College of Science, Engineering and Food Science

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1 Δεκ 2012 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 10 μήνες)

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University College Cork

College of
Science, Engineering and Food
Science

Strategic Plan

2009
-

2012
















1

Contents



1.

Executive Summary

2


2
.

Context

3


3
.

The Best Student Experience Possible

4


4
.

Teaching and
Learning

5



5
.

Planned Student Numbers and Programme Changes

7


6.

The Best Possible Place to Work

7


7.

Leading in Research

8


8.

Actively Engaged with the Outside World

10


9.

Sufficient Resources for our Ambitions

10




























2



1.

Executiv
e Summary


1.1.

The College of Science, Engineering and Food Science
(SEFS)
is the second largest College with
2800 undergraduate and 800 postgraduate students, and 250 academic and 150 support staff.
The
College
We
encompass the

full range of
engineering, foo
d science, environmental and
earth
sciences,
life sciences, computer science and information technology, and the key fundamental and
enabling sciences of chemistry, mathematics and physics.

1.2.

Our essential mission is to
provide

taught programmes and carry o
ut research of the highest quality
as measured by international standards, being responsive to the needs of society while at the same
time being directed towards the fundamental search for knowledge and understanding in all aspects
of our activities.

1.3.

The
amalgamation of the three constituent Faculties into one College in SEFS has been one of the
most challenging aspects of the university restructuring project, simultaneously requiring the
introduction of new governance, management and administrative struct
ures and the development of
a unified view of the best possible future path for the College in the 21
st

century. This reform
programme is not yet complete and an essential objective of our strategic plan is to establish the
framework by which these ambitio
ns will be achieved. In particular, we have agreed to establish a
school structure that will allow for greater devolution and autonomy within the academic
environment.


1.4.

We confirm our support for the concept of UCC as one university of four Colleges, and i
ndicate our
commitment to continued interactions with our sister Colleges through interdisciplinary programmes
of study and research.

1.5.

We recognize that the experience our students have of the
University

lies at the heart of our
endeavour and we
will

con
t
inually

seek ways of improving in this domain. Our taught programmes

and our teaching methods

will be

subject to regular review and we will encourage our staff to
undertake professional development programmes in teaching and learning.

We will undertake
reg
ular consultation with the student body and ensure that it is represented in the governance
structures of the College.

1.6.

We intend to grow the proportion of postgraduate students in the College from 20% to 30% while
maintaining the undergraduate student numb
ers relatively constant apart from increases in a small
number of emerging areas

of strategic importance
. Thus, during the period of the plan we will
continue to deliver undergraduate programmes to at most 3000 students and increase postgraduate
numbers to

1200.

1.7.

We are the leading College for research,
encompassing

a very high proportion of the
university’s
research income, the
vast majority of the principal i
nvestigators and postdoctoral researchers, and
over two
-
thirds of the university’s research student
s. We are associated with the
three

university

research institutes


T
yndall
National
Institute

(TNI)
,
the BioS
ciences Institute

(BSI)

and
the
Environmental Research Institute

(ERI
)



w
hich provide the working environment for much of our
research and for m
any of our research students
. Our

research
has been recognized by publication
in top ranked journal
s

and conferences and
by
numerous nat
ional and international awards
. O
ur
am
bition is to become a world
-
rank
ing research College.

1.8.

In all
aspects of our work

(
academic
programmes, teaching and learning, the student experience,
finance,
research, outreach), we will
organize
on two axes
,

with the
College Office at the centre
,

interacting
in the
vertical

direction

with the offices of the Registrar
,
Vice President
s
,

and Bursar

and
with the schools
,

and in the horizontal direction with our sister Colleges. We will develop a network
of individuals taking on leadership roles

in these activities
.

1.9.

W
here appropriate,
we

will continue to develop links in taught programmes a
nd research with the
Cork Institute of Technology, building on well
-
established programmes in biomedical sciences and
architecture, joint research projects, especially in ICT and environmental sciences, and recent
collaborations on the establishment of a S
cience and Technology Teaching and Learning Centre,
and a Maritime Energy Research Campus.




3

1.10.

We will maintain and further develop our strong links with industry (including through student
placement, graduate employment, continuing professional development,
and research and
development activities) with parti
cular focus on the foo
d,
biotechnology,
pharmaceutical and bio
-
pharma
ceutical
, ICT,
forestry
and energy sectors.

