the Institute to respond to the innovation needs of industry through mechanisms
such as Innovation Partnerships, Innovation Vouchers, Fusion and directly-funded research.
• Develop at least one SFI-funded Centre of Science, Engineering & Technology on campus in conjunction
with the relevant industry sector.
• Develop at least one SFI-funded Strategic Research Cluster on campus, again with appropriate industrial
involvement.
• Promote the Institute’s applied research and technology transfer capacity to industry.
• Strengthen the industrial training activities of the institute to complement its research activity and establish
it as a key centre of innovation and driver for change in the region.
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Goal Seven:
To establish ITT Dublin as a driver for enterprise development in South Dublin County and within the Institute
of Technology Sector by developing the expertise to act as a centre of excellence for applied research and
knowledge / technology transfer for its region.
Context:
Effective knowledge transfer from research institutes to industry and the wider community is a key policy
objective of government in the drive to create a knowledge economy.
Rationale:
Successful knowledge transfer to enterprise must be a priority in order to contribute to the socio-economic
development of the region and to create a research base that is sustainable.
Specific Objectives:
• To develop enhanced technology transfer capability within ITT Dublin commensurate with the level of
research activity, in collaboration with institutional partners.
• To develop the IP management and technology transfer expertise in ITT Dublin to facilitate effective and
appropriate working relationships with commercial entities.
• To ensure timely identification of potentially valuable IP arising from the Institute’s own research, and proper
management and protection of such IP.
• Target at least one award of EI Commercialisation Fund funding, under the Proof of Concept or Technology
Development schemes per annum.
• Generate at least 5 patents per annum arising from Institute research.
• Generate one license per annum and one spin-out over the lifetime of this strategy.
• Generate 1 HPSU per annum from among the tenant companies of the Synergy Centre, and a further 2
per annum from participants on the Institute-led M50 Enterprise Programme.
• Engage with key regional stakeholders in the context of economic development, such as SDCC, Chamber
of Commerce, etc. to ensure alignment of strategies supporting economic development, and enabling
greater levels of South Dublin coherence in this regard.
Key Actions:
• Identify and develop the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the necessary development of
technology transfer expertise and resources.
• Continue to seek the assistance of Enterprise Ireland under the Technology Transfer Offices Strengthening
Initiative to develop the technology transfer and innovation capabilities of the Institute.
• Systematically search, with the researchers involved, current and recent research results of CASH, the IRCs,
ARE Centres and other research groups for invention disclosures. A significant backlog of research results
exists at the time of commencement of this strategy.
• Regularly convene the IP Committee to consider potential patent applications based on invention
disclosures.
• Avail of the EI IP Protection Scheme to fund patent applications.
• Maintain the high standard of the knowledge-intensive companies that are selected as tenants of the
Synergy Centre
• Obtain funding for the expansion of the Synergy Business Incubation Centre to 2,200m2, widely agreed as
the approximate minimum size for a sustainable incubation centre.
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• Continue to secure funding to offer the M50 Enterprise Programme to a minimum of 10 knowledgeintensive companies per annum, and to maintain it as one of the leading sources of HPSUs in Ireland.
• Work with SDCC and South Dublin chamber to align economic development strategies of all stakeholders
where appropriate.
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Chapter 5
Academic And Staff
Policies
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Chapter 5
Academic And Staff Policies
The Institute’s policy is to be open and transparent to all stakeholders, including Governing Body, students,
graduates, academic staff, administrative staff, support staff, and also the Department of Education and
Science, NQAI, HETAC, FETAC, Professional Bodies, state and employer agencies and community groups. The
Institute aims to respond positively to individuals, organisations and communities and to be respectful of each
individual and responsive to his or her needs.
5.1
Policy Framework
The Governing Body of the Institute has overall responsibility for the formulation of policies with governance,
academic matters and quality assurance. The Senior Management Team has overall responsibility for the
execution of policy as determined by Governing Body. The implementation of policy relies on the design of
appropriate procedures which set out the method by which policy can be successfully realised. Hence, the
Institute’s policies and procedures form the basis of the Institute’s Quality Assurance System, which has been
established to provide stakeholders with an assurance that the design of educational programmes and
associated standards has been planned and validated by a higher authority, in this case HETAC and the NQAI.
Staff and other policies have also been developed to safeguard the interests of those who provide the
educational services and support network. Hence, the policy framework is intrinsically linked with the Quality
Assurance framework, which will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 12 that deals with the Institute’s
Quality Assurance Systems. The Institute policies and procedures are available on the college-wide intranet. This
chapter provides information on the academic and other policies, which stem from the Institute’s main policy
enshrined in its mission statement as previously described in Chapter 2.
5.2
Academic Policies
The Academic Council is at the core of the Institute’s academic structures and quality assurance system. It
therefore has a primary role in the formulation academic policies, setting of standards and regulations, which
are mostly drawn up by the relevant sub-Committee prior to approval by Council.
Institutes policies and procedures in relation to access, transfer and progression are in accordance with the
policies and procedures established by HETAC and the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI).
The Institute has, since its establishment, attempted to provide equality of access to its programmes for all
learners. To this end the Institute has devised agreed national policies to deal with:
• Applications from School Leavers following the traditional Leaving Certificate
• Applications from School Leavers following the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme
• Applications from Learners with FETAC Level 5 awards
• Applications from mature learners
• Applications from learners with disability
• International applicants (through the common agreed IOTCEF process)
• Created clearer progression routes from Level 6 to level 7 and Level 7 to Level 8.
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In addition, the Institute, mindful of its regional role and its specialist facilities has devised special entry
procedures for particular groups. These include applications from learners from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Other access arrangements, e.g. with particular secondary schools; FE colleges; VETOS programmes;
Foundation and access programmes/ direct entry initiatives etc., exist as discussed in Chapter 9, Section 9.6
(Student Recruitment).
5.2.1 Institute Admissions Policy
It is the policy of the Institute that entry requirements are fair, consistent and transparent, and that all learners
should be satisfied that they have been treated justly. Arrangements are in place to ensure equal opportunity,
in compliance with equality legislation. The Institute uses the Central Applications Office (CAO) system to offer
applicants places on all HETAC approved Higher Certificate and on ab-initio Ordinary and Honours Degree
programmes. The CAO admissions process deals with entry to all first year courses (with the exception of Fáilte
Ireland) and includes EU and non-EU nationals (who present with school leaving certificate or equivalent
qualifications), mature applicants and applicants with a disability.
In addition to CAO admissions, the Institute facilitates:
• Direct entry admissions
• Fáilte Ireland admissions
• Admission of part-time students.
The direct entry admissions process deals with direct applications for entry to years other than year one,
including ERASMUS students applications. The Fáilte Ireland process deals with entry on to two full-time
National Certificate courses validated by FETAC. The admission of part-time students is carried out by the Parttime Office. Admission routes are presented in detail in Chapter 9, Section 9.3.2 (taught programmes) and in
Chapter 12, Section 12.9.4 (research programmes).
In compliance with Section 46 of the Qualifications Act, the Institute provides information to learners
commencing a programme of study of the name of the awarding body, the title of the award, and the transfer
and progression opportunities for learners on attainment of the award. These are also published in the
Prospectus, General Student Handbook and Postgraduate Research Student Handbook.
5.2.2 Transfer and Progression Arrangements
The Institute has the following transfer and progression arrangements in place to facilitate (i) entry at years
other than year one (ii) admission of applicants from other third level institutions, (ii) progression to add-on
ordinary and honours degrees by continuing students and (iv) transfer and progression for research degree
candidates.
5.2.2A Progression Arrangements: Taught Programmes
Entry to add-on Ordinary and Honours degrees in the ladder system is managed by the Institute in line with
established policy. Typically this is done on the basis of ranking applicants on the basis of their Grade Point
Average (GPA) in their previous qualification.1 Heads of Department examine and assess applications and
recommend offers of places. The Registrars Office then offers places and makes the appropriate fee decisions.
The majority of such applicants are students of the Institute wishing to continue their studies. The Institute
publishes criteria for admission to add-on programmes in the student handbook and on the Institute’s website.
Press advertisements, notice boards and emails inform applicants of the courses available, the application
process and deadlines for applying.
1 For more information refer to the Delegated Authority Submission for Taught Programmes, Chapter 5, Section 5.4.4 on progression criteria and to Chapter
6, Section 6.12 on progression indicators.
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5.2.2B Transfer Arrangements: Taught Programmes
Advanced Entry to Years Other Than Year One
Applicants with previous third level attainment apply directly to the Institute. Heads of Department assess
applications and make recommendations with regard to admission. Based on these recommendations, the
Registrar’s Office offers places to applicants and makes the appropriate fee decisions. It is Institute policy to
facilitate transfers across disciplines where appropriate. This has been facilitated primarily in the School of
Business and Humanities, with transfers into the Higher Diploma in Marketing and the Bachelors in Technology
Management from other Business-related programmes.
ERASMUS Students
The Institute has developed co-operation with more than 30 higher education institutions throughout Europe.
Interested students apply through the International Office to join Institute programmes for a semester or a year.
A handbook is provided for Erasmus students and a special induction course is organised in conjunction with
the International office.2 The process and induction is reviewed at regular intervals and improvements in
processes and procedures made accordingly.
5.2.2C Transfer and Progression Arrangements: Research Degrees
The entry requirements for postgraduate students to research degree programmes are compatible with
progression routes through the National Framework for Qualifications, at NQAI Levels 9 and 10 for Master’s
and Doctoral degree awards. Progression is normally from a Level 8 or equivalent qualification as described in
the Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes, Section 2.1. The qualifications of all applicants who
wish to register for research degree programmes are assessed as part of the formal registration application
process outlined in Section 2.2 of the Code of Practice. This is conducted at the candidate selection stage
before the offer of a studentship.
Transfer between the Level 9 and 10 register is also facilitated and details of the processes involved are given
in Section 2.5 of the Code of Practice. Students on the Doctoral Register, who are unable to complete the
approved programme within the permitted duration for any reason may through the sponsoring Department,
apply to the Registrar for permission to transfer to the Master’s Register as outlined in Section 2.6 of the Code
of Practice. The procedures involved in transferring from the Masters to PhD register are discussed in Chapter
12, Section 12.9.5.
5.2.3 Exemptions Policy for Accredited Prior Certified Learning
In keeping with its commitment to Lifelong learning it is the policy of ITT Dublin to provide exemptions to
students who have recognised Accredited Prior Certified Learning (APCL). APCL will only be granted for
prior certified learning that has been attained within the last five years. This position is adopted to ensure that
the prior learning is relevant and current within the context of a student’s chosen programme of study. The
policy, guidelines and associated process of applying for exemption are included in the application pack a
student receives when they express and interest in a course. The onus to apply for exemption and to prove
equivalent learning outcome attainment rests solely with the student. The Institute will, subject to resources,
provide advice for students applying for exemption such that a student can compile the correct documentary
evidence of prior attainment. Students are encouraged to apply for exemption as early as possible and
preferably with their course application.
2 As discussed in Chapter 6, Section 6.14 of the Delegated Authority Submission for Taught Programmes, and later in this submission, Chapter 7, Section 7.1
that deals with Leaner Supports.
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5.2.4 Continuous Assessment Policy
Each Department has its own local continuous assessment policy which accounts for the differing modes of
assessment within the specific discipline areas. However, they are guided by the overarching Institute policy
which is outlined in the ITT Dublin Marks and Standards document. The policy includes guidelines on the
scheduling of assessments and the feedback to be provided to the student.
5.2.5 External Examiners
Taught Programmes
In keeping with its commitment to quality assurance and to ensure consistency of standards across the Institute
it is the policy of the Institute to appoint, via its Academic Council, External Examiners to its taught and other
programmes. The policy is included in the ITT Dublin Marks and Standards Document (Appendix 1) and
includes guidelines on the appointment of examiners and lists their duties in the examinations process.
The Institute also has policies with regard to the examinations themselves, including Institute Marking Policy
and Marginal Regrade Policy. These are available to all staff in the Marks and Standards document. The Institute
has adopted a policy that, during the three day period following the issuing of results, students should be
afforded the opportunity of discussing their results with appropriate staff. This opportunity to discuss results is
made available through Heads of Department to students. The policy covers all grades. Policies with regard to
the processing of exams appeals are detailed in the Marks and Standards document, including grounds for
appeal.
Research Programmes
It is the policy of the Institute to have clear procedures in relation to the submission of the research Thesis and
its examination. The procedures have been written to comply with the following documents - HETAC August
2005 “Taught and Research Programme Accreditation Policy, Criteria and Processes” and the Institute
of Technology Tallaght “Regulations for Supervised Postgraduate Research” in the Code of Practice for
Research Degree Programmes. Internal and External Examiners are appointed for each candidate. The criteria
and duties of each are outlined in detail in Section 4.4 of the Research Regulations in the Code of Practice.
5.3
Guidelines on the Promotion of Equality of Opportunity
The Institute is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusiveness. The quality assurance procedures
as outlined in the Quality Manual reflect this commitment. A number of policies have been developed by the
Institute in this regard namely:
• Equality & Diversity;
• Equal Opportunities in Recruitment;
• Bullying & Harassment Policy;
• Parental Leave Policy;
• Students with Disabilities.
It is the responsibility of the sponsoring Head of School and the Registrar to promote equality of opportunity
in all procedures relating to undergraduate and postgraduate studies, from consideration of candidates at
admission through to assessment and appeals. The Access Office co-ordinates and operates a support service
for students with a disability or specific learning difficulty following a request from the student through the
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sponsoring School. It also offers advice and information to students directly on disability/specific learning
assistance. There is a dedicated Assistance Technology room in the library for use of students with a
disability/specific learning difficulty.
5.4
Access Policy
The following statement on access and overarching policy has been approved by Academic Council:
The Institute of Technology Tallaght is committed to equity of access to higher education. Through our
mainstream strategic priorities, resource allocation, and quality assurance processes, the Institute actively
promotes and facilitates widening the participation of student groups currently under-represented in higher
education. This commitment reflects our role as a major contributor to the social, cultural, and economic life
of South Dublin and the surrounding region.
In keeping with national access policy, and reflecting the diverse population of our region, the Institute will
focus on activities with the following:
• School-leavers from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds
• Mature students
• Students with disabilities
• Members of ethnic minorities and the Traveller community.
Access activities will continue to consist of a range of pre-entry activities (particularly with local disadvantaged
schools), alternative entry mechanisms, and post-entry supports. In developing our Access activities, the
Institute will ensure:
• collaboration with relevant local and national partners
• sustainable projects with Institute-wide participation
• information and awareness training for staff
• on-going monitoring and evaluation
• regular updates to staff
The Institute will develop a three-year Access Plan, with details of the programme of actions to address the
needs of each under-represented group; the resources to be committed to these actions; and the means by
which the actions will be evaluated.
5.5
Provision for the Protection of Learners
The Institute is committed to providing appropriate support and guidance to enable both undergraduate and
postgraduate students to complete their programmes once they have been admitted to the register. Student
progress is monitored on a regular basis and assessment is conducted fairly and consistently in line with
approved Institute and HETAC policy & procedures.3 All students are encouraged to offer informal feedback
on their programme of study through their sponsoring Department or for postgraduate researchers, through
their Supervisor(s). Each Department is encouraged to seek feedback on a regular basis on topics such as quality
of delivery (taught)/supervision (research), support mechanisms and physical resources through Departmental
Programme Board and other Institute staff/student group meetings. Students are welcome to offer feedback
on Institute-wide issues related to their programme through their sponsoring Head of Department. Appeals
3 HETAC August 2005 “Taught and Research Programme Accreditation Policy, Criteria and Processes”.
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and complaints are dealt with fairly and consistently in line with Institute procedures. These are published in
the ITT Dublin General Student Handbook and Postgraduate Research Student Handbooks respectively.
5.6
Staff and General Operational Policies
Policies have been developed in the Services, Support and Functional Areas which are available to staff and
students on the intranet. These include, but are not limited to those listed in Table 5.1.
Area
Policy
Office of the President
Policy on External Work
Library
Collection Policy
Laptop Lending
Computing Services
Computer Security and IT Usage
Email
Finance
Expense Claims
Overtime Claims
Data Protection
Human Resources
Equal Opportunities
Policy on Harassment and Bullying
Annual Leave for Non-Academic Staff
Postgraduate Teaching
Leave Related Policies [covering career breaks, parental, maternity, adoptive, carers,
compassionate, sick, study, unpaid, job sharing, work sharing, Force Majure, paternity]
Table 5.1 List of Operational Institute Policies
The staff policies form a major part of the ITT Dublin Staff Handbook which is available to all staff on the
intranet. Through the Human Resources Department ITT Dublin also subscribes to an Employee Well-Being
Programme which is a service all employees, providing confidential, independent advice, support and assistance
on any matters impacting on work/personal life.
The Institute has developed a Code of Conduct for Members of the Governing Body and Employees. This Code
of Conduct takes account of the implications of the Ethics of Public Office Acts, 1995 and 2001. A copy of the
Code is available on the intranet web site. The objectives of the Code are
• To set out an agreed set of ethical principles;
• To promote and maintain confidence and trust in the Governing Authority/Body and staff of the Institute
of Technology Tallaght.
• To prevent the development or acceptance of unethical practices;
• To promote the highest legal, management and ethical standards in all the activities of the Institute of
Technology Tallaght.
• To promote compliance with best current management practice in all the activities of the Institute of
Technology Tallaght.
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5.7
Development of Policies for Research
5.7.1 Institute Research Policy Statement
The Institute is fully committed to research as a core mainstream activity. By supporting the pursuit of excellence
in research it seeks to strengthen education and training provision, create and disseminate new knowledge,
concepts and applications, and support regional and national socio-economic development. It aims to achieve
this through being a leader in the development of research and innovation in the region and establishing itself
as a centre of excellence for targeted research areas.4 The Strategic Plan objectives determine how this policy
is implemented.
5.7.2 Intellectual Property Policy
The transfer of research results to the commercial market place for public benefit, i.e. the commercialisation of
research, is an activity of increasing importance for academic institutions. While the primary outputs of
academic based research have been traditionally applied to the generation of new knowledge in education,
there have been a number of initiatives since the mid-1990s for increasing opportunities to derive economic
benefits from the commercialisation of academic research. This means academic institutions can now produce
more broadly skilled graduate researchers and make them more attractive to industry. Through the participation
of academics in collaborative industry related research, the M50 EPP and the Synergy Centre this Institute has
built up a significant knowledge base in conducting applied and contract research, the commercialisation of
research, technology transfer, intellectual property management, licensing and campus company formation.
In common with the bulk of the Institutes of Technology, this Institute has been slow to develop a policy and
establish procedures for the management of intellectual property generated from research. A number of
factors have contributed to this:
• The lack of a national framework. Until recently, there was no national consensus on best practice in
relation to intellectual property. The national code of practice for the management of intellectual property
arising from publicly funded research was only put in place in 2004, and the national framework for
intellectual property generated by private funding is still in development.
• The failure to develop procedures in this area was also due to the lack of expertise within the
Institute/Institute of Technology Sector. It was also influenced by the expense incurred and poor outcomes
experienced by those institutions that have engaged in external legal expertise to assist in this area.
Notwithstanding these difficulties a working group was established by the Research & Development subCommittee of Academic Council to develop an Intellectual Property Policy and associated operational
procedures for the Institute in 2005. An IP working group comprising members with significant IP experience
from their past employment in industry was formed to draw up the policy. Following consultation with the
Institute’s legal team, the policy was agreed by the R&D Committee and Senior Management. The complete IP
Policy and Procedures Document were adopted by Governing Body in June 2006. The full text of the IP Policy
and Procedures document is reproduced in Appendix 2 of this document.
5.7.3 Ethics Policy
Ethical issues occur in all types of research. Good ethical practice comes from being aware of regulatory
guidelines, statutory prohibitions and Institute policies & best practice. The Institute of Technology Tallaght is
4 Institute of Technology Tallaght Strategic Plan 2005-2008.
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committed to promoting and supporting ethical practice across all of its educational activities, including
research. In all cases researchers must comply with the Institute’s Ethics Policy while conducting their research.
The policy forms the basis of the Institute Code of Conduct for Researchers which is an integral part of the
Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes. It forms the basis of the Institute’s Ethics Policy for all its
research activities, including postgraduate research degree programmes. It draws on a variety of resources as
referenced in the footnote below.5 The Ethics Policy is composed of two distinct sections:
1. Code of Good Practice in Research;
2. ITT Dublin Policy and Procedures on the Examination and Resolution of Allegations of Research Misconduct.
The Ethics Policy was approved by Academic Council and Governing Body in 2006. The full text of the Ethics
Policy document is reproduced in Appendix 3 of this document.
In all cases researchers must comply with the ethics policy while conducting their research. The Institute has a
dedicated Research Ethics Committee which is an Executive Committee convened by the Senior
Management Team and has been established by them to:
• Review project proposals of those researchers wishing to conduct research involving human and/or
participants and make recommendations to SMT on whether the proposed research of that nature can be
conducted at the Institute or not.
The Research Ethics Committee has a number of primary aims:
1. To protect the rights and welfare of human and animal participants in research studies or trials conducted
by or involving ITT Dublin researchers.
2. To facilitate the conduct of ethically sound, legally compliant research at the Institute in accordance with
national and EU legislation.
3. To advise the Ethics sub-Committee and thereby Academic Council on the development of ethical policies
and procedures at the Institute where required.
This is discussed in more detail in Chapter 12 – Quality Assurance, in Section 12.10 on Process and Procedures
for the Management of Ethics in Research.
5.8
Adult and Continuing Education Policy
The Institute subscribes to the European Commission’s definition of Lifelong Learning, as
‘‘all learning activity undertaken throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge,
skills and competences within a personal, civic, social and/or employment-related
perspective’’
It works with this definition in a context of individual development, active citizenship, social inclusion and the
economic well-being of society as a whole.
The Policy outlines the Institute’s commitment to Lifelong Learning as follows:
• The Institute will ensure appropriate operational structures are in place to support lifelong learning.
• The Institute aims to be the Institute of first choice in our region for the provision of high quality, accredited,
higher education opportunities.
5
•
•
•
•
Taken from
http://pubs1.tso.parliament.uk/pa/cm199697/cmselect/cmstand/688/code1.htm,
http://www.public-standards.gov.uk/
http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/parlment/nolan/nolan.htm
http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTD002753.html: Wellcome Trust Guidelines on Good Research Practice, January 2002
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• The Institute will implement flexible and cost effective modes of course delivery both on and off campus,
using new technology and partnerships where appropriate. Course design and delivery will maximise the
potential for participation of lifelong learners by, for example, providing learning materials and support for
off-campus students.
• The Institute will actively promote lifelong learning opportunities within the region through marketing
activities aimed at specific target groups.
The policy, which is presented in full in the Charter for the Institute of Technology Tallaght, sets out the guiding
principles for supporting the concept of lifelong learning by delivering it’s academic programme in a wide range
of modes, which are flexible, meet the needs of a wide variety of learners, and provide opportunities for the
personal and professional development of individuals, and for the development of business, industrial and
community organisations.
5.9
Communications Processes and Institute Policies on
Consultation and Co-Operation
5.9.1 Communications Processes
It is Institute policy to be open and inclusive in its management and operations. Each Functional Area and
Academic School is now required draw up an annual communications plan. It is accepted that a lesser reliance
on the use of email might be desirable. Hence, in 2007, the Institute President held meetings with each
Academic School, which took the format of a presentation, followed by a question and answer session. School
and Functional Area meetings were held during the academic year. New developments discussed at
management meetings are communicated to staff by their Head of Department/Function. Each Head of
Department holds at least one meeting with per semester to keep staff up-to-date on developments within the
Institute, School and Department.
Management has drawn up an agreed template for keeping minutes of meetings. Minutes are circulated to
staff following the meeting. All Academic Council minutes and those of Governing Body are placed on the staff
intranet which is updated regularly. It is also proposed to produce a bi-annual staff newsletter. A list of the main
communications mechanisms and how they are planned are provided in Table 5.2.
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Communications Planning and Events/Forum
Organised
Plan of meetings for Academic Council, sub-Committees, Senior Management Team,
Total Management Team, Governing Body
Annually
Plan for each Functional Area
Annually
President meets Staff in each Functional Area and School
Annually
Services Managers meet with functional groups
Annually
Each Head of School draws up a communications plan
Annually
Each Head of School holds a School meeting
Each semester
Each Head of Department holds a number of Departmental meetings
At least once a semester
Registrar meets with staff
Annually
An Alumni Magazine produced with input from staff
Every 2 years
Research Magazine produced with input from staff and students
Annually
Partnership Meetings – Sustaining Progress now replaced by an IR Forum
Several meetings a year
Table 5.2 Staff Communication Events
5.9.2 Institute-wide Consultation and Co-Operation
Policy Statement:
The Institute is committed to consultation and co-operation with staff, students and their representatives in all
matters where it is reasonable to expect this to occur. The aim of the consultation is to enable the Institute, its
staff and its students to share views on developments, proposed changes or situations that might arise and on
the options being considered.
Principles
1. To provide fair and transparent processes for consultation and co-operation within the Institute.
2. To allow for open communication and discussion between parties in the processes of consultation and/or
co-operation.
3. To support informed decision-making in the Institute.
Process
While recognising the wealth of mechanisms available to support consultation, the process of consultation will
normally include:
• A determination of which groups or individuals should be consulted in particular cases.
• meetings (taken to include e-meetings) between the parties to consider matters
• provision of appropriate information by the Institute to enable those being consulted to develop an
informed response
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• provide for confidential consultation where appropriate or necessary that recognises the responsibilities of
those so consulted
• an agreed timeframe for these matters to take place.
The Institute will give serious consideration to what is provided by way of submissions or recommendations.
Notwithstanding this, the final decision relating to any change shall be the responsibility of the Institute.
5.9.3 External Consultation and Co-Operation 6
Policy Statement
The Institute’s strives to achieve the widest stakeholder engagement process it can. Its procedures are ongoing
and will be frequently reviewed and developed. The Institute views its engagement with stakeholders as an
integral part of its overall strategic planning.
Principles
The Institute is committed to consulting with its external stakeholders to ensure
1. The continuing relevance of its programmes to national and regional needs
2. The relevance of its provision for the economic, technological, scientific, commercial, industrial, social and
cultural development of the State, with particular reference to the region served by the Institute.
Process
Consultation with external stakeholders regarding the performance of the Institute’s functions the may include,
inter alia
• Such agricultural, commercial, technological, scientific, industrial, educational, social and cultural groups in
the region served by the Institute, or nationally, as might have views on particular issues or developments
in the programmes, research or other activities of the Institute.
• Relevant stakeholders will be consulted at the design stage of new programmes, they will be involved in
programme validation processes and will be consulted at least on a quinquennial basis at times of
programme, quality or institutional review.
• The Institute will make a determination of which groups or individuals should be consulted in particular
cases.
• Relevant stakeholders will be consulted at an early stage.
• A variety of consultation methods will be employed to include, panels of business people, entrepreneurs,
industrialists and other professionals so as to check opinions regularly in a flexible and quick manner.
• The Institute will facilitate feedback of views from stakeholders on an on-going basis and will also be used
to seek views on particular developments.
• Invitations to participate in consultation processes will be published on the Institute’s homepage and will
include details of the time available for consultation and the process to be followed.
• Sufficient time will be allowed for consultation to reach its objectives.
• The Institute will provide feedback after consultation.
• Review of the effectiveness of the consultation procedures.
• Feedback on the Graduate Survey.
6 With the community (including commercial and industrial interests) in the region served by the Institute.
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5.10 Staff Training and Development Policies and Overview
A Staff Training and Development Policy has been developed to support our commitment to providing
opportunities for staff to develop their knowledge, skills and competencies. This includes upgrading of
qualifications and the acquisition of new or upgraded skills. The Institute has established formal methods for
tracking staff development and we are currently in the process of implementing a Performance Management
Development System (PMDS).7
5.10.1 Management of Training and Development
The Human Resources Department is responsible for the management of the cross-collegiate training and
development budget in the Institute. Approximately 362 employees work on campus, consisting of 22
management, 210 lecturing staff (70 part-time) and 130 support staff (Administration, Building Services,
Library and Technical). Support for staff training and development can take place in many ways including:
• Approved leave to participate in training and development activities
• Payment of all, or a contribution towards:
- the cost of training and development activities
- the cost of travel and accommodation associated with training and development activities
- the cost of textbooks, equipment or other materials and expenses
• Entitlements for leave and payment of certain fees for certain award courses approved by the relevant Head
of School
• Development and delivery of Institute-wide in-house training and development activities
• Contracting of external trainers to provide specific training and development activities
• Opportunities for individual development through project work, acting in a higher position, institutional
visits, on-the-job learning and mentoring/coaching by more senior staff.
The total direct expenditure on all staff training and development over the years 2001 to 2007 was as follows:
Year
Total Expenditure on Staff Training & Development
2001
€164,021
2002
€213,301
2003
€98,747
2004
€179,541
2005
€177,500
2006
€173,060
2007
€349,373
Table 5.3 Total Expenditure on Staff Training & Development
The process of managing staff training and development has changed in recent years. In previous years, the
planning and provision of training and staff development was organised on a decentralised basis across the
different schools and functional units within the Institute. However, the development of the Institute Strategic
Plan highlighted the need for a more broad-based, cross-collegiate approach.
7 Discussed in the Delegated Authority Self-Evaluation Report, Chapter 11, Section 11.16
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In December 2004, a Staff Development Committee was established to inform the Institute Strategic Plan
2005-2008. The objective of the committee was:
• To oversee the development of a training strategy, training plan and training needs analysis within the
institute, and
• To implement the various initiatives identified.
The Staff Development Committee comprised members of management and staff representatives from three
unions: the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) representing academic staff; IMPACT representing the administrative
staff; and AMICUS representing the Institute’s technicians.
Training Needs Analysis were first submitted in May 2004 to each Department and Functional area, to cover
the period up to December 2005.
Based on the information obtained from the different
departments/functional areas within the Institute, the HR Section produced a report entitled, Cross Collegiate
Training & Development Activities for 2004/2006. A number of areas were identified, which met the
requirement of being cross-collegiate in scope. To enable the Committee to deliver on the Training Needs
Analysis, the Senior Management Team have allocated a budget of approximately €177,500 to staff
development.
The Institute has increased this figure over the past three years. Total funding is divided between Functional
Area/School specific funding and cross-collegiate funding. Cross-collegiate training has been provided in the
following areas:
• Teaching/Pedagogical Skills Courses
• Project Management
• Increasing Awareness of Equality and diversity
• Training staff, students and management in the area of Bullying and
• Harassment
• Agresso
• MIS System.
It is proposed to hold an annual Induction Course for all Associate Staff from October 2008. The course will be
compulsory and will include the following areas:
• Teaching Methodologies
• Examination Process
• Completion and uploading of white sheets.
5.10.2 Staff Training & Development: Teaching & Learning
The Centre for Learning and Teaching organises the Institute training and development workshops and courses
for all staff (More details are given in Chapter 7, Section 7.1.5). The Centre has:
– Created a Staff Development Portal
– Created new and consolidate existing staff training materials/resources
– Created collaborative staff training processes and events
– Investigated certification for staff development
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Support for Teaching and Learning Staff Supports in place since 2007 include:
– Staff Development Programme generated from meetings with Heads of Department/Section in early 2007
– 47 Staff Development Events run since May 2007
– Attendance to-date = 523 (245 different staff, 23 from other Institutes)
– Events aligned with PMDS
– Distribution of learning and teaching resources (email and hard copies in Centre for Learning and Teaching)
– Resources stored on Moodle (http://elearning.it-tallaght.ie/moodle/login/index.php)
– Although focussed on ‘innovation in teaching’ and ‘inclusive education’, delighted that Administrative,
Library, and Technical staff have participated in events
– Investigating certification for minor award (e.g. PGCHET) with HETAC (JV), and CPD, together with SIF LIN
Project.
5.10.3 Staff Training & Development: Research
Staff development and training for all members of staff, including research supervisors, is provided for on an
ongoing basis by the Institute. All academic staff are requested to submit a Training Needs Analysis Form to
their Head of Department on an annual basis. This is the main forum that currently exists for academic
supervisors and potential researchers to identify their training needs in relation to research.
The Development and External Services Office also notify staff of any grant or research proposal workshops
being organised externally. Staff are normally supported from Departmental Staff Development budget to
attend such external workshops.
Academic Staff qualifications are presented in Chapter 10, Section 10.1.5 along with a profile of research
supervisors by School and Department. Supervisory training has been introduced in recent years and research
specific training has been augmented as discussed below.
The Institute recognises that whatever future strategies are devised to improve the quality of research student
training, their successful implementation will also depend on the quality of the supervisory training of the
academics themselves. This is supported through the Staff Development budget.
The internal evaluation conducted for the Institute’s Application to Maintain a Research Degree Register
indicated deficiencies in supervisory training and plans to address them were presented in the submission
documentation. The lack of a formal approach to supervisory training, at that time in terms of the provision of
structured workshops/seminar programmes was highlighted, and plans were put in place in 2007 to address
this as follows:
• Development of an Academic Researcher/Supervisor Training Programme: this was rolled out in Feb. 2007
[Programme of in-house events organised given in Appendix 4];
• Formal Research Supervisors Workshop organised and attended by supervisors and staff interested in
becoming involved in supervision of postgraduate research supervision (Sept. 07 and Jan. 08). Links have
been established with Prof. A. Fell, Bradford University,8 for the development and delivery this
comprehensive training programme [RSW Programme in Appendix 5];
• The Institute was a founding member of the recently funded SIF IoT Research Alliance – main objective
being the development of an accredited Graduate Research Education Programme across the sector, with
modules to be delivered to supervisors as well as postgraduate students. Details on the modules and
supervisors programme are given in Chapter 7, Section 7.4.4.
8 Graduate Education Advisor at the University of Bradford, UK. He is responsible for policy development in all aspects of graduate education, including the
training and career development of doctoral candidates and post- and initiated a generic model for developing Research Supervisors at Bradford, shared
with Universities throughout the UK and Ireland.
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 5 Academic and Staff Policies
The research environment in relation to new technologies is constantly changing so staff, and in particular
research active staff, are constantly engaged in professional development both to keep up to date with changes
through participation in training courses and research conferences. Financial support is provided by the Staff
Development fund as administered by the Human Resources Department. In 2005 specific research spending
was determined for the first time. The majority of this spend was to support attendance at research conferences
and a small amount was used to finance attendance at courses or workshops. The total amount spent on
research specific training came to €39 K in 2007 which is approximately 11% of the total Staff Development
budget.
5.10.4 Institute Support for Staff Conducting Postgraduate Studies
A fee waver scheme is in operation for any staff member who undertakes a postgraduate degree within the
Institute. There are currently two staff members registered on research Masters programmes and one on a
Doctoral programme at this Institute. The Institute also provides financial support for staff that up skill in terms
of research degree qualifications to provide for an expansion of its academic capacity in this sphere in the
future. It has allocated a small portion of its staff development budget to provide funding towards the
registration costs of those staff undertaking postgraduate studies going back as far as 1995. A total of €165K
has been made available to support staff postgraduate studies up to and including 2007. This allocation has
increased from €7620 in 1995 to €17K in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Table 5.3 shows the number of staff currently
being supported in this manner.
Award Being Pursued 2007/8
Number
Higher Certificate
Diploma
Bachelors Degree
Honours Bachelors Degree
Postgraduate Certificate
Masters Degree
Doctoral Degree
1
3
2
2
1
7
3
Table 5.3 Detail on Staff being assisted in undertaking Postgraduate and Further Studies at other Academic
Institutions
5.10.5 Other Staff Training & Development
Specific training and staff development programmes in support systems occurs on a regular basis for both
Support and Administrative Staff and Academic users. In 2007 the following were organised:
• MIS Training
• Banner
• Millennium
• Core
• Agresso
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Administrative and Technical Support staff are encouraged to attend external training and development events
on a regular basis. Financial support is also facilitated for attendance at Conferences. Some recent examples of
events attended by support staff in 2007 include:
• FOI Training
• Presentation Skills Training
• Interview Skills Workshops
• Cisco Training
• Moodle Worskhop
• AV Training Workshop
• NetSkills Workshop
• Cross-collegiate Health and Safety Training
Equipment training, maintenance and other discipline specific events are organised by equipment and software
suppliers and attended by all relevant staff.
A Health and Safety Course was run at the Institute for all Committee members. Enterprise Support Training
events organised by the Synergy Centre via Enterprise Start and M50 Programmes are also open to attendance
by staff.
Management training events are organised by Human Resources, and have included the following in the last
twelve months:
• Strategic Planning
• Project Management
• Meetings.
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Part One: Operation And Management Chapter 5 Academic and Staff Policies
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Chapter 6
Facilities And Resources
For Teaching And
Research
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Chapter 6
Facilities And Resources For Teaching And
Research
The Institute exists in a very competitive environment with four universities, Dublin Institute of Technology, two
other Institutes of Technology in the Dublin area, all drawing students from and supplying graduates to the
same market. Nonetheless, at regional level it is now the first choice college for students entering third level
education, particularly in the Dublin 24, (Tallaght) and Dublin 22 (Clondalkin) areas.1
The Institute has grown from modest beginnings to be a third-level college with a student body of more than
3800 in number and is now operating at full physical capacity. The long-term target of the Institute2 is to
increase the teaching and student resource facilities by up to 50% in the next 5 years to allow cater for a higher
student intake. It is also intended to double postgraduate research student intake, i.e. increase to an annual
cohort of 150 students before 2012.3
A profile of the current facilities and resources available to support teaching and research is given below, with
particular emphasis on key areas such as the Library and Information Technology. The allocation of financial
resources and their management is also discussed, along with campus development plans.
6.1
Campus Environment
The campus covers an area of 18.3 hectares. The main building has a total floor area of 15,700 m2 housing
facilities teaching, research, office and learner support services. In addition there is a Students Union Building
on site with a floor area of 160 m2. In 2007 the Institute has acquired additional office accommodation Icon
Court, adjacent to the college. Sports and recreational facilities are predominantly rented by the Institute and
are all off-campus, except for some sports pitches and associated changing facilities.
The Synergy Centre (Business Incubation Centre) is also located on campus which is a three-storey building with
a floor area of 1,013m2. This building was 90% funded by the Enterprise Ireland - EU Regional Development
Fund with 10% coming from private sources. The focus of the Incubation Centre is to generate and develop
technology based enterprises in the South Dublin region and catchment area of the Institute. These include
research spin-off enterprises and enterprises that are considered high potential start-ups under Enterprise
Ireland guidelines. The Centre also provides space and support for industrial research involving high levels of
collaboration between the staff of the Institute and enterprises located in the region. Information on the
current activities of the Synergy Centre is presented in Chapter 7, Section 7.6.1.
The Technician Development Centre (TDC) is a 428 m2 facility shared with Mechanical Engineering. While
the TDC supports undergraduate educational and training programmes, primarily electrical trade programmes,
its facilities are available to research students where required. The main objective is to establish a centre of
excellence in electric power engineering by providing vocational training to craftspeople as well as promoting
student and staff interest in power engineering education and research. The electrical power group is centred
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1 Figures taken from “Who went to college in 2007 Report” which was published in Dec. 2007 and presented in more detail in Chapter 9 –Taught Programme
Profile.
2 Strategic Plan 2005 – 2008, Update 2007 Section dealing with Development Targets.
3 ITT Dublin Research Strategy 2008 – 2012.
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in the Technician Development Centre in this off-campus location close to the college in the Whitestown
Industrial Park. The TDC is used for the delivery of the apprenticeship programmes in electrical trades.
6.2
Campus Development Plans
The Institute’s commitment to the expansion and enhancement of the campus is demonstrated in one of the
key goals of the current Strategic Plan, which sets out the campus development goal as follows:
“We will progress the physical development of the campus in accordance with the
Institute’s Development Control Plan 2003 – 2009 and the recommendations contained in
the HEA Review and Prioritisation of Capital Projects in the Higher Education Sector.”
In 2001, the first Master Development Plan for the Institute was finalised having been agreed by the Governing
Body, South Dublin County Council and the Department of Education and Science. Phase 1 of the plan
indicated the proposed development of the campus to be in line with the report produced by the Steering
Committee on the Future Development of Higher Education (June 1995) which recommended that the Institute
should grow to 3,000 full-time students. In 2003 the Institute drew up a Development Control Plan for 2003
– 2009 and made submissions to the HEA Capital Review and Prioritisation Working Group. In September
2004 the HEA review committee recommended an expenditure of €45.96 million for campus development.
In December 2005 the Department of Education and Science gave the go-ahead for 35 major building and
development projects in third level institutions, including three for the Institute of Technology Tallaght, as part
of a €900 million funding package over the next 5 years. Funding of €48 million has now been allocated to
deliver on this capital project through public private partnership (PPP) scheme. Detailed output specifications
have been developed for the completion of the project. A map outlining plans for the proposed campus
development is shown in Figure 6.1.
Multi-Purpose
Student
Engineering
Creche
Student
Accommodation
Incubation
Centre
Commercial
Development
Catering and
Tourism
Figure 6.1 Proposed Campus Development Plan
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In addition the Department of Justice, Equality and Law reform has approved an indicative amount of €1
million towards the establishment of a childcare facility at the Institute. Planning permission has been applied
for to South Dublin County Council. The premises will be located on the campus and will be separate from
the main building.
Details of the areas prioritised for expansion are given Table 6.1. This will enable the Institute to increase the
full-time student population to over 3000 which is in line with its development targets.
Priority No. Area
Description
1
Enabling Infrastructure
To enable the orderly development of the campus over all phases of implementation
- The provision of new entrances roads, drainage, water, gas and electricity mains,
lighting, boundary treatments, trenching and ducting, infrastructural landscaping,
fibre optic loop and external sports facilities.
2
Catering & Tourism Building
3600 m2 facility including kitchens and ancillary areas, lecture theatres,
classrooms, bar, restaurant and training bedroom, staff accommodation, student
food hall and computing laboratories.
3
Engineering Building
5210 m2 building including laboratories, staff office areas, classrooms, lecture
theatres and computer laboratories.
4
Multi-Purpose/Student
Services Centre
4000 m2 building including sports/multi-purpose hall, student restaurant,
student’s union and welfare offices. The hall will be used for sports/recreation
activities, exhibitions, conferences, examinations, conferring ceremonies and
concerts.
Table 6.1 Campus Development Plan Priority Areas
6.3
Research Facilities and Resources
The Institute allocation of facilities and resources specifically dedicated to research has grown particularly since
2001 with the development of a strategic approach to research. Information on the facilities available to
postgraduate researchers and academic supervisors at this Institute are provided in Section 6.3.1 below. The
awarding of HEA PRTLI funding of €9.26 million for a dedicated research building (Section 6.3.2) along with
recent successes in December 2007 in securing EI and HEA capital equipment funding for dedicated research
equipment in Science for the advancement of applied research will enable improvements to existing facilities
in the near future. HEA funding of €250 K has been secured for a MALDI Mass Spectrometer, with matching
funding being provided by this Institute, while EI funding of €208 K has been secured for a new SEM
instrument. Resources including Library and Information Technology are described in Sections 6.4 and 6.5
respectively.
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6.3.1 Current Research Facilities by Department
Research facilities in the Institute fall into three broad categories namely:
6.3.1A Laboratory Facilities and Bench Space
A summary of the current research facilities by Department is given below:
Department of Electronic Engineering
Laboratories
• Microprocessor and Electronics Laboratory
• Electronic Construction Laboratory
• Year 5 (B. Eng) and Research Project Laboratory
• Communications Laboratory
• Control and Analogue Electronics Laboratory
Each of these laboratories has a comprehensive range of industry-standard equipment. A number of computer
laboratories with a comprehensive suite of software packages are also available.
Centre for Applied Microelectronics has facilities for conducting research in an advanced semiconductor
fabrication environment. The Microelectronics Centre is constructed to an extremely high standard and is a
completely independent, fully integrated plant with its own waste disposal and utilities systems. Supporting
state of the art education and training, the 125.5 m2 facility is comprised of a Class 10,000 laboratory area, a
Class 1000 lithographic area, a furnace room and a gowning area. In addition to wet chemical benches, the
Centre is equipped with a 3-stack furnace, an advanced sputtering unit, a mask alignment system and many
different pieces of analytical apparatus. The laboratory is also furnished with a suite of software tools allowing
simulation of the complete fabrication process.
Radio Frequency Technology Centre has a laboratory which acts as a test and measurement resource for
research and industrial projects. The Centre offers RF circuit design skills up to 3GHz.
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Laboratories
• Metrology
• Manufacturing
• Materials
• Automation
• Control
• Thermodynamics/Fluid Mechanics
• Workshop for Projects
• Manufacturing Laboratory
Each laboratory is equipped with industry-standard equipment. A number of computer laboratories with a
comprehensive suite of software packages are also available.
Rapid Prototyping Centre: This contains the single most noteworthy item of equipment, i.e. the Selective
Laser Sintering machine (DTM Sinterstation 2500 Selective Laser Sintering with Breakout Station), which was
installed in January 2001. It is capable of producing complex three-dimensional parts layer by layer using a
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combination of fine powders and a single point laser beam, and is also capable of constructing metal matrix
materials suitable for injection mould core and cavity plates.
Department of Science
Within the Department there are laboratories and specialist facilities that are dedicated to research activity. They
have state-of-the-art equipment and include the following:
• Biology Research Laboratory
• Microbiology Laboratory
• Cell Culture Facility
• Synthetic Chemistry Laboratory
• Electroanalytical Laboratories
• Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory
• Scanning Electron Microscopy Laboratory.
Physical resources that are shared with undergraduate students include:
• Advanced Instrumentation Laboratory;
• Preparatory Laboratories in Biology, Chemistry and Physics Areas;
• Materials Laboratory with specialist equipment and capacity for 16 students;
• PC laboratory with capacity for 24 students.
National Pharmaceutical Education Centre: This is comprised primarily of an integrated pilot scale
Bio/Pharmaceutical Technology facility, designed with a strong emphasis on the support of teaching, training,
research and development and industrial applications. It currently supports research carried out in the areas of
bio/cell technology and process analytical technology. The main facilities within the Centre are:
1. A Pilot Manufacturing Plant for bio-processing and formulation, inclusive of automation laboratory, utilities
centre and waster facility.
2. A Development Laboratory to support the Pilot Plant. This comprises an Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, a
Research and Development Laboratory and a twenty station Automation Laboratory.
Researchers in the Department also have full access to additional off-campus resources through their
collaborative ventures at DCU in the National Centre for Sensor Research and National Institute of Cellular
Biotechnology, and also at NUI Maynooth and DIT.
Department of Computing
The research facilities are shared with students on undergraduate programmes and include the following:
• 7 Computer Laboratories with overall capacity for over 200 students
• Server room with supporting equipment.
The Department has state-of-the-art networking equipment. It has site licenses for 15 software packages along
with numerous other specific packages to support research and teaching activities. The Department also has
hardware specifically for research, including a range of specialist digital imaging and mobile communications
equipment.
Department of Humanities and Business-Related Departments
Extensive computer laboratories with a comprehensive range of business and enterprise software are available
for teaching and research in the business-related departments of the School. In the Department of Humanities,
facilities used to support teaching and research include:
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•
•
•
•
•
Language Laboratories with Computer-aided Language Learning
Multimedia resources,
Television/Video Production facilities
Radio/Audio Production facilities
Photographic laboratory.
6.3.1B Office and Information Technology Facilities
The provision of research office facilities is coordinated by the Development & External Services Office, while
the provision of IT facilities is coordinated by the Computing Services Department. All academic staff involved
in research, including post-doctoral fellows, are assigned high-quality workstations in an open-plan
environment within the academic staff areas, with comprehensive computing, networking and
communications facilities. Postgraduate students are assigned dedicated desks in temporary accommodation
outside the main building, again with comprehensive computing, networking and communications facilities.
They postgraduate offices will be housed in the main building from Sept. 2008, following the move of
administrative staff from the Finance Department to Icon Court during the summer.
6.1.3C Applied Research and Innovation Laboratories
The Synergy Centre has a suite of applied research and innovation laboratories dedicated to joint IndustryInstitute research projects in the disciplines of ICT and Sensor Technology. The Institute plans to develop
additional applied research laboratories in disciplines such as Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical Product
Development and Technology Transfer (to be supported by the pilot scale pharmaceutical plant which already
exists in the Institute). In addition, the college is funding approximately 180m2 of additional Innovation Space
(similar to the laboratories created in Synergy).
6.3.2 Centre of Applied Science for Health
The Institute has received funding to develop a new building to house a Centre for Applied Health Research.
This building will accommodate an additional 20 postgraduates plus 4 post-doctoral fellows and 2 research
assistants and a centre manager.
The Centre of Applied Science for Health building will be approximately 870m2 over 3 floors. Approximate use
of space is defined in the draft schedule of accommodation in Table 6.2 below.
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Accomodation
Office – Centre Manager
Office - Administration
Office – Research Leaders & Post Doctoral Fellows
Office – Research Assistants / Technical Support
Office – Postgraduate Student Area (open plan office)
Meeting / seminar room 1
Microbiology/Fermentation laboratory
Autoclave room
Biochemistry laboratory
Cold room
Dark Room
Tissue Culture laboratory
Synthetic Chemistry laboratory
Instrumentation laboratory
Surface Analysis laboratory
Analytical/Sensor Research Laboratory
Medical Device Laboratory
Chemical Store 1
Mechanical Plant Room *
Electrical Plant Room *
Cleaners Store *
Toilets *
Circulation Areas *
Size m2
18
11
55
24
120
40
60
10
60
10
12
22
70
35
22
52
33
30
30
20
10
40
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Table 6.2 Centre of Applied Science for Health Building Layout and Dimensions
The major items of equipment, i.e. items of Capital Equipment costing more than €30,000 that will be housed
in the building include those listed in Table 6.3.
1. Capital Equipment Item Description (outline)
Particle image Velocimetry
LC Mass Spectroscopy System
Atomic Force Microscope
500mHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer with LC
Upgradable Confocal Scanning Laser Microscope
FPLC Protein Purification System
Number of items
1
1
1
1
1
1
2. Total cost of items of Capital Equipment costing between €15,000 and €30,000
(equipment items costing less than €15,000 must be included in the recurrent bid)
3. Grand Total of all Capital Equipment items
Table 6.3 CASH Centre Major Capital Equipment
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Cost €(inc VAT)
86,420
307,009
200,000
500,000
275,625
71,836
1,440,890
250,000
1,690,890
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6.3.3 Future Plans for Additional Research Facilities
To achieve the growth in postgraduate numbers and research outputs proposed in the 2008 – 20112 Research
Strategy the Institute must develop increased physical capacity, increased equipment facilities and increased
capacity to manage research programmes and postgraduate students and support structures to ensure the
quality of the programme.
The Institute currently has approximately 450 m2 of research laboratory space. As a result of relocation of
administrative space it is intended in 2008 to convert an additional 400 m2 of existing space to research space
and postgraduate accommodation. This will allow for an additional 25 postgraduates. The Institute was
recently awarded €1.4 million under the Research Facilities Enhancement Scheme for to fund the proposed
expansion. This will utislied for the conversion and re-configuration of existing resources to create up to 25
additional new researcher spaces, effectively equipping those spaces to support funded research programmes,
and targeted enhancement of research infrastructure to support the advancement of current and emerging
interdisciplinary research activities. The underlying needs behind this are as follows:a. Shortage of dedicated laboratory research space at ITT Dublin; currently research is at or very close to
maximum capacity with 68 science & engineering researchers using 432 m2 of laboratory space (approx.
6.5 m2 per researcher compared to national norms of ~8-10m2 per researcher).
b. A need to upgrade or replace ageing pieces of equipment vital to the ongoing support of current activity.
c. Enhancement of the capital infrastructure for science and engineering research to support current and
emerging areas of activity.
d. Facilitating the development and strengthening of inter-institutional collaborations to maintain
competitiveness nationally and internationally.
In 2011 the Institute will complete a major capital development programme involving a 50% increase in
teaching space. This will enable the Institute to allocate an additional 400 m2 of space to research.
The Institute will increase its capacity to manage an expanded research programme by increasing the number
of academic staff engaged in research by 50% through a programme of mentoring and institutional initiatives
and also through an increase in the numbers of post-doctoral fellowships and principal investigators. The
Institute is a partner in a sectoral project led by IOTI – Addressing the Needs of the Knowledge Economy - to
develop training and support materials for staff engaging in research projects.
The Institute will require an investment of approximately €8 million over the 5 years of this plan to ensure that
its technology base for research is commensurate with the development of quality research. Both Enterprise
Ireland and the HEA are providing funding to the HE sector to ensure that an appropriate technology base for
R&D is put in place.
The research achievements of the Institute to date have been realised despite constraints derived from the lack
of capital funding for its research activities. The Report of the Working Party on Research Infrastructure in
Higher Education (Feb. 2005) highlighted the specific infrastructural needs of the Institute of Technology Sector
as one of its main issues.4 It said that these would need to be addressed to support collaboration with industry
and with other third level institutions. It recommended that failure to address these needs would restrict
regional development. The Council of Directors (now IOTI) have established a Research Strategy Group to
investigate how research issues, including improvements to infrastructure, can best be addressed for the Sector
in general. The group is chaired by the President of this Institute which clearly demonstrates a commitment to
4 Report of the Working Party on Research Infrastructure in Higher Education, Feb. 2005.
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research from the highest level within this organisation. The group identified the following key actions in
relation to improved facilities and resources for research in their recent report Institutes of Technology and the
Knowledge Society – Building Research Capacity.5
1. Enhanced funding for the Sector to be divided between the provision of infrastructure and funded
programmes of research;
2. Refurbishment, upgrading and re-equipping of current research space in the Institutes;
3. Expansion of the linkages between Institutes of Technology and Universities under PRTLI and SFI with better
distribution of capital and infrastructure investment across the partners;
4. Seeking targeted investment to build research capacity in strategic areas within each Institute;
5. Recurrent Floor Funding for R&D from the Department of Education and Science as part of annual budgets;
6. Overhead cost allocation.
An expansion in research and innovation space is seen by Government as a key enabler to drive the knowledge
economy. Balanced regional development is a Government priority and the Institutes of Technology have a
unique and critical role to play in achieving this goal. The Government Strategy for Science, Technology &
Innovation recommended that we focus on building up the research and innovation functions of Institutes so
that they can nurture start-up companies and develop innovative solutions for existing companies.
Incubation Centres, like the Synergy Centre are excellent examples of how this investment supports high
technology and knowledge intensive enterprises that have real potential to foster innovation, create jobs and
generate export potential. Innovative research is seen as a key enabler to sustaining the Institute-sector research
base in the future.
Enterprise Ireland is committed to ensuring that the Institutes of Technology have the resources to engage with
industry to perform relevant research and development. It has invested over €100 million in enterprisefocussed programmes delivered through the Institutes of Technology to date. At the opening of the Synergy
Centre at the Institute on February 28th 2008 it announced a call for applications to the Research Equipment
grant, which has a cumulative value of €10 million. Successful applicant Institutes will receive up between
€50,000 and €250,000 to fund research equipment.6 In addition the Minister for Enterprise, Trade &
Employment announced details of Enterprise Ireland’s €50 million boost to the development of enterprise in
the regions through the Institutes of Technology. The €50 million will support enterprise-focused activity in
three ways;
• Funding the purchase of industry-relevant research equipment
• Providing more incubation space for start-up companies
• Establishing market-focused research groups in the Institutes.
There are also plans for an extension to Synergy Centre to double its size, through the applications to EI for
funding to extend existing campus incubation facilities in a call that was launched in April 2008.
6.4
Library and Information Resources
The library mission is to promote, advocate and consistently work to achieve the highest level of library service
to the Institute and its learning community. It is located adjacent to the Institute’s main entrance and is
accommodated on two floors, covering a total of 985 m². In 2000, the mezzanine level of the library was
opened and includes group study rooms, a silent study area, an open access computer lab/training room, a
dedicated assistive technology area and additional study carrels. The book and journal collections, photocopiers
5 Institutes of Technology and the Knowledge Society – Building Research Capacity, May 2006.
6 Press Release 28th February 2008 - Minister Martin Announces €50 Million in Regional Enterprise Funding. Minister Unveils Enterprise Ireland Funding
Package to Give Institutes of Technology Key Role in Development of Regional Business at Official Opening of Synergy Centre at IT Tallaght.
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and a silent study area are located on the ground floor. The library provides a valuable reading space with
access to print resources and to a variety of academic online databases that can be accessed at any time via
the library catalogue.
6.4.1 Library Organisation and Staff
There are currently eight full time and six part time members of library staff. The Head Librarian reports to the
Registrar. Figure 6.2 gives a breakdown of the staff structure for the library.
Registrar
Head Librarian
Deputy Head Librarian
Systems Librarian
Assistant Librarian
Senior Library Assistant
Library Assistants
Library Attendants
Figure 6.2 Library Organisational Chart
The responsibilities attached to each of the posts are summarised in the Table 6.4 below.
Position
Responsibilities
Institute Librarian
Manages and has responsibility for every aspect of the library service
Deputy Librarian
Deputises for the Institute Librarian and has main responsibility for acquisitions and
information literacy
Assistant Librarian
Manages the day-to-day running of the library, Inter library Loans and Serials
Systems Librarian
Manages the library management system and library website
Senior Library Assistant
Manages the library desk and provides systems support
Library Assistants
Provide cover for the library desk and are involved in the administration of Serials, Interlibrary Loans, Acquisitions, Exam Papers, Book Scheme and the Library Website
Library Attendants
Duties include shelving, monitoring noise, security and supervision of students, maintaining
photocopiers in library and book repairs
Table 6.4 Description of Posts and Responsibilities
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Each Librarian also acts as a Subject librarian. The Subject Librarians are assigned to each academic department.
They consult with the department in relation to library stock, library skills training, and subject/ information
queries.
The library staff work together as a team and participate in a number of institutional and external committees,
including Academic Council, the R&D sub-Committee, Total Management Team, Health, Safety and Welfare
Committee, HEAnet LIR Group, Irish Innovative Users Group, Library Association of Ireland etc.
Staff utilise a variety of means to keep up-to-date on developments in their areas of responsibility and general
library issues. These include:
• membership of professional bodies and committees
• membership of professional electronic mailing lists
• attending and presenting at conferences
Library staff also attend training courses and regular team meetings - these are usually held once a month
during term.
6.4.2 Library Collection Profile
The library hosts a book stock of more than 30,000 titles. The vast majority of these books are loaned out with
a small number of reference texts accessible only within the library. The library also subscribes to over 100 print
journals and a variety of Online Subscription Databases that include full text journals (see Section 6.4.3 for
those of relevance to research). The library also has an on-line library catalogue. This allows users have oncampus and off-campus access to the library website and catalogue. The library redesigned and improved its
website and is available at http://library.ittdublin.ie/
Some new features of the website include:
• Easier access to past exam papers
• Access to Subject Portals
• Up to the minute feeds from news, business, and subject sources
• Library Blog
The library also has a number of guides (see Appendix 6) including writing style guides and for thesis
production.
The library collection is constantly monitored and material that is out of date is removed from stock in line with
the library Collection Management Policy.7
In order to obtain a complete picture of the library collection, Figure 6.3 breaks down the library stock by
material type. The largest proportion of library stock consists of printed books and journals.
7 This is available at http://library.ittdublin.ie/screens/colldev.html Existing document currently being updated and reviewed.
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2%
Printed materials
27%
DVDs & Video
Audio/CD
1%
1%
Journals (Print & Online)
69%
Online Files
Figure 6.3 Library Stock by Material Type
The age profile of the library collection is very recent, with the focus on providing access to up-to-date material.
This is particularly important in the technical fields. 60% of the stock has been published since 2000.
6.4.3 Dedicated Library Facilities and Information Resources for
Researchers
The library offers enhanced loan and study facilities to postgraduate students and researchers. Library resources
and services include:
• Online databases
• Journals
• Subject librarians
• Subject specific online resources
• Information literacy training
• Inter-library loans.
Many library online resources, such as online databases, may be accessed both on and off campus via the library
website. Using the library web catalogue, one can check what books, journals, videos, student projects etc. the
library holds. It tells one whether an item is in stock, if it is on loan, how many copies are available and where
it is shelved. It has a collection of more than 200 print journals and also provides access to over 9,000
electronic journals or e-journals through the electronic databases it subscribes to including Infotrac, Science
Direct, IEEE Communications, Business Source Premier, Metals Infobase, Scirus and Web of Science. Specific
information on library resources specific to research is provided in Appendix 6.
Subject specific guides and resources are available through the library website. General information on library
services for researchers is given to new students at induction.8 In addition the library staff also provides 2 hour
small group sessions with newly registered students the most recent of which took place in November 2007.
A Subject Librarian has been assigned to assist researchers in the main research areas. This person can assist
researchers with their research, particularly in terms of search strategies, and with identifying appropriate
information sources relevant to their subject. Staff, students or researchers may suggest the addition of
8 The provision of Library and Information Training is dealt with in Chapter 7 under the heading Postgraduate Training.
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resources by contacting the subject librarian for the relevant subject. Materials not held in the Institute library
may be requested through the inter-library loans Service.
All of the postgraduate students and academic researchers involved in the NCSR and NICB have full access to
library facilities in DCU.
Inter-library Loans
If the library does not have a book or journal article it can be acquired in most cases through inter-library loan.
Subito supplies most of the requested material. The library absorbs the cost of this service. Table 6.5 provides
a breakdown of requests by library user. Postgraduates are the main users of this service.
Library User
Postgraduate students
Academics
Library
Other students
Total
No. of Requests
701
266
4
102
1073
Table 6.5 Breakdown of Inter-library Loan Requests by User in 2007
Usage by department (Table 6.6) indicates that the Science Department is the highest user. The high number
of requests by this Department is linked to the large number of researchers in this area.
Department
Humanities
Management
Science
Computing
Mechanical Engineering
Electronic Engineering
Accounting
Total
Total
65
47
704
17
156
52
32
1073
Table 6.6 Breakdown of Inter-library Loan Requests by Department in 2007
Overall 80% of inter-library loans requests received are for journal articles with an average fill time of eight
days.
Planning and Producing Theses and Dissertations
Students are encouraged to get a feel for previous work done in their field by reading the student projects,
dissertations and theses available in the reference area of the library.
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6.4.4 Library Committee
The library has a number of continuous improvement and feedback mechanisms in place in order to evaluate
the provision of service on a regular basis. It takes feedback through its website and conducts surveys to
monitor performance, the most recent of which was conducted for the 2006 application for delegated
authority (taught programmes). A Library Committee was established in 2004 as a sub-committee of Academic
Council. This committee meets at least once a Semester and reports back to Academic Council. Its remit is to
advise on:
• improving the provision of appropriate and convenient access to library and other learning facilities and
resources for staff and students
• improving the provision of adequate information and communication technology resources and facilities to
support ongoing courses provided by the Institute
• evaluating the adequacy and utilisation of the library and its information resources
• promoting the library and its resources among the learning community
• identifying means of continuing to integrate library resources in to the teaching and learning processes in
consultation with Academic Council.
6.4.5 Links with Other Libraries
In order to enhance the provision of library services, the Institute library has developed links with other Institutes
of Technology, Higher Education Institutes outside the IoT sector, and local libraries.
An agreement exists among the Institute of Technology libraries whereby students and staff from each Institute
of Technology can use the facilities of the partner institutes for study purposes. They are also entitled to borrow
normal loan books through an inter-library loan scheme. This service offers a significant cost saving for interlibrary loans. The catalogues for each member of the partnership is accessible on-line through a link from the
library’s catalogue.
Students from the Institute can also visit the Libraries of other Higher Education Institutes on production of their
current student identity card and a letter of introduction from the Institute’s Librarian. These letters can be
obtained at the Library Desk.
The library works closely with libraries in the local area and initiated the set up of TALL24. TALL24 constitutes
Tallaght County Library, Adelaide Meath National Children’s Hospital (AMNCH) Library, Loctite and the Institute
of Technology Tallaght. This local network has coordinated shared training sessions for library staff, site visits
and access to collections.
6.4.6 Irish Research eLibrary (IReL)
The Irish Research eLibrary (IReL) is a research electronic library an initiative developed by the Irish Universities
Association (IUA) Librarians’ Group and funded jointly by the SFI and the HEA. Its aim is to significantly increase
the availability of a wide range electronic journal services to Irish university libraries. The Registrar of the Institute
is Chairperson of the Institute of Technologies and DIT Librarian Group which has been involved in discussions
with the HEA to roll out this library initiative across the sector. Agreement has been reached to provide the
following resources in Science and Technology along with Arts and Humanities.
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Resource Name: Science & Technology
IEL Online (IEEE)
Springer online - e-books
ScienceDirect backfiles
Royal Soc. Chemistry J.s
Scientific american archive
Wiley electronic reference
CRC Press
Scifinder scholar
Biochemical J., Biochemical Society Transactions
EI VillageInspec
Infection & immunity, J. of bacteriology,
Web of knowledge
Resource Name: Arts & Humanities Resources
Humanities SS
Sage Books and Journals Online
Business Source Premier
Oxford online
Social Science Citation Index
Irish Newspaper Archive
Science online
Springer online - Journals
Springer online - e-books series archive
ACM Digital Library
J. of Biological chemistry
ScienceDirect electronic reference
Synergy STM (Blackwell)
Synergy (Blackwell) legacy backfiles
Amer.Chem. Soc. J.s
Amer.Inst.Physics J.s
Nature Pub Group J.s
Oxford UP J.s
Wiley interscience J.s
Wiley J. backfiles
Cancer research and clinical cancer research
EI VillageCompendex
EI NTIS, Patents
J. of Virilogy, Molecular & cellular biology
Cambridge Journals Online
Academic Source Premier
EconLit
Psychbooks
BSP/ASP Megafile
Taylor & Francis Online
PsychInfo
Digital Dissertations
The availability of the above additional journals/databases will considerably augment the information resources
available to researchers at the Institute in the future and will mean a significant reduction in the number of
interlibrary loan requests and time spent at other libraries.
6.5
Information Technology Facilities and Resources
The Computing Services Department enables and supports the use of computing and information
technology by all sections within the Institute. The Department is responsible for the provision of:
• A secure and resilient network infrastructure to service the needs of all users
• Security services including firewall, VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network), DMZ’s (Demilitarised Zones), IDS
(Intrusion Detection System), controlled web access and secure access to systems and services
• E-mail, printing and copying services
• Hardware and software selection, installation and support
• Directory services, home directories and mail services for staff and students
• Maintenance of an inventory of all hardware and software, including licence and maintenance agreements
• Provision of back-up services which provide archive and recovery for all servers
• Provision of three server rooms with high standards of environmental facilities to house all servers
• Management Information Systems (MIS)
• Web Services including internet and intranets for staff and students
• Video conferencing
• Services to computing technicians in Academic Schools.
The Computer Services Department serves a number of different customer groups including staff, students,
students with special needs, external users and computing specialists/researchers in the Academic
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Departments. The Department strives to achieve an exceptional customer service standard, by providing a
courteous, efficient, effective and reliable computer support service. The Department values all customer
comments and where appropriate use them to measure performance and improve services. The main IT
support is provided from the Technician Centre on the second floor of the Institute.
Postgraduate students use the Institute network facilities on a day to day basis, in conducting their research.
The Computing Services Department provides support for the network infrastructure, wireless connectivity and
email4life. For School of Business and Humanities Postgraduate students the Computing Services Department
also provides network accounts, storage space and PC support. Support for Postgraduate students in the
School of Engineering and the School of Science is provided by the local technicians in each School.
Once Postgraduate students have been registered with the Institute their details are automatically transferred
to the Computing Services Department who then configure the email4life system enabling account set up.
They are also set up as external recipients on the exchange staff mail system. This ensures that Postgraduate
student names appear on the mail address book and the ‘Everyone’ distribution group.
6.5.1 Staffing
The IT Manager has responsibility for the overall management of the Computer Services Department and
reports to the Registrar. The IT Manager is currently supported by:
• 9 Computing Technicians (including one senior technician)
• Webmaster
• MIS Manager9
• 1 Computing Technician assigned to MIS project
• 1 Computing Technician assigned to HEANET/ITNet
• 1 Grade III providing administrative support to the department
• 2 Reprographics room operatives employed by the Reprographics company.
6.5.2 Network Infrastructure
The Institute utilises a best of breed approach to its Local Area Network (LAN) requirements. A Cisco powered
switched network provides LAN services to approximately 1,200 nodes. The user areas connect over a category
5 structured cabling infrastructure, while the edge devices connect to the core via a fibre optic mesh which
ensures at least 2 diverse paths to the network core. The core of the network is based on a 32 Gb Ethernet
backbone with 2 diversely located central switches acting as failover protection for each other, with multiple
Gigabit links between them.
The network is segmented into a number of Virtual LAN’s (VLAN’s) for security purposes. The VLAN
segmentation is mainly between staff and students, although further segmentation can be introduced when
required. VLAN’s currently in place include:
• Servers
• Academic Staff x 2
• Business Student x 2
• Engineering Student
• Computing Student
9 For more information on MIS – Management Information Systems, see Section 6.5.5.
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• Administration x 2
• Secured Services
• Wireless
• Printing
• Postgrad
• Remote Access
• 3 DMZ’s for external facing services
User requests for access across VLAN are subject to rigorous scrutiny to ensure that our security is not
compromised.
