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Building Sustainable Research in DIT

Positioning DIT Research for Success and Sustainability DIT Research Action Plan 2013-2017 Approved 31 July 2013 SUMMARY

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Building Sustainable Research in DIT

Contents 1

PREFACE .................................................................................................................................................. 3

2

GLOSSARY ............................................................................................................................................... 4

3

INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................................... 7

4 ACTION 13: DEVELOP RESEARCH GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT STRUCTURES & SET RESEARCH INSTITUTES .................................................................................................................................................... 10 4.1 STRATEGIC OVERVIEW............................................................................................................................... 10 4.2 RESEARCH ORGANISATION ......................................................................................................................... 10 4.2.1 Research Institutes .......................................................................................................................... 10 4.2.2 DIT Designated Research Centres ................................................................................................... 13 4.2.3 Research Groups ............................................................................................................................. 13 4.2.4 Individual Researchers .................................................................................................................... 13 4.2.5 Academic Staff Researchers and Research Students ...................................................................... 13 4.3 RESEARCH INSTITUTES ............................................................................................................................... 14 4.3.1 Academic Leader ............................................................................................................................. 14 4.3.2 Leadership Team ............................................................................................................................. 14 4.3.3 Advisory Board – optional ............................................................................................................... 15 4.3.4 Research Institute Forum ................................................................................................................ 15 4.4 RESEARCH FACILITY MANAGEMENT ............................................................................................................. 15 4.5 RESEARCH GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE........................................................................................................... 17 4.5.1 Research and Enterprise Forum ...................................................................................................... 17 4.5.2 College Head of Research ............................................................................................................... 17 4.5.3 Strengthening the link between the Colleges and DRE ................................................................... 17 4.5.4 Senior Leadership Team (Academic and Research Committee) ...................................................... 18 4.5.5 Governing Body ............................................................................................................................... 19 4.6 RESEARCHERS, RESEARCH STUDENTS AND SCHOOLS/COLLEGES ......................................................................... 19 4.7 RESEARCH INTEGRITY AND ETHICS COMMITTEE .............................................................................................. 19 5

ANTICIPATED OUTCOMES AND IMPACT, AND RISK ............................................................................... 21 5.1 SUMMARY OF INITIATIVES .......................................................................................................................... 21 5.2 RISK ...................................................................................................................................................... 21 5.2.1 Mitigating risk ................................................................................................................................. 22 5.3 RESEARCH IMPLEMENTATION PLAN AND TARGETS .......................................................................................... 24

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1 Preface Research excellence contributes to the quality of all our programmes, to our ability to attract funding, to our capacity to attract high quality faculty and good students, to our capacity to provide useful knowledge for our various stakeholders, and to the reputation of DIT. In sum, our research effort allows us to better fulfil our public service mission, for the benefit of our students, staff, society and the economy. The strategic objectives for research have been set out in the Dublin Institute of Technology Strategic Plan 2011-2014 (approved by Governing Body, 20 July 2011).1 This Research Action Plan (RAP) has been developed within the concept of One-DIT to achieve these objectives; and is based on a partnership between Schools/Colleges, Directorate of Research and Enterprise, and other Units/Directorates in DIT in order to: 

Strengthen and develop DIT research capacity and capability in terms of scale and international recognition;

Meet and benchmark against TU criteria;

Align DIT with national policy objectives and new funding/competitive environment;

Provide support for researchers through a series of initiatives;

Grow the number of research students;

Ensure a high quality research training environment for all researchers;

Enhance the leadership, management and governance structure for research.

There has been an extensive, 2 year consultation with colleagues across DIT, beginning in 2011 and in the preparation of the original report (April 2013) and the revised version (July 2013) (See Section 13.5.2). This Research Action Plan builds on previous research strategies and all versions have also drawn upon College Action Plans, College Reviews, the DIT Strategic Review of Research, relevant national policies and national and international “good practice” (see References – Section 14). The DIT research areas have been mapped to the National Research Priority Areas and onto to the Societal Grand Challenges for the EU Horizon 2020 programme (see Section 13.1). The RAP also shows how the “Challenges to Research Report” has been addressed. This document proposes a number of actions and initiatives designed to support DIT academic staff and boost research. These actions are supported by an investment programme. The emphasis is on supporting DIT academic staff; thus, 100% of the investments described in the plan go towards supporting academic staff, active researchers and research students, working in Schools/Colleges across DIT (70% supporting DIT research excellence and 30% for attracting new research talent). The RAP is funded from DIT’s own externally-earned resources. We would like to thank all our colleagues for their time and commitment to the process and to the ideas – all of which augurs well for DIT’s future.

1

DIT Strategic Plan 2011-2014

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2 Glossary 

Research Institutes encompass, but are not limited to, collaborative multi-disciplinary research in complementary or cognate fields of inquiry (i.e. research area), knowledge and technology transfer and exchange, that span DIT and provide research-related services to society, the economy and the wider community. The Academic Leader of a DIT Research Institute reports to the Director of Research and Enterprise, who shall be responsible for overseeing all Research Institutes at DIT as a part of a One-DIT approach. The activities of Research Institutes shall be reviewed annually by the Academic and Research Committee of SLT.

Research Centres encompass, but are not limited to, collaborative research focused primarily on topics that are central to a single School or College. A centre may be involved across the full bandwidth of research student training, research, development, engagement and consultancy. Being a DIT Designated Research Centre is recognition of significant research achievement. The Head of a Research Centre reports to a Head of School or College Director/Dean, as appropriate, who is responsible for overseeing its governance and budgetary accounts.