1.11.

We will significantly enhance our external focus guided by an External Advisory Board.

1.12.

We a
re conscious
of
our social obligations to the less favoured in our society and abroad. We will
develop and implement a strong programme of support for access to study in science
, engineering

and technology
,

especially through our SIF
-
funded Science and Tec
hnology Teaching and Learn
ing
Centre. We will also

seek opportunities to

bring forward

science and engineering based
initiat
ives

in
teaching and learning and research

in a global development context
.


2.

Context


2.1.

During the past 10
-
15 years the Irish econom
y has seen a significant shift in focus from traditional
rural occupations, and employment in manufacturing industry, towards a more developed services
sector and modern industrial base requiring a workforce with higher levels of education, technical
skill
s and qualifications. There has been a period of sustained economic growth, with virtually full
employment and a substantial increase in overall prosperity. Much has depended on inward
investment in high technology industry, attracted to a large extent by
tax incentives and the
presence of a well
-
educated young workforce. In order to meet future needs

in these industries, and
in indigenous high technology SMEs,
it is essential that the population of highly qualified scientific
and

engineering

graduates is a
ugmented, and that their training is moved upwards towards
postgraduate levels.

2.2.

A series of reports from government agencies, including the
National Development Plan,
the

Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation (SSTI),
the
Enterprise Strategy Group

Report


Ahead of the Curve”
and the

Forfás
Higher Education R&D Survey 2006

etc., has clearly identified
the key factors in
the national
respon
se

to these challenges, in particular, a grea
tly increased focus
on research supported by national competitive funding mechanisms. One of the desired outcomes
has been encapsulated in
the ambition to double overall
the number of research students in the
system, or more precisely at local level in
SEF
S
, to convert the mix of students from the current
80:20 split between undergraduate and

postgraduate
students to a 70:30 ratio

2.3.

Much of the new investment (through Science Foundations Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the
Programme for Research in Third Level I
nstitutions, etc.) in this “fourth level” of education and
research has, of necessity, been in the sciences, food and health,
environment,
engineering and
technology. It is in these areas that the most significant economic returns may be expected through
j
ob creation, inward investment and indigenous start
-
up compani
es. We in
SEFS are acutely
conscious of our obligations as leaders in the UCC response to these imperatives.

2.4.

At the same time we fully recognise the need for UCC to engage with the community at

large to
demonstrate that university education provides the best possible return on the investment of
resources it receives, and that it establishes a solid foundation for the stable and sustainable growth
of the Irish economy. A concomitant factor is the

requirement
for UCC to contribute to the
generation of

a technologically aware

entrepreneurial cadre through substantial inves
tment in a
UCC business school that

is
well connected with the local and national business sector, and the
embedding of a culture

of technology transfer within
science

and
engineering
.

2.5.

We are equally conscious of the compelling need to ensure that Irish society benefits as a whole
from the development of third and fourth level education. We argue that the support and
development of
science and technology alone, in the absence of a clearly defined and focussed
strategy for continued support of the arts and humanities
,

will not only lead to an impoverishment of
society and the loss of our unique cultural heritage but will also prevent
us from embracing the new
multi
-
cultural dimensions of the Ireland of the 21
st

century.
In this regard we welcome
the
opportunity to participate in
the HEA/IRCHSS Foresight Exercise for the Humanities and Social
Sciences.




4

2.6.

We recognise the perspectives on
our work in the sciences and engineering that may be offered by
experts in the other Colleges, including those specialising in business, management and marketing,
entrepreneurship, ethics, sociology, philosophy and history. On the other hand, SEFS has much

to
offer to the other Colleges in the development among their students of technical skills, technological
awareness, and the understanding of science, which will assist them in becoming fully participating
members of an increasingly technologically orient
ed society.

2.7.

We have substantial expertise in the areas identified for support in the SSTI: medicine and health,
food and agriculture, and the environment, marine and energy sectors. The connections are clear
between these and the major 21
st

century challe
nges of food production, climate change, disease
control and eradication, environmental protection, and sustainable energy, and our ambition is no
less than to play a significant part in facing these challenges.


3.

The Best Student Experience Possible


3.1.