The Institute uses best of breed monitoring tools to ensure that the health of the network is constantly
monitored and managed. Tools in use include:
• HP OpenView for back end reporting and service monitoring
• CiscoWorks for configuring and deploying software to our Cisco devices
• Crannog Software’s NetWatch for primary alerting and utilisation information
• Crannog Software’s NetFlow tracker for detailed analysis of the traffic profiles and historical trending
• MRTG for basic traffic monitoring
• Totaliser with MRTG to review the total traffic volumes where needed.
The Department can track the level of traffic across the primary network back bone and analyse this out by
individual hub room.
The Institute has made significant investment in Sniffer tools for proactive monitoring for problem traffic flows
on the network as well as for forensic investigations of traffic patterns. This is a system that works in harmony
with the LAN infrastructure in place to make the most accurate information available at all times.
The Institute is a client of HEANet, the Institutes of Technology network, and a 45Mb access circuit enables high
speed access to the internet worldwide. This circuit provides direct links to the other Institutes of Technology,
E-Government and Irish, European and worldwide education and beyond. The Institute is represented on the
Management Committee of HEANet and two technicians provide the support services for this network.
6.5.3 Security
In terms of IT Security, the Institute has both legal and professional obligations to meet and abides by all
relevant Irish and EU legislation. These include, but are not limited to, the obligations as laid out in the acts
and standards listed in Appendix 10 of the Computer Services Department Report 2005.
With regard to central information technology services, the IT Department has attended to a considerable
portion of the fundamental IT security requirements. Constantly faced with new threats, it is an area that has
grown considerably in recent years and requires increased resources in the form of dedicated security specialists.
The Department implemented a range of initiatives and provides guidance to staff and students on – internet
traffic; email security and anti-spam. Access to server room is controlled and limited (via magnetic swipe access
control) by the Department. Significant improvements have been implemented in recent years to deal with
spam filtering and anti-virus control.
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6.5.4 Other IT Resources
Laboratory Facilities:
The Institute has Computer laboratories to support research degree programmes as previously described in
Section 6.3.1. Some of these are shared with undergraduate students, particularly for Science, Computing and
Engineering. The Department of Computing has seven laboratories, while Business related computing is
supported in four laboratories. The Audio visual programmes are supported through two computer laboratories
with media and specialist print facilities. The Library has two dedicated open access computing laboratories.
World Wide Web Access:
As well as having access to computer networks within the Institute, access is also available to the World Wide
Web, which allows for the acquisition of information suitable for student project and research work. Internet
access is controlled and monitored to ensure proper usage of the Institute’s facilities. The Institute has had a
web presence for a number of years and currently has three primary in house web services:
• http://www.it-tallaght.ie/Public Website
• http://intranet.it-tallaght.ie/staff/Staff Intranet
• http://intranet.it-tallaght.ie/student/Student Intranet.
Content is sent from user Departments to the Webmaster who then publishes it to the relevant site. Some
websites are self maintained (careers, chaplaincy, examination results, examination timetables, human
resources, restaurant, new staff e-mail request, spots, staff online phone list and accommodation listings). The
provider inputs the information directly to the website.
Software is in place to monitor the traffic on the website. Feedback forms are also available to visitors who
can send comments on the site or the content of individual pages.
The Computing Services Department is in the process of introducing a new way of offering web services
throughout the Institute. A Content Management System (CMS) has been introduced. The CMS software
allows users to add and/or manipulate content on the website without needing the expertise of HTML or
specialist web software like dream weaver. As part of the CMS introduction, the Department sought the views
of staff and students. An open meeting was held where staff could have input into the new site design and
this project and staff/student involvement is ongoing.
Network Access:
Each full time registered student has a unique ID and password, which allows access to the Institute’s network.
Each student has access to store research project related work on the network.
Printing Facilities:
Printing is available in all computing labs and postgraduate office accommodation. The Reprographics Centre
maintains all printing and copying devices in the Institute. The Reprographics Centre is managed by NRG and
is located on the first floor.
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6.5.5 Management Information Systems (MIS)
Since 2001, the Institute has fully engaged with the national MIS programme for the Institute of Technology
sector. This programme aims to establish a set of sector-wide standards and to implement common
management information systems in all Institutes. Sourcing of software solutions and their implementation
has been managed by a company, An Chéim, on behalf of all of the Institutes of Technology. The Institute was
among the first of the Institutes of Technology to implement the management information solution developed
by An Chéim. The project includes the management of student, library, finance, and human resource
information through the provision of four interfacing systems, modified specifically for the Institutes of
Technology. These systems are: Millennium (Library System), Core (HR/Payroll System), Banner (Student System)
and Agresso (Finance System).
When initially implemented all server hardware associated with the MIS systems was located within the
Institute. This included database servers, application and web servers. Early in 2005 a decision was taken by
the Institute of Technology sector to centralise the hardware for all of these applications in one site and to
provide a managed service to all Institutes in the sector. The contract for this service was awarded to Hewlett
Packard by An Chéim. This project is now complete and the Institute’s payroll system is now run from a HP
Data Centre in Citywest. Agresso, Banner and Millenium have also migrated to the Data Centre. The
centralised servers are located in a class A Data Centre with HP managing all security back-ups and providing
full redundancy within the centre. Additional redundancy is provided by a further back up centre in Swords.
6.5.5A Millennium
Millennium library is an integrated system that supports teaching, learning and research services by providing
prompt and comprehensive delivery of information, on and off campus. Millennium has the advantage of
being user-friendly. It provides library users with a self-service facility to renew or reserve items and enables
them to access a comprehensive range of specialist websites through links.
6.5.5B Core
Core provides pay and HR facilities that help control payroll inputs, increase staff productivity and capture
critical payroll information. It has provided the Institute with the ability to produce ad-hoc, management and
forecast reports. It has the capacity to reduce the payroll administration workload when the employee self
service module is introduced.
6.5.5C Agresso
Agresso was implemented in April 2005. It provides the Institute with enhanced management and costing
capability, a chart of accounts, an on-line interactive information resource, an appropriate costing process and
a set of integrated transaction processes including purchase orders to pay. It provides these facilities while
providing support for statutory and management reporting. All postgraduate students on research grants with
a materials budget process all their orders on Agresso. A research assistant in the Development and External
Services Office is responsible for the administrative work involved, once orders are submitted.
6.5.5D Banner
Banner provides for the Institute’s needs in the areas of admissions, registration, fees and examinations. It
allows for effective tracking of trends and of students across academic years and programmes. Banner enables
the Institute to provide a better customer service to students.
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Banner provides additional impetus to the drive in the Institute to tighten up procedures to ensure the quality
of data. The introduction of Banner has made the collection of metrics using the system feasible and the
Institute is now building on the experience. There is a continuing improvement of the metrics being issued to
fit the needs of the Institute and meet reporting needs to outside agencies, including the Department of
Education and Science, HETAC, the Department of Social Welfare and the HEA.
The MIS Manager and the computing technician assigned to MIS work very closely with the Banner Support
Team in Student Services. In particular, the Computing Services staff are responsible for co-ordination of all
activities with An Chéim. They also ensure that all issues logged by users are followed up.
6.5.5E MIS System Recent Developments
New Developments are listed below:
Since 2006
• Centralised our MIS systems into a HP managed environment
• Completed testing a disaster recovery plan for all MIS systems - pay roll, purchasing, library and student
systems
• Completed an upgrade of our student system from version 5.4 to version 7.2.
• Made significant strides in rolling out the on-line systems to students- releasing exam results on-line only,
piloting on-line applications and gathering of socio economic data for full time new entrants on-line.
• Implemented new and additional functionality and systems to reduce costs and introduce efficiencies - XML
returns from the student system to the HEA, FAS XML data load, student grants, new student card software
• Implemented internal printing the European Diploma Supplement introducing cost savings and efficiencies
• Devolved responsibility for functionality to the registrar's and schools offices.
• We have moved from being a support focussed team to a project focussed one while continuing to support
the business.
• MIS team has completed a train the trainer course. This has led to a review of all training given and training
is being re-engineered so improvements are incorporated in all future training.
The IT Manager recently announced the introduction of the new online facility for admission to add-on
Ordinary and Honours Degree Programmes. The facility has been available from Monday 3rd March 2008.
Applications will only be accepted online and no paper applications will be accepted. Academic staff have
inform their students of this facility. The closing date for receipt of applications was 5.00pm on Thursday 1st
May 2008.
The online application process will significantly improve the processing of these applications. We are the first
Institute in the country to pioneer online only applications and all of this groundbreaking work was done by
our inhouse team. It is the culmination of a significant amount of work by our MIS team, the Registrars office
and School office staff.
Future plans
• Rolling on-line application to all non CAO applicants to the college giving them 24-7 access to apply for our
programs on-line
• On going process review of all day to day processes to document current processes and identify
improvements
• Further responsibility for functionality will be passed to the registrar's office, schools and finance - e.g. fee
assessment
• Further functionality will be rolled out - student system - BIPS (Banner improved invoicing), Digitary - online
digitally signed electronic documents e.g. EDS, Student portal etc., HR - employee self service
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• Roll out of interfaces between all MIS applications - Core, Agresso, Banner and Millennium
• Implementation of Business Intelligence software allowing more real time reporting to users of all levels.
6.5.6 Recent Developments in Computing Services
Significant improvements have been made in recent years. The Department has:
• Upgraded and improved network resilience to the point where network up time is now 99%.
• Reduced average support call resolution time by over 50%.
• Introduced more stable operating systems on both servers and desktops.
• Developed a strong customer service ethos within the department.
• Commissioned a number of external reviews of the Department’s activities, including environment, security
and backup systems.
• Commenced the introduction of a Student Support Desk to improve the quality of our service delivery.
• Provided a secure environment for all users by implementing appropriate firewall, antivirus and web
screening hardware and software.
• Expanded the availability of services by the introduction of wireless and remote access mechanisms.
6.5.7 Student Support Service
Students in Institute can avail of many technology resources to aid them in their studies. File storage devices
include network storage space, USB memory sticks, CD-Rom and floppy disks. Students have access to a free
e-mail4life account with 15MB storage space and also access to network resources and the Internet.
Student Support Desk: Computer Services provides a support drop-in service where students can request
help with any computer related problem. Some of services provided include:
• E-mail and login password reset service
• Recovery of corrupted data from Floppy and Zip disks
• General application support for students
• Support for USB devices
• Setup of student laptops onto the Institute’s network.
Support for Students with Special Needs: The Department provides additional support and resources for
students with special needs. The Institute has an assistance technology laboratory with 2 PC’s, printer and
scanner that is dedicated to the needs of special needs students. This laboratory is maintained by Computer
Services and includes the following specialised software packages: Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 (a state of the
art voice recognition application), Zoom Text (a text enlargement application) and Kerzweil Text (a text reader
application).
Computer Services also support and maintain laptops that are distributed by the Access Officer to students with
special needs and socially disadvantaged. These laptops are initially setup with a basic installation but are then
configured for the individual need of the special need student. Currently, there are 51 laptops in use by
students with many different needs.
Video Conferencing: The Computing Services Department has introduced the capability for the delivery of
multi-media classrooms, utilising video conferencing at TV quality for the delivery of lectures and tutorials to
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virtual classrooms and allowing for virtual meeting rooms. The Institute has been at the leading edge in the
use of video conferencing for a number of years and currently uses this method to deliver a number of courses
in collaboration with other institutions, including a Higher Certificate in Health & Safety which is provided in
collaboration with UCD. Video conferencing equipment can be provided at any location in the Institute and
four technicians are trained in the technology.
Service Requests: Computing Services is responsible for the selection, installation and support of all staff
computer equipment in the Institute. The Department strives to provide users with a quality service and ensure
that all calls are responded to as quickly as possible. Service requests are entered into a HelpDesk software
package (RMS) in order of receipt, whether by phone, e-mail, or walk-in. The RMS system and Helpline are
run by the IT administration. When entered in the system an e-mail confirmation of the request being logged
is sent to the customer. If a request includes a customer stated deadline or urgency, Computing Services will
try to meet those needs. Computing Services also operates the following support services:
IT Support Desk
The IT Support Desk is a facility that provides staff and students with face to face, e-mail and telephone
communication for all Computing and Information Technology related issues.
Opening Hours
The IT Support desk is open from 9am -1pm and 2pm-7pm (in semester) Monday to Thursday. The support
desk is closed at 5pm on Fridays. Please bring your student ID with you to avail of our wide range of services.
Self Service Kiosk
This facility allows students to reset all passwords, access exam PIN numbers and check registration status.
Kiosk Locations:
Second floor corridor (top of yellow stairs)
Ground floor corridor (outside AV room 014)
Remote Access: ITT Dublin Weblink
Weblink provides a secure access to Institute resources from the home PC. Students can also get access to
Institute applications and web resources.
6.5.8 Additional Information Technology Services for Postgraduate
Researchers
Information Technology is a key aspect of a research degree programme, and the Institute is equipped with the
most up-to-date systems to meet those needs. All registered postgraduate students have access to industry
standard hardware (personal computers, printers, scanners etc.) and software, (word processing, accounting
spreadsheets, database, statistics, computer aided design, graphics programming application, etc).
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The IT Department provides a wide range of services across the entire campus to students and staff. These
include:
• Assistance with access to wireless network connectivity
• Technical advice
• Password reset and login account management
• Assistance with file storage
• ITnet (E-mail) support
• Online call logging services using Trackit
• Digital signage information system (plasma screens)
• Self Service Kiosk
• Student software & Hardware special offers.
Postgraduate students from the Schools of Engineering and Science & Computing have their own dedicated
technicians that can be contacted via the School offices or at the following mail addresses. The postgraduate
research student handbook provides students with step-by-step details of how to:
• Logon to a pc
• Register for your email account
• Access the wireless network
• Store computer files.
All postgraduate students can avail of the IT Support Desk, Self-service kiosk and remote access facilities
(Section 6.5.7).
6.5.9 Printing & Copying Services for Postgraduate Researchers
Printing is available in all computing labs and postgraduate office accommodation. The Reprographics Centre
maintains all printing and copying devices in the Institute. The Reprographic Centre is located on the first floor
beside the Student Health Centre.
The Reprographic Centre provides a print copy and finishing service. Do it yourself printing and copying are
available at all time around the Institute, with help available during office opening hours.
Opening Hours
During Semester: Monday to Thursday
8.30am-8.00pm
During Semester: Friday
8.30am-5.00pm
Out of Semester: Mon-Friday
9.00am-5.00pm
The postgraduate research student handbook provides students with step-by-step details of how to:
• Print from any Institute pc
• Manage their Reprographics account.
6.6
Financial Resources and Management
The Secretariat (Financial Controller’s Office) is responsible for the management of the functions and personnel
in the following departments:
• Finance Department
• Human Resources
• Freedom of Information Office.
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The main services provided by the Secretariat are:
• Supervision of the Human Resources Department, Finance Department and Freedom of Information Office
• Communication with the Department of Education and Science and other relevant bodies
• Administration and secretarial services to the Governing Body of the Institute
• Health, Safety and Welfare - the Secretary/Financial Controller is the Institute’s Health and Safety Officer
• Communications with internal and external auditors.
• Management of the legal affairs of the Institute.
• Administration of all insurance matters within the Institute.
Administrative support for the Secretariat/Financial Controller is provided by a Grade 5 Staff Officer.
6.6.1 Services Provided by the Finance Office
The Finance Department is responsible for the day to day management of the finance function of the Institute.
This involves monitoring and control of income and expenditure in all areas. Table 6.7 outlines the key services
provided, with a description of these activities.
Service
Description of Activity
Financial Accounting
Preparation of annual accounts, budget reports, and other submissions that may be required
by the Institute, Department of Education and Science, Auditors and other organisations.
Banking
Operation and reconciliation of all Institute Bank Accounts.
Payroll Processing
The Payroll Section is responsible for the payment of salaries and wages, the administration
of the Local Government Superannuation code and the discharge of Statutory and nonstatutory deductions. Payroll accounts for a significant proportion of the overall expenditure
of the Institute.
Travelling and Maintenance
Expenses
Calculation and payment of staff travelling & maintenance expenses in accordance with the
regulations of the Department of Finance.
Student Grants
Payment of student grants as authorised by the Vocational Educational Committees.
Debtors
Invoicing customers and collection of amounts due.
Full and Part-Time Fees
Receipt and reconciliation of course fees
Government Grants
Receipt and allocation of operating income
Projects
Recording of financial information on the various projects ongoing in the Institute, e.g.
Research & Development, European funded projects, Graduate Training Programmes, etc.
Table 6.7 Services Provided by the Finance Office
6.6.2 Finance Staff
The staffing and organisational structure of the Finance Department is outlined in Figure 6.5 below. The
Finance Manager reports to the Secretary/Financial Controller and has responsibility for the overall
management of the finance section. The grade seven manages and operates the Departmental and Institute
budgets as well as supervision of staff on a day-to-day basis. The grade six manages the payroll function with
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the assistance of a grade four. The grade five manages the creditors again with the assistance of a grade four.
Debtors and ESF (European Social Fund) maintenance grants are managed by the remaining two grade fours.
Secretary/Financial
Controller
Finance Manager
Grade 7
Grade 4
Grade 6
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 4
Grade 4
Figure 6.5 Finance Staff Organisation Chart
6.6.3 Institute Finances
The Institute submits its annual budget is provided by the Higher Education Authority. The following is a
summary of the allocation to the Institute for 2008:
Higher Education Authority
Pay
Non-Pay
Total Grant
2008
€000’s
21,068
5,781
26,849
Table 6.8 Institute of Technology Tallaght - Gross Budget 2008
Each department and function within the Institute submits an annual budget proposal to SMT and following
a negotiation and consultation process a budget for each section is determined.
6.6.4 Financial Returns
The Finance Department is required to make returns on a regular basis to the Revenue Commissioners. These
include:
• PAYE/PRSI (Monthly and Annual P30’s, P35’s, P45’s, P60’s)
• VAT (Bi-monthly and Annual)
• Professional Services Withholding Tax (Monthly and Annual)
• Relevant Contracts Tax (Monthly and Annual)
Finance must also submit reports to the HEA and Department of Education and Science on a regular basis,
including a monthly bank monitoring report, ESF Grant reports and tuition fee reports.
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6.6.5 Internal and External Audits
The Institute is currently involved in a sector wide internal audit programme through Deloitte and Touche.10 The
purpose of the programme is to ascertain and establish best practice throughout the sector and also to advise
the Institutes of any control weaknesses or exposures.
The external audit of the Institute’s Financial Statements is performed by the Office of the Comptroller and
Auditor General (CAG). The CAG checks the Institute’s compliance with public sector matters, such as
procurement and implementation of pay scales from the Department of Education and Science. It also
examines internal control procedures and conducts a detailed examination of transactions.
The Institute may be subject to external audit by other funding agencies, such as the European Social Fund
Control Unit based in the Department of Finance (in relation to EU funding) and other agencies that provide
research funding such as Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.
The Finance Department has already developed a staff intranet page, which provides information on policies
and procedures in relation to finance, as well as expense reimbursement forms, over-time forms and other
relevant information. This facility is reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
6.6.6 Research Support
Registration and capitation fees apply to all postgraduate students. In the majority of cases, research students
are on a funded studentship, which provides
• A monthly stipend to the student
• Funding for materials, small items of equipment and travel to off-campus facilities/conferences
• Institute and HETAC Fees.
A Finance Senior Staff Officer has been assigned to look after the following in relation to research degree
students:
• Processing of appropriate fees and making payments from studentship funds. It works closely with the
Development and External Services Office (who manages the studentship funds) and the Registrar’s Office
(Fees management) in that regard
• Processing of claims from studentship funds for travel to conferences/off-campus research facilities
• Arranging conference registration payments
• Enabling payment for any part time tutorials/laboratory demonstrations/lectures given by the research
student as part of their generic training
• Applying tax exemption for researchers on studentship grants.
10 Previously discussed in detail in Chapter 3 – Section 3.8, that dealt with Audits and Reviews of Management and Administrative Operations.
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Learner Supports and
Services
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Chapter 7
Learner Supports and Services
The Institute is committed to providing a supportive environment conducive to learning and research. The 2005
- 2008 Strategic Plan outlines the specific goals and objectives for the enhancement of the learning
environment. In relation to learner supports it seeks to implement an organisation wide learning support
structure and to further develop the learning environment paying special attention to supporting the needs of
students with disabilities and/or special needs. The Strategic Plan also indicates continuing support for the
development of student services.
Specific project actions in 2007-08 for achieving the learning environment goals and their mid-term status
(January 2008) are presented Table 7.1 below.
Project Action identified for 2007-08
Current Status (mid-term review)
We will ensure all persons within or interacting with the
college are treated equally and fairly. To deliver on this
aspiration we have established an Equality and Diversity
Committee, which is responsible for putting in place
appropriate policies and procedures.
New Equality and Diversity Policy approved 20071
With the diversity of students now availing of our education
programmes we will provide English language support to
students where required.
Complete
We will set up a Customer Services Group responsible for
identifying 3/5 priority actions and ensuring there are
implemented.
Complete (see Table 7.2 for details)
The Disability Officer will oversee the implementation of the
Policy on Students with Disabilities over the next 2 years.
Draft document available; Gap analysis to be conducted to
look at a new policy on admissions with reference to applicants
with disabilities
We will continue to develop modern teaching technology
within our teaching facilities and we will conduct a review
and expansion of the pilot e-learning programme.
Ongoing under SIF (Continue) Project (Section 7.1.7);
Training and awareness sessions conducted and ongoing;
E-Learning technologies in place; expansion of e-learning
programme proposed. HEA Funding for e-Learning Projects –
total of €105K since 2006
Table 7.1 Current Status of Strategic Plan Actions – The Learning Environment
The provisions currently in place are described in this chapter and are subject to ongoing review. Learner
Supports and Services are frequently augmented to enhance the advice and resources available. A snapshot of
recent improvements is outlined in Table 7.2.
1 See Chapter 5 for more information.
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Development
Year
Department of Lifelong Learning established and new Part-Time Office opened;
Head of Lifelong Learning Appointed
2006
Business Incubation Centre opened on campus
2006
Remit of the Learning Support Unit expanded and it recently became a Centre for
Learning and Teaching
2007
Disability Officer appointed and Office set up
2006
Range of improvements to Information Technology Services2 - IT Help desk, off-site
access to network and email for staff and students through WEBLINK, self-service kiosk
2006
Range of new student support structures put in place – Maths, Academic English,
Study Skills, Revision & Exam Techniques, Career Planning
2007
Institute website revamped
2007
Information Screen Points set up
2007
AV Services for teaching improved and expanded upon
2007
Bank of Ireland located on campus
2007
Table 7.2 Recent Developments in Learner Support and Services at ITT Dublin
Learner supports and services are discussed in Sections 7.1 and 7.2 respectively. Additional supports and
services specific to researchers are discussed in Section 7.3. Enhancement of researcher training will be a
significant factor in higher education in the next decade and the Institute’s plans in that regard are discussed
in Section 7.4, along with current training provision for postgraduate training. Supports for the
commercialisation of research and innovation are discussed in Section 7.5.
7.1
Learner Supports
The Institute serves a diverse and multi-cultural learner community on its full-time and part-time programmes.
There are currently 71 different nationalities represented on programmes of study at the Institute. Hence, the
Institute is consistently trying to respond to community needs by modulating its teaching and learning
approaches and providing innovative student supports. Hence, there is a demand for:
• flexible delivery modes
• innovative pedagogical approaches
• formal student support systems
• targeted staff development processes
• responsive organisational structures and
• support higher levels of participation in lifelong learning.
2 Already discussed in Chapter 6.
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ITT Dublin has been at the forefront of national initiatives to improve access and retention of students.
The Access Officer works closely with 2nd level schools, adult education groups, community groups and
welfare agencies, to promote third level education in areas where participation rates are low. Prospective
students are assisted in making the decision to become a third level student. The Institute has a close working
relationship with the Tallaght ACE (Access to College Education) group of schools, and with the CHEAP
(Clondalkin Higher Education Access Programme) group. Institute students who attended these schools can
benefit from a wide range of extra supports, financial, personal and academic, from the Access Office. Any
student from a disadvantaged background is welcome to avail of the various supports administered by the
Access Office, for example the Department of Education Student Assistance Fund, which is designed to help
with the cost of books, equipment, transport etc. Local Area Partnerships operate a Millennium Fund,
to support students from their areas at third level. Information on these funds, and on Social Welfare
entitlements and other sources of assistance is also available.
The Institute has developed a number of linked initiatives briefly described below to enhance the teaching and
learning process, improve flexibility of access and improve student retention.
• Mentorlink (access & retention)
• FLASHE and FLITE (access & teaching & learning)
• MAP (part-time access)
• One Step Up (part-time access)
• CeLT 3 formerly the Learning Support Unit, LSU (retention & teaching and learning).
Additional supports are provided by the Access Office (See Section 7.2).
7.1.1 Mentorlink
ITT Dublin is the home of this national support and networking groups for female engineering students
and graduates. Academics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering are particularly active in Mentorlink,
which aims to address the following areas:
• The lack of young women entering engineering programmes
• The retention of female students in engineering courses
• Equality of opportunity and support structure for female graduates entering the workplace.
This innovative project is based on the need for a support structure for young women entering the engineering
field, whether as a student or in the world of work. It is widely acknowledged that mentoring on an individual
basis provides this support but no provision exists for this at present. Funding for mentoring through this 3 year
project has been provided the Equality for Women Measure of the National Development Plan through the
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
Based on the Mentorlink experience, we are piloting an ePDP solution with female engineering students.
This is part of the SIF CONTINUE Project. Depending on how the evaluation goes, we hope to be able to offer
an ePDP solution to all students in the future.
3 Centre for Learning and Teaching.
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7.1.2 Flashe & Flite
The FLASHE and FLITE programmes are funded by the HEA. The courses have been designed to
provide flexibility in attendance times and progression rates. The principle is that the students may construct
a convenient timetable around other aspects of their working and personal lives thus allowing
maximum engagement.
The FLASHE (Flexible Access to Higher Education) Higher Certificate in Electronic Engineering is an innovation
from ITT Dublin which gives mature students control of when, where and how they study. Requiring only eight
hours a week attendance at the Institute during each semester, this programme allows mature students to reap
the benefits of a recognised and internationally accredited qualification in engineering in just over two years.
Students enroll with the college in the normal manner but it is not necessary to attend full-time classes between
9am and 5pm. Instead, the timetable is spread across the whole week with repeated classes during the day
and evening and at both ends of the week. The FLITE (Flexible IT Education) B.Sc. in IT Management
programme is a HEA funded access programme for part-time students in Computing. Additional CA and
tutorial supports are offered as part of the programme. Catch-up classes are made available at weekends. Work
placements and projects are facilitated according to the student’s schedule.
7.1.3 MAP
The national Modular Accreditation Programme (MAP) has been developed through the Higher Education
Authority. This innovative initiative provides support for individuals who want to access part-time, flexible,
affordable career development opportunities, by offering:
• Part-time courses, designed to meet the needs of the individual, from single subject certification to
a full degree
• Flexible and supportive delivery, built around the life of the student
• Tutor support and guidance.
ITT Dublin is the first 3rd level college to pilot the MAP initiative providing opportunities for career development
in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Sector. The educational programme selected for this pilot is the
Higher Certificate in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Technology and there are currently a number of
students pursuing their studies via the MAP route. Students can register for modules from the pool on offer of
the appropriate course. Credits towards an award can be completed at each individual’s own pace.
7.1.4 One Step Up
One Step Up is the FÁS’ response to the report of the Enterprise Strategy Group “Ahead of the Curve, Ireland’s
place in the global economy”. All FÁS programmes and initiatives are aligned to the One Step Up concept that
training and development programmes assist individuals to build on their competency levels and obtain a
recognised qualification within the National Framework of Qualifications. FÁS provide financial support4
towards the cost of eligible training.
4 Up to 70% of the agreed cost for certified programmes where the individual is working for a Small to Medium Sized Company (SME)
i.e. 250 employees or less.
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7.1.5 Centre for Learning and Teaching (CeLT)
The Centre for Learning and Teaching has evolved from the Learning Support Unit (LSU), which was originally
designed to provide a scaffolding to support first year students in meeting the challenges involved in more
independent learning. Since the remit of the LSU has expanded since it was established, the LSU has now
become a Centre for Learning and Teaching. The structural units of the Centre are given in Figure 7.1.
Building on a number of successful pilot projects previously run through the LSU, the Institute secured funding
under Strategic Innovation Funding in 2006 to head up a collaborative network for teaching Innovation with
neighbouring Institutes, which feeds into this Centre. The SIF funded CONTINUE Project is ‘Collaborative
Network for Innovation in Teaching and Inclusive Education’ and the partner institutes are Blanchardstown,
Carlow and Dun Laoghaire (Section 7.1.7).
Centre for Learning and Teaching
Learner Support
Academic Staff
Development
Learning Technology
Figure 7.1 Centre for Learning and Teaching Structural Units
The services of CeLT are available to all full-time students however many activities are focussed on helping
students during the transition from second level into higher education and during their first year. The following
services are provided:
• ‘Head-start’ workshops, prior to start of academic year.
• Organisation of Orientation activities.
• Study skills advice and guidance – individual & group.
• Organisation of additional tutorials, upon request.
• Progress monitoring and follow-up.
• IT workshops.
• Mentor programme.
• Revision clinics and support.
• Information communication via email and text.
A list of additional tutorials is circulated on a regular basis by email. Text messaging is widely used to
communicate with students about events and changes in the timetable. Throughout the academic year a
variety of academic supports will be organised for students to ensure that students have the opportunity to
realise their full potential.
Learner Support
The supports for learners implemented to date include specific subject tutorials, provision of materials, learning
style screening, provision of software support packages (Table 7.3). The Centre also uses Moodle (discussed
under Learning Technologies) as an electronic forum for students for the provision of support to students.
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Timetabled Maths Support Centre hours
Files, dividers and pads on entry (good academic practice!)
Student bookmark outlining learner supports
LSU renamed to ‘Centre for Learning and Teaching’
Purchased and implemented Study Skills Toolkit (Southampton)
Student screening (see Learning Styles Theme)
Emotional Intelligence screening (EI theme)
Regular communications (text, email, telephone, and letter)
Attendance monitoring and follow-up (using KELPIE and manually with Postcards)
MapleTA software to pilot development of Maths resources and implementation
ePDP based on Mentorlink, for female Engineers (pilot) – professional skills development
Moodle site for Science teachers – 26 secondary schools
Table 7.3 Supports for Learners
Academic Staff Development
The Centre supports staff development primarily through the forum of targeted workshops and seminar
events. It set up a Staff Development Programme in 2007, following consultation with Heads of
Department/Function. A staff development website is currently under construction. A total of 47 Staff
Development events have been organised and run since May 2007. Attendance to-date = 523 (245 different
staff, 23 from other Institutes). The resources from the events are stored on Moodle for access by staff. The
Centre is currently investigating how the events can be certified for minor award with HETAC.
Learning Technology
The Institute has been actively involved in the development of new e-learning technologies for a number of
years. Recent initiatives to support and enhance e-learning within the Institute include the Moodle Learning
Management System (LMS), which was initially implemented by the Department of Computing and now
extensively used throughout the Institute; and the CompuPharma Learning Management System, developed
and implemented within the Department of Science.
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7.1.6 E-Learning Supports
Moodle is a web-based LMS that allows lecturers to create a course website and provide access control
to enrolled students. It offers a variety of tools to make courses more effective, for example, it offers an
easy way to upload syllabi, lecture notes and assignments. It also enables lecturers to give and receive
assessments online, and to record grades online. By allowing students engage with course material outside
of class time, the Moodle LMS facilitates independent learning and makes additional time available for
discussions, questions and problem solving, in a face-to-face setting. From a departmental and academic
perspective, Moodle also provides:
• logs for monitoring student activity
• notice boards with e-mail capacity for communicating with students
• a means of identifying which resources are being accessed by students most frequently
• a facility for providing access to course material for repeat students
• a powerful tool for communicating with part-time students.
In 2004 a Pharmaweb Campus was established to support pharmaceutical programmes in the Department
of Science. Full-time and part-time students on pharmaceutical programmes can access lecture notes and use
state of the art e-lessons. Students can access the compuPharma LMS through the internet to download
interactive e-lessons and take on-line assessments as part of their continuous assessment evaluation.
The Institute has a library of over 130 e-lessons created by CompuPharma Ltd.5 in conjunction with academics
from this Institute covering topics such as Laboratory Techniques, Microbiology, Safety, Clinical Trials,
Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Pharmaceutical technology.
The success and experience gained through the Pharmaweb Campus has provided a foundation to expand
e-learning to the traditional science full-time programmes. A new LMS (SkillPRO) has been installed to provide
interactive e-lessons on specific courses as well as laboratory practices and procedures and laboratory sessions.
The Learning Support Unit (Engineering) also developed and implemented a Class Management Tool, which
contains a list of all students, with their group allocation and contact information, as well as a facility for
lecturers to produce class sign-in sheets, input session attendance information, produce group email/sms
messages, and produce absence reports and other information that are used by ELSU for scheduled follow-up
with students. In 2005, this was integrated with the Kelpie functionality, a web-based front end developed by
Glasgow Caledonian University. This enables the efficient production of attendance letters for students and
reports. This has now been expanded across other academic departments and discipline areas.
An online assessment tool has also been developed, Mark IT. This tool was developed in response to student
requests for early feedback on performance. Lecturers create quizzes which students can take at regular
intervals. The advantage is that students get immediate feedback on performance while lecturers can monitor
individual and group performance and gauge levels of learning.
The Teaching Undergraduate Programming Using Learning Objects (TUPULO) project run through the
Department of Computing proposes to analyse the challenges faced by learners of software development at
introductory level on a cross-institutional basis. This analysis will assist TUPULO in designing and developing an
innovative e-learning tool, based on reusable learning objects and an appropriate instructional design
methodology. This international collaborative project is funded via the SOCRATES - MINERVA programme and
is led by three academics in the Department of Computing.
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5 CompuPharma is a limited company established in 1998 by Dr. Ed Carey, a lecturer in Department of Science at ITT Dublin. The company, which arose from
research activity within the Institute, develops, publishes and markets technical software training solutions for the global pharmaceutical, bulk chemical and
healthcare manufacturing industries. The company has grown to become a total training solution provider, offering not only e-Learning but a Learning
Management System (Skillpad), Instructor-Led Training, an SOP conversion service and training consultancy.
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7.1.7 Collaborative Network for Innovation in Teaching and
Inclusive Education
The Strategic Innovation Fund set up by the Government and administered by the Higher Education Authority
aims to stimulate innovation in higher education and research through collaboration between institutions.
In October 2006, the Minister announced details of an allocation of over €42 million to fourteen projects under
the Cycle 1 of SIF. This Institute as the lead partner in a 3 year project received €2 million to improve learner
and staff supports with Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, Institute of Technology Carlow and the
Institute of Art, Design & Technology Dun Laoghaire as partners.
The learner and staff support theme6 fits directly with the goals identified in Institute of Technology Tallaght
Strategic Plan 2005-2008. In relation to learner supports, the Institute commits to:
• Ensuring that its programmes will be delivered in a supportive, professional and flexible learning
environment
• Widening access to higher education in the region and greater diversification in its student population
• Continuously developing and implementing measures to improve retention and progression at all levels
• Helping individuals achieve their lifelong learning goals.
The organisational structure for the Network is given in Figure 7.2, along with the goals for each theme.
The project is lead by the Head of School of Engineering, who initiated the pilot LSU project. The network has
a co-ordinator based this Institute, who is also the programme manager for the Centre for Learning and
Teaching. A project assistant and a learning technologist have also been employed to support the network.
The work of the network is underpinned by the activities of the Centre of Learning and Teaching in each of
the thematic areas. Learner support progress was already presented in Table 7.3. Outcomes falling under staff
development are given in Table 7.4.
There are five themes in the CONTINUE Project:
• Learner and Staff Supports
• Problem-based Learning
• Learning Styles
• Emotional Competence
• Assistive Technologies.
The work on the learning styles theme is led jointly by IT Carlow and Blandchardstown. It seeks to build two
pilot projects that already exist at those institutions and extend the programme and training models to all
Institutes, namely:
• PACTS: Partners Collaborating in Training for Individuals with Specific Learning Difficulties, EU-funded
(INTERREG IIIA) cross-border project between Ireland and Wales.
• E4: Education for employment project involving ITB, DIT and international collaborators.
The CONTINUE project also collaborates with the SIF Learning Innovation Network, with other IoTs and DIT, in
the development of formal certified opportunities for staff in teaching and learning, and CPD programmes.
The significant deliverables from the five thematic areas are given in Table 7.5.
6 Discussed in Chapter 5, Section 5.10.2 – Staff Training and Development: Teaching & Learning.
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Collaborative Network for Teaching Innovation
ITT Dublin
Learner and
Staff Supports
ITTD
GOAL:
- Improve retention
- Staff Development
- Establish a
community of
practice for each
sub-theme
Learning Styles
ITB
Problem-based
Learning
ITB/ITC
GOAL:
- Extend PACTS and
E4 to all
- examine learner and
lecturer behaviour
GOAL:
- Develop engineering
and science
curriculum models
- Improve 1st year
retention
- Develop problem
pools and metrics
Emmotional
Competences
ITC
GOAL:
- Develop emotional
competencies
- assess EC
contribution to
performance at
year 1
Assistive
Technologies
IADT
GOAL:
- Raise awareness of
AT in our institutions
- Benchmark needs of
students with
disabilities and
extend to others,
e.g. late learners
Figure 7.2 Collaborative Network for Teaching Innovation: Organisation, themes and goals
Staff Development Programme generated from meetings with Heads of Department/Section in early 2007
47 Staff Development Events run since May 2007
Attendance to-date = 523 (245 different staff, 23 from other Institutes)
Distribution of learning and teaching resources (email and hard copies in Centre for Learning and Teaching)
Resources stored on Moodle
Investigating certification for minor award with HETAC
Table 7.4 Staff Development Outcomes - Progress to date
Staff training conducted
Student screening on learning styles conducted
Interactive learning room set up at ITTD to support problem-based learning
On-line coaching module being developed
Analysis conducted of students with disabilities
Staff awareness guide under development
Table 7.5 Deliverables from Thematic Areas 2 – 5 to date
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7.1.8 Department of Lifelong Learning and Student Support Services
ITT Dublin appointed a Head of the Department of Lifelong Learning in September 2006. This new Department
was setup to develop the Institutes existing part-time provision, workforce development and e-Learning
(through involvement in the NDLR project).
The Department works in partnership with academic schools and service providers to ensure programmes and
services meet the needs of part-time students. There are currently 4 Grade 3 Administrative Staff (3 part-time,
1 full-time), and one Grade 4 and Grade 6 working in the Department.
Promotional Activities
The Department of Lifelong Learning takes a proactive approach to promoting part-time programmes. A yearly
prospectus detailing all the courses available, delivery timetable and costs is produced to be available from the
beginning of March each year. A number of open evenings are held (April, June and September). These
advisory evenings present an excellent opportunity to discuss for individual to discuss programme options in
detail with the Programme Leader, Head of Department or with a representative from the relevant Professional
Institute. Staff promote programmes through targeted events, e.g. Tallaght Square Shopping Centre,
FÁS Opportunities, newspaper advertisements. Programmes are also promoted through each Academic School
by direct discussion with industry.
Student Supports
The number of students engaged in part-time programmes increased by around 12% last year to 1600.
Some programmes that have seen a fall in numbers nationally, such as electronic engineering, attracted more
students than the previous year. Much of this is because of the flexibility of access to part-time courses
(previously discussed in Section 7.1.1 to 7.1.4 above). The Department of Lifelong Learning, in conjunction
with the Centre for Learning and Teaching, has put in place a range of supports in 2007 that seek to boost
academic performance and help the students gain the most out of their time at the Institute. Support is
provided in the form of drop-in centres manned by academics and workshops and is available to part-time
and full-time students. The Department of Lifelong Learning co-ordinates support for part-time students in the
following areas:
• Maths
• Academic English
• Study Skills
• Revision and Exam Techniques
• Career Planning
• Statistics.
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Maths Support Centre
The Department provides support to students who need additional help in all areas of mathematics. There are
two types of support available:
1. Maths drop-in Centre
This is a drop-in centre staffed by mathematics lecturers who will help students with any problems they
may have. The staff have a great deal of experience in boosting the confidence of adult learners returning
to higher education.
2. CALMAT
A computer based learning environment used by ITT Dublin to provide maths support for the past 10 years,
CALMAT has been particularly successful with adults returning to study.
Academic English Support Centre
Many students returning to study require some support with structuring reports and assignments. ITT Dublin
has an Academic English Support Centre to give them any help they may require, especially in the early stages
of their programme. The drop-in centre supports students who need help with all aspects of academic writing
and communication including:
- Use of technical language
- How to structure essays/reports
- How to link ideas
- Expression in English
- How to evaluate/critique effectively
- How to summarise well
- Presenting your argument
- Interpreting exam questions
- Interpreting CA guidelines
- Presentation of written work
- Spelling and punctuation
- Oral communication
Where English is not a student’s first language, the Academic English Support Centre will give them any help
they need with written English.
Study Skills Workshop
These interactive workshops are designed to help students find out what type of learner they are and how to
get the most out of their college experience. Areas the workshops cover include Motivation & Time
Management, The Study Environment, Taking Notes in Class, Research & Writing, Effective Memory Techniques
and Presentation skills.
Revision & Exam Techniques Workshop
This workshop is for students who need pointers on how best to revise and prepare for exams. When studying
part-time, we recognise that there can be many demands on student’s time and it is therefore important to
take control and implement an effective revision and exam strategy. During these sessions students are given
practical advice on revision techniques and preparing for exams.
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Career Planning Workshop
These workshops provide students with an excellent opportunity to look at self assessment, including making
informed career decisions and determining what they really want to do. During the sessions students also look
at active job searching skills including networking and how to make recruitment agencies work for them. This
workshop provides students with an excellent opportunity for students to look at:
1. Self Assessment
- Making informed career decisions
- Determining what you really want to do.
2. Active Job Search Skills
- Networking – how to do it well
- The employers labour market – how it works
- Recruitment agencies – making them work for you
- Getting a competitive edge
- Learning from job application rejections
- Sources of vacancies, industry and academic.
3. Career Statements
- Why use them?
- What can they do for you? What is my key message to employers?
The Department of Lifelong Learning gives a Student Guide & Planner to all students registered on part-time
programmes, which includes details of dates/times for all support services on offer. In addition the Full-time
and Lifelong Learning Part-time Programmes Prospectus’ respectively provide details of the academic
services provided.
Statistics Support
The Statistics Clinic is an opportunity for students to get some statistical support with any research project they
might be undertaking, whether big or small. Similar to a visit to a GP, students sit down and have a chat about
their project. Help and advice can be given on all areas of statistics including the collecting and organising of
data as well as analysis.
Head Start Programmes
The Department, this year for the first time will run a number of ‘Head Start’ programmes in early September
2008 for students who want to refresh their skills in Maths and Academic English prior to starting their
programme at the institute.
The Department is also involved in the co-ordination of the following:
- Access learning
- Workforce development
- Training services to employers
- Advisory evenings for intending applicants.
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7.2
Learner Services
The Institute provides a comprehensive range of student services to the student body including, postgraduate
research students. The capitation fee paid by each student helps provide financial funding for these services.
General student services come under the remit of the Registrar’s Office and are managed by the Academic &
Student Affairs Manager. The staffing and organisational structure for general student services is outlined in
Figure 7.3 below.
Registrar
Academic & Student Affairs Manager
Health Centre Nurse/Doctor
Student Counsellor
Careers Officer
Disability Officer
Alumni Officer
Chaplain
Access Officer
Sports & Recreation Officer
Figure 7.3 Student Services Organisational Structure
Student services currently encompass:
Access Office and Disability Support Service: The Access Office was established in October 2001.
The Office is responsible for encouraging greater participation by students from groups that are traditionally
under-represented at third level. The Office is staffed by one full-time Access Officer and a part-time Disability
Officer, with administrative assistance from the Registrar’s Office. The Access Office also facilitates access and
provides support to: Students in receipt of the Back to Education Allowance; Students in receipt of Lone
Parents Allowance and Students who have been referred and recommended for support by external sources
(e.g. Local Area Partnerships). These students receive supports from the Access Office in the form of free books,
extra tuition and the loan of a laptop if required.
The Access Office also provides services for students with disabilities and specific learning difficulties such
as – pre-entry consultation and information service; post-entry learning support and information service along
with training for staff in supporting students with disabilities. An assistive technology room is available in the
library for students as recommended by the Access Office. This Office also offers an information service
to mature students.
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Student Counselling Service: The Counselling service provides a safe and supportive environment
where a student can come and talk about any issue that is bothering him/her. The service offers individual
counselling and workshops on a range of areas including study skills, exam techniques, stress management
and assertiveness.
The full-time counselling psychologist is a member of both the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and an
executive committee member of the Irish Association of University and College Counsellors (IAUCC). As such
the counsellor operates within both the PSI code of ethics for psychologists and the IAUCC guidelines for
student counsellors. The following services are provided by the Institute’s counselling psychologist:
• one-to-one counselling during Institute hours to the full-time students;
• advocacy on behalf of students where appropriate;
• liaison with other institute staff where appropriate;
• information on and referral to external agencies;
• information and guidance for staff who have concerns about students well-being;
• study skills workshops.
Health Services: The Student Health Service was established in 1992. It was initially a part-time service but
has evolved over the years to become a full-time service offering 12 hour daily opening. The Health Centre
provides the following services: Medical attention to all students who feel unwell or become ill on campus;
Emergency medical treatment for accidents occurring within the Institute; Medication for minor illnesses that
arise during Institute hours; Information and appointment scheduling for local medical facilities e.g. dentists,
physiotherapists, hospitals, clinics etc.; Health promotion and encouragement of a healthy lifestyle; Access to
General Practitioner (GP) services (clinic located on campus 3 days a week).
Additional services provided by the Health Centre include:
• The provision of information and advice in areas such as nutrition and the encouragement of a healthy lifestyle;
• The provision of forms and advice on medical cards and entitlements;
• Health information lectures/displays and the organisation of Health Awareness and Feel Good Days;
• Assessment of Student Health Questionnaires and follow up where necessary;
• Provision of first aid lectures to relevant student groups in the Institute: professional cookery students,
hospitality students, science students and students involved in sports;
• In 2005 the Health Centre co-ordinated an Asthma Clinic supported by Allen & Hansbury Pharmaceutical
Company. The clinic was held on a monthly basis and was well attended;
• A Physiotherapy service was introduced in 2007.
Chaplaincy Service: The Chaplaincy service is provided to facilitate the social, human and spiritual
development of students within the context of their own religious traditions. All beliefs are equally esteemed
and services are provided for people of all denominations and those who adhere to no denomination. The
service is staffed by a full-time Catholic Chaplain. A Church of Ireland Chaplain (from St. Maelruains Church,
which is located just beside the Institute) also visits on a regular basis and can be contacted by phone at all
times. Where a Church does not have its own Chaplain visiting the Institute, the chaplaincy service is available
to help establish a link with the student’s faith community.
The Chaplain is involved in all aspects of college life, including the promotion of social projects and other
initiatives which contribute to development of students. Strong links are established with the local St. Vincent
De Paul (SVP) Society. In 2002, a Remembrance Garden was opened to recall the role of deceased students
and staff and to provide a sense of community and solidarity within the Institute. Remembrance services are
held annually.
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An important function of the Chaplaincy is to foster relationships with all levels of academic support activity,
including student services, clubs and societies and the students union. In particular, the Chaplaincy provides a
pastoral counselling bridge to, and support for, professional counselling. The full-time Chaplain also plays an
important role as a member of the Student Services Committee (SSC), the Student Assistance Fund Committee
(SAF) and the Child Care Assistance Fund Committee (CAF).7
Sports and Recreation Service: The Institute encourages students to take responsibility for their own selfdevelopment during their time in education by participating in both academic and non-academic activities.
Participation in non-academic activities is an important part of the holistic development of students and an
important factor in their personal development. Through involvement in student activities, including sports
activities and various clubs and societies, students develop a wide range of skills (social skills, leadership and
communication skills and team-building skills) that contribute to their personal development. The sports and
recreation service is managed by a full time Sports and Recreation Officer who is assisted by one full-time
development officer for GAA and one part time development officers Rugby.
Careers and Appointments Service: The Careers Service is an important element of the Student Support
Services available in IT Tallaght. All registered full-time students are entitled to avail of the Careers and
Appointments Service. The primary role of the Careers Service is to provide an effective and efficient Careers
Service through the dissemination of information and advice to students and through the maintenance and
development of a Careers Information Service. The Careers Information Library is a dedicated area located in
the main college library.
Most of the activities of the Careers Office are directed at final year (Certificate/ Degree) and postgraduate
students, although students of earlier years are encouraged to use the careers library and to attend careers
talks. The Careers Service is staffed by one full-time Careers Officer with administrative support from the
Registrar’s Office. The following services are provided:
• Careers advice/guidance. This is available on both an individual and group basis. All final year students
across all disciplines within the Institute are provided with group advisory sessions.
• Information on careers and appointments opportunities. A Careers Information library is available with open
access by all students. A Careers Newsletter is also published fortnightly, with information on both
permanent and temporary job vacancies for students.
• The Careers officer maintains links with potential employers and with relevant Professional Institutes.
• A number of students transfer to other institutions each year. Student’s can use the Careers Office for
information and advice on follow-on courses available at home or abroad.
• The Careers Officer also notifies final year students of application procedures and deadlines for relevant
post-graduate courses via notice-boards, careers newsletters (fortnightly) and email. The Careers Office
maintains up-to-date prospectii for other third level institutes in Ireland and a significant number of UK
colleges. Reference material on European and other college directories is available in the Careers
Information Library. Application forms are supplied and students are assisted with their application.
• The Careers Office organises and facilitates seminars, guest speakers and information sessions by other
Higher Education Institutions (such as the Smurfit School of Business) and Professional Bodies (such as the
Engineers Ireland and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), to advise and inform relevant
groups of students on post-graduate studies and continuing professional education programmes.
• One-to-one individual mock interviews are available by appointment.
• Interview skills workshops are organised and open to all students during the year. These workshops are
usually class/discipline specific.
7 The role of the Chaplaincy is defined in Section II of the Draft Memorandum of Understanding on the Chaplaincy in the Institutes of Technology.
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• Specific group workshops involving employers are organised for final year students.
• A database of graduate’s first destination statistics ahs been developed and analysed by the Careers Office.
This is based on the annual Graduate First Destination Survey. The Careers Office also:
(i) Disseminates application forms and job descriptions for companies;
(ii) Provides interview facilities;
(iii) Liaises with Development and External Services and the Industrial Liaison Manager to build company
contacts in industrial estates and business parks in close proximity to the Institute;
(iv) Facilitates employers’ recruitment needs by providing information and advice on the Institute,
answering queries with regard to educational programmes and facilitating contact with academic staff.
Alumni Association: In 2005, the Institute established and formally launched the Institute’s Alumni
Association. The key objectives of the Alumni Association are:
• To provide a forum for graduates of the Institute to meet after they have finished their studies;
• To provide graduates with a means of engaging in lifelong learning and personal development;
• To provide a means by which the Institute can readily have access to an up-to-date database of graduates;
• To provide information to graduates of the Institute on career opportunities, research and development
within the Institute, and other relevant information;
An Alumni Officer was appointed in May 2005 to manage the Alumni Association.
7.3
Additional Researcher Supports and Services
7.3.1 Postgraduate Scholarships
The Institute operates two postgraduate studentship schemes, namely the Internal Masters Scholarship and
PhD Continuation Funding Schemes. These were set up to
• Foster and encourage research across all Departments in the Institute
• Reward academic excellence by allowing high achieving Masters students the opportunity of progress
to the higher Doctoral Degree register.
Internal PhD Continuation Fund: to facilitate exceptional students nearing completion of their research
Masters to progress to Doctoral Degree Level, following Institute assessment procedures and successful
application to the Institute/HETAC for transfer to the Doctoral Degree register.
Internal Masters: Studentships primarily set up to assist new academic researchers to establish a track record
of research outputs, including postgraduate supervision and to enhance their credibility when applying for
funding to external agencies.
Stokes PhD Studentship: a 3 year studentship has been set up, to support the 2008 Stokes Postdoctoral
Fellow, funded by Science Foundation Ireland.
More information on these schemes is presented in Chapter 11 – Research Profile, Section 11.1.2 dealing with
internal funding for Research.
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7.3.2 Statistics Support
ITT Dublin provides a Statistics Clinic anyone who might require additional support with any research project.
The Statistics Clinic is an opportunity for students to get some statistical support with a research project.
The typical work of the clinic involves individual consultations focussing on the statistical aspects of specific
research projects. Seminars, short courses and Q&A sessions are provided on request to research groups and
teams. The clinic provides support in such areas as experimental design, response modelling, data collection
and organization, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. The clinic also provides support for the use
of statistical software. It is primarily used by academic and post-graduate and final year undergraduate
researchers in each of the three Academic Schools. Statistics support has been used mostly by undergraduate
researchers in engineering disciplines as shown in Figure 7.4.
18%
31%
Postgrad
Staff
Undergrad
51%
1%
5%
36%
Business
Engineering
Science
Library
58%
Figure 7.4 Usage of Statistics Support Clinic by Department and User (Client) Type
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7.3.3 Career Planning Workshop for Postgraduate Students
Purpose: to assist Postgraduate students in adopting a proactive approach to career planning. It provides
guidance in how to make the right career choice for your personality and interests and students the job search
tools, CV writing skills and interviewing skills to make that happen. Topics covered include:
• Self Assessment
• Active job search skills
• Getting your CV ready
• Interview Skills
The first 1/2 day workshop was held in November 2007 with 20 attendees (limited by venue).
7.3.4 Academic English Support for Postgraduate Researchers
The drop-in centre offers support to postgraduate students who need help with all aspects of academic writing
and communication and includes the following of relevance to postgraduate research students:
• Using technical language
• Presenting your argument
• How to structure reports
• How to link ideas
• Expression in English
• Presentation of written work
• How to evaluate/critique effectively
• Spelling and Punctuation
• How to summarise well
• Oral communication.
Individual assistance is provided with regard to structuring and wording of the written task on hand.
Academic English workshops are also scheduled on alternate weeks twice a semester, and include those listed
in Table 7.6.
Academic Writing (General)
Getting Started (including the literature survey)
How to put together a poster
Writing Abstracts
Table 7.6 Academic Writing Workshops 2007/08
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7.4
Strategic Innovation Funded Projects
The third level sector is facing well documented ongoing and heavy demands for funding if it is to play the part
earmarked for it in meeting the strategic economic and social objectives set by the Government.8
The Government itself has recently taken a number of ground breaking initiatives to provide major multi-annual
funding to the sector. The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) Programme established by the Government in April
2005, dedicated funding of €510 million over 7 years to support innovative programmes that will enhance
the quality and effectiveness of Irish higher education and research. Matching funds are also committed from
the HEIs. SIF has been set up specifically9 to:
• Enhance capability of institutions and the sector;
• Deliver the fundamental mission of teaching, research and societal need;
• Improve the educational learning experience for students.
The overarching criteria for SIF Cycle 1 funding included:
• Stimulating innovation and creativity;
• Increased strategic focus from institutions;
• Increased focus on collaboration between institutions.
A total of €42 million was allocated to 12 lead HEIs in Cycle 1 of SIF in 2006. The funding distribution for Cycle
1 SIF projects is given in Table 7.7 and it shows the IoT Sector secured 24% of the funding.
Restructuring
€M
Enabling 4th Level
€M
Teaching & Learning
€M
Access
€M
University Sector
8.9
9.7
6.9
6.6
IoT Sector
3.8
0.295
2.4
3.6
TOTAL
12.7
9.995
9.3
10.2
Table 7.7 SIF Cycle 1 Funding Distribution by Thematic Area 10
The Institute of Technology Tallaght is involved in a number of the SIF Cycle 1 projects. These are listed in Figure
7.5. Cycle 2 SIF funding awards were announced in March 2008 and the Institute’s involvement in those future
projects is also shown in Figure 7.5.
The Institute is lead Institute in the CONTINUE project as described in Section 7.1.7 previously. The SIF
Strategic Alliance Project is funding 7 members of our staff on the NUIM Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching
and Learning.
Information on the Institute’s involvement in SIF projects which impact on research enhancement is provided
in Section 7.5.4 (Research Alliance project); Section 7.7.1 (Addressing the Needs of the Knowledge Economy)
and Section 7.7.2 (Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance).
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8 “Supporting Investment in Higher Education” Report of the Working Group convened in 2006, published by the HEA 2007.
9 Presentation by Mr. F. Costello, of the HEA on Strategic Innovation Fund at the Colloquium entitled Developing Research in Institutes of technology,
14th Feb. 2008, Cork Institute of Technology.
10 Presentation by Mr. F. Costello, of the HEA on Strategic Innovation Fund at the Colloquium entitled Developing Research in Institutes of technology,
14th Feb. 2008, Cork Institute of Technology.
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ITTD
Continue
Rose Cooper
IOTI
SECTORAL
PROJECT
Enhancement
of Learning
E-learning
Dublin Centre
for Academic
Development
DRHEA
Graduate
Education
GMIT/DIT
Learning
Innovation Network
Rose Cooper
SIF 1
STRATEGIC
INNOVATION
FUND
Widening
Participation
Access
SIF 2
NUIM
Strategic Alliance
Tom Stone
SLIGO
Research Alliance
Mary Deasy
Internationalisation
EASTERN
REGIONAL
ALLIANCE
ITC
Repositioning
Assessment
for Learning
ITB
Transition
Cork
REAP
Consolidating
Services To
Improve Capacity
Figure 7.5 Flowchart which show the involvement of ITT Dublin in SIF Cycle 1 and 2 Projects
7.5
Researcher Training & Skills Development
The quality of postgraduate researchers produced is influenced by a number of factors including the training
received as part of working on a specific research programme. Training of the postgraduate student throughout
their studies is vital to ensure the student:
• Has an understanding of the role of research in their discipline and its application in the broader community;
• Develops the ability to carry out independent research;
• Gains from the overall research experience;
• Generates results from their research and completes their programme within the appropriate timeframe.
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Training of researchers, particularly doctoral degree students, is now evolving from the research apprenticeship
model to a multi-stranded educational model as HEIs move towards implementing 4th level education.
Strategies and initiatives for the enhancement of core transferable skills, augmented training and professional
development are now at an advanced stage of development and the Institute’s plans in that regard are
discussed in Section 7.5.4.
In the current apprenticeship model academic supervisors draw on their own research expertise and
research/industrial experience to ensure that postgraduate students gain knowledge of recent advances in their
own specialised fields, and an understanding of relevant research methodologies and their application appropriate
to their research topic. Through the mechanism of regular meetings and day-to-day informal discussions with the
postgraduate student they actively encourage and guide the research student to show initiative, to work
independently on their project tasks and in the presentation of their results and to draw on available supports as
appropriate. The training of the student is ongoing and goes beyond the initial induction training received as
shown in Figure 7.6.
Training and Skills Development
Induction
Training
Generic Training &
Skills Development
Discipline Specific Training
Institute One-Day
Programme
Academic English /
Literature Survey
Networking and team
meeting discussions
Project discussions
and seminars
Information and
Library
Communication and
Presentation
Departmental and
Research Centre
Seminars / Workshops
External Conferences /
colloquia
Ordering of Research
Materials
Teaching Skills
External Conferences /
Colloquia
New Technical and
Research Methods
Health & Safety for
Science and
Engineering
Career Development
Ethics Training
Publication of results
Equipment Induction
Training
Thesis Structure and
Viva Preparation
Figure 7.6 Postgraduate Students Training and Skills Development Flowchart
162
Project-Specific
Training & Skills
Development
Thesis and Viva
Preparation
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Generic skills such as - communication, technical writing, how to be a team player and networking skills are
also developed during the research programme. In the past this has been conducted primarily by the supervisor.
The Research Centres have taken a greater role in that regard in the last five years, and also provide a range of
project specific skills and methodologies appropriate to the research project.
Pedagogical training from a practical perspective is normally provided through the postgraduate student’s
involvement in the supervision of undergraduate laboratory practical sessions. They are mentored by Academic
staff in this regard.11
HETAC adopted the National Framework of Qualifications award-type descriptors as standards for the Masters
and PhD research degrees in 2004. These new standards emphasise the traditional research degree outputs
(advanced research training, depth of knowledge and contribution to knowledge) but also breadth of
knowledge and transferable skills. The Post-graduate Policy sub-Committee of Academic Council drew up a
detailed document in 2007 indicating where each of the HETAC standards is met during the course of the
appropriate research degree. These are available to each student in the Postgraduate Research Student
Handbook and are also given in Appendix 7 of this submission.
7.5.1 Induction Training
The purpose of Induction Training is to aid the adjustment of the new postgraduate researcher into their new
environment within the Institute & sponsoring School. The role of the induction progamme is to familiarise the
postgraduate research students with:
a) the Institute Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes, including information on student
expectations and entitlements;
b) the Institute resources available to support their research activity;
c) the research environment and provide initial generic training in basic research skills to support their
programme.
It is compulsory for each new postgraduate student registered on a research degree programme to attend the
induction programme which normally runs once/twice a year as required.
The induction programme comprises three elements and is organised jointly by the Development & External
Services Department and the Registrar’s Office:
1. Postgraduate Induction Course (2 half-day sessions);
2. Library & Information Resource Training (2 hour session);
3. School Specific Health & Safety Session (workshop for Science and Engineering Students / Pharmaweb
Campus e-learning modules on H&S).
At the Postgraduate Induction Course each attendee receives a copy of the postgraduate student handbook
which includes the Institute’s Research Regulations and Code of Conduct for Postgraduate Researchers. Details
on the structure of the Postgraduate Induction Course are provided in Table 7.8. Feedback on the programme
is also obtained and is used to inform future events. Overall there has been a positive response to the induction
training programme.
11 The amount of time that a research student may allocate to other duties such as teaching and demonstration must be agreed by the Supervisor(s) and is
determined by the Institute’s Postgraduate Student Teaching Policy.
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Postgraduate Research Induction Programme
8th November 2007 Day One
Time
Session
Presenter
10.00 – 10.15
Welcome and Introduction
T. Creedon
10.15 – 10.45
Getting to know your Research Environment12
M .Deasy & P. O’Donnell
10.45 – 11.00
Research Regulations
J. Vickery
11.00 - 11.20
Managing Your Time on Your Research Project
J. MacDonagh
11.20 – 11.40
“BREAK” Refreshments Provided in the Hungry Bear
11.40 – 12.25
Good Research Practice & Ethics in Research
J. MacDonagh
12.25 – 12.45
Intellectual Property and Postgraduate Research
P. O’Donnell
12.45 – 13.05
General Health & Safety Issues
P. Campbell
13.05 – 13.15
Making the Most of Your Library
P. Russell
Postgraduate Research Induction Programme
9th November 2007 Day Two
Time
Session
Presenter
10.00 – 10.40
Using Statistics in Research – Experimental Design
J. Reilly
10.40 – 11.00
Equality and Diversity
P. McLaughlin
11.00 – 11.20
“BREAK” Refreshments Provided in the Hungry Bear
11.20 – 11.50
Academic Writing & Presenting Research Results
M. Thornton/ M. Deasy
11.50 – 12.50
Services Available to Postgraduate Students13
V. Lennon +
12.50 - 13.05
Sports & Recreation & S.U
T. O Connor / R. O’Sullivan
13.05 - 13.25
“My Experience as a Postgraduate Student at ITT Dublin”
– Q&A Session
D. Barry
A. Martin
S. Enright
13.25
CLOSE & Distribution of “ITT Dublin Postgraduate Induction Course
Completion Form” to be signed by each attendee
Table 7.8 Postgraduate Induction Course Schedule
12 ITT Dublin Organisational Structure; Research Project & Student Supervision; Annual Assessment Reporting & Renewal of Registration; Management of
Studentships; Reporting to Studentship Funding Authorities ; Ordering of Research Materials.
13 Administration/Finance; Computing Services; Careers & job opportunities; Counselling; Access & Disability; Academic English Support; Health; Chaplaincy.
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7.5.2 Generic & Discipline Specific Training
Training is conducted on an ongoing basis with the primary focus on specialist or core skills specific to the
research project and transferable or generic skills specific to the discipline area.
Core skills training specific to the project is normally provided throughout the project under the guidance of
the supervisor(s) as mentioned previously. In some discipline areas this is achieved by attendance at specific
short courses provided within the Department or Research Centre/Group. It is also augmented by seminars
from postdoctoral fellows, other Institute academic staff and external recognised experts in thematic areas of
research which are normally organised within the sponsoring Department or Research Centre/Group. Research
Centres also host educational programmes for postgraduate students.
An essential part of the ongoing training of the postgraduate student in presentation skills is their preparation
for and participation in regular in-house seminars (as mentioned previously) where they are required to present
results from their research project at least once during their programme. They receive guidance and training in
that regard from their Supervisors. Presentations are followed by a question and answer session where the
work is thoroughly investigated by the audience which is normally made up of other academics, postdoctoral
and postgraduate researchers. Examples include those listed in Figure 7.7.
Annual Science Research Day
Research Centre Group Meeting
Presentations
Bi-annual Mechanical Engineering
Research Day
Electronic Engineering Breakfast
Seminar Series
Seminar
Events for
Researchers
Departmental Seminar Series –
External Speakers
Research Centre Educational
Programmes / Workshops
Presentations by Academics and
Postdoctoral Fellows
Humanities Cross-Institute
Postgraduate Day
Figure 7.7 ITT Dublin Seminar Programmes for Researchers
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Departmental Seminars
Each Department hosts discipline-specific seminars on an annual basis. A structured approach to the internal
seminar programme has been in operation for five years in the Department of Science who hold an annual
Postgraduate Research One-Day Meeting where new postgraduate students present their results in a poster
session while the remainder make oral presentations.
The students give presentations. Prizes are awarded to the best presentations in each category and the event
is sponsored by local industry and the Department of Science. In Engineering a one-day research meeting was
held in 2005 where all postgraduate students made oral presentations. A bi-annual seminar series in
Mechanical Engineering has been in operation since September 2007. The Department of Electronic
Engineering hosts a breakfast seminar series, where students are on a rota to present every three weeks on
their research progress. The Department of Computing runs a seminar series that caters for postgraduate
students registered on taught and research programmes together. The Business and Humanities School
regularly host guest lecture series and seminars to promote research within their School. The Department of
Humanities hosts an annual one-day seminar programme for postgraduates from this Institute and Dun
Laoighre and Dundalk Institutes of Technology.
Joint AMNCH hospital-ITT Dublin events have also been hosted to encourage cross-fertilisation and more joint
project collaboration in Biology and Bioengineering areas primarily.
Bioengineering Technology Centre (BTC)
Centre members use their expertise to provide training for research degree students in programming, advanced
CAD tools, FEA analysis and Advanced Manufacture Technologies (Rapid Prototyping & Manufacture) and
bioengineering techniques.
NMR - Education and Training
Spectroscopic techniques in general, and NMR in particular, are an essential part of modern taught and
research programmes, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. For postgraduates, basic NMR training
is provided to significant users by the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Institute Research Centre (NMRics). Users
with only an occasional requirement are typically provided with an experienced postgraduate to assist them.
This has been backed up in the past year with theory classes in the Winter Semester, taken with the 4th Year
of the BSc(Hons) in Applied Chemistry, via the Advanced Spectroscopic Problems module. This approach was
designed in particular to meet the increasing diversity of postgraduate intake and to serve as a refresher course
for those of our own BSc (Hons) graduates who have become postgraduates.
More specialist training is given to postgraduates who need to do advanced NMR techniques on a one-to-one
basis. In addition it is intended in the next two years to provide training courses tailored to the needs of:
1. Supervisors of research heavily dependent on NMR – to update their advanced NMR base skills;
2. Supervisors of students who do less synthesis but are nevertheless heavily dependent on NMR
characterization of the identity and purity of the compounds they work on;
3. Technical Support Staff within the Department.
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Centre for Research in Electroanalytical Technology Educational Programme
Centre members have formed collaboration with the Australian Research Council (ARC) through its
International Linkage progamme. This will provide high level training to future undergraduate and
postgraduates in technologically important topics in the area of materials chemistry, fundamental physical
chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and electrochemistry.
Centre for Pharmaceutical Research & Development Education and Training:
Training in biological screening is provided by Centre members to chemistry postgraduate researchers at
ITT Dublin and NUI Maynooth. Training is also given to postgraduate student members of the Centre in project
planning, use of on-line and library based literature sources, safety assessment and risk assessment
of chemical/biological and experimental procedures.
The multi-disciplinary nature of the projects ensures that all students gain relevant and up to date experience
in different areas of organic and inorganic synthesis, analytical methodologies, microbiology and cellular
biochemistry, so as to broaden their career prospects.
Centre of Applied Science for Health Educational Programme:
A seminar series was launched in April 2008 and includes topics such as Bioethics, Intellectual Property and
research-specific seminars and case-study sessions. In addition researchers can also attend educational
programmes of the collaborators at DCU, NUI Maynooth and Tallaght Hospital (AMNCH).