Research Area is a broad informal descriptor which embodies research in complementary or cognate fields of inquiry. A Research Area is the primary means by which DIT research capacity and capability is profiled and showcased, providing a macro-interdisciplinary perspective.

Research Project is a time and objective limited piece of research work which is normally carried out on the basis of funding awarded specifically for the purposes of conducting that work.

Research Programme is long term and strategic in nature with continuing aims as opposed to specific objectives. A research programme may consist of a number of discrete pieces of research sharing a common set of research objectives and themes.

New Academic Staff are those who have been employed as full-time academic staff in DIT for less than 3 years.

Research and Scholarship2 is characterised as "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge of man, culture and society and the use of this 3 stock of knowledge to devise new applications." o

It contributes to the stock of human knowledge; gives meaning to isolated facts putting them into perspective through synthesis; applies knowledge through problem-solving; and transforms and extends our understanding/knowledge.4

2

This definition has been approved SLT, 07 February 2013 and agreed with the TUI. OECD (2002) Frascati Manual Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development, p 30. http://goo.gl/hX9pv. 4 Boyer, E.L. (1990) Scholarship Reconsidered. Priorities of the Professoriate, Princeton. Boyer defines the 4 scholarships of: Scholarship of discovery: investigation which contributes to stock of human knowledge; Scholarship of integration: giving meaning to isolated facts and putting them into perspective through synthesis; Scholarship of application: applying knowledge through problem solving; Scholarship of teaching: not just transmitting but transforming and extending knowledge. 3

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o

It must be published, disseminated or made publicly available in the form of assessable research outputs.

o

It includes work of direct relevance to the needs of commerce, industry, and to the public and voluntary sectors; the invention and generation of ideas, images, performances, artefacts including design, where these lead to new or substantially improved insights; and the use of existing knowledge in experimental development to produce new or substantially improved materials, devices, products, pedagogical practices, and processes, including design and construction.

o

It excludes routine testing and routine analysis of materials, components and processes such as for the maintenance of national standards, as distinct from the development of new analytical techniques. It also excludes the routine development of teaching materials and CPD/training.

Research Active Staff o

Are actively undertaking research as defined above over the previous five year period and this activity is published, disseminated or made publicly available in the form of assessable research outputs – and should be lodged in ARROW (as appropriate).

In addition, research active staff are normally o

Currently supervising postgraduate research student(s),

AND/OR o

In receipt of competitively obtained funding for research and/or knowledge transfer.

Research Targets

Research targets in this document derive from the DIT Strategic Plan 2011-2014 as approved by the DIT Governing Body. Planned research student numbers (FTE) over the next five years are based on the projected numbers in the DIT Strategic Plan 2011-2014. These will be reviewed annually in line with the balanced scorecard for the strategic plan. Planned numbers of academic staff qualified to PhD over the next five years are based on the published criteria to meet technological university designation i.e. (a) 45% of full time academic staff must hold a PhD qualification (10% of this number may hold other relevant professional qualifications). There must be a trajectory in place to achieve 65% FTE PhD holders within 10 years of designation. At the time of designation in the areas where doctoral training is taking place the figure must be 80% and (b) 40% of staff are research active. Planned researcher numbers over the next five years are based on the structure and balance in research teams envisioned by the Government Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation5 as follows, vis;

5

GoI (Government of Ireland). (2006). Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation, 2006-2013. p29.

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o o

SET disciplines; 1 Principal Investigator: 3 Postdoctoral: 5 Postgraduate: 1 technician/research manager/assistant AHSS disciplines; 1 Principal Investigator: 2 Postdoctoral: 3 Postgraduate.

Planned research income over the next five years is calculated as the income required to support all of the above students and researcher numbers, and the anticipated needs of the investment programme contained in this plan. Planned numbers of publications over the next five years are based on a minimum of 2 peer publications per annum per researcher. Publications and other research outputs are described in Section 13.2.

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3 Introduction DIT research aims to be an important source of research and discovery, to underpin DIT’s education programmes and contribute to the economy and society. DIT research is underpinned by the following values:     

Undertaking use-inspired, goal-oriented research which is globally competitive, nationally relevant, leads to commercial or social benefit. DIT research is ethical and publicly accountable. Advancing knowledge, innovation and creativity across DIT; Preparing students to be global citizens for tomorrow’s world; Maintaining a culture and ethos of research excellence underpinned by the highest, independently assessed recognition for the quality of our outputs and outcomes; Ensuring a stimulating, research informed environment that attracts, values, develops and retains high quality staff and students – from across Ireland and internationally;

Three core objectives for research have been set out in the Dublin Institute of Technology Strategic Plan 2011-2014 (approved by Governing Body, 20 July 2011): these are to; 

 

Concentrate and consolidate research activity, including PhD study, in fields of verifiable strength and national significance in order to achieve greater coherence and enhance competitiveness and sustainability6; Ensure greater integration between research, innovation, teaching and learning; and Strengthen and embed technology transfer and entrepreneurial activity;

The delivery of these objectives will be underpinned by the following actions for which DRE is the responsible lead (see Table 1).