Thr
oughout their careers at UCC students experience the university in a wide range of different
ways


through their studies, their memberships of clubs and societies, their sporting and
recreational activities, their friends and classmates, their interaction

with the university
administration, their use of the support services, and so on. The recent establishment of an office of
Vice President for the Student Experience provides a focus for all of these interactions and it is
anticipated that it will lead to
a new dimension of coordination, coherent delivery and overall
improvement in all of these areas.
W
e will identify in the College a person with responsibility for
leadership in the student experience and we will ensure that

each school

does likewise. These

staff
will form the basis of a strategic and operational working group at College level which will liaise with
the office of the Vice President
for the Student Experience
and with its counterparts in the other
Colleges.
We
will establish a College
-
level c
ommittee with responsibility for the Student Experience

3.2.

The student experience begins, in fact, with the first contact that potential students have with UCC,
normally during the course of their second level studies. It is essential that t
he early contacts
are
positive and
welcoming, and encourage the best students to regard UCC as their natural first choice
university. We will identify in the College Office a person with responsibility for the strategic
development and implementation of a coordinated approa
ch to “outreach” in all its various
manifestations


schools visits, engagement with parents groups and guidance counsellors, Open
Days, exhibitions and displays, science and technology promotion, and so on.
We
will establish a
College
-
level c
ommittee with

responsibility for
Outreach.
We will coordinate our activities with the
office of the Registrar and with the other stakeholders in outreach, including the major SFI
-
funded
research centres (
TNI
, the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, etc.) whose budgets incl
ude specific
provision for outreach, the professional organisations (such as Engineers Ireland and it@cork), and
we will build a network of participants within the
school
s.
We will develop our interactions with
second level through the joint UCC
-
CIT Scienc
e and Technology Teaching and Learning Centre.
In
some areas such as Computer S
cience, Mathematics and

the
Life Sciences
, the second level
student experience of UCC includes on campus “enrichment” activities for most talented students.
We will support and
encourage these activities and aim to extend their scope more widely.

3.3.

The first year at UCC is the most crucial. We will assist students in adapting to u
niversity life by
extending
first year

mentoring
schemes
to the College as a whole, by
broadening
our
Peer Assisted
Learning (PAL) scheme
to a larger cohort of students
, by introducing new technologies, such as
interactive learning and computer
-
aided technologies, into first year and by working with
our schools

to ensure that the best possible teaching exp
ertise is deployed in the first year classes.

3.4.

We will encourage
school
s to develop programmes that identify the weakest and the strongest
students at an early stage of their studies and make appropriate interventions at both extremes.

3.5.

We will
engage in co
nsultation with the student body at all levels and
ensure the representation of
students in the governan
ce of the College and its schools
.

3.6.

The quality of teaching space is low in a number of areas of the College as a consequence of lack
of investment in m
aintenance and refurbishment. This has been the result of a reduction in real
terms of government investment in the undergraduate teaching mission of the universities. We will



5

address this through the development of

a

schedule of refurbishment of College t
eaching space
coordinated with the office of Buildings and Estates. We will also take the lead in support of
unive
rsity
-
wide initiatives to improve the quality of teaching space, as well as seeking to influence
government policy in this regard.

3.7.

We will con
tinue to support the programmes that currently offer work placement and seek to expand
these opportunities for students into other programmes. We will co
ntinue to support our
placement
officers and the Careers Office in providing training and placement.

3.8.

A
n essential feature of the developing university is its progressive internationalisation. While the
mature postgraduate international student may find it relatively easy to assimilate into a research
group or
school
, undergraduate international students re
quire
more

focussed support. In particular,
with the recent recruitment of substantial numbers of students from China under 2+2 or 4+1
schemes we expect (autumn 2008) the introduction of a significant cohort of Chinese students into a
small number of progr
ammes. We welcome all our international students, recognising that their
presence enriches our campus and presents opportunities to Irish students to enhance their own
experiences of student life through growing awareness of their place in international so
ciety. We do
not underestimate the challenges of integrating internat
ional students
,
and we will work closely with
the relevant
school
s, the Careers Office, and the International Education Office to ensure that they
have the best possible experience during

their studies at UCC.

In particular, we will provide specific
resources to support the placement of our growing number of international students.

3.9.

W
e will encourage
school
s to track graduates more closely, to maintain contact with them and use
their knowle
dge of the workplace to inform our curriculum, to engage them in lifelong learning, to
promote their participation in the activities of the College through the alumni association, and in
essence to regard their time at UCC as the first step in a lifelong s
tudent experience.