Educational Programmes at Collaborating Institutes
National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR) Postgraduate Education Programme
The aim of the NCSR Postgraduate Education Programme is to provide NCSR Staff, post doctoral fellows
and postgraduate students (both at DCU & ITT Dublin) with a multidisciplinary programme of modules covering
the core competencies of sensor research. All modules are delivered by NCSR researchers and each of the
eight clusters provides a module. It is envisaged that these modules will be developed into a master’s
programme in sensors technology. Modules delivered in the series over the past five years include: Introduction
to sensors and their applications; Micro Total Analysis Systems; Electrochemical Sensors; Bioreceptors-Beyond
Genomics; Molecular Recognition & Transduction; Biosensors; Surface Characterisation; Separation Science;
Optical Sensing Techniques.
National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB) Educational Programme
The NICB organises seminar-type educational programmes which are attended by postgraduate students from
this Institute primarily in Biology. Topics covered include: Signal Transduction & Apoptosis pathways; Stem cells,
cloning, transgenics; Transcription. A one-day Wyeth case-study workshop has also been organised.
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Professional Development
The professional development of postgraduate students is catered for through attendance at workshops
or seminars on writing and presentation skills as organised within the sponsoring Department and School.
More recently Institute-wide generic communications and writing skills training has been centralised as
previously discussed in Section 7.3.4. Career planning workshops are organised on an annual basis for
postgraduate students, as previously discussed in Section 7.3.3.
Industrial Placement
Pfizer Loughbeg API plant, Cork have established links with the Department of Science and have committed
to taking 3 PhD students in Chemistry on industrial 3 month placement - 2 in Jul-Sep, and 1 in Oct-Dec. 2008.
It is proposed to place 3 students with this company on an annual basis. Students will be from year 2/3 of their
programme. The students selected for 2008 went through a formal interview process and are in the latter half
of their final year of their PhD.
Other Training and Skills Development
Information skills training sessions specifically aimed at postgraduates are provided on an ongoing basis
not only at induction by the library but at any time during the project at the request of the Supervisor.
This is normally conducted by the appropriate Subject Librarian. These can be conducted in a group or one-toone environment.
Attendance and presentation at national and international conferences is strongly encouraged and is normally
organised by the Supervisor(s) and funded by the project funds. However, the sponsoring Departments have
traditionally provided financial support for attendance at Colloquia which ran between 1998 and 2005.
Where multi-disciplinary training (for example across Departments/Schools) is required the Supervisor(s)
normally arrange this in consultation with the appropriate Head of Department.
Guidance and training on the standard norms and methods for presenting research results from the specific
project, in the form of reports, articles for journals and reviews is provided throughout the project by the
appointed Supervisors, who also direct the students to copies of relevant texts etc. in the library. In addition,
the Principal Supervisor guides the student in the preparation of (a) transfer reports and (b) a thesis, detailing
how to write an abstract, introduction, discussion, results and experimental sections, where required, and
suited to the level of award sought by the student. Training in writing styles for theses is provided by the
Institute library on a needs basis, following recommendation and referral of the student by the Supervisor(s).
Thesis and viva preparation information sessions are scheduled for April 2008 for those in the final year of their
research degree.
A recent addition to generic training has been the area of ethics in research. This is delivered through an
interactive 3 hour workshop, and while organised through the Department of Science is open to all
postgraduates of the Institute.
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7.5.3 Future Plans for Training of Postgraduate Researchers
To improve postgraduate skills training and their continuing professional development, the Institute plans to:
• Augment researcher training programmes and introduce 4th level graduate research education
programmes (see Section 7.5.4);
• Set up a Postgraduate Skills Record System – allows for effective monitoring of the needs of postgraduate
researchers and identify changes as required.
The Institute plans to conduct a gap analysis of postgraduate training and skills needs, through the
Postgraduate Policy sub-Committee of Academic Council. It seeks to augment discipline specific training and
run discipline training workshops in areas such as:
• Enterprise development and commercialisation pathways
• Bioethics
• Personal and Professional Development
• Research Methodologies
• Data Handling and Analysis.
While much of the current discussions in national and international arenas has focused on enhancing PhD
training in the context of the 4th level graduate, it is also important to consider an enhancement to training
for Masters students. Postgraduate students will be encouraged to use a Postgraduate Skills Record in the
future, to assist them in obtaining the necessary skills sets and training throughout their research degree
programme and as a basis for capturing information of their continuing professional development.
A continuous skills audit is a vital part of any research degree programme. For the student it has
immediate value in maintaining an awareness of strengths and weaknesses, and in highlighting developing
skills. In the longer term, it serves to point out that generic skills, can be used to enhance the employment
prospects of postgraduates.
Future graduates need to be equipped with a wide range of skills in this ever-changing world of work and
continuous learning. Building a profile of skills forms the basis of lifelong learning plans. A Skills Profile will
prove invaluable in:
- carrying out research effectively;
- applying for a job or preparing curriculum vitae;
- identifying Continuing Professional Development needs;
- applying to a professional body for membership;
- seeking promotion.
A Postgraduate Skills Record template will be given to all postgraduates and will include a variety of headings,
for example:
• Handling information
• Communication skills (oral and written)
• Improving learning and performance
• Planning and organisation
• Working with others
• Discipline-specific skills
• Project-specific skills
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Skills and training requirements will be agreed by the student in conjunction with the supervisor at the start of
the project and reviewed on a regular basis. The record will explain how students can:
• assess their skills according to statements in each section;
• Note areas where they need to develop skills or learn a new skill;
• Set targets for development;
• Seek opportunities to develop new skills;
• Build a record of their skills achievement and a Skills Profile.
7.5.4 4th Level Education Provision
The research training experience is a fundamental factor in enhancing the research environment and the
provision of high quality research outputs. In 2001 the Research Councils and the Arts & Humanities Research
Boards in the UK set out a joint statement of the skills that doctoral research students funded by them would
be expected to develop during their research training.14
The purpose of the joint skills statement was to give a common view of the skills and experience of a typical
research student thereby providing academic institutions with a clear and consistent message aimed at helping
them to ensure that all research training was of the highest standard across all disciplines. This led to the
development of a strategic approach to the provision of research skills training across research degree
programmes in the UK in the form of the UK GRAD programme. Through Government funding there and
policies of the Roberts Forum, the UK GRAD programme has been instrumental in ensuring there has been
significant progress in improving the research straining of all postgraduate researchers.15
A strategic approach to research training has also been adopted in a number of Australian universities to help
create a positive impact on performance and quality of research outputs.16 A number of initiatives have been
launched within the wider academic community here in Ireland to enhance the training of researchers,
particularly at Doctoral Degree level. Indeed the synergy between research, at doctoral level, and training has
recently been identified by a number of reports as being a critical element for generating more rounded
research graduates in the future.17
There has been a great deal of discussion nationally on the need to formalise transferable skills training for
researchers, moving towards more structured programmes. The OCED review of Higher Education in Ireland
was a benchmark document that is now being implemented in the SSTI Government plans going forward. The
OECD Review of Higher Education in Ireland Report in 2004 concluded that Ireland’s tertiary education system
is at a crossroads particularly with respect to the higher education and training of graduate researchers. Since
the publication of this report there have been a number of responses and government actions that will have
an impact on the structure of research degree programmes in the future. The new vision for post-graduate
study is:
14 Joint Statement of the research Councils’/AHRB’s Skills Training requirements for Research Students, UK GRAD Programme, 2001.
15 Report of Proceedings UK GRAD Programme, Roberts Policy Forum, January 2005, Rugby, UK.
16 The University of Tasmania, Research, Research Training Management Plan 2005 – 2007; James Cook University Research Training Strategic Plan;
James Cook University 2005 Research and Research Training Management Report; University of Canberra Research and Research Training Management
Report, July 2005.
17 Postgraduate transferable and Generic Research Skills Training Implementation Working Group, Audit and Needs Analysis – Update Report, J. Turner,
July 2003; OECD Review of Higher Education in Ireland, 2004; Observations of the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) on the
recommendations in Chapter VII (Research, R&D and Innovation) of the OECD Review of Higher Education in Ireland, Discussion Paper, Dec. 2005;
Bergen Council of Ministers, May 2005, Short Summary of the Parallel Session on Doctoral Training and the Synergy between Higher Education and
Research, Dr. S. Reichert; IUA Reform of 3rd level and Creation of 4th Level Ireland, Oct. 2005; HEA Graduate Education Forum – Key Guiding Principles,
Feb. 2006; Proceedings of the HETAC Colloquium on Research Skills Needs, Sept. 2006.
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“the establishment of a world-class 4th Level Sector characterised by internationally
competitive masters and PhD level programmes that will deliver the next generation
of entrepreneurs and leaders capable of the knowledge absorption, generation and
utilisation that will be critical to Ireland’s future success.”
The proposals will have the most impact on the Level 10 doctoral programmes. An outline description of the
proposed new 4th Level graduate from doctoral programmes is given in Table 7.9.
Structured PhD Programme
• First year of PhD programme dominated by structured ‘taught courses’ in generic and domain-specific areas organised
on a trans-institutional basis?
• Decision point at end of first year when student has the option of either entering the workforce with a masters degree
or progressing to a full PhD degree?
• Years 2-4 of PhD training characterised by a high quality research experience supplemented by formal training in key
technologies, management and communications.
Table 7.9 Proposed New Fourth Level Graduates
Structured graduate research education will be a key contributor to the development of Ireland’s knowledge
economy and international competitiveness. The proposals above pose a challenge to this Institute in relation
to the provision of postgraduate research degree programmes in the future, in particular in relation to quality
enhancement and the broadening of the focus and training experience of the postgraduate researcher.
The provision of advanced courses that would lay the foundations for research is infeasible for most
Departments within the Institute sector working independently because of their small size; therefore there is a
compelling case for collaboration. The Institutes of Technology recently formed a Research Alliance, an initiative
funded under the Higher Education Authority Strategic Innovation Fund to provide sector-wide supports to
researchers, both students and staff so as to deliver the new 4th level graduates required.
The Institutes of Technology Research Alliance is an initiative where all of the Institutes have come together
to promote activities to improve and develop research programmes in the IoTs. It is funded under the Strategic
Innovation Funding Scheme primarily to formalise this consortium into a Research Alliance. It aims to enhance
the rate, scope and depth of the sector’s strategic and professional approach to the delivery of postgraduate
research degree programmes in the context of 4th education provision.
The Institute of Technology Tallaght is an active participant of this alliance which is led by the Sligo Institute of
Technology. The Alliance is mentored by collaborators in NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, the University of Ulster
and the University of Melbourne. HETAC, the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and DIT joined the Alliance in
January 2008.
The Alliance also provides support and training in coordination, benchmarking, training and dissemination of
best practice. The main strands of the Research Alliance are presented in Figure 7.8.
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Institutes of Technology Research Alliance
Graduate Research
Education Programme
Development
GOAL
Develop and Deliver
Programme for
Students and
Supervisors
Centralised
communications
network for
researchers
GOAL
- Website
- Discussion forum
Establish an annual
IoT Research
Colloquium
GOAL
- Hold an annual
colloquium on
research topics and
best practice
Formalise links with
Industry
GOAL
- Hold industry
meetings
- Host an industry
colloquium
Figure 7.8 Research Alliance Objectives and Goals
The first ever annual Institutes of Technology Research Alliance Colloquium took place at the Cork Institute of
Technology in February 2008. The Colloquium, ‘Developing Research in the Institutes of Technology’ focussed
on research practice in the third level sector, looking at current practise in research and research education.
It brought key stakeholders and research personnel together to hear about latest developments in the area of
graduate research. The colloquium examined the sector’s strategic and professional approach to research in the
context of improving the quality of education and structures for the delivery of post-graduate education and
research across the Institutes of Technology in Ireland.
The overarching objective of the Alliance is to improve the quality of education and structures for the delivery
of post-graduate education and research across institutions. It is believed that an accredited transferable skills
programme would give the student the transferable skills that they need early in the programme, allowing the
research team (supervisor and student) to focus on the expert area studies. The staff development part of the
programme will also improve the research by keeping staff up to date with latest developments through a
mechanism that adds value to the day-to-day teaching and research, without the stress of a full time
programme.
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An Accredited Level 9 Course in Transferable Skills for Research Students and Staff
The Research Alliance is currently putting together a programme for research students and staff. It has the
following design characteristics:
• A six module, 60 credit Special Purpose Award at Level 9
• Delivered by distance learning, with manuals and web support
• Delivery from a variety of Institutes
• Each module extending over 10-12 weeks, with 2-3 days of workshop contact.
• 3 core modules (Research Methods, Research Management, Personal Development)
• 3 elective modules to be selected from a suite (initial programme accreditation options are Data handling
and Analysis, Creativity and Entrepreneurship, Communications, in the long-term, there will be over
20 electives to choose from)
• Skills delivered to students at a time when they can make maximum use of the knowledge to further their
expert studies/research.
Module authors have been identified from across the Sector (Figure 7.9) and work on each of the modules
is near completion. A submission document is in the early stages of preparation for submission by HETAC
in June 2008.
Work on the website is underway and it will include a discussion forum for supervisors. The next colloquium
will be on Supervisory Practice. Industry meetings have also taken place.
Diploma in Research Practice
Core Modules
Elective Modules
WIT Lead
Personal Development
for Researchers
Research Management
CIT Lead
ITTD Lead
Data Handling and
Analysis
Creativity and
Entrepreneurship
IT Dundalk Lead
IT Sligo Lead
Research Methods
Communicating and
Disseminating
Research Findings
GMIT Lead
Figure 7.9 Graduate Research Education Programme Details
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7.6
Innovation and Enterprise Support
Research has traditionally been associated with the generation of new knowledge and up to the mid-1990s
the applications of research were predominantly taken outside the academic institution into industry where
product development and manufacture took place. Innovation is also about the creation of new knowledge
but also includes the use of that knowledge, primarily in the area of product development. Research and
innovation activities are inextricably linked particularly for those working on applied research projects that have
potential to generate outputs that downstream could be commercialised. The Institutes’ of Technology were
predominantly involved in research with a product or industrial focus since the start and indeed this is where
the OECD would have us concentrate our efforts in the future. As applied research in technological areas
matured and advanced in the mid-1990s a number of initiatives were funded by TSR (Strand 2) programme
and Enterprise Ireland to promote and enhance resources in the area of innovation and enterprise
development. These activities are not only the province of industry now but are seen as an essential support
element to bring academic research closer to the market place.
The innovation activities of this Institute are managed by the Industrial Liaison Manager within the
Development & External Services Office. Although the range of innovation activities are outside the remit of
the Academic Council, the R&D Committee is still used as a forum for discussion of innovation issues, such as
intellectual property, the commercialisation of research and campus company policy. These initiatives are a
resource that can be used by all researchers within the Institute. This valuable resource covers the
commercialisation of research, technology transfer, intellectual property (IP) management, licensing and
campus company formation. Also included are business incubation and enterprise development for both
campus and external companies.
The research of a number of research groups within the Institute is maturing to a point where
commercialisation is a real possibility. The nature of the industrial contacts being established, the tightening
of intellectual property management and the withholding of publications, indicate that a number of
groups believe they have reached this stage. The recent internal competition for the right to apply to the
Enterprise Ireland Applied Research Enhancement Programme, a new large-scale multi-annual scheme to
establish applied research centres of excellence in specific areas in the Institute of Technology sector,
demonstrated clearly that at least four groups within the Institute have developed technologies with
considerable commercial potential.
The Development and External Services Office has a number of ongoing initiatives that are designed to broaden
the culture of researchers to include entrepreneurship, innovation and ultimately product development for
commercial application. Information on these are presented below.
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7.6.1 Synergy Centre
The Institute currently has a new business support centre with 10 start-up companies located in a dedicated
incubation centre (Table 7.10). In 2001, the Institute was awarded a grant of €2.54m to design, construct and
manage an incubation centre on campus. This grant was awarded through the Enterprise Irelands Scheme for
Regional Innovation Strategies, funded under the National Development Plan. A further €0.5M towards the
cost of the Incubation Centre was raised through contributions from industry and from the Institute’s own
resources.
The Centre (called The Synergy Centre) is approximately 1,000m2 in area and comprises 16 flexible enterprise
units, nominally 25m2 in area, along with other spaces for applied research. It also includes concept desks and
corporate standard meeting and training rooms.
Through this centre companies receive support and access to research and technical expertise in the Institute.
The institute proposes to increase its capacity for this type of enterprise support by 200% over the lifetime of
this plan.
Company Name:
Business Activity:
Cleartone Technologies
Hearing test technology.
Documation Limited
Web-based system for creating and customising documents for print.
Global Security Devices
Design & develop wireless security systems.
IDIRO Technologies
The development of software to enable companies to profile and segment their
customer base according to social groups.
Renewable Power Generation
Fixed cost renewable energy to industry.
Skupe Net Ltd
Online systems to create classified and directory websites.
Technology and Internet
Property Services PLC(TIPS)
Purpose built intelligent gateway solutions for voice,Data & video services.
Minola Technology
Sap integrated PCC and IPR software to minimise customs duty payments.
Wirelite Sensors
Remote energy usage monitoring and efficiency provision for large users.
Ethanol Ireland
Production of ethanol fuels.
Table 7.10 List of companies located currently in Synergy Centre
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Synergy Centre Management and Strategic Direction
The strategic direction and governance of the Incubation Centre is the responsibility of an Advisory Board,
consisting of representatives from the founding partners, the Institute, Enterprise Ireland and other
development agencies, as well as respected entrepreneurial and business figures. The day-to-day activities are
managed by a Centre Manager.
The following supports through the Centre are provided to enterprises:
• Mentoring, enterprise development training, access to know-how networks and assistance with accessing
sources of finance and intellectual property rights;
• Physical infrastructure, IT facilities, meeting rooms, access to ITT Dublin resources;
• R&D and technical expertise, with access to equipment and testing facilities;
• On-going monitoring of business development needs and progress reviews;
• Flexible tenancy terms, and follow-on support for enterprises that graduate from the Centre;
• Integrated delivery of primary and secondary infrastructure i.e. campus-based and external (Enterprise
Ireland, County Enterprise Boards etc.).
Synergy Centre Support for Researchers
Synergy Centre liaises with academics and students, for example: referring research projects too and from
contacts, taking lecturers onto our Enterprise Start Programme, assisting with student enterprise projects,
talks to students. The Centre houses the CeltNet Programme and the seminar rooms of the National
Pharmaceutical Education Centre.
The Global Security Devices/ITT Dublin innovation partnership in the area of Radio Frequency is a joint Synergy
Centre venture with Electronic Engineering, which employs two research assistants. Synergy also has plans
for training in the areas of Intellectual Property and commercialisation.
As part of the enterprise support initiative the Institute has a suite of innovation laboratories, located in the
Synergy Centre, dedicated to joint industry, institute research projects in the disciplines of ICT and Sensor
Technology. The Institute will develop additional innovation laboratories in disciplines such as Medical Devices
and Pharmaceutical Product Development and Technology Transfer. This latter centre will be supported by the
pilot scale pharmaceutical plant which exists in the Institute.
It is envisaged that as the issue of generic training of research degree students advances in the near future that
these resources will become involved in the provision of some of this training in the area of entrepreneurship
in particular. There are a number of ways in which innovation activities feed into postgraduate training.
• Key subject areas can be taught through the Centre, such as business planning, intellectual property
protection, technology transfer and licensing;
• Members of the M50 team, including the Industrial Liaison Manager and the Programme Manager can use
real case studies and examples;
• Assistance and advice on commercial aspects to drafting research proposals. This has already been given to
teams of potential research students preparing entries for the Enterprise Ireland Student Enterprise Awards.
Market guidance and related assistance was also provided to the EI Applied Research Enhancement
Programme applicants in the recent competition to secure commercial research funding.
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Technology Transfer Support
For reasons of scale, it would not be cost-effective to deploy dedicated professional expertise in technology
transfer, IP management, licensing etc. in any one Institute of Technology. The Institute of Technology Tallaght
has in tandem with other Institutes, has been successful in securing funding for technology transfer resources
on a shared basis across the sector. Enterprise Ireland is seen as the logical provider of these resources, as it
already provides this type of resource to the university sector (for example, Enterprise Ireland personnel are
seconded to the UCD Nova Centre). It would also clearly be in line with the mission of Enterprise Ireland to
advance the commercialisation of research and the generation of knowledge-based ventures in the Irish
economy. It is also worth noting that the OECD report identified Enterprise Ireland as the proper organisation
to provide any recurrent funding for research or related activities to the sector. Funding from EI has recently
been secured by the Microsensors Centre for the preparation and submission of a number of patents.
Campus Company Policy
The Institute’s campus company policy is widely seen as being too onerous on candidate companies and too
rigid in its proposed operation. The working group convened for the DA taught programme evaluation of
Innovation activities recommended that this policy be revised and that the guiding philosophy should be the
generation of commercial activity, while not jeopardising the Institute’s assets or good name. The working
group also took the view that the requirement for the Institute to nominate a Director of the company is also
likely to be a major disincentive to the formation of campus companies. It is also increasingly unreasonable to
expect Institute employees to accept such a nomination in light of the increased corporate governance
responsibilities and potential personal liability of company directors.
In view of these recommendations, some minor amendments were made to the Institute’s campus company
policy and a full review will be undertaken by the R&D Sub-committee of Academic Council with a view to
recommending possible further changes.
Promotion of Stronger Links between Enterprise Development and Research
A greater mutual awareness and cooperation between the M50 participant companies and future Incubation
Centre clients and the research community within the Institute, is seen as beneficial to all and would lead to
synergies, particularly from the point of view of identifying commercial opportunities. It is recommended that
a concerted effort be made to bring the two communities together. Mechanisms such as better dissemination
of the activities of each group on the internet/intranet and the holding of events designed to interest both
groups are some of the avenues that can be used. These recommendations are currently being developed as
part of a wider strategy to promote a greater coupling between research and enterprise development within
the Institute through the Development and External Services Office.
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7.6.2 The M50 Enterprise Platform Programme
Prior to the opening of the Synergy Centre, the Institute’s involvement in enterprise development was
primarily through the M50 Enterprise Platform Programme (EPP). The M50 EPP was established in 2000 by the
Institute of Technology Tallaght, the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and Dublin City University (DCU).
In 2003, University College Dublin (UCD) joined the partnership between these three academic institutions.
The Institute of Technology Tallaght is the lead organisation in the project. The focus of the M50 Programme
is high potential knowledge-based start-ups (HPSUs). Participants on the M50 Programme are graduates
and the programme targets high-calibre individuals with extensive business experience in indigenous and/or
multinational corporations.
The M50 Programme is managed by a full-time manager reporting to the Industrial Liaison Manager of the
Institute. In addition to training, business coaching and mentoring, the programme provides financial support
and incubation facilities to entrepreneurs over a twelve-month time-span. The M50 Programme was originally
funded under Strand 2 of the Technological Sector Research Programme. For the period 2001-2003, the
programme received funding of €495K to support ten entrepreneurs each year on the programme.
The Institute secured an additional €841.5K in the follow-on competition in 2004, for the years 2004 to 2006.
Funding of €155 K was recently secured for an extension to the programme in 2008. A key objective of the
M50 programme is to commercialise the results of R&D in the third level sector and to promote synergies
between academia and industry.
7.7
New Initiatives for Graduate Education and
Institute-wide Research Support
The Strategic Innovation Fund (Section 7.4) paved the way for HEIs to develop innovative programmes to
enhance the quality and effectiveness of higher education and research. In the recent Cycle 2 announcements
the Institute of Technology Tallaght will be key players in the projects summarised below.
7.7.1 Addressing the Needs of the Knowledge Economy
This project has been funded to the tune of €9.5 million of which €1.45 was for the establishment of a
Research Co-ordination and Support Office for the IoTs and DIT. The proposal consistes of three integrated substrands addressing how the Sector can develop a knowledge society and transfer knowledge and technology:
1. IOT Flexible Learning Network – the core of the proposition is to establish an Open Institute of
Technology which will be committed to mainstreaming supported flexible learning within and across the
Institutes as an innovative and complementary mode of delivery, co-existing with established programmes
and delivery methods. It seeks to provide this innovative supported learning environment through the
mechanism of an ‘Open Institute of Technology’ Gateway. The aim of the initiative is to contribute to an
integrated national system of lifelong learning by ensuring equity of access for learners, enabling integration
and cost efficiencies across institutions, and by responding to the national needs of business, industry and
learners in the workforce for flexible applied education.
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2. Research Co-ordination and Support Office – the aim of which is to foster a research ethos and culture
of creativity which will:
• attract and engage increased numbers of staff within the individual Institutes;
• develop a professional interface with policy makers;
• create an environment for the enhanced operation of research;
• develop priority research areas;
• analyse and benchmark against international models;
• develop policies and processes for growing research capacity;
• develop a research brand image;
• create a forum for industry to enhance participation and develop supports within the IoTs for more
interaction;
• support technology transfer and innovation and develop capacity to commercialise research;
• facilitate recruitment and retention of researchers by individual institutions.
The Institutes of Technology Ireland (IOTI) and DIT will govern the Research Co-ordination Support Office
through a Steering Committee, with Tallaght as administrative lead, reporting into the Steering Committee and
channeling all funding.
Significant outcomes will be - that the Institute Sector will have clearly defined research priorities that will be
embedded in institutional strategy; they will have achieved critical mass in their research efforts and will be seen
as pivotal partners for industry, regional economic and social development, as well as knowledge transfer.
Such is the commitment to success that, if the need for the office remains, the partners will fund a continuation
of the network office through their own resources.
3. Enhancement of MIS Capabilities – the main objective is to create additional capacity by: creating
a business driven IT access system; addressing fragmentation of user identity; rebalancing the burden
of regulation, audit, compliance and implementation of security best practice etc.
7.7.2 The Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance. (DRHEA)
The Government’s 2002 National Spatial Strategy and the regional development strategy within the National
Development Plan 2007-13 both emphasise the need for coherent, coordinated frameworks to achieve
economic growth, social cohesion and balanced regional development. The Dublin city region is Ireland’s most
dynamic economic zone, the main destination of foreign technology investment, and the source of most
innovation contributing to the emergence of Ireland’s knowledge-intensive economy. At the same time,
however, the Dublin city region also exhibits substantial pockets of poor economic achievement, educational
exclusion, social disadvantage and poverty. This project secured €43 million in SIF Cycle 2 funding announced
earlier this year of which ITT Dublin has been awarded €1.1 million.
In order to sustain the competitive advantage that the Dublin city-region has acquired it is now proposed to
strengthen the region’s higher education sector through the establishment of a strategic alliance which will
enhance the sector’s contribution to achieving the high level goals set out in the National Development Plan
2007-2013 and other supporting strategies such as the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 20062013. The Higher Education sector in the region includes four universities and their linked Colleges (TCD, UCD,
DCU, NUIM) and four Institutes of Technology (DIT, IADT, ITB, ITT Dublin), many with long established and
internationally renowned reputations for excellence in teaching and research. These institutions have now
come together to establish the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance (DRHEA).
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Objectives
The rationale for establishing the Alliance is to further strengthen the contribution which the higher education
sector is making to the establishment of the Dublin city-region as an internationally recognized centre of
knowledge creation and innovation. In particular the Alliance will provide a structure through which
• The impact of the SIF on higher education in the Dublin region can be maximized,
• Strategic priorities and supporting collaborative actions can be agreed and implemented,
• More efficient dissemination and sharing of the outcomes from SIF Projects can be facilitated through an
enhancement via networks of the social capital component of the regions higher education system.
The city-region has a population that is expected to grow to over 2 million persons over the next 15 years.
The region’s highly-educated work force sustains a range of economic activities which underpin the region’s
high-productivity knowledge-intensive economy. It is the primary location in the State for inward investment
and it has the highest levels of national and international connectivity by air and sea. The city-region is also the
hub to which the majority of immigrants are attracted, a characteristic shared with many other creative and
competitive cities across the globe. Despite the acknowledged strengths of the higher education institutions,
and the extensive nature of the contacts that many have with other key stakeholders in the region, there are
also high levels of unevenness in third level participation rates throughout the region, with particularly low
levels in some disadvantaged socio-economic areas.
Programme of Work
For this round of the Strategic Innovation Fund the eight members of the Alliance have identified four strands
of activity where there is an immediate need for resources to enable collaborative actions (see Table 7.11):
1. Enhancement of Learning
2. Graduate Education
3. Internationalisation
4. Widening Participation
Governance and Management
The Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance (DRHEA) will be governed by a Board (see Figure 7.10
for organisation and structure) comprised of a Senior Academic Officer of each of the participating
Universities and Institutes of Technology; a Student Representative; the President of the Dublin Chamber of
Commerce, or nominee; the Dublin City Manager, or nominee; a Representative of the IBEC National
Partnership. The Board will be supported each year by the academic administrative office of one of the four
universities on a rotating basis.
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Strand
Lead Colleges
Objective
Enhancement
of Learning
DCU and IADT
The fundamental underpinning innovation is the foundation of the Dublin
Centre for Academic Development. This virtual centre will bring together new
and existing academic development expertise from the participating
institutions, to create academic training and development resources.
Graduate Education
UCD and ITT Dublin
The DRHEA will radically reposition the Dublin region as an international centre
for graduate education, and PhD education in particular, by combining the
strengths of five participating institutions (DCU, DIT, NUIM, TCD and UCD).
It will deliver a general, cost-effective and scaleable approach to interinstitutional graduate programmes, encompassing advanced taught courses
as a platform for research, which will far exceed the potential of five individual
institutions working separately.
Internationalisation
DIT and NUI
Maynooth
The DRHEA will collaboratively develop and internationally market the brand,
‘Dublin: International Knowledge Region’, as a centre for world-class higher
education and research. It will do this by combining institutional international
office resources to develop a coordinated, Dublin-wide, infrastructural capacity
to promote, market and to support international student growth and to
enhance the international student experience.
Widening
Participation
ITB and TCD
The Alliance is proposing the establishment of a Higher Learning Network
(HLN) which will link DRHEA institutions with other education providers
across the greater Dublin region.
This network aims to (i) improve access to and progression through higher
education by the above target groups, (ii) develop more flexible work or
community based and e-learning provision to meet the needs of these target
groups, (iii) enhance and simplify provision of information of learning
opportunities in higher education, and (iv) develop more agile response
mechanisms to meeting skills gaps identified by employers- in both the public
and private sectors- within the greater Dublin region.
Table 7.11 Summary of DRHEA Strands
In relation to research, the two strands of importance to enhancement of the student experience at ITT Dublin
include:
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Graduate Education Strand:
The proposal will have long-term impacts beyond graduate education. The very high levels of co-operation and
inter-operability required to develop collaborative graduate education will build strong links between the
different Schools and Departments across the Alliance. The institutions will use this as an opportunity to
establish joint strategic planning across the network for different academic disciplines, facilitating and
accelerating a natural process of specialisation and differentiation, ensuring diversity and breadth across the
system while facilitating strength and specialisation in the individual institutions. The proposal is fully aligned
with the recommendations of the HEA graduate education forum of March 2006. A comprehensive range of
advanced courses will be developed and made available to PhD students in five disciplines across the Dublin
area. Inter-institutional courses will be developed for postgraduate researchers in Biology, Chemistry and
Biomedical Science by UCD and ITT Dublin. This will enhance the quality of PhD education in keeping with the
4th Level provision.
Internationalisation Strand:
Under this strand of the project the DRHEA will provide funding for PhD studentships for students to be based
at ITT Dublin. A website is to be developed for the DRHEA as part of a brand development project. Overseas
Liaison Offices are to be established to promote the DRHEA colleges and postgraduate programmes primarily.
Other initiatives to be developed include the establishment of:
• Joint Promotional Programmes
• Needs Analysis of Students
• Training and Awareness Programmes.
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Governance
External Chair
Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance Board
Management
Chair
Management Committee
DCU
IADT
UCD
ITTD
DIT
NUIM
ITB
TCD
Activity
Strand
Management
membership: Strand Co-ordination Conveners (8)
Conveners:
DCU & IADT
Strand Co-ordination
Committee
Conveners:
UCD & ITTD
Strand Co-ordination
Committee
Conveners:
DIT & NUIM
Strand Co-ordination
Committee
Conveners:
ITB & TCD
Strand Co-ordination
Committee
Enhancement
of Learning
Graduate
Education
Internationalisation
Widening
Participation
Projects
Projects
Projects
Projects
DCAD Co-ordination Committee
E-Learning Network Committee
Figure 7.10
DRHEA Organisation and Structure
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Chapter 8
Public Responsibility And
Integrity
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Chapter 8
Public Responsibility And Integrity
The Institute is governed by the Code of Practice for the Governance of Third Level Institutions (2004) and
complies with all relevant legislation, including Freedom of Information; Data Protection; Health, Safety and
Welfare; and Employment and Equality legislation. The Institute’s commitment to equality of opportunity in
education was already discussed in Chapter 5, Section 5.3. The Institute recognises that a comprehensive policy
on equality of access is essential to its efficiency and effectiveness as a provider of education. The policy
statement on access was presented in Chapter 5, Section 5.4.
The Institute Handbook on Corporate Governance1 specifies the formal codes and procedures to be adhered
to across a wide number of areas. The integrity of the Institute and its collegial decision-making processes are
described in Sections 8.1 to 8.3 below. The responsibility of the Institute in providing comprehensive
information to the general public through its Marketing and Public Affairs Office, regarding its programmes of
education and training, and its resources and facilities are given in Section 8.4. In order to ensure that the
Institute can meet its obligations under the Freedom of Information Acts, 1997 and 2003, a Freedom of
Information Office was established in 2002, the functions of which are described in Section 8.5. The Institute’s
commitment to Health, Safety and Welfare are discussed in Section 8.6. Specific information on the promotion
of research and its outputs is given in Section 8.7.
8.1
Financial Reports and Accounts
The Institute is required to operate in accordance with the principles of good governance and to comply
with such guidelines and practices as deemed appropriate by the Department of Education and Science.
The Comptroller and Auditor General audits the accounts of the Institute to ensure that funding granted
by the State has been properly used for the purposes for which it was granted.
The Governing Body has established an audit committee, called the Internal Audit Committee, to ensure that
the issues raised in internal and external auditors’ reports, including the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor
General, are responded to in an appropriate manner.2
8.2
The Towards 2016 Partnership Process and
Interactive Governance
The implementation of the Towards 2016: Ten-Year Framework Social Partnership Agreement 2006-2015 in
the Institute is designed to guarantee collegiality and integrity in the Institute’s decision-making processes and
operations. The use of the partnership framework to address issues facilitates a process whereby a wide range
of people throughout the Institute have an input into the way the Institute undertakes its various tasks and
plans for the future. Hence, no particular individual or group(s) can dominate decisions within the Institute, and
the knowledge, talent and expertise that exists throughout the Institute can be fully utilised.
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1 As discussed in Chapter 3, the Institute is governed by the Code of Practice for the Governance of Third Level Institutions (2004) and by the Ethics in Public
Office Act, 1995. In September 2004, the Institute produced a Handbook on Corporate Governance, detailing codes of conduct for members of Governing
Body and all employees, along with codes of practice relating to internal audit and procurement functions, tax clearance procedures, disposal of assets,
remuneration, reports and accounts, and strategic planning.
2 Previously described in Chapter 3, Section 3.8 – Audits and Reviews of Management and Administrative Operations.
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8.3
Communications and Publications
It is the policy of the Institute to communicate continuously and effectively with all of its stakeholders so that
its mission, operation and activities are known and understood.3 A key enabler in that regard has been the
establishment of a Marketing Office within the Institute in 2005.
The minutes of Governing Body and Academic Council are made available to staff and students on the
Institute’s intranet. Increasingly, the deliberations of other groups within the Institute are being placed on the
website, along with Institute policy documents e.g. Finance Policies, Governance Policies, Quality Assurance
Procedures and Human Resource Policies. The Institute’s external website makes available the Institute’s
Strategic Plan, the Institute’s Master Plan, the Prospectus of Full-time Courses, the Guide to Continuing and
Professional Education Part-time Programmes, and other documents. Through the dissemination of
information, the Institute aims to ensure that its actions, plans and procedures are open and transparent.
8.4
Marketing and Public Affairs Office
The Marketing & Public Affairs Office works with Offices, Schools and Departments in co-ordinating,
overseeing and supporting activities relating to marketing and advertising, communications and events in the
Institute’s annual calendar.
The Marketing & Public Affairs Office operates from the Development and External Services Department.
Its compliment of staff is an Administrative Officer and Schools Liaison Officer reporting to the Head of
Development & External Services. It has an annual non-pay budget of €100k.
Marketing & Public Affairs also co-ordinates, manages and supports event management in Institute of
Technology Tallaght.
8.4.1 Public Affairs Section
Public Affairs is responsible for building public awareness of the mission and core values of Institute of
Technology Tallaght. Our goal is to promote the Institute, its programmes, people, events, achievements and
developments to a variety of audiences. These audiences include students, staff, government leaders
corporations, prospective students and their parents, the media and general public.
This is accomplished by:
• Working co-operatively with the media in providing information and press releases.
• Publishing editorials for the media.
• Maintaining the Media Directory
• Corporate introductory meetings with the President of Institute of Technology Tallaght.
• Maintaining relations with public representatives and Government Ministers.
• News Publications e.g Strategic Plan Update.
Public Affairs assists staff and other members of Institute of Technology Tallaght with their communications
needs. Public Affairs also manages the public relations activities of the Office of the President.
3 Policies in that regard were already discussed in Chapter 5, Section 5.9.
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8.4.2 Marketing Section
Marketing of prospective students for the academic year 2008/2009 commenced in September 2007.
Activities to-date include:
• Publication of the full-time prospectus. This publication provides details of the Institute’s programmes,
application and registration procedures and student support services. Twenty thousand copies were
published of which copies have been sent to 400 schools in Leinster.
• Letter sent to Schools Guidance Counsellors in ITT Dublin’s catchment area informing them of changes to
and new programmes. The letter also included a Schools Visit Request Form.
The Higher Options Exhibition is the biggest exhibition for prospective third level students. This exhibition takes
place each September in Dublin over three days and expects 10,000 visiting students, teachers and parents.
ITT Dublin, once again, hosted a stand which was manned by both administrative and academic staff.
3500 students sought ITT Dublin’s prospectus.
Exhibitions/Careers events also take place in second level schools. Some of these host the event for all schools
in their catchment area, others just host it for themselves. Schools exhibition events attended by ITT Dublin in
2007 are listed in Table 8.1. To-date 52 schools have been visited and given a presentation by ITT Dublin,
with details given in Table 8.2.
Event Location
Date
Clane Community School
18/10/2007
Ballyfermot Community Civic Centre
18/10/2007
Patrician Secondary School Newbridge
22/10/2007
Colaiste Eoin Cappagh Road Finglas
23/10/2007
Tallaght Careers Exhibition
23/10/2008
Coolmine Community School
24/10/2007
Castleknock College Exhibition
27/10/2007
Belvedere Careers Night
28/10/2007
Gorey Exhibition
29/11/2007
Wicklow- Dominican Convent Exhibition
17/1/2008
Table 8.1 School Exhibition Events Attended by ITT Dublin
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School Visited
Date
School Visited
Date
Colaiste Bride, Clondalkin
26/09/2007
Castleknock College
27/11/2007
Newpark Comprehensive School
5/10/2007
Belvedere College Careers Exhibition
28/11/2007
Our Lady’s Templeogue
05/10/2007
St. John's Ballyfermot
28/11/2007
Colaiste Bride, Parents Night
11/10/2007
Blakestown Comm School
29/11/2007
St. Mary’s, Naas
17/10/2007
Gorey Open Day
29/11/2007
Collinstown College, Clondalkin
17/10/2007
St. Kevin’s VEC Clogher Rd
29/11/2007
St. Paul’s Greenhills
22/10/2007
Our Ladys of Mercy Drimnagh
30/11/2007
Colaiste Ciaran, Leixlip
25/10/2007
Loreto College Crumlin
30/11/2007
St. Paul’s GBrunswick St.
25/10/2007
Blakestown CS
03/12/2007
St. Kevins Clogher Road
03/12/2007
St. Dominics VTOS Tallaght
4/12/2007
Notre Dame Churchtown
07/11/2012
St. Paul’s CBS Nth Brunswick St.
04/12/2007
St. Kevin’s CC
08/11/2007
Clane CC
05/12/2007
CBS James St.
09/11/2007
St. Louis Rathmines
06/12/2007
Kylemore College Ballyfermot
09/11/2007
Blakestown CS
03/12/2007
Sancta Maria Ballyroan
13/11/2007
St. Aidans Collins Ave
12/12/2007
St. John’s Ballyfermot Open Evening
15/11/2007
Collinstown Park CC
09/01/2008
Kylemore Ballyfermot
15/11/2007
St. Mary’s Rathmines
10/01/2008
Old Bawn Community School
16/11/2007
St. Johns, Ballyfermot
22/1/2008
St. Dominics Ballyfermot
19/11/2007
Goatstown
14/2/2008
Community College Lucan
19/11/2007
Notre Dame
20/2/2008
St. Killians Deutche Schule
22/11/2007
Loretto College Foxrock
28 /29 Feb
St. Aidan’s CS
23/11/2007
St. Colmcilles Knocklyon
Feb.08
Notre Dame Churchtown
23/11/2007
Beaufort College
Feb.08
St. MacDaras
23/11/2007
Rathmines Senior College
Feb.08
Dunshaughlin CC
26/11/2007
Portmarnock Community School
14/3/08
Table 8.2 List of Schools Visited by ITT Dublin
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ITT Dublin held its annual Open Day on 20th October 2007. A letter and flyer was sent to all secondary schools
in Dublin and Leinster. Weeks prior to the open day advertisements were placed in the Echo & Gazette Group
Newspapers. The use of “promobikes” in local schools prior to the open day provided an alternative advertising
medium and flyers were also distributed throughout those schools.
This is a great opportunity for us to display courses, facilities and careers that are available to potential students.
Each Department had its own individual stand providing information and displaying material relating to its
courses. Each Department also organised talks to highlight their respective courses and answer any queries that
potential students might have. Talks are repeated throughout the day to facilitate student attendance in the
afternoon. Some Departments organised a number of tours of laboratory facilities to run throughout the day
also. Approximately 1600 students from schools in Dublin and Counties Meath, Kildare and Westmeath
attended the open day.
The Institute courses and programmes and ITT Dublin profile are advertised on the website
–http://www.daycourses.com/profiles/cao/ittdublin/index.html
This is the most prominent website in Ireland for third level education. The view statistics for ITT Dublin to Nov
07 are given in Table 8.3:
Census Date
Number (in thousands)
11-2007
189.324
10-2007
243.657
09-2007
289.360
Table 8.3 Views Sept 2007 – November 2007
Prior to the CAO closing date in January 2008 the following advertising was conducted:
• Promobikes at Young Scientist Exhibition.
• Advertisements in Echo & Gazette Group Newspapers.
• Science Spin Magazine – Advertisement for Science & Computing.
• Radio Advertisement Campaign – Spin FM & 98FM.
• Television Advertisement – Setanta Sports.
• South Dublin Chamber of Commerce Careers Expo in ITT Dublin – promotion stand.
ITT Dublin hosted two Dinners in Scholars Training Restaurant. Guidance Counsellors on 31st January 2008
and Principals on 7th February 2008. It provided an opportunity to mingle, network and promote programmes
and developments in a relaxed atmosphere.
ITT Dublin hosted a stand at the FÁS Opportunities Exhibition which took place in Croke Park from
29th February to 3rd March inclusive. The event was an opportunity to promote both full and
part-time programmes.
Representatives from ITT Dublin attended the Institute of Guidance Counsellors AGM and Conference
6-8th March 2008. ITT Dublin in partnership with IT Carlow sponsored the IGC Event.
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8.5
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Officer assists students, staff and the general public with any requests for
information under the Freedom of Information Acts. It is the policy of the Institute to communicate
continuously and effectively with all of its stakeholders and to avoid necessarily having to invoke the freedom
of Information Acts. All student examination scripts are available for review by students following consideration
by examiners and Examination Board Meetings. Members of staff seeking feedback on staff interviews may
also receive marks and comments sheets upon request. The Institute’s policy is to ensure that its actions are as
open and as transparent as possible and to foster and develop a culture of openness, transparency and
accountability in all of its activities.
A Freedom of Information Office was established within the Institute in 2002. A Freedom of Information Officer
was appointed to develop and execute a plan to enable the Institute to fulfil its obligations under the Acts and
to assist individuals in exercising their right to access information. Part of this plan was an Institute-wide training
and awareness programme. Components of this programme include presentations to staff and a consultancy
service on any matter they wish to have explained or clarified.
8.5.1 Institute Obligations under the Freedom of Information Act
The Institute is committed to making available to the public information to the widest extent possible,
consistent with the need to protect the right to privacy of the individual and the obligations placed on the
Institute to protect certain types of information (subject to a public interest test).
Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Acts, 1997 and 2003 members of the public have a right
of access to the following records held by or under the control of the Institute, unless such records are
exempted under the Acts or otherwise publicly available:
• All records created after the commencement of the Act i.e. 22 October 2001
• Such records of a non-personal nature created before that date as may be required to understand records
created after the commencement of the Act
The Act also confers members of the public with the following rights:
• Reasons for decisions of Institute of Technology Tallaght affecting individual members of the public.
• Correction of personal information that is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading.
The following information is not covered by the Act:
• Information that has already been published and is available from the Institute
• Non-personal information created before commencement date – 21 April 1998
• Personal information relating to anyone other than the person requesting the information (there are
some exceptions)
• Sensitive information excluded by the Minister under the terms of the Act
• Personal records regardless of when created.
Applications forms for use by the public, which have been prepared for their convenience when making an
application under this legislation, are available from the FOI Officer, or on the Institute’s website.
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8.5.2 Freedom of Information Requests
A total of thirty six FOI requests have been received by the Institute since its implementation in October 2001,
with four of these requests in 2006, and seven requests in 2007. These requests are a mixture of personal
requests, non-personal requests and requests that were officially withdrawn by the requester. A number of
other FOI requests for general information were also received by the Institute, and in keeping with the spirit of
the Acts and endeavouring to place as much information as possible in the public domain, a number of
requests were dealt with outside of FOI.
Details of the functions, structure and services provided by the Institute and how they may be availed of are
outlined in a guide published in accordance with Section 15 of the Act. This document, A Guide to the
Structure, Functions, Services and Records of the Institute, is available from the FOI Office and also on the
Institute’s website.4 In addition the website provides the following information in relation to the submission and
processing of requests under FOI:
• FOI at ITT Dublin
• Section 15 and 16 Manuals (FOI Act)
• Institute record Management Policy and Procedures
• Data Protection Policy
• How to Submit FOI Requests
• Request Forms.
The Section 16 Reference Manual is intended as a practical guide to the services of Institute of Technology
Tallaght, to assist individuals in ascertaining the information which is held by the Institute and how individuals
can access it. This document is entitled A Guide to the Rules, Guidelines and Practices Governing the Activities
of the Institute.
Within each School/Function of the Institute, Officers have been designated with responsibility for ensuring
requests received, which relate to their particular School/Functional Area, are dealt with in an expeditious and
efficient manner, having regard to the time limits imposed by the Act for the processing of requests. There is
also an internal appeals procedure (Internal Review) where a request is refused on the grounds that the
application falls within the exempt provisions of the Act or is otherwise invalid. FOI Decision Makers and
Internal Reviewers have been appointed for the Institute by the President.
8.5.3 Role of Information Officer
In 2003 the role of the Freedom of Information Officer was changed to Information Officer to reflect the
broader responsibilities of the post. The Information Officer reports to the Secretary/Financial Controller and
performs the following:
• Formally receives and processes any FOI requests for access to information under the Acts and ensures the
strict timescales enforced by the Acts are followed.
• Operates and monitors the electronic FOI Request Register.
• As required by Section 15 and Section 16 of the FOI Acts, the Information Officer is also responsible for
updating and maintaining both manuals and ensuring manuals are available on the Institute’s website.
• Provides advice and training to the Decision Makers and Internal Reviewers and also to staff.
• Maintains the Institute FOI webpage and ensures that information is up-to-date.
4 http://www.it-tallaght.ie/GeneralInformation/AboutUs/FreedomofInformation/
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• Under the FOI Acts the Institute is obliged to comply with legislation and publish a Records Management
and Retention Policy to ensure that the Institute manages information which it generates and receives in
the course of its business in an effective and secure manner and also makes this information available to
the public in response to specific requests. The Governing Body noted these policies in December 2002 and
they were put on the Institute’s website. The Information Officer is responsible for maintaining the policy
and Records Retention Schedule and ensures that staff are adhering to the policy and retention guidelines.
• The Information Officer is also the Data Protection Liaison Officer and maintains the annual Data Protection
renewal application; processes any Data Protection requests (no requests have been received by the
Institute); deals with Data Protection queries from staff and students and updates the Institute’s Data
Protection Policy.
The Information Officer is a member of the Institute’s of Technology FOI Network. The Network meets
approximately 3 times per annum to discuss FOI issues in each of the Institutes. The Information Officer also
has responsibility for the following areas:• Preparation and completion of THAS Annual Returns
• Preparation and compilation of Annual Reports
• Institute SOP Log – compilation and maintenance of log5
• Web Content Management – ensures content pages of Institute website are accurate and up-to-date.
8.5.4 Development of Standard Operating Procedures
The Information Officer has developed the following Standard Operating Procedures and they have all been
approved by the President:
• SOP Training for Decision Makers and Internal Reviewers
• SOP Processing Requests by Decision Maker/Reviewer
• SOP Processing FOI Requests by Information Office
• SOP FOI Statistics
• SOP FOI Data Protection
• SOP FOI Annual Returns
8.5.5 Freedom of Information Training
All Decision Makers and Reviewers have received initial FOI training. This training was provided by the
FOI Officer or by FOI trainers both in-house and off-site. Training documentation is available on the Institute’s
FOI webpage.
Some Decision Makers and Reviewers have attended Advanced FOI Training which is provided by CMOD. This
training has been offered to all Decision Makers and Reviewers.
The Information Officer has prepared an FOI Reference Manual for Decision Makers and Reviewers and is
available to assist with any FOI queries. Staff Guidelines have also been prepared by the Information Officer
and are on the Institute’s FOI webpage.
5 See Chapter 12 for more information on Standard Operating Procedures in the context of Quality Assurance.
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8.6
Health, Safety & Welfare
The Institute has developed a Safety Statement based on the identification of hazards, assessment of risks and
the identification of controls employed to ameliorate these risks. The Safety Statement comprises a Parent
Safety Statement with accompanying statements from the Schools. The Safety Statement is available in the
Library and in each School office. It is being reviewed and updated currently following an audit of the Institute
and its facilities by external consultants.
The Secretary/Financial Controller is the Institute’s Health, Safety and Welfare Officer. The Institute, as a matter
of procedure regularly monitors various aspects of health, safety and welfare. The Health, Safety and Welfare
Committee meets on average fours time per year. Membership of the Committee comprises the following:
• Secretary/Financial Controller (Chairperson)
• Head of Development
• One nomination from each School and Support Function Health, Safety & Welfare Committee (not being
a member of TMT) – a total of 6 members
• Health & Safety Co-ordinator
• Human Resources Manager
• Students Union President and his/her nominee
• Staff Representatives – one from each Trade Union (max. of 3).
A centralised and comprehensive structure was put in place in 1998 to enable the accurate recording of
accidents/incidents within the Institute. The Student Health Centre Webpage provides comprehensive
information on the location, staffing, opening times, functions and services offered by the Health Centre. It also
provides information on local medical facilities, information on medical cards and application, and information
on men’s health and women’s health topics. A Student Health Centre leaflet is also provided with information
on these issues and information is also contained in the Student Handbook.
The Health Centre also prepares an Annual Report each year with information on attendance figures for the
Student Health Centre, as well as the number of referrals, attendance at GP clinics, etc. This information is an
important source of feedback for the Health Centre.
The main areas where accidents occur are in sports, science laboratories and catering (the class kitchen).
Accident and emergency referrals have fallen in the last two years, possibly as a result of efforts to increase
health and safety awareness among staff and students in the relevant areas. Students who have an injury must
complete an accident/incident form and note the root cause of the accident. This is important if corrective
action is to be taken to avoid future recurrence.
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8.7
Promotion of Research
The Institute website and all promotional documentation contain significant information on research activities,
programmes and performance in specialist areas. Detailed information has been published on:
• Research Centres and Specialist Areas
• Innovation and Exploitation of Research
• Postgraduate Research Information
• Research Facilities
• Research Funding
• Research Strategy
• Research News and Events
• Resources for Research
• Research Opportunities.
Details of the Research Regulations, programmes of study at Masters and Doctoral Degree levels and the
postgraduate student handbook are also published on the website, which also includes contact details for
potential applicants.
Academics integrate the research conducted in the Institute into the wider academic and industrial community.
The Institute recognises and encourages the principle that dissemination of research outputs should be used for
the greatest public benefit. The participation of staff in national and international conferences is therefore
actively encouraged and supported. The value of international student and staff exchanges for the advancement
of research is recognised as enhancing the research reputation of the Institute and is also facilitated.
8.7.1 Research Awareness
There are a number of channels for promoting an awareness of the research activities within the Institute.
At an academic level, staff and research degree students use the mechanism of internal seminar programmes
to create awareness for specific areas of research activity. Details are often placed on the open research web
pages. The Department of Science has been hosting an Annual Postgraduate Research One-Day Meeting since
2003 where postgraduate researchers present results to a wide target audience across the Department,
which is sponsored by local industry. The School of Engineering held a Research Seminar ‘Convergence’ Day in
2005 to communicate research findings across the School.
An Institute-wide Research Symposium was held in June 2007 to foster greater research awareness and to
encourage more internal collaborations across discipline areas. A number of joint seminar events have also
been organised in the biomedical and applied science for health areas which have included speakers from
collaborating institutions such as the AMNCH, NUI Maynooth and DCU.
In addition Schools and Departments actively encourage researchers to present at national and international
conferences, and have provided financial support for some of these in the past (see Chapter 5).
The Department of Mechanical Engineering hosted the 22nd International Manufacturing Conference
“Challenges Facing Manufacturing” in August/September 2005 where the majority of the academic staff
presented their research results. In Engineering and Science there is a particularly strong awareness of the
research conducted within specific discipline areas as a large number of final year Level 8 and 9 projects are
focussed on research topics. Those students gain firsthand experience on the day-to-day running of a research
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degree project as they are often integrated into a research group or team for the duration of their project.
They are also actively encouraged to attend research seminars.
8.7.2 Promotion of Research
The Development & External Services Office heads up the promotion of research activities across the Institute
and to external stakeholders. It does this through the Industrial Liaison Manager and the Marketing Office
predominantly. Promotional material for supervised postgraduate research is included in the general student
prospectus for potential full-time applicants to taught programmes. In addition the part-time prospectus
includes material on research. The Institute is committed to attracting highly motivated and academically
qualified postgraduate research students to its research degree programmes. All studentship and contract
research positions are advertised in the national press, and are often financed by the Institute. Research
positions for larger programme-based schemes are often advertised internationally. In addition all research
opportunities are published on the Institute’s website which has a dedicated section detailing the activities of
Research and Innovation.6 The annual Research and Innovation Magazine and the Alumni Association
Magazine also include promotional information on research.
8.7.3 Research Dissemination
The dissemination of research outputs is encouraged at School and Department levels particularly in
publications that are peer reviewed. The participation of staff in national and international conferences is also
actively encouraged and supported. Full details on research outputs, including an analysis of performance are
presented in Chapter 11 of this submission.
Within the Institute outputs from research activities have traditionally been published through the Academic
Schools and Departments in Programmatic Review documentation and brochures for specific taught
programmes of study. The Development and External Services Office has been collating information on
Institute-wide research outputs since the TSR Strand 1 programme started in 1996. This is updated annually, in
consultation with Academic Supervisors, Departments and Schools and is published as a separate document
and sent to academic staff. In addition the Research and Innovation pages of the Institute’s website and on the
staff and student intranet service provides some detail on outputs. The most recent collation of research
outputs occurred as part of Institute submission for the 2008 TSR Strand 1 applications and the current
delegated authority self-study process. The Institute hosts a number of national and international conferences
on an annual basis and information on research is always included in any marketing documentation prepared
for attending delegates. A list of conferences and workshops hosted by the Institute in 2005/7 is given in Table
8.4 and 8.5 respectively.7
6 http://www.it-tallaght.ie/ResearchatITTDublin/
7 Workshops organised by the Learning and Teaching Centre are listed in Chapter 7, Section 7.1.7.
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Conference Title
Target Audience
Training for Compliance: GMP Compliance Systems
National
SciFest Young Scientist Competition (annual event)
Dublin/Greater Dublin Area
3rd Annual Bionet Conference: The Biotechnology Showcase
National
22nd International Manufacturing Conference
International
Maths and Statistics Service Teaching Community of Practice
National
National Instruments Biomedical Measurement Event
National
Organocatalysis, RSC joint meeting hosted by ITT, Dublin and UCD
National
Chemistry and Cancer, RSC joint meeting hosted by ITT, Dublin and UCD
National
Table 8.4 Conferences Hosted by the Institute 2005/8
Conference Title
Target Audience
Institutes of Technology Mathematics Workshop
2006
IoT Language Policy & Planning Network Workshops
2 in 2006
3 in 2007
Creating chart animations in Excel” as part of the
Mathematics and Statistics Community of Practice
2008
Table 8.5 National Workshops Hosted by the Institute 2005/8
The Institute facilitates its staff and provides support for academic book launches which is another avenue used
to promote its research activities. All achievements and successes in relation to funding acquisition are notified
to all staff and research students of the Institute by email. It has been recognised that an Institute-wide research
magazine would enhance this awareness in the future. The first issue of a new Institute research and innovation
magazine “Research and Innovation at ITT Dublin 2007” was published in 2007, and calls for articles to be
included in the 2008 edition of the magazine were sent out to all researchers and staff in April 2008.
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198
Part Two
Education and
Training
Programmes
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Chapter 9
Taught Programme
Profile
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Chapter 9
Taught Programme Profile
9.1
Introduction
This chapter outlines the main disciplines of study within the Institute and provides a portfolio of programmes
available both in full-time and part-time mode. The development of new programmes at under-graduate and
post-graduate level reflects the growth and maturity of the Institute and the commitment to continuously
adapt to the changing needs of learners and of society.
Key aspects of education provision within the Institute are highlighted and the strategic goals for
its enhancement are discussed. A profile of the learner population at the Institute, distinguishing between
full-time, continuing education and international students is also provided. The most recent registration and
graduation statistics are also presented along with information on student retention.
The enhancement of learning and teaching activities is a key facet of the Institute’s mission, as stated in
Strategic Goal 1 of the Strategic Plan 2005-2008. The overall aim is the provision high quality taught
programmes with a practical and professional focus relevant to the needs of industry, business and society.
The establishment of the Centre for Learning and Teaching (previously discussed in Chapter 7, Section 7.1.5)
is a direct response to that strategic goal. The Centre assists the Academic Schools in the delivery of
programmes in areas such as the:
• giving direction to the enhancement of teaching and learning
• evaluation of pedagogic practice related to innovation in teaching and learning.
Programmatic Reviews are undertaken in all Schools on a regular basis, as discussed in Chapter 12, Section
12.5.9.
9.2
Disciplines of Study and Programme Portfolio
The Institute is organised academically into three Schools as shown in Table 9.1. Within each School there are
separate Departments who are primarily responsible for monitoring and administering their own academic
programmes.
Each School is managed by a Head of School with the assistance of Heads of Departments and
administrative staff.
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School of Business and Humanities
• Department of Accountancy and Professional Studies
• Department of Management
• Department of Marketing and Business Computing
• Department of Humanities
School of Science and Computing
• Department of Science
• Department of Computing
School of Engineering
• Department of Electronic Engineering
• Department of Mechanical Engineering
Table 9.1 Academic Schools and Departments
Some Departments encompass a wide range of discipline areas, for example:
• The Department of Humanities is responsible for a broad range of courses including Languages, Audio
Visual Media, Catering, Hospitality and Tourism.
• The main discipline areas within the Department of Science include Biology, Chemistry, Physics,
Mathematics and Statistics.
• The Department of Mechanical Engineering has developed courses in manufacturing, mechanical and
electromechanical areas.
Each School offers a range of undergraduate programmes from Higher Certificate (Level 6) to Honours Degree
(Level 8) level both in full time and part time modes and postgraduate taught Masters (Level 9). As part of the
process of ensuring that academic programmes within ITT Dublin reflect current and emerging knowledge, and
that they meet regional and individual needs, the Institute regularly develops new programmes across the three
academic schools in addition to updating existing curricula. The main mechanisms through which programmes
are monitored are the Programme Boards and the Periodic Programmatic Reviews.1
Following the establishment the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) in 2003/4, the Institute reviewed
all of its programmes, including course content, learning outcomes, methods of delivery and progression
criteria, to ensure that they meet the standards defined in the NFQ. Furthermore all Schools undertook
Programmatic Reviews.
1 Academic Quality Assurance Procedures are discussed in Chapter 12, Section 12.5.
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The following tables show the range of taught educational programmes on offer under delegated authority
from HETAC for the 2007/08 Academic Year in full-time and part-time mode in the Institute. The development
of new programmes is discussed in Chapter 15 – Implementing Delegated Authority.
School of Engineering
Higher Certificates
Higher Certificate in Engineering in Electronic Engineering
(Level 6)
Higher Certificate in Engineering in Electro-Mechanical Engineering
Higher Certificate in Engineering in Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor Degrees
Add-on
(Level 7)
Bachelor of Engineering in Electronic Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering in Electro-Mechanical Systems
Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Technology
Bachelor of Engineering in Manufacturing Technology
Honours Bachelor
Two years Add-on
Degrees (Level 8)
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Manufacturing Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering
School of Business and Humanities
Higher Certificates
Higher Certificate in Business Accounting
(Level 6)
Higher Certificate in Marketing
Higher Certificate in Business Administration
Higher Certificate in Audio Visual Communications
Bachelor Degrees
Add-on
(Level 7)
Bachelor of Business in Accounting
Bachelor of Business in Marketing
Bachelor of Business in Management
Bachelor of Business in Management Technology
Bachelor of Arts in Audio Visual Media
Ab-initio Bachelor Degree
Bachelor of Business in Bar Management
Honours Bachelor
Add-on
Degrees (Level 8)
Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Accounting
Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Marketing
Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Management
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Audio Visual Media
Bachelors of Science (Honours) in Management Technology
Ab-intio
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Applied Languages
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in European Studies
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School of Science and Computing
Higher Certificates
Higher Certificate in Science in Applied Biology
(Level 6)
Higher Certificate in Science in Applied Chemistry
Higher Certificate in Science in Good Manufacturing Practice & Technology
Higher Certificate in Science in Computing - Information Systems
Bachelor Degrees
Add-on
(Level 7)
Bachelor of Science in Bioanalysis
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Analysis
Bachelor of Science in Bio Analysis and Chemical Analysis
Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Technology
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management
Bachelor of Science in Computing - Information Systems
Honours Bachelor
Add-on
Degrees (Level 8)
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Bioanalytical Science
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Chemistry
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computing - Information Systems
Ab initio
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Pharmaceutical Science
Table 9.2 Portfolio of Full-time Taught Programmes
School of Engineering
Higher Certificates
Higher Certificate in Engineering in Electronic Engineering
(Level 6)
Higher Certificate in Engineering in Electro-Mechanical Engineering
Higher Certificate in Engineering in Maintenance Technology
Bachelor Degrees
Higher Certificate in Engineering in Mechanical Engineering
(Level 7)
Add-on
Bachelor of Engineering in Electronic Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering in Manufacturing Engineering
Honours Bachelor
Two years Add-on
Degrees (Level 8)
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Manufacturing Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electronic Engineering
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School of Business and Humanities
Higher Certificates
Higher Certificate in Business Accounting
(Level 6)
Higher Certificate in Marketing
Higher Certificate in Business Administration
Higher Certificate in Primary School Modern Language Teaching (Spanish)
Bachelor Degrees
Add-on
(Level 7)
Bachelor of Business in Accounting
Bachelor of Business in Marketing
Bachelor of Business in Management
Bachelor of Business in Technology Management
Bachelor of Arts in Audio Visual Media
Ab-initio Bachelor Degree
Bachelor of Business in Bar Management
Honours Bachelor
Add-on
Degrees (Level 8)
Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Accounting
Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Marketing
Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Management
Bachelors of Science (Honours) in Technology Management
Ab-intio
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Applied Languages
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in European Studies
Masters Degree
Master of Arts – Interactive Multimedia
(Level 9)
School of Science and Computing
Higher Certificates
Higher Certificate in Good Manufacturing Practice & Regulatory Affairs
(Level 6)
Higher Certificate in Good Manufacturing Practice & Technology
Higher Certificate in Science in Good Manufacturing Practice & Technology
Higher Certificate in Sterile Services Technology
Bachelor Degrees
Add-on
(Level 7)
Bachelor of Science in Bio Analysis and Chemical Analysis
Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Technology
Bachelor of Science in Sterile Services Management
Higher Diploma
Higher Diploma in Pharmaceutical Production*
(Level 8)
*
Masters Degrees
Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Production
(Level 9)
Master of Science in Distributed and Mobile Computing
A follow-on programme for holders of a Primary Degree in Science or Engineering.
Applicants should also be employed in a relevant industrial sector.
Table 9.3 Portfolio of Part-time Taught Programmes
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Programmes leading to FETAC awards are offered through the Department of Humanities and Electronic
Engineering as listed in Table 9.4.
National Framework of Qualifications
Named Award
Programme Title
Advanced Certificate in Tourism
& Hospitality Studies
Advanced Certificate in Tourism
& Hospitality Studies
Advanced Certificate in
Professional Cookery
Advanced Certificate in
Professional Cookery
Electrical Trades
Electrical Trades
Level and Award-type
Level 6,
Advanced Certificate
Level 6
Table 9.4 Portfolio of FETAC Programmes
Title
Award
Certificate in Auctioneering and Estate Agency
IPAV
Accounting Technician
IATI
Cisco
CNNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)
Diploma in Financial Management
ACCA
Certificate in Production and Inventory Management
IPICS
Certificate in Personnel Practice
CIPD
Certificate in Employment Relations, Law & Practice
CIPD
Certificate in Supervisory Management
IMI
European Certification for Informatics Professionals
Irish Computer Society
Certificate in Management of Food Hygiene in the Hospitality Industry
National Hygiene Partnership
National Certificate in Professional Cookery (Apprenticeship Programme)
FETAC
FÁS Electrician Apprenticeship
FÁS
Website Construction
ITT Dublin Certificate of Attendance
Certificate
ipav
Table 9.5 Portfolio of Professional Development Programmes
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9.3
Programme Structure
The Institute operates a fully modularised semester system in all Schools and Departments. The academic year
is divided into two semesters and students sit examinations at the end of each semester. Students pass or fail
the academic year on the basis of aggregated performance in both semesters. Assessment is primarily based
on a mix of formal examination and continuous assessment. The merits of a semester system, which
incorporates a strong continuous assessment component, include reduced pressure on students to perform
well in a single written examination, greater continuity in learning throughout the year, and a fairer assessment
of student performance, aptitudes and progress.
In keeping with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) the academic year has 60 credits available
(normally, but not exclusively 30 per semester). Full-time students must accumulate 60 credits to pass in a given
academic year, in addition to having a Grade Point Average (GPA) greater than or equal to 2.00 in each
semester and no F grades. Student performance is represented by the Grade Point Average (GPA) system
whereby the GPA values that students acquire determine the level of their award. Table 9.6 shows the awards
classification and GPA thresholds which are took effect from 1st September 2005.2
Award Level
GPA Value
Pass Certificate/Diploma
Pass Degree
2.0
Merit II Certificate/Diploma
2.2 Honours Degree
2.5
Merit I Certificate/Diploma
2.1 Honours Degree
3.00
Distinction Certificate/Diploma
1.1 Honours Degree
3.25
Table 9.6 Award Classification Categories
The grading system used to reflect student performance in individual course modules and the equivalent
percentage bands for examination grades are shown in Table 9.7 below.
Grade
Percentage Band
Grade Point Value
A
≥80
4.0
B+
70<80
3.5
B
60<70
3.0
B-
55<60
2.75
C+
50<55
2.5
C
40<50
2.0
D
≥35 but <40
1.5
F
<35
0
Table 9.7 Grade Point Values
2 Available to all staff in the Institute Marks and Standards Document.
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9.3.1 Routes to Award
HETAC and the Institute of Technology Sector pioneered the development of a flexible ladder system
whereby students can progress from two-year Higher Certificates to add-on Ordinary Bachelor Degrees and
Honours Degrees. Unlike the ab initio degree system, students have the option to take time out to work or
pursue other activities at the end of year 2 or year 3, having achieved a recognised award. The Ladder system
of two year Higher Certificate programmes with progression to add-on Ordinary Bachelor Degree and Honours
Degree programmes is the most popular entry route for applicants to the Institute. The introduction of ab initio
Ordinary and Honours Degrees, in keeping with the Bologna process, is a more recent development and it is
expected that there will be continued demand for both types of provision to degree level in the future.
A number of programmes have embedded awards, for example some students can graduate with a Level 6
or 7 award though originally registered for a Level 8 ab initio programme.
Minor and special purpose awards are also facilitated, particularly for part-time programmes. Table 9.8 provides
a list of the Minor and Special Purpose programmes that have been validated to date.3
Department
Programme Title
Award Type
Computing
Certificate in Web Design, Development and Maintenance
Special Purpose Award
Computing
Certificate in Network Management with Wireless Networking
Special Purpose Award
Computing
Certificate in Java Development
Special Purpose Award
Science
Certificate in Good Manufacturing Practice & Regulatory Affairs
Minor Award
Science
Certificate in Good Manufacturing Practice & Technology
Minor Award
Table 9.8 Validated Minor Award/Special Purpose Programmes
All modules on Institute part-time programmes4 are available to learners through the Accumulation of Credits
and Certification of Subjects Scheme (ACCS). All ACCS programmes are broken down into modules i.e. single
subjects taken over a semester. Each module successfully completed gains a number of credits for the student.