6

DIT strategy of consolidating activity in fields where we have demonstrable strength is in line with national policy. The HEA has been promoting a strategy of the 3 Cs: consolidation, concentration and coherence for several years; it has recently added co-location. The HEA has also published criteria for a Technological University as part of the implementation of the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030. The criteria emphasise the importance of research scale and quality: “An applicant institution will have existing research capacity to support on-going programmes, projects and doctoral training in at least three fields of knowledge/study as defined by ISCED fields of study at the 2-digit level and demonstrate a developmental trajectory showing that the institution can extend research and doctoral activity to sufficient capacity to support two further fields, as defined by ISCED2 within five years of designation as a technological university.”

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Table 2 shows DRE supporting actions to other units within DIT which have a responsibility for delivery. 7

Table 1 DIT Strategic Plan Objectives and Actions Supporting Research and Enterprise DIT STRATEGIC PLAN OBJECTIVES Action# To concentrate and consolidate research 13 activity, including PhD study, in fields of verifiable strength and national significance in order to achieve greater 14 coherence and enhance competitiveness and sustainability 15 Ensure greater integration between research and innovation, and teaching and learning; 16

Strengthen and embed technology transfer and entrepreneurial activity

7

19

Source: DIT Strategic Plan 2011-2014

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ACTIONS Develop research governance and management structures & set RPs Develop and implement a DIT research funding strategy (including College plans) to grow and diversify research funding and sustain its long-term development Define a series of actions/supports so that (a) 35% of full-time academic staff hold a PhD qualification, and (b) 40% of staff are research active  Develop and accredit 4 PhD programmes aligned with the 4 RPs  Migrate existing students onto the PhD programmes  Increase number of research students as set out in Appendix 1 of the DIT Strategic Plan 2011-2014. Implement action plan for Technology Transfer and Innovation with agreed targets


Building Sustainable Research in DIT

Table 2 Support Actions by Other DIT Directorates8 DIT STRATEGIC PLAN OBJECTIVES Action # ACTIONS Grow & consolidate research in line with the research pillars. 13 Develop a research To concentrate and consolidate resource allocation research activity, including PhD model study, in fields of verifiable strength and national significance in order to Implement a series achieve greater coherence and of actions/supports enhance competitiveness and so that (a) 35% of sustainability full-time academic 15 staff hold a PhD qualification, and (b) 40% of staff are research active Develop a research alumni network in 17 conjunction with the Graduate Network Ensure greater integration between Office research and innovation, and Develop and teaching and learning; implement a 18 publicity plan to increase DIT research profile

8

Source: DIT Strategic Plan 2011-2014

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DIT Responsible Unit College Directors.

Director, Finance & Resources

College Directors

College Directors

President


Building Sustainable Research in DIT

4 Action 13: Develop research governance and management structures & set Research Institutes 4.1 Strategic Overview DIT believes that groups of researchers with common research interests can benefit from sharing resources and coordinating their research activities. This structure offers the best opportunity to 1) Reach a critical mass in terms of sustainable research capacity and capability, international levels of recognition and scale; 2) Provide support for researchers; 3) Ensure a high quality research training environment for research students; and 4) Ensure essential and sustainable research infrastructure and support. Achieving critical mass and providing a quality environment will help DIT to recruit and retain researchers, attract post-doctoral fellows and offer enhanced training programmes which will in turn attract additional graduate students, help develop partnerships, and secure sustainable funding opportunities. DIT will consolidate and grow its research capacity and capability by bringing activity together under the ambit of 4 Research Institutes. Each Research Institute will be broadly aligned with a complementary or cognate field of inquiry or research area in order to achieve greater coherence, scale, competitiveness and sustainability. Research areas are macro-interdisciplinary informal descriptors; they are the primary means by which DIT research activity is profiled and showcased. The following research areas reflect the breadth of DIT research: Environment, Energy and Health; Information, Communications and Media Technologies; New Materials and Devices; and Society, Culture and Enterprise. The research areas identified for DIT have been mapped to the National Research Priority Areas and also to the Societal Grand Challenges for the EU Horizon 2020 programme (see Section 13.1).

4.2 Research Organisation 4.2.1 Research Institutes DIT will organise its research into four Research Institutes bringing together researchers within broadly complementary and cognate fields of inquiry from across DIT. Each Research Institute will be aligned primarily with, but not confined to, one research area, building on research capacity and capability. It will encourage collaborative links between researchers, research centres and groups in order to build critical mass in distinctive fields of endeavour. Each Research Institute will be a formal, recognised part of the DIT research infrastructure; this will ensure that resources are used in the most efficient manner to support the full range of research activities to full capacity. Research Institutes will be the focus of research investments in DIT. Research Institutes will aim to build national and international visibility in their field of knowledge and achieve recognition for relevance, excellence, social and economic impact of their research. Research Institutes will generate intellectual property and knowledge that will lead to new products and services and contribute to national and international debate and discourse that can be

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translated into policy advice, legislation or standards. The current alignment of DIT Research to the National Research Priority Areas and Horizon 2020 Societal Grand Challenges is given in Appendix 13.1 but each Research Institute will also future-scope new fields of inquiry. The exact breadth, scope and set of research challenges of each Research Institute will be confirmed through a bottom-up process involving the respective researchers (see Implementation Process, Section 12). The scope should be sufficiently broad enough to encourage participation from researchers across different schools and colleges, and non-academic researchers in other DIT units as appropriate, and significant cross/inter-disciplinary activity. Initially four Research Institutes are proposed (alphabetically): 9

Environmental Health Sciences Institute (EHSI) will bring together research across the fields of environment, energy and health, from the bio-sciences to the social sciences, with a strong focus on solving the challenges associated with the quality and sustainability of our environment including the built environment, bio-monitoring, lifestyle and policy, assistive technologies, energy, and food quality & safety, etc.;

Focas Research Institute will bring together strengths across bio and nano technologies, biospectroscopy, medical devices, new therapeutics, advanced surface coatings and engineering – and related social and economic research. Focas is a founding member of the National Biophotonics and Imaging Platform, Ireland(NBIPI) and the Integrated NanoScience Platform for Ireland (INSPIRE).