4.

Teaching and Learning


4.1.

Over the last ten years or so there has been an increasing focus at UCC on teachi
ng and learning.
The
establishment
of Ionad Bairre and NAIRTL and the appointment of a Vice President for
Teaching and Learning h
ave provided a welcome impetus in this domain. We will identify in the
College a person with responsibility for leadership in teaching and learning and we will ensure that
each
school

does likewise. These staff will form the basis of a strategic and operat
ional working
group at College level which will liaise with the office of the Vice President and with its counterparts
in the other Colleges.
We
will establish a College
-
level c
ommittee with responsibility for Teaching
and Learning.

4.2.

The Bologna programme l
ays new emphasis on curriculum design, pedagogy, learning outcomes
and assessment methods


in summary, a learn
er
-
centred

rather than teach
er
-
centred

approach to
higher education.

Moreover, for professional programmes such as engineering
,

accreditation by
the
professional bodies now requires
education to

masters level. All of these features present
challenges and opportunities
to which we will respond

in a spirit of positive engagement.

4.3.

We will provide programmes of study that retain flexibility of student

choice for as long as possible.
We will take every available opportunity to modernise the curriculum. We will investigate thoroughly
the viability of each programme of study and test whether it should be updated, refo
cused or
discontinued
.
We will provide

opportunities for students to take optional additional classes in a
language other than English and Irish.
We will pay particular attention to the quality of service
teaching within the College and between Colleges.

4.4.

We will continue to introduce new prog
rammes to take advantage of emerging opportunities (
in
areas
suc
h as energy
, environmental management,
ecological assessment, marine biology and
systems biology
). We will strongly encourage the development of further interdisciplinary
programmes, including

those

delivered in cooperation with our sister Coll
eges, and will ensure they

are supported by
strong

organisational and funding mechanisms. In all cases we will aim to provide
the maximum flexibility in curricula

and,
in particular
, we will develop mecha
nisms for

credit
accumulation
. We will continue to seek opportunities to develop joint programmes of study in



6

cooperation with our colleagues in CIT, building on the very successful programmes in biomedical
science and architecture.

4.5.

At all stages of the
un
dergraduate
curriculum we will strongly encourage
school
s to

provide a
research dimension

by engaging the students in research projects and involving research staff in
undergraduate teaching and project supervision. We will encourage the progressive associ
ation of
undergraduate students with specific research programmes, and where possible with specific
research clusters, as they move up to the senior years. We will ensure that each fourth year student
has the opportunity to engage in a substantial research

project. We will provide a range of
taught
and research masters
programmes
, for both UCC graduates and graduates of other universities
,
to
create opportunities
for advanced s
tudy in particular disciplines and for

refocusing and reorientation
of
career
dir
ection,. A high priority will be to develop masters programmes in those areas
immediately affected by the requirements of the professional bodies in relation to professional
accreditation under the Bologna accord. These strategies will lay the foundation f
or an increased
participation of UCC graduates in research and eventually in PhD programmes. In close
collaboration with the
school
s we will introduce a College Graduate School to coordinate the
administrative work of graduate education and to give our gra
duate students a sense of
identification with the College. We will continue to develop the structured PhD programme

in
collaboration with the office of the Dean of Graduate Studies.

4.6.

Where there is demand for our programmes that cannot be met by our current

structures or within
current resources we will work towards improving access. We will create taught diploma and
masters courses to cater for the emerging demand for Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
and will ensure that these are offered as flexib
ly as possible in order to make them accessible to
students who are in full
-
time employment. In particular, we will provide upskilling programmes for
secondar
y teachers through our
Science
and Technology
Teaching and Learning Centre. We will
continue to c
ollaborate with the Centre for Adult Continuing Education in providing pathways to
lifelong learning with appropriate levels of accreditation. In particular, we will develop mechanisms
for the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in order to facilitate wide
r access to our programmes.

4.7.

We will continue to exploit the use of technology in teaching and learning through a range of
applications
including

Blackboard, podcasting, interactive classroom technologies, online
assessments,
webcasting,
video
, and internet

applications
.
We will pay particular attention to the
use of such technologies in
support

of

distance and lifelong learning.

4.8.

