Campus News in Brief

UCD’s external research grants fail to reach targetAS discussed at a meeting of the Finance, Remuneration and Asset Management Committee (FRAMC) in late November of last year, UCD’s total amount of externally funded research grants missed their target of €100m for the academic year 2015/16.The figures were shared by Ms Sharon Bailey, who serves as the director of the Research Finance and Operations at UCD Research. Bailey noted that externally funded research grants, including overheads, amounted to €93.7m for 2015/16. This is a 12% drop in funding from the previous year, as during 2014/15, UCD received €106.3m. Overheads decreased by four million this year, down to €13.2m due to a “greater diversity of funding sources with different overhead policies” according to the minutes.Regarding reasons as to why the funding target was not reached, it was stated that research grants from the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine were not awarded, while there was also an “underperformance” in EU Excellence awards. Three awards had been anticipated, but ultimately only one of the applications were successful.Another reason for the drop was posited by Professor Orla Feely, who is the VP for Research, Innovation, and Impact. Prof Feely made it known that Brexit, in the short-term, will see a drop in funding due to “existing UK partners on EU projects” being lost. In the long-term, however, she notes that Brexit will “provide opportunities” for the university.The current estimated target for 2016/17 is €103m, although this figure is likely to fluctuate.[br]Document reveals the number of alleged thefts and threats in UCDA DOCUMENT released to the Observer, under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed the number of reported thefts and threats to personal safety on campus that were reported to UCD Campus Services since 2011.According to the released document, over 197 bicycles and bicycle accessories were reported as being stolen during the period between the 1st of January 2011 and the 31st of December 2016. 137 pieces of “personal property” were also alleged to have been taken. UCD is home to approximately 4,400 bicycle stands.There were also 9 alleged thefts of commercial goods, 45 of University property, as well as a reported 8 vehicles.While Campus Services have reported hundreds of alleged thefts of varying property, 9 alleged threats to personal safety have also been reported to the service. Campus Services have aimed to combat this in recent years, as their Walk Safe Service is available to all students via a phone call, if they don’t wish to walk on campus alone late at night.[br]UCD Festival set to return to campus this summerAFTER its launch last year, the second-annual UCD Festival is returning to Belfield this summer. Set to take place on the 10th of June, the festival bills itself as “one day of celebrations, connections, discovery and exploration for one and all.”While specific events are yet to be announced for this year’s UCD Festival, the festival will look to put together a day of family activities, woodland walks, tours, trails and explorations, a food fair, performance, talks, as well as interactive workshops.The original festival took place last June and invited staff, alumni as well as current students to the campus for a day of activities. Alumni could book reunion picnics, allowing them to reconnect with old friends and classmates. A 5km fun run took place around the campus, alongside more, including a cultural fair such as live musical performances.Gordon Snell, husband of the late Maeve Binchy, hosted a talk entitled Remembering Maeve, which looked back over her favourite works. UCD Sport and Fitness also played host to a panel called Life After Sport. Hosted by stand-up comedian and An Irishman Abroad host Jarlath Regan, the talk saw Derval O’Rourke, Niall Breslin, and Gordon D’Arcy discuss the importance of mental health in regards to sport.