Information, Communications and Entertainment Institute (ICE) will consolidate existing strengths across information, communications and entertainment, including computing, digital media, electrical and electronic engineering, and telecommunications, etc., – creating vertical integration from the enabling technologies to software development to content and entertainment applications10;

AHSS Institute11 will evolve to bring together researchers across business, entrepreneurship and management, social and public policy, creative & performing arts, education policy and organisation, justice and human rights, etc. as appropriate. The focus will be on translating research into ideas and actions which impact on and inform social and public policy, whatever the field of inquiry.

Each Research Institute is at a different stage of formation but there is potential for the organic development of each one. A significant investment is available from DIT to establish the fourth AHSS Institute. Within the first 6 months of this plan, DRE will convene a meeting of relevant College Heads of Research together with researchers, with the help of an independent facilitator, to develop and agree the concept for this Institute. At this stage the Academic Leader can be recruited as per the other Research Institutes.

9

EHSI is currently receiving five-year PRTLI-funding, 2010-2016. This follows the advice of PA Consulting (2011) Assessment of the Industry Research Requirements for an Entertainment Technology Centre. Final Report, conducted for Enterprise Ireland on behalf of DIT. 11 AHSS stands for arts, humanities and social sciences. The final name of this Institute needs to be agreed. 10

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Within the term of this plan, it is intended to review the performance of each Research Institute against the DIT Strategic Plan and appropriate national and international benchmarks, with a view to confirming the continued existence of the research institute(s) and identifying any new potential ones. The Academic and Research Committee of SLT will monitor performance on a regular basis. Building on the previous research strategies, Figure 1 below describes the relationship between Research Institutes, research areas and designated research centres, and their anticipated trajectory over the next few years. Figure 2 describes the relationship between Schools/Colleges, Research Institutes, designated centres, researchers, and DRE. Academic staff, researchers and research students have a “solid line” reporting relationship to their respective School/College, and a “dotted line” shared research relationship with the Research Institute. Figure 1 Strategic Development of Research Trajectory

Figure 2 Relationships between Researchers, Schools/Colleges and Centres/Institutes

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4.2.2 DIT Designated Research Centres A DIT Designated Research Centre (DDRC) is a group of researchers focused primarily on topics that are central to a single School or College. Being a DIT Designated Research Centre is recognition of significant research achievement. A DDRC organises and manages its research in order to achieve coherence, scale, competitiveness & sustainability and be benchmarked against international criteria. Some research centres are closely aligned with a single School while others bring together researchers from across several Schools and disciplines. Ultimately, it is important to ensure the smooth governance of each DIT Designated Research Centre through alignment with a School. A DIT Designated Research Centre typically organises intensive workshops, jointly supervises graduate students, identifies research funding opportunities, prepares research bids, and carries out other activities supporting their research programmes. Consideration should be given to identifying opportunities for greater collaboration with and/or merger with other research centres in DIT and the formation of new centres. The aim is to ensure greater sustainability and success. Within the term of this plan, it is intended to review the criteria and process for designation of Research Centres against appropriate national and international benchmarks with a view to confirming the continued existence of centres and identifying any new potential centres. There are currently 19 Designated Research Centres at DIT.

4.2.3 Research Groups Research Groups are informal clusters of researchers, who share common research interests and wish to collaboratively develop their research activity.

4.2.4 Individual Researchers DIT recognises that research is also conducted by committed researchers who reside in Schools and in non-academic units of DIT, and who may not currently be affiliated with either a Designated Research Centre or a research group. The current research climate is extremely competitive. For the foreseeable future it is likely that national policy will continue to seek to concentrate and consolidate research activity in and to direct funding towards fields of verifiable national strength and “centres of excellence�. Individual researchers will find it increasingly difficult to secure sufficient research opportunities in this environment. Therefore, DIT researchers are strongly encouraged to affiliate with the most appropriate DIT Designated Research Centre or research group.

4.2.5 Academic Staff Researchers and Research Students All academic staff and research students will have their principal appointment/registration in a School/College. All researchers are encouraged to associate him/herself with a designated Research Centre or research group, which in turn is aligned with a Research Institute. By working together in this way, academic staff will form a critical mass of similarly-focused researchers capable of achieving higher success and sustainability while research students benefit

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from working in a research-rich environment which is essential for the formation of world class PhD students. The relationship between researchers, schools and colleges with research areas, centres and institutes are best described as a matrix structure. It is common in higher education that academics and research students are appointed to and registered in schools/colleges and carry out their research in research centres/institutes.

4.3 Research Institutes There are five core components to each Research Institute:     

A full-time Academic Leader will champion and lead the activities of the Research Institute; A Leadership Team which will be a representative body of researchers; All the researchers aligned with that institute; An Advisory Board; Research Institute Forum.