We will work with the office of the Vice President

for Teaching and Learning

to develop short
programmes of induction into teachi
ng and learning at third level for incoming academic staff
,

and
through our
academic
promotion schemes
we will
encourage academic staff to participate in the
Certificate and Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.




7


5.

Planned
Student Numbers a
nd
Programme Changes


5.1.

We will keep undergraduate
student
numbers relatively constant

(2007/8 levels)
apart from
increases in a small number of emerging areas of strategic significance. Thus we will provide
courses for at most 3000 undergraduate students

wh
ile increasing
numbers
at postgraduate

level to
achieve a
70:30 ratio of undergraduate to postgraduate. This entails
the recruitment of
an additional
400 postgraduate students and we will maintain a high proportion of these in research degree
programmes.

5.2.

W
e will allow

incremental growth
of undergraduate student numbers
in areas of high demand ratio.
Degree programmes unable to sustain strong demand ratios wil
l be revised and, if necessary and
appropriate,
phased out.

5.3.

We will recruit substantial numbers of n
on
-
EU students, focusing on 2+2, 3+1 and 3+1+1
programmes, and particularly on students from Asia.

5.4.

We
will promote the
Bachelors degree programme in E
nergy
E
ngineering

(commenced September
2008).

5.5.

We will
promote the 4
-
year evening Bachelors degree programm
e in Environmental Management

(commenced September 2008)
, which replaces the 5
-
year programme in Environmental Studies.

5.6.

We will commence

the
planned Masters
programme in
Bioinformatics/
Computational Systems
Biology
.

5.7.

We will develop new focused Diploma, Hig
her Diploma and Masters programmes
,

on a flexible
schedule
,

to meet emerging demands.



6.

The Best Possible Place to Work


6.1.

We will introduce robust, collegial, and transparent decision
-
making structures throughout the
College, in compliance with Statute L, c
onstantly orienting the College towards the principles of
good governance.

6.2.

We have initiated the establishment of Schools of Life Sciences (jointly with the College of MH),
Food Science, Biological, Environmental and Earth Sciences, Engineering, Mathemati
cal Sciences,
Chemistry, Physics, and Computer Science and Information Technology and we recognise as
Associate Schools the School of the Human Environment (in the College of ACSSS) and the
Department of Food Business and Development (in the College of BL)
. We will establish and
support research clusters within and among the schools. Each school and cluster will up
-
date its
strategic plan annually and prepare an annual report, and these will be summarised in the Annual
Report of the Head of College.

6.3.

The Co
llege office will develop its interactions along two principal axes. In our main areas of
activity, including teaching and learning, the student experience, the working environment, research
and graduate studies, finance, and the external environment, we
will identify staff with specific
responsibilities reporting to the Head of College. These will include administrative staff, academic
staff as Vice Heads or Deans, and academic staff acting as Chairs of College standing committees.
These leaders will work

closely with the University administration


including the offices of the
Registrar, the Bursar, and the Vice Presidents


and will also work with those responsible for their
areas of responsibility within the
school
s
,

to build a vertically integrated net
work that provides the
best possible service to students and staff. We will also work closely in the horizontal direction with
our counterparts in our sister Colleges to ensure the continued development of UCC as one
university comprising four Colleges rat
her than four separate entities each pursuing its own path.


6.4.

We are committed to recruitment policies that ensure only candidates of the highest quality are
appointed at all levels.
We recognise the high student:staff ratios in the majority of areas of the

College and will seek to replace staff as they retire or resign, following a robust analysis of the
requirements of the
school
(s) involved. In
order to achieve a 70:30 undergraduate to postgraduate
ratio we
recognize the
need to substantially increase our

capacity for research supervision.




8

6.5.

We will ensure that positions of academic leadership in teaching and research are staffed
throughout the College. We will use vacancies arising through retirements or resignations to appoint
strategically in order to de
velop in areas of high potential for growth in postgraduate student
numbers, and will use the revenue from the additional students recruited at postgraduate level to
support strategic new positions. We will use the SFI Stokes initiative to bring forward pr
oleptic
appointments in strategic target areas, using predicted income streams from future retirements
, and
alternative income streams, where appropriate
.

6.6.

We will engage with research staff to establish mechanisms to permit them to engage more fully
with
the academic environment of the College in teaching and research supervision, in particular by
the creation of part
-
time academic positions linked to
school
s.