On successful completion of a module, learners receive single subject accreditation, accumulating credits
toward an overall award.
The Institute’s ACCS programmes replicate much of the full-time HETAC programmes in part-time mode,
with participants attending the Institute during weekday evenings. Participants may also attend modules
during the day-time if they wish. All of the Institute’s programmes comprise separate modules and
a part-time student is free to study some or all available modules of a programme. This offers considerable
flexibility and facilitates access to students who may wish to combine study with work and/or family and
social commitments.
3 Chapter 15, Section 15.5 has the listing for new minor and special purpose awards as recommended by Academic Council.
4 All HETAC and FETAC programmes.
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9.3.2 Collaborative Programmes
The Institute has been proactive in the development of several types of educational programme ventures,
such as:
Collaborative Programmes which are through partnership with national professional bodies, national
and international third level institutes and industry. The majority of collaborative programmes arises within
the School of Business and Humanities and are managed by the Department of Accounting and
Professional Studies. This Department manages the delivery of programmes leading to the awards of
Professional Institutes, such as the Irish Management Institute (IMI), the Institute of Accounting Technicians
in Ireland (IATI), the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) and the Institute of Professional
Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV).5
Cross-faculty Co-operation in Education Provision with Industrial Involvement: This is an important
feature of Institute programmes. Examples of cross-faculty co-operation in education provision, which have
involved collaboration with industry over the past 5 years, are:
• BSc. in Pharmaceutical Science: This was developed through the involvement of a Pharmaceutical Education
board, with industrial input, chaired by a member of senior management at Wyeth Biopharma.
• Intel People Management Programme: The Diploma in People Management (now the Bachelor of Business
Ordinary Degree in People Management) is a programme that was developed in collaboration with Intel
and the Irish Business Employers Confederation (IBEC). This programme is no longer running.
• The Bachelor of Arts Degree (Ordinary) in Technology Management and the Bachelor of Science (Honours)
in Technology Management. These programmes are offered by the Department of Management and the
Department of Engineering.
• The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Programme. This course, which has a strong practical focus,
is offered by the Department of Computing and the Department of Electronic Engineering. It is validated
by the networking solutions company, CISCO Systems Incorporated, the world leader in computer
networking solutions. The Institute is an official Cisco Local Academy and has been certified by Cisco to
offer courses of study leading to CCNA certification. While the CCNA programme prepares students to take
CCNA certification examinations, graduates may also receive single subject certification enabling them to
gain exemption from programmes in both of these departments.
• The Higher Certificate Programme in Safety & Health at Work. The Department of Science collaborates with
UCD in the delivery of a Higher Certificate programme in Safety & Health at Work. The Institute is a tutorial
centre for this programme, which is delivered in distance mode by UCD.
• A Higher Certificate in Bio and Pharmaceutical Analysis was recently developed and approved for employees
of Wyeth Biopharma.
5 A total of 371 students are enrolled on the Professional Institute Programmes for the 2007/8 academic year.
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International collaboration: In addition to international collaboration with other third level institutions under
the EU Socrates Programme, the Institute has established a strong partnership with a US university, The Stevens
Institute of Technology, Hoboken. The Institute of Technology Tallaght recently signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with the Stevens Institute to form the International Centre for Pharmaceutical Education (ICPE)
to deliver programmes in distance mode to pharmaceutical companies on a world wide basis. The initial goal
is to deliver distance programs in New Jersey area, then expand within the US, before launching onto a world
wide market. The development of the first pilot programs is underway. These programs will be delivered in the
US using Stevens Institute of Technology established Web Campus distance education platform.
The Institute is at an advanced stage in negotiating franchise and articulation opportunities in the
Pharmaceutical Science and Engineering areas with Higher Education Institutions in China, including:
Nanjing University of Technology – This is a large university with engineering as its primary focus. The University
was established by merging the Nanjing University of Chemical Technology and the Nanjing Institute of
Architecture and Civil Engineering. The University has nineteen colleges with 26,000 students including almost
3,000 PhD and Master Degree candidates. In total there are 2,200 faculties within these disciplines which cater
for fifty five Master Degree programmes, sixty undergraduate programmes and twenty three PhD programmes
in discipline specific programmes. Currently there are approximately 2,200 faculty and lecturing staff. Of these,
550 are full or associate professors. A number of these professors are members of the prestigious Chinese
Academy of Engineering. Within the Institute there would be approximately sixty PhD supervisors with an
additional four hundred supervisors of students pursuing Masters’ Degrees by research.
9.4
Student Numbers and Demographics
The student population has grown four fold (Figure 9.1) since the Institute first opened its doors, from 969 in
1992 to 3979 in 2007.
Total numbers reached a peak in 2001, rising to 4093 (full-time and part-time). The total enrolment that year
exceeded capacity figures (in terms of facilities and support service provision) primarily due to the admission of
a larger cohort of students to programmes in the Business School. This had a knock-on effect for the next
3 years in that the first year intake in that School was capped slightly to accommodate the increased numbers
in subsequent years of those programmes. The total number has effectively averaged out at approximately
3500 since then, though a slight decline was noted in the 2005/6 academic year. This was primarily due to a
slight fall in full-time rather than part-time numbers.
The Institute is committed to life long learning and the rapid growth in the number of part-time students
especially during the initial years is quite impressive. In 1996/7 the number of students on the part-time
programmes matched the number of students on the full-time programmes. There was a slight fall in student
numbers from 2002/3 to 2005/6. The Continuing Education Programme is organised on a self-financing basis
and in 2002/3 and 2003/4 some part-time programmes were ceased because they were not financially viable.
However, with the opening of the Part-time Office and the appointment of a Head of Lifelong Learning in
2006, numbers have begun to increase again. The growth and trend in enrolments to research degree
programmes is discussed in Chapter 10.
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4500
4000
No. of Students
3500
3000
3000
2500
2000
1500
1000
500
0
1992/3 1993/4
1994/5 1995/6
Academic Year
1996/7
1997/8 1998/9
1999/0
Full Time
2002/3 2003/4
Part Time
2004/5
2005/6 2006/7
Total
Department
Full-time
Part-time
Total
1992/3
1589
380
969
1993/4
1032
610
1642
1994/5
1344
934
2278
1995/6
1428
1200
2628
1996/7
1484
1500
2984
1997/8
1553
1509
3062
1998/9
1793
1274
3067
1999/0
2045
1471
3516
2000/1
2302
1598
3900
2001/2
2367
1726
4093
2002/3
2482
1465
3947
2003/4
2395
1213
3608
2004/5
2476
1111
3587
2005/6
2297
1181
3478
2006/7
2317
1557
3874
2007/8
2292
1687
3979
Figure 9.1 Institute Student Numbers 1992/03 to 2007/08
212
2000/1 2001/2
2007/8
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A comprehensive analysis of the learner profile with trends by year, Department and mode of study formed a
significant part of the Institute Self-Evaluation Report for Delegated Authority to Level 9 (Taught).6 Statistics for
the current academic year are presented below.
There are currently in excess of 3,900 students undertaking a range of taught programmes in full time and
part-time mode and through industrial professional programmes. Student enrolment (taught programmes)
details for the 2007/8 academic year are presented in Tables 9.8. Overall, the gender balance within the
Institute has remained relatively constant at 60% male and 40% female approximately, as shown in Figure 9.2.
Full-time
Part-time
Total
2292
1687
3979
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
1367
925
1002
685
2369
1610
60
50
%
40
Male
30
Female
20
10
0
1998/9
2003/4
2007/8
Figure 9.2 Institute Numbers by Gender
The students are distributed between the core Academic Schools as outlined in Table 9.9, with 59% registered
on programmes in Business & Humanities, including 437 registered on professional institute programmes and
another 78 registered on Failte Ireland programmes. A total of 88 students are registered in Electronic
Engineering as apprentices on Electrical Trades programmes.
6 Full-time and part-time evaluations are discussed in Chapters 6 and 7 respectively. Examination data, including yearly completion rates, is included for each
of the Institute’s Departments. Learner registration data and trends in CAO applications were also analysed.
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School
Full-time
Part-time
Total
Science & Computing
464
407
871
Engineering
398
351
749
Business & Humanities
1430
929
2359
Total
2292
1687
3979
Table 9.9 Student Enrolment for the Institute 2007/8 by School 7
The part-time figures refer to students registered on programmes up to and including Honours Bachelors
(Level 8) predominantly. The data presented in Figure 9.3 show that by far the most students have registered
for Level 7 Degree programmes in full-time mode.
1200
No. of Students
1000
800
Full Time
600
Part Time
400
200
0
L6
L7
L8
L9
Programme Level
Figure 9.3 Breakdown of students registered on taught programmes 2007/8
A total of 47 students are registered on Level 9 taught Masters Degrees in the School of Science and
Computing, as follows:
• MSc in Mobile and Distributed Computing
21 students
• MSc in Pharmaceutical Production
26 students.
The breakdown of students registered on taught programmes in full-time mode by year of study is given in
Table 9.10. Honours Degrees (Level 8) in Engineering are 5 year programmes. First year students account for
39% of the total full-time student population.
7
214
Figures taken from Banner on the March 08 census date.
A p p l i c a t i o n t o t h e H i g h e r E d u c a t i o n a n d Tr a i n i n g Aw a r d s C o u n c i l f o r D e l e g a t i o n o f A u t h o r i t y t o M a k e Aw a r d s : R e s e a r c h D e g r e e s L e v e l 9 a n d 1 0
Year
Business &
Humanities
Engineering
Science &
Computing
1
516
135
186
837
2
275
82
125
482
3
329
93
91
513
4
232
40
62
334
48
5
Total
48
Table 9.10 Breakdown by Year of Study (Full-time)
9.5
Learner Diversity
The profile and background of students attending the Institute has changed over the years due to a
combination of factors, including an increase in the number of non-traditional students attending the Institute;
increased participation by international learners with different cultural and educational backgrounds; and the
prevalence of a mixture of abilities and achievements in prior education.
Figures provided from the 2007/2008 academic year show that 63 % of the Institute’s students (full-time and
part-time) enrolled in taught programmes live within its primary catchment area of South County Dublin.
The majority of SDC applicants live in the Dublin 24 (Tallaght) postal district.
The figures also show that over 32 % of students come from within the combined Dublin Metropolitan
& Greater Dublin Areas (which includes County Kildare, Meath and Wicklow) reflecting the regional nature of
the student intake.
1%
3%
7%
5%
25%
14%
4%
4%
1%
2%
3%
9%
10%
9%
3%
Dublin 24
Dublin 22
Dublin 12
Dublin 10
Dublin 16
Dublin 14
Dublin 8
Dublin 20
Dublin 6W
Co. Dublin
Other Dublin
Co. Wicklow
Co. Meath
Co. Kildare
Other Nation
Figure 9.4 Student Demographics (2007/08) by Postal District
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There is a focus on increasing access by mature students, students with disabilities, students from
disadvantaged backgrounds and international students. The Institute has contributed greatly to extending
educational opportunities to people within its immediate catchment area. It has also initiated a variety of
initiatives to improve access to education at School and Department level and through the Institute’s Access
Office.8 The age profile of students registered for 2007/08 is given in Figure 9.5.
1% 0% 6%
3% 3%
1%
30%
1%
3%
5%
13%
34%
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25-30
30-40
Over 40
Figure 9.5 Age profile of registered students 2007/08
The Institute’s success in promoting access through these initiatives was evaluated by The Review of Higher
Education Participation in 2003, (HEA, 2005). It found that between 1998 and 2003, admission rates from
designated areas in Tallaght increased by 10%, from 26% to 36%. This is a testimony to the institute’s
proactive response to educational disadvantage in its region. However, social disadvantage is a multi-faceted
phenomenon and a major challenge to the Institute in the coming decade is the alleviation of social and
educational disadvantage in some parts of the County. The educational needs of the local population are
diverse and with the recent rapid physical and demographic expansion of the county, the educational needs of
local communities are increasing rather than decreasing. The Institute plans to make a major contribution to
the economic, social and cultural development of South Dublin County and its surrounding region over the
coming decade by improving the range of educational facilities at the Institute; channeling increased resources
into research, development and innovation; and increasing interaction with local community and business
organisations so as to develop state-of-the-art programmes.
9.6
Student Recruitment
It is the policy of the Institute that entry requirements are fair, consistent and transparent, and that all learners
should be satisfied that they have been treated justly. Arrangements are in place to ensure equal opportunity,
in compliance with equality legislation.
The Institute uses the Central Applications Office (CAO) System to offer applicants places on all Institute
approved (under delegation of authority from HETAC) Higher Certificate and on ab-initio Ordinary and Honours
Degree programmes. The majority of CAO applicants are standard applicants who have completed the Leaving
Certificate examinations. The Institute also has a number of other admission routes to taught programmes of
study. The admission routes for entry to academic programmes are given in Figure 9.5.
8 Refer to Chapter 7, Section 7.1.
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CAO Leaving Certificate Applicants
Advanced entry/Previous third level
Failte Ireland
IOTCEF
ITT
Dublin
Courses
Mature
Disability
Direct Admissions
Access Programmes (ACE\CHEAP)
Other/Non Standard Applicants
Other Access Programmes
General Certificate of Education (GCE)
FETAC
Figure 9.6 Admission Routes
The CAO admissions process deals with entry to all first year courses (with the exception of Fáilte Ireland) and
includes EU and non-EU nationals (who present with school leaving certificate or equivalent qualifications),
mature applicants and applicants with a disability. Offers of places are made each year in August and applicants
are offered places on the basis of points achieved in the Leaving Certificate or equivalent examination. The
Senior Management team fo the Institute, in consultation with Academic Management, decides on potential
numbers to be admitted to programmes. Minimum entry points are set for each programme and places are
offered accordingly.
Using the agreed minimum entrance requirements for Level 6, 7 and 8 courses, the CAO applies the nationally
agreed scoring system for the GCE and converts grades into points. Offers of places are made each year in
August with standard leaving certificate applicants through the CAO.
The recent CAO statistics indicate that Level 8 applications for the 2008/9 academic year are up by 63% on
2007, with first preferences up by 45% (Table 9.11). Level 6/7 applications are down slightly by 34%, which
may be due to the fact that some programmes have not been offered for the next academic year.
Applications 2008
Applications 2007
Level
No.
P1
P2
Level
No.
P1
P2
Level 8
2410
351
319
Level 8
1478
242
189
Level 6/7
4851
909
853
Level 6/7
6505
1119
1146
Total
7261
1260
1172
Total
7983
1361
1123
Table 9.11 CAO Application Statistics
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Direct entry admissions are facilitated for years subsequent to year one. This would include ERASMUS student
applicants. The admission of part-time students is carried out by the Part-time Office, which is managed by the
head of Lifelong Learning.9
The Institute of Technology sector is experiencing an increasing number of applications from non-nationals.
Following a proposal from the Institute in 2000, the Institute of Technology sector agreed to set up a Central
Evaluation Forum (IOTCEF) for applicants presenting with other European school leaving qualifications and
applicants from the rest of the world. The purpose of the IOTCEF is to provide a central scoring system for
applicants presenting with school leaving qualifications other than Irish Leaving Certificate and to provide an
open and transparent process to determine the minimum level of points, which equate with their performance
in their school leaving examination of their country. Staff from the Institute are actively involved in the Forum
and the range of countries covered in the scheme has increased from 54 in 2002 to 103 in 2005. The Institute
implements the score determined by the IOTCEF and offers of places are made in line with this system.
Following an initiative approved by Academic Council, the Institute facilitates access to higher education by
students from local disadvantaged areas. Two places are set aside for students who do not meet the minimum
points set for the programme in each of the six schools that participate in the Institute’s access programmes
(ACE and CHEAP).10 These places are subject to each student achieving a specific predetermined level of points
in the Leaving Certificate examination in addition to satisfying any special course requirements. Students are
admitted through the CAO process.
Following an initiative approved by Academic Council a number of places on engineering courses are offered
to students who successfully complete agreed post- leaving certificate programmes (PLC) in two local colleges.
The programmes are monitored and externed by staff from the School of Engineering and places are offered
to successful applicants through the CAO.
The Higher Education Links Scheme enables students who have received a FETAC level 5/6 award to apply for
a place in a higher education institution. The Institute reserves a quota of 10% of places on Higher Certificate
and ab initio Ordinary Degree courses, for applicants presenting with FETAC level 5/6 awards. FETAC applicants
are assessed separately from all other applicants. Applicants must have obtained a full level 5/6 award and are
scored by the CAO in accordance with an agreed national agreed scoring system for the calculation of points.
Some courses require specific awards and details are shown in the full time prospectus or in the FETAC Guide
to the Higher Education Links Scheme (2003). In recent years the quota of 10% has been achieved in Business
and Audio Visual Media programmes, but not in Science, Engineering or Computing programmes.
The Institute reserves a minimum of two places on each programme for applicants who have a disability and
do not meet the minimum entry point requirements. These candidates may not be required to meet the
minimum entry points for an individual programme in a particular year. Applicants with disabilities are advised
to inform the Institute, by ticking the relevant box on page one of the CAO application form. The CAO then
contacts the applicant to obtain further details and then supplies these details to the Institute, to allow the
Institute to make provision for an adequate level of supporting services should the applicant gain a place.
Applicants with disabilities are advised to visit the Institute prior to the CAO offer round to determine what
facilities are available.11
9 See Chapter 7, Section 7.1.8 for more information
10 These initiatives were discussed in Chapter 7, Section 7.1 and fall under the remit of the Access Officer.
11 Access initiatives for students with disabilities and/or specific learning difficulties were considered in Chapter 7.
218
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Admission to Fáilte Ireland courses is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding formalising the
consortium agreement between Institutes of Technology and Fáilte Ireland, in relation to their individual roles
and responsibilities in providing higher education and training programmes to meet the needs of the hospitality
industry in Ireland. Applicants for Fáilte Ireland courses apply directly to Fáilte Ireland (and not to the CAO).
The Institute is subsequently advised of the applicants to be admitted.
The Institute reserves up to 10% of places for mature students12 who do not meet the minimum entry point
requirements. Mature applicants may not be required to meet the minimum entry requirements specified for
standard applicants. Applicants are considered on their merits, taking into account work and life experience
and are judged on their individual merits i.e. their suitability for higher education and not for a specific course
application. Offers of places are made in the first round of offers along with standard applicants.
No-standard applicants with grades from an acceptable alternative examination to the Leaving Certificate
(e.g. Matriculation, Senior Certificate) can be considered for entry to the Institute.
Table 9.12 shows some of the main schools from which the Institute received students in 2007, indicating the
number of students who accepted places at the Institute and the percentage of the leaving certificate cohort
in the school that they represent.
A high percentage of students from local schools in the immediate catchment areas of Tallaght and Clondalkin
accept places at the Institute. The Institute also receives a high percentage of leaving certificate students
from Templeogue College and Terenure College. Table 9.12 represents those schools who placed ITT Dublin as
the college of first choice for 2007. A significant number of students from some of the private colleges,
including Bruce College, Belvedere College and Stratford College, also attend the Institute. Therefore, from
a socio-economic perspective, the student population is quite diverse.
12 A mature applicant is defined as a person who, by January 1st of the year s/he seeks admission, has reached the age of 23 years.
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No. Students who sat
Leaving Certificate
Total % who went
to 3rd Level at HEI
No. who accepted
places at ITT Dublin
School
District
125
48
25
St. Marks Community School,
Tallaght.
Dublin 24
31
55
7
Colaiste De Hide
Dublin 24
129
51
19
Colaiste Bride, Clondalkin.
Dublin 22
63
60
4
Colaiste Cillian, Clondalkin
Dublin 22
109
50
17
Moyle Park College,
Clondalkin.
Dublin 22
66
76
25
Firhouse Community School,
Tallaght.
Dublin 24
99
46
24
Mean Scoil Iongaid Ris
Dublin 12
-
-
-
Rathmines College,
Rathmines
Dublin 6
110
52
29
Old Bawn Community
School, Tallaght.
Dublin 24
95
85
29
Templeogue College,
Dublin 6W.
Dublin 6W
107
83
20
St. Mac Daras
Dublin 6W
91
101
24
Terenure College
Dublin 6W
68
50
15
Community School, Tallaght.
Dublin 24
97
59
11
St. Pauls Secondary School,
Greenhills, D6W.
Dublin 12
73
38
19
St. Johns College
Dublin 10
38
63
13
Ballinteer Community School
Dublin 16
95
86
19
Knocklyon Community School
Dublin 16
60
20
8
KillinardenCommunity
School, Tallaght.
Dublin 24
13
69
4
Rockbrook
Dublin 16
35
37
19
Jobstown Community
College, Tallaght
Dublin 24
45
33
12
Collinstown Park,
Clondalkin.
Dublin 22
33
24
6
St. Aidan’s Community
School, Brookfield, Tallaght.
Dublin 24
101
43
3
Rathcoole
Dublin 24
34
29
6
St. Kevins
Dublin 22
50
20
4
Deabsrath
Dublin 22
46
20
7
Synge St.
Dublin 8
Source:
220
Information derived from the “Who Went to College in 2007”Published by the Irish Times Dec.2007
Table 9.12 Recruitment from Local Schools 2007/8
A p p l i c a t i o n t o t h e H i g h e r E d u c a t i o n a n d Tr a i n i n g Aw a r d s C o u n c i l f o r D e l e g a t i o n o f A u t h o r i t y t o M a k e Aw a r d s : R e s e a r c h D e g r e e s L e v e l 9 a n d 1 0
9.7
Transfer and Progression
The Institute has the following transfer and progression arrangements in place to facilitate (i) entry at years
other than year one (ii) admission of applicants from other third level institutions, (ii) progression to add-on
ordinary and honours degrees by continuing students and (iii) for transfer from the Masters to the Doctoral
Degree register (Chapter 10).
Direct admissions to Add-On Ordinary Degrees and Honours Degrees
Entry to add on Ordinary and Honours degrees in the ladder system is managed by the Institute in line with an
established policy. Typically this is done on the basis of ranking applicants on the basis of their Grade Point
Average (GPA) in their previous qualification. Heads of Department examine and assess applications and
recommend offers of places. The Registrars Office then offers places and makes the appropriate fee decisions.
The majority of such applicants are students of the Institute wishing to continue their studies. The Institute
publishes criteria for admission to add on programmes in the student handbook and on the Institute’s website.
Press advertisements, notice boards and emails inform applicants of the courses available, the application
process and deadlines applying.
Registrations from 2007 to add-on programmes and Honours Degrees are done online. The Institute is to first
in the sector to provide online registrations of this kind.
9.7.1 Transfer Arrangements: Taught Programmes
Advanced Entry to years other than Year one
Applicants with previous third level attainment apply directly to the Institute. Heads of Department assess
applications and make recommendations with regard to admission. Based on these recommendations, the
Registrars Office offers places to applicants and makes the appropriate fee decisions.
ERASMUS Students
The Institute has developed co-operation with more than 30 higher education institutions throughout Europe.
Interested students apply through the International Office to join Institute programmes for a semester or a year.
A handbook is provided for Erasmus students and a special induction course is organised in conjunction with
the International Office. The process and induction is reviewed at regular intervals and improvements in
processes and procedures made accordingly.
9.7.2 Progression Arrangements
Taught Programmes: Progression Criteria
For progression from a Higher Certificate to an Ordinary Degree programme a student must have achieved a
pass in the Higher Certificate, or hold an equivalent qualification. Where places on degree programmes are
limited, they are offered on an ‘order of merit basis’. Places on Honours Degree programmes may also be
limited. In general, admission to Honours Degree courses (one year add on to the Ordinary Degree), is restricted
to students who have achieved a Pass in an appropriate Ordinary Degree Course. However, in the case of
Engineering (2 years add on to Ordinary Degree), the minimum requirement for progression is a GPA of 2.75
and an average B grade in Mathematics at Ordinary Degree level or an equivalent Mathematics standard.
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All modules on Institute part-time programmes13 are available to learners through the Accumulation of Credits
and Certification of Subjects Scheme (ACCS). All ACCS programmes are broken down into modules i.e. single
subjects taken over a semester. Each module successfully completed gains a number of credits for the student.
On successful completion of a module, learners receive single subject accreditation, accumulating credits
toward an overall award.
The Institute’s ACCS programmes replicate much of the full-time HETAC programmes in part-time mode,
with participants attending the Institute during weekday evenings. Participants may also attend modules
during the day-time if they wish. All of the Institute’s HETAC programmes comprise separate modules and
a HETAC part-time student is free to study some or all available modules of a programme. This offers
considerable flexibility and facilitates access to students who may wish to combine study with work and/or
family and social commitments.
9.8
Completion Rates
A sector wide study, published in May 2006 on Completion Rates for Students Taking Full-time Programmes
of Study in the Institutes of Technology showed that for this Institute:
• Completion rates rose from 54.3% to 77% in six years from 1999 to 2004. This is greater than the national
average 75%.
• Certificate and diploma completions rose 25% above previously reported OECD sector figures.14
• Degree level completion rates rose to 94% in 2004, which is 18% above the OECD sector mean.
The study was based on the three years of graduation 2002, 2003 and 2004. ITT Dublin statistics and
comparison with the national average is shown in Table 9.13.
2002
2003
2004
Level
6/7
Level
8
All
Level
6/7
Level
8
All
Level
6/7
Level
8
All
National Averages
69.4
87.7
73.3
70.0
86.8
74.5
70.4
87.4
74.8
ITT Dublin
76.6
91.5
79.6
75.8
105.3*
81.5
72.0
93.7
77.0
* The 105.3% arises because of student transfers from other courses in an Institute, or from other Institutions.
Table 9.13 Percentage Completion Rates (weighted) 2002 – 2004
13 All HETAC and FETAC programmes.
14 From data reported most recently by the OECD in 2005.
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The most significant fall out is seen in first year and the report found that improvements in retention
were related to the efforts made by Institutes in supporting “at risk” students. The establishment of the
Learning Support Unit has been highly effective in recent years here at this Institute, along with other
interventions and supports previously discussed in Chapter 7 – Learner Supports and Services. The most
significant interventions include:
• Working with Guidance Councilors at second-level to ensure greater awareness and information before
entry to third-level;
• School visits and information sessions;
• Orientation programmes for all years, including first years;
• Staff training in teaching and learning skills and staff consultation on student progress;
• Student attendance monitoring;
• Extra tuition for students experiencing learning difficulties.
A comprehensive analysis of retention and completion rates was included in the Taught Delegated Authority
submission.15 It showed that approximate average yearly completion rates for the various examinations are Year
One (67.8%), National Certificate Award (84.3%), National Diploma (Bachelors Level 7 Degree) Award (86.4%)
and Honours Bachelors (Level 8) Degree (93.8%).16 As a general trend, completion rates are lower in first year,
however, as students progress to Certificate to Degree levels, completion rates improve, with the highest yearly
completion rate at Honours Degree level.
15 Chapter 6, Section 6.11 of Delegated Authority Self-Evaluation Report, Feb. 2006.
16 This is based on the average completion rates (over six years) of the different departments. Refer to the final column in the table below
Figure 6.15, Section 6.11 in reference 15 above.
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224
Chapter 10
Research Degree
Enrolments and
Graduates
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Chapter 10
Research Degree Enrolments and
Graduates
Extensive data has been compiled on the scale of the Institute’s research activities across all Departments, for
the purposes of the accreditation to maintain a research degree register and delegated authority submissions.
This chapter sets out to evaluate the Institute’s research degree programmes under the following headings:
• Postgraduate Enrolments
• Graduation Numbers.
The results of postgraduate research have also informed a number of teaching programmes in the Schools of
Engineering and Science & Computing. Hence, the impact of research on the Institute’s taught programmes is
also discussed.
There is a significant amount of research being conducted in the area of teaching and learning at the Institute
which has led to a number of important outputs in recent years. Much of this work falls under the area of
educational research and it has helped enhance best practice in the teaching and learning cycle in a number
of areas here in recent years. A summary of this type of research activity is also included.
10.1
Postgraduate Enrolments
No. of Students on Live RDP Register
A cumulative total of 222 students have been admitted to the research degree register leading to postgraduate
award to date. The Institute has experienced a steady growth in the number of research students particularly
over the last five years. The growth in the number of students registered on research degree programmes in
the Institute over a 10 year period to 2007/2008 is shown in Figure 10.1.
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
1994/5
1995/6
1996/7
1997/8
1998/9
1999/0
2000/1
2001/2
2002/3
2003/4
2004/5
2005/6
2006/7
2007/8
Academic Year
Figure 10.1
226
Live Register Data for Students Registered on Research Degree Programmes
A p p l i c a t i o n t o t h e H i g h e r E d u c a t i o n a n d Tr a i n i n g Aw a r d s C o u n c i l f o r D e l e g a t i o n o f A u t h o r i t y t o M a k e Aw a r d s : R e s e a r c h D e g r e e s L e v e l 9 a n d 1 0
The numbers have risen from 11 in 1997 to 80 in 2007/8. This is directly related to the increase in the number
of external funding awards secured for postgraduate research projects. Calls for research funding are normally
cyclical and take place over the whole year. Hence, recruitment does not take always place at the start of the
academic year. Studentship posts are filled on an ongoing basis throughout the year. So by the end of the
2007/8 academic year 12 more candidates will have begun their postgraduate research, pending a successful
outcome to the recruitment drives currently in progress and their admission to the research degree register.
The most recent information published by HETAC placed ITT Dublin 3rd within the IoT sector, after the largest
colleges CIT and WIT (Table 10.1). Doctoral degree students account for 20% of the total number of 618
learners currently registered in the Institute Sector. ITT Dublin postgraduate researchers account for 13% of the
total figure. This data was published by HETAC on 16/01/2008. At ITT Dublin 22% of those currently registered
for research degrees are on the PhD register.
Institute Name
Masters
PhD
Total
Athlone Institute of Technology
38
5
43
Institute of Technology Blanchardstown
12
2
14
Institute of Technology Carlow
19
14
33
Cork Institute of Technology
96
29
125
Dundalk Institute of Technology
26
4
30
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
70
5
75
IADT DunLaoghaire
10
Institute of Technology Sligo
25
7
32
Institute of Technology Tallaght
61
17
78
Institute of Technology Tralee
21
5
26
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
9
2
11
Limerick Institute of Technology
18
3
21
Waterford Institute of Technology
91
29
120
Total
496
122
618
10
Table 10.1 Registration Status of Institute Sector Research Learners
10.1.1 Historical Information
New enrolments have shown a steady increase since 1993 as shown in Figures 10.2. The peak in registrations
for 1996 was directly related to the attainment of the first Technological Sector Research (TSR) Strand I awards
in that year. The upsurge in enrolments from 2001 to 2003 was due to the amount of high level funding
secured through programme-based rather than project-based mechanisms, specifically through the PRTLI and
TSR Strand III collaborative ventures. This allowed for a number of students to work in a particular thematic
area and set up the framework for the establishment of critical mass in targeted areas.
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In 2004 a lot of effort was expended on unsuccessful applications to the SFI/IRCSET Basic Research Grants
Scheme, with the result that fewer applications were made to other programmes. In addition, the Institute did
not secure programme-based funding that year. The majority of the projects funded were under Strand I that
year. The call for this scheme was late in the academic year therefore most of these studentships were not filled
until the first half of 2005. This is responsible in part for the increase in the 2005 enrolment figure.
35
No. of New Admissions
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
Year
Figure 10.2
Trends in New Admissions to Research Degree Programmes
The slight decline in 2007 is due to the fact that limitations in physical resources in Science meant less funding
applications were submitted to TSR Strand 1 programmes. The 2007 figure can be augmented by the 9
students who transferred to the PhD register. In addition recruitment drives are still in progress for new students
to work on the 2007 Strand 3 and PRTLI funded projects (see Section 10.1.3 for more information).
The breakdown of Masters enrolments by award shows that the greatest number of students registered initially
for research degree programmes leading to M.Sc. (Figure 10.3).
20
18
No. of Students
16
14
MSc
12
10
MEng
8
6
MA
4
2
0
1994
1996
1998
2000
2002
2004
Year of Admission
Figure 10.3
228
New Admissions to Masters by Research 1994 - 2007
2006
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Table 10.2 presents the breakdown of Masters enrolments by Department and shows the greatest number to
have been in Science, though in recent years numbers have risen significantly in Humanities and Mechanical
Engineering.
Department
No. of Admissions
Humanities
13
Electronic Engineering
22
Mechanical Engineering
21
Computing
25
Science
111
Table 10.2 Masters (Research) Admissions by Department 1994 - 2007
The first admission to the PhD register via the transfer route from Masters was in 1998, with 28 between 2003
and 2007. This is in accordance with the Institute regulations which requires all candidates to register for
Masters Award on entry unless they already hold a Masters by Research. In 2007 over 32% of the total number
of registered Masters Students successfully transferred to the Doctoral Degree register. An analysis of
admissions to PhD degrees is presented in Figures 10.4 and 10.5.
9
8
No. of Students
7
6
Direct Admission
5
4
Transfer from Masters
3
Total PhD
2
1
0
1994
1996
1998
2000
2002
2004
2006
Year of Admission
Figure 10.4
New Admissions to PhD 1994 – 2007
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24%
Direct Admission
Transfer Route
76%
Figure 10.5
Admission Routes to PhD
The majority of admissions to PhD have been in Science as shown in Table 10.3 which presents detail on PhD
admissions by School and Department.
Department
No. of PhD Admissions
Direct
Transfer
Humanities
1
Electronic Engineering
1
Mechanical Engineering
1
Science
9
29
• Biology
6
8
• Chemistry
2
21
• Mathematics
1
Table 10.3 PhD Admissions by Department
The following diagram (Figure 10.6) shows the growth in supervised research studies by School since 1993. It
demonstrates that growth has been experienced across all schools. The most notable growth has been in
Science enrolments, indicative of the funding secured by that Academic School.
120
No. of Students
100
80
1994-1999
60
1998-2001
40
2002-2007
20
0
Science & Computing
Engineering
Business & Humaities
Year of Admission
Figure 10.6
230
Trends in Enrolments across Schools 1994 - 2007
A p p l i c a t i o n t o t h e H i g h e r E d u c a t i o n a n d Tr a i n i n g Aw a r d s C o u n c i l f o r D e l e g a t i o n o f A u t h o r i t y t o M a k e Aw a r d s : R e s e a r c h D e g r e e s L e v e l 9 a n d 1 0
The first enrolment to Engineering took place in 1994. Growth has been significant particularly since 2001.
The first enrolments for research masters degrees in the School of Business & Humanities took place in 2001
in the Department of Humanities. Within the School of Science and Computing, the majority of registrations
were for research programmes in Science, again most notably in Biology and Chemistry, with admissions to
Computing accounting for 18% of the total number (Table 10.2).
10.1.2 Current Live Register
Records from the Registrar’s Office show there were 64 students registered for Masters and 16 students
registered for PhD qualifications by research for the 2007/8 academic year. These students are undertaking
supervised research study on a full time basis predominantly, and are at various stages of completion. There are
currently 4 students enrolled in part-time mode. The figures presented in Table 10.4 which show the
breakdown of registered students between Departments and Schools for the 2007/8 academic year. Appendix
8 shows the complete list of current research degree projects with details of students and supervisors.
School/Department
Masters Students Registered
PhD Students Registered
School of Business & Humanities
7
2
Humanities
7
2
School of Engineering
16
1
Electronic Engineering
7
Mechanical Engineering
9
1
School of Science & Computing
42
13
Science
38
13
Computing Science
3
Institute Total
64
16
Table 10.4 Details on the 2007/8 Register for Research Degree Programmes
The majority of those students currently registered have studentship grants from a variety of funding agencies
as shown in Table 10.5. A total of 7 students are self-funded, primarily in Computing and Humanities.
In addition the Institute is supporting 4 members of staff in their research studies.
Funding Source
Engineering
Business & Humanities
Science & Computing
5
Institute PhD Continuation Funding
5
24
TSRI Strand 1
5
TSRI Strand 3
1
3
Embark (IRCSET)
2
3
HEA PRTLI
1
1
1
Enterprise Ireland (AREP)
AMNCH
1
1
Industry
IMP
1
Table 10.5 Analysis of Funding of Current Postgraduate Students by School
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10.1.3 New Enrolments and Future Trends
The number of postgraduate students on the live register for research degree programmes is set to increase
further before the end of the current academic year. New recruitment drives are currently in progress to fill
studentship posts as a result of recent successes in securing HEA PRTLI funding for new postgraduate research
projects – 1 in Mechanical Engineering, 3 in Chemistry and 5 in Biology. An additional Biology PhD project is
to be funded by the Institute as part of its commitment to support the SFI Stokes Fellowship in that area. Two
PhD candidates are also being recruited for TSR Strand 3 projects in Biology.
Looking ahead to 2008/9 2 additional studentship posts will be filled under the HEA PRTLI programme. A total
of 32 new applications were submitted for funding to the TSR Strand 1 programme in February 2008. In
addition a number of candidates have already applied for ITT Dublin PhD Continuation Funding to continue
their studies at Level 10.
10.1.4 Non-Completion
Ensuring successful and timely completion of research higher degrees is a major objective of the Institute. While
there have been many studies and surveys conducted in the area of non-completions on taught higher degree
programmes within the Institute sector,1 little has been done in the area of Level 9 and 10 research degree noncompletions, both within the sector or indeed the University sector here. One international study conducted in
New Zealand indicated that there can be a low rate of PhD student completions for candidates registered in
part-time mode, with up to 39% not completing their studies, while 71% of those initially enrolled on full-time
doctoral degrees submitted a thesis for examination.2 The Study of Non-Completion of Research Higher Degree
Candidature at the University of Melbourne indicated that there was a substantial level of non-continuance
among research higher degree candidates, i.e. 43% at Masters (research) level and 36% at PhD level.3
Of the total Institute enrolment to date 29 research degree students did not complete their programme. This
represents a total of 14% over a 13 year time period which compares well by international standards. Students
withdrew predominantly during the first year of their postgraduate degree programme. A smaller number of
students allowed their registrations to be lapsed, i.e. 13 students (6%). The information presented in Table 10.6
shows the breakdown of withdrawals and lapsed registrations by Department. Thhighest drop out rate has
been experienced by the Department of Computing, while the Department of Science experienced the highest
number of lapsed registrations.
232
1 Completion rates for Students Taking Full-time Programmes of Study in Institutes of Technology, A study carried out for the Council of Directors of Institutes
of technology and the Dublin Institute of technology, May 2006; Non-Completion In Institutes of Technology: An Investigation of Preparation, Attitudes and
Behaviours Among First Year Students, Educational Research Centre, May 2002.
2 Retention, Completion and Progression in Tertiary Education 2003, A Report Prepared for the Ministry of Education, New Zealand, Mar. 2004.
3 A Study of Non-Completion of Research Higher Degree Candidature at the University of Melbourne, by the Centre for the Study of Higher Education and
School of Graduate Studies, Mar. 2002.
A p p l i c a t i o n t o t h e H i g h e r E d u c a t i o n a n d Tr a i n i n g Aw a r d s C o u n c i l f o r D e l e g a t i o n o f A u t h o r i t y t o M a k e Aw a r d s : R e s e a r c h D e g r e e s L e v e l 9 a n d 1 0
Department
Withdrawal
Lapsed
Masters
PhD
Withdrew but transferred
to another Academic
Institution
Masters
Total
PhD
Masters
PhD
Humanities
2
1
Electronic Engineering
2
3
5
Mechanical Engineering
2
2
4
Computing
9
1
2
12
Science
6
7
5
18
Total
21
13
7
42
3
1
Table 10.6 Withdrawals and Lapsed Registration Breakdown by Department 1994 - 2007
A total of 17% of the total drop out figure transferred to research degree programmes in other academic
institutions. The majority of the withdrawals took place prior to 2002. There were no withdrawals/lapsed
registrations between 2002 and 2005. The live register for 2005/06 showed no withdrawals/lapsed
registrations. In 2006/7 there were 4 lapsed registrations (Science) and the withdrawals as follows – 1 M.Eng.,
2 M.Sc. The registrations of three students fell lapsed in Science in 2007/8 and there were 2 withdrawals from
M.Eng. programmes. When those students who had withdrawn were questioned, they cited health and work
commitments as reasons for not completing their studies, and not dissatisfaction with the programme.
10.1.5 Student Demographics on Entry to Research Programmes
Details on where postgraduate students were previously based prior to entry to the Institute’s research degree
programmes shows that the majority of students to date have progressed from the Institute’s own taught
programmes (Figure 10.7 and 10.8) and lived predominantly in the Dublin 24 postal district on entry to their
research degree programme (Figure 10.9 and 10.10).
17%
ITT Graduates
Graduates from other
National Academic Institutions
6%
3%
Industry
61%
Staff of ITT Dublin
13%
Graduates from International
Academic Institutions
Figure 10.7
Progression to the Institute’s Research Degree Programmes
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The Institute has had a good progression rate from its own taught Level 8 programmes across Schools
and Departments. This trend has begun to change in the Department of Science, particularly since 2002
where there has been an increase in the number of applicants from international educational institutions
(Breakdown by country or origin given in Figure 17.1 in Chapter 17). Postgraduate researchers from industry
study in part-time mode predominantly and have conducted research in Computing, Chemistry, Mechanical
Engineering, Mathematics and Physics. The Institute’s research degree programmes have also attracted 13% of
its applicants from other national academic institutions, including other Institutes of Technology, DIT, TCD, UL
and the NUI universities.
The majority of international applicants to date have come from both Poland, India and Pakistan. In terms of
those staff enrolled on the Institute’s Masters programmes, five were from the School of Engineering and two
were from the School of Science and Computing. There have been two staff enrolments to Doctoral
programmes from the School of Science and Computing, one whose research is ongoing and one who has
already graduated.
In the last two years the intake from international academic institutions has increased while that from our own
Level 8 programmes has fallen slightly.
14
No. of New Admissions
12
10
2006
8
2007
6
4
2
0
ITT Dublin
National
Industry
Staff
International
HEI
Figure 10.8
Trends in Admission 2006 and 2007
A total of 45% of the students lived in the Tallaght or surrounding region (i.e. in South Dublin County) on
registration to their Level 9 and 10 research degree programme. This is compatible with the Institute’s mission
to be a major provider of education through teaching and research to South County Dublin and the
surrounding region to the highest level. The Institute is committed to increasing the participation rates in higher
education by those living in its catchment area, particularly in Tallaght (D24) and Clondalkin (D22) which are
designated as disadvantaged areas.4 It is encouraging to see that graduates from these two regions have
pursued or are currently working towards research degrees at the Institute. They account for 62% of the total
number on the 2007/8 live register.
4 Institute of Technology Tallaght, Delegated Authority Submission, 2006, Chapter 2, Section 2.2.9.
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14%
D24
28%
9%
Other SDC
Other Dublin
Other GDA Counties
16%
Other National
17%
International
16%
Figure 10.9
Research Degree Student Intake by Location 5
International applicants make up 14% of the total and that number is on the increase (Figure 10.10).
The intake from D24 is down on 2006, but the intake is higher from the GDA Counties for 2007.
9
No. of New Admissions
8
7
6
2006
5
4
2007
3
2
1
0
D24
Other SDC
Other Dublin
Other GDA
Counties
Other
National
International
Figure 10.10 Research Degree Student Intake by Location 2006 and 2007 6
10.1.6 Numbers of Research Active Staff/Supervisors
From the beginning the importance of research to the Institute was reflected in the recruitment of high calibre
staff from both industry and academia with the capability to carry out basic and applied research. This has
helped create a sound base from which the critical mass of research active academics has grown and expanded
over the years. The Institute currently has 171 full-time academic staff (including Heads of Department &
School) of which 89% hold a postgraduate degree qualification. This demonstrates a capacity to expand our
research base in the future, be it through research or taught degree programmes or institute-industry
collaborations in line with the Institute’s current Strategic Plan. The qualifications profile for full time academic
staff is presented in Figure 10.11.
5 SDC = South Dublin County. Other GDA Counties = Greater Dublin Area Counties of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow
6 SDC = South Dublin County. Other GDA Counties = Greater Dublin Area Counties of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow.
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1%
Diploma
10%
Degree
1%
Postgrad Diploma
Masters
26%
PHD
62%
Figure 10.11 Staff Qualifications Profile
The balance of PhD to Masters Qualifications is greatest in the School of Science & Computing which is where
the highest level of research activity exists as shown in Table 10.7.
Academic School
Masters
PhD
Bachelors / Other
Business & Humanities
55
8
12
Engineering
35
9
5
Science & Computing
17
27
3
Total
107
44
20
Table 10.7 Breakdown of Masters to PhD Staff Qualifications by School
In addition there are 11 members of staff currently pursuing Masters Degrees [two at ITT Dublin] and a
further 4 studying for PhD qualifications [1 at ITT Dublin]. In the Business area, the majority of academics
holding Bachelors Degrees qualifications have professional qualifications that are Masters equivalent,
e.g. in Accounting.
In recent years international academic institutions have defined a number of criteria to determine who is
deemed to be research-active and who is not. Some of these institutions employ complex definitions in this
respect while others incorporate a more limited number of criteria with score weightings, like the Research
Assessment Exercise in the UK.7 Some Australians institutions use a modification of the UK RAE system.8 Some
smaller UK institutions9 use specific criteria to be met with no score weightings. The aim is to encourage and
facilitate as many staff as possible in this regard and not to use the definition to militate against non-research
active staff from becoming involved in research. For the purposes of this submission the Institute employs the
definition of ‘research active’ staff as shown in Table 10.8 below:
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7 The Research Assessment Exercise is a UK government sponsored assessment of research quality which rates academic institutions based on the following
metrics - number of academic staff by category, staff publications, the numbers of research students, research fellows and assistants, the level of external
research income, and the research environment within the institution. It employs a volume x weighting scoring system. The most up-to-date guidelines appear
in the document entitled RAE 2008 Guidance on Submissions.
8 The University of Sydney www.usyd.edu.au/su.reschols/research/active.htm ;
Monash University www.infotech.monash.edu.au/research/internal-info/ranking/research-active-definition.html
9 Middlesex University, Academic Policy Statement, 2001.
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A Research-active staff member is an employee of the Institute of Technology Tallaght,
who in the previous 12 months has achieved one of the following:
- met UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) ‘research active’ criteria in publishing at least one high
quality research output per year (the term ‘output’ here used to denote a research paper, book, chapter,
performance, item of fine art, etc.).
- reached an advanced stage of completing a PhD or research masters degree.
- produced high quality work but not in such quantity as to qualify for RAE submissions (i.e. research
output produced once every two or three years, and presentations of papers at research conferences
and research seminars).
- been actively supervising research students but who is not necessarily publishing at RAE rates or even
those indicated above.
- involved in high quality contract research but who is not publishing at the above rates but who is
producing research reports.
- has completed a PhD but who has not yet begun to publish because they are relatively inexperienced
in that respect but the prospect of early publication of research is good.
- has published in the past and who is actively involved in the management of research but who is not
necessarily any longer publishing at RAE rates.
- been involved in the development of knowledge or technique in a professional capacity but who is not
producing the type of research output indicated above.
Table 10.8 Definition of Research-Active Staff
From modest beginnings in the area of research the Institute now has 88 academic staff involved in research
activity with 41% of those involved in the supervision of research degree programmes. The number of research
active staff represents 51% of the total academic staff number. Table 10.9 shows the number breakdown
between Schools.
School
Research-Active Staff
Total Academic Staff10
Business & Humanities
20
75
Engineering
25
49
Science & Computing
43
48
Total
88
172
Table 10.9 Research-Active Staff Profile by School
The majority of Academic Supervisors, i.e. 67% hold PhD qualifications themselves, while 33% hold Masters
Degrees by Research. The greatest number of academic supervisors exists in the Department of Science (Table
10.10). Academics from NUI Maynooth, DCU, DIT, the AMNCH (Tallaght Hospital) and TCD act as cosupervisors on some projects in Science and Engineering.
10 Full-time staff
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Department
Academic Research Supervisors
School of Business & Humanities
5
Humanities
5
School of Engineering
14
Electronic Engineering
5
Mechanical Engineering
9
School of Science & Computing
23
Science
20
Computing Science
3
Institute Total
42
Table 10.10
Details on 2007/8 Research Supervisors
Academics have also acted as co-supervisors to research degree students registered at other academic
institutions. Academics in Biology and Chemistry have also been involved in the direct supervision Masters and
Doctoral Degree students on collaborative projects between the Institute of Technology Tallaght and Limerick
Institute of Technology and the University of Dublin Trinity College respectively. Academics in the Department
of Humanities are currently involved in supervision of research degree students registered in the University of
Limerick Waterford IT, and Limerick IT. Two Academics in the Department of Computing are Supervisors on
Masters and PhD programmes with Dublin Institute of Technology and Dublin City University respectively.
Academics in the Departments of Science and Computing have acted as external examiners to research degree
candidates in other academic institutions.
10.2 Graduation Numbers
10.2.1 Graduation Statistics and Analysis 1996 – 2007
Postgraduate degrees by research have been awarded since 1996, with 70 graduates - 67% of the awards at
Masters Level and 33% at PhD. The breakdown by specific degree shows that by far the greatest number of
awards was for Masters Degrees in Science, including Computing (Figure 10.12). All of the PhD awards to date
have been in Science, except for one in 2007 in Electronic Engineering. Overall, 75% of the graduates came
from this School. The majority were the result of research in Science in the areas of Biology & Chemistry. Almost
a quarter of the graduations at Masters Level have been in Engineering to date. The first graduation in
Humanities occurred in 2004, and a number of projects are also ongoing in this Department.
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20%
MA
3%
MEng
MSc
PhD
44%
33%
Figure 10.12 Graduation profile by Higher Degree
The profile of research degree awards by School and Discipline are presented in Tables 10.11 and 10.12 below.
The majority of graduates in Science came from the discipline areas of Biology and Chemistry. Computing has
the highest number of MSc graduates after Chemistry.
School
No. of Graduates
Business & Humanities
2
Engineering
15
School of Science & Computing
53
Table 10.11
Profile of Research Degree Awards by School 1996 - 2007
Discipline
Masters
PhD
Humanities
2
Electronic Engineering
6
Mechanical Engineering
8
Computing
8
Biology
7
9
Chemistry
15
12
1
Mathematics
Physics
1
Total
47
Table 10.12
1
23
Profile of Research Degree Awards by Discipline 1996 - 2007
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The general trend in graduation numbers for the Institute from 1996-2007 is presented in Figures 10.13 and
10.14.
18
16
No. of Graduates
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
96
97
98
99
00
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
Year of Graduation
Figure 10.13 Overall Trends in Research Degree Awards for the Institute
The peak in graduation numbers in 1999 and 2004 were directly linked to the completion of TSR Strand I
projects. In 2004 the highest number of awards was made with 14 at Masters Level and 2 at PhD Level. There
has been a slight increase in PhD awards made since 2003 as TSR Strand 3 and HEA programme based research
began to take effect (Figure 10.14). In 2007 the Institute had its the largest number of PhD graduates to date.
The lower number of Masters Awards is due to the fact that many students successfully transferred to the
higher degree register (Section 10.1, Table 10.3).
10
9
No. of Graduates
8
MA
7
6
MEng
5
4
MSc
3
2
PhD
1
0
’96
’97
’98
’99
’00
’01
’02
’03
Graduation Year
Figure 10.14 Profile of Research Awards by Higher Degree
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’04
’05
’06
’07
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10.2.2 Submissions for 2008 Graduation
Details of those who propose to submit a thesis for examination for graduation in 2008 are given in Table
10.13.
Award Session
M.Eng
4
Sept 08
Total
Table 10.13
PhD
1
Recommended in Feb. 08
June 08
M.Sc.
4
2
6
1
2
4
8
2008 Recommendations for Graduation
10.2.3 Destination of Graduates 1996 - 2007
The first destination information to hand for graduates from the Institute’s research degree programmes shows
that following graduation the majority of graduates from Masters programmes took up careers in industry.
Almost all of the graduates from PhD programmes have pursued careers in research. The breakdown figures
for Masters and PhD graduates in relation to where they went post-graduation are given in Figures 10.15 and
10.16 below. Appendix 9 provides a list of graduates with information on where they went post-graduation.
The majority of the PhD graduates to date have pursued careers in research, with a large proportion,
52%, going on to become Research Fellows in academic institutions such as the Harvard Medical School
(one of the Biology PhD graduates), the University of Liverpool in the UK, Monash University in Melbourne
Australia and the University of Otaga in Dunedin, new Zealand (Figure 10.15). Three of the Biology PhD
graduates were awarded Newman Scholarships in UCD. Others secured research posts in National Research
Centres, such as the National Diagnostics Centre in NUI Galway. One graduate has pursued a career in teaching
at second level. A significant amount of PhD graduates (25%) took up posts in local chemical companies such
as Henkel-Loctite, and Wyeth Grangecastle, along with companies in the Greater Dublin Area, for example
Schering, Rathdrum.
The aim of Masters Degree programmes traditionally has been to increase the supply of graduates with the
necessary skills to provide the advice and technical support which industry requires to become and to remain
competitive. The figures show that the majority of the Masters graduates, 68%, went on to work in industry,
predominantly in the Dublin or Greater Dublin area in companies such as Intel, Wyeth and Bristol Myers Squibb
(BMS). Hence, the Institute has contributed in delivering on its mission of producing highly skilled graduates
with high quality R&D training within its region.
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Industry
4%
52%
12%
Academic
Research Centre
Hospital
4%
Univ. Post-Doc
24%
Other
4%
Figure 10.15 Breakdown of where PhD graduates went post-ITT Dublin
A total of 16% went on to complete Doctoral Degrees at other academic institutions such as DCU, UCD and
TCD. A small proportion of graduates took up academic lecturing roles or took up employment positions in
National Research Laboratories such as the National Metrology Laboratory.
Industry
2%
2%
PhD Study
5%
Academic
7%
Research Centre
Hospital
16%
68%
Teaching
Figure 10.16 Breakdown of where Masters Degree graduates went post-ITT Dublin
10.3 Impact of Research on Teaching and Learning
As detailed in the Institute’s research strategy our vision is to cultivate and sustain a research programme
to international standards which will support and enhance its undergraduate programmes, thus ensuring
that research outcomes are reflected at undergraduate level. We recognise that winning the engagement of
students at an early stage is critical to ‘priming the pipeline’ of future researchers. A key ingredient of the
research strategy is to link discipline led research with teaching and learning through measures which include
new course development, undergraduate projects, generic fourth level training modules, summer placements,
Research Initiation Programmes, industrial visits/tours for undergraduate classes, research seminars and
collaborative inter-disciplinary research projects. These mechanisms deliver integration of research with
pedagogical goals, ensuring an enhancement in the quality and relevance of the undergraduate experience.
The impact of research on the Institute’s taught programmes is discussed below.
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10.3.1 Research in the Teaching and Learning
An active research programme is vital in a dynamic education system seeking to respond to the needs of
students, employers and society in general, and in helping educational institutions retain a relevance to the
marketplace. Therefore a key ingredient to the Institute’s strategy is that research impacts upon the teaching
activities of the institute as a whole at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. To this end both academic
management and lecturing staff at the Institute have been proactive in strengthening the link between research
and undergraduate teaching. In particular both departments in the School of Engineering and the Department
of Computing have been involved in a number of collaborative projects set up to research and develop new
methodologies for use in undergraduate teaching, training and science programmes. These have been funded
through a number of EU programmes (Chapter 11, Section 11.1) in particular LEONARDO DYNLAB, since
1998. A summary of some of these projects is presented below:
• The BIOS & Environment Transnational Network funded under the LEONARDO programme in 2002
involved staff in Mechanical Engineering whose aim was to look at the development of training materials
and methods for promoting increased awareness of the environmental industry at regional, national and
European levels. This project was carried out in collaboration with a group of organisations in the public
and private sector in 16 European countries.
• The Envirotel programme involving Mechanical Engineering academics was funded in 1995 to look at the
development of training modules in Environmental Technology. An information resource CD was developed
at the Institute in association with educational establishments in Italy, Belgium and Finland.
• Another related project involved a study of construction waste in relation to categorisation of waste, recycle
and re-use and elimination to enable the development of the necessary education and training
infrastructure within local authorities and local Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This was carried out in
collaboration with M. Murphy Associates, the North West Institute of Further Education in N. Ireland and
collaborators in Italy and Portugal.
• An ADAPT project in the Departments of Computing and Science between 1997 and 1999 looked at the
development of best practice methodologies for the use of on-line and blended learning methodologies for
the development of the workforce in the pharmaceutical industry.
• Two e-Tutors projects have received funding in Engineering to build knowledge of the issues associated with
the development of staff to act as on-line engineering tutors using case studies, on-line resources and best
practice guides. Results of these projects have been used to inform thinking in relation to on-line learning
strategy in Engineering. An online portal of resources for e-Tutors was developed in collaboration with
educational institutions in Portugal (main contractor), Spain, France, Germany, Romania and Italy.
• A Business Continuity Planning project was funded in 1998 which involved the School of Engineering at
the Institute to help owner-managed SMEs plan for the future to keep the business alive in the generation
after the current owner/manager. The role of Institute Academics in this project was to create the technical
infrastructure and enable a user portal to be created. This project was carried out in collaboration with BIC
Galway, NWIFHE, Derry, N Ireland (main contractor) and collaborators in Spain and the Netherlands. The
development of the Engineering Learning Support Unit was a local Institute of Technology Tallaght outcome
of the approach used in this project. Information on the research carried out through the ELSU is provided
in the Engineering accreditation submission.
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• A Sidae project in Engineering carried out between 2002 and 2004 focused on the development of a portal
to resolve technical, managerial and financial issues for engineering SMEs in collaboration with companies
in Portugal, Italy, Germany and Romania.
The Institute is actively involved in two major collaborations, funded under the Higher Education
Authority Strategic Innovation Fund to advance graduate education in general as described in Chapter 7
previously, namely:
• The Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance (DRHEA)
• The Institutes of Technology Research Alliance.
10.3.2 Impact of Research on Undergraduate Programmes
Research impacts strongly upon teaching activities within the Institute at both undergraduate and postgraduate
level. The various tools that are employed to ensure the attainment of this objective and hence the successful
implementations of the teaching programme are as follows:
i) New course/module development
ii) Relevant undergraduate research projects
iii) Research seminars
iv) Workshops and specialist teaching modules.
There are a number of means by which individual courses may be updated and/or changed and these are:
• Institutional Review every 5 years
• Programmatic Review every 5 year
• Re-submissions every 5 years
In the School of Engineering a number of new modules have resulted from research conducted within the
School which have been included in course programmes by the mechanisms above. These include the
following:
1. Environmental Technology module in year 2 of the Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering Degree (Level 7)
developed as a result of research results from EU LEONARDO 2002.
2. Metrology in Higher Certificate in Engineering use elements of research results from project funded by
EI Applied Research Grant 2000.
3. Manufacturing Processes use elements of research emanating from project funded by EI Applied research
Grant 2000.
4. Rapid tooling research used in laboratory practicals from results generated by EI Applied research Grant
2000.
5. A new Bio-Engineering module in the Level 8 Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering following research
conducted in the 2006 SFI E.T.S. project.
Undergraduate courses are also informed by research through Departmental seminar programmes, where
results from research degree projects are presented by research students and Postdoctoral Fellows on a regular
basis. Seminar programmes are substantiated by external seminars from recognised experts in thematic areas
of research. Details on research seminars was already presented in Chapter 7, Section 7.5.2.
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Final year undergraduate projects are an ideal medium to maximise the interaction and strengthen the links
between research and teaching/learning. In Science these projects account for 15% of credits at Ordinary
Degree and 25% at Honours Degree while in Engineering they account for 16% and 20% respectively.
Therefore undergraduate projects are a substantial component of both qualifications. The majority of final
projects in Science directly support and feed into the current research in the department. A number of 5th year
projects in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering tie in with Masters projects running through the
Bioengineering and Technology Research Centre. The same is true to a lesser extent for the other research
active departments.
A positive research project experience can influence a students desire to pursue research to a higher level.
Earlier in this chapter (Section 10.1 and Figure 10.9) figures were presented which indicate that the majority of
the research postgraduates recruited progressed from the Institute’s own taught programmes. This confirms
that exposure to research in the final undergraduate year has been influential in attracting our own graduates
onto research degree programmes. It can only help build a critical mass of potential postgraduate students for
the future.
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Chapter 11
Research Funding And
Areas Of Expertise
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Chapter 11
Research Funding And Areas Of Expertise
This chapter presents a summary evaluation of the scale of research and brings together its outputs from an
Institute perspective under the following headings:
•
•
•
•
•
Sources of Funding
Performance Indicators
Research Centres and Areas of Expertise
Contract and Postdoctoral Researchers
Consultancy Related Research.
Commercialisation of research was previously discussed in Chapter 7, Section 7.5.
11.1 Sources of Funding for Research
11.1.1 External Funding
Relative to its size, the Institute has been highly successful in obtaining research funding from public funding
agencies and from industry. The early focus was on applied research funded by Enterprise Ireland and industrial
partners. Oriented basic, or strategic, research grew in the late nineties to surpass applied research activity.
Much of this research is now maturing, and moving towards the application development and precommercialisation stage as a result.
The Institute has been repeatedly successful in securing programme and project-based funding from several
external sources. The complete picture from 1993 to 2007 is shown in Table 11.1. It is the success of the
Institute in securing such funding that is directly responsible for the high level of postgraduate research activity.
The complete listing of external awards secured in 2007 research is given in Table 10.14. Figures for SIF projects
for the enhancement of research degree programmes are not included (already discussed in Chapter 7).
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Funding Agency
Amount (€)
EU
2,311,179
Strand III
2,385,635
Strand I
3,693,693
HEA
12,213,420
Irish Research Council
441,006
Enterprise Ireland
4,783,665
Health Research Board (HRB)
83,924
National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD)
650,000
Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
90,000
Other
234,520
Total
26,887,042
Table 11.1 Summary of Research Funding by External Source 1993-2007
The Institute began to take a strategic approach to research funding since 2000 and the growth in research
income is evident from the summary data presented in Figure 11.1. The data presented show that an Institute
strategic approach to research activity resulted in a more than a five-fold increase in income obtained from
external funding agencies up to 2005, with an even greater increase evident in the last 2 years as a result of
high level funding awarded under PRTLI and EI Applied Research Enhancement Programmes, which also
included capital funding. In 2005 considerable overhead costs were secured for the first time by the Institute
for research for the first time through the acquisition of EU ENV LIFE, Minerva and Marie Curie awards. The
Department of Science secured their first specific research equipment awards from both the HEA and Enterprise
Ireland at the end of 2007, for the purchase of a MALDI Mass Spectrometer and Scanning Electron Microscope
respectively.
Research projects funded by Industry and the local AMNCH hospital make up the €234 K funding in the
category of “other” in Table 11.1 above.
16.00
14.00
Funding
Millions
12.00
10.00
8.00
6.00
4.00
2.00
0.00
Before
1996
Figure 11.1
1st Phase of
Project-Specific
TSR 1996-2000
Strategic
Programmes
2001-2005
Strategic
Programmes
2006-2007
Growth in research funding for the Institute up to 2007
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The Institute has established a strong reputation in research, particularly in the Biology, Chemistry, and
Engineering fields. It has won substantial funding from the TSR Strand 1, HEA, Enterprise Ireland and EU
programmes (for basic and educational research). The greatest share of the external funding for research has
come from the HEA PRTLI programmes. Enterprise Ireland funds programmes in Computing, Science and
Engineering predominantly. Figure 11.2 outlines the trend in external funding received on an annual basis from
1993 to 2007. From 1993 to 2000 a total of €2.02 million was secured from external funding agencies for
research. The majority of the funding has been obtained in the last 7 years.
12.00
10.00
Millions
8.00
6.00
4.00
2.00
0.00
’93
Figure 11.2
’94
’95
’96
’97
’98
’99
’00
’01
’02
’03
’04
’05
’06
’07
Trends in External Funding 1993 - 2007
The €2.5 million in awards obtained in 2001 included €634K secured from two TSR Strand 3 awards and the
first HEA PRTLI award, which funded a number of postgraduate degree students and projects, along with €650
K from the National Advisory Committee on Drugs for research in Mathematics (Clinical Statistics). The €2.7
million received in 2002 included €1.7 million from the HEA PRTLI scheme while €785K was secured through
Strands 1 and 3. While the figure for 2003 seems low at €544K, this was first year an IRCSET award was
obtained. The figure of €487K in 2004 was largely due to the acquisition of TSR Strand 1 funding. Data for
2005 shows that €2 million was awarded, predominantly from EU and the TSR Strand 1 programmes. EU
funding came from programmes such as ENV LIFE, 6th Framework - Marie Curie and Celt-NET. The total
funding secured in 2006 included the first Enterprise Ireland award for the commercialisation of research under
the 5 year Applied Research Enhancement Scheme and two TSR programme based Strand 3 awards. The 2007
figure is augmented by the HEA PRTLI Cycle 4 award, along with two other programme based awards – TSR
Strand 3 (Biology) and an EI Innovation Partnership (Electronic Engineering).
Details on the acquisition of external funding for research were presented and analysed in the Research
Accreditation Submission 2007 Report which was submitted to HETAC for accreditation to maintain a research
degree register. A summary of the funding secured by each Department is shown this document only. Table
11.2 presents information on the funding agencies who have funded projects by field of research, highlighting
the figures received and number of awards.
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Department
Funding Agency
No. of Awards
Total €
Humanities
Irish Research Council
1
6,000
TSR Strand 1
5
228,000
EU
2
281,052
Total
8
515,052
South Dublin County Council
2
136,970
Total
2
136,970
EU1
6
191,000
TSR Strand2
1
300,000
TSR Strand 1
9
341,900
HEA RETENTION
2
190,000
HEA PRTLI3
1
9,600,000
Embark (IRC)
2
114,300
EI Applied Research Grant
5
245,885
EI Applied Research Enhancement4
1
1,625,000
EI ATRP
1
84,308
EI Innovation Partnership
1
218,457
Total
31
11,448,350
EU5
9
1,192,952
TSR Strand 1
8
314,569
EI Applied Research Grant
7
214,350
EI Innovation Partnership
2
67,107
EI PATs
1
90,000
SFI6
2
99,120
IMP
1
27,550
HEA PRTLI3
1
9,600,000
AMNCH Hospital
1
27,000
Other7
2
378,000
Total
34
12,010,648
Accounting & Professional Studies
Electronic Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
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Department (cont)
Funding Agency (cont)
No. of Awards (cont)
Total € (cont)
Computing
EU8
3
475,919
TSR Strand 1
5
140,839
Embark (IRC)
1
44,910
EI Applied Research Grant
6
153,675
EI Innovation Partnership
2
94,118
Total
17
909,461
EU Marie Curie
1
221,516
TSR Strand 3
7
2,264,852
TSR Strand 1
71
2,223,695
HEA PRTLI9
4
11,679,420
HEA Research Equipment Grant
1
260,000
Embark (IRCSET)
4
172,692
EI Applied Research Grant
9
173,873
EI Applied Research Enhancement4
1
1,625,000
EI Research Equipment Grant
1
215,000
EI International Collaboration
4
22,080
EI Innovation Partnership
1
9,000
EI Basic Research Grant
2
170,520
National Advisory Committee
on Drugs
1
650,000
Industry
2
102,000
Health research Board (HRB)
3
83,924
Australian Research Council
1
17,500
Total
109
19,891,072
Science
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
E-TUTOR, E-ADAPT and E-LEONARDO.
Partner with Chemistry Academics as Lead.
Partner with Department of Science as Lead;
Partner with Chemistry Academics as Lead.
E-LEONARDO, MENTOR, BCP PRIMA; ENV LIFE; CELT NET; Marie Curie with DCU.
Walton Visiting Professorship Award predominantly.
Government; FUSION Programme;
E ADAPT, LEONARDO, P MINERVA.
Three with DCU as lead; one with ITT Dublin Department of Science Academics as lead
Table 11.2 Breakdown of External Funding by Department 1993 - 2007
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Enterprise Ireland funding has been secured under a number of initiatives going back as far as 1994. Indeed EI
funding was the predominant source of funding for research in the Institute prior to the Technological Sector
Research Programme in 1996. In 2006 a team of Academics from Chemistry (lead) and Electronic Engineering
were awarded €1.2 M, plus 30% capital/overheads from the EI Applied Research Enhancement Programme
to commercialise their research in the area of micro sensors for clinical analysis. Five other Institutes were
successful in securing this 5 year funding.
The Technological Sector Research (TSR) programme is funded under the National Development Plan by the
Department of Education and Science, through the Council of Directors (now IOTI). There are three strands to
the TSR programme, two of which are directly related to research (the third is in the area of Enterprise
Development):
• The Postgraduate R&D Skills Programme (Strand 1)
• The Core Research Strengths Enhancement Programme (Strand 3)
Strand 1 funds individual Masters Projects, while Strand 3 has provided funding for a stream of projects in an
area of research strength within an Institute. Overall 14% of the total funding has come from this Scheme
mainly in the areas of Biology and Chemistry.