Each Research Institute will be expected to operate in a business-like manner developing a clear and ambitious research programme, identifying funding opportunities, national and international partnerships, and creating international research alliance. Each Research Institute will organise seminars, workshops and exhibitions, and participate in the Graduate Research School Doctoral Committee.

4.3.1 Academic Leader The Academic Leader champions the Research Institute and its research activities, providing leadership to ensure it grows research outputs, (including peer publications, commercialisation and HPSUs, policy interventions, etc.) capacity, capability and profile in its cognate research areas. His/her task is to provide strategic and academic direction to the Research Institute; s/he should be an expert in the field, and should have a track record comparable to peers in other universities. The academic leader will be appointed by open competition, within DIT, for a fixed 5 year term12. This will be a secondment post, and report to the Director of Research and Enterprise. The continuation of these posts is dependent upon the outcomes of the review of the performance of Research Institutes. S/he will be supported by the Directorate of Research and Enterprise which will provide specialist knowledge about research opportunities, research management, finance and budgeting, contracts, commercialisation, etc. DRE will help with project management and to profile and “sell” the Research Institute publicly.

4.3.2 Leadership Team The Leadership Team will meet at least 8 times a year to ensure that the Research Institute meets its targets, secures funding, establishes strong liaison with external stakeholders, develops a programme of research training, develops strong collaborations and engagement with other

12

EHSI is currently receiving five-year PRTLI-funding, 2010-2016; the position of Academic Leader will then become openly competitive within DIT.

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research organisations and industry, and grows consultancy, commercial activity and/or public interventions. The Leadership Team is comprised of representatives from each of the DIT Designated Research Centres, groups and individual researchers affiliated to the Research Institute and DRE. It will be chaired by the Academic Leader of the Research Institute. College Heads of Research will be exofficio members of each Leadership Team. Representatives of DRE, Hothouse and Finance will attend, as required.

4.3.3 Advisory Board – optional It is recommended that each Research Institute establish an Advisory Board to provide scientific and commercial intelligence, advice on strategic direction, and ensure the quality and relevance of the research agenda and activity for the scientific community, society and the economy. It should comprise national and international experts, and business, community and other external stakeholders who can help identify new research developments and funding opportunities, and advise on the quality and relevance of its research activities. Membership is pro-bono.

4.3.4 Research Institute Forum Each Research Institute will hold meetings of all researchers once a year, or as often as required, to discuss research opportunities, share research activity and outputs/outcomes, and identify new opportunities. These meetings will be chaired, in annual rotation, by a College Director appointed by the President; this will facilitate close interaction between the Colleges and the Research Institutes. Secretariat will be provided by the Academic Leader of the Research Institute. DRE will be represented.

4.4 Research Facility Management Figure 3 below distinguishes between the roles and responsibilities of the Directorate of Finance and Resources (DFR), DRE and Colleges with respect to research activity and facility management. In the future, there will be a clear distinction between research activity and the buildings in which that activity occurs. In other words, there will be a disaggregation between research activity and buildings/facility management. The Directorate of Finance and Resources will have responsibility for the management of all research facilities, as it currently does for all buildings in DIT; a buildings manager will be assigned to this role and a protocol established. Discussions will take place as to the best way to manage this process, including administrative and technical support and specialist equipment maintenance and operation. Grangegorman will provide a fully integrated suite of research facilities for all DIT researchers including laboratories and office accommodation, for research students, contract researchers, technical and administrative staff. Facilities for research support will also be provided for each Research Institute and the Directorate of Research and Enterprise. For the purposes of this research action plan, it is proposed that the new building will be called the Greenway Building.

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Figure 3 Responsibilities for Research Facilities, Institutes and Centres

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4.5 Research Governance Structure This section outlines the roles and responsibilities with respect to research and enterprise. 

Research and Enterprise Forum

Colleges and Schools

Directorate of Research and Enterprise

Senior Leadership Team (Academic and Research Committee) (SLT/ARC)

Governing Body

In addition, it is proposed to strengthen the link between Colleges and DRE.

4.5.1 Research and Enterprise Forum The Research and Enterprise Forum (REF) is a consultative body comprised of all research active staff. Its primary function will be to ensure a shared understanding of research and research related issues, maintain wide communications between researchers and DRE, and to advise DRE and Schools/Colleges on all matters relating to research, research training, technology and knowledge transfer, and entrepreneurial training. The REF will meet at least once per semester. All active researchers are entitled to attend REF meetings. It will be chaired by one of the Academic Leaders of the Research Institutes, and will rotate annually. DRE will provide the secretariat to the REF. Recommendations from the REF will be submitted to DRE for inclusion on the agenda of the Academic and Research Committee of SLT. The REF will form an integral part of the DRE annual research planning cycle. Dropbox and webcourses will be considered as possible resources to facilitate wider dissemination.

4.5.2 College Head of Research The College Head of Research (CHoR) plays a critical role in helping create a strong teaching/research nexus and vibrant research environment for all academic staff and students, linking the work of Schools/Colleges and the DIT research strategy/Directorate of Research and Enterprise. Other research supports, described elsewhere in this document, have a direct impact on academic schools. These supports (teaching relief, further qualification support, sabbatical support) depend upon Heads of School and College Directors for successful and profitable implementation. The CHoR will be the key person ensuring implementation of the DIT Research Plan in the Colleges.