6.7.

We will ensure the representation of all categories of staff in the governance of the College
and

its
school
s
and will continue to involve the whole College in strategic planning.

6.8.

The quality of the working environment experienced by staff in all categories and grades is of the
highest importance. We recognise a number of issues of immediate concern
including career
planning,

promotion opportunities, the
relatively small number of
women at the higher academic
levels
, sabbatical leave, the development of leadership skills, succession planning, career structures
for researchers, the burden of administra
tion on academic staff, and workload models.
We also
highlight the need for a strongly staff
-
focussed programme of training and development.
All of these
have immediate effects on staff morale

and performance

and we will
work closely with
professional
s
in

modern human resource management to address them.

6.9.

We
acknowledge

the need for
good

communication across the full range of activities of the College,
both within the College and University and externally, and including communications
via internet
technolo
gy
, and this will be met by the identification of the specific responsibility for communications
within the College office.


6.10.

We will create an External Advisory Board with expertise covering the range of activities of the
College, whose views will be sough
t on all aspects of the College Strategic Plan especially on the
medium and long term horizons.



7.

Leading in Research


7.1.

The majority of research at UCC is carried out in SEFS and the three associated university research
institutes (Tyndall, BSI, ERI). We co
mmand the vast majority of the research income, the greatest
number of principal investigators and postdoctoral fellows, we graduate two
-
thirds of the university’s
PhD students, and we create the majority of publications in high impact journals and confere
nces.
We recognise our position as leaders in research in UCC and welcome the challenge of continually
improving in this domain.

7.2.

Our research strategy is set in the context of the

government

National Development Plan

and
Strategy for Science Technology and

Innovation
.

We also take account of priorities set by the major
funding bodies such as Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board, the Marine
Institute,
the Department of Agriculture and Food,
and so on, and policy documents such as

Ahead
of th
e Curve
(Forfás, 2004),
Building Ireland’s Knowledge Economy
(Department of Enterprise
Trade and Employment, 2004),
Future Requirements for High
-
Level ICT Skills in the ICT Sector
(Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, 2008).

7.3.

We will develop our research in

themes
through interactions among our s
chools
in close association
with

Research Institutes and Centres
. Our principal strategic themes will be life sciences, food
sciences, environmental and mar
ine sciences,
biotechnology,
energy
, software and hardware I
CT,
and pharmaceutical sciences. In addition we will identify emerging themes for strategic development
during the period of this strategic plan, including photonics, nanomaterials, bio
-
pharmaceutical
science, molecular plant science and biotechnology, and

the mathematics
-
biology interface.

7.4.

We will institute College
-
level
c
ommittees for Research and Graduate Studies. The creation of a
College Graduate School and its interface with national Graduate Research Education Programmes



9

(GREPs) will be the highest
initial priority for the Graduate Studies Committee. The proportion of
postgraduate students in the College will be increased from 20% to 30%.

7.5.

Our interactions on our research themes with Tyndall, BSI and ERI are fundamental to our strategy
for research a
nd we will develop these relationships in relation to strategic planning, student
supervision, staff participation, finance, governance and decision
-
making on areas of mutual
interest. In particular, the BSI will become the key vehicle for research in the
School of Life
Sciences.

7.6.

Life sciences, food and health sciences, and (bio
-
)pharmaceutical
-
pharmacological science and
engineering will continue to be our strategic priorities for research collaboration with the College of
Medicine and Health in fundamenta
l scientific and translational research and applied clinical studies.

7.7.

In cooperation with the Office of Vice President for Research Planning and Support we will carry out
an overall strategic review of the organisation and funding of research through the
establishment of
clusters and organised research units, both within the College and at the inter
-
College and
University levels. We will introduce formal mechanisms for the establishment and support of
research clusters (and their dissolution), while mainta
ining full support for the individual researcher.
We will establish research clusters in strategic areas.

7.8.

Each
school

and research cluster will up
-
date its strategic plan
for research annually
and prepare an
annual report on its research, and these will be

summarised in the Annual Report of the Head of
College.

7.9.

We will ensure that all academic appointments have a strong research focus and we will use
funding mechanisms such as the SFI Investigator Programme, the Stokes Programme, the Walton
Fellowship Prog
ramme, the Beaufort and Parsons Programmes, and the President of Ireland Young
Researcher Programme to attract international quality staff to support our strategic research plans.