Benchmarking figures shown previously indicate that relative to the rest of the Sector this Institute is one of the
leading Institutes in securing Strand 1 funding in the Science and Technology area. The leading performance
has continued each year since the programme began. The Institute secured its greatest number per year to
date, i.e. 16 Strand 1 award, in May 2006. This was the highest number awarded to the Institute after DIT as
indicated in Table 11.3.
Institute
Total Funding allocated (€)
Total awards per Institute
AIT
204,000
6
CIT
238,000
7
IT Carlow
34,000
2
DIT
816,000
24
DKIT
136,000
4
GMIT
102,000
3
ITB
68,000
2
LYIT
34,000
1
IT Sligo
34,000
1
IT Tralee
34,00
1
IT Tallaght
544,000
16
WIT
102,000
3
Total
2,380,000
70
IADT
LIT
Table 11.3 2006 TSR Strand 1 Performance (Science & Technology)
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Over €2.26 million has been secured for seven Strand 3 programmes since funding was first awarded in 2001.
These have been awarded to Science researchers in Biology and Chemistry. One of the 2006 Strand 3 awards
involved collaboration with researchers in Electronic Engineering.
HEA Programme for research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI) funding to the value of close on €2.1M has been
secured predominantly by researchers in Biology and Chemistry prior to 2007. PRTLI Cycle 2 funding led to the
establishment of the National Centre for Sensor Research. The National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology was
established from the PRTLI Cycle 3 funding. Funding was secured by Electronic Engineering under the HEA
Retention Scheme. In 2007 the Institute was awarded €9.6 million under PRTLI Cycle 4 to set up the National
Centre of Applied Science for Health. Details of the Centre collaborators are given in Section 11.4.
Prior to 2005, only one award had been received (in digital communications) under the Embark Initiative's
Postgraduate Research Scholarship Scheme operated by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and
Technology (IRCSET). Since 2005, IRCSET Embark Postgraduate Scholarships have been allocated to support
research in Computing, Science, Mechanical and Electronic Engineering. Four Embark Scholarship awards have
been awarded in Science, with two of these to support students who wished to transfer to PhD.
The funding of €650 K received from the National Advisory Committee on Drugs was awarded to support
research in Applied Mathematics. The award was made to investigate the correlation between demographics
and drugs of abuse.
A total of 17 European projects have been funded since 1994 to support educational research activities under
such schemes as ADAPT, NOW, BCP PRIMA, LEONARDO, TUTOR, and P. MINERVA. In 2005 significant funding
for two basic research projects was secured, one in Chemistry (6TH Framework, Marie Curie) to the value of
€222K and the other in Mechanical Engineering (ENV LIFE) worth €300K. In addition a research and
development project in Mechanical Engineering was funded in May 2005 – CELTNET, a collaborative project
with the Coleg Meani, Wales and Welsh SMEs. This programme is part funded by the Welsh European Funding
Office and by this Institute.
The greatest number of European awards has been obtained for educational research under the LEONARDO
Scheme. A total of 8 separate projects were funded under this scheme between 2000 and 2004,
predominantly in the School of Engineering, with extensive external collaboration.
Some early funding was also secured from the Health Research Board between 1993 and 1995. Direct industry
funding has been substantial. The input from industrial partners to the various Applied Research and Innovation
Partnerships projects is difficult to value, as it includes monetary and ‘in-kind’ contributions. It would, however,
be conservatively valued in excess of €250,000.
An industry funded research bursary in semiconductor fabrication, sponsored by Intel Ireland, was awarded to
a student in Electronic Engineering in 2003, bringing with it direct mentoring and substantial support for the
research activity from industry. In August 2004 Loctite provided funding for a research studentship in the area
of Chemistry.
The breakdown of total funding for 2007 is shown in Table 11.4. Projections for funding in 2008 and a list of
funds already awarded in the first quarter are given in Table 11.5.
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In December 2007 the Government of Enterprise, Trade and Employment announced awards of €44.55
million, for the creation of 67 new research posts in Higher Education Institutes, under the Science Foundation
Ireland (SFI) Stokes Professorship and Lectureship Programme. The programme which will support
32 Professorships and 35 Lectureships is aimed at recruiting senior, world-class research academics as well as
entry-level academics and senior post-doctoral researchers. The programme will be a key element in meeting
the objectives of the Government’s Strategy for Science and Technology Innovation (SSTI). Successful
candidates are internationally-competitive, research-active academics, performing at the highest level
appropriate to their career point. The Institute has recently been awarded one Stokes Fellowship Award in
Biology. It means the Institute gets its first Research Lectureship on a five year contract from June 2008.
Funding Agency
Amount (€)
No. of Awards
Research Area
EI Innovation Partnership
€218,000
1
Electronic Engineering
TSR Strand 3
€377,890
1
Biology
TSR Strand 1
€917,390
12
1 Humanities
3 Chemistry
1 Physics
2 Mechanical (Biomedical)
3 Electronics
1 Computing
1 Biology
AMNCH Hospital
€27,000
1
Mechanical (Biomedical)
Embark (IRCSET)
€144,018
2
1 Chemistry (Transfer to PhD)
1 Mechanical (PhD studentship)
1 Biology (PhD Studentship)
Industry
€47,000
1
Chemistry
HEA PRTLI
€9,260,000
1
Science/Mechanical/Electronics
IMP
€27,550
1
Mechanical (Biomedical)
HEA Research Equipment
€260,000
1
Biology
€215,000
1
Chemistry
Institute Total
€11,297,648
Table 11.4 2007 External Awards for Research
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The injection of over €26 million in funding has transformed the research base here at the Institute, particularly
in the last seven years. One of the recommendations of the Forfas Report on Research Infrastructure in Ireland
2007 pointed out that improved funding was necessary at national level to address historical deficits in research
infrastructure at HEIs, to include updating and renewal of research equipment. The Institute is now focussed
on building up its research infrastructure to the highest level and cater for significant expansion. It secured in
excess of €500 K from the HEA and EI respectively for dedicated research equipment in 2007. Funding was
recently secured from the HEA Facilities Research Enhancement Programme, to the tune of €1.4 million, to
enhance infrastructural capacity and for the creation of 25 additional spaces for research. Details of the space
to be provided are given in Appendix 10.
Funding Agency
Status of funding
HEA Research Facilities Approved
Enhancement
Amount (€)
No. of Awards
Research Area
1,400,000
1
Science/Computing/
Mechanical/Electronics
SFI Stokes Fellowship
Approved
450,000
1
Biology (Microbial Pathogenesis)
TSR Strand 1
Applications
1,472,000
32
3 Humanities
submitted
1 Marketing
3 Electronics
1 Management
5 Chemistry
2 Biology
1 Mathematics
8 Mechanical
1 Physics
5 Computing
EI Research Equipment Applications
submitted
1,750,000
4
- Process Analytical Technology
Research Group
- Microsensors MiCRA Group
- Antimircobial Area (CPRD and
BPNR Centrers)
- Bioengineering Technology Centre
Table 11.5 2008 Funding Awards and Projections based on Applications Submitted
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11.1.2 Internal Research Funding
The Institute has invested its own resources to support the growth of a critical mass of research and has created
an environment where academic staff are both equipped and motivated to carry out quality research.
These initiatives have been:
11.1.2A Seed Fund
The Seed Fund supported short pilot projects that were adjudged by an internal panel to have the potential to
develop into viable research areas. Projects were funded on a competitive basis to a maximum of €3,800 each.
The scheme operated annually from 2000 to 2002 across all disciplines with an annual budget of €38,000.
The breakdown of this funding by Academic School is presented in Table 11.5 below. A number of these
projects generated results which were used to direct future applications for research funding, particularly for
TSR Strand 1 funding.
Acadmic School
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
Business and Humanities
5
3
4
1
1
Engineering
4
4
4
2
1
Science and Computing
7
5
5
6
7
Total
16
12
13
9
9
Table 11.5 Breakdown of Seed Fund Allocations by Academic School
As success in obtaining external funding grew, particularly for projects leading to Masters Degrees, the new
priority was adjudged to be the facilitation of a proportion of exceptional students nearing completion of their
research Masters in transferring to the PhD Register and completing to doctoral level. Hence, there have been
no further calls for funding under this scheme.
11.1.2B PhD Continuation Fund
This fund was established in 2001. Since 2002 the number of Seed Fund applications diminished and all of
that allocation went to the PhD Continuation Fund Scheme. A total of €347 K in funding has been provided
under this scheme, and 23 students have received support, of which 13 have graduated to date with PhDs. In
2006 the first Engineering and Humanities students secured funding under this scheme. The 2007 awards all
went to support Chemistry students who transferred to the PhD register.
Year
No. of Awards
Total Awarded €
2001
2
45,470
2002
2
27,926
2003
6
107,583
2004
4
43,520
2006
4
43,520
2007
5
78,712
Table 11.6 Institute PhD Continuation Funding 2001 - 2007
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11.1.2C
Internal Masters Programme
The Internal Masters funding scheme was established to assist new researchers to establish a track record of
research outputs and supervision of a research student, to enhance their credibility when applying for funding
to external agencies. Four studentship awards were made following assessment and adjudication by three
external panels. A total of €30K in direct project funding (studentship and materials); €100K in supervision
costs and programme fees (€4,400 - €7,440 per project) are to be paid by the Institute under this scheme on
an annual basis. All three panels were highly complimentary of all the applications received. They were
genuinely impressed by the quality of the proposals, particularly as all the applicants were new researchers
under the criteria of the competition. The awards were made to researchers in Computing, Humanities,
Electronic Engineering and Accountancy & Professional Studies.
11.1.2D Institute Research Centres
Significant resources have also been provided to the Institute Research Centres that have been established, in
the form of 4 hours additional relief from teaching duties for the Centre Coordinators, to facilitate
management and promotion of the Centres. The work of the IRCs is discussed in more detail in Section 10.5.
11.2 Performance Indicators
Researchers at the Institute have an excellent record of publishing in both peer-reviewed journals and at
conferences. The publication record for the Institute is shown in Tables 11.6 and 11.7 below where research
outputs have been measured by the traditional research performance indicators. Performance indicators up to
1996 relate to research activities of researchers from their previous roles in academic/industry.
Research Performance Indicator
Total up to 1996
Total 1996 - 2006 Total 2007
Peer Reviewed Journal Papers
158
307
43
508
Conference Papers
74
287
48
409
Conference Posters
43
79
9
131
Patents
10
22
2
34
Book Chapters
7
20
6
33
Reports
2
15
Other Articles (including communications,
non-peer reviewed etc.)
1
58
Table 11.6 Total Research Publications of Academic Staff
258
Overall Total
17
6
63
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Business & Humanities
Research Performance Indicators
Engineering
Science & Computing
1996-2006
2007
1996-2006
2007
1996-2006
2007
Peer Reviewed Journal Papers
78
9
51
3
174
31
Conference papers
25
25
140
7
122
8
Conference Posters
0
3
2
76
7
Patents
0
11
11
2*
Book Chapters
9
2
9
Reports
4
0
11
Other (incl. communications,
non peer reviewed etc.)
7
1
50
10
2
4
* Applications approved by Institute and submitted.
Table 11.7 Total Research Publications of Academic Staff
The performance is highest for staff in the School of Science & Computing which reflects the greater level of
activity in terms of funding and students to date. Engineering have concentrated most of their efforts into the
presentation of research results at conferences. Peer reviewed journal articles from Humanities make up most
of the total figure under the heading Business & Humanities. Though research activity is lowest in Business &
Humanities the overall number of reports published is higher than those areas where there is more research
activity, indicating that even though there has been little funded research in Business & Humanities this has not
prevented publication activity from occurring.
The total number of patents in the above tables relate to research activities of academics which occurred at
other Institutes/Industry. Though the patents are not with this Institute they have informed research
programmes in some areas most notably in engineering and science. There is one patent application pending
from research in Biopharmaceuticals. Two patent applications have recently been submitted from the
Microsensors Group.
120
100
Peer Reviewd
Journal Papers
Numbers
80
Conferences
60
Total
40
20
0
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
Year of Publication
Figure 11.3 Trends in Publication Activity for Research 2000 - 2007
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11.3 Institute Designated Research Centres
A key concept in the delivery of the Institute’s research strategy to date has been the development of interdisciplinary teams through the creation of Institute Research Centres (IRC) in which coherent groupings of
research staff with specific discipline focus were brought together. The introduction in 2005 and subsequent
evolution of the Institute Designated Research Centre (IRC) model has been of paramount importance to the
success of research prioritisation within the Institute. The definition of an IRC is
“a sustainable research group, in one of the prioritised areas of research listed in the
Institute’s strategic plan”.
The main aim was to develop research groups with critical mass in selected research thematic areas and niches,
allowing them to compete effectively for funding from national and international research funding agencies.
A further aim was to promote interdisciplinary research, significantly increasing the potential for innovation and
technology transfer.
Designation as an IRC requires endorsement by independent external evaluators selected by the R&D
Committee of Academic Council and approval by the Senior Management Team. The formation of an IRC is
based on a number of criteria:
• A minimum of 7 researchers and a defined internal management structure;
• A defined programme of collaborative research which is both sustainable and relevant to external societal
needs (i.e. enterprise, government, community);
• High impact upon the teaching activities of the Institute at all levels;
• Output of highly skilled and motivated technologists required for society;
• Synergistic with other research centres and have a capacity for interdisciplinary research.
The case for the establishment of Institute designated research centres has been founded on the fundamental
premise that there was a wealth of “world-class” research expertise existing within the Institute. The successes
in that regard are not only reflected in the expertise of academics have built up over a number of years, but
also on the quality of the external collaborators who are willing to conduct research with ITT Dublin academics.
Seven IRCs have been created since 2005 and a summary of the activities of each is given below.
11.3.1 Bio-pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Research Centre (BPNR)
Focus of Research:
Size of Research Team:
Academic Members:
Postgraduate Researchers 07/8:
Funding:
Identification and purification of anti-microbial peptides
9
Dr. Mary Costello (Biology); Mr. John Behan (Biology);
Dr. Fintan Kelleher (Chemistry)
7
€2.845M plus partners in €9.26 M funding from HEA PRTLI, Cycle IV
Current Collaborators
Academic partners include the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Montpellier, France; and the Faculty of Veterinary
Medicine and Conway Institute at UCD. On the industry side, the BNPR collaborates with Crossvetpharm,
one of the country’s leading veterinary companies.
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Summary of Research Activities
The aim of the Biopharma and Nutraceutical Research (BPNR) centre is to develop novel and improved
antimicrobial agents for application in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries, as well as in a
clinical setting with, for example, the potential to treat MRSA. The research record of BPNR members to date
includes 34 peer-reviewed journal publications and 57 conference presentations. Three of the team members
have a total of 19 patents between them as a result of commercialising pharmaceutical research carried out
in previous employment.
The academic members of the Centre have been involved in the supervision of 13 postgraduate research
students up to 2007 in biopharma and nutraceutical project areas.
The BPNR works closely with internal and external research teams. The Centre is part of a major joint research
project with Dublin City University and NUI Maynooth (through membership of the National Institute of Cellular
Biotechnology) in the area of microbial pathogenesis. It is engaged in joint research with the microbiology
department at the Adelaide Meath incorporating the National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght (AMNCH). These
studies allow antimicrobial peptides to be screened against a range of bacteria and fungal species, the results
of which are used to classify peptides and identify potential applications for them.
The Centre makes good use of the facilities in the National Pharmaceutical Education Centre in ITT Dublin
including a bioprocessing suite (with scale-up facilities to 100 litres) for optimisation and scale-up work.
Such facilities provide considerable scope for industrial partnerships and the commercialisation of selected areas
of research.
Key Publications:
1. Cooke, G., Behan, J, Clarke, N., Gorman, W, & Costello, M. Comparing the gut flora of Irish breastfed &
formula-fed neonates aged between birth and 6 weeks old. Microbiol Ecology in Health & Disease. 17:163168 (2005)
2. Maher S. and McClean S. (2006) Investigation of the cytotoxicity of eukaryotic and prokaryotic antimicrobial
peptides in intestinal epithelial cells in vitro. Biochem Pharmacol. Apr 28; 71 (9): 1289-98
3. F. Kelleher & S. Kelly, “Spirobicyclic diamines 1: synthesis of proline-derived spirolactams via thermal
intramolecular ester aminolysis”, Tetrahedron Letters, 2006, 47, 3005-3008.
4. F. Kelleher & S. Kelly, “Spirobicyclic diamines 1: synthesis of proline-derived spirolactams via thermal
intramolecular ester aminolysis”, Tetrahedron Letters, 2006, 47, 3005-3008.
11.3.2 Centre for Pharmaceutical Research & Development (CPRD)
Focus of Research:
Member Institutes:
Academic Members:
Postgraduate Researchers 07/8:
Funding:
Development and application of agents with antimicrobial and
anti- cancer activity.
ITT Dublin, DIT, NUI Maynooth
Dr. D. Egan (Toxicologist); Dr. M. Walsh (Inorganic Chemist);
Dr. Ed Carey (Organic/Computational Chemist);
Dr. M. Deasy (Organic Chemist); Dr. M. McCann (NUIM, Inorganic
Chemist); Dr. K. Kavanagh (NUIM, Microbiologist);
Prof. M. Devereux (DIT, Inorganic Chemist).
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€5.8 M plus partners in €9.26 M funding from HEA PRTLI, Cycle IV
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Current Collaborators
Internal:
Dr. B. Creaven - Inorganic Chemist & NMR; Dr. B. Murray - Organic Chemist & NMR; Dr. A. Fleming- Organic
Chemist & NMR; Dr. G. Crispino - Bio-statistician; Ms. M. O’Donoghue - Microbiologist.
External:
Dr. R. O’Connor (DCU and NICB) - Pharmacologist; Dr. B. Duffy (CREST)* - Surface Chemist;
Dr. D. McCabe (AMNCH) - Consultant Nueurologist; Dr. I. Fichtner (Germany)* - Experimental Pharmacologist;
Dr. O. Barry (CCRC, UCC) - Pharmacologist; Prof. V. McKee (Loughborough Univ) - X-ray crystallographer.
* Centre for Research in Engineering Surface Technology based at DIT.
Summary of Research Activities
The CPRD's mission is to:
• Provide a coordinated R&D base for the development of agents with defined pharmaceutical properties
• Identify the biochemical processes central to disease control
• Commercialise research within clinical, pharmaceutical and healthcare environments
Since 2002, the members have contributed to several strategically important research areas including the
development and application of agents with antimicrobial and anti-cancer activity with a view to
commercialising them. CPRD members have had more than 250 publications in peer-reviewed international
journals, with 75 published since 2004 from research specific to this Centre. Currently the main focus of the
research is on the development of novel pharmaceuticals, i.e. chemotherapeutics and antimicrobials, and a
detailed evaluation of their action using both in vitro and in vivo systems. This work to-date has identified a
number of complexes possessing potent anti-microbial activity against the clinically important MRSA and
Candida albicans. In association with an industrial partner, funding has been secured to investigate the use of
selected agents in the development of antibacterial surface coatings suitable for clinical environments.
The Centre plans to continue developing expertise in these areas, along with identifying other key research
areas, including the influence of growth factors in tumour spread and biomarker discovery for tumour
diagnosis and prognosis, as well as identifying other potential applications and developing product
formulations. There are 17 research students working in CPRD, who are at varying stages in their research,
ultimately leading to the award of either MSc or PhD. Research funding has been secured from a range of
sources including national and international funding bodies, along with industrial partners.
An important part of CPRD's remit is to educate and train postgraduate students. The multi-disciplinary nature
of the projects ensures that students are exposed to different areas of organic and inorganic synthesis,
analytical methodologies, microbiology and cellular biochemistry, so as to broaden their career prospects.
Key Publications
1. Thati, B., Noble, A., Creaven, B., Kavanagh, K., McCann, M., Walsh, M. Egan, D.A. Apoptotic cell death:
A possible key event in mediating the in vitro anti-cancer properties of a novel copper(II) complex,
[Cu(4-Mecdoa)(phen)2] (phen = phenanthroline, 4-Mecoa = 4-methylcoumarin-6,7-dioxacyetate), in
human malignant cancer cells. Eur. J. Pharm. 569 (2007), 16-28.
2. Thati, B., Noble, A., Rowan, R., Creaven, B.S., Walsh, M., McCann, M., Egan, D., Kavanagh, K. Mechanism
of action of coumarin and silver(I)-coumarin complexes against the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans,
Toxicology In Vitro, 21 (2007), 801-808.
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3. Curran, R., Lenehan, J., McCann, M., Kavanagh, K., Devereux, M., Egan, D.A., Clifford, G., Keane,
K., Creaven, B.S., McKee, V. [Ag2(aca)2]n and [Ag4(aca)4(NH3)2] (acaH = 9-anthracenecarboxylic acid):
synthesis, X-ray crystal structures, antimicrobial and anti-cancer activites, Inorganic Chemistry
Communications, 11 (2007), 1149-1153.
4. Synthesis and Antimicrobial Activity of Copper(II) and Silver(I) Complexes of Hydroxynitrocoumarins:X-ray
crystal structures of [Cu(hnc)2(H2O)2]x2H2O and [Ag(hnc)] (hncH = 4-hydroxy-3-nitro-2H-chromen-2-one).
B. S. Creaven, D. Egan, K. Kavanagh, M. McCann, M. Mahon, A. Noble, B. Thati, M. Walsh. Polyhedron,
2005, vol. 24, issue 8, Pg. 949-957
5. Synthesis, superoxide dismutase mimetic and anticancer activities of metal complexes of 2,2,dimethylpentanedioic acid (2dmepdaH2) and 3,3- dimethylpentanedioic acid (3dmepdaH2): X-ray crystal
structures of [Cu(3dmepda)(bipy)]2.6H2O and [Cu(2dmpeda)(bipy)(EtOH)]2.4EtOH(bipy = 2,2’
bipyridine).M. Devereux, M. McCann, D.O’Shea, A. Kellett, M. Walsh, M. O’Connor, D. Egan, C. Deegan,
E. Kiely, V. McKee, D. Naughton, A. Fischer .Bioinorganic Chemistry and Applications, 2006, in press (ms.
BCA 51112)
6. Synthesis, X-ray crystal structure, anti-fungal and anti-cancer activity of [Ag2(NH3)2(salH)2] (salH2= salicylic
acid). Coyle, B., McCann, M., Kavanagh, K., Devereux, M., McKee, V., Kayal, N., Egan, D., Deegan, C. and
Finn G, J. Inorg. Biochem., (2004), 98,1361-1366.
7. Daphnetin induced differentiation of human renal carcinoma cells & its mediation by p38 mitogen-activated
protein kinase. Finn, G., Creaven, B.S. and Egan, D. Biochem. Pharm. 67 (2004) 1779-1788.
8. In vitro anti-tumour effect of coumarin-3-carboxylic acid and three of its hydroxylated derivatives, along with
their silver-based complexes, using human epithelial carcinoma cell lines. B. Thati, A. Noble, B. Creaven, M.
Walsh, M. McCann, K. Kavanagh, M. Devereux, D.A. Egan. Cancer Letters (MS: CAN-D-06-00277.
9. Synthesis, characterization and antimicrobial activity of a series of substituted coumarin-3carboxylatosilver(I) complexes B. Thati, A. Noble, B. Creaven, M. Walsh, M. McCann, K. Kavanagh, D.A.
Egan. Inorganica Chimica Acta (Ms.ICA-D-06-00125).
11.3.3 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Institute Centre for Spectroscopy
(NMRics)
Focus of Research:
Size of Research Team:
Academic Members:
Postgraduate Researchers 07/8:
Funding:
NMR studies for supramolecular chemistry; pharmaceutical R&D
and biotechnology
18
Dr. Brian Murray, Dr. Bernie Creaven, Dr. Adrienne Fleming
(all Chemistry)
16
€332 K in its first year, plus partners in €9.26 M funding from HEA
PRTLI, Cycle IV
Current Collaborators
Molecular Design and Synthesis Group; CREATE Centre (ITT Dublin); CPRD (ITT Dublin); TCD; DCU, NCSR and
NUI Maynooth; Henkel-Loctite, IT Tralee.
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Summary of Research Activities
The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Institute Centre for Spectroscopy (NMRics) was established in 2005 with
a dual remit:
• To conduct research in advanced Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, a basic research tool
that underpins much of the Institute's postgraduate research programmes involving chemical synthesis and
analysis
• To support cross-departmental research in conjunction with external research groups from local industry and
other academic institutions.
The Centre is run by three leading academics who are very active in chemical synthesis and analysis and it
has strong links with NUI Maynooth through project work done in conjunction with an academic staff
researcher there.
Its research focuses on a small number of closely-linked strategic research areas within the Science Department:
Supramolecular chemistry -design and synthesis – and the related area of sensors; Pharmaceutical R&D and
Biotechnology, particularly peptides.
The Centre supports several taught postgraduate programmes, including the Higher Diploma and Taught
Masters in Pharmaceutical Production. Prior to its establishment, the Centre's members collectively had secured
over €1 million in grant funding, supervised over 30 postgraduate students and produced 50 publications. In
its first year, the centre increased its academic and postgraduate membership, secured €332,000 in grant
income, produced 32 publications (including 13 papers in international peer-reviewed journals), and
established new joint research projects.
Recently, it was a key component of the Institute’s successful bid under Cycle 4 of the HEA's Programme for
Research in Third-Level Institutions. This has secured funding for a new 500 MHz NMR spectrometer to sustain
and advance our capabilities, as well as those of our collaborators in CASH, internal and external.
Other highlights this year include the largest ever graduation of PhD's in Chemistry and Biology (November
2007), with several supervised by NMRics members, and others by associated staff heavily reliant on NMR.
Key Publications
1. Broderick, E., Murray, B. A., and Hall, M.*:“Application of a Novel Covalently Modified, Amphiphilic
Alginate Derivative to Delivery of Water Soluble and Water Insoluble Vitamins.”Submitted to Journal of
Colloid and Interface Science, 2006.
2. Broderick, E., Lyons, H., Pembroke, T., Byrne, H., Murray, B. A., and Hall, M.*: “The Characterisation of a
Novel, Covalently Modified, Amphiphilic Alginate Derivative, which retains Gelling and Non-Toxic
Properties.” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science (2006) 298, 154.
3. Creaven, B. S.,* Gernon, T. L., McCormac, T., McGinley, J.,* Moore, A.-M., and Toftlund, H.: “Unusual
reactivity of copper(I) complexes of functionalised calix[4]arenes.” Inorganica Chimica Acta, 2005, 358, 2661.
4. Creaven, B. S.,* F. Mahon, M. F., McGinley, J.,* and Moore, A.-M.: “Copper(II) complex of a tridentate Ndonor ligand with unexpected Cu–H interaction.” Inorganic Chemistry Communications, 2006, 9, 231.
{#20 in Top Downloads from this Journal, January-March 2006}.
5. Creaven, B. S.,* Gernon, T. L., McCormac, T., McGinley, J.,* Moore, A.-M., and Toftlund, H.: “Wide- and
Narrow-rim Functionalised Calix[4]arenes: Synthesis and Characterisation.” Tetrahedron Tetrahedron,
2006, 62, 9066.
6. Fleming, A.,* Kelleher, F., Mahon, M. F., McGinley, J.,* and Prajapati, V.: “Reactions of
bis(tetrazole)phenylenes. Surprising formation of vinyl compounds from alkyl halides.” Tetrahedron, 2005, 61,
7002.
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11.3.4 Centre for Research in Electroanalytical Technology (CREATE)
Focus of Research:
Size of Research Team:
Academic Members:
Postgraduate Researchers 07/8:
Postdoctoral Fellows 07/08:
Funding:
The centre is focused on several key research thematic areas and these
include; Nanostructured materials, fundamentals and applications;
Microsensors for clinical analysis; Electrocatalytic Materials, Environment
and Sustainable Energy
13
Dr. Eithne Dempsey; Dr. Tim McCormac (all Chemistry)
9
4
In excess of €3.6M since 1997. Drs McCormac and Dempsey were
two of the key authors of the Institute’s recently successful HEA PRTLI
Cycle IV application for €9.26 M.
Current Collaborators
Internal:
Dr. Fathi Akkari, Dept. Electronic Engineering; Dr. Mary Deasy, Department of Science.
External:
1. Professor Alan Bond, University of Monash, Melbourne, Australia.
2. Prof Gérard Bidan, Centre d’Etudes Nucleaires, Grenoble, France.
3. Drs Eddy Dumas and Anne Dolbecq, University of Versailles, France.
4. Dr Tia Keyes, Dr. Fiona Regan, Dublin City University, Ireland.
5. Dr. Fiona Regan, NCSR, Dublin City University.
6. Prof John Lowry, NUI Maynooth, Ireland.
7. Dr Carmel Breslin, NUI Maynooth, Ireland.
8. Prof Joseph Wang, University of Arizona, USA.
Summary of Research Activities
The Centre for Research in Electroanalytical Technology (CREATE) applies the tools of synthetic chemistry,
electrochemistry and material science to design a range of useful multifunctional materials for sensing and
molecular electronics applications. Since 1996, ITT Dublin researchers working in this area have attracted over
€3.6 M in funding from both national and international sources, published over 65 scientific papers in
internationally peer-reviewed chemistry journals with 800 citations and established joint research projects with
top national and international research teams. During 2005-2006, the Centre secured €1.25 M under
Enterprise Ireland’s Applied Research Enhancement Programme (AREP) which has enabled the establishment of
the ARE centre Microsensors for Clinical Research and Analysis (MiCRA) under Centre Manager Dr. Oliver
Worsfold. As well as working with the Department of Science and the Department of Electronic Engineering
within ITT Dublin, the Centre's research team has forged strategic links with scientists at several other national
and international research groups.
The Centre has an important education and training role. It supports the physical chemistry and bioanalysis
modules of undergraduate programmes and final-year projects are often conducted in specific areas of
research taking place through the Centre. In addition, the centre is involved in the SFI funded SURE programme
with Trinity College Dublin. All researchers, whether at undergraduate or postgraduate level, are exposed to
state of the art instrumentation within the centre and gain in depth knowledge of materials chemistry,
fundamental physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry and electrochemistry.
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Key Publications
1. Immobilisation of the Polyoxometalate Cluster, K6NaH[Sb2W20Fe2O70(H2O)6].29H2O, in a Polypyrrole Film,
Kevin Foster, Timothy McCormac, Electrochimica Acta “in press” 2008
2. Electrochemical studies of Osmium-(pyrrole-methyl) pyridine-co-polymers deposited using the membrane
template method, Susan Warren, Rodica Doaga, Timothy McCormac, Eithne Dempsey Electrochimica Acta
“in press” 2008
3. Electrochemical Behaviour and Multilayer Assembly Films with Fine Functional Activities of the SandwichType Polyoxometallate [Sb2W20Fe2O70(H2O)6]8-, Lihua Bi, Timothy McCormac, Sergey Beloshapkin, Eithne
Dempsey, Electroanalysis “in press” 2007
4. Fe2 and Fe4 Clusters Encapsulated in Vacant Polyoxotungstates: Hydrothermal Synthesis, Magnetic,
Electrochemical Properties, and DFT calculations, Céline Pichon, Anne Dolbecq, Pierre Mialane, Jérôme
Marrot, Eric Rivière, Monika Goral, Monika Zynek, Timothy McCormac, Serguei A. Borshch, Ekaterina
Zueva, Francis Sécheresse, Chemistry – A European Journal “in press” 2007.
5. S. Warren, T. McCormac, E. M. Mihaylova, E. Dempsey. Investigation into Charge Transport Dynamics of
[Os(bpy)2(picolinate)]Cl Nafion films, Electroanalysis 18, 2006, 1778-1785.
6. Electrochemical Characterisation of an Os (II) Conjugated Polymer in Aqueous Electrolytes, Timothy
McCormac, John F. Cassidy, Karl Crowley, Lise Trouillet, Frédéric Lafolet, Stephane Guillerez, “in press”
Electrochimica Acta 9, (2006)
7. ‘Photophysics of Ruthenium Polypyridyl complexes formed with Lacunary Polyoxotungstates with iron
Addenda’ Nigel Fay, Michael Seery, Tia Keyes, Robert Forster, Timothy McCormac, Eithne Dempsey Phys.
Chem. Chem. Phys (2005) 7 3426-3433.
8. ‘Solution and solid phase electrochemical behaviour of [Os(bpy)3]3[P2W18O62], Nigel Fay, Eithne Dempsey,
Timothy McCormac, Electrochimica Acta 51/2, 2005 281-288.
9. ‘Microchip Capillary Electrophoresis Coupled with Electrochemical Detection for Analysis of Synthetic
Oestrogen Mimicking Compounds’ Avril Collier, Eithne Dempsey, Dermot Diamond and Joseph Wang,
accepted for publication Anal. Chim Acta June 2005.
10.‘Assembly, Electrochemical characterization, and Electrocatalytic ability of multilayer films based on
[Fe(bpy)3]2+ and the Dawson Heteropolyanion, [P2W18O62]6-.’ Nigel Fay, Eithne Dempsey, Timothy
McCormac, Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry Volume 574, Issue 2, 1 January 2005, Pages 359-366.
11.‘Investigation of Novel Mediators for Glucose Biosensor based on Metal Picolinate Complexes’ Susan
Warren, Tim McCormac and Eithne Dempsey Bioelectrochemistry Volume 67, Issue 1, September 2005,
Pages 23-35.
11.3.5 Centre of Microbial Host Interactions (CMHI)
Focus of Research:
Size of Research Team:
Academic Members:
Postgraduate Researchers 07/8:
Funding to Date:
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Understanding the interaction between pathogens and host cells in order
to develop more effective antimicrobial treatments and/ or vaccines.
11
Dr. Maire Callaghan (Biology); Dr. Siobhan McClean (Biology); Dr. Gloria
Crispino (Mathematics); Dr. Aine Allen (Physics); Dr. Emma Caraher
(Stokes Lecturer, Biology)
5
€2.8M plus partners in €9.26 M funding from HEA PRTLI, Cycle IV
A p p l i c a t i o n t o t h e H i g h e r E d u c a t i o n a n d Tr a i n i n g Aw a r d s C o u n c i l f o r D e l e g a t i o n o f A u t h o r i t y t o M a k e Aw a r d s : R e s e a r c h D e g r e e s L e v e l 9 a n d 1 0
Current Collaborators
There are strong and active links through joint postgraduate research projects with the Adelaide
Meath incorporating the National's Children’s Hospital in Tallaght (Dr. Philip Murphy, AMNCH); Queen's
University, Belfast; DCU; Departments of Biology and Chemistry at NUI Maynooth; and the Faculty of Veterinary
Medicine, UCD.
New collaborations include – Drs. Trinidad Velasco Torrijos and John Stephens (chemists at NUIM); and AMNCH
collaboration extended to include Maria O Sullivan.
Summary of Research Activities
The Centre of Microbial Host Interactions (CMHI) was established in 2006 to explore the interaction between
pathogens and their host cells in order to develop vaccines and/or novel immunotherapies to fight these
infections. Current projects include: Penetration of bacteria through the lung and disruption of lung tissue;
Examination of the host immune response to infection; Bacterial biofilms; Use of mathematical and statistical
models to simulate the spread of the disease within the lungs and among the general population; Surface
interactions between bacteria and human tissue.
The Centre builds on the work done by ITT Dublin researchers over a number of years in relation to cystic
fibrosis (CF). CF is the most common life-threatening genetically inherited disease in Ireland, affecting one in
1,461 live births, and Ireland has the highest incidence of CF in Europe.
Working closely with the Department of Microbiology at the Adelaide, Meath and National Childrens
Hospital (AMNCH), the Centre has evaluated the virulence of many Irish strains of CF pathogens. The Centre
also evaluates the interactions of non-CF lung pathogens and other pathogens that attack other mucosal
surfaces, including intestinal pathogens. Recently, biofilm forming bacteria isolated from industrial sources have
also been characterised.
The work done at the Centre complements that of the Biopharma and Neutraceutical Research Centre (BNPR)
team which focuses on novel antimicrobial peptides. The Centre has undertaken joint projects with the BNPR
as well as with DCU as part of ongoing HEA/PRTLI-funded projects in the DCU-based National Institute for
Cellular Biotechnology (NICB) of which CMHI is a member.
Significant international links have also been cultivated by CMHI personnel in recent years. The team coordinators are active participants of the International B. cepacia working group. Another team member, Dr
Gloria Crispino, has access to supercomputer clusters at Los Alamos National Labs, Arizona State University,
which can simulate the epidemic spread of infection.
The Centre also has an important educational and training role, helping MSc and PhD students build
competence in three areas: key scientific skills; sourcing and analyzing scientific information and data; and
developing effective oral and written scientific communication skills. This will deliver highly skilled and
competent 4th level graduates for the Biopharmaceutical and Healthcare sectors.
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New research themes:
Infectious IBS in gut epithelia forms basis of collaborative project with
AMNCH; Examination of other emerging CF pathogens including
Pandoraea spp.
Publications since Jan 2006:
10 in Peer-reviewed journals.
Key Publications
1. Caraher E, Collins J, Herbert G, Murphy PG, Gallagher CG, Crowe MJ, Callaghan M, McClean S. Evaluation
of in vitro virulence characteristics of the genus Pandoraea in lung epithelial cells. J Med Microbiol. 2008
Jan;57(Pt 1):15-20. PMID: 18065662 .
2. Maher S, McClean S. Melittin exhibits necrotic cytotoxicity in gastrointestinal cells which is attenuated by
cholesterol.Biochem Pharmacol. PMID: 18068148.
3. Mullen T, Markey K, Murphy P, McClean S, Callaghan M. Role of lipase in Burkholderia cepacia complex
(Bcc) invasion of lung epithelial cells. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2007 Dec;26(12):869-77. PMID:
17874328.
4. Caraher EM, Gumulapurapu K, Taggart CC, Murphy P, McClean S, Callaghan M. The effect of recombinant
human lactoferrin on growth and the antibiotic susceptibility of the cystic fibrosis pathogen Burkholderia
cepacia complex when cultured planktonically or as biofilms. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2007 Sep;60(3):
546-54. PMID: 17595284
5. Maher S, Feighery L, Brayden DJ, McClean S. Melittin as a permeability enhancer II: in vitro investigations in
human mucus secreting intestinal monolayers and rat colonic mucosae. Pharm Res. 2007 Jul; 24(7): 134656. PMID: 17380268.
6. Maher S, Feighery L, Brayden DJ, McClean S. Melittin as an epithelial permeability enhancer I: investigation
of its mechanism of action in Caco-2 monolayers. Pharm Res. 2007 Jul;24(7):1336-45. PMID: 17373574
7. Caraher E, Reynolds G, Murphy P, McClean S, Callaghan M. Comparison of antibiotic susceptibility of
Burkholderia cepacia complex organisms when grown planktonically or as biofilm in vitro. Eur J Clin
Microbiol Infect Dis. 2007 Mar;26(3):213-6. PMID: 17265071.
8. Duff C, Murphy PG, Callaghan M, McClean S. Differences in invasion and translocation of Burkholderia
cepacia complex species in polarised lung epithelial cells in vitro. Microb Pathog. 2006 Oct-Nov;41(4-5):18392. Epub 2006 Aug 30. PMID: 16938423.
9. Caraher E, Duff C, Mullen T, Mc Keon S, Murphy P, Callaghan M, McClean S. Invasion and biofilm formation
of Burkholderia dolosa is comparable with Burkholderia cenocepacia and Burkholderia multivorans. J Cyst
Fibros. 2007 Jan;6(1):49-56. Epub 2006 Jun 15. PMID: 16781896.
11.3.6 Bioengineering Technology Centre (BTC)
Focus of Research:
Size of Research Team:
Academic Members:
268
11
Dr. Fiona McEvoy (Mechanics); Mr. Tony Tansey; Mr Rob Flavin (Clinical
Bioengineering); Dr. Yanyi Blake (Materials); Mr Paul Dillon (Control &
Automation); Mr Stephen Tiernan (Impact Mechanics & Vibration);
Mr Brian O’Brien (Materials); Mr. Robbie O’Connor (Manufacturing);
Mr. Dave O’Mahony (Mechanics/Materials Testing); Dr. Eamonn Quigley.
Mr. Liam Costello (IMeD), Mr. Colm Costello(IMeD), Dr. Ken Moloney
(IMeD), Dr. Gerry Ryder(IMeD), and Ms. Linda Hickey (IMeD).
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Postgraduate Researchers:
Funding to Date:
5
€1.16 M plus partners in €9.26 M funding from HEA PRTLI, Cycle IV
Current Collaborators
NovelScaf project with DCU; Tallaght Hospital/Crumlin Childrens Hosp, including - Mr. Joe Sparkes (orthopaedic
consultant), Mr. Pat Kiely (orthopaedic consultant), Mr. John McElwain (orthopaedic consultant), Mr Seamus
Morris (orthopaedic consultant), Mr. Jacques Noel (orthopaedic consultant).
Summary of Research Activities
The Bioengineering Technology Centre (BTC) was set up as a result of work generated by the Bioengineering
Research group since 2005. It is managed by Fiona McEvoy and clinically supported by Rob Flavin and others.
The primary aim of the BTC is to research and develop medical products that can be ultimately manufactured
by Irish companies. In doing so we wish to be recognised as a leading research facility that can offer SMEs total
services that are not readily available in Ireland.
The BTC has built up a sustainable research facility through the involvement of a key number of staff and
sufficient projects which overlap both in terms of technology and time scales. The current projects are focused
primarily on bioengineering technology in orthopaedics, biomaterials, impact and vibration testing and vascular
modelling. It is a multidisciplinary group that is participating in research collaborations and alliances with
prominent orthopaedic consultants and obstetric consultants. These consultants have both public and private
clinics in The Adelaide, Meath and National Childrens Hospital (AMNCH), Crumlin, Blackrock, Coombe, Galway
and Clane. We have set out the following specific objectives
• To create a centre of knowledge and become a centre of excellence.
• To provide opportunities for students to undertake studies leading to Masters and PhD qualifications.
• To encourage links between ITT Dublin and third parties in orthopaedics and with manufacturing
companies.
• To use current technologies to develop patentable products with an ultimate outcome being the
establishment of campus companies to fully exploit any commercial prospects.
• To encourage high performing quality-conscious students to bring forward existing research and continually
enhance the reputation of the BTC and thereby ITT Dublin and to create a Biotechnology Masters Degree
Programme.
• To formalise links with Industry to assist in grant applications.
• To create awareness of Bioengineering Technology amongst Irish industry.
The IMED group are researching into the Gastro-Intestinal (GI) Health and Bio-medical sensors with surgeons
from Arlborg University and fellow researchers at Arrhus University in Denmark.
More recently the IMED group was part of the recent successful PRTLI bid by the Science Department within
ITT Dublin which will further extend its collaborative network. This project has led to the establishment of the
Centre of Applied Science for Health (CASH) and will be a collaborative programme between Department of
Science, Department of Mechanical and the Department of Electronic Engineering ITT Dublin, AMNCH, Dublin
City University (the National Institute of Cellular Biotechnology) and NUI Maynooth.
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A number of the BTC researchers are also involved in the CeltNet Programme which was set up to focus on
helping Irish and Welsh SMEs improve their product and process development capability. It helps companies
develop the application of Computer-Aided Engineering principles in innovation, product design and
manufacturing.
The BTC have 8 full-time Masters/PhD postgraduate students, three under the IMED group and five directly
under the BTC. All of these projects are related to bioengineering and are product design and/or development
projects. Many of these projects involve industry and other academic partners. Current Postgraduate projects
are listed below:
1. Analysis of Aseptic Loosening of the Acetabular Cup – Strand 1 Funded
2. Applying Haptic Technology to the Rehabilitation of Achilles tendon Injuries – Embark (IRCSET) Funded
3. Development of a Rapid Manufacturing Process for Biomedical parts – Strand 1 Funded
4. Dynamic performance of sports helmets – Strand 1 Funded.
5. Simulation of a Heat Transfer Process using Energy Methods – ITT Dublin Funded.
6. Two IMED PROJECTS.
Key Publications
1. M. Ashraf, D. O’Mahony, F. McEvoy et al. Comparison of Anti glide plate and lag screw with lateral plate
and lag screw for Weber B Fractures. 75th annual Meeting of American Academy of Orthopaedic
surgeons. March 5-9th 2008.
2. Keith Norris and Stephen Tiernan. An analysis of the performance of foams in hurling helmets. Shock and
Impact Conference (SUSI) May 2008, Porturgal.
3. B. McMahon, B.P., Odie, K.D., Moloney, KW, Gregersen, H; Computing New Data on Flow through the
Oesophagogastric Junction. World J Gastroenterol. May 2007.
4. Christopher Thian, Stephen Tiernan and Fiona McEvoy. Analysis of the mechanical factors involved in
aseptic loosening of the acetabular cup.
5. Tadhg Adderley, Fiona McEvoy, Rob Flavin and Yanyi Blake. Accepted for the 25th International
Manufacturing Conference, September 2008, Dublin.
6. Aidan O’Reilly, Fiona McEvoy, Paul Dillon and Rob Flavin. Applying Haptic Technology to the Rehabilitation
of Achilles tendon Injuries. Accepted for the 25th International Manufacturing Conference, September
2008, Dublin.
7. Christopher Thian, Stephen Tiernan and Fiona McEvoy. An engineering analysis of ankle prosthetic failures.
Accepted for the 25th International Manufacturing Conference, September 2008, Dublin.
8. Keith Norris and Stephen Tiernan. An analysis of the performance of foams used in hurling helmets.
International Manufacturing Conference, Waterford Institute of Technology, Aug 2007.
9. C. Hurson, A. Tansey, B.O’Donnchadha, P. Nicholson, J. Rice, J. McElwain, “Rapid Prototyping in the
assessment, Classification and Preoperative Planning of Acetabular Fracture”, Injury, International Journal
of the care of the injured, volume 38, p1158-1162, 2007,
10. S. Eosoly*, G. Ryder†, T. Tansey†, L. Looney, “Accuracy and Mechanical Properties of Opencell
Microstructures Fabricated by Selective Laser Sintering”, Poster Presentation Solid Freeform Fabrication,
Austin, Texas, Aug 2007.
11. D. McDonagh, B. Flaherty, “Investigation into the suitability of conformally cooled rapid tool inserts for the
production of injection moulded products. “, IMC-24.
12. C. Hurson, A. Tansey, D. Moore, D. Jones, J. McElwain, “POST P523 Rapid Prototyping For Assessment,
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Classification And Preoperative Planning Of Acetabular Fractures CO03”, 2006 Annual Meeting American
Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Chicago, Illinois March 22 – 26, 2006
13. Brian Ó Donnchadha, Anthony Tansey, Investigation into the Effects on Porosity of Controlling Infiltrant
Levels in Laserform, International Manufacturing Conference 22, August 2005.
14. C. Hurson, A. Tansey, D. Moore, D. Jones, J. McElwain, Rapid Prototyping in Complex Orthopaedic Surgery,
International Manufacturing Conference 22, August 2005.
15. B. Ó Donnchadha, A. Tansey, “Verification of the geometry of SLS Manufactured Rapid Tooling”, P 51-55,
The Engineers Journal, Vol.59, 4th May 2005.
11.3.7 The National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies (NCFIS)
Focus of Research:
Size of Research Team:
Postgraduate Researchers:
Academic Members:
Funding to Date:
Historical, literary, spiritual, cultural and other links between France and
Ireland.
15
3
Dr. Eamon Maher (ITT Dublin); Dr. Eugene O’Brien, MIC, University of
Limerick; Dr. Yann Bévant, Université de Rennes2, Haute Bretagne;
Professor Michael Cronin, DCU; Ms. Angela Feeney, (ITT Dublin);
Professor Fabienne Garcier, Université de Lille3; Dr. David Irwin
(ITT Dublin); Dr Paula Murphy (DCU); Professor Grace Neville, UCC;
Ms. Jean O'Halloran, (ITTDublin); Professor Serge Rivière, University of
Limerick; Dr. Paula Gilligan, IADT.
€234 K
Current Collaborators
Rennes 2 has approached us with a view to developing a European Masters in Irish Studies. Lille 3 is also
anxious to sign a convention with us in the area of postgraduate development and training. We are currently
exploring possible areas of mutual interest with the Université de Nantes and a visit is planned to flesh out the
ideas in Spring 2008.
Summary of Research Activities
A National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies was established through the Institute of Technology Tallaght in 2003.
It was successful in June 2006 in securing IRC status. Its members include several highly regarded Irish and
French academics, including one from the Department of Humanities at the Institute. The Centre is a concrete
example of the Institute’s success in developing links with other Institutes of Technology and Universities in
areas where there is an established in-house expertise and a proven research background. The main ambition
of the Centre is to highlight the many cultural, literary and historical links that exist between the two countries
through organising conferences, publishing books and a Journal. Academics have secured most of their
funding from the TSR Strand 1 programme. The first MA student from the NCFIS graduated in 2007. The aims
of the NCFIS are broadly the following:
• To act as a conduit for research into the historical, literary, spiritual, cultural and other links between France
and Ireland.
• To organise annual conferences at which these links can be discussed.
• To publish a relevant selection of the papers from these conferences.
• To establish a Board of academics and postgraduates with a proven track record in French or Irish Studies
or, ideally, a combination of both.
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•
•
•
To highlight events of Franco-Irish significance through the media and on the website.
To attract postgraduate students to carry out research on areas directly related to the core activities of
the Centre.
To develop research networks between third level institutions in France and Ireland with an interest in all
things Franco-Irish.
Conferences Hosted:
On the 18th of January 2007 we hosted a Postgraduate Symposium between ourselves and IADT, at which 12
papers were presented. On the 10th -11th of May 2007, we hosted the 3rd conference of the NCFIS on the
theme of Modernity and Postmodernity in a Franco-Irish Context. 24 papers were delivered at this gathering
and delegates came from Ireland, Canada, France, Russia and the USA.
Most recently, on the 5th- 6th of October 2007, Jean-Christophe Penet organised the first International
Postgraduate Conference of the NCFIS entitled Encounters/La rencontre.
Key Publications
1. Un regard en arrière vers la literature d'expression française du XXe siècle. Actes du Colloque de Tallaght.
Eamon Maher (coord.)
2. Studies in Franco-Irish Relations is a peer-reviewed yearly book series – Reinventing Ireland Through a
French Prism Vol. 1 (2007); Modernity and Post-Modernity in a Franco-Irish Context Vol. 2 (2008), E. Maher,
E. O’Brien, G. Neville.
3. France-Ireland: Anatomy of a Relationship, E. Maher, E. O’Brien, G. Neville.
4. E. Maher, 2007 “Lecture intertextuelle des premiers essays de Julien Green et Jean Sulivan : remise en
question de l’hypocrisie et de la tiédeur.”Michael O’Dwyer (ed.), Julien Green, Diariste et Essayiste (Oxford:
Peter Lang), pp.167-76.
5. E. Maher, 2007:“John Broderick (1924-89) and the French ‘Roman Catholique’’ Reinventing Ireland
Through a French Prism (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang), pp.245-61.
6. E. Maher, 2007:“An Irish writer’s debt to Flaubert and Proust: The Example of John McGahern”. La France
face à la mondialisation/France and the Struggle Against Globalization (Lewiston/New York: The Edwin
Mellen Press), pp.129-141.
7. E. Maher, 2007:“Sulivan aujourd’hui: Un regard depuis les marges.”Yvon Tranvouez (ed.), Jean
Sulivan:L’écriture insurgée (Rennes: Editions Apogée), pp.235-41.
8. E. Maher, 2007:“A Franco-Irish View of the Great War: Louis-Ferdinand Céline and Sebastian Barry.”
Doctrine & Life, Vol.57 No. 3 (March), pp.27-35.
The NCFIS has signed a contract for a five-year annual book series with Peter Lang entitled Studies in FrancoIrish Relations. The first tome of this series, Reinventing Ireland Through a French Prism, was published in May
2007 and the second, Modernity and Postmodernity in a Franco-Irish Context, is scheduled for Summer 2008.
Eamon Maher is General Editor along with Grace Neville and Eugene O’Brien.
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11.4 New Research Centres
Long-standing collaborations have been an essential element in the rapid development of research in the
Institute. The Institute has strong partnerships with researchers in DCU, NUIM, TCD and UL through the IRCs,
particularly in the area of Applied Science for Health. In 2007 an ITT Dublin-led consortium was awarded
€9.26M in funding by the HEA under Cycle 4 of the Programme for Research in Third level Institutions (PRTLI)
to establish the Centre of Applied Science for Health as the first national research centre on campus. This
brings together health research strands from the Engineering and Sciences IRCs. Applied Science for Health is
now a key research priority for the Institute with the overarching aim for the Centre - to become a credible
research performer on the international stage.
MiCRA is an applied research centre set up with Enterprise Ireland (EI) Applied Research Enhancement funding
combining academic research achievements with the requirements of Irish industry and was formally
established in 2006. This Centre will enable specific Irish industries to increase their competitiveness on the
national and international arena by utilising the expertise within the academic environment of this institution.
11.4.1 Centre of Applied Science for Health (CASH Centre)
In 2007, a consortium led by ITT Dublin were successful in winning funding of ?9.26M under the Higher
Education Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions in Ireland Cycle IV for the establishment of a
Centre of Applied Science for Health, the first national research centre to be located on the ITT Dublin campus.
The consortium comprised of research groups from the National Institute of Cellular Biotechnology (NICB) at
DCU, NUI Maynooth, and The Adelaide & Meath Hospital Tallaght (incorporating the National Children’s
Hospital; AMNCH). The partner institutions have a strong track record of collaboration in applied and
translational research for specific areas of healthcare. Details of CASH Centre Members are provided in
Appendix 11.
The main focus of the research programmes to be conducted by the Centre of Applied Science for Health build
on already established expertise in the areas of microbial disease prevention and control, medical device
technology, and anticancer treatments. Each area involves established multi-disciplinary research teams across
the partner institutions. There will be an emphasis on the transfer of knowledge and technologies to industrial
and clinical environments through development of devices and therapies, including scale-up and formulation.
Mission statement
The Centre of Applied Science for Health at ITT Dublin will pursue top-class research in
prioritized areas, will translate knowledge gained to the industrial and clinical arenas and
will contribute to the enhancement of teaching, learning and research at ITT Dublin and
partner institutions.
The establishment of the Centre is part of ITT Dublin’s strategic efforts to grow and develop its research
capability in line with regional and national needs as expressed in such reports as the SSTI. The SSTI states that
the capacity of the health services to complement life science research and to “translate it into new and
innovative products and interventions has not developed” to the same extent as the individual basic areas of
research. This Centre will address this deficit by building on existing collaborations between scientists and
clinicians at AMNCH and other hospitals, to translate potential antimicrobial products, anticancer therapies and
medical device technologies to clinical use.
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The Report of the Working Party on Research Infrastructure in Higher Education, has identified the “need to
increase the number of clinician scientists and translational research scientists as a national systemic
requirement and as a potential area for national differentiation and establishment of a competitive advantage
over other countries”. Translational research is a key thematic area for the Centre. The Expert Group on Future
Skills needs have identified that in order for Ireland to reach its target of 2.5% GNP spend on research that the
number of PhD graduates needs to increase significantly in science disciplines: “Inward investment in
biotechnology and pharmaceutical research will have a requirement of PhD graduates which will exceed that
of existing operations in these areas”. It also identified that significant shortages in staffing were projected in
both biosciences and in chemistry. This Centre, being multidisciplinary in nature, will enable the professional
training and education of a large number of PhD graduates and will directly address this shortage.
Objectives
In view of this rationale, the following key objectives have been set for the Centre of Applied Science
for Health:1. Lay the long term infrastructural foundations for the Centre of Applied Science for Health.
2. Implement an interdisciplinary research programme in key thematic research areas which impacts regionally
and nationally.
3. Strategically build upon research and teaching alliances with other institutions.
4. Transfer knowledge to the clinical and industrial arenas, generating important social and economic benefits.
5. Develop initiatives which facilitate access to 4th level education.
6. Strengthen the research-teaching linkage.
7. Provide a national resource which will engage with external bodies, including industry.
THEMATIC AREAS OF RESEARCH
The research programme being undertaken by the Centre of Applied Science for Health has three thematic
areas.
AREA 1: Strategies to Combat Difficult and Antimicrobial Resistant Pathogens
Although much has been learned in the last century on the role of microbes in infectious diseases, they are still
a major threat to public health, predominantly due to fungal and bacterial resistance to conventional
antibiotics. This has contributed in recent years to the alarming increases in life threatening hospital acquired
infections (HAI’s). This thematic area seeks to link the development of a better understanding of host-pathogen
interactions with the discovery of novel anti-microbial agents in the laboratory with translation to clinical use.
Key projects being undertaken by the Centre of Applied Science for Health in this sphere include:• Investigation of the mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions (bacterial and fungal) with a view to
prevention of colonisation.
• Elucidation of host immune response to pathogens and the design of immunomodulation therapies.
• Development of novel antimicrobial agents and novel therapeutic strategies for infectious and
gastrointestinal diseases in both laboratory and clinical settings.
• Scale-up, pre-formulation and formulation of Biopharma and Pharma-based antimicrobials.
• Employment of surface science expertise for the design and development of technologies to inhibit the
growth of microorganisms thereby reducing the possibility of transmittance by personal contact.
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This thematic area will exploit cross institutional cooperation by drawing on the key strengths of the partner
research groups. Examples within this thematic area include:
• Elucidation of the protein-protein interactions within the fungal lung pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, the
provision of novel anti-biofilm agents, proteomic expertise and facilities for studies on the host-pathogen
interaction from the NUI Maynooth teams;
• Provision of microarray expertise for investigating host responses to pathogens provided by the NICB DCU
team; and,
• Aid in the investigation of novel therapeutic strategies for infectious and gastrointestinal diseases and access
to clinical isolates of pathogens provided by the AMNCH team.
AREA 2: Biomedical Devices
Amongst the major health challenges facing us today are the ‘prevention and treatment of heart disease’, ‘the
management of neurodegenerative diseases’ and finding new technologies to support ‘human imaging and
biomarker discovery’. The Centre of Applied Science for Health Biomedical Device research programme involves
expertise spanning chemistry, clinical science and engineering. Working together with clinicians, translation of
new knowledge and technologies into the medical arena will be possible.
The research programme is divided into two key areas:
• Programme in Microsensing and Modelling tools for Clinical Diagnostics. This research programme
examines new generic designs and approaches to thin-film microsensor design and fabrication, with
integrated on-chip microfluidics.
• Programme to Evaluate Neurological Oxidative Stress. Amperometric electrodes and in vivo
voltammetric techniques enable investigation of the functions and roles of specific neurochemicals and
reactive oxygen species, in neuronal signalling with high time resolution. Modified electrodes capable of
measuring hydrogen peroxide, dihydroxyaromatics and glutamate are being targeted to provide in vivo
biomarkers of oxidative stress. Following laboratory development, these devices will be tested in vivo using
disease state
This thematic area will exploit cross institutional cooperation by drawing on the key strengths of the partner
research groups. Examples within this thematic area include:
• Expertise on in vivo methodologies for investigation of the function of neurochemicals and reactive oxygen
species; Provision of an animal testing facility and neuro-monitoring unit to enable vital disease state
experiments; provided by the NUIM team;
• Provision of patient data and samples (via cardiology and medical physics groups); Access to clinical
environment and analyzers for validation and testing; provided by the AMNCH team; and,
• Identification of new serum and saliva based protein markers for early cancer detection and monitoring;
provided by the NICB–DCU team.
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AREA 3: Translational Molecular Cell Biology Research
The recent HEA/Forfas Research Infrastructure Report 2007 identified “a significant gap in the interactions
between the academic community and the medical community”. A major area of interest for this programme
will be on translational cancer research drawing on established and growing expertise at NICB-DCU, NUIM, and
ITT Dublin and linking this to clinical studies at AMNCH. Key areas of expertise include cell culture/cell
technology, gene expression analysis, proteomics, and cellular pharmacology. Key project areas include:• Proteomics technologies to identify biomarkers for early detection, warning of recurrence, and monitoring
of response to cancer therapy.
• Investigations on mRNA, miRNA and protein expression profiles in cancer, followed by in vitro functional
validation using SiRNA and cDNA transfection.
• In vitro screening of novel drug combinations and newly synthesised chemicals with the objective of
improving cancer chemotherapy.
• Programme in Translational Platelet Science studies in patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis and
ischaemic cerebrovascular disease.
This thematic area will exploit cross institutional cooperation by drawing on the key strengths of the partner
research groups. Examples within this thematic area include:
• Provision of novel compounds for screening; access to cell lines; facilities for expression microarrays,
bioinformatics, confocal microscopy/cell imaging and proteomics; provided by the NICB-DCU team;
• Provision of novel anticancer agents for screening; access to proteomic analysis of biomarkers for apoptosis
and metastasis in collaboration with the NUIM team; and,
• Provision of molecular analysis of tumour biopsies by the AMNCH team.
Strengthening Research Alliances
A number of initiatives are planned to enhance and deepen collaboration between the partner institutions and
to increase the benefits that will flow from it.
• Biannual research network meetings between partners, alternating between sites.
• Collaborative research initiatives through further expansion of joint research supervision, and increased
development of joint research proposal submissions. Based upon previous experience the exposure to two
research environments (e.g. academic and clinical) enriches the student experience and increases the
research outputs generated (publications etc.).
• Joint seminar programmes and the development of taught modules across the partner institutions as part
of structured M.Sc. and Ph.D. programmes.
In addition to the above, the Centre will seek to develop alliances with other regional and national centres
Personnel
The Centre will be staffed and populated by the following key personnel:
• Centre Manager who will direct the scientific effort of the Centre and the day-to-day operations.
The Centre Manager is a member of the Total Management Team at ITT Dublin ensuring that the Centre
and its activities are embedded as a core activity within the institute. Key roles shall involve active
engagement with relevant state and other bodies, promotion and dissemination of knowledge outputs,
initiation of new national and international collaboration efforts and links to enterprise.
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• Project Leaders who shall manage and drive and co-ordinate the research efforts within their thematic
area.
• Postdoctoral Fellows who shall stimulate novel research methodologies and ideas, inputting scientific
expertise as well as offering guidance to fellow researchers.
• Postgraduate Students whop shall comprise the largest group and will be significant beneficiaries of the
educational and training aspects of the programme and will represent an important output for the
technological sector of the economy.
• Research Officers whose role it will be to provide technical and specialist support to the individual
researchers ensuring the successful implementation and smooth running of the research programme. They
may also directly engage in research as appropriate.
• Administrative Support who will ensure that there is significant support to the manager and individual
researchers with regard to budget control, tendering, financial reporting, assisting in the preparation of
presentations and promotional material etc.
The new Centre will leverage a wealth of expertise from ITT Dublin, DCU, NUIM and AMNCH to advance both
knowledge and technology relating to areas of societal concern. Table 11.8 outlines the number of researchers
to be recruited over the 3 years of the programme. Each institution will contribute in a highly complementary
fashion to the chosen areas with a particularly strong clinical perspective being provided by AMNCH and other
hospitals. The result will be a coherent research programme which will facilitate the continued development of
these strategic alliances. The first round of recruitments has already begun.
Recruitment
ITT Dublin
NUIM
AMNCH
DCU
Total
Post-Doctoral
2
1
0
3
6
Post-Graduate
9
5
2
3
19
Other Academic
1
0
0
0
1
Other Non-academic
5
0
0
1
5
Table 11.8 Profile of New Researchers 2008 – 2011
Accommodation
The Centre of Applied Science for Health building will be approximately 870m2 over 3 floors. Table 11.9
provides detail on how the €9.26 M will be allocated. A private contribution has also been made by the
Institute of €1 M. Details of the layout of the new building and specialist equipment to be purchased were
already given in Chapter 6 – Facilities and Resources.
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Budgets
Total
HEA contribution
Private contribution
Overall
10,035,000
9,261,000
1,089,000
Recurrent
4,600,000
4,000,000
600,000
ITT Dublin
2,406,806
NUIM
696,327
AMNCH
346,867
DCU
1,150,000
Capital (total)
6,050,000
5,261,000
489,000
Capital - building
4,609,110
Capital - equipment
1,440,890
Table 11.9 Allocation of PRTLI Funding
Centre Management and Governance Structures
The Centre is managed through a Centre Management Committee which meets on a quarterly basis. The
committee’s role is to ensure implementation of research programmes, formulate a strategic approach to
commercialisation and IP management; discuss any financial, building and administrative issues; define and
implement the Centre’s self evaluation procedures; liaise with the relevant departments within the institute; and
to make strategic decisions on sustainability and funding. The Centre Management Committee membership
will include: the Centre Manager; Thematic R&D Area Managers; Head of Industrial Liaison Services; a
representative from each partner institution (or their nominee); the Synergy Centre Manager, and the ITT Dublin
Head of Development (ex officio). The Centre Manager will be the formal interface with the internal ITT Dublin
management structure and is a member of the Total Management Team within the Institute (see Figure 11.4).
An external Advisory Board will advise the management board on the strategic direction of Centre, on
technology transfer initiatives and education and training. Membership includes persons drawn from academia,
industry, and relevant other bodies.
During the establishment and building phase of the Centre, the Centre will rely heavily on the use of existing
research space and facilities within the Institute. Close cooperation between the Centre and the academic
Schools providing those facilities is required. Thus, an Interim Planning Committee has been established
comprising the Centre Manager, Thematic R&D Area Managers; Head of Industrial Liaison Services; the Synergy
Centre Manager, the Heads of Schools of Science & Computing and Engineering (or their nominee – usually a
constituent Head of Department), a representative from the Finance Office, and the ITT Dublin Estates
Manager. The role of the committee is to ensure a smooth interaction between the Centre and the different
stakeholders within ITT Dublin.
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External Advisory
Board
Institute
Total Management
Team
Academic Schools
Figure 11.5
CASH
Centre
Manager
Area 1 Leader
Management
Committee
Area 2 Leader
Area 3 Leader
Proposed Organisational Structure and Link to ITT Dublin Management Structure
Sustainability Plan
One of the aims of the ITT Dublin strategies for research and knowledge transfer is based upon the
development of a focused skill base and core competency in technology transfer. To that end it is imperative
that we build a strong infrastructural platform for R&D comprising the physical, human and organisational
capabilities. Sustainability will partly lie in the development of strong effective industrial collaborations, allowing
the translation of research efforts into products and technologies. The expertise and R&D facilities of the
Institute (e.g. Synergy Centre’s Technology Transfer Laboratories, and the National Pharmaceutical Education
Centre), research skills at collaborating institutes and those generated within the Centre of Applied Science for
Health will facilitate industry in addressing both research and process development/optimisation problems.
11.4.2 Microsensors for Clinical Research + Analysis Centre (MiCRA)
The primary aim of MiCRA is the development of commercially viable research, after consultation with industry,
and subsequent production of IP within the biosensors thematic area. To achieve this end, MiCRA is developing
a research profile and can offer expertise within the following subject areas.
• Micro and Nano fabrication of high quality designed structures using cheap, non-labour intensive
methodologies and the subsequent characterisation via SEM and AFM.
• Synthesis of novel organic compounds including metallo-organics.
• Development of bio-components for bio-sensors.
• Electrochemical characterisation of nanostructures, bio-sensors and other novel materials.
• Surface modifications via organic, metallic or inorganic materials.
MiCRA has strong internal and external links with research groups and industry including active collaborations
with other research groups within ITT-Dublin such as CREATE and CPRD through the involvement of ITT Dublin
Academics in the Centre.
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Personnel
MiCRA Centre Manager (Principal Investigator):
Dr. Oliver Worsfold
ITT Dublin Academics:
Drs. Eithne Dempsey, Tim McCormac and Mary Deasy (Chemistry) and Dr. Faithi Akarri (Electronic Engineering).
MiCRA Researchers:
Dr Mamun Jamal (Postdoctoral Fellow); Geok Hong Soon (PhD student); Ahmed Benkhial (M.Eng. student).
Strategic Objectives
The key strategic objectives of MiCRA are:
• Development of research projects within thematic area utilising the expertise of the multidisciplinary team.
• Production of intellectual property (IP) including patents, papers, know-how in the nanofabrication,
synthesis, and biosensors thematic areas.
• Engagement with industry to develop IP for commercial applications within the thematic areas both
nationally and internationally.
• To establish collaborations with other research groups and industrial partners from EU and further abroad.
• Develop graduate and postgraduate skills to meet the future needs of the sector from an academic and
commercial point of view.
THEMATIC AREA 1
Point-of-care testing
This project will investigate and establish the scientific foundations which form the basis of a point-of-care-test
for the main targets in a kidney and liver function test.
THEMATIC AREA 2
Novel Redox Materials
The successful development of solid state redox active materials that possess applications across areas such as
sensor, catalytic and nanotechnologies is an important field of research. Such materials should be pure, possess
accessible redox states, and be easily surface immobilized so as to yield organised systems whose surface
behaviour can be effectively probed.
THEMATIC AREA 3
Device Nanofabrication
An important aspect of the research profile within MiCRA is the development of devices for biosensors. Cheap,
non-labour intensive methodologies are being assessed alongside traditional micro and nano fabrication
technologies to develop the next generation of devices with the ultimate aim of stand-alone in vivo devices or
medical implants.
Key Recent Publications
1. L.H. Bi, T. McCormac, S. Beloshapkin and E. Dempsey, “Electrochemical Behaviour and Multilayer Assembly
Films with Fine Functional Activities of the Sandwich-Type Polyoxometallate [Sb2W20Fe2O70(H20)6]8-“,
Electroanalysis, (2008), 20:1, 38-46.