4.5.3 Strengthening the link between the Colleges and DRE Developing and maintaining a vibrant and sustainable research community depends upon an excellent working relationship and good communications between Research Institutes, School/Colleges and DRE. It is essential that there is a shared understanding of the policy context in which DIT and DIT researchers operate, and the appropriate infrastructural supports that DIT can provide. There are a number of different elements to this relationship.

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4.5.3.1 Head of School Group Heads of School are critical stakeholders in the research infrastructure of DIT; as part of their responsibilities, they provide an essential support for researchers and research students. The Director of Research and Enterprise, and members of the DRE Executive, will support and meet with Heads of Schools approximately twice a year to develop and review mechanisms for implementation of the RAP, and discuss research matters. 4.5.3.2 Research Operations Group (ROG) The Research Operations Group will be established to resolve day–to–day operational issues that arise. The group will consist of the CHoRs, Academic Leaders of Research Institutes, the Head of Research, and the Head of the Graduate Research School. Other groups such as DRE, Finance and HR will be asked to attend as required. The Head of Research will chair the ROG, and provide the secretariat. The ROG will discuss and align agreed research targets with Colleges and Research Institutes. The ROG will work with and support Colleges in developing mechanisms for implementation of the RAP. The group should meet once a month. 4.5.3.3 Graduate Research School Board The Graduate Research School Board is a subcommittee of Academic Council with responsibility for the quality assurance of graduate research at DIT and developing and monitoring the administration of DIT’s regulations for postgraduate studies through research. Membership is drawn from Colleges, support services and Research Institutes, and is approved by Academic Council and fully described in the Regulations for Postgraduate Study by Research.

4.5.4 Senior Leadership Team (Academic and Research Committee) The Academic and Research Committee (ARC) is a subcommittee of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) at which issues related to academic and research policy are raised and discussed. The ARC is composed of the President (chairperson), Director of Academic Affairs, Director of Research and Enterprise, and the four College Directors. Its terms of reference are: “To ensure that DIT develops and maintains an academic portfolio appropriate to its mission and vision; to ensure adequate support for the maintenance of standards and systems of teaching and learning, including curriculum development, modularisation and quality assurance; to ensure that DIT develops and maintains appropriate levels of research, scholarship & innovation performance across the Institute, and to ensure integration between research and innovation and teaching and learning.” 13 The committee brings forward recommendations to SLT for approval. The ARC will regularly monitor performance of the RAP, and review the activities of Research Institutes annually. Recommendations from the Research and Enterprise Forum (REF) will be submitted to DRE for inclusion on the agenda of the ARC.

13

Terms of Reference of SLT Sub-Committees, Approved by SLT on 3 November 2011.

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4.5.5 Governing Body As the overall legal authority in DIT, the Governing Body is responsible for the strategic direction of DIT and, ultimately, has responsibility for ensuring the implementation of the DIT Strategy.

4.6 Researchers, Research Students and Schools/Colleges As mentioned above (section 4.2.5), all academic staff, researchers and research students have their primary employment/affiliation in a School/College. Research information in terms of programmes, projects, earnings etc. will be reported through CHoRs to College Executives and Research Committees. Active researchers (whole-time and CID, post-doctoral fellows etc.14) are timetabled by their respective Head of School, and should attend School meetings and engage in teaching, including research student supervision. It is recommended that active researchers teach undergraduate and masters students, especially first year students, to underpin DIT’s commitment to research-informed teaching and to act as role-models for students and colleagues. Active researchers should be mentors to colleagues, especially new and early career and those who wish to re-start their research careers. Research supervisors and research students are also automatically members of the DIT Graduate Research School, which organises an annual postgraduate conference, occasional seminars and other events. Research supervisors and research students should take an active role in these activities. Colleges and Schools will introduce and implement measures to actively support academic staff, researchers and research students to engage in/renew their research, and to develop their research activities in line with the Research Action Plan, and including the initiatives indicated in Chapter 6.

4.7 Research Integrity and Ethics Committee 15

The Research Integrity and Ethics Committee will become the Research Integrity and Ethics Committee (RIEC) in line with national and EU policy. It will formulate ethics policy and procedures for all research and scholarship across DIT: 

To provide all DIT researchers and scholars, staff and students, with the resources and “best practice” models for understanding and addressing ethical issues which arise in their research and scholarship

To promote responsible research and scholarship, in all academic and organisational units and in centres/institutes, across DIT.

14

Employment contracts include stipulation for teaching responsibilities. Post-graduate students will be expected, as part of their structured doctoral studies, to do tutor-demonstrating, lead seminars, and participate in short-funded research projects such as Innovation Partnerships or other small projects, if appropriate, etc. 15 Research Integrity and research integrity training are increasingly seen as a core part of the public accountability of research. National and international discussions suggest that the identification of research integrity will be an important influencing factor in the decisions to allocate funding in the future.

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It does this through the drafting of appropriate policies and procedures, and by oversight and monitoring of research practice across the Institute, and by the sponsorship of seminars and similar activities in order to better promote awareness and understanding of research ethics/responsible scholarship. Given the anticipated increase in research activity, it is proposed to review the operationalization of the REC over the next year. Consideration will also be given to potential synergies in the context of the technological university alliance. The RIEC will henceforth report to Academic Council. Revised Terms of References for the current RIEC are indicated in Section 13.5.1. This will need to be 16 expanded to include issues around research integrity as per national and EU guidelines .