7.10.

We will seek closer involvement of research staff in teaching and research s
upervision, which will be
recognised appropriately through appropriate academic appointments in line with established
research
and academic
career tracks.

7.11.

We will ensure that our research funding applications are addressed to the broadest possible range
o
f funding agencies (PRTLI, EI, SFI, Marine Institute, EPA, Wellcome Trust, HRB, Coford, etc.) with
a particular focus on EU funding through programmes such as Marie Curie and Framework. We will
seek increased overhead allocation for funded research with th
e eventual aim of attaining Full
Economic Cost funding. We will carry out a review of the allocation of research overheads to the
College.

7.12.

We will generate additional space for our research through funding calls such as PRTLI. In
particular, we will seek

funding for the fit
-
out and equipping of space vacated by units moving to the
Western Gateway Building and the 4
th

and 5
th

floors of that building, the
phased
renovation and
remodelling of the Food Processing Hall

and associated food science complex
, and
the
development of the Maritime Energy Research Campus at Ringaskiddy

and

enlarg
ing

the footprint
of the ERI.

7.13.

We will continue to pursue funding for refurbishment of research laboratories and equipment and
high
-
level technical support. In all areas of rese
arch we will encourage collaborative use of space
and equipment and the provision of shared platform technologies.

7.14.

We will seek to augment our research collaboration with CIT, taking full advantage of existing links
through Tyndall, the School of Enginee
ring, and the ERI.

7.15.

We will be especially concerned with the development of commercialisation and technology transfer
across the full range of research in the College. We will enhance our cooperative research with
industry, focussing especially on ICT, food
, pharmaceuticals,
biotechnology,

forestry

and energy.

We will give due recognition to industry
-
focussed research in academic promotion schemes.

7.16.

We will seek opportunities to set our research in a global

development

context, encompassing
issues such as sus
tainable food production, disease control and eradication, environmental
protection, sustainable energy generation, and climate change.





10


8.

Actively Engaged with the Outside World


8.1.

As mentioned in several places earlier we are committed to the view that the
“internal external”
dimension, that is, the relationship that we in SEFS have with the other Colleges is of fundamental
importance to the well
-
being of the University. We appreciate our close working relationship in
teaching and research with the College o
f Medicine and Health in the
life s
ciences
, with the College
of Business and Law in food science and the environmental sciences, and with the College of Arts,
Celtic Studies and Social Sciences in a range of activities including mathematics, earth and
envi
ronmental sciences, economics and computer science.

8.2.

We will seek to engage more formally in a strategic planning exercise with our colleagues in CIT.
We will engage with our comparator universities (including Edinburgh, Leiden, Southampton, and
Otago) to
compare and contrast our activities, placing particular emphasis on our strategic plans.
We will seek to develop a programme of exchange visits in order to maximise the benefits of such
contacts.

8.3.

Our External Advisory Board will provide us with a link to s
ociety and a viewpoint informed by its
knowledge and expertise in industry and commerce, government planning and strategy, and
international trends in science and technology. We will encourage academic and research units to
develop and maintain their own e
xternal contacts with other universities, with industry, and with
professional organisations, in order to benefit from external perspectives on their strategic plans
,
and in particular to be aware of potential demand for CPD programmes
. We will encourage s
taff to
participate fully in membership of professional organisations, public or semi
-
state bodies and
national or government committees.

8.4.

We will
develop the joint UCC
-
CIT SIF
-
funded Science and Technology Teaching and Learning
centre as a vehicle for int
eracting with second level students, their teachers and parents. In its initial
phase the activity of the Centre will be targeted at Access schools, but thereafter it will take on a
broader scope and work with schools more generally.

8.5.

We will
continue to d
evote substantia
l effort to outreach, not only
to potential students and their
parents, but also to wider society through public lectures, articles in newspapers and magazines,
and formal publications such as annual reports, graduate magazines, UCC publica
tions, and so on.
We will develop and maint
ain

high quality websites for the College and its academic and research
units
.

We will pay particular attention to outreach to the local community, for example through
schools liaison, access programmes, and invol
vement in social projects in science and technology.

8.6.

In cooperation with the Development Office we will establish closer links with SEFS alumni and
encourage
them to explicitly focus their interaction with UCC to SEFS
.
We will develop contacts with
alumni

through “social networking”.