2. L-H Bi, K. Foster, T. McCormac, E. Dempsey “Preparation of multilayer films containing a crown
heteropolyanion and an osmium functionalised pyrrole monomer”, Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry,
(2007), 605:1, 24-30.
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3. J.D. Wright, O. Worsfold, C. Whitehouse and M. Himmelhaus, “Ultraflat ternary nanopatterns fabricated
via colloidal lithography”, Advanced Materials, (2006), 18:4, 421-426.
4. O. Worsfold, N. Voelcker and T. Nishiya, “Biosensing Using Lipid Bilayers Suspended on Porous Silicon”,
Langmuir, (2006), 22:16, 7078-7083.
5. S. Warren, T. McCormac and E. Dempsey, “Investigation of Novel Mediators for Glucose Biosensor based
on Metal Picolinate Complexes”, Bioelectrochemistry, (2005), 67:1, 23-35.
11.5 National Research Centres
Academic researchers are founder members of and play significant roles in a number of National Research
Centres. The academic staff involved actively work through these Centres to further their research activities and
generate outputs, such as Masters and PhD graduates, publications etc.
11.5.1 National Centre for Plasma Science & Technology (NCPST)
Two members of the Physics staff are faculty members of the Thin Film Materials node of the National Centre
for Plasma Science & Technology (NCPST) at DCU. The Institute of Technology Tallaght has been involved as
partners in NCPST since its inception in the first round of PRTLI in 2000 when it received funding of the order
of €7m. The Thin Film Materials group undertakes research into the development of novel materials by the
plasma technique. Recent work concentrates on Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition of polymer
coatings on cardio-vascular implant surfaces to promote their biocompatibility.
11.5.2 National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR)
The National Centre for Sensor Research is a large-scale, multidisciplinary, sensor research centre focused on
the science and applications of chemical sensors and biosensors. It is a collaborative centre made up of 24
academic staff from the Faculty of Science and Health at DCU and 6 academic members from the Department
of Science the Institute of Technology, Tallaght. Located in Dublin City University, the PRTLI funded NCSR is
based in a 2000m2state-of-the-art custom designed building with cleanrooms, synthetic laboratory and
biohazard facilities, application specific project laboratories and support units. Research in the NCSR includes
both fundamental and applied projects, ranging from basic studies of molecular interactions, for example, to
prototype development for industrial partners. The application focus of the NCSR research programme is on
areas of economic importance and societal concern, including medical diagnostics, food quality and
environmental monitoring.
11.5.3 National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB)
The National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB) is a multidisciplinary research institute based at Dublin
City University, NUI Maynooth and the Institute of Technology Tallaght. The base at the Institute includes 7
academic staff from the Department of Science as well as associated postgraduate students on specific research
projects in key areas including production and characterisation of novel anti-microbial therapeutics,
pathogenesis of microbial infections, and the synthesis and toxicological screening of novel pharmaceuticals.
The NICB is involved in research programs in collaboration with a number of Dublin hospitals, in order to bring
the output from basic research to application in disease treatment. There is also close collaboration with
industries in Ireland and abroad. NICB has been funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level
Institutions (PRTLI), administered by the HEA.
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11.5.4 National Pharmaceutical Education Centre
The National Pharmaceutical Education Centre was established on campus within the Department of Science
in 2002. The €4m purpose-built pilot scale manufacturing and techno logy transfer centre was established to
provide students and trainees of the Institute with key equipment and support utilities found in operational
pharmaceutical and biotechnology plants throughout the world. This unique facility, within the higher
education system in Ireland, was funded under the National Development Plan 2000 - 06. The 5,000 square
foot facility incorporates an integrated pilot scale Bio/Pharmaceutical Technology pilot plant and supporting
laboratories, designed to support teaching, training, research and development and industrial projects. It
currently supports a number of research projects carried out in the areas of process analytical technology and
bio/cell technology, including research conducted through the NICB and the BPNR Institute Research Centres.
11.5.5 Centre for Applied Microelectronics (CAM)
The Centre for Applied Microelectronics (CAM) was established on the college campus in 2003. Students and
researchers have access to an advanced semiconductor fabrication environment. The main focus of the Centre
is thin film fabrication technology, thin film characterisation, and applications in electronics, optical-electronic
devices and sensors and biosensors. It is operated by a core group of 5 academics based in the Department of
Electronic Engineering, with cross-discipline collaborations with staff of the Departments of Mechanical
Engineering and Applied Science. The main objective of the Centre is the mastering of micro-fabrication
techniques. Several undergraduate projects in the area have been successfully completed and three
postgraduate projects have been initiated with TSRP Strand 1 & 3 and Enterprise Ireland funding.
11.6 Research Groups
Each School and Department has expertise in a number of distinct areas of research which has led to the
clustering of researchers into specialist research groups since the mid-90s. Keywords that reflect those areas of
expertise are provided in Table 11.10.
Some research groups have come together to form IRCs in recent years as previously discussed. In addition
some new research groups have evolved while others still exist within the IRC framework to provide specialist
research support and expertise. The work of some of these groups is summarised below.
School of Science & Computing:
Health Science, Bio-Process Technology, Antimicrobial Agents, Peptide Synthesis, Microbial Pathogenesis, Cancer Therapies,
Pharmaceutical Science, Nanotechnology, Sensor Technology, Supramolecular Chemistry, Molecular Modelling, NMR
Spectroscopy, Asymmetric Synthesis, Process Analytical Technology (PAT), E-learning, Mobile Computing, Grid Computing,
Interoperable Systems and the Semantic Web, Complex Emergent Systems.
School of Engineering:
Bio-Engineering, Medical Devices, Wireless and RF Technology, Control, Vision & Learning Systems, Thin Film and Sensor
Technologies, Communications Technology, Integrated Manufacturing Design and Production, Rapid Prototyping,. Energy and
Environment.
School of Business & Humanities:
Communications, Language & Society, Media & Society, Social Sciences, Education, Management Research.
Table 11.10
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RESEARCH THEMATIC AREAS
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Biomedical Research Group (BMRG)
The Biomedical Research Group (BMRG), is a newly established research group allowing for collaboration
between researchers in ITT Dublin and other research groups / centres in the same area / discipline. The current
focus of this group is Cellular Metabolism and Immune Cell Function. The Biomedical Research Group (BMRG)
is currently collaborating with external collaborators from St. Vincent’s Hospital, AMNCH Tallaght, and The
School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Sciences UCD on a number of Strand 1 funded research projects.
Members of the BMRG are involved in research applications with external collaborators from the Department
of Physiotherapy and Performance Science, UCD; and the Institute for Sport and Health, UCD.
Computing Research
Academics in Computing are involved of a number or external research groups, including the following:
Semantic Web
Research conducted in collaboration with the University of Valencia and the University of St. Petersburg.
Epigenetic Modelling
This research is focussed on building computational models of mechanisms that lead to abnormal cell
development. This research is conducted with collaborators in DCU and is funded by SFI. The ITT Dublin
Academics have published their results in 5 peer reviewed articles since 2005. The Department recently agreed
a 5 year research strategy with DCU in the area of Modelling and Scientific Communications.
Energy and Environment
A cross department collaboration is taking place in the interlinked areas of Energy and Environment within the
School of Engineering. With each department, areas being currently being researched are, Mechanical: thermal
energy storage systems, evaluation of thermal properties of materials, energy monitoring and demand
reduction. Wind turbine blade design and optimization. Electronic: Wind turbine load optimization, photo
voltaic. Applications, Interactions with Smart Metering systems.
Under the environment banner, research work has traditionally been linked with Leonardo Programmess
(discussed in Chapter 10, Section 10.3.2). For the past 4 years members of the Department of Mechanical
Engineering and the Department of Science have been partners in an EU funded project working with partners
in Rome, Italy, to develop an action plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the city of Rome,
under the Rome for Kyoto project. The ITT Dublin team is collaborating with the City Council of Rome, ENEA
(Italian National Institute for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment), the Clinton Global Initiative
(William J. Clinton Foundation) and other partners to define the best course of action to reach Kyoto targets
within the agreed time-frame in the City of Rome.
A new degree programme is being developed in Energy, Environment Engineering in the School of Engineering.
This is being developed in collaboration with FH – Upper Austria (Wels) and CNAM la Vendee - Renewable
Energy Division. The intention is that this collaboration will facilitate staff and student exchange.
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Enterprise Software Technologies Research Group
This Research Group in the Department of Computing carries out research in the field of Enterprise Software
platforms, technologies, and solutions. The group conducts research across the whole field of enterprise
software technologies concentrated on core research topics, namely:
• Mobile Computing software technologies
• Distributed Computing software technologies
• Scalable and High-Performance Computing
• Development lifecycle issues for large-scale, complex, enterprise systems.
IMED Group
Mission – To promote interdisciplinary research teams to collaborate on ground breaking innovation in strategic
areas where diagnostic and theraputic medical devices are applied in medicine for the advancement of
healthcare. The group is made up of academics from the Electronic and Mechanical Engineering Departments,
in conjunction with academics at the AMNCH hospital and Aalborg Unviersity, Denmark.
Current Work –
Mechanical design, manufacture and quality control: The development of a marketable and effective medical
device is dependent on getting the manufacture and quality right first time. By blending best practice in micromanufacture, materials, design, rapid manufacture and quality control this research group will develop
processes and procedures for the design and manufacture of a wide range of innovative medical devices
including the FLIP sensor.
Modelling and characterisation: The group have a number of projects to develop and validate numerical model
simulations of flow in body channels and the elctrical modelling of devices using impedance planimetry
principles.
Clinical evaluation: Clinical evaluation of impedance based devices for investigation of faecal incontinence and
gastro-oesophageal reflux are ongoing within the group in conjunction with clinicians at AMNCH.
Electronic design, manufacture and validation: Currently signals from the probe are recorded on to a personal
computer and must be processed before they can be viewed by clinicians. This part of the project involves the
design of a handheld system which will record and display real-time geometric data from the probe thus
enabling the clinician to visualize the motion of the sphincter muscle in three dimensions.
Mathematics Research Group
Research in the area of multivariable spectral theory as applied to finite dimensional linear algebra has been
carried out by two academics from Mathematics and a postdoctoral fellow. Funding for research in exactness
in spectral and matrix theory was obtained from the Enterprise Ireland Basic Research Grant Scheme. Main ITT
Dublin collaborators: Drs. C. Stack, C. Taylor. External Collaborator: Dr. S. Dineen, UCD.
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Molecular Design and Synthesis Group
The core activities of the group involve the design and synthesis of new molecules for industrial biomedical and
environmental application. Technology Foresight Reports to date have not only highlighted the significance of
several strategic technologies but have also confirmed the significance of chemical synthesis to the success of
this strategy. Advanced Synthesis was identified as a key strategic technology by the Chemicals and
Pharmaceuticals panel of the Foresight exercise. Hence, the area of the area of Synthetic Chemistry is a hugely
important one. The advent of the Centre of Excellence approach to the enhance sustainability of future
research initiatives has resulted in the members of this group re-aligning their synthesis expertise under the
umbrella of Institute Centres at ITT Dublin, including CPRD and NMRICS and National Centres, such as the
NCSR and the NICB collaborative DCU initiatives.
Within the research team there is expertise in the synthesis macromolecules, asymmetric synthesis, molecular
recognition and computational design. Numerous chemical synthesis projects involving the principal researchers
have been running in the Department since 1994.
The group has targeted two specific areas for investigation over the next five years, namely: Asymmetirc
Synthesis and Supramolecular Chemistry.
Process Analytical Technology Group
This research group was established in 2004 by academics in Chemistry, Mathematics and Electronic
Engineering, with the objective of addressing the FDA’s PAT initiative (2004) to promote the integration of new
manufacturing technologies into the pharmaceutical production. This group is multidisciplinary and
interdepartmental involving Science (Mathematics, Chemistry, Statistics, Biology and Physics) and Engineering
(Electronic and Mechanical). The core activities of the group involve the development and evaluation of
spectroscopic and acoustic techniques for real-time (in/on-line) monitoring of pharmaceutical and
biopharmaceutical processes. The group works closely with the bio/pharmaceutical industry.
Radio Frequency Technology Centre (RFTC)
The Centre operating through the Department of Electronic Engineering supports Innovation Partnership with
industry– Global Security Devices. The Centre offers RF circuit design skills up to 3GHz. It provides a test and
measurement resource, addressing national shortage of advanced skill-sets in wireless technology. It works
closely with the Synergy Centre at ITT Dublin and there are currently two research assistants working on EI
Innovations Partnership projects based at Synergy.
Scientific Computing Group (SCG)
The Scientific Computing Group (formed in 2006) researches efficient software solutions and data mining of
Extremely Large Databases (XLDBs) within Grid and distributed computing environments. The group currently
comprises two academic and one technical staff from ITTD and one academic from CIT. Currently one Strand
1 masters degree student is working with the group. The SCG is a member of Grid-Ireland and was awarded
a Dell Grid-Gateway to provide connectivity between ITTD and the Grid. Planned projects will involve greater
collaboration with CIT, while an ambition of the group is to provide long-term scientific computing
infrastructure and expertise to ITTD projects, for example in pharmaceutical science, chemistry, mathematics
and engineering which require Grid computing.
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The Ontologies for E-Learning Special Interest Group
Ontologies are being used to model orthogonal aspects of E-learning such as personalisation profiles, delivery
methods, and the domain information itself. The Ontologies for E-Learning Special Interest Group is a
collaborative effort between ITT Dublin and the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain, investigating diverse
aspects of this domain such as automatic ontology construction; identification, analysis, and validation of
domain information using multiple sources; and automatic assessment generation in narrow domains.
Vision Systems
This research, with funding from IRCSET and PRDSP Strand 1, aims to develop algorithms and software tools
for the management and visualization of the very large archives of personal image and video content envisaged
in the not-so-distant future, due to the prevalence of low-cost digital camera and camcorder technology. There
are currently projects in the area which aim to develop approaches for the calculation of image similarity and
will aim to provide novel immersive 3-D user-interfaces to combine human visual abilities with the automated
organisation of the content. Collaboration occurs with DCU.
11.7 Postdoctoral Researchers
A number of post-doctoral fellows have been employed in the Department in Biology and Chemistry as
described in Table 11.11. In all cases it was evident that these researchers who lead and worked on specific
projects for up to 3 years made significant contributions to the Department and generated a large number of
research publications for this group.
The Department currently has 2 post-doctoral fellows working in Chemistry. The current recruitment drives of
the CASH Centre and MiCRA Centres will mean this number is set to increase in 2008. The Post-Doctoral
Fellows conduct laboratory-based research predominantly and this means that the post-graduate student base
gains considerably from their hands-on experience and vast experience on a day to day basis. In addition their
participation in departmental seminars means their research expertise is transferred to the wider academic
community within the Department and School. The employment of two research assistants in Biology resulted
in significant developments in bringing the area of biopharmaceutical research closer to the development and
commercialization stage. Much of the early research in Engineering was conducted by Research Assistants. The
Department of Electronic Engineering is currently employing 2 RAs through the EI Innovation Partnership
project.
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Name
ITT Dublin
Academic
Project Leader
Contract
Duration
Research
Topic
Research
Discipline Area
Funding
Agency
L. Oakley
M. Costello
J. Behan
3 years
Antimicrobials
Biology
HEA PRTLI
R. Harte
C. Stack
C. Taylor
3 years
Applied
Mathematics
Mathematics
EI Basic
Research Grant
A. Kennedy
T. McCormac
E. Dempsey
3 years
Electrochemistry
(Sensors)
Chemistry
HEA PRTLI
J. McGinley
B. Creaven
B. Murray
3 years
Chemical Synthesis Chemistry
(Sensors)
HEA PRTLI
E. Caraher
M. Callaghan
S. McClean
4 years
Cystic
Fibrosis
L. Bi
T. McCormac
E. Dempsey
2 years
Chemistry
Novel Multifunctional Materials
M. Jamal
E. Dempsey
T. McCormac
2 years
Microsensors
Table 11.11
Biology
Chemistry
HEA PRTLI
Marie Curie
(6th Framework)
EI Applied Research
Enhancement
Details of Postdoctoral Fellows 2000 - 2007
11.8 Consultancy Related Research
Academic expertise has also been channelled into consultancy activities specifically related to research and
development. It is a small but important activity across all Academic Schools and is another indicator of the
level of expertise that exists within the Institute and has resulted in linkages between the Institute and the local
industrial community. A profile of the consultancy services provided to industry was already presented in the
DA submission for the Institute’s taught programmes, Chapter 13, Section 13.13. The specific research related
consultancy performance indicators by project area are given in Table 11.11. Some of the consultancy-related
research projects led to applied research projects funded by Enterprise Ireland in Mechanical Engineering in
particular.
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Company Name
Research PROJECT
South Dublin County Council
Economics
Accountancy & Professional Studies
Academic
TWI International
Economics
Accountancy & Professional Studies
Academic
Forfas
Innovation
Management
Academic
South Dublin Development Board
Economics
Accountancy & Professional Studies
Academic
South Dublin County Tourism
Tourism Management
Humanities
Academic
AMNCH
Psychology
Management
Academic
Limavady Gear Co. Ltd.
Mechanical
Mechanical Engineering
Academic
Telemecanique Ltd.
Metrology
Mechanical Engineering
Academic
MDS Electronics Ltd.
Product Development
Mechanical Engineering
Academic
Gaines Europe Ltd.
Innovation & Product
Development
Mechanical Engineering
Academic
Mallinckrodt
Integrated Manufacture
Design & Production
Mechanical Engineering
Postgraduate
Boston Scientific
Integrated Manufacture
Design & Production
Mechanical Engineering
Postgraduate
Pressco Jig & Tool
Integrated Manufacture
Design & Production
Mechanical Engineering
Postgraduate
Allied Signal
Integrated Manufacture
Design & Production
Mechanical Engineering
Postgraduate
Tech Group
Integrated Manufacture
Design & Production
Mechanical Engineering
Postgraduate
EPC Europe Ltd
Integrated Manufacture
Design & Production
Mechanical Engineering
Postgraduate
The National Metrology Laboratory
Product Development
Mechanical Engineering
Postgraduate
Atlantic Diamond
Integrated Manufacture
Design & Production
Mechanical Engineering
Academic
Hewlett Packard
Integrated Manufacture
Design & Production
Mechanical Engineering
Postgraduate
Mobile Aware Ltd.
Mobile Computing
Computing
Postgraduate
Iropharm
Spectroscopy
Science
Academic
Henkel-Loctite
Spectroscopy
Science
Academic
TopChem
Spectroscopy
Science
Academic
CrossVetpharm
Pharmaceuticals
Science
Academic
Barclay Chemicals
Spectroscopy
Science
Academic
NTERA
Spectroscopy
Science
Academic
Reagecon
Spectroscopy
Science
Academic
Table 11.11
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Research Related Consultancy Projects
Academic DEPARTMENT
Researcher
Chapter 12
Quality Assurance
Systems
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Chapter 12
Quality Assurance Systems
12.1 Introduction
The Qualifications Act (1999) required all Institutes to establish procedures for quality assurance for the purpose
of improving and maintaining quality of education and training. Since then a structured approach to quality
assurance in higher education has evolved under the guidance of the NQAI and HETAC.
In the past decade, changes in national policy, structures, legislation, funding mechanisms and accountability
requirements have fundamentally altered the landscape in which Irish higher education institutions operate.
These changes have informed the guideline and criteria documents provided by the Awarding Bodies to
educational establishments to put in place their own quality assurance systems. An academic quality assurance
system provides stakeholders and students alike with an assurance that the design of educational programmes
and associated standards has been planned and validated by an authority, in this case HETAC and the NQAI,
which best safeguards their interests. The key elements of any quality system are given in Figure 12.1.
Purpose & Scope
Validation
Implementation
Compliance
Figure 12.1
290
Quality Assurance Key Elements
Documentation of Procedures
Quality
Assurance
Systems
Verification
Change Control
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The Quality Assurance System for the Institute is outlined in Quality Assurance Manual. It was drawn up to
describe how the Institute should perform its academic operations using the current HETAC guidelines1 and
was approved by HETAC in August 2004.
The Institute strives to ensure an ethos of quality in all of its activities and to embed a culture of continuous
improvement in the provision of services to students and to the wider community. To facilitate this, a Quality
Manual, associated Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and quality improvement initiatives have been
developed.
12.2 Institute Quality Assurance Structure
The Quality Assurance System has been drawn up to ensure quality in the educational service provided to all
students and it also has mechanisms to encourage continuous improvement in the management of quality.
Quality and its assurance is not maintained or enhanced through systems and controls alone but through
professional commitment. Hence, the Quality Assurance System is applied at every level of the organisation.
Staff and students are regularly reminded of the importance of assuring and enhancing quality through
processes and procedures through their sponsoring School.
The objectives of quality assurance as applied to teaching and learning in higher education are:
a. To contribute, in conjunction with other mechanisms, to the promotion of high quality and standards in
teaching and learning.
b. To provide students, employers and others with reliable and consistent information about quality and
standards at the institution.
c. To ensure that educational programmes are identified where quality or standards are unsatisfactory,
as a basis for ensuring rapid action to improve them.
d. To provide one means of securing accountability for the use of public funds received by the institution.
These objectives are secured primarily through the internal quality assurance procedures and audit trail
processes operated by the Institute. The Quality Manual is the main document which describes all academic
and functional operations in a structured format. In 2006, a Code of Practice for research Degree Programmes
was drawn up to augment and streamline the quality systems for the operation of supervised research studies.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been compiled to provide more detail on the implementation of
the quality assurance procedures described in the Quality Manual. The whole system is guided by HETAC
criteria and established international/national best practice and standards. The flowchart in Figure 12.2 shows
the overall structure of the Quality Assurance System.
1 Guidelines & Criteria for Quality Assurance Procedures in Higher Education and Training, HETAC 2002.
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HETAC Guidelines and Criteria
Best Practice
Policy
Quality
Manual
Quality Management System
Code of Practice for Research Degrees
Standard Operating Procedures
Figure 12.2
Structure of the Institute Quality Assurance System
12.3 Institute Quality Manual
The Institute’s Quality Assurance Manual was produced to conform to the HETAC Guidelines and Criteria for
Quality Assurance Procedures in Higher Education and Training (2002). It describes the key structures,
processes, policies, procedures, performance measures and quality assurance mechanisms that facilitate a
systematic approach to embedding a quality improvement approach within the Institute. The Quality Assurance
Manual was submitted to HETAC and following review was accepted as meeting the requirements as specified
in the HETAC guidelines. A Certificate of conformance was issued by HETAC and presented to the Institute in
August 2004. The layout of the QA Manual is given in Figure 12.3.
Validation establishes documented evidence which provides a high degree of assurance that a specific course
will consistently meet its predetermined goals and quality characteristics. Hence, the QA Manual includes
detailed procedures for the validation of new programmes. The QA Manual includes procedures for the
efficient monitoring, evaluation and review of programmes, a key strength in any QA process.
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Quality Assurance Manual
Academic & Operational Procedures
Organisational Structure
Evaluation of Procedures
Roles and Responsibilities
QA Review Procedures
Academic Policies
Figure 12.3
Quality Manual Layout
12.4 Institute Quality Management System
Effective quality management is becoming increasingly important for the Institute, not only for improved
outcomes but also because of an increasingly competitive environment and increased public interest in
comparative quality data on Institutes of Technology and the universities. Figure 12.4 provides an overview of
the key aspects of the Institute’s systems for the management of quality.
The development of the Quality Management System (QMS) as indicated in Figure 12.4, underpins the
Institute’s approach to realise its commitment to quality. The Institute’s core activities (teaching and learning,
and research and innovation) are supported by central service departments (estates, HR, academic
administration, student services, library, finance, computing services) and by student support services (including
careers and appointments, medical services, counselling, chaplaincy, access and disability supports, sports
and recreation activities and learning supports). The Institute’s management and governance structures
provide leadership in the development and implementation of quality assurance throughout the Institute.
However, all internal and external stakeholders provide input into the quality assurance process and are
instrumental in achieving the Institute’s goals. Academic staff are key players in the development and
implementation of quality assurance in academic areas. Central services and student support services have
their own quality assurance processes and play a vital role in enabling and supporting the Institute’s core
activities. Collective responsibility is achieved through involvement in departmental meetings, programme
boards and various other sub-committees and working groups within the different functional areas of the
Institute and at School/Department level.
Through a cycle of planning, implementing and review, a process of continuous improvement is established
across all Institute activities. This process is an interactive and collective process that recognises the
interdependence that exists among all stakeholders and recognises outcomes as the result of systemic
interaction among all players. Quality improvement initiatives are based on the analysis of information, data
and reports gained through a structured process of evaluation, monitoring and feedback from internal and
external stakeholders, through the mechanisms of Institutional and Programmatic Reviews and other periodic
evaluations conducted by the Institute.
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Governance and Management
Planning, Strategy, Goals
Teaching and
Learning
Research and
Innovation
Supported by Central Services and
Student Support Services
Stakeholder
Involvement
• Students
• Staff
• Graduates
• Companies & Organisations
• Professional Bodies
• Regulatory Input
• NQAI/HETAC/FETAC
Learning Enviroment
Physical Facilities and Resources
Transfer of knowledge, skills and competencies
Graduates and Post-Graduates
Strategies for Review, Monitoring, Evaluating Feedback
and Results, Redefinition of Goals and Strategy.
Figure 12.4
Institute Quality Management Systems
The structures put in place for managing quality, are designed to improve the communication processes,
co-operation and interaction among management teams, Governing Body and individuals. Continuous
improvement depends on the quality of interaction and lines of communication among the individuals and
groups outlined in Figure 12.5.
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Governing Body
President
Registrar
Academic Council
Heads of School and Department
Academic Staff and Support Staff
Management Line Relationship
Academic Council Sub-Committees
Programme Boards
Lecturer - Student
Communications/Liaison Relationship
Fig 12.5 Lines of Communication in the Academic Quality System
12.5 Academic Quality Assurance Procedures
The Institute’s quality assurance procedures are detailed in the Institute Quality Assurance Manual and are
therefore not reproduced here. The purpose of the procedures is summarised below. Procedures in Section
12.5.1 to 12.5.4 relate to quality assurance in academic programmes/activities; Procedures Section 12.5.5 to
12.5.7 relate quality assurance in the central services and student support areas.
The final set of procedures summarised in Section 12.5.8 relate to the process of evaluating the Institute’s
quality management system itself. This shows the Institute has a structured process for evaluation and review
to ensure that the Institute’s quality assurance procedures are effective and are correctly aligned to the needs
of the Institute at a particular moment in time.
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12.5.1 Procedures for Design and Approval of New Programmes,
Subjects and Modules
The purpose of these procedures, associated guidelines and forms is to ensure that new programmes
developed by the Institute are:
• Compliant with the mission, policies and strategic plan of the Institute.
• Compliant with the policies and procedures of the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) and
of the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) for Section 25 validation.
• Fulfil an identifiable need for industry or the local community.
• Are of appropriate academic breadth and depth with learning outcomes that are consistent with the levels
of knowledge skill and competence as prescribed by the National Framework of Qualifications.
• Provide routes which maximise opportunities for learners to avail of access, transfer and progression routes.
• Are developed via a process that is consistent and identifies the academic, physical and human resources
required to deliver the programme.
The most recent procedures for approving new programmes were developed in response to a significant
change in the Institute’s powers with effect from May 2006, due to the granting of delegated authority status
to the Institute. The procedures cover major, minor, special purpose and supplemental awards. Procedures for
making Modifications to Existing Programmes are also exist. Chapter 13 which describes how the Institute
implements delegated authority provides more information on this procedure and the steps involved.
12.5.2 Procedures for the Assessment of Learners
The purpose of these procedures is to ensure that the Institute operates assessment methods that:
(i)
are fair, consistent and transparent;
(ii)
comply with standards determined by HETAC or other approved validating bodies;
(iii)
comply with the standards in respect of the National Framework of Qualifications;
(iv)
evaluate student learning on the programme;
(v)
are effective in measuring the achievement of the desired learning outcomes of the programme.
(vi)
provide students with opportunities to demonstrate application of knowledge, attitudes or skills where
appropriate;
(vii) provide feedback to students to assist them in improving their performance.
The procedures outlined in this section of the Quality Manual focus on: regulations concerning assessment and
examinations; assessment schedules and the weighting of assessments; registration for examinations; semester
examination papers, solutions, marking schemes and grading; script marking and compilation of marks; Exam
Board meetings and notification of examination results; procedures for dealing with requests for examination
recheck/review; Academic Disciplinary Board procedures for students allegedly breaching examination
regulations; regulations for examination Invigilators; provision of appropriate feedback on continuous
assessment, including advice on how the student can improve his/her grade; procedures for FETAC
programmes and Professional Body programmes.
Postgraduate research degrees policy and procedures while described briefly in this section of the
Quality Manual are described in detail in the Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes as discussed
in Section 12.9.
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12.5.3
Procedures for Ongoing Monitoring of Programmes
The purpose of these procedures and guidelines is to:
• ensure systematic processes exist and are managed in order to collect and analyse information supportive
of the continuous improvement of programmes;
• correlate both internal and external information to ensure programmes retain their academic and vocational
currency;
• monitor learner achievement in relation to stated learning outcomes of the programmes and to gauge the
effectiveness of programme assessment mechanisms;
• create a quality culture within the Institute at both staff and learner level such that stakeholders are aware
of their roles and responsibilities in relation to programme quality;
• support overarching periodic reviews of the Institute and its constituent schools.
This section of the Quality Manual includes procedures for the formation and reporting mechanisms of
Programme Boards.
12.5.4 Procedures for Evaluation of Each Programme at Regular Intervals
The procedures have been drawn up to guide staff, learner representatives and external specialists involved in
the Periodic Programmatic Evaluation. The purpose of these procedures is to ensure that the Institute operates
evaluation procedures of individual or group related programmes that:
(i) Ensure quality improvements are made to programmes.
(ii) Ensure programmes remain relevant to learner needs, including academic and labour market needs.
(iii) Are conducted in accordance with established international best practice.
(iv) Are fair and consistent
(v) Takes cognisance of the National Framework of Qualifications and implements the policies of the NQAI in
relation to access, transfer and progression.
12.5.5 Procedures for Selection, Appointment, Appraisal and Development
of Staff
The purpose of these procedures is to ensure that the Institute operates Recruitment and Selection
methods that are fair and consistent and comply with the regulation determined by the Minister for
Education and Science. These procedures have been drafted as a guide to all staff with responsibilities for
recruitment & selection.
The Human Resources Manager is responsible for developing, managing, evaluating and implementing
appropriate selection, recruitment and appointment practices and procedures. Selection Procedures cover:
• Advertisements
• Screening
• Short-listing
• Selection Board composition and conduct
• Documentary evidence.
Recent improvements include:
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• The preparation of a guide to members of interview boards which explains the process, roles and
responsibilities of the panel members, and sets out questioning approaches
• The preparation of detailed information packs for all members of an interview board, setting out the job
description, copies of the job advertisement, and the screening and short-listing process
• The preparation of a detailed information pack for all academics regarding recruitment and selection of
postgraduate researchers
• The provision of feedback to candidates upon the outcome of their interview
• The provision of a two day course on interview skills to all members of the management team
• The provision of an e-mail facility enabling candidates to download their application form and e-mail it back
to the Institute.
Procedures also exist for the Appraisal of Staff, Staff Training and Development and the Performance
Management Development System (PMDS).
12.5.6 Procedures for Evaluating Premises, Equipment and Facilities
Section 8 of the Institute Quality Assurance Manual details the procedures for evaluating premises, equipment
and facilities. These procedures relate to the following key areas:
• Room Condition Audits. Room condition audits of all classrooms, lectures and common areas are carried
out during the summer and winter breaks to allow repair works to be done and to ensure that facilities are
in optimum condition before the commencement of each semester.
• Allocation and timetabling of rooms. Room audits are carried out to review the accuracy of the Institute
timetable by verifying actual room usage.
• Procurement Procedures. The major on-going service contracts, such as catering, clearing, security, and
grounds maintenance, are put to public tender every three years. Institute policies and procedures in relation
to procurement are outlined in section 8.5 of the Institute Quality Assurance Manual.
• Procedures for the servicing and maintenance of the Institute’s premises are outlined in Section 9.5 of the
Institute Quality Manual.
The Estates Office is developing a comprehensive set of standard operating procedures for the estates/facilities
management function to cover areas such as unscheduled maintenance requests and requests for minor works,
and health and safety.
12.5.7 Procedures for Evaluating Services Related to Programmes of
Higher Education and Training
Procedures for evaluating services related to programmes of higher education and training are outlined in
Section 9 of the Institute Quality Assurance manual. These procedures cover the following services:
• Library and Information Services
• Computing and Reprographic Services
• Learner Support, Academic and Non-Academic
• Technical Services
• Premises servicing and maintenance
• Communications.
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12.5.8 Procedures for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Quality Assurance
Procedures
The Institute is committed to ensuring that both the operation and control of its quality assurance processes
are effective, and that they contribute to an ongoing process of continuous improvement.
Section 10 of the Institute Quality Assurance Manual details the series of internal and external audits in place
designed to assess whether quality assurance procedures are being implemented (as defined in the Institute
procedures) and as part of a learning process, to evaluate if these procedures and review mechanisms are
adequate for the purpose for which they were established. Senior Management has responsibility for ensuring
that the audit/review process is conducted appropriately and that the recommendations are implemented.
The internal and external audits specified in the Institute Quality Manual are outlined below.
• Internal Audit by Consultant Auditors
• Internal Audit by Sub-committee of Governing Body
• Periodic Institutional Audit
• Management Quality Assurance Review
• Audit of the Comptroller and Auditor General
• Internal peer audit
These review mechanisms were considered in Chapter 3, Section 3.8. Table 12.1 provides a list of quality
assurance systems audited since 2005.
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System Audited
Area
Area
Responses to External Examiner recommendations for 2005/06
Computing and Science Departments
Sept. ’07
Extern Examiners Reports
Humanities
June ’07
Response to External Examiners Reports
Mechanical Engineering Department
June ’07
Responses to external examiner comments on external
examiner reports
Accounting & Professional Studies Department
June ’07
Response to External Examiners Reports
Electronic Engineering Department
June ’07
Responses to external examiner comments on external
examiner reports
Management Department
June ’07
Responses to external examiner comments on external
examiner reports
Marketing & Business Computing Department
June ’07
Academic Disciplinary Board Procedures for Students allegedly
breaching Institute Examination Regulations as presented in the
Standing Operating Procedure DR045 for January 2005
Institute-wide
June ’06
Standard Operating Procedure for dealing with requests for
examination rechecks and reviews for Examination session
January 2005 which comprised 16 applications for a review
or a recheck.
Institute-wide
June ’06
Follow on actions from External Examiner (EE)
Reports of October 2005
Electronic Engineering Department
June ’06
New Programme Design
Computing Department
June ’06
Follow on actions from External Examiner (EE)
Reports of October 2005
Science Department
May ’06
Programme Board Reports
Institute-wide
Oct. ’05
Broadsheet amendments relating to August 2005
Institute-wide
Oct. ’05
Non-compliance of examination papers
Institute-wide
Jan. ’05
Broadsheet amendments which record non-compliance in
specific individual cases
Schools and Office of the Registrar
Jan. ’05
Audit of Commitments outlined in Quality Manual 2004
Institute-wide
Feb. ’05
Table 12.1 List of Internal Peer Audits 2005-07
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12.5.9 Programmatic Review Process and Procedures
This periodic programmatic evaluation is a review of the continuing validity of a programme’s aims and the
associated learning outcomes. It centres on a review of the programme over the previous five years, with
particular regard to the achievement and improvement of educational quality. Through a Periodic
Programmatic Evaluation a revised programme document is developed detailing revised aims and learning
outcomes, revised programme schedules and a revised assessment plan. The outcome from the Periodic
Programmatic Evaluation also informs the sponsoring Academic School’s strategic direction for the future.
The internal element of a Periodic Programmatic Evaluation comprises:
(i) self evaluation of the programme(s)
(ii) a plan for the subsequent five years and a revised programme document including, if required, revised
programme schedules
(iii) a review by an Internal Self Evaluation Group.
The external element of a Periodic Programmatic Evaluation entails a group of external experts
(i) considering the evidence of the self evaluation
(ii) conducting their own evaluation of the revised programme document and plan
(iii) producing an external evaluation report.
Each School considers and acts on the findings of the self-evaluation and the external evaluation. It is required
to put in place formal procedures for monitoring the implementation of the changes adopted as a result of the
findings. The implementation of the changes will form part of an internal audit conducted by an internal peer
review auditor appointed by the Institute (see Section 12.5.8).
12.5.10 Institutional Review Process and Procedures
An Institutional Review is an external review of the Institution as a whole (all activities – academic and others)
by an expert peer review group convened by HETAC. The main components include:
• Institutional self-evaluation & report
• External review by expert panel & panel report
• Implementation of recommendations arising.
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Preparatory meeting
HETAC/Institution
HETAC sets
Terms of Reference
Self Study by Institution
HETAC appoints
Expert panel
Submission of
Self Evaluation report
Site Vist
Panel report
Insitutional response &
Implementation plan
Adoption by HETAC Council
Publication
Implementation
of recommendations
Follow up
Figure 12.6
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Flowchart outlining the Institutional Review Process
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The terms of reference for Institutional Review are set out in the HETAC overarching policy for institutional
review as approved in December 2007.2 The objectives of the institutional review process are
1. to enhance public confidence in the quality of education and training provided by the institution and the
standards of the awards made;
2. to contribute to coherent strategic planning and governance in the institution;
3. to assess the effectiveness of the quality assurance arrangements operated by the institution;
4. to confirm the extent that the institution has implemented the national framework of qualifications and
procedures for access, transfer and progression;
5. to evaluate the operation and management of delegated authority where it has been granted;
6. to provide recommendations for the enhancement of the education and training provided by the
institution.
To maximise the benefits of the review process, Institutions may also consider including additional objectives
relevant to its context.
12.6 Continuous Improvement
The Institute approach to quality improvement is indicated in Figure 12.7. It is a continuous responsive process
that seeks to improve outcomes. Each Department/function identifies its key stakeholders (students, staff and
other internal and external stakeholders), the key processes involved in managing the functional area and the
policies that govern these processes. The next stage involves identifying how the functional area complies with
its stated policies and procedures and what deficiencies need to be addressed. The final stage involves
identifying improvements that could be made within the functional area.
12.7 Standard Operating Procedures
Policies and procedures are developed using Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). It is the policy of the
Institute that all Standard Operating procedures (SOP’s) have the same format, as far as possible. The standard
format for SOPs has five headings: policy, purpose, organisational units affected, definitions, responsibility and
description of the procedure. Where appropriate, procedures conform to this template. A specific SOP
template (procedure no: E2001) is used when generating a new procedure. A full list of SOPs for the Institute
is available from the Freedom of Information Office.
2 Policy on Institutional Review of Providers of Higher Education and Training, HETAC, Dec. 2007.
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Key Processes
Department/Function
Key Stakeholders
Procedures reviewed with
respect to compliance
Deficiencies identified
Procedure Amended
Implement Improvements
Fig. 12.7 Quality Review and Improvement
12.8 Research Quality Assurance Framework
The current Quality Assurance Manual gives a concise statement of the Institute’s quality policy and
management objectives as applied to its undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes jointly. Quality
assurance procedures for the admission, monitoring and examination of postgraduate research students were
developed by the Postgraduate Policy Committee of Academic Council between 2001 and 2002, inline with
the HETAC guidelines of the time.3 This Committee drafted the first Institute Postgraduate Research Degrees:
Policy & Procedures document which was approved by Academic Council on April 10th 2002 and by the
Governing Body on May 8th 2002. Section 4.4.17 of the Quality Manual provides a summary of the
Postgraduate Research Degrees Policy and Procedures which were approved by Governing Body in 2002.
The Institute’s research regulations & procedures4 were assessed by the Registrar’s Office in May 2005 in view
of the following:
a. The decision to make an application for accreditation to maintain a research register in line with the April
2003 “Validation process, policy and criteria for the accreditation of providers to maintain a register for a
specified research degree in a specified discipline area”;
b. The coming on-stream of the new HETAC Aug. 2005 “Taught & Research Programme Accreditation Policy
Criteria & Processes”.
3 Postgraduate Research Degrees Policy & Procedures, HETAC 2001.
4 Institute of Technology Tallaght, Postgraduate Research Degrees Policy and Procedures Document, May 2002.
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The results of this assessment were presented both to Management and Academic Council where it was
decided to develop a complete Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes to include:
1. Updated Regulations for Supervised Postgraduate Research Studies;
2. Code of Conduct for Researchers.
This was carried out by the Postgraduate Policy sub-Committee of Academic Council who consulted with
management, academic supervisors and research students in the process. The Code of Practice was approved
by Academic Council in February 2006 and subsequently by the Governing Body in March 2006. It was also
ratified by the Institute management teams.
The Code of Practice (Section 12.9) is an integral part of the Quality Management System. The regulations and
procedures therein underpin the academic operations and management of the Institute’s research degree
programmes.
A register of postgraduate students is maintained by the Registrar’s Office in the Institute. All registrations are
evaluated internally by the Postgraduate Research Board, as convened by the Registrar.
The Institute has been accredited by HETAC to maintain a research degree register in specific discipline areas.
For candidates submitting applications to the following registers, then the Institute approves the
application:
• Master of Engineering
• Master of Science
• Doctor of Philosophy BIOLOGY and CHEMISTRY disciplines only, inclusive of transfer applications.
For candidates submitting applications to the following registers, then applications must be submitted to
HETAC who then approve the application:
• Master of Arts
• Master of Business
• Doctor of Philosophy (all disciplines other than BIOLOGY or CHEMISTRY, inclusive of transfer
applications)
A Postgraduate Research Student Handbook has also been developed and this is updated on an annual basis
by a group comprised of staff from Development and Registrar’s Office. Part 1 of the handbook provides
general information to research students regarding their studies, supports and services. Part 2 of the handbook
summarises the Research Regulations and Code of Conduct.
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12.8.1 The Postgraduate Research Board
The primary function of the Postgraduate Research Board is to assist and advise the Registrar in monitoring the
overall registration, assessment and examination of candidates for the Institute’s research degree programmes.
Composition of the Postgraduate Research Board:
It consists of the Registrar, Heads of School, Heads of Department, Academic Representatives (6) who have
supervised research degree students to Level 9 and 10 to completion. The Registrar can also nominate a panel
of external academic advisors (5) to advise the Board as required.
The Board should meet at least once a year and thereafter on an ad hoc basis as required. In case of matters
arising for consideration by the Board at other times, an executive core committee comprising three members
of the Board can be convened by the Registrar.
Since requests for registrations, transfers and examination of candidates often occur periodically throughout
the year, the Registrar may liaise with the Board and external panel members as required in writing to seek their
advice or approval in relation to these requests rather than convene a meeting.
Terms of Reference:
• Review and approve all new applications for registration to research degree programmes before submission
to HETAC.
• Approve the results of any qualifying examination process as required to support a registration application.
• Review the annual assessment reports and approve the annual renewal of registrations.
• Review and approve applications for transfer between postgraduate research degree registers.
• Provide advice on the approval of internal and external examiners as required.
• Deal with appeals & complaints as appropriate.
12.8.2 Monitoring the Quality of Research Degree Programmes
The Departments and Schools are responsible for the delivery of research degree programmes. They work
closely with the Registrar’s Office in this regard. They also work closely with Development & External Services
(D&ESO) in relation to support services for research, in particular those that apply to studentships and funding.
Research Degree Programme Boards reside within the Departments. They are established in accordance
with the procedures as described in the Quality Assurance Manual. The Programme Board is comprised
of a Head of Department (or nominee) and the research academic staff and student representatives, other
staff or external advisors. Their main focus is to monitor and improve the ongoing delivery of the research
degree programmes.
It is Institute policy that postgraduate research assessment should be conducted rigorously, fairly and
consistently. It should only undertaken by those individuals with relevant qualifications and experience and with
a clear understanding of the task. Monitoring of progress on the project is carried out by the Supervisor(s)
through regular scheduled meetings and discussions with the student. The overall monitoring of the
supervision process is carried out by the sponsoring Department for example through the Programme Boards,
annual reviews, and complaints mechanisms. Student progress is assessed on an annual basis by the
Department through the mechanism of formal reports as completed by the supervisors and students.
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The examination criteria, along with those for the appointment of internal and external examiners, along with
the chairperson of examiners are applied by the Registrar as per Section 4 of the Research Regulations
contained herein. These have been drawn up in accordance with the HETAC guidelines.
Continuous improvement of the Quality Assurance framework for research is an ongoing objective. Staff and
student participation at research degree Programme Boards and the relevant sub-Committees of Academic
Council are the main routes for providing feedback on the quality & effectiveness of the structures in place to
support the Institute’s research degree programmes.
SOPs have been drafted to provide step-by-step guidance on the implementation of the Research Regulations.
The complete list of SOPs for Research is given in Appendix 12.
Academic Supervisors monitor quality on a regular basis in relation to progress on a specific research project
through the forum of the progress meetings held with the postgraduate researcher. The quality of the
supervision process is monitored within the Department. Annual review reports often provide key information
in that regard.
An important indicator for measuring the quality of any research degree programme from an academic
perspective can be obtained from a review of the external examiners reports for each specific programme. All
external examiners reports to date have been complimentary of the candidate and the quality of research
conducted. They have had no hesitation in recommending awards and have said that the work presented was
always of a very high standard. In the majority of cases awards have been “recommended with minor
corrections” and the corrections did not have to be reviewed again by the examiner, just signed off by the
supervisors or internal examiner. In a few cases an award was “recommended without modification”. There
have been no situations where an award “was not recommended” or “referred for substantial amendment
and re-examination”. All doctoral degree graduates performed well in viva examinations. An oral examination
took place for three of the Masters graduates to date. The reports of a number of Masters Theses mentioned
that the research was already of PhD standard and quality. Reports also pointed to the fact that research was
publishable and made significant contributions to new knowledge in the area. In recent years examiners have
said the following about Masters and PhD theses submitted to them for examination:
“This is generally a well written thesis showing some independent thought and in fact the
queries raised would provide a good basis for extending the study to a PhD in due course.
The thesis is clearly of a Masters Level and standard.” [MEng. 2004]
“It is clear from the presentation of the thesis and confirmed during the oral examination,
that xxx set about this project in a very professional and systematic manner. It was also
obvious from the very detailed literature survey contained in the thesis that xxx was well
aware of the various developments in the area... He presented important and industrially
significant results. [MEng. 2004]
“Overall an impressive piece of work, well worthy of an M.Sc.” [MSc. 2004]
“This is a very substantial thesis. Xxx has completed a prestigious amount of work, which
should lead to several publications in relevant journals of the international chemical
literature. He also opens a number of further lines of research that may be pursued in
future work.” [MSc. 2005]
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“The thesis is clearly of MSc standard and I feel that with another years work a good PhD
thesis could have been produced.” [MSc. 2004]
“This is an extremely well written and clearly presented thesis. The thesis makes an
excellent contribution to the field of research into this critically important bacterial
pathogen… It is the opinion of this Examiner that the supervisors and student should
explore the possibility of publishing some of the results presented in this thesis in peerreviewed Journals.” [MSc. 2005]
“Overall the results in the Thesis are sound and are worthy of a PhD degree. [PhD, 2001]
“The work demanded proficiency in a wide range of experimental methods… The
candidate clearly acquired considerable skill in the use of these methods. The thesis is well
written and provides a comprehensive account of the research undertaken. A number of its
results are of considerable interest and will lead to several publications in the international
literature.” [PhD 2004]
“The thesis is well-written and presented… The work presented in the thesis is novel,
relevant, of publishable quality…” [PhD 2005]
Quality assurance is a continuous, active and responsive process. Critical evaluation of performance and active
sharing is central to the proper operation of quality assurance systems. Continuous improvement of the QA
framework for research is actively encouraged. Staff & student participation in the relevant sub-Committees of
Academic Council provide the main feedback on the quality of the academic and operational structures in place
for the Institute’s research degree programmes. The general information captured in the supervisor and student
progress meetings and annual reports also guides how improvements in the quality assurance framework for
research degree programmes can be achieved. These are normally brought to the attention of the sponsoring
Head of Department directly or through the forum of the Departmental meeting. Special research programme
board/committee meetings have been convened within the Schools of Engineering and Science to focus on
improvements to operational and support systems. The quality of research is also assessed as part of the School
Programmatic Reviews every 5 years (Section 12.5.9).
12.9 Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes
This Code has been compiled for the guidance of those who are or will be involved in management and
supervision of postgraduate research degree programmes and all registered postgraduate students on these
programmes. It provides research degree students with a guide as to what they can expect from their
programme of study and to what the Institute expects of its research degree students.
It includes policy, regulations and procedures in respect of supervised research studies from admission through
to final recommendation for award. It includes the Institute codes of conduct for the responsible practice of
research along with disciplinary policy and procedures for dealing with allegations of misconduct.
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The Code of Practice is available online to staff and students on the intranet at
http://www.it-tallaght.ie/ResearchatITTDublin/PostgraduateResearchInformation/
In addition soft copies are also posted on the Institute staff I Drive in the RDP Regulations and Procedures
folder. Comments on this Code of Practice and on how it might be improved should be forwarded directly to
the Registrar of the Institute for consideration at the next review.
The remainder of this section gives a summary of the Institute’s regulations and procedures for supervised
postgraduate research. Template forms for completion by students / supervisors are available to staff and
students on the Intranet and staff I Drive in the RDP Regulations and Procedures folder. This folder also
includes a Postgraduate Researcher Recruitment Pack, the Postgraduate Research Student Handbook and
details of how to secure ethics clearance for proposed research involving human/animal participants (see
Section 12.10 for processes and procedures for ethics clearance).
12.9.1 External Research Funding Application Procedure
All prospective applicants are encouraged to discuss their intentions regarding a research funding opportunity
with their Head of Department prior to preparing a research project proposal. The proposed academic
researcher must seek approval from their Head of Department before submission of the application for
funding. The Head of Department considers whether the project in question can be supported within his/her
Department, with reference to such issues as
lecturer commitments, bench space, and equipment.
Ethical risks associated with the proposed work are also considered, and ethics clearance may be
recommended.
12.9.2 Postgraduate Recruitment & Selection Process
All applicants wishing to register for a research degree programme must undergo a formal interview process
to ascertain their suitability for carrying out the proposed research to the level required for the postgraduate
award. A candidate applying for a studentship that funds a postgraduate research degree programme is
normally recruited following public advertisement. Studentship availability is dependent on the successful
outcome an application for research funding to an internal or external funding authority. The process for the
Recruitment & Selection of a Candidate for a Research Studentship is managed overall by the Development &
External Services Office. Guidelines on the Selection & Recruitment process, including topics such as prerecruitment consultation, setting up a selection panel, pre-interview discussion, the interview, making a
recommendation and the checking of references are given in Appendix D of the Code of Practice for Research
Degree Programmes. Once the candidate has accepted their studentship they are deemed eligible to prepare
and submit an application to register for the appropriate degree programme.
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12.9.3 Selection & Appointment of Supervisors
Academic supervision is central to the successful completion of postgraduate research work. The supervisors
play a key role in designing the research project, guiding the postgraduate student in their work, maintaining
the general direction of the research, setting and maintaining appropriate targets & academic standards along
with preparing the student for submission of their final thesis for examination.
The nomination of Supervisors for a research project is normally done through agreement by the proposed
academic researchers themselves. The nomination can also come from a team of researchers for projects run
through Research Centres or specialist research groups. Where there is conflict of interest in this area it rests
with the Principal Investigator to resolve the issue. Where the project is to lead to an academic award the Head
of Department should approve the nomination(s) prior to submission of an application for registration. Where
there is conflict of interest in the area it rests with the Head of Department to resolve the issue.
A single Supervisor (in the category of Principal Supervisor) may be appointed to supervise a candidate
registered on a research degree programme. In such cases the Head of Department may be required to act in
an ancillary supervisory role (e.g. where Supervisor leaves or in cases of dispute) or make arrangements for
another suitably qualified academic to do so.
Where more than one Supervisor is appointed, one Supervisor is normally appointed as the Principal Supervisor
and the second or subsequent Supervisors nominated as the Co-Supervisor.
The criteria for the appointment of Supervisors – Principal and those in a Co-Supervising or Mentoring role are
outlined in the Research Regulations for Supervised Postgraduate Research [included in the Code of Practice
for Research Degree Programmes].
12.9.4 Admissions to Research Degrees
The Institute has developed a comprehensive set of policies and procedures with regard to postgraduate
recruitment and admission to research degree programmes. These are described in full in Section 1 and 2
of the Research Regulations in the Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes. This information
is also included in the ITT Dublin: Postgraduate Research Student Handbook which is available for all
potential applicants on the college internet. Pre-admission, recruitment and formal application steps are given
in Figure 12.8.
Prior to admission the proposed academic supervisor must submit a request to the relevant Head of
Department who must confirm:
a) The availability of adequate and appropriate space accommodation within their Department.
Note: It is the Head of Development who signs off on the availability of general office-type accommodation
b) The proposed Supervisor(s) meet the criteria for the appointment of Supervisors.
c) The supervisors existing commitments and responsibilities allow sufficient time for supervision of the
student.
d) Research in the proposed topic/area can be facilitated within the Department and School.
e) The training needs of the postgraduate student can be accommodated.
f) Any potential ethical considerations have been highlighted.
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Prospective Supervisor discusses the proposed recruitment of
a research student with the relevant Head of Department
Prospective Supervisor checks the Academic Entry Requirements of
the Candidate and follows the postgraduate recruitment process
Academic Qualifications check conducted
where required – for all overseas applicants
and those with equivalent/professional qualifications
Qualifying examination conducted
Verification of English language
qualifications conducted
The appropriate application form is completed outlining
a detailed research proposal and submitted to the relevant
Head of Department along with supporting documentation.
Following Departmental approval, the application form and supporting
documentation are submitted by the Candidate or Supervisor to the
Office of the Registrar
Application reviewed by the Institute Postgraduate Research Board
and signed off by the Registrar
Application submitted/notified to HETAC. Outcome notified to Candidate,
Supervisor and Head of Department
Figure 12.8
Admission and Registration Steps
Where an ethical risk has been highlighted for a research project the proposed Researcher(s) must obtain
clearance from the Research Ethics Committee5 before the proposed start date of the project and before
funding can be drawn down for the project.
5 Process and Procedures described in Section 12.10.
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12.9.5 Transfer Arrangements: Masters to Doctoral Degrees
Students wishing to transfer from the Master’s Register to the Doctoral Register will make a formal application
to the Registrar through the sponsoring Department. Normally, such applications should not be made earlier
than one year after admission to the Master’s register; and not later than one year before the expected date
of completion of the proposed doctoral research.
A request for transfer can only be initiated following the recommendation of the Supervisor(s) in consultation
with the sponsoring Department. The student is required to submit a typewritten report (normally 5000 words
in length at least) for consideration by an external academic expert in the field of study proposed for the new
award level. The external expert is required to carry out an assessment of the student’s suitability to conduct
proposed research to the knowledge, skill and competence level required for Doctoral Degree programmes.
They must submit a report on their assessment indicating whether it is recommended the student transfer to
the Doctoral register or not with supporting reasons. The transfer process steps are shown in Figure 12.9 below
and the process is described in more detail in Section 2.2.6 of the Research Regulations.
Students on the Doctoral Register, who are unable to complete the approved programme within the permitted
duration for any reason may through the sponsoring Department, apply to the Registrar for permission to
transfer to the Master’s Register. The Registrar may permit such a transfer if satisfied that there are good
reasons for doing so, and notifies this request to HETAC to have the registration amended. The attachment of
special conditions, including provisions with regard to duration, to the candidate’s registration for the Degree
of Master may be required at the request of the Institute’s Postgraduate Research Board and/or HETAC as
required (see Section 2.2.7 of the Research Regulations).
12.9.6 Procedures for Monitoring Research Progress
Supervisors and students are required to meet on a regular basis to discuss progress on the project. A record
or log of these meetings is maintained by the Supervisor(s). This log normally provides detail on the progress
of the research work and the decisions made at each stage of the project. It may also be used in cases where
there are grievance issues to be resolved.
In addition students may be requested to prepare and submit quarterly written reports (in particular where the
student is part of a Research Centre of specialist research group). Presentations made by the student as part of
Departmental Seminar programmes generates additional records of student progress.
The Supervisor(s) arrange a regular schedule of meetings or supervisory sessions at the start of the project, the
frequency of such sessions will vary according the nature of the research (e.g. whether laboratory work is
involved), the particular research project, and may depend on whether the student is registered on a full-time
or part-time basis. The length of sessions will also vary from student to student, across time and between
disciplines. The key point is that both student and supervisor have a clear, agreed understanding of the
frequency and nature of contact required at any particular stage of the project.
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PhD Transfer Steps
Supervisor discusses the proposed transfer application
with the relevant Head of Department
Following Departmental approval candidate prepares a Transfer Report
document under the guidance of the Supervisor(s)
Transfer Report document submitted for assessment to external assessor
External assessor writes report on the document and the candidate’s
suitability for transfer to the higher register
• RECOMMENDED – proceed to next step
• NOT RECOMMENDED – act on assessor’s advice and review the process
The appropriate application form is completed which includes a short
research proposal for the PhD project and submitted along with the
assessor’s report to the Registrar.
Application reviewed by the Institute Postgraduate Research Board and
signed off by the Registrar
Application submitted/notified to HETAC. Outcome notified to
Candidate, Supervisor and Head of Department
Figure 12.9
Steps for Progression from Masters to PhD
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12.9.7 Annual Assessment Review
The renewal of registration for a research degree programme is dependent on a positive outcome to an
annual assessment review. All annual assessments should be conducted within the first three months of
the new academic year. Progress reports must be submitted by the Head of Department to the Registrar from
the following:
a) Student (ITT Dublin - Postgraduate Student Annual Report Form),
b) Principal Supervisor (ITT Dublin - Supervisors Annual Report Form)
c) Letter from the Head of Department6 indicating the level satisfaction with each student’s progress and a
recommendation for continuing registration, for the subsequent academic year.
d) A HETAC Postgraduate Research Degree Candidate/Supervisor Update Form for each candidate that has
been completed by the Principal Supervisor.
Each postgraduate student must complete and submit a Postgraduate Student Annual Progress Report form
to their Head of Department. The report indicates progress under the following headings:
a) agreed research plan with supervisors
b) structured work schedule and compliance with schedule
c) level of satisfaction with supervision and general progress to date
d) frequency of meetings with supervisors
e) target date for submission of thesis.
Each Principal Supervisor (in conjunction with the co-supervisor where applicable) must complete and submit
a Supervisors Annual Progress Report form to their Head of Department. The report addresses a number of
issues and indicates progress to date under the headings below:
a) agreed research plan with postgraduate student
b) structured work schedule and compliance with schedule
c) frequency of meetings with postgraduate student
d) training in research skills and techniques required by the student
e) summary of feedback received from the student to date
f) any serious problems encountered with the research to date
g) supervisor satisfaction with the general progress of the work to date
h) target date for submission of thesis
i) Supervisor’s recommendation for transfer to a higher or lower register.
All completed forms should be submitted to the Head of Department who can make one of the following
recommendations to the Registrar regarding the student:
a) the research is progressing satisfactorily and the candidate should be allowed to apply for transfer to a
higher register, as recommended by the Supervisor(s)
b) the research is progressing satisfactorily, and should continue.
c) the research is not progressing satisfactorily, and a clear outline of remedial action to be taken should be
provided to the student by the Supervisor(s) and they should be required to report again for review within
one month.
d) the research is not satisfactory for the level of the award being sought and the student should be transferred
to a lower register at the request of the Supervisor(s).
e) the research is completely unsatisfactory and the project should be ended and the student not re-registered.
6 One letter per Department listing - the student names, level of satisfaction & recommendation regarding renewal of registration.
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Where there is a negative outcome to the assessment (as in c), d) or e) above) the Registrar will refer the case
to the Postgraduate Research Advisory Board for consideration. They may request the postgraduate student
make an oral presentation to an assessment panel convened by the Registrar or nominee, consisting of
Academic Researchers (2) independent of the project, as nominated by the Registrar; Head of Department or
nominee; Head of School or nominee and the Registrar (Chair).
12.9.8 Notice of Intention to Submit for Examination
It is the appointed Supervisor(s) who normally indicates to the research student that their course of research is
near or at completion and that they are now in a position to begin collating their results and to write up their
thesis. The Supervisor(s), guide the student in the preparation of a thesis, detailing how to write an abstract,
introduction, discussion, results and experimental sections, where required, and suited to the level of award
sought by the student. More detailed information on the Institute and HETAC requirements in relation to thesis
format and layout are given in Section 4.1 and 4.2 of the Research Regulations respectively. Issues in relation
to copyright and Intellectual Property (IP) rights are dealt with specifically in Section 4.2.14 of the Research
Regulations.
All students must give their Supervisors three months notice of their intention to submit their thesis. The
student can only give such notice following approval from their supervisors indicating that the work is at a stage
suitable for submission. This is to facilitate the timely completion of the examination process before the
Institute’s Examination Board meetings held in June and September of each year.
At this stage internal and external examiners are proposed for the candidate for approval by the Head of
Department. When approving the composition of Examiners the Head of Department should ensure the
Examiners satisfy the criteria in Section 4.4 of the Research Regulations. Members of the candidate's
supervisory team should take no active part in the examination process, unless specifically requested to do so
by the examiners. Supervisors may attend the viva voce as observers, providing both the candidate and the
examining committee are agreeable.
Following Departmental approval of the examiners, the Supervisor(s) then submit a HETAC Intention to Submit
Form to the Registrar on behalf of the research student candidate which includes details of the proposed
Examiners. The Registrar submits the completed form to HETAC who formally establish contact with the
proposed examiners for the candidate. HETAC also nominate a Chairperson of Examiners for the candidate
who liaises with HETAC during the examination period which can take a minimum of six weeks as the material
must be examined by examiners at different locations and prepare and submit a report on their assessment of
the thesis.
12.9.9 Submission and Examination Process
In May 2007 changes to the examination process were communicated to the Institute by HETAC relating to
the nomination of examiners for research degree candidates. This allows for the Institute to approve the
examiners for a research degree candidate. HETAC will require notification of the appointment and copies of
the external examiner reports as usual. Once the external examiner is appointed the provider is requested to
nominate and agree an independent chairperson(s) with HETAC. The chairperson will oversee the research
assessment procedures for all postgraduate learners and send his/her report to HETAC regarding the
implementation of the examination procedures, at the end of the academic year. The nominated chairperson
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should be external to the provider or hold a position that is independent of the postgraduate learner, the
schools administering/supporting the learners. The nominated chairperson should not be involved in the
appeals process. Figure 12.10 presents a flowchart outlining the steps involved in the thesis submission and
examination process.
It is Institute policy that where confidential examination is requested, then the examiners and chairperson sign
a confidentiality agreement with the Institute. Appeals against the outcome of the examination are processed
in accordance with Section 4.4.11 of the Research Regulations.
12.9.10
Feedback, Complaints & Appeals Procedures
Research Student Feedback
General guidance on the methods of student feedback is available in Section 3.8 of the Research Regulations.
The research student is also encouraged to offer feedback on their programme of study. This is facilitated
through the students attendance at:
• regular meetings with Supervisor(s)
• Departmental Research Degree Programme Board meetings.
The annual reports submitted by the research student are another means of providing feedback on the
programme. Feedback can also be given to the relevant student representative of the Postgraduate Policy subCommittee of Academic Council.
If students are experiencing supervisory problems then they are advised to discuss the issue firstly with the
Supervisor(s) and if that does not prove satisfactory to discuss it with the relevant Head of Department or
School.
Complaints Procedures
Supervisors and postgraduate students are encouraged to solve any disputes/grievances through open informal
dialogue before invoking a formal grievance or complaints procedure. In the event of a difficulty arising during
the project between the postgraduate student and Supervisors, the postgraduate student should normally first
consult the Principal Supervisors to seek to resolve the issue. Where the matter cannot be resolved in this
manner, it should be referred to the relevant Head of Department (or Head of School where the Head of
Department is the Supervisor). They will seek to find a resolution of the matter. Where the complaint remains
unresolved it is dealt with in turn by the Head of School and then the Registrar. Where the matter cannot be
resolved in this manner, either party may formally invoke a complaints procedure outlined in Section 3.7 of the
Research Regulations Appendix J of the Code of Practice.
If the postgraduate student considers that they are receiving inadequate supervision, they may register a
complaint with the relevant Head of Department, who may then invoke the complaints procedure. Where the
complaint remains unresolved it is dealt with in turn by the Head of School and then the Registrar. A complaint
of inadequate supervision will not normally be entertained after submission of the thesis.
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Student submits one soft-bound copy of thesis to SUPERVISOR
NO
After ammendments
re-submit
Supervisor submits soft bound copy of thesis to INTERNAL EXAMINER
YES
Student submits two soft bound copies of thesis to Registrar
Registrar givessends one soft bound copy of thesis
to External Examiner along with Standard Letter;
HETAC externs report form (plus continuation sheet);
Section 4.4 of Code of Practice (Examination Procedures)
The other copy held for the Chairperson of Examiners.
Viva Chairperson through the Registrar is provided with:
soft bound copy of the thesis; examination procedures
(Section 4.4); HETAC externs report forms(s)
Chairperson sends final HETAC report to the REGISTRAR
with externs comments attached.
Completed HETAC report form(s) submitted by Registrar
to HETAC and broadsheet requested, for School exam
board where Broadsheet is signed.
Boradsheet and forms
submitted by HOS to REGISTRAR
Student submits
• Two hard bound copies of thesis to Registrar and
one copy of the abstract page
• One hard bound copy to supervisor (or more where
more than one supervisor
• One hard bound copy to HOD.
Registrar submits
• one hard bound copy of thesis and abstract to HETAC, along with signed broadsheets form(s)
• One hard bound copy to library (or restricted access location in School)
Figure 12.10 Thesis Submission and Examination Steps
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Appeals Procedures
A postgraduate student who is dissatisfied with a decision made during the course of their studies may appeal
the decision in writing to the Registrar following the procedures outlined in the Code of Practice. Such decisions
with regard to registration may include:
• rejection of an application for registration
• withdrawal of registration
• not to recommend an application for transfer from Masters to PhD register
• not to recommend an extension of registration beyond the time limit
• suspension of registration
• not to transfer to part-time status
• not to recommend a deferral
• not to recommend for examination.
The procedures in relation to the above appeals can be obtained in the Section 2.2.4 and 2.2.6 of the Research
Regulations and Appendix F of the Code of Practice. Appeals against the outcome of the examination are
processed in accordance with Section 4.4.11 of the Research Regulations.
12.9.11
Procedures for Dealing with Research Misconduct
The Institute is committed to ensuring that all allegations of research misconduct are examined thoroughly,
fairly and expeditiously. Details of the following procedures for dealing with allegations of research misconduct
are given in Part 2 of the Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes:
1. Initial Allegation of Research Misconduct
2. Preliminary Investigation
3. Formal Investigation.
12.10
Research Ethics Process and Procedures
The Institute has drawn up comprehensive procedures for managing ethics in research. The full process and
procedures document is included in the submission pack. A summary of the process is provided below.
12.10.1
The Research Ethics Committee
Academic Council recommended the establishment of an Ethics sub-Committee in June 2005. The remit of this
sub-Committee is to
• establish an appropriate code of ethics for the Institute;
• identify protocols to be followed by researchers;
• identify protocols to be followed by persons using college data and communications technology.
The Research Ethics Committee (REC) on the other hand is an Executive Committee convened by the Senior
Management Team and has been established by them to:
• Review project proposals of those researchers wishing to conduct research involving human and/or
participants and make recommendations to SMT on whether the proposed research of that nature can be
conducted at the Institute or not.
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The REC takes a human subject-centred approach when reviewing project proposals to review and to approve,
propose modifications to, reject or terminate any proposed or research.
The Research Ethics Committee has a number of primary aims:
1. To protect the rights and welfare of human and animal participants in research studies or trials conducted
by or involving ITT Dublin researchers.
2. To facilitate the conduct of ethically sound, legally compliant research at the Institute in accordance with
national and EU legislation.
3. To advise the Ethics sub-Committee and thereby Academic Council on the development of ethical policies
and procedures at the Institute where required.
Terms of Reference of the Research Ethics Committee
1. To review and approve research proposals where human and/or animal participants are to be involved.
2. To engage with external academic bodies, supervisory or accrediting agencies as required by Academic
Council or the Registrar.
Composition of the Research Ethics Committee
The guiding principle for appointing members to a REC is to ensure that the committee has the appropriate
expertise, skills, knowledge and perspectives to ensure an adequate and thorough ethics review. The REC is
multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral in composition. The current membership of the Research Ethics Committee
is given in Table 12.2.
Mr. John Vickery
Chair
Dr. Mary Deasy
Secretary
Dr. Michael Ahern
Head of School – Science & Computing
Dr. Denise Egan
Lecturer in Biology
Dr. Oliver Worsford
PI Research Centre
Dr. Eithne Dempsey
Lecturer in Chemistry
Dr. Joe McDonagh
Lecturer in Psychology
Mr. Jim Bridgeman
Law Lecturer
Dr. Andrew Donnellan
Lecturer in Electronic Engineering
Dr. Siobhan Kerins
Medical Practitioner, Tallaght
Dr. Dermot Cox
Academic Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics,
Royal College of Surgeons
Mr. Adrian Payne
Head of Department - Marketing
Table 12.2 Research Ethics Committee Members
Where a Chairperson or members of the REC believe there is insufficient expertise on the committee to assess
an application or an issue, the Board should seek additional expert advice. Experts may have specialist
knowledge in particular fields of science or medicine or they may be representatives of communities or special
interest groups.