16

European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, European Science Foundation and ALLEA (All European Academies),March 2011, www.esf.org; Ensuring Integrity in Irish Research, 2010, www.ria.ie.

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5 Anticipated Outcomes and Impact, and Risk 5.1 Summary of Initiatives The DIT Research Action Plan 2013-2015 will put in place the human and financial resources to buildup DIT academic research over the next 3-5 years, in line with the DIT Strategic Plan. The emphasis is on enhancing DIT academic research activity and outputs, and encouraging greater integration between teaching and research. The proposal focuses on pooling human and financial resources in 4 Research Institutes to maximise capacity and capability. In this way, DIT can better aggregate activity and outputs, and be a more attractive and higher quality research environment for researchers and research students and meet the TU designation criteria. The Research Institutes provide the best way to enhance capacity and gain national/ international recognition/ attractiveness and reach sustainable levels. The main principals involve:   

        

Second 4 Academic Leaders for each Research Institute; Appoint 4 Arnold Graves Post-doctoral Researchers; Appoint 4 Fiosraigh Senior Research Fellows, with proven track record of research leadership and capable of winning funding which includes PhD studentships, is best use of limited resources; Appoint 10 Fiosraigh PhD scholarships (6 + 417) in 2013 to provide an additional boost to PhD numbers as DIT does not have sufficient capacity to generate sufficient students on its own; Support for an additional equivalent 8 co-funded research scholarships; Timetable support for DIT researchers; Sabbatical support for established researchers, and academic staff wishing to re-energise their research; Support for staff undertaking research qualifications; Support for (revised) Research Integrity and Ethics Committee Research support funding, including equipment support, will provide some seed funding; Undergraduate initiatives aim to strengthen the link between teaching and research, and encourage DIT students to pursue postgraduate research studies; A Research Investment Programme accompanies this plan (see Table 10 below)

5.2 Risk The broad focus of the Research Action Plan is on increasing PhD student numbers, supporting active researchers and growing the number of active researchers. It is a very ambitious plan to meet ambitious targets based upon the strategic objectives for research which have been set out in the

17

6 = the normal annual Fiosraigh Scholarships + 4 additional under the investment plan.

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Dublin Institute of Technology Strategic Plan 2011-2014 (approved by Governing Body, 20 July 2011).18 The consequences/risk in not achieving these targets are as follows:          

Decline in research capacity and capability in terms of scale and international recognition; Reduction in the quality of all our programmes, Reduction in our ability to attract funding; Reduction in our capacity to attract high quality faculty and good students; Reduction in our capacity to provide useful knowledge for our various stakeholders; Risk to the reputation of DIT; Failure to meet the TU criteria and designation; Reduction in the quality research training environment for all researchers; Inability to continue the investment programme and the decline of the local research environment; Knock-on consequences for the range of initiatives and research positions identified as part of the RAP.

5.2.1 Mitigating risk The Research Action Plan is a holistic approach to building research capacity and capability in DIT. It brings together a series of actions and initiatives, which together represent the best strategy for meeting the strategic objectives and targets approved by DIT Governing Body. In addition, the RAP includes many actions to mitigate the risks identified above, and monitor progress against the targets. This includes: 

The Research Action Plan, and achieving success, is based on the concept of One-DIT and a partnership between Schools/Colleges, Directorate of Research and Enterprise, and other Units/Directorates in DIT to achieve the objectives identified (See Preface, p6);

Four Research Institutes will be formed to bring greater strategic coherence, help build capacity and capability, and ensure resources are used in the most efficient manner. Accordingly,

18

o

A full-time Academic Leader will be appointed to champion and lead the activities of each Research Institute, helping to enhance capacity, capability, visibility and success (see Section 4.3.1);

o

The Leadership Team will comprise representatives of all research centres, groups and individual researchers aligned with the Research Institute. It will meet at least 10 times during the year to help ensure the Research Institute meets its targets, secures funding, establishes strong liaison with external stakeholders, develops a programme of research training, develops strong collaborations and engagement with other research organisations and industry, and grows consultancy, commercial activity and/or public interventions. CHORs are members of the Leadership Team (see Section 4.3.2);

DIT Strategic Plan 2011-2014

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Building Sustainable Research in DIT

o

The Advisory Board will provide scientific and commercial intelligence, advice on strategic direction, and ensure the quality and relevance of the research agenda and activity for the scientific community, society and the economy (see Section 4.3.3);

o

The Research Institute Forum will be chaired, in annual rotation, by a College Director appointed by the President, and bring together all researchers aligned with the Research Institute. It will meet once a year, or as often as required, to discuss research opportunities, share research activity and outputs/outcomes, and identify new opportunities (see Section 4.3.4).

The Research Operations Group will be chaired by the Head of Research, and comprised of the College Heads of Research and the academic leaders of the Research Institutes. It will meet monthly to respond to/resolve operational matters, and discuss and align agreed research targets with Colleges and Research Institutes (See Section 4.5.3.2);

The Head of School Group, chaired by the Director of Research and Enterprise, will meet approximately twice a year to develop and review mechanisms for implementation of the RAP, and discuss research matters (See Section 4.5.3.1);

The Research and Enterprise Forum (REF) will be a consultative body comprised of all research active staff to ensure a shared understanding of research and research related issues, maintain wide communications between researchers and DRE, and to advise DRE and Schools/Colleges on all matters relating to research, research training, technology and knowledge transfer, and entrepreneurial training. The REF will meet at least once per semester (See Section 4.5.1);.