8.7.

We will seek to develop further links with third level institutions in the developing world through
“science and technology for development”, including course development, student exchange, and
joint programmes in teaching and

research, and
we
will seek external funding for such activities.



9.

Sufficient Resources for our Ambitions


9.1.

Under the current Resource Allocation Model (RAM) the College shows a substa
ntial deficit of the
order of €6
m (assuming full implementation). We hav
e consistently argued that the RAM must be
aligned to the strategic plans of the university
.
In order for the RAM to enable the University to
deliver its strategic objectives it must include realistic measures of the cost of research, the cost of
space for

science and engineering, and the costs of postgraduate training.

We will continue to
address these issues with the University Management
Team
.


9.2.

Nevertheless, given that
95
% of the net income of the College (after the levy for the university
central admini
stration) is required for staff salaries we recognise that there is very little room for full
recovery to surplus within the limitations of current resources provided by the government. We will



11

address this issue with a robust engagement in the university
sector response to the continuing
decline in government funding and the serious gap between
stated government

ambitions for the
third
and fourth
level sector and the ability of the universities to deliver on their mission wit
hin their
available resources.

9.3.

W
e will seek the introduction of a full economic costing model for research overheads from all
funding

agencies.

9.4.

We

will continue to generate non
-
exchequer income through a

range of measures including the
recruitment of full economic fee paying students,

the provision of CPD and other services to
industry, patents, philanthropy, and the involvement of alumni in supporting College act
ivities. In
particular, we will work with the Development Office
to develop
SEFS
-
based alumni interaction
s

and
we will creat
e

mechanisms by which alumni can make regular contributions in support of SEFS
activities.

9.5.

We will pursue an overall capital development programme that includes
the
f
it
-
out

of
a significant
proportion of the 4
th

and 5
th

floors of the Western Gateway Comple
x, co
-
location and consolidation
of Schools, the joint UCC
-
CIT Maritime
Energy Research
Campus project, development of the Food
Science complex,
extension of the Environmental Research Institute, and
the establishment of long
term facilities for architectu
re
.


9.6.

The quality of space and equipment for teaching has especially suffered as a consequence of the
recent shortfall in government funding. Certain disciplines (including physiology, pharmacology,
computer science, and mathematical sciences) will benefit
greatly from re
-
location to the IT Building,
and other disciplines may benefit from co
-
location in schools. However, not all disciplines will see
short
-
term improvements in their teaching space and equipment and we will address this issue
through our own e
fforts as well as continuing to seek university and government support.

In
particular, we will address the issue of poor quality space for undergraduates in the Kane Building,
the Civil Engineering Building,
and the dislocation caused by the fact that seve
ral departments,
Biochemistry and Geology being the principal examples, are spread over multiple sites
.

9.7.

T
o a large extent our research is supported by external funding through competitive mechani
sms,
and in the areas that have benefited
the quality of spac
e and equipment is reasonably good.
In
order to ensure that the maximum opportunity is gained from our research efforts w
e will seek
improvements in the overhead
allocation
mechanism
, as appropriate under a full implementation of
the RAM. We will introduce

mechanisms for the support of researchers at the beginning of their
careers and investigate the provision of seed funding for researchers who may have missed
,

or, for
one reason or another, may not have had the opportunity of benefiting from external fund
ing.

9.8.

The heads of
school
s will have access to the full deta
ils of the accounts of the schools

themselves
and any subsidia
ry units. Each school

will develop its strategic plan in the light of available and
potential resources and
will be encouraged
to beco
me fully engaged in the effort to provide
adequate resources to meet its ambitions.

9.9.

We will engage with the central university admini
stration in developing protocols
for the provision of
services from the centre to the College including service level agre
ements
,

where appropriate. We
wil
l seek to streamline university
-
wide administrative and decision
-
making processes in order to
achieve the best possible services for staff and students at the most economical costs. In particular,
we will use the e
-
procurem
ent module of the new financial management system (
Agresso
) to
manage and control expenditure and take advantage of bulk purchases. We will seek to work with
CIT (which also uses
Agresso
) in order to achieve overall savings between the two institutions.
Other cost saving measures for the College will be developed where possible, for example, energy
conservation, sharing of resources, and so on.


P. Fitzpatrick
,

Head of College
,

1 Novembe
r

2008