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Functions and Responsibilities
1. The REC should meet bi-monthly as required to:
•
Review proposals for research to be carried out in Institute or by Institute staff.
•
Provide an annual report to the Ethics Committee and Academic Council on its activities in the
intervening period.
2. REC members have a commitment to review the structures and processes for protecting and safeguarding
the rights and interests of participants participating in research, while promoting and facilitating research
excellence.
3. A member should be prepared to have his/her name, profession and affiliation published.
4. Members are expected to treat as confidential all applications, meeting deliberations, information on
research participants/volunteers and related matters.
5. When an REC member believes they have a conflict of interest on a subject which will compromise their
ability to make an impartial decision, they should declare that conflict of interest and withdraw themselves
from the discussion and/or activity.
6. REC members should provide comments on applications to the REC through the Secretary where they
cannot attend a scheduled meeting.
Annual Report
The REC should produce an annual report to be sent to SMT containing the following, but not limited to:
(a) membership/membership changes
(b) number and dates of meetings held
(c) changes to the standard operating procedures
(d) a list of proposals considered, the decision reached on each
Copies should also be sent to the Ethics sub-Committee and Academic Council. Annual reports are public
documents and should be available upon request.
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12.10.2
Procedure for Submitting an Application for Ethics Review
The onus is on the researcher (or in the case postgraduates, the research supervisor) highlight any potential
ethical issues to the sponsoring Head of Department prior to preparing and submitting research funding and
postgraduate registration applications.
Where an ethical issue has been highlighted for a research project the proposed Researcher(s) must obtain
clearance from the Research Ethics Committee (REC) before the project starts. This may also be a requirement
of the funding agency, and in that instance REC review needs to be conducted prior to the submission of the
funding application.
Where an ethical consideration has been highlighted, no research work can commence before the proposal
has been approved by the Research Ethics Committee.Research funds will not be released and the registration
of postgraduate research students will not normally be processed until the proposal has been approved by the
Research Ethics Committee. A re-assessment of ethical and risk factors must be undertaken by researchers in
any research project where any significant change in the direction or focus of an ongoing research project is
intended. A flowchart outlining the steps involved is shown in Figure 12.11 below.
One signed original of the completed form(s) and electronic copy should be submitted to the Secretary of
the Research Ethics Committee at least 10 working days in advance of the scheduled bi-monthly meeting
in question to allow adequate time for distribution to and reading by the Research Ethics Committee
supporting documentation as required. Meetings are scheduled bi-monthly, typically on the last Thursday of
the month in question. An schedule of Research Ethics Committee meeting dates and times is communicated
to staff at the start of each semester. An annual schedule is also posted on the Institute’s website at the start
of each academic year.
All documentation necessary for submitting an application to the Research Ethics Committee is available on the
Institute network I Drive in the Research Ethics Folder. The Research Ethics Committee decision will be binding.
The applicant will be emailed with a decision within 6 working days of the meeting held. The decision will also
be notified to the sponsoring Head of Department. The Ethics Committee and Senior Management will receive
a report on decisions taken by the REC from the Secretary after each meeting held.
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Assessment of Ethics in Research Form(s) along with
Proposed Research Programme or Project Proposal submitted
by the Principal Researcher to Head of Department.
Head of Department reviews Ethics Forms(s)
and the Proposal and notifies Researcher of
decision regarding ethics clearance
Modify form(s) and
proposal and re-submit to
Head of Dept.
Ethics clearance
not required
Ethics clearance
required
Abandon proposal
preparation
Proposal submitted
to REC via the Secretary
of the REC
Review by REC
Proceed with any one of the following:
• Funding application
• Application for admission to research degree programme
• Begin research project
Approval granted by REC.
Approval not granted,
abandon proposal
reparation
Figure 12.11 Steps in Seeking Ethics Clearance for Research Projects
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Make amendments
and re-submit to REC
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12.10.3
Multi-centre studies
Researchers involved in multi-centre projects/studies in the role of direct supervisor or collaborator which
involves animal or human participants must submit an application for ethical review of the proposed
project/studies to the REC.
However, where the research proposal has already been reviewed by an external Research Ethics Committee
(for example, collaborating educational institutions or hospitals) then the following procedure applies:
1. An Assessment of Ethics in Research Form should be submitted to the sponsoring Head of Department,
along with a completed Ethical Approval from Other Committees Form; a letter of approval from the
collaborating establishment and a copy of their official REC outcome, where available.
2. The Head of Department, will consult with the Head of School and the Chairperson of the REC. Where they
are satisfied that the appropriate procedures have been followed for the external ethics review then
approval will be granted without the proposal going before the Institute Research Ethics Committee. Where
they are not satisfied then the proposal will be sent for full review to the Research Ethics Committee.
Where samples from the off-campus study are to be brought back to the Institute for further investigation or
study then a full ethical review of the research proposal must be conducted at this stage.
In addition a complete Hazard Assessment would be required for submission to the Departmental H&S
Committee and their recommendation.
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Part Three
The Delegated
Authority
Process and
Consultation
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Part Three: The Delegated Authority Process and Consultation
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Chapter 13
Delegated Authority
Application & Evaluation:
Taught Programmes
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Chapter 13
Delegated Authority Application &
Evaluation: Taught Programmes
13.1 The Delegated Authority Application 2006
The Institute’s decision to apply for delegated authority goes back to the development of the current Strategic
Plan 2005 – 2008, a key objective of which was to seek from HETAC delegated authority to make its own
awards. Each of the three Schools was asked to review its activities. The different functional areas within the
Institute (including the Registrar’s Office, Finance, Student Services, the Development Office, Computer
Services, Human Resources, and the Library) were also asked to conduct a self-study. The self-studies
encompassed an evaluation of the Institute’s management, operations and governance; the management and
academic structures governing programmes of education and training; and a detailed examination of the
service provision supporting the Institute’s programmes of study. The self-evaluation process resulted in the
identification of strengths and weaknesses and the production of practical recommendations for improvement.
The Institute’s application submitted to HETAC in January 2006 for delegation of authority to make awards in
respect of the Institute’s taught programmes at Levels 6 to 9 inclusive of the National Framework of
Qualifications comprised of the following:
1. The Institute Self-Evaluation Report
2. The Institute Quality Manual
3. A Summary Report on the Self-studies and Programmatic Reviews undertaken within the three Academic
Schools
4. A list of the educational programmes leading to named awards for which the Institute sought delegated
authority, detailing their validation status
5. A copy of the Institute Strategic Plan 2005-08.
13.2 The HETAC Evaluation Process
The HETAC Council, having satisfied itself that the self-evaluation report addressed the criteria for delegated
authority, then sought and received the agreement of the Qualifications Authority in January 2006 to conduct
a subsequent evaluation of the Institute.
The Council appointed a Delegation of Authority Evaluation Group (the Evaluation Group) consisting of persons
with particular knowledge and experience of higher education and training and quality assurance systems in
higher education and training (Table 13.1). It appointed as Chairman, Mr John Hayden, former Secretary/Chief
Executive of the Higher Education Authority and arranged for a pre-evaluation meeting with the Institute by
the Chairperson, accompanied by Mr. Des Carolan, Head of Delegated Authority, HETAC. This was undertaken
on the 16th of January 2006. The meeting afforded the opportunity to clarify issues, discuss arrangements and
agree the dates and the agenda for the on-site evaluation visit.
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Mr. John Hayden
Chairperson
Former Secretary/Chief Executive, Higher Education Authority
Professor Eithne Guilfoyle
Executive Dean Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dublin City University
Dr. Jürgen Kohler
Director of the Accreditation Council Germany
Dr. Sarah Moore
Dean of Teaching and Learning, University of Limerick
Ms. Judy Nix
EU Projects Manager, Ericsson
Mr. Kieran O'Malley
Students’ Union President, GMIT Students Union
Professor Henry Rice
Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and Director of Postgraduate
Education, Engineering, University of Dublin Trinity College
Dr. Richard Thorn
Director Institute of Technology, Sligo
Dr. Debra Willison
Academic Co-ordinator and Head of Teaching, Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry,
University of Strathclyde
Table 13.1 Members of the HETAC Delegated Authority Evaluation Group
The Delegated Authority Evaluation Group conducted a two-day panel visit the Institute on the 28th of
February and the 1st of March 2006. The visit offered the opportunity for the Evaluation Group to determine
the readiness and capacity of the Institute to meet the criteria for the purposes of delegated authority to make
awards at Levels 6 to 9 of the National Framework of Qualifications, for its existing taught programmes.
The Evaluation Group examined the application from Institute of Technology, Tallaght (the Institute) against the
criteria set down in the HETAC – Criteria and Procedures for the Delegation and Review of Delegation of
Authority to Make Awards 2004.
The Evaluation Group was welcomed by Mr. Sean Ashe of the Governing Body, and Dr. Tim Creedon Director
of the Institute.
Criteria for operation and management were the focus of the initial session. The Evaluation Group met with
the Director, Registrar, the Secretary/Financial Controller, Head of Development, Heads of Schools, Librarian,
Human Resources Manager, Finance Manager, Academic Administration and Student Affairs Manager, Estates
Manager, Computer Services Manager and the two Delegated Authority Project Officers to discuss and
examine the structures and processes for its operation and management under the following headings:
institutional mission and purposes, governance, organisation and administration, planning and evaluation,
academic and other staff policies, library and information resources, physical resources, learner services, public
responsibility and integrity, and financial resources and management.
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The Evaluation Group met with the Total Management Team and the two Delegated Authority Project Leaders
to discuss the arrangements in place for the development, provision, quality assurance and review of its
education and training programmes. This session addressed many of the elements included in the Institute’s
Quality Assurance Manual. It also examined the Institute’s commitment to meeting the conditions attached to
delegated authority and to supporting the objects of the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 1999.
The selected a cross-section of the Institute’s programmes and examined these programmes via an audit trail
through records of programmatice review reports, minutes of the Academic Council and its committees,
minutes of School and Programme committees, External Examiner reports and Examination Board minutes.
An evaluation of Student Services and Staff Development was also conducted. Subgroups of the Evaluation
Panel also met with the Registrar, Heads of Schools of Engineering and Science and the Head of Department
of Marketing, to follow up on the issue of communications which had been discussed at the Operations and
Management meeting.
A meeting was held with the Head of Development, Industrial Liaison Manager, Head of Department of Science
and Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering to discuss the Institute’s provision of programmes for and
in conjunction with industry.
The Evaluation Group undertook a tour of the Institute’s Library and IT support facilities. The Group then split
into three subgroups to conduct a visit of the facilities available for student’s involved in Science, Engineering,
and Audio Visual and Computing programmes.
The Evaluation Group met with a representative range of the Institute’s stakeholders to seek their views on the
Institute’s operations and programmes, its liaison with partner providers and other interested parties and their
general perceptions and understanding of delegation of authority, its relevance and its desirability. The
stakeholders included academics from neighbouring universities, and representatives from industry, business,
hospitals and local schools in the region.
The Evaluation Group also met with full-time and part-time students from a wide range of programmes. They
also met with a broad cross-section of the Institute’s staff to hear their views on the application for delegated
authority.
Following a private meeting of the Evaluation Group the visit ended with a short exit meeting with members
of the Senior Management Team.
13.3 HETAC Grants Delegated Authority Status
An Order in Council was communicated by HETAC to the Institute on 7th of March 2006 indicating that the
Institute’s application for delegated authority had been successful.
The official signing ceremony to launch delegated authority took place at the Institute on the 29th of
September 2006 in the presence of the Minister for Education and Science, Ms. Mary Hannafin, Mr. Séamus
Puirséil, Institute staff, students, representatives from local Bodies, the Academic Council and the Governing
Body.
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13.4 Evaluation Group Report and Findings
The findings were compiled under the criteria for the delegation of authority using the template provided in
Appendix C of the HETAC Supplementary Guidelines for the Delegation and Review of Delegation of Authority
to Make Award document. They were published in the Report of the Delegated Authority Evaluation Group
on the Institute of technology Tallaght, which is included in the submission pack.
The Evaluation Group found that the Institute meets and has the capacity to meet:
• the criteria for the delegation of authority to make awards that relate to, Operations and Management,
Council Conditions Attached to Delegated Authority and the Objects of the Qualifications (Education and
Training) Act, 1999;
• those criteria that relate to the development, validation, implementation and continuous improvement of
its existing taught higher education and training programmes at level 6 to 9 inclusive of the National
Framework of Qualifications.
The Group found that the Institute has established and is implementing the agreed quality assurance processes
for its education and training programmes. It felt however that the quality processes still required some
establishment and that issues relating to the recording of closure in particular need to be addressed by the
Institute. The effectiveness of the quality assurance procedures has also yet to be tested. The Evaluation Group
did not consider that this issue should prevent it from finding positively in respect of the Institute’s application
for delegation of authority.
The Evaluation Group was impressed with the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of the Institute’s Governing
Body, management, staff, learners and stakeholders and with the level of communication between staff and
students. The Evaluation Group also felt that there was a good degree of understanding of institutional issues
at all levels throughout the Institute and that there was a sense of belonging and commitment to the Institute.
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Members of the Evaluation Group were impressed by the positive manner in which students and stakeholders
expressed their support for the Institute’s application for delegated authority. There was an almost universal
view that delegated authority would greatly enhance the status of the Institute. There was also a strong belief
that delegated authority would be an affirmation of the Institute’s maturity and quality as a provider of a broad
range of higher education and training programmes and that it would enable it to provide its programmes with
greater flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness. education and training programmes up to and including level 9
of the National Framework of Qualifications.
13.5 Institute Response to Issues Highlighted in the Findings
The Institute was invited to comment on the findings included in the report of the Evaluation Group. The
reponses to the issues raised are given in this sub-section.
Finding: “The quality processes still required some establishment and that issues relating to the
recording of closure in particular need to be addressed by the Institute. A comprehensive
implementation of the agreed quality assurance procedures was not yet in place”
Institute Response
The Institute has put in place a process to record closure on issues. These have already been discussed in
Chapter 12.
Finding: “Concern regarding the training or lack of training of newly recruited lecturers”
Institute Response
The Human Resources Department conducts an initial “introduction to the organisation” session with all new
staff, specifically with regard to pensions, access, office accommodation etc. Information on educational quality
assurance processes and procedures is provided within the academic Department and School. A Staff
handbook has recently been prepared and is now available to all staff on the intranet at http://intranet.ittallaght.ie/staff/human_resources/
Training in the areas of examination processes and completion and uploading of white sheets is provided each
year to all academic staff and a support help desk has been established. Each School has been assigned a
budget for the running of courses in teaching methodologies.
The SIF funded Collaborative Network for Teaching Innovation & Inclusive Education set up in 2007, which is
led by and based at the Institute, has resulted in a more streamlined approach to the training of academics,
particularly in relation to the teaching and learning process and new assistive technologies. They have
organised 48 training events to date on topics of relevance to new and experienced academics (described in
detail in Chapter 7, Section 7.1.7). The network also acts as an e-Learning resource for academic staff.
The Institute has devised a systematic approach to staff training in general with the rolling out of the national
Performance Management and Development System. In addition staff are requested to complete and submit
a training needs analysis form on an annual basis to their Head of Department to aid advance planning for staff
development at a local level.
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Finding: “Communications were of a formal nature and there wasn’t a process in place, which might
address or improve the richness of that communication”
Institute Response
The Institute notes that the review group did report that “the Director’s own commitment to inclusive and open
communication will see that the issue is addressed effectively”.
The Senior Management Team has been investigating ways of improving the effectiveness of its internal
communications. It has formulated an internal communications policy. Current communications processes
were already discussed in Chapter 5, Section 5.5.
Finding: “In-company provision has been identified as an area of risk for the Institute with a
particular requirement to address costing, pricing and invoicing of such provision. The Institute
needs to address the issue of improving the thoroughness of its documentation”
Institute Response
The Institute examines each proposal to provide in-company training programmes to ensure the price charged
covers the expected full costs of delivery as well as a reasonable return to the Institute, within the context of a
very competitive business environment through the Secretary / Financial Controllers office. Each proposal is
unique but every effort is made to achieve a reasonable market return to the Institute for each programme
delivered. The process for the invoicing and collection of fees relating to in-company training programmes is
administered to a high standard in the Finance Office in the Institute and is subject to annual audit by the Office
of the Comptroller and Auditor General.
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Chapter 14
Research Accreditation
Process
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Chapter 14
Research Accreditation Process
14.1 Introduction
HETAC received, on 16 February 2007, an application by the Institute of Technology Tallaght for accreditation
to maintain a postgraduate research degree register at Master’s and Doctoral levels in the Biology and
Chemistry sub-disciplines and at Master’s level in Engineering and Science (all areas: specifically the
Departments of Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Science and Computing.)
Accreditation to maintain a register allows an institution to register postgraduate research degree students
without referring the details of the individual research degree programme to HETAC for validation decision on
a case-by-case basis.
Such accreditation is now a prerequisite for an Institute of Technology to apply to receive delegated authority
from HETAC to make its own research degree awards.
HETAC assembled a panel of assessors chaired by Dr Eda Sagarra (Pro-Chancellor of the University of Dublin)
to evaluate the case for accreditation and make a recommendation. The panel member listing and programme
for the panel visit is given in Table 14.1.
The site visit took place 27 April 2007 at the main campus of the Institute. Assessors met and/or had discussions
with the senior management team; research active academic staff; current and former postgraduate research
students; perused research outputs; and viewed relevant facilities. The programme for the panel visit is given
in Table 14.2.
The HETAC academic committee at its meeting on 16 July 2007, upon consideration of the findings of the
panel decided to accredit the Institute of Technology Tallaght to maintain a postgraduate research degree
register at Master’s level (Level 9) in the areas in Departments of Electronic Engineering, Mechanical
Engineering, Science and Computing reflecting the expertise of the research-active academic staff and at
Master’s Level 9 and Doctoral Level 10, in the areas of Biology and Chemistry reflecting the expertise of the
research-active academic staff subject to the standard conditions and that:
1) The Institute produce a response detailing how it will address the issues raised by the assessors.
2) The Institute commit to establishing a research supervisor training programme for novice supervisors and
for experienced colleagues in the 2007/2008 academic year.
3) Accreditation be granted for a period of five years.
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Dr Eda Sagarra
Chairperson
Pro-Chancellor of the University of Dublin
Professor Christopher G Dowson Biological Sciences, University of Warwick
Mr William Egenton
Managing Director, Dromone Engineering Ltd
Professor Anthony F. Fell
Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and Chair of the Research Degrees Committee, University of Bradford
Professor Frank Hegarty
Chemistry & Chemical Biology, University College Dublin
Professor Gerard Hurley
Electronic Engineering, National University of Ireland, Galway
Mr David King
Rail Procurement Agency; (Recent MEng Graduate)
Dr Madeleine Lowery
Electrical, Electronic & Mechanical Engineering, University College Dublin
Dr Catherine McKenna
Biocatalysts Ltd; (Recent PhD Graduate)
Professor John Monaghan
Mechanical & Manufacturing Eng., University of Dublin, Trinity College
Professor Richard O’Kennedy
Biological Sciences, Dublin City University
Dr Iain Phillips
Informatics, Loughborough University
Professor Paolo Ross•
Computing & Electronic Engineering, Universidad Politecnia de Valencia
Professor Adrian Walmsley
Biological & Biomedical Sciences, Durham University
In attendance: Dr Peter Cullen and Ms. Karena Maguire HETAC
Table 14.1 Members of the HETAC Research Accreditation Review Panel
The panel clearly identified much strength in the operation of the Institutes research programmes, such as
leadership, strategic thinking, the enthusiasm of the staff, the record of staff in securing research funding, and
their track record. The Institute has noted of the constructive suggestions of the assessors with regard to
improvements and is fully committed to implementing the recommendations of the panel assessors. The
Institute responses to the findings and how it proposes to address the issues raised are given in Sections 14.2
and 14.3 below.
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9:00 9:30
Private meeting of assessors at the Institute.
9:30 10:15
Meeting with the Director, and senior staff
Focus on Appendix A criteria and institutional research strategy.
10:30 - 11:30
Meeting with the research supervisors.
Three sub-groups: Science, Computing and Engineering
Focus on the supervisor experience, on Appendix B criteria and departmental/group research strategy.
11:30 – 12:00
Meeting with research students.
A formal round-table discussion. Focus on the student experience of the research environment
12:00 – 1 pm
Perusal of research activity
Focus on the research environment: Research demonstrations, posters etc. by students; Samples of theses and
publications etc.
1pm – 1:45pm
Working Lunch – Panel with Institute representatives.
1:45 – 2:30pm
Tour of research facilities:
Information and other research resources Library, Research Laboratories, Research Offices.
2:30 – 3:00pm
Private Meeting of the Panel
3:00 – 3:15pm
Closing meeting with Director and Senior Management.
Table 14.2 Schedule for Research Accreditation Evaluation
14.2 Commitment to Supervisory Training
The Institute has already begun to deliver on its commitment to provide a research supervisor training
programme for novice supervisors and for experienced colleagues in the 2007/2008 academic year and for
future academic years.
The Institute recognises that whatever future strategies are devised to improve the quality of research student
training, their successful implementation will also depend on the quality of the supervisory training of the
academics themselves. This is supported through the Staff Development budget.
The internal evaluation conducted for the Institute’s Application to Maintain a Research Degree Register
indicated deficiencies in supervisory training and plans to address them were presented in the submission
documentation. The lack of a formal approach to supervisory training, during the self-study process and at the
time of writing, in terms of the provision of structured workshops/seminar programmes was highlighted and
plans were put in place before the panel visit in January 2007 (as described in Chapter 5, Section 5.10.3) to
address this as follows:
• Seminar programme (Appendix 4) scheduled for Academic Researcher/Supervisor Training in the 2007/08
academic year which included – Ethics in Research; Information resources for Research; Preparing
Research/Grant Proposals; Commercialising research; Selection of Postgraduate Researchers and the
Interview Process;
• One-Day Research Supervisors Workshop (Appendix 5) covering strategies for the effective
management of research students – including recruitment, early stage supervision, progress reporting and
monitoring, assessment, thesis preparation, selection of examiners, regulations;
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• The Institute was a founding member of the recently funded SIF IoT Research Alliance – main objective
being the development of an accredited Graduate Research Education Programme across the sector,
with modules to be delivered to supervisors as well as postgraduate students. Details on this have already
been presented in Chapter 7, Section 7.4.4.
14.3 General Criteria Comments in Findings & Institute
Responses
The findings of the Review Panel were published by HETAC in June 2007 and are included in a separate
document as part of this submission and are not therefore presented in full here.
The panel perceived that the leadership emanating from the top was combined with trust and found strategic
thinking at virtually every level. They found staff were evidently relaxed and confident in their own ability to
lead the process forward, the students were impressive in their poster presentations and in their participation
in discussions with the panel, demonstrating that the Institute had not only taught them well and but also
nurtured their social skills. The relative youth of the institution and of its staff was seen as a distinct advantage.
Their enthusiasm was a delight to the panel and the Institute’s responsive and flexible approach to teaching is
an asset for future sustainability.
Critical mass was seen as an issue, but less so in Science (where Chemistry and Biology have impressive
achievements) but there was clear evidence of a ‘can-do’ attitude from all Departments and a sense that
everyone, staff and management were pulling together—and that they are performing on a multiplicity of
fronts in terms of the Institute’s mission. Critical mass and facilities are issues of strategic importance and plans
for improvements in that regard are provided in the Research Strategy 2008 – 2012 discussed previously in
Chapter 4, Section 4.6.
The record of fund raising for research was deemed to be excellent, though greater focussed support is needed
from the state in particular areas. They would encourage more staff pursue PhD training. The Institute will
continue to some provide financial support to staff that are actively pursuing PhD degrees and through at
management level will explore how this can be dealt with at local level with academic staff, as appropriate to
the discipline areas.
Finally, the panel commended the Institute, its staff and students on the quality of the application documents,
which were comprehensive, readable and supplied it with the appropriate material to inform its judgements,
and for the way in which they prepared for the site visit.
The specific responses presented below outline the comments of the Institute on the improvements suggested
by the assessors in their findings relating to General Criteria1 and provide details on how they will be addressed:
1 APPENDIX A – General Policy and Criteria: Institutional (non-discipline specific). Validation process, policy and criteria for the accreditation of providers to
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Research administration and Quality assurance
Areas for improvement
• Much of the research administration is carried out by academic staff, with the development of larger
numbers of staff, students and research centres it will be necessary to improve relevant infrastructure by
providing enhanced administrative support e.g. in the administration of grants, reporting and grant
preparation.
• The Institute needs to free up more time from administration for research active staff.
Institute Response
• The Institute takes due cognisance of this recommendation and will be explore the ‘research administration’
issue at Management Level.
• With regard to the “administration of grants, reporting and grant preparation” issue highlighted this will
be taken up by the R&D Committee and plans for improvement will be formulated.
Status: Ongoing
Direction, supervision, support and training of students (including access to information)
Areas for improvement
Generally, interaction with other research organisations could be further expanded to improve graduate
training and the research environment. In this respect the welcome new developments relating to Graduate
Research Education Programmes need to be vigorously pursued.
Institute Response
This is actively being pursued at Institute and Sector level. We will endeavour to exploit all avenues to enhance
the research and training experience of our staff and postgraduate researchers, particularly with our
collaborating partners. Plans for how this will be implemented and acted upon are given in the new Research
Strategy for 2008 – 2012 where increased external interactions are proposed not only to help in improving and
sustaining research activities but also to enhance the overall training experience and research environment.
Status: Ongoing through participation SIF Programmes and with our own CASH Research Centre
Educational Programmes
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Areas for improvement
The pool of trained supervisors must be extended and the skills of experienced supervisors strengthened by
establishing research supervisor training both for novice supervisors and for experienced colleagues. There was
evidence that this requirement (no less) is being actively pursued by management at ITT Dublin.
Institute Response
A schedule for supervisor training for 2007/08 is currently in operation as previously discussed. It included oneday workshops and seminars on Supervisory Roles, Regulations, Management of Research Students and
Projects, Ethics, Research Proposal Writing.
Status: Internal Supervisors Programme and Workshops complete. Going forward additional training will be
provided participation SIF Research Alliance and with our own CASH Research Centre
Educational Programmes
14.4 Research Environment Comments in Findings &
Institute Responses
The specific responses presented below outline the comments of the Institute on the improvements suggested
by the assessors in their findings relating to the Research Environment2 and provide details on how they will be
addressed:
14.4.1 Biology and Chemistry
Is there an active, supportive academic environment and research community in the
subject or discipline area for which accreditation is sought demonstrated by traditional
research performance indicators?
Areas for improvement
The current balance between time allocated to active research and to teaching work may be difficult to sustain.
Current arrangements (2 hours credit against lectures per singly supervised postgraduate research student and
4 hours credit for leadership functions in an IRC) may not necessarily provide sufficient relief from academic
and other pressures for active researchers. There is a need for protected (‘ring fenced’) time for research activity.
Institute Response
Prior to 2006, the time allocated to an academic staff member for active research was capped at 4 hours,
in line with the IoT’s Council of Directors policy. The Institute of Technology Tallaght Strategic Plan 2005 – 2008
highlighted the need to review that Supervision Policy arrangement to help expand its critical mass of
researchers. In Sept. 2006, this allocation of time was increased to the level indicated in the assessors report
above, i.e. 6 hours, and for academics managing Institute Research Centres 10 hours, out of a total of 16 hours
allocated to research. This is an improvement on what is still currently recommended by the Council of
Directors. While it is recommended that Academic Supervisors shall have a minimum of 33% of their teaching
allocation associated with formal taught teaching programmes within their respective departments, the Sept.
2006 Institute Supervision Policy allows for a number of special casesto allow for experienced research
2 APPENDIX B – Criteria for Accreditation to maintain a register for a specified research degree in a specified discipline area. Validation process, policy and
criteria for the accreditation of providers to maintain a register for a specified research degree in a specified discipline area. HETAC April 2003.
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academics to 1) seek increased allocation of research time, following approval of the Head of Department and
2) for a research supervisor to buy out some or all of their teaching hours, following approval of the President.
The Research Strategy Group, convened by the Council of Directors and chaired by the President of
this Institute, is working to improve the research time allocation across the institute sector and
has proposed a number of initiatives to help ‘ring fence’ funding to build on critical mass in its May
2006 report Institutes of Technology and the Knowledge Society – Building Research Capacity. It
also proposes a research-structured career path for academics to include the creation of a Senior
Lecturer (Research).
Status: Ongoing at Sector level through IOTI. New ITT Dublin Policy for review in 2009.
Are there procedures for the planning and monitoring of postgraduate programmes of
research within the discipline area?
Areas for improvement
Currently the supervisor is present during all of the monitoring process. Clearly, it may be difficult for a student
to openly discuss issues that may relate directly to their supervisor in their presence.
Institute Response
Students are encouraged to address issues with their co-supervisor or Head of Department on an informal basis
at any time during their programme. There is also a formal complaints process in the Code of Practice,
independent of the supervisor, which allows for the students to discuss supervisory issues with the Head of
Department. The students are made aware of this at induction and in the postgraduate student handbook.
The current research regulations as outlined in the Code of Practice provide information on the independent
Departmental assessment of the student progress carried out on an annual basis. It has been proposed in the
Departments of Science and Computing that the Programme Board would also be involved in the overall
monitoring process. Procedures in that regard are to be developed by the Quality Review Group in the School.
Status: This issue has been sent to the Postgraduate Policy Committee of Academic Council for further
consideration and the Committee will examine what is current best practice within Universities and Institutes
of Technology.
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Are there staff who:
are willing to lead research programmes?
are sufficiently qualified to the level of the programmes of research for which
accreditation is being sought?
have prior experience in the supervision of research students to successful
completion?
are engaged in research, advanced study and other activities relating to practice in the
subject or discipline area concerned?
Areas for improvement
It is necessary to increase the pool of trained supervisors and strengthen the supervisory skills of experienced
supervisors. This can be accomplished by establishing a research supervisor training programme both for novice
supervisors and for experienced colleagues. There was evidence that this requirement is being actively pursued
by management at ITT Dublin.
Institute Response
Plans for this across the Institute have previously outlined in Section 14.2 previously with full details of the
training provided described in Chapter 5 of this submission.
Status: Institute arrangements in place and ongoing through SIF projects at Sectoral Level.
Are there adequate physical resources as well as technical and administrative support
structures and attendant staff appropriate to the research being undertaken?
Areas for improvement
Faster, wider and more direct access to the research literature is necessary as a matter of some urgency and
much desired by students. The currently available e-journal facilities are inadequate.
The panel was of the view that it is imperative (no less) that the HEA funded Irish Research Electronic Library
(IReL)—accessible by university students (on and off campus)—should be made accessible by students
attending the Institutes of Technology.
Students would benefit from 24 hour access to research laboratories. The procedure for gaining access to
laboratory facilities out of hours is an obstacle to students and is discouraging to the active researchers. It is
essential that more appropriate systems, with adequate safety safeguards, be established to provide active
researchers (students and staff) with appropriate out-of-hours access to facilities.
The research environment could be enhanced by increasing the number of post-doctoral staff who have ‘hands
on experience’ at the bench and from whom students could acquire technical/practical knowledge/experience.
Although laboratory space is currently adequate, it will limit expansion of student numbers.
The NMR installation has had a long service and is key for many projects: a plan for its replacement needs to
be put in place. More generally, while the equipment is adequate, there is not the abundance of equipment
that might be available in bigger facilities. The kind of equipment at issue includes, in the biological and
biomedical areas for example: superspeed- and ultra-centrifuges, PCR machines, autoclaves, ice-machines,
electrophoresis equipment for protein and DNA gels, dark rooms for developing films, UV spectrometers and
fluorimeters, biological safety-cabinets, etc. In bigger biomedical facilities each student might have a bench-top
microfuge and vortex mixer.
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Institute Response
It is proposed to have discussions between Supervisors and Heads of Department who will then bring deficits
and suggestions for improvement to the Head of School for agreement by the Senior Management Team.
Access to the Irish Research Electronic Library
The Institute is actively pursuing the issue of access to the Irish Research Electronic Library with the HEA and is
in agreement with the assessors view. The Registrar of the Institute is Chairperson of the Institute of
Technologies and DIT Librarian Group and extending the IReL initiative is one which the sector is actively seeking
ways to address.
Access to Research Laboratories
The Senior Management Team will look at best practice in the university and IoT sector with a view to improving
access. Current access is consistent and in many cases better than access in other IoTs.
The current procedure is as follows:
Staff or post-graduate students must obtain the permission from a member of staff, at Head of
Department/Function level, or higher, to obtain access to the institute outside of the normal opening hours.
The Estates Manager/Assistant Estates Manager will arrange for the member of staff/post-graduate student
to collect and sign for a gate key from the Building Services Office.
On arrival, the member of staff/post-graduate student must inform the security staff of the area of the
building where they will be working.
When leaving the building, the staff/post-graduate students must sign out in the diary in the Building
Services Office. The gate key must be returned to staff in the Building Services Office when they are next in
the institute and it must be signed in.
Increase in number of Post-doctoral Staff
The Department of Science with help from the Development Office will continue to promote funding
opportunities for recruiting post-doctoral staff to academics at the Institute. This is an area that is also being
addressed through the Council of Directors Research Strategy Group. There are currently 3 post-doctoral
Fellows in the Department, with 2 more being recruited from successful funding awards from PRSDP Strand 3
and EI AREP programmes, outside of the recent funding applications to HEA PRTLI and the Council of Directors.
We will continue to look at ways of increasing this number further.
Limitations in expansion of student numbers
In July and August 2007, dedicated research space in the Synergy Incubation Centre on campus was being
converted into an Applied Research laboratory that will be exploited by postgraduate researchers in the
Department of Science primarily. The new building a research facility for Applied Sciences for Health, for funded
by HEA PRTLI will address the space limitations in the Department,. In addition when the PPP funded expansion
of the main campus is complete in five years time then more dedicated research space should be available.
NMR and large pieces of research equipment
Funding applications have been submitted to a number of agencies for the purchase of a new NMR
spectrometer and the other larger items of equipment mentioned above. A new NMR is to be purchased from
HEA PRTLI funds.
Status: As per response above. Additional access to buildings may be granted in the new Research Building
(CASH Centre), subject to HSW considerations. The recent HEA Research Infrastructural funding will create
additional bench spaces for an increase in postgraduate students. The move of Institute administrative
functions to Icon Court will free up office space for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers.
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Are there seminars, both focused and interdisciplinary, to facilitate the dissemination and
exchange of the fruits of research, enabling peer review and quality assessment?
Areas for improvement
While students are aware of, and frequently attend, seminars, the availability of seminars in the various subjects
within the Institute itself is limited.
Institute Response
This is actively being pursued within the Institute, Departments, Research Groups and the
Institute Research Centres, and an expansion in the number of internal seminars is planned for
the 2007/08 academic year.
An Institute-wide Research Colloquium was held on Tuesday June 19th 2007 to promote individual
and group research activities across the Institute and encourage more interdisciplinary collaborations
in the future.
Status: As per response above.
14.4.2 Engineering
Is there an active, supportive academic environment and research community in the
subject or discipline area for which accreditation is sought demonstrated by traditional
research performance indicators?
Areas for improvement
While both Engineering departments are properly attentive to short to medium term goals and objectives, they
may also benefit from developing, articulating and disseminating a shared vision of how to sustain and grow
the research activity in the longer term. This vision might address, inter alia, strategies for attracting sufficient
numbers of high calibre students to allow the research to grow.
The Institute is aware that the ability to disseminate research findings through publications is a critical outcome
of any research degree programme; that this is an area in which it can and should improve and that research
productivity will become increasingly important to enable the engineering research programmes at the Institute
to compete for funding at national level.
Institute Response
The updated Institute Research Strategy document seeks to address this. In addition the Engineering Research
Strategy will be updated to take on board the recommendations of the assessors.
In relation to enhancing research productivity, the recent establishment of an IRC in Mechanical Engineering;
the impact of the collaborations with the SFI visiting Walton Professor, the strengthening of research links with
the AMNCH (Tallaght Hospital) in Biomedical Engineering will contribute an increased performance in research
publications in the future.
Status: Ongoing.
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Is there specialised training dictated by the discipline and the nature of the research
being undertaken?
Areas for improvement
While all incoming graduate students undertake an Induction Course, repeated at intervals throughout the
year, and they are provided with a detailed Postgraduate Student Handbook, the main training of graduate
students is undertaken by the supervisor. The Institute may wish to consider if there is a need for a more
structured approach to specialised training comparable and perhaps in partnership with the training
programmes being developed in Biology and Chemistry.
Institute Response
School specific Health & Safety and Equality & Diversity training is conducted currently. Training in specialist
areas for research projects is and will continue to be provided by the Supervisors and their collaborators, as
required.
The Integrated Product and Process Design Centre members aim to use their expertise to provide training for
research degree students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in programming, advanced CAD tools,
FEA analysis and Advanced Manufacture Technologies (Rapid Prototyping & Manufacture). The newly formed
research group in Innovative Medical Group will be an additional training resource.
The Department of Electronics is currently expanding its programs in semiconductor education and research. It
is anticipated that the research conducted in Thin Film Technology will serve as a unique college resource by
advancing in-house expertise in the area of thin film devices and promoting and expanding the institute role
in advanced technology education and pre-competitive research in modules including: Analogue Electronics;
Digital Electronics; Semiconductor Technology; Instrumentations and Electronic measurements; Optical
communications; Solid State Electronics.
The Centre for Applied Microelectronics aims to enhance the Institute’s semiconductor training.
There are strong links with Chemistry research within Electronic Engineering and multidisciplinary training for
engineering postgraduate researchers is and will continue to be provided.
Status: As per response above.
Are there staff who:
are willing to lead research programmes?
are sufficiently qualified to the level of the programmes of research for which
accreditation is
being sought?
have prior experience in the supervision of research students to successful completion?
are engaged in research, advanced study and other activities relating to practice in the
subject or discipline area concerned?
Areas for improvement
Notwithstanding that the record in respect of funding, collaboration and publications is currently good and
appropriate to the current stage of development of research activity at the Institute, if the level and quality of
the research activity is to improve, and it should, then staff and students require continuing support and
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research facilities must be improved. For example, the Institute may wish to consider how more time may be
made available where necessary for staff to further their research development and how research time of
research-active staff may be protected or “ring-fenced”.
As in Biology and Chemistry, it is necessary to increase the pool of trained supervisors and strengthen the
supervisory skills of experienced supervisors.
Institute Response
In relation to the ring fencing of time for research - the response is the same as that given in Section 14.4.1
for Biology and Chemistry.
In relation to the pool of trained supervisors - plans for this across the Institute have previously outlined in
Section 14.2 previously with full details of the training provided described in Chapter 5 of this submission.
Status: Institute arrangements in place and ongoing through SIF projects at Sectoral Level.
Are there adequate physical resources as well as technical and administrative support
structures and attendant staff appropriate to the research being undertaken?
Areas for improvement
The students found that the lack of electronic access journals places them at a disadvantage relative to those
who do have such access.
Faster, wider and more direct access to the research literature is necessary as a matter of some urgency and
much desired by students. The currently available e-journal facilities are inadequate.
Institute Response
It is proposed to have discussions between Supervisors and Head of Department who will then bring deficits
and suggestions for improvement to Head of School for agreement by the Senior Management Team. The
Institute is actively pursuing the issue of access to the Irish Research Electronic Library with the HEA.
Status: As per response above.
Are there seminars, both focused and interdisciplinary, to facilitate the dissemination and
exchange of the fruits of research, enabling peer review and quality assessment?
Areas for improvement
Notwithstanding the existing good work that is being done, the seminar programme could be enhanced so
that students’ experience is broadened.
Institute Response
We will look at this with a view to identifying possible enhancements (e.g. regional or themed colloquia). An
Institute-wide Research Colloquium was held on Tuesday June 19th last to promote individual and group
research activities across the Institute and encourage more interdisciplinary collaborations in the future.
Status: Ongoing.
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Are there opportunities for interaction with other postgraduate research candidates and
their supervisors, both within and outside the institution and opportunities, where
appropriate, for collaboration with other providers of higher education, industry and
commerce and the public sector etc.?
Areas for improvement
Some of these links have yet to be exploited.
Institute Response
All of the links presented in the submission documentation are in operation.
Status: The School and Departments will continue to strengthen these existing links and are actively
working to explore new links.
14.4.3 Computing
Is there an active, supportive academic environment and research community in the
subject or discipline area for which accreditation is sought demonstrated by traditional
research performance indicators?
Areas for improvement
The most striking problem for Computing is the lack of a local “critical mass” of computing research students.
Many graduates apparently prefer employment in industry to a research degree programme at the Institute and
those that try to combine the two often fail to complete. The historical completion rate is low but the
Department provided a satisfactory explanation for this.
The critical mass issue must be addressed immediately. The department needs to increase the number of
students to provide the level of support needed from peers. The Computing department may wish to consider
aligning its applied research with other research activities in the Institute where there is critical mass. Applied
research in health informatics or interdisciplinary research involving the engineering, biomedical or
pharmaceutical areas may provide opportunities. Even combining research student facilities (desks etc) with
another department (either Science or Engineering) will help provide this peer support, even if only in a non
discipline-specific manner.
Institute Response
A key objective in the 2007 – 2011 Institutional Research Strategy is the strengthening of research activities in
certain prioritised research thematic areas in Computing, such as - E-learning, Mobile Computing, Interoperable
Systems and the Semantic Web, Complex Emergent Systems. The main objective for the School with respect
to R&D in Computing over the next five years is to strengthen the competitive research base, expand
postgraduate research student numbers, and achieve recognition for excellence in research endeavours.
Multidisciplinary research with Science and Engineering will also be also be explored.
The issue of critical mass and student numbers is one which exercises the Department greatly. It should be
pointed out that since the visit of the panel of assessors the department has recruited one further student from
Mexico and is currently in active negotiations to bring on board a further student from China. These students
have been sourced through the Department’s international links. In addition the Computing Department
currently has applications with funding bodies to fund a further three research students.
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Longer View
It is true to say that when the panel of assessors was at the Institute the numbers of active research students
was small with one active and one deferred research student. However this ‘instantaneous’ number is not in
keeping with the recent trend within the Computing over the past few years where there has typically been 34 active students on the register. Over the period since 1999 the Department has graduated eight masters
students, a number which puts second to Chemistry within the Science disciplines and on a par, if not higher
than many other Departments in the sector.
Competitive Environment
Some account has to be taken of the general climate and demand for computing graduates within Ireland.
Many references (EGFSN, DCU vacancies report) testify to the severe shortage of computing graduates in 2006.
This shortage has grown in 2007 with the result that high quality compting graduates are routinely offered
starting salaries in excess of €40,000 plus additional benefits. In an effort to overcome this difficulty the
Department is now actively recruiting research students from abroad.
Academic Environment at Level 9
There is also a community of active level 9 students on the Department’s Master of Science in Distributed and
Mobile Computing. We believe that this provides substantial additional scaffolding for research students in the
Department of Computing which is not available in every discipline.
Status: As per response above.
Is there evidence of academic guidance, authority and leadership?
Areas for improvement
The outcome of the research work is good. The Institute would benefit from more exposure at international
conferences and in Journal publications. This type of output should be factored into the planning for staff and
students.
Institute Response
This is inferred in the previous response and is also actively being encouraged and supported at School and
Department levels. There are also plans to establish two IRCs in the Department of Computing - Centre for eLearning Technologies (CELT); Centre for Enterprise Software Technologies (CEST).
The Department of Computing has developed a strong strategy to increase the level of its publications in both
number and quantity. More than half of the staff of the Department have published research findings within
the past three years. Seven members of the Department have been supported financially to publish at
international conferences. Notwithstanding this, the Department believes that there is a reasonable record of
publication at national, European and international levels in both conferences and journals.
Status: Ongoing.
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Is there specislised training dictated by the discipline and the nature of the research
being undertaken?
Areas for improvement
The Institute may wish to consider developing a more structured approach to specialised training, comparable
and perhaps in partnership with the training programmes being developed in Biology and Chemistry.
Institute Response
To support our postgraduate students the Computing Department will look at enhancing specialist training,
particularly in the areas of mobile computing and E-Learning where it has a particularly good track record. It
will also strive to make use of its collaborations with industry in that regard. Some targeted modules from the
taught M.Sc. in Computing are also be offered to research degree students in the Department. The School of
Science and Computing will also explore the possibility of partnerships with other researchers within the School
with respect to the provision of specialist training.
Since the panel visit, nine members of the staff have received training in research supervision to M.Sc. Level, in
the form of a one day workshop. This training was provided by an experienced research supervisor in the Dublin
Institute of Technology and was focused at the particular requirements of computing students.
In addition academics attended the research seminar training events and the Research Supervisors Workshop
given by Prof. A. Fell, Bradford University.
Status: As per response above.
Are there staff who:
are willing to lead research programmes?
are sufficiently qualified to the level of the programmes of research for which
accreditation is being sought?
-have prior experience in the supervision of research students to successful
completion?
-are engaged in research, advanced study and other activities relating to practice in
the subject or discipline area concerned?
Areas for improvement
As in Biology and Chemistry, it is necessary to increase the pool of trained supervisors and strengthen the
supervisory skills of experienced supervisors.
Institute Response
In relation to the pool of trained supervisors - plans for this across the Institute have previously outlined in
Section 14.2 previously with full details of the training provided described in Chapter 5 of this submission.
Status: Institute arrangements in place and ongoing through SIF projects at Sectoral Level.
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Are there seminars, both focused and interdisciplinary, to facilitate the dissemination and
exchange of the fruits of research, enabling peer review and quality assessment?
Areas for improvement
The Department may wish to try to use seminars to foster interdisciplinary research to address the critical mass
issue as outlined already.
Institute Response
The Department has a formal seminar programme itself. This is the main forum for dissemination of research
results within the Computing Department. The School of Science and Computing will explore the possibility of
a School-based approach to seminars and their organisation.
Since the majority of the research projects involve industrial collaboration students also present their research
findings to industry and have organised workshops on campus to promote their research in the past as
previously mentioned in the accreditation submission documentation. The Department will continue to
encourage and support this activity.
Status: Ongoing.
Are there opportunities for interaction with other postgraduate research candidates and
their supervisors, both within and outside the institution and opportunities, where
appropriate, for collaboration with other providers of higher education, industry and
commerce and the public sector etc.?
Areas for improvement
See earlier comments under ‘research environment’.
It may also be useful to consider increasing cooperation with foreign higher education institutions and research
centres—there is already a link with Austria—through student and staff exchange.
Institute Response
See the earlier comments under ‘research environment’. The School and Department will take due regard of
the recommendation to explore enhanced cooperation with foreign higher education institutions and research
centres where there is already a link—through student and staff exchange.
The School and Department notes the constructive comments of the panel in respect of potential future
strategies including collaboration in terms of co-locating computing students with Science or Engineering
students to provide peer support. It may not have been brought to the attention of the panel but this colocation already happens.
The Department has a strategic plan for research which seeks to improve and strengthen its collaboration with
other departments and institutions/industry. The Department has deep collaborations with other third level
institutions in Ireland and abroad, such as those presented in the submission document – DCU, the University
of Rome, the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain, and school of Education, Durham University, UK, and is
intent on developing these further. It would be fair to acknowledge that the visit of the panel of assessors has
been a catalyst for further refinement of the Department’s research strategy in that regard.
Status: Ongoing.
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Are there procedures for the implementation of quality assurance within the schools /
departments concerned?
Areas for improvement
While there are procedures in place, it is difficult to assess them owing to the small numbers of students.
Institute Response
The quality assurance procedures are implemented across the School. The School Quality Review Group which
looks after procedures for teaching and research has a Senior Lecturer from the Department of Computing as
a member to address specifically procedures in relation Computing research. The remit of the Department of
Computing Research Committee is also to monitor the implementation of research related procedures, which
it can do very well owing to the small numbers of students involved. It has established an efficient monitoring
system for its students and supervisors and reports on its activities to the Head of School and reviews its
operations on an annual basis.
Status: Ongoing.
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Chapter 15
Implementing Delegated Authority: New
Programme Development
Under delegated authority the Institute became responsible for the development and validation of the
programmes it offers up to and including Level 9 on the NQF (taught Masters). A total of 5 new programmes
have been validated and approved by the Institute since January 2007. In this section, the process and stages
in the development of each of the five programmes is presented, together with a summary of each programme
and the findings of the external review panels. The steps in recommending new programmes to Governing
Body are also presented, along with a list of new programmes under development at present.
15.1 Stages in New Programme Development
The main stages in the process of new programme development and evaluation are outlined in Figure 15.1.
Chapter 3 of the Institute Quality Manual described the procedures involved which are summarised below.
15.1.1 Stage One: Initiation of a New Course
New programme proposals must be submitted by the relevant Head of Department or Head of School to the
Registrar via a completed Course Proposal – Stage 1 (CPI) document. In the case of cross-disciplinary or multidisciplinary programmes, the Heads of Department or School must agree the lead Department which will take
administrative responsibility (i.e. resourcing, management, delivery and monitoring) for the programme, should
it be validated.
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Stage
Agent and Activity
1. Initiation
2. Management Strategic Review
3. Internal Review
Initiating Group
CP1 to Registrar
Academic Council
Programme Development
Committee Established
CP2 Document to Registrar
Course Submission Document to
Registrar
Internal Programme Review Board
Established
IPRB Reports to Registrar
Approval sought of Academic
Council
4. External Evaluation
External Evaluation Panel
Established
Final Report to Registrar
Report to Academic Council
5. Approval
Academic Council request
Governing Body to issue
Certificate of Approval
Registrar advises HETAC
6. Implementation
If required, ITT seeks sanction from
the DOES
Programme included in CAO (where
relevant) and Prospectus
Programme Board Established
Figure 15.1 Stages in the Development of New Programmes
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On receiving a CP1 form, the Registrar will establish a CP1 Review Panel, consisting of at least four persons
(including the Registrar), two of whom must be from Academic Council, to assess the proposal.
The CP1 Review Panel, (consisting of at least four persons, including the Registrar) assess the proposal using
the following evaluation criteria
• Is the proposal in accordance with the Institute’s Mission and Strategic Plan?
• Are the title of the programme and the title of the award to which the programme leads consistent with
NQAI named award-types?
• Does the proposal make a reasonable outline case that there is an identified need for the course? Was a
feasibility study carried out?
• Is the proposal likely the meet the identified need in terms of title, content and level?
• Are there sufficient resources either planned or in place to run the new programme?
• Is the programme a priority for the School/Department at present or are other programme proposals of
higher priority.
• Is the programme proposal consistent with the strategy of the School? Does it complement existing
programmes?
If the initiating group decides to proceed with the proposal, the CP1 will be submitted to the Registrar together
with the report of the CP1 Review Panel. Upon receipt of the signed CP1 form the Registrar will place the item
on the agenda of Academic Council in accordance with the Academic Council’s standing orders.
Academic Council, giving due consideration to the policies of Governing Body and the Strategic Plan of the
Institute, will either approve the establishment of a New Programme Development Committee, not approve its
establishment or recommend modifications to the proposal.
15.1.2 Stage Two: Management Strategic Review
The Head of School who has responsibility for the Programme Development Committee will submit a first cycle
Programme Resource Requirements Document (form CP2) to the SMT for consideration. The resource issues
include:
• Number of student places (proposed intake in each year of course)
• Space/accommodation requirements in terms of classrooms, specialist laboratories and computing facilities
required in the first and subsequent years of operation
• Equipment and other special resources required (if any) to run the programme.
• Staff requirements: academic, technical and administrative
• Library Resources
• Support required from other departments
• Impact on other learning services for specialist support and student services
• Staff ratios, THAS
In arriving at its conclusion the SMT reviews three main areas:
• Resource requirements
• How the proposal matches the Institute Strategic Plan and the overall needs of the Institute
• Overlap with existing courses and appropriateness for the relevant Department.
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15.1.3 Stage Three: Internal Review
The Programme Development Committee develops a Course Submission Document for submission to the
Registrar. In developing the submission document, the Programme Development Committee will take into
account the policies, procedures and guidelines noted in the documents referred to in the Quality Manual,
Section 3.3. The Committee will also bear in mind the criteria that will be applied to the evaluation of the
submission by the Internal Review Board (outlined in the Quality Manual, Section 3.7.2). Special emphasis
should be placed on justification for the course, in terms of meeting educational and career objectives of
potential students and meeting the needs of the labour market.
Internal Programme Review Board (IPRB)
Internal evaluation of the course proposal is carried out by a review group established for that purpose by the
Registrar, under the authority of the Academic Council. The group, known as the Internal Programme Review
Board (IPRB), consists of at least four persons, two of whom must be from the Academic Council. It must
include appropriate specialist and educational expertise and may involve members from outside the Institute
for these purposes. The recommended Composition of the Internal Review Panel is as follows:
• The Registrar or his/her nominee (as Secretary)
• A senior academic (Head of School or Department) from outside the School (as Chair) plus one other
academic from outside the School
• A representative from Industry or other individual with expertise in the specialisation under consideration
• Additional members may be proposed to ensure adequate specialist expertise. Every effort will be made to
ensure gender balance on the panel.
The Board will review the Course Submission Document and address all key issues in relation to the
appropriateness, quality and proposed content of the course. The IPRB will provide immediate feedback and
recommendations to the Head of Department and the Programme Development Committee after the meeting.
The Board will also submit a written report outlining the outcome of the Internal Review to the Registrar.
Following a successful outcome to the internal review, the Registrar will place the item on the agenda at the
next Academic Council meeting. Only proposals which receive approval from Academic Council may proceed
to the next stage, i.e. the external evaluation stage.
15.1.4 Stage Four: External Review
An External Evaluation Panel is convened by the Registrar for Course Submissions which have passed the
Internal Review stage. As a general principle, the Panel should include persons who are experienced and
eminent in the field of the proposed course, and persons familiar with the operation and requirements of
Institutes of Technology or similar higher education institutions. No member of the Department(s) proposing
the course may serve on the Panel, and a majority of its members must be from outside the Institute. The
Panel would normally comprise five or six persons and the recommended composition is as follows:
• Chairperson: Senior Educationalist (normally a senior academic from another Institute of Technology or
University - or a suitably qualified person from Business/Industry)
• At least two senior academics with relevant qualifications and experience in the area under evaluation
• An industrialist, preferably with state of the art experience in the specialism under consideration
• the Registrar (as Secretary)
• Additional members may be proposed to ensure adequate specialist expertise. Every effort will be made to
ensure gender balance on the panel.
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The following criteria are provided as guidelines to assist the external panel in evaluating the programme:
• Is the title of the programme and the title of the award to which the programme leads consistent with NQAI
named award-types?
• Does the proposal make a strong case that there is an identified need for the course? Is this backed up by
evidence of structured consultation with industry, students and social partners?
• Is the programme proposal consistent with the Institute’s Mission Statement and Strategic Plan? Is it
consistent with the strategy of the School?
• Are the procedures for access, transfer and progression consistent with the NQAI Policies and Procedures
for Access, Transfer and Progression? Do they accommodate a variety of access and entry requirements?
Are the entry mechanisms, modes of study and progression mechanisms clear and appropriate for the
programme?
• Is the programme design consistent with HETAC’s policy on Accumulation of Credits and Certification of
Subjects (ACCS)? Is the course structure logical and well designed, in terms of programme schedules,
syllabi, teaching and learning strategies and assessment methodologies?
• Are the learning outcomes of the programme consistent with the NQAI standards of knowledge, skill and
competence established for the award to which the programme is directed?
• Are the proposed teaching and learning strategies appropriately designed to achieve the learning outcomes
at each stage of the programme?
• Are the learner assessment methods fully elaborated and consistent with HETAC’s policy on fair and
consistent assessment of learners?
• Are quality assurance procedures and course management arrangements in place?
• Are arrangements in place to provide information to learners about the programme?
• Are the appropriate library, physical resources in place?
• Are the appropriate academic and learner supports in place?
• Are the qualifications, experience and competence of academic staff appropriate (in terms of level of
qualifications, research and subject expertise) to successfully deliver the programme?
The External Evaluation Panel may, at its discretion, issue an Interim Report where significant changes are
recommended in the proposal. This Interim Report will be forwarded to the Registrar, the appropriate Head of
School/Department and the Programme Development Committee. In the event of changes being required to
the proposal, the Programme Development Committee will resubmit the revised Course Submission Document
to the Registrar’s Office (within one month of receiving the Report). The Registrar may return the document
to the External Evaluation Panel for further consideration. The Final Report of the External Evaluation Panel will
include a recommendation for approval or rejection of the proposal, and such other recommendations as the
Panel sees fit.
15.1.5 Stage 5: Final Approval
The Final Report of the External Evaluation Panel will be presented at a duly convened meeting of the Academic
Council. The Academic Council will formally recommend to Governing Body approval or rejection of the
proposal based on the decision of the External Evaluation Panel. If the proposal is approved by the Governing
Body, the Governing Body will issue a Certificate of Approval (template in Figure 15.2) for the programme. An
Order of Governing Body is also generated, as per template in Figure 15.3. The Registrar will advise HETAC and
submit appropriate documentation.
The Institute will seek sanction from the Department of Education and Science/the Higher Education Authority
(HEA) to run the new programme (if required).
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The Course Submission Document, revised as appropriate, will be lodged with the Registrar and together with
the Certificate of Approval, will become the operational document for the course/programme.
Following written sanction from the Department of Education and Science (when required) the Registrar will
advise Academic Administration and Student Affairs that the course has been approved.
The process of implementing new courses is delegated by the Director to the relevant Head of School and Head
of Department.
The Programme Development Committee will be dissolved and a Programme Board will be appointed to
oversee the implementation of the course.
The Head of School will ensure that the programme is included in the Annual Operational Programmes and
Budgets of the Institute.
Teastas Creidiúnaithe Cláir
Certificate of Course Approval
Cúrsa/Course
[Title here]
Intakes Approved/Tá an t-órdú seo baileach ó: go
for five years from September 200X
or to the next Programmatic Review
In exercise of the powers conferred on the Institute by the Qualifications (Education & Training) Act 1999
and 2006, the Academic Council and the Governing Body of the Institute of Technology Tallaght hereby
confer validation on the above named course and approve its operation.
______________________
Director/Stiúrthóir
__________
Date/Dáta
Figure 15.2
Certificate of Approval for New Programmes
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Ordú an Chomhlachta Ceannais
Order of Governing Body
Dearbhaím, Dr. Tim Creedon go bhfuil an Comhlacht Ceannais, sásta gur féidir le foghlaimeoirí ar an gclár thíosluaite an t-eolas, scil nó
inniúlacht atá ag teastáil chun críche na dámhachtana thíosluaite a bhaint amach agus, dá réir, go bhfuil an clár bailíochtaithe ag an
gComhlacht Ceannais sin faoi Alt 25 d’Acht na gCáilíochtaí (Oideachas agus Oiliúint), 1999 agus 2006. Dearbhaím freisin go bhfuil an
clár creidiúnaithe dá réir ag an gComhlacht Ceannais faoi réir na coinníollacha atá greanta ar an dTeastas Creidiúnaithe Cláir a
ghabhann le seo, i leith foghlaimeoirí a nglacfar leo idir na dátaí léirithe.
I, Dr. Tim Creedon, Director, Institute of Technology Tallaght declare that the Governing Body of the Institute of Technology Tallaght is
satisfied that learners on the programme referred to below may attain the knowledge, skill or competence required for the purpose of
the award mentioned below, and that the Governing Body has accordingly validated the programme under Section 25 of the
Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 1999 and 2006, for the award, subject to the conditions set out in the Certificate of
Programme Validation, in respect of learner intakes within the dates indicated.
Soláthraí
Provider
Teideal na Dámhachtana
Title of Award
Leibhéal, Cineál Dámhachtana, sa
Chreatoibre Náisiúnta na gCáiliochtaí
Level, Award-type, in the National
Framework of Qualifications
Teideal an Chláir
Title of Programme
Cód an Chláir
Programme Code
________________________
Dr. Tim Creedon
Director/Stiúrthóir
Date
_____________
INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY TALLAGHT
Serial No. TA 002
Figure 15.3 Order of Governing Body Issued for Approved New Programmes
15.2 Process for Minor, Special Purpose and Supplemental
Awards
The primary filter in assessing whether a proposal should go forward for Governing Body approval is the Head
of Department/Head of School/ Head of Development and the Registrar. The new programme should be
consistent with the Department’s academic plan and the Institute’s strategic plan and be capable of being
properly resourced within existing budgetary constraints and available physical resources.
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If the Head of Department/ Head of School/ Head of Development considers that a new programme should be
developed leading to a Minor, Special Purpose or Supplemental award, then the Head of Department will
nominate an appropriate member(s) of staff (which may or may not include the original propose) to develop
the course and complete the appropriate Special Purpose Programme Proposal form (SPP1). This
documentation, together with the proposed timetable for the Validation process, must be submitted to the
Special Purpose Course Validation Panel and a copy should be forwarded to the Registrar. Special Purpose
Course Validation Panels will determine whether awards are Minor, Special Purpose or Supplemental.
The composition of the Special Purpose Course Validation Panel is as follows:
• The Head of School (from which the proposal arises) or the Head of Development
• The Head of the relevant Department
• An internal specialist (not a member of the Course Development Team)
• An external specialist
• Registrar or Nominee of the President
The Head of School or the Head of Development will act as the chairperson and convenor of the Panel.
Recommendations of the Validation Panel are sent by the Registrar to Governing Body to confirm.
Demand for additional resources occasioned by the new course must be agreed by the Senior Management
Team of the Institute, via the submission of a CP2 form, before the course can be advertised.
Where a Minor, Supplemental or Special Purpose award is recommended, the Registrar, on behalf of the
Institute, will notify HETAC and requests that the award be added to the list of awards delegated to the
Institute.
15.3 Procedures for Modifications to Existing Programmes
Material modifications to programmes are normally evaluated at the time of a Programmatic Review, which
takes place every five years. However, Programme Boards may request minor or material modifications to an
existing programme outside of that timeframe.
15.3.1 Minor Change Process
Changes which do not change the basic nature of the course, either singly or incrementally, can be approved
through the minor change process. The table below provides a list of possible minor changes and outlines the
procedures to be followed in each case. Documented evidence in support of the changes is required from a
Programme Board, External Examiners, the Head of Department, Head of School or the Registrar. Where a
change affects other Departments, these must also be consulted. The form to be completed, Modification to
Existing Programme form (MEP), should be submitted not later than 31st March in the academic year preceding
the introduction of the changes.
15.3.2 Major Change Process
Material modifications to existing programmes are normally only approved through the Programmatic Review
process (which takes place every five years) or through formal revalidation. The following modifications
constitute major changes:
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
A change (>20%) to the aims and objectives of a Programme and/or a particular module(s)
A change (>20%) to the learning outcomes of the Programme and/or a particular module(s).
A change in the mode of delivery e.g. conversion to open/distance learning mode of delivery
A change in the number of credits assigned to a particular module(s)
The introduction of a new module(s)
The addition of a new elective to a list of options
The withdrawal of an existing compulsory module
The withdrawal of an elective module
The addition of an approved module as compulsory or the replacement of a compulsory module
Where cumulative changes amount to more than 20% of the Programme over a period of 5 years from the
date of issue of the certificate of Approval up to the Programmatic Review, a formal revalidation is required.
15.4 New Programmes Validated and Approved Under
Delegated Authority
Summaries of the five new programmes approved under delegated authority are provided below in Sections
15.4.1 to 15.4.4.
15.4.1 Bachelor Of Engineering (Hons) Mechanical Engineering
Programme Aims and Learning Objectives
This Level 8 add-on degree programme concentrates on skills and knowledge that we have identified as being
important in the mechanical engineering industry. Analysis, design, manufacture and maintenance are core
areas of study and application on this programme. Students also become familiar with complete engineering
systems used in the production of consumer goods or mechanical instruments or devices used in the computer,
medical or consumer areas.
Graduates of this programme will be able to work in a broad spectrum of industries, including pharmaceutical,
medical device and food industries. Graduates will be qualified to work in areas such as Process, Utilities,
Manufacturing Support, Design, Consultancy, Project Management, Maintenance and Technical Sales Support.
The Bachelor in Engineering (Honours) Mechanical Engineering aims to educate mechanical engineers who
have the ability to work in a flexible, professional manner in a wide range of contexts and who are equipped
to progress to further study. One completion of this programme, graduates will be able to demonstrate
knowledge, skills and competence at an advanced level in technical fields related to Mechanical Engineering.
The main themes are mathematics and numerical analysis, mechanics and mechanical design, properties of
materials, thermo fluids, control and electrical professional development and project. The programme meets
the learning outcomes of NQAI Level 8 in mechanical engineering.
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Subject/Module Data
SEMESTER 7
Subject Title
Mathematics 7
Computer Studies 1
Materials Science 1
Manufacturing Processes
Mechanical Design 1
Fluid Mechanics 1
Electrical Circuits &
Electronics
Management Practice &
Professional Development
SEMESTER 8
Subject Title
Mathematics 8
Computer Studies 2
Materials Science 2
Mechanical Design 2
Fluid Mechanics 2
Measurement Systems &
Control
Manufacturing Economics
& Systems
SEMESTER 9
Subject Title
Mathematics 9
Mechanics of Materials
Fluid Mechanics 3
Thermodynamics
Control Systems Analysis
Electriacl Engineering
Health, Safety,
Environment and Quality
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
Allocation of Marks
7
3
3
3
5
3
7
2
3
3
4
2
CA
20
70
0
0
50
0
Project
0
30
0
0
0
30
Practical
0
0
30
30
0
10
Final Exam
80
0
70
70
50
60
3
4
0
0
30
70
3
2
0
30
0
70
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
6
3
4
5
3
6
2
3
4
2
CA
20
30
0
50
10
Project
0
70
0
0
30
Practical
0
0
30
0
10
Final Exam
80
0
70
50
50
4
3
0
0
30
70
5
4
30
0
0
70
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
Project
Practical
3
4
3
4
4
3
3
3
3
4
3
3
15
15
30
30
30
Final Exam
80
70
70
70
70
70
3
2
Allocation of Marks
Allocation of Marks
CA
20
30
30
70
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SEMESTER 10
Subject Title
Mathematics 10
Mechanics of Machines
(Vibrations)
Bioengineering
Heat Transfer
Control and Automation
Management Practice 2
Project
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
3
3
4
4
5
4
4
12
3
3
4
4
3
1
Allocation of Marks
CA
30
Project
Practical
Final Exam
70
30
40
30
30
70
60
70
70
70
30
100
External Panel Members
Professor John Monaghan, Department of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering,
University of Dublin, Trinity College (Chairperson)
Professor Darina Murray, Department of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering,
University of Dublin, Trinity College
Mr. Matt Cotterell, Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering, Cork Institute of
Technology
Mr. Phil Merry, Technical Director Jacobs International
Mr. John Vickery, Registrar. Institute of Technology Tallaght (Secretary)
15.4.2 Bachelor Of Arts (Hons) In Advertising and Marketing Communications
Programme Aims and Learning Objectives
The aim of this abi initio Level 8 degree programme is to provide an opportunity for undergraduates to obtain
a qualification that will prepare them for work in the Advertising and Marketing Communications industry.
Applicants are most likely to be school leavers with the intention of seeking employment in roles such client
services, account planning, brand management, and media buying and media planning. Employment potential
is not restricted to particular industry sectors, and is also suited to mature students wishing to pursue further
education with a view to working in the industry. The curriculum for the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) reflects
the fact that participating students are being prepared to work in a specific industry and so the emphasis is very
much on the development of the knowledge, skills and competencies relevant to employment as an
Advertising and Marketing Communications professional.
Much of the learning is self-directed and structured in such a way that the students will be required to complete
specific work-oriented tasks. Therefore, regular and early feedback will be given to students. To assist both
lecturers and students in the area of feedback and communications, a virtual environment will be provided
through on-line learning and anti-plagiarism software packages. This will enhance students’ experiences and
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achieve increased use of online resources, including the electronic resources in the library. It will create a single
point of access for all aspects of the programme and provide a forum for continuous
communication/consultation between individual students, student groups, and lecturers, thus leading to an
improved learning experience.
The information derived from, and knowledge accumulated as a result of completing the course will give the
student the relevant information and knowledge required to work effectively in a challenging Advertising and
Marketing Communications environment.
In summary, on completion of this programme, graduates will be qualified to work in the industry. They will
be empowered to carry out their duties successfully, and they will also have the requisite knowledge, skills and
competencies to provide input to and management of continuous improvement within the workplace.
Successful graduates seeking to pursue further studies will be eligible to apply for a Masters degree.