The College Head of Research (CHoR) is the key person ensuring implementation of the Research Action Plan in the Colleges; the CHoR plays a critical role in helping create a strong teaching/research nexus and vibrant research environment for all academic staff and students, linking the work of Schools/Colleges and DRE (see Section 4.5.2);

The Directorate of Finance and Resources has responsibility for the management of all research facilities; a buildings manager will be assigned to this role and a protocol established (see Section 4.4);

The Graduate Research School Board has responsibility for the quality assurance of graduate research at DIT and developing and monitoring the administration of DIT’s regulations for postgraduate studies through research. Membership is drawn from Colleges, support services and Research Institutes, and is approved by Academic Council (See Section, 4.5.3.3 and Regulations for Postgraduate Study by Research);

The Academic and Research Committee, a subcommittee of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) on which all Directors are represented, will regularly monitor performance of the RAP, and review the activities of Research Institutes annually. Recommendations from REF will be submitted to DRE for inclusion on the agenda of the ARC (See Section 4.5.4);

Colleges and Schools have an important role to play in actively supporting academic staff, researchers and research students to engage in/renew their research, and to develop their research activities in line with the Research Action Plan. A wide range of initiatives are indicated in Chapter 6, including timetable relief which can operate in parallel with other reliefs such as those bought in through research projects.

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Research Integrity and Ethics Committee will work with researchers to ensure compliance with national and European policy.

Directorate of Research and Enterprise is reorganising its individual roles and responsibilities to better support the Research Action Plan, with roles mapped against specific objectives, e.g. national and European funding, graduate research student recruitment and marketing, communications, budgeting and auditing support, research performance monitoring, commercialisation of research outputs, research integrity and ethics, etc.

All appointments will be made under the remit of the Research Staffing Model (RSM), approved by HRC, which ensures that all contracts are dependent upon funding being available (See Section 10.3).

The RAP is fully funded from DIT’s own funds to year 3; continuation will be scaled to success to date and prognosis. The RAP will be continually monitored by the Academic and Research Committee (See Section 4.5.4).

A full review of the Research Action Plan and each Research Institute, against the DIT Strategic Plan and appropriate national and international benchmarks, will be completed during Q2 2016. The Academic and Research Committee of SLT will also monitor performance on a regular basis (see Section 12.6). As new circumstances arise, these factors will be taken into account during the regular monitoring process, and the plan adjusted accordingly.

5.3 Research Implementation Plan and Targets This document proposes a number of actions and initiatives designed to boost and support research and academic staff in DIT. These actions are supported by an investment programme. The emphasis is on supporting DIT academic staff; thus, the costs divide approx. 70% for supporting DIT research excellence and 30% for attracting new research talent over the duration of the plan. 100% of the funding is used to support academic staff, active researchers and research students, working in Schools/Colleges across DIT. Using the Technological University criteria and working backwards from the target date of 2017, Table 3 shows targets required to meet these criteria with respect to research activity. The targets are based on a combination of calculations derived from projected students numbers, TU criteria, SSTI/research investment ratios and submissions to EI.19 The total cost is projected to be €7.3M over the lifetime of the Plan (2013-2017). This comes from DIT’s own externally-earned resources. Recruitment of the Fiosraigh Senior Research Fellows, Arnold Graves post-doctoral scholars and any other positions with the exception of the Academic Leaders will be by public, open competition. Salaries for these posts and the Acting Allowances for the Academic Leaders will be covered by external earnings, and will conform to national policy, the Employment Control Framework and the

19

Calculations were used to underpin projections for the Research Staffing Model (HRC, October 2012).

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Research Staffing Model. These posts are fixed term positions and are subject to the availability of external funding and will be reviewed within this plan. There is no intention that posts will be funded through the Recurrent Grant.

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Enterprise

Research Outputs

Human Capital

Table 3 DIT Research Targets 2017 Category

2010

2012

2013

2014

% of Academic Staff with PhD[i]

24%

39% (351)

Research Student*

367

Principal Investigator

2015

2016

2017

298

481

521

561

601

641

274

54

66

78

90

102

114

128

74

Researcher, Post Doc Researcher, Research Fellow

28

34

41

48

55

62

69

41

Researcher, Post Doc Researcher, Research Fellow (Contract)

88

100

118

140

158

176

200

112

45%

Adjustment Required

65%

Research Technician/ Assistant/Admin. /Manager

30

35

45

55

65

75

89

59

Total Research Staff

200

235

282

333

380

427

486

286

Research Income (â‚Źm)

20

10

10

14

19

27

35

15

Publications per year[ii]

500

588

676

764

852

940

1,026

526

20,540

24,140

27,740

31,340

34,940

38,540

42,148

21,608

Citations (since 1981) [iii] Spin outs[iv]

1

3

2

3

3

4

4

3

Licenses/Options/Assignments

8

10

8

8

9

10

10

2

Research Agreements with Industry

4

1

4

4

5

5

5

1

Invention Disclosures

24

23

24

26

28

30

32

8

Priority Patent Applications

8

5

8

9

10

12

12

4

PCT Patent Applications

4

3

4

5

5

6

6

2

No of participants Hothouse New Frontiers Programme

28

30

30

No of programmes Hothouse New Frontiers Programme

2

2

2

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