Subject/Module Data
SEMESTER 1
Subject Title
Marketing
Introduction to Advertising
Marketing Environment
Fundamentals of
Information Systems
Business Communications
Media Studies
SEMESTER 2
Subject Title
Behavioural Studies
The Advertising Industry
European Studies
Business Information Systems
Introduction to Statistics
Mass Communications
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
Allocation of Marks
5
5
5
3
3
3
CA
30
50
30
5
5
5
3
3
3
60
100
30
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
5
5
5
5
5
5
3
3
3
3
3
3
Project
Practical
Final Exam
70
50
70
40
70
Allocation of Marks
CA
30
100
30
60
20
30
Project
20
Practical
Final Exam
70
70
40
60
70
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SEMESTER 3
Subject Title
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
Allocation of Marks
CA
Marketing and Business
Development
Media Options
Law
IS Analysis & Design
Research Methods
Design Studies
SEMESTER 4
Subject Title
Marketing Applications
PR and Media Relations
Advertising Law
Data Warehousing & Data
Mining for Market Analysis
Introduction to Accounting
Graphic Design
SEMESTER 5
Subject Title
Individual Buyer Behaviour
Event Management/IMC 1
Global Business
Interactive Marketing
Applied Statistics
Radio Production
SEMESTER 6
Subject Title
5
5
5
5
5
5
3
3
3
3
4
4
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
5
5
5
3
3
3
CA
30
30
30
5
5
5
3
3
4
60
30
50
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
5
5
5
5
5
5
3
3
3
3
3
3
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
50
100
30
60
30
50
366
Practical
Final Exam
50
70
40
70
50
Allocation of Marks
Project
Practical
Final Exam
70
70
70
40
70
50
Allocation of Marks
CA
30
50
30
20
20
10
Project
Practical
Final Exam
70
50
70
40
60
40
20
90
Allocation of Marks
CA
Socio-cultural Buyer
Behaviour
Event Management/IMC 2
Intercultural Communications
and Management
Interactive Marketing Design
Marketing Research
Applications
Video Production
Project
5
5
3
3
30
5
5
3
3
30
20
5
5
3
4
50
30
Project
Practical
Final Exam
70
100
70
40
40
50
30
40
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SEMESTER 7
Subject Title
Advertising Portfolio Design
Copy Writing
Marketing Management
Interactive Campaign Design
Account Planning and
Strategy
Innovation
SEMESTER 8
Subject Title
Advertising Portfolio Design
Brand Management
Business Ethics
Media Planning
Finance
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
5
5
5
5
3
3
3
3
5
5
3
3
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
10
5
5
5
5
3
3
3
3
3
Allocation of Marks
CA
20
Project
80
Practical
Final Exam
100
30
20
20
30
70
40
40
40
40
70
Allocation of Marks
CA
50
30
30
50
30
50
Project
50
Practical
Final Exam
70
70
50
70
50
External Panel Members
Mr. Larry Elwood, Head of School of Business and Humanities, Galway Mayo
Institute of Technology (Chairperson)
Ms. Orlaith Blaney, Managing Director, McCann Erickson, Dublin
Mr. James Kearns, Lecturer in Marketing, Letterkenny Institute of Technology
Mr. John Vickery, Registrar. Institute of Technology Tallaght (Secretary)
15.4.3 Higher Certificate In Science In Bio & Pharmaceutical Analysis
Programme Aims and Learning Objectives
The Department of Science has developed a strong track record in the provision of industry relevant taught
science programmes with a particular strength in the field of bio/pharmaceutical and bio/analytical sciences.
The Department is committed to providing learning opportunities for learners with a range of abilities,
aspirations and motivation. In this context we cater for the learning needs of a wide audience from full time
students to adult lifelong learners. Programme delivery modes include full-time, ACCS and in-company. We
are moving towards the provision of technical science programmes to companies in Ireland and beyond
through blended distance and e-learning modes. This programme is consistent with this latter objective.
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The origin of this proposal lies in company needs to attract and retain more analysts. All companies now report
difficulty in finding suitably qualified employees. Amongst the strategies being adopted by companies to
address these skills shortages are direct recruitment from the Leaving Certificate, recruitment of unqualified
persons from other sectors, and re-skilling of existing staff. Science Technicians have shown a 72% growth in
employment from 1999 to 2004 up 11.4% annually. Of those, only 56% have a third level qualification.
There is a continuing strong demand for analysts in all sectors of the pharmaceutical industry. Ireland’s
pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors are growing and the emergent biotechnology sector in particular has
significant potential to grow substantially over the next 7 years.
Based on current trends, there will continue to be a shortfall in the supply of relevant skills necessary to sustain
the development of the industry in Ireland1. The biotechnology sector alone is predicted to need of the order
of 1,480 additional BSc level graduates and 1,160 sub-degree level graduates in the next seven years.
Companies have a growing need for new training programs leading to nationally recognized qualifications and
combining formal education and training with work-based learning and development. In this context, ITT
Dublin and the School of Science have been to the forefront in providing innovative training solutions to the
industry and this proposal is seen as an extension of this strategy.
Course Objectives
• To produce graduates with the breadth and depth of knowledge and practical skills underpinning bio &
pharmaceutical analyses
• To enable participants to develop, through structured laboratory and work-based hands-on learning, a
professional and technical competency in bio & pharmaceutical analyses
• To provide blended learning opportunities (in-class and distance based directed self-learning) for students
addressing the core science and regulatory affairs knowledge required by working analysts
• To develop the student’s ability for effective communication of ideas, data and concepts through written,
oral and computer based presentations
• To provide students with a sufficient foundation of knowledge, skill and competency to be able to progress
onto higher level programmes
Subject/Module Data
SEMESTER 1
Subject Title
Biology 1: A View Of Life
Chemistry 1
Laboratory Practice &
Procedures, Health & Safety
Mathematics
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
Allocation of Marks
10
10
5
5
CA
20
15
Practical
40
35
Final Exam
40
50
5
5
3
3
100
40
0
0
0
60
1 Responding to Ireland’s Skills Needs Oct 2004, The Fourth Report of the Expert Group on Future Needs Skills.
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SEMESTER 2
Subject Title
Biology 2: Biomolecules &
Microbes
Chemistry 2
Measurement Science &
Computing
Good Manufacturing
Practices & QA
SEMESTER 3
Subject Title
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
CA
Practical
Final Exam
10
10
5
5
20
15
40
35
40
50
5
3
20
40
40
5
3
50
0
50
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
CA
Practical
Final Exam
20
40
40
20
50
20
40
0
40
40
50
40
20
20
30
40
40
30
40
40
40
30
30
40
CA
20
Project
40
Final Exam
40
20
40
40
20
20
20
40
40
40
40
40
40
20
40
40
Instrumentation 1:
Spectroscopic methods
5
3
Instrumentation 2:
Chromatography & GC
5
3
GMP & Statistics
5
3
Calibration Science
5
3
Biochemistry 1:
Cell Structures
5
3
Microbiology 1
5
3
Organic Reactions
5
3
Inorganic & Environmental
Chemistry 1
5
3
Students may elect to take Group Elective GE1 or GE2 modules
SEMESTER 4
Subject Title
Allocation of Marks
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
Instrumentation 3: HPLC
5
3
Instrumentation 4:
Electrochemistry & ISE
5
3
Biochemistry 2: Nutritional &
Health Biology
10
6
Microbiology 2
10
6
Theoretical Chemistry
10
6
Inorganic & Environmental
Chemistry 2
10
6
Students may elect to take Group Elective GE1 or GE2 modules
Allocation of Marks
Allocation of Marks
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Part Three: The Delegated Authority Process and Consultation Chapter 15 Implementing Delegated Authority: New Programme Development
External Panel Members
Dr. Gertie Taggart, Head of School of Science, Letterkenny Institute of Technology
(Chairperson)
Dr. Brid. Quilty, School of Science-Biotechnology, Dublin City University
Ms. Fionnuala Burke, Independent Consultant,
Mr. Leo Drennan, Production Manager, Solid Dosage, Organon Swords
Dr. Breda Brennan, Head Department of Science, Dundalk Institute of Technology
Mr. John Vickery, Registrar. Institute of Technology Tallaght (Secretary)
15.4.4 Bachelor Of Science (Hons) in Information Technology Management
Programme Aims and Learning Objectives
The aim of the programme is to provide graduates with a broad range of skills to enable them to work at
honours graduate level in the IT area. This add-on level 8 degree programme is designed to develop and
enhance the student’s managerial and technical skills in the area of computer services, particularly in
information management, network management and advanced database applications.
Further skills will be developed in marketing, strategic use of information systems, capacity planning, interactive
media design and operations research.
The programme also endeavours to promote the personal development of students by providing for their
intellectual and social development.
A key aim of the programme is to foster the capacity and methodology for self-study and continuing
professional development to prepare graduates for the frequent up-skilling required to meet the demands of
the dynamic ICT environment.
The programme strives to build on the existing skills and experience of ITT Dublin in delivering information
technology courses.
The objectives of the programme are listed as follows:
1. To provide the learner with a solid basis and advanced knowledge of the principles of IT, in particular in the
areas of networking, databases, business and information systems.
2. To equip the learner with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the strategic use of information
systems within an organisation.
3. To enable the learner to analytically identify, specify and manage IT solutions and understand educational
and training strategies required for staff to support successful rollout of the solution.
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4. To provide the learner with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the infrastructural aspects
required to support business applications.
5. To develop knowledge of network management and design for local and wide area networks.
6. To enable graduates to undertake project work in an information technology field as an individual and as
part of a team.
7. To equip students with the verbal, written and other communication skills to allow them to function in a
team environment, characteristic of modern business.
8. Establish an awareness of the importance of operating within recognised standards.
9. To educate students in the multi-disciplinary nature of computing practice including the interaction
between the technological, business and legal functions.
Subject/Module Data
SEMESTER 7
Subject Title
Information Management
Interactive Media Design
Operations Research
Advanced Database
Applications
Networking 4
Web Systems Developmen
SEMESTER 8
Subject Title
Strategic Business Marketing
Information Technology
Governance And Quality
Enterprise Applications
Architecture
Co-Operative Information
Systems
E-Learning Strategies
Wireless Networking
Project
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
5
5
5
3
4
3
5
5
5
3
4
4
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
Allocation of Marks
CA
40
Project
Practical
50
40
10
25
Final Exam
60
50
60
40
40
60
50
50
Practical
Final Exam
60
25
Allocation of Marks
5
3
CA
40
5
2
100
5
3
40
5
5
5
5
3
3
4
1
20
10
Project
60
40
20
40
100
60
60
50
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Part Three: The Delegated Authority Process and Consultation Chapter 15 Implementing Delegated Authority: New Programme Development
External Panel Members
Dr. Paul Barry, Head of School of Science, Waterford IT (Chairperson)
Ms. Mary Ryan, School of Business & Humanities, IADT
Ms. Niamh Mannion, IT Manager, Friends First, Friends First House, Loughlinstown
Mr. Nigel Whyte. Head of Department (Acting), Carlow IT.
Dr. Diarmuid O’Donoghue, Department of Computer Science, NUI Maynooth.
Mr. John Vickery, Registrar. Institute of Technology Tallaght (Secretary)
15.4.5 HIGHER DIPLOMA IN BUSINESS MARKETING MANAGEMENT
Programme Aims and Learning Objectives
This programme is a Post Graduate Diploma (Level 8) in Business Studies designed to equip graduates from a
non-business discipline with the skills necessary to pursue a career in Marketing. As it is a level 8 qualification,
it will provide successful graduates with the opportunity to progress and pursue a Masters degree in Marketing.
The aim of the Higher Diploma in Business programme is to provide an opportunity for non-business graduates
to obtain a marketing qualification at the same level as the Institute’s Honours Degree in Business in Marketing
Management.
On completion of the Higher Diploma programme the student will be able to;
• Operate successfully in a marketing environment.
• Develop a comprehensive marketing plan.
• Apply the current methods in financial management to decision making.
• Evaluate the legal issues pertinent during the development of marketing strategy.
• Develop and apply research tools appropriate to a specific market research problem.
• Adhere to the professional and ethical standards required of a marketing practitioner.
• Design an integrated marketing communications campaign.
• Evaluate the sources of ideas for new enterprise, and to develop them.
• Research for and prepare an e-Commerce plan.
Subject/Module Data
SEMESTER 7
Subject Title
Marketing
Marketing Environment
Statistics for Marketing
Marketing Law
Marketing Finance
IS Tools for Strategic Marketing
372
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
5
5
5
5
5
5
3
3
3
3
2
3
Allocation of Marks
CA
30
50
50
30
50
50
Practical
Final Exam
70
50
50
70
50
50
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SEMESTER 8
Subject Title
Global Marketing Management
Marketing Research
Applications
E-Commerce
Buyer Behaviour
Integrated Marketing
Communications
Enterprise Development
Credits
Total Contact
Hours
Allocation of Marks
5
3
5
5
5
3
3
3
50
30
50
70
5
5
3
3
50
50
50
50
CA
30
Practical
Final Exam
70
100
External Panel Members
Mr. Andy Maguire, Head of Innovation & Industry Services, Faculty of Business,
Dublin Institute of Technology (Chairperson)
Ms. Catherine Spillane, Marketing Manager, BTW Tilesavers
Mr. John Sisk, Marketing Lecturer, Dundalk Institute of Technology
Ms. Emer Ward, Marketing Lecturer, Sligo Institute of Technology
Mr. John Vickery, Registrar. Institute of Technology Tallaght (Secretary)
15.5 New Programmes under Development
A number of new programmes have been proposed for development since January 2007. These are listed in
Table 15.1 below. These programmes have all gone through the initiation stage and CP1 Forms have been
approved by Academic Council and Programme Development Committees have been established.
New special purpose and minor award programmes are also being developed as listed in Tables 15.2 and 15.3.
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Department
Programme Title
NQF Academic
Level Council CP1
Approval Date
Current Status
Marketing and Business
Computing
BA (Honours) in Advertising and Marketing
Communications
8
Mar. 15th 07
Validated
Electronic Engineering
B.Sc. (Honours) in Advanced Electronic Engineering
Technology
8
Mar. 15th 07
Validated
Mechanical Engineering
B.Sc. (Honours) in Applied Engineering
Electromechanical Engineering
8
May 17th 07
Validated
Management
MBA in Innovation Management
9
Dec. 7th 07
Programme
Development Stage
Electronic and Mechanical B.Eng. in Energy & Environmental Engineering
Engineering
7
Feb. 12th 08
Programme
Development Stage
Department of Accountancy BBS (Honours) in Financial Services, with Exit
awards at Level 6 and 7.
& Professional Studies
8
Feb. 12th 08
Programme
Development Stage
Table 15.1 New Academic Programmes at Stage 2 of the Development Process
Department
Electronic Engineering
Computing
Programme Title
Diploma in Data Communications
Certificate in Fundamentals of Software Development
Status
At Evaluation Stage
At Evaluation Stage
Table 15.2 New Special Purpose Programmes
Department
Electronic Engineering
Programme Title
Minor Award in Data Communications
Table 15.3 New Minor Award Programmes
374
Status
At Evaluation Stage
Chapter 16
Conditions Attached to
Delegated Authority
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Chapter 16
Conditions Attached to Delegated
Authority
16.1 Introduction
The HETAC Council have formulated a number of criteria which focus on the institution’s capacity to comply
with or its record of compliance with the conditions determined by the Council for the purposes of the
delegation of authority1. Council conditions include but are not necessarily be limited to:
1. Adherence to the agreed wording on parchments issued by the institutions as defined in the Order in
Council granting Delegation of Authority
2. Co-operation and assistance to the Council, and the Authority where appropriate, in the performance of
their functions
3. Establishment of procedures for the assessment of learners which are fair and consistent and for the
purpose of compliance with standards determined by the Council under the Act
4. Implementation of procedures for access, transfer and progression determined by the Authority under the
Act
5. Consultation with other providers as stipulated under Sections 28 and 29 of the Act
6. Provision of such information as the Council requires for the purposes of the performance of its functions,
including information in respect of completion rates
7. Fulfillment of such other conditions as the Council may, from time to time determine in consultation with
the institution.
The Institute complies with the conditions determined by the Council in relation to its programmes of education
and training as discussed in the remainder of this chapter. The Institute also endeavours to fulfil such other
conditions as the HETAC Council may from time to time determine.
16.2 Graduation Arrangements
The Graduation Ceremony is one of the major Institute events of the year and the Institute endeavours to make
it an event to remember for all members, family and friends. Ensuring a smooth graduation ceremony is critical
and there are many procedures in place to ensure that this is achieved. The key processes involve defining the
graduation schedule, organising the external venue and related services, contacting students, compiling and
publishing the graduation booklet and organising gowning, photography and reception arrangements. The
Institute has drawn up a specific Graduation SOP. This procedure lists guidelines to be followed when preparing
for the annual graduation. It is the responsibility of the Senior Administration Officer in the Registrar’s
Department with responsibility for graduations to ensure compliance with this procedure.
The Institute adheres to the HETAC’s requirements and guidelines for the order of conferring, academic dress
and testimonial documentation. The Institute has and will continue to adhere to HETAC guidelines in relation
1 Criteria and Procedures for the Delegation and Review of Delegation of Authority to Make Awards (HETAC, 2004).
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to the conferring of awards, including the most recent communication from HETAC, Requirements and
Guidelines for the Order of Conferring, Academic Dress and Testimonial Documents (July, 2005).
16.3 Co-operation with HETAC
The Institute maintains close co-operation with the Council of HETAC and the Authority, and provides
assistance to them where appropriate in the performance of their functions. It has and will continue to provide
feedback to HETAC on policies and procedures when requested. HETAC periodically send draft consultation
documents to the Institute Registrar for comment. The main forum for assessing these documents is through
Academic Council. Feedback is collated by the Registrar and submitted to HETAC on behalf of the Institute.
It is a requirement that the Quality Assurance Manual and Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes
are all approved by HETAC. Amended documents are always submitted to HETAC for approval. The first Quality
Manual was approved by HETAC in 2004 and the most recent version in 2006. The Code of Practice was
approved by HETAC in 2006.
Both the President and Registrar meet with HETAC on a regular basis. As part of the HETAC convened Council
of Registrars, the Registrar meets with HETAC representatives two or three times each year.
ITT Dublin was one of four institutes invited to take part in a HETAC initiative on enhancing quality of research
degree programmes in November 2005. It had a senior academic member on the HETAC Steering Group set
up to look at developing an action plan aimed at enhancing the quality of its research degree programmes in
the future. The main function of the Group was to research and provide guidance on the future transferable
and generic skills training needs of research students and promote practices that will see those needs met
across the Institute of Technology Sector. This group has recently carried out the following which will help
inform this Institute on how to enhance the quality of training provided to postgraduate research degree
students in the future:
1. A detailed survey of supervisors, research students and graduates in relation to skills training requirements2;
2. Focus group meeting with industry representatives in relation to skills gaps;
3. Held a colloquium on Research Skills Needs (Sept. 25th 2006).
16.4 Procedures for the Assessment of Learners
All students following programmes leading to a recognised award are required to take such assessments as
may be prescribed for the programme in the approved course schedule. Course schedules are provided by
Lecturers to students at the start of the semester. These provide details of assessment procedures and
continuous assessment requirements, including details of practicals, where required. The course schedules are
also available in the Programme Handbook.
The Academic Council of the Institute has established procedures for the assessment of learners which are fair
and consistent and for the purpose of compliance with standards determined by the Council under the Act.
These have been discussed in Chapter 12 – Quality Assurance Systems, Section 12.5.2 for taught programmes.
The collective procedures with regard to assessment and examination are included in the Institute Marks and
Standards document, which are based on the HETAC Marks & Standards Document.
The Institute Registrar has also participated in the steering Committee for the new HETAC Marks & Standards.
2 HETAC Skills Training Requirements, DRAFT Report, Sept. 2006.
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The Research Regulations Section of the Code of Practice provides details of assessment procedures specific to
research degree students. It is Institute policy that postgraduate research assessment should be conducted
rigorously, fairly and consistently. It should only undertaken by those individuals with relevant qualifications and
experience and with a clear understanding of the task. Monitoring of progress on the project is carried out by
the Supervisor(s) through regular scheduled meetings and discussions with the student. The overall monitoring
of the supervision process is carried out by the sponsoring Department for example through the Programme
Boards, annual reviews, and complaints mechanisms. Student progress is assessed on an annual basis by the
Department through the mechanism of formal reports as completed by the supervisors and students.
Research Degree Programme Boards reside within the Departments. They are established in accordance with
the procedures as described in the Quality Assurance Manual. The Programme Board is comprised of a Head
of Department (or nominee) and the research academic staff and student representatives, other staff or
external advisors. Their main focus is to monitor and improve the ongoing delivery of the research degree
programmes.
The examination criteria, along with those for the appointment of internal and external examiners, along with
the chairperson of examiners are applied by the Registrar as per Section 4 of the Research Regulations in the
Code of Practice. These have been drawn up in accordance with the HETAC guidelines.
Staff and student participation at research degree Programme Boards and the relevant sub-Committees of
Academic Council are the main routes for providing feedback on the implementation of assessment
procedures.
16.5 Access, Transfer and Progression Procedures
The Academic Council of the Institute has implemented and constantly reviews procedures for access, transfer
and progression determined by the Authority under the Act. The Access, progression and transfer subCommittee has formulated policy and set down the guidelines for the Institute’s procedures in that regard.
The Institute’s policies have already been discussed in Chapter 5 – Academic and Staff Policies, Section 5.2.2.
Access routes, transfer and progression have been discussed in Chapter 7 – Learner Supports and Services,
Section 7.1. Progression and transfer data within the context of supervised postgraduate research were
evaluated in Chapter 10 – Research Profile 1: Enrolments and Graduates, Section 10.1. The procedures were
summarised in Chapter 12 – Quality Assurance Systems, Section 12.9.
16.6 Consultation
The Institute has consulted with other providers in relation to its application for Delegation of Authority as
stipulated under Sections 28 and 29 of the Act. As part of the consultation process, the Institute consulted with
other education providers with delegated authority and local universities. Table 16.1 outlines consultations
made with HEIs as part of the self-study process. Additional HEI consultation took place through the forum of
the ITT Dublin External Stakeholder research Focus Group. The consultation process is outlined in Chapter 18.
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Education Provider Consultation
Letterkenny IT
IT Tralee
Waterford IT
Sligo IT
Dublin City University
Trinity College Dublin
Dun Laoghaire IADT
Blanchardstown IT
IT Carlow
Date
January 2005
April 2005
April 2005 and March 2007
May 2005
May 2005
September 2005
September 2005
October 2005
March 2007
Table 16.1 Consultation with Education Providers
16.7 Provision of Information to HETAC
The Institute has at all times provided such information as the HETAC Council requires for the purposes of the
performance of its functions, including information on completion rates. It also submits the first destination
survey of graduates to HETAC on an annual basis. The Institute will continue to provide such information to
the Council under delegation of authority.
While the Institute maintains its own research degree register in specific areas, it still provides information on
an annual basis to HETAC on the number of students registered at Level 9 and 10 by Oct. 31st of the academic
year in question. This includes project titles, supervisor details and qualifications. It also sends HETAC a listing
of students whose registration has fallen lapsed or who have withdrawn from their studies. Additions and
amendments are communicated by the Office of the Registrar as they arise throughout the year.
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380
Chapter 17
Objects of the
Qualifications Act 1999
381
Part Three: The Delegated Authority Process and Consultation Chapter 17 Objects Of The Qualifications Act 1999
Chapter 17
Objects of the Qualifications Act 1999
The Institute, since its establishment in 1992, has been supportive of the objects of the Qualifications
(Education and Training) Act 1999, as outlined below:
17.1 Support for the Development of a System for the Coordination and Comparison of Higher Education and
Training Awards
The Qualifications Act, 1999 defines the national framework of qualifications as “a framework for the
development, recognition and award of qualifications in the State, based on standards of knowledge, skill or
competence to be acquired by learners” In its policies and criteria (April 2002), the NQAI further redefined this
to be “the single, nationally and internationally accepted entity, through which all learning achievements may
be measured and related to each other in a coherent way and which defines the relationship between all
education and training awards”. The framework aims to provide a coherent and understandable system for
co-ordinating and comparing awards within the state. It also seeks to facilitate international comparisons
between awards and feeds into developments at the European and international levels to increase the
comparability and transparency of qualifications.
The NFQ contains ten levels and major award-types, as shown in Figure 17.1. Correspondence with the
Bologna three-cycle system is also indicated.
In the framework, awards at Levels 7-10 are to be made by the HETAC, DIT and the universities. At level 6, the
Advanced Certificate award is made by FETAC and the Higher Certificate award by HETAC and DIT. At levels 3
to 5 awards are made by the State Examinations Commission (Department of Education and Science). Other
awards at levels 1 to 5 are made by FETAC.
Bologna Cycles
3
2
1
National Framework of Qualifications
Awards
Levels
Doctoral Degree
Masters Degree
Post-Graduate Diploma
Higher Bachelor Degree
Higher Diploma
Ordinary Bachelor Degree
Higher Certificate
10
9
Further Education/ Schools Awards
1–5
Figure 17.1 National Framework of Qualifications
382
Providers
Institutes of
Technology
Universities
Recognised Colleges
of the National
Private Colleges University of Ireland
and other HEIs
DIT
8
7
6
Entry from Second Level and Further
Education and Training
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The Institute has supported the development of the National Framework of Qualifications and has realigned its
programmes to meet the criteria established by HETAC, FETAC and the NQAI. This was completed by the end
of 2006 when existing curricula were updated, as part of the Programmatic Review process. The process
followed the establishment of HETAC and the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) in 2003/4.
In addition to changes in the standards and structures of awards (e.g. the replacement of two year National
Certificates with Higher Certificates, three year National Diplomas with Ordinary Bachelor Degrees, and fouryear Degrees with Honours Bachelor Degrees), the NFQ introduced a new approach to the meaning of an
award.
Each award-type has an award-descriptor which specifies the particular learning outcomes and the standards
of knowledge, skill and competence required for the award. As a result of these changes, the Institute has
reviewed all of its programmes, including course content, methods of delivery and progression criteria, to
ensure that they meet the standards defined in the NFQ. Programmes have been examined by expert external
peer review groups and have now been validated for the new awards. This process took place in 2004. The
revised course schedules were submitted to HETAC in March 2004, a panel visit took place in April and the
new course schedules were approved in May 2004. The new awards took effect from the academic year
2004/5. The Institute Quality Manual was revised in 2006 to ensure procedures were updated to reflect the
movement to the NFQ (refer to Chapter 12 – Quality Assurance Systems).
The Bologna Declaration in 1999 marked the formal commencement of a process to create a single higher
education space in Europe. This was a joint declaration, signed by 29 European Ministers of Education
convened at Bologna to establish a European Higher Education Area by 2010. The Bologna declaration
proposed the introduction, within a European higher education space, of a system of qualifications in tertiary
education based on the cycles shown in Figure 17.1.
The Bologna Declaration specified the attainment of six main objectives, one of which was:
Promotion of mobility by overcoming obstacles to the effective exercise of free movement with particular
attention to:
- for students, access to study and training opportunities and to related services
- for teachers, researchers and administrative staff, recognition and valorisation of periods spent in a
European context researching, teaching and training, without prejudicing their statutory rights.
The Institute is also committed to implementing the Bologna objectives through, for example, the introduction
of ab initio degrees and facilitation of student mobility under the Erasmus/Socrates programme. Activities are
primarily concentrated in the Department of Humanities and in Business1. In recognition of this, in February
2003, the Institute set up an International Office within the Department of Humanities. The International
Office provides support to international students on campus and provides information on opportunities for
students to study abroad. It also promotes partnerships between the Institute and other higher education
institutions outside the EU and manages the Socrates teaching exchange programme.
The Institute has established bi-lateral linkages with thirty-three third level colleges in Europe. Most of these
linkages are with universities in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. This is reflected in Figure 17.2 which provides
a breakdown of international students by country of origin for the current academic year.
1 International students of business frequently attend modules in other disciplines e.g. engineering.
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4%
France
1% 3%
Italy
40%
Poland
Austria
Netherlands
26%
UK
Germany
1%
Spain
5%
3%
8%
9%
Finland
Denmark
Figure 17.2 Erasmus Students by Country of Origin for 2007-08
In addition to co-ordinating student mobility, the International Office also manages the mobility of staff under
the EU Socrates programme. A total of 13 staff members travelled to partner institutions in 2003/4 under the
terms of the Socrates staff exchange programme. A similar number of staff from Socrates partner institutes
visited the Institute and delivered lectures to students during the academic year 2003/4. The visiting lecturers
came from partner institutes in France, Spain, The Netherlands, Germany and Finland.
The Institute’s policy is to achieve a position of equilibrium with regard to the number of incoming and
outgoing students under the EU Socrates Programme. It has entered into contractual agreements with partner
institutions abroad up to 2007 and hopes to balance the number of incoming and outgoing students over that
period.
With regard to the research student population the 14% international intake is predominantly made up of
students from outside of Europe, predominantly India and Pakistan. Within the European arena, Poland has
been the most popular country of origin. All but one of the international applicants has registered on research
degrees in the School of Science and Computing. The breakdown by country for students currently on the live
register is shown in Figure 17.3.
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France
4%
4%
4%
4%
Italy
4%
Poland
18%
Romania
India
4%
Pakistan
Libya
31%
Singapore
27%
Figure 17.3
Mexico
Research Students by Country of Origin 2007/8 Academic Year
17.2 Promotion of Lifelong learning
The Institute is committed to lifelong learning and aims to provide flexible and accessible lifelong learning
opportunities to those who wish to acquire new knowledge and skills. The Institute’s policies and programmes
in this regard are dealt with in Chapter 7.
Applicants are predominantly registered on the Part-time Programmes which offers a variety of courses leading
to nationally and internationally recognised qualifications at undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels.
While the majority of programmes are accredited by Institute, it also offers a variety of programmes leading to
the awards of Professional Institutes such as the IMI, IATI and IPAV. The programmes were discussed in detail
in the previous delegated authority submission and hence are not elaborated on here.
The rapid growth in the number of part-time students at the Institute since 1992 was outlined previously in
Chapter 9. The expansion in the range of part-time courses offered at the Institute was also elaborated
previously. The Institute’s immediate catchment area, South Dublin County, is characterised by a strong
industrial base and an expanding population, giving rising to increasing levels of demand for educational
provision. The Institute has responded to these developments by proactively engaging with industry within the
region as prior to and as part of the development of new courses and enhancing the quality and relevance of
its academic programmes.
In-company delivery plays a significant role in the provision of part-time programmes within the Institute’s three
Schools. In this context the term "in-company" can be interpreted as the delivery of programmes to the
employees of companies, either on site, or possibly in the Institute as a homogenous class entity.
The provision of programmes in this manner is reflective of an institutional response to address the
developmental requirements of firms and local organisations, primarily those operating in the engineering, ICT,
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pharmaceutical, bio-technology and associated sectors. The nature of work patterns across much of these
industries is such that a more focused, shift-friendly approach is required, which recognises the time constraints
and limits on staff availability within these industry sectors. The in-company model of education and training
provision has enabled the Institute to provide a more focused and indeed flexible approach in the manner in
which such programmes are delivered. In-company education provision can have a significant direct economic
impact on staff education and development within these organisations, contributing to a sizeable increase in
organisational capabilities. These in-company programmes are separately promoted and negotiated, normally
by individual Schools with the respective client organisations.
Information on the programmes provided to company employees was previously provided in Chapter 9,
Section 9.3.2.
17.3 Recognition of Knowledge, Skill or Competence
Acquired
In keeping with the NQF, the Institute’s education and training programmes specify the knowledge, skill and
competencies to be acquired by learners and also the methods of assessment. The progression criteria from
one programme to the next are also specified. All learning undertaken within the Institute carries certification
that is recognised as being part of the national framework of awards. All modules on Institute part-time
programmes are available to learners through the Accumulation of Credits and Certification of Subjects Scheme
(ACCS), whereby each module successfully completed gains a number of credits for the student. On successful
completion of a module, learners receive single subject accreditation, accumulating credits toward an overall
award. The ACCS scheme, in some cases and where places are available, may be availed of during the day.
The Institute has also introduced blended learning solutions designed to enhance learner flexibility. The
Institute also recognises and offers accreditation of prior experiential learning (APL) in accordance with the
HETAC 2001 guidelines. A number minor and supplemental award programmes have also been developed as
listed in Table 9.8, Chapter 9.
17.4 Contribution to the Realisation of National Education
and Training Policies
At a policy level, the Institute contributes to National Education and Training Policies, through a number of
channels. The President contributes formally and informally to the development of national education and
training policies through the IOTI (Institutes of Technology Ireland). Similarly, the Registrar has contributed to
policy developments through the Council of Registrars. Heads of Schools and Departments provide academic
leadership particularly through programme development and review, the introduction of new programmes and
through research. Along with individual staff members they also contribute to national education policy
development and implementation through membership of professional bodies and associations, collaboration
with industry and collaboration with other Institutes and research groups, both nationally and internationally.
Conscious of its role in helping to achieve national policy objectives, the Institute has sought to align its
education and training programmes with regional and national needs, and to foster innovation and research
and enterprise development through collaboration with industry and other third level institutions. The outputs
in that regard have been presented in Chapters 11 and 12. The Institute President is Chair of the Council of
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Directors Research Strategy Group. In that capacity he meets with policy makers, other educational providers
and contributes to the development of national policies for the advancement of research and innovation, not
just for the Institute but for the Sector.
The deliverables of the recent SIF award for that seeks to address the needs of the Knowledge Economy will
play a significant role in shaping future policies for education and research.
17.5 Co-operation with other Providers
The Institute promotes co-operation with other providers and has developed a number of collaborative
programmes through partnership with other professional bodies, third level institutes and industry. These are
outlined in Chapter 9. The delivery of in-company programmes in response to specific industrial/commercial
needs, whether from individual companies or clusters of companies, is dealt with in Chapter 9 (section 9.3.2).
Research collaboration with other higher education institutions (national and international) and collaboration
with industry, is considered in Chapter 11 and Chapter 12. Co-operation with other libraries is considered in
Chapter 6, Section 6.4.5. The Access Office co-ordinates the co-operation with schools, institutions and
organisations in the promotion of access to education as discussed in Chapter 7, Sections 7.1 and 7.2. Interinstitutional linkages were considered in Chapter 9, Section 9.3.2.
A summary of the involvement of Institute staff with other cross-institutional higher education providers is
given in Table 17.1.
HEI Forum
Research Groups in Universities and Institutes of Technology
Access Initiatives with Schools
SIF 1 and 2 projects with Universities and Institutes
Council of Registrars
IOTI
Meetings of IoT Heads of Development
External Examiners at Universities/Institutes
External Panel Members for Interviews, Programmatic Reviews and New Programme
Validations at other HEIs
Meetings of IoT Heads of School in Business/Engineering and Science
Meetings of IoT Secretary/Financial Controllers
Staff Involved
Academics
Access Officer
Academics and Management
Registrar
President
Head of Development
Academics
Academics and Management
Heads of School
Secretary/Financial Controller
Table 17.1 Co-operation with Education Providers
17.6 Promotion of Diversity within Higher Education and
Training
The Institute promotes courses at levels 6 to 10 in the NFQ framework. Students can enter at any of these
levels, provided they have the appropriate prior qualifications. The Institute is fully committed to and promotes
the ladder system of progression (Chapter 5, Section 5.2) and facilitates access, transfer and progression
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through its ACCS programmes (Chapter 5, Section 5.2. and Chapter 9, Sections 9.3 and 9.7). The
development of flexible delivery modes to facilitate lifelong learning is considered in Chapter 7 (Section 7.1)
and the Institute’s policies and procedures in relation to admissions in Chapter 5 and Chapter 10 respectively.
The Institute has identified 13 admission routes to its programmes, which include entry by learners on FETAC
programmes, entry by mature learners, entry through access initiatives, entry for students with
disabilities/specific learning difficulties, entry by Erasmus and non-EU students, and Fáilte Ireland admissions.
These entry routes are outlined in Chapter 9.
The profile and background of students attending the Institute has changed over the years (Chapter 9, Section
9.5). The Institute welcomes and promotes this diversity. In 2004 an Equality and Diversity Committee was
established as a sub-committee of Academic Council, to seek ways to promote this diversity and formulate
policies for the Institute (Chapter 5, Section 5.3). The Institute’s policy on Adult and Continuing Education was
presented in Chapter 5, Section 5.8. Staff training workshops have also been run in each of the three Academic
Schools on Promotion of Equality and Diversity.
The Institute currently has 72 different nationalities registered on educational and training programmes. It held
a “Celebrating Diversity Day” which was launched by the Minister of State with special responsibility for
Integration Policy at the Department of Community, Rural, and Gaeltacht Affairs, the Department of Education
and Science, the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform in April of this year.
17.7 Contribution to the Realisation of National Policy and
Objectives in Relation to the Extension of Bi-lingualism
in Irish society
The Institute supports the use of Irish and is in the process of implementing The Official Languages Act 2003.
A committee of Academic Council was established in 2005 to develop and implement the guidelines
established by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (2003) in relation to the Act. The
Committee has drafted a proposal outlining what services will be provided fully bi-lingually (through the
medium of Irish and English) across all Schools within the Institute. The proposed policies are outlined below.
Introduction
In response to the Official Languages Act 2003 the Institute is drafting a Scheme for the approval of the
Minister of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs describing how the Institute intends to promote and
facilitate the use of Irish in the Institute and thereby to provide our services through Irish or, Irish and English.
Over the life-time of the Approved Scheme it is expected that many areas that are conducting their business
exclusively through the medium of the English language at present will be able to conduct elements of their
business through both official languages.
Content of the Language Scheme
The services currently provided are through the medium of the English language. A small number of staff have
a range of verbal competencies in the Irish language with one or two having written competencies. Therefore
the priorities of the scheme will be to:
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1. Improve the language competency (oral and aural) in selective staff members
2. Publish material bilingually within one cover where except where this is not possible because of the size or
nature of the document.
3. Have key elements of the website available bilingually
4. Enhance the Institute’s capacity to conduct aspects of its business bilingually
5. Comply with signage regulations
6. Have in place personnel in functional areas capable of providing services through Irish.
7. Develop strategic alliances with other IoTs to provide appropriate bespoke staff training opportunities in key
areas of the Institute.
Services to the Public available at the end of Scheme
While recognising that all the services offered by the Institute are exclusively through English, the following
services will be available at the end of Scheme.
Fully Bi-lingual Services
It is the Institute’s intention that significant progress be made in providing fully bilingual services in designated
areas by the end of the Scheme.
Website
The website of the Institute will be available bilingually for items of general information within 3 years. General
information would include, but not be limited to, background information on the Institute, details of services
and activities, resources within the Institute, descriptions of the teaching, learning, sports, clubs, societies, and
other services available to students. Such documents as the Institute Regulations, Strategic Plans, Addresses
by President and Annual Reports from the Institute will be available on the website bilingually (where published
these will be bilingual within one cover).
The following elements will remain exclusively in English on the website:
• Components aimed at international audiences
• Components of a technical or specialist nature
• Web deliver programmes
• Components relating to writing or new programmes of learning of training
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
The VLE is the student portal by which students are provided with information or services, advises of facilities
and is used as a means of communication with students. By the end of the Scheme, there will be two mirrored
sites accessible via an English and Irish button. Course material, notes and overheads etc. will be available on
the VLE in the language of delivery.
Annual Publications
The Institute publishes a Full time Prospectus, a Life Long Learning Prospectus and an Annual Report. The
Institute commits to publishing the general contents of the Prospectus bilingually within one cover from the
commencement of the scheme. Course details will be in the language of delivery. These publications will be
reflected on the website. Annual Publications aimed at an international audience will be in English or in English
and a foreign language.
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Occasional Publications
The Institute publishes occasional reports such as the Strategic Plan (and its mid-term update) and brochures
highlighting noteworthy aspects of the Institute. Except where international audiences are targeted, these
publications will be published bilingually within one cover. These publications will appear on the website.
Brochures, Course Application Forms and Information leaflets
All new and existing brochures, course application forms and information leaflets will be published bilingually
within the first two years of the scheme. Where some publications may be unduly lengthy under one cover,
these will be published separately in Irish and English. Publications aimed at international audiences will be in
English only. Consultant and technical reports will be published in the language in which the reports were
originally presented.
Review of Progress on Scheme
The Senior Management Team in the Institute will monitor and review milestones of the Scheme. Each
functional area will produce a three (3) year plan to deliver the Scheme in their respective domains. The day
to day monitoring will be carried out by the Heads of Function who are responsible for implementing the
Scheme in their own areas.
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The Self-Study Process
and Stakeholder
Consultation
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Chapter 18
The Self-Study Process and Stakeholder
Consultation
In compliance with Sections 28 and 29 of the Qualifications Act, which requires that a recognised institution
consult with other providers in relation to its application for Delegation of Authority, senior management
initiated a process of consultation, initially with academic staff. Between September and November 2004, a
series of lectures were organised at which the Registrar outlined the process involved in seeking delegated
authority and the implications of delegated authority for the Institute. These information sessions created a
platform for the consultation and self-evaluation process that was to follow in developing the Delegated
Authority submissions to Level 9 (taught) and Level 9/10 (research, in specific areas). The self-study process
culminating in the current report has been conducted in three phases as shown in Figure 18.1 and discussed
in more detail below.
Self-Study Start
Self-Study End
PHASE 1
2004-2005
Initial Stage
PHASE 2
2005-2006
Follow-on Stage
PHASE 3
2006-2007
Final Stage
DA to Level 9 (Taught)
Accreditation to Maintain a Research
Register to Level 9/10
DA to Level 9/10 (Research)
Figure 18.1 Steps in the Overall Self-Study Process
18.1 Phase 1: Initial Self-Evaluation Process and
Stakeholder Consultation
The first phase involved a self-evaluation for the Delegated Authority submissions to Level 9 (taught). This selfstudy was an Institute-wide process that encompassed an evaluation of the Institutes management, operations
and governance; the management and academic structures governing programmes of education and training;
and a detailed examination of the service provision supporting the Institute’s programmes of study It also
included a comprehensive evaluation of the activities of each Department and School. The self-evaluations in
the central service areas involved a thorough examination of procedures and practices and introduced a process
of self-study and peer review to the service areas similar to the quality assurance procedures in place in the
academic areas. To facilitate and guide the self-study process, a number of focus groups and committees were
established.
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To obtain feedback from stakeholders and review the effectiveness of Institute activities in different areas, a
number of surveys were carried out. These surveys, which included a survey of all staff within the Institute, a
survey of graduates, a survey of career guidance counsellors and school principals, and a survey of first year
students, are outlined in Table 18.1 below.
Survey
Library User Survey
Purpose
To identify areas for providing a more customerfocused and improved library service
School Principals
To obtain feedback from schools on the type of
School Principals
programmes the Institute offers, student support
and the physical environment
Dec 2004
Guidance Counsellors
To obtain feedback on the information that the
Institute supplies on programmes of study
Guidance Counsellors
Dec 2004
First Year Students
To obtain feedback from First Year Students on
why they chose to study at the Institute and the
main problems experienced in the course of the
studies
All First Year Students
April 2005
Counselling Service
To evaluate student (and staff) awareness of the Staff and Students
counselling service
April 2005
Staff Survey
To evaluate organisational culture with respect
All Staff
to profiles of communication, management style,
organisational and personal factors
June 2005
Graduate Survey
To identify where graduates find employment
and/or continue to further study
All Graduates since 2004
Annual since 2004
Survey of M50
Enterprise Programme
To obtain feedback on the effectiveness of the
M50 EPP in supporting entrepreneurs and the
success of these start-ups
All participants on the M50
EPP
September 2005
Survey of Academics
involved in Research –
Science and Computing
To direct improvements in the monitoring and
delivery of research degree programmes in the
School of Science and Computing
All academics and
postgraduate students in the
School
October 2005
Stakeholders
Students and Staff
Date
May 2004
Table 18.1 Surveys Undertaken as part of the Delegated Authority Process
As part of the self-study process and in compliance with Sections 28 and 29 of the Qualifications Act, a
structured process was developed to inform all relevant stakeholders about the delegated authority process.
The purpose of the consultation process was to inform stakeholders of the Institute’s decision to seek delegated
authority, and to elicit their views and obtain feedback on how the Institute might improve its activities.
Meetings were held and presentations were made on delegated authority to internal stakeholders at regular
intervals. Newsletters were published and communicated to all staff throughout the timeframe of the project.
In addition, regular progress reports (every two weeks) were made by the Registrar and the Delegated Authority
Project Managers at management team and Academic Council meetings. Details of the above have been
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presented in detail in Chapter 4 of the Self-Evaluation Report for the Institute’s 2006 Application for Delegated
Authority. Details on the early delegated authority consultations with external groups are given in Table 18.2.
Consultation
School Principals
Guidance Counsellors
Parents’ Night
South Dublin County Enterprise Board
South Dublin Chamber of Commerce
South Dublin County Council
Tallaght Hospital
FÁS
VEC
Professional Bodies/Institutes
Tallaght Partnership
Escuela de Empresa Y Comunicación, Madrid
Intel Ireland
Clondalkin Partnership
Fáilte Ireland
ACE and CHEAP
Date
18th November 2004
9th December 2004
16th November 20005
April 2005
12th October 2005
23rd March 2005
30th November 2005
May 2005
December 2005
Ongoing
November 2005
28th September 2005
14th September 2005
November 2005
September 2005
November 2005
Table 18.2 Consultation with External Stakeholders
As part of the early consultation process, the Institute also consulted with other education providers. Table 16.1
in Chapter 16 outlines the visits made to other Institutes of Technology and Universities by members of SMT
and the Delegated Authority Project Managers.
A draft of the Institute Self-Evaluation Report was made available to all staff on the intranet site in November
2005. This was accompanied by a form, inviting feedback from stakeholders. The Institute Self-Evaluation
Report was amended as a result of feedback obtained through the consultation process. The final version of
the Institute Self-Evaluation Report was submitted to HETAC in January 2006.
18.2 Phase 2: Follow-on Self-Evaluation Process for
Research Accreditation and Stakeholder Consultation
The self study process has been very much a critical self assessment of our research activities in terms of its
management, procedures and general operations. The comprehensive consultation surrounding the
preparation of the research self study has resulted in the generation of detailed findings and recommendations
as presented in the research accreditation and the current delegated authority submissions jointly. The complete
self study has provided the Institute with an informed foundation on which to build on its research capabilities
into the future.
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18.2.1 Self-Evaluation Process for Research Accreditation
An Institute-wide self-evaluation process for research and innovation was initiated in November 2004 as a result
of the Institute’s decision to apply for delegated authority for its education and training programmes, to Level
9 (taught). The self-study process for the current application has been ongoing since 2005. It began as part of
the first Institute-wide evaluation for the first delegated authority application. It was updated and augmented
in 2006 for research and innovation for the Institute’s application for accreditation to maintain a research
degree register in Engineering and Science and the follow-on application for delegated authority in the
accredited areas.
In all cases the self-study process and preparation of this submission was co-ordinated a team comprising of
the Project Manager and members of the Registrar’s Office (responsible for the academic management of
research leading to postgraduate awards) and the Office of Development & External Services (responsible for
the strategic and operational management of all forms of research). The self study involved widespread
consultation with internal stakeholders, including management, academic supervisors and the research student
body. The self-study team in collaboration with the Academic Schools and Departments, along with the
Functional areas supporting research, have reviewed progress in relation to research from the founding of the
Institute to date.
This follow-on self study for accreditation to maintain a research degree register was also an institute-wide
process that encompassed a critical assessment of the research degree programmes on offer; the quality
assurance processes and procedures relating to research degree programmes; and an evaluation of the
provision of services to support research degree programmes.
18.2.2 Stakeholder Involvement for Research Accreditation
A number of internal groups, teams and committees provided the main platform for communicating progress
on the research accreditation application. For example, progress reports were presented at each of the
executive management team and Academic Council meetings throughout the timeframe of the project by the
Registrar and the Project Manager. Progress was also reported to Governing Body in the form of presentations
from the Director. This was carried out in order to discuss progress on the self-study process in real time and to
obtain constructive advice and guidance from these groups on how to bring the self-study process through
each stage. It also served to enhance the efficiency of responses in relation to the collection and evaluation of
material for the self-study from the Academic and Functional areas of the Institute.
Consultation took place with the management and staff of the schools and departments, with Academic
Council, and with the postgraduate students involved in research. Information and Q&A sessions were
conducted to provide the relevant groups with an opportunity to contribute to the self study for research in
the context of the taught programme Delegated Authority application (submitted in Feb. 2006), which
included a chapter on research, and to provide information on the follow-on application for accreditation of
the Institute’s research degrees. The meetings prior Feb. 2006 were used to provide a forum for an early
evaluation of research in the context of the present accreditation application submission. Table 18.3 outlines
the schedule of meetings and presentations made to stakeholders as part of the research accreditation process.
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Consultation
Research Working Group Meeting
General Meeting Academic Staff
Postgraduate Student General Meeting (Taught DA application and Research Accreditation)
Research Evaluation Meeting Academic Staff
Science Research Information Meeting
Engineering Research Information Meeting
Institute-wide Research SWOT Analysis
External Stakeholder Focus Group Meeting
Postgraduate Student General Meeting (Research Accreditation Update and Evaluation Session)
Dates
14th June 2005
6th Sept. 2005
6th Sept. 2005
7th Oct. 2005
13th Oct. 2005
11th Nov. 2005
20th June 2006
26th June 2006
29th June 2006
Table 18.3 Schedule of the Consultation Process for Research Accreditation
The findings and recommendations of the main consultation events held were discussed in Chapter 5 of the
Research Accreditation Self-Evaluation Report Book 1. Delegated authority, including the research
accreditation process, was an agenda item for at all of the Postgraduate Policy, R&D and Ethics sub-Committee
meetings during the period of preparation of this report. These meetings were also used as a means of
communicating progress, seeking input and prompting debate on a number of issues that have been previously
discussed in this submission. The R&D sub-Committee is the main forum for discussion of the operational issues
affecting researchers and research strategy. Therefore, following submission of the taught programme
delegated authority document, the R&D Committee replaced the research working group in providing input
into the research degree accreditation self study.
18.2.3 Research SWOT Analysis 2006
The R&D Committee held an institute-wide SWOT analysis in June 2006 to reflect on research achievements
to date and to pose suggestions for improvement in the future. Its main purpose was to analyse our internal
strengths and weaknesses in relation to research. It was organised by the R&D Committee of Academic Council
and held in June 2006. The group conducting the SWOT analysis were representative of management,
academic and support staff.
The findings of the 2006 SWOT analysis will be used in informing future development plans and strategies for
research at management level and to provide guidance in setting down new measurable objectives for
research.
The salient points of the SWOT analysis in relation to research are presented below.
Collaboration/Industrial Links:
Both internal and external collaborations are a definite strength, particularly academic links. Industry links on
research projects could be improved as this is a weakness in some areas. There is opportunity to create more
visible links with industry at senior level in particular. Location in Tallaght is a definite opportunity - close to
hospital and most of Dublin’s industry; M50 Programme based at the Institute could help with SME links. A
threat to that would be industry linking to other Dublin education establishments, particularly the universities.
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Critical Mass:
The critical mass of researchers in Science in particular is very strong and it is growing in Engineering,
Computing and the Humanities. This can only be enhanced by the designation of IRC status to these larger
research groups where it is envisaged there will be a greater level of success in programme-based funding
schemes in the future. There is room for improvement in other areas, particularly in Business. The IRCs located
on campus and the external PRTLI National Centre collaborations offer more opportunities here, and also
coming under the HEA. The attraction of more international students is another opportunity as numbers have
fallen nationally. Envisaged threats to critical mass include - falling number of entrants to Science and
Engineering nationally; an upturn in the economy, difficult to attract degree graduates to research; poor
interest in postgraduate research in Business Departments; Competition for students with larger institutions in
the Dublin area; the academic career structure in the sector.
Culture/Vision:
There is a strong CAN DO research culture. Additional support from senior management is required for realising
an enhanced research vision. There is an opportunity for a research culture to grow in areas where it is currently
not active. If vision set from the top down then it can become too controlled from the top, needs to be driven
by academic researchers too. This would be a threat. The dominance of certain departments in doing research
may give rise to a conflicting culture/vision.
Funding:
Academic researchers have been highly successful from TSR programme schemes, particularly in Science. There
is an added strength in that the Institute has set up its own internal funding schemes as well. There is a
weakness in securing some high level funding, most notably from SFI. This is a common weakness across the
sector. Enterprise Ireland programme and project specific funding for applied research is a definite opportunity.
Others include - the clustering of research activities into Centres of excellence on campus; an expansion of
internal and external funding schemes; There are a number of threats envisaged here, for example – Grad
school clustering in the university sector, could get left behind; an economic downturn; lack of capital and
overhead funding, though this is sector-wide; fallout from the OECD report.
Infrastructure:
There has been improvement here in the last five years. There are still some operational constraints that create
a certain weakness in the system, mainly due to lack of space and dedicated research resources in some areas.
The current campus development and opening of the Incubation Centre pose an opportunity for improvement
in this regard. Some threats include – aging equipment and continuation deficit in some areas where
equipment if shared, both also sector-wide issues due to lack o baseline research funding; the fallout from the
OECD report and continued ring-fencing of baseline funds.
External Profile:
Recognition of our research successes locally is growing and publication profile is good. There is room for
improvement in the area of marketing and promoting research activities; Opportunities in this area include –
more presentations at conferences; updating of research webpages and other advertising documentation;
growth in IRCs; international collaborations; more international students and researchers. One of the threats in
this area lies in the difficulty in recruiting personnel to our research programmes if they are not profiled enough
on the national/international stage, perception that this could be affected by academic snobbery too.
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Quality:
This has been verified by the reports of external examiners. The high number of staff who have research
qualifications is a strength here. Other positive indicators include – the high quality of new recruits from
undergraduate degrees; the team approach to research and multi-disciplinary nature; success of research
graduates in securing high profile research positions in places like the Harvard Med School; the strong link to
teaching; the flexible approach; the involvement of postdoctoral fellows; funding proposal and publication
successes. The balance between research and teaching hours is just one weakness, again this is a sector-wide
issue. Success in the research accreditation application would give a quality stamp and is therefore an
opportunity. The 4th level approach may impact on the project quality if it is too structured.
Policies:
Recent government policies in relation to the knowledge-based society and the contribution of research are
probably the biggest strengths. Additional support is needed from senior management to ensure there is
appropriate strategic planning and vision to aid the formulation new research policies in the future. The
government requirement for more researchers is an opportunity. Changes to government or internal policies
would be the most obvious threats for the future.
Support:
The creation of internal funding mechanisms to support research and the support of technical staff for research
are seen as the best strengths. There is room for improvement efficiency in some of the operational supports
and services provided – specifically for postgraduate students. Perceived opportunities include – the provision
of sector-wide overhead funds in the future; coming under the HEA; completion of campus development; more
clarity on supports and services available since the induction programme was formally introduced. Falling
numbers in research active staff and postgraduate students could pose a threat.
Research Working Group
This group was convened to aid the Delegated Authority team in the context of both applications, taught and
research. It comprised of representatives from management, academic and support staff, postgraduate
students and research personnel. A meeting of this group took place in June 2005 to make input to the first
delegated authority (taught programmes) self-study. Summary proceedings of this group are given in Appendix
14 of the Research Accreditation Submission documentation.
18.2.4 Consultative Meetings with Academic Staff
A general information meeting/Q&A session with academic staff was held in September 2005. A preliminary
research evaluation meeting with academic staff was held in October 2005. The agenda for discussion was:
• Research Strategy
• Management & Structures
• Facilities
• Support for Research.
Summary proceedings from this group consultation are described in Appendix 15 of the Research Accreditation
Submission documentation.
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18.2.5 Consultative Meetings with Postgraduate Students
Formal consultation with postgraduate research students occurred twice through general meetings to which
all postgraduate students were invited. The first of these was held in September 2005 to obtain contributions
for the research self study for the delegated authority for taught programme submission and to provide
information on the follow-on research degree accreditation application process. The second meeting was held
in June 2006.
The students pointed out they were generally happy with the academic requirements and associated
management of their research degree programmes. In general they said that there were some operational
constraints, services and supports that could be improved to improve efficiency. Suggestions for improvement
included – training, computing services, access out-of-hours, office-type accommodation, processing of
expense claims (conference attendance). Minutes of the meetings are given Appendix 16 and 17 of the
Research Accreditation Submission documentation.
18.2.6 Consultation with External Stakeholders
General Consultative Processes
The Head of Development and his team have consulted with the personnel listed in Table 18.4 over the years
with regard to strengthening the Institute’s research base, research management and the development of
research strategy. A number of these meetings were open to academic staff involved in research or wishing to
set up research areas/projects.
External Group
IRCSET
Enterprise Ireland (Innovation Partnerships)
Enterprise Ireland (AREP)
SFI
Personnel
M. Hynes
M. Flanagan
P. O’Brien
G. Crawley, M. Kelly
Table 18.4 External Consultations on Research
Other EI discipline specialists dealing with the Commercialisation Fund were also consulted with. Consultation
with senior academics from other institutions such as DCU, UL, UCD and GMIT took place regarding the
framework for the formation of the Institute designated research centres and their subsequent evaluation.
The President of the Institute has been pro-active in setting up external consultative meetings and working
groups aimed at developing a cohesive Institute Sector strategy for research and improving research capacity
long before the delegated authority current process began. Consultations were held with all of the other
Institutes; EI; Government Departments such as the Department of Education & Science, Finance, Enterprise
and trade, and that of the Taoiseach; the HEA and the Chief Scientific Advisor. Proposals from these meetings
and groups have been incorporated into the National Development Plan and in general terms are part of the
National Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation published in June 2006.
Open fora in CIT for the IT&T conference and at the Bionet 2006 ITT Dublin meeting involved specific interactive
sessions with representatives from all the major national agencies funding research, contact personnel for the
EU framework programmes and the Council of Directors.
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External Focus Group Evaluation of ITT Dublin Research
Feedback on research performance is vital to the Institute going forward. Through the Enterprise Ireland and
Technological Sector Research programmes in particular, we get constant review and feedback on our research.
However, in preparation for the application for accreditation to maintain a research register the Institute’s
research activities were also evaluated through the forum of a focus group meeting with outside stakeholders
in a round-table group session in June 2006. The group included representatives from industry, the public
sector, and the funding agencies, past research degree graduates and external collaborators. A list of attendees
is given in Table 18.5. A condensed version of each chapter of the institutional submission draft document was
sent to attendees in advance of the meeting to frame the discussions.
Name
Dr. Michael Scott
Mr. David King
Mr. Tim Hannon
Prof. Rory More O'Ferrall
Prof. Andrew Torrance
Dr. Sean Doyle
Dr. Conor Long
Dr. John McGinley
Discipline Area
Computing
Mechanical Engineering
Electronic Engineering
Chemistry
Mechanical Engineering
Biology
Chemistry
Chemistry
Organisation
DCU
RPA
Intel
UCD
TCD
NUI Maynooth
DCU
NUI Maynooth
Dr. Mike Devereux
Dr. Philip Murphy
Dr. Ray Leonard
Chemistry
Biology
Chemistry
DIT
AMNCH
Henkel Loctite
Dr. Nuck McHardy
Mr. Jarlath Groarke
Mr. Paul Hetherington
Mr. Niall Roche
Ms. Mary O'Connor
Chemistry
Chemistry
Mechanical Engineering
Computing
Electronic Engineering
Cross Vetpharm
BMS
National Metrology Lab.
Mobile Aware
Xilinx
Link to ITT Dublin
External Examiner
Graduate MEng, ITT Dublin
Graduate MEng, ITT Dublin
External Examiner
Collaborator/External Examiner
Collaborator
Collaborator/IRC Evaluator
Collaborator/Past Postdoctoral
Fellow ITT Dublin
Collaborator
Collaborator
Collaborating Company/
Employer of past graduates
from RDP
Collaborator
Graduate MSc, ITT Dublin
Collaborator
Graduate, MSc ITT Dublin
Collaborator
Table 18.5 External Focus Group Meeting Attendees (June 26th 2006)
The attendees were confident the Institute was effective in conducting educational programmes of research.
There was no inherent criticism of the degree programmes or quality of graduates produced.
The main areas discussed over the remainder of the meeting included:
Research Training: the group was satisfied with the training section presented in the draft submission
document. There was concern that there about the string emphasis on the 4th level Ireland model approach
for the future. The model is too heavily based on the American model, where students come into research on
a lower threshold and may not be suitable for our educational model. A formal taught training programme
could hold back an exceptional research student who may be well enough trained already and could curb their
enthusiasm. However, the group indicated the need to expand on training in some areas to broaden the focus
of our research graduates. However, they did not favour a structured one year taught programme. Providers
of research graduates need to look at a number of training approaches – workshop, short course,
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winter/summer school approach. This would best be shared across a number of educational institutions and
Institutes could use established Research Centres to support training initiatives. Collaborative and multidisciplinary research adds to the training experience.
The group made comments on the OECD Report and expressed concern that if there were no PhD
postgraduate programmes in the Institute sector then their applied research would have no fundamental
guidance. Basic research informs teaching programmes and the whole education experience. One cannot teach
the applications without the fundamental basics.
Process Improvements: Make formal recognition of the efforts of staff on supervision of research students,
i.e. give credit for efforts in supervising a programme from application for funding, through
supervision/monitoring and examination of student.
Areas of Research at ITT Dublin: The strategic areas are relevant to Institute but for the future look at the
demands of local industry too. Industry representatives recognised the advantage of having the Institute in their
vicinity and pointed out that it was good for the Institute to work with them and learn more about their
equipment/specialist needs. They are happy with our graduates and see the Institute as having a pool of
excellent staff and good facilities and research potential.
The group suggested the Institute explore the following:
- secondment of doctoral degree students to industry or to other institutes abroad through Erasmus
programmes for example;
- the postdoctoral role;
- attracting more international students as they give added value to the Institute and create a mechanism
for the establishment of more international contacts.
Intellectual Property: The industrial representatives pointed out that they do have issues over owenership and
IP and longer term thinking on that is needed on their part. Revealing their hand is an issue and can be a
disincentive. They would like more awareness of the new ITT Dublin IP policy. It is regconised by industry that
academic research can take a number of years to reach patent stage. The Institute-industry Mobile Aware and
CrossVetPharm projects worked well though.
Main Recommendations from the Research Focus Group June 26th 2006:
1. Establish links with colleges abroad and increase international representation at postgraduate level. Timing
and mechanism of this to be examined. Look at process to facilitate this, pedagogy issues and funding.
2. Encourage the commercialisation of research.
3. Promote the intellectual property policy.
4. Enhance generic training.
5. Continue with the promotion of Science and Engineering to 2nd level students to enhance feeder
mechanism from our own degree graduates to research programmes.
6. Explore the postdoctoral role more.
It is proposed that these recommendations be addressed through R&D Committee of Academic Council and
the executive management routes. The Institute is currently involved in a number of initiatives to address the
issue of generic training in collaboration with other educational providers and HETAC (see Section Chapter 7).
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In addition to the efforts made through Government policies in recent years, there are a number of initiatives
already in place at this Institute, which address the promotion of Science and Engineering to 2nd level students.
The promotion of research is always included. The group did recognise that this is a national problem and is
not institute-specific. Some examples of initiatives in place are listed in Table 18.6.
Primary Science and Engineering Clubs (since 2004)
Science Week open day
ITT Dublin Open Day
Participation at: Tallaght area higher options fair (Tallaght Community School);
SDCC Careers Fair; Higher Options (Croke Park); Stand at Young Scientists Exhibition
Practical workshops for second level schools (e.g. Tallaght Community, Greenhills)
Work Placements for Transition Year students (~20 last year)
School visits – guest lectures / careers advisory sessions etc.
Science Competition in St. Paul’s Clondalkin
Junior Achievement Science Programme (run in 2006)
Salter’s Festival of Chemistry (run since 2004)
Science Festival in Knocklyon Community School
SciFest Exhibition and Competition (annual event in May since 2006)
Public lectures in science by ITT Dublin Academics
Table 18.6 Engineering/Science 2nd Level Promotional Activities
Other Consultations
Two newsletters were produced to outline progress on the research accreditation application. The first of these
was produced in Sept. 2005. It was circulated to all staff, students and external stakeholders. The second
newsletter produced in June 2006, was also made available on the postgraduate research pages of the staff
and student intranet site.
As part of the consultation process, the Institute consulted with other education providers with accreditation
to maintain their own research degree registers. Table 18.6 outlines the visits made to other Institutes of
Technology and Universities by the appointed Project Manager from the Registrar’s Office.
Education Provider
Waterford IT
Sligo IT
Dublin City University
Trinity College Dublin
Date
April 2005
May 2005
May 2005
Sept. 2005
Table 18.6 Consultation with Education Providers
The final draft of the self-evaluation report was also reviewed by research experts from IT Carlow and Waterford
IT prior to submission to HETAC in March 2007.
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18.3 Phase 3: Updated Self-Study and Stakeholder
Consultation
The current delegated authority submission was prepared following a comprehensive internal evaluation of the
research degree programmes on offer as previously discussed. The current self-study document provides an
updated evaluation of the Institutes education and training programmes (to Level 9). Changes to management,
governance and organisation since the previous submission in 2006 were also incorporated.
18.3.1 Internal Process and Consultations
Newsletters have been published in 2006 – in the Research and Innovation Magazine and more recently in
November 2007 outlining the status of the application and proposed completion dates. The general student
handbook and the research student handbook were also updated to include information on the delegated
authority process. Updated information was provided by Academic Researchers, Departments, Schools and
Functional Areas for inclusion in the submission. Feedback on the structure and content of the self-evaluation
report has been obtained and changes implemented. The submission was also reviewed by Academic Council
and management teams.
The Registrar and Project Manager held a third meeting with postgraduate researchers to provide them with
information on the impact of securing delegated authority during their studies. The students also provided
feedback on how the Institute has improved the management of research operations and programmes since
the last meeting. The minutes of this meeting and the status of the issues raised is provided in Appendix 13.
The students were happy with procedures for research and delivery of their programmes of study. They
highlighted some operational issues with the following - Agresso function and general ordering of research
materials, email access, security, visa renewal (international students). The Registrar has reported the issues
raised to the appropriate functional area for resolution where feasible.
18.3.2 External Consultation
All major research collaborators and other stakeholders were informed of the delegated authority application
and process in the Phase 2 Stage as previously described (Section 18.2). Local Guidance Counsellors and
Secondary School Principals were informed of the updated delegated authority application in January 2008 at
an Institute-convened meeting.
18.4 Conclusion
The overall self-study process, initiated in 2004 highlighted the need to build on the current base of
postgraduate students, supervisors and postdoctoral researchers; to use our knowledge of industry and
funding agency objectives to drive our research strategy in the future; to enhance our competition on the
international stage and gain more recognition as a research institute; and to take guidance from key policy
makers for research.
As a result of this process, existing procedures are being revised, new procedures are being drawn up, service
provision will be enhanced in the future and further positive changes will be implemented. Some of the
initiatives that have been implemented since the research accreditation submission in 2006 are given below:
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• The 2008 – 2012 Institute Research and Innovation Strategy has been updated and is now ready for
publication.
• The Institute is an active and committed member of the Institute of Technology Research Alliance and the
new Dublin Regional Higher Education Alliance whose remit is to advance research education at the 4th
Level.
• The recently approved Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes clearly outlines the roles and
responsibilities of all those involved in research. It has been communicated to all staff and students and is
available in a condensed form in the postgraduate student handbook which was made available to new
students at induction and is also on the staff and student intranet pages.
• The delegated authority and research accreditation self studies have generated a database of research
indicators which are available to all staff. This database will be updated by the Development and External
Services Office and at School and Department levels periodically.
• Links are being developed between researchers and the Synergy Centre for the commercialisation of
research is being developed.
• The research website has been updated and re-constructed to provide more information to prospective
applicants to research degree programmes at the Institute.
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Appendices
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Appendices
Appendix 1
Institute Research Charter
The Institute of Technology Tallaght is committed to the advancement of learning and knowledge through the
provision of flexible higher education opportunities which are of the highest quality in a professional and
supportive environment. It strives to achieve this by offering educational and training programmes that reflect
current and emerging knowledge and practices which are relevant to the needs of the individual and the
region. Research and scholarly activity are recognised as being key elements to its success in this regard and
the pursuit of these activities is supported and encouraged at all levels of the organisation. The Institute fosters
an environment where knowledge expertise and development, investigation, understanding and critical
evaluation are key parameters which underpin the educational and training programmes it provides. The
Institute recognises that a research culture is conducive to the success of these programmes, since research and
teaching are closely inter related. Since its foundation in 1992 the Institute has developed a strong reputation
as an Institute that conducts high quality research. As a higher education and training provider it is also
committed to the provision of high quality research degree programmes from which it aspires to deliver
graduates ready to meet the needs of business, industry, the public sector and society.
Research is a mainstream activity for the Institute. This Research Charter has been drawn up to underline the
Institutes commitment to research at the highest level. It also sets out the Institutes policy in relation to research.
Policy Statement: The Institute is fully committed to research as a core activity. By supporting the pursuit of
excellence in research the Institute seeks to strengthen its education and training provision, create and
disseminate new knowledge, concepts and applications, and support regional and national socio-economic
development. It aims to achieve this through being a leader in the development of research and scholarly
activity in the region and establishing itself as a centre of excellence for targeted research areas as identified in
the Strategic Plan. This vision forms the basis of the Institute’s research strategy. The Institute fosters and
promotes equality, diversity and inclusiveness in relation to all its research activities. It places great emphasis on
developing and enhancing the quality of its services, management and governance provided to all of its
researchers and associated stakeholders.
The Institute supports basic, applied and strategic research across all disciplines. Schools and Departments
within the Institute have however, identified key and emerging are