IEO Centre Lazer, FOCAS

Starting Your Research Journey

Starting your Research Journey

Starting your research journey can be both exciting and daunting. The research lifecycle covers everything from the conception of a research idea through securing funding for it, building the team, partnerships or collaborators who will work on it with you, taking the project to completion and then beyond communication and dissemination to impact. The journey begins with a few essential steps.

As a researcher you will know the value of working with colleagues to deliver solutions to today's challenges. Building and growing your research networks will help you to build teams and take part in research projects that are truly global and interdisciplinary. Here are some tips for building those links.

  • Create a public facing research profile using the platforms supported by TU Dublin, i.e. PURE, ORCID and LinkedIn. It is advisable to update them regularly.  
  • Attend events organised by the Research Support Services and Staff Development Teams to meet with other researchers. These are advertised on a weekly basis in the Research and Innovation Weely Update Newsletter that is sent out to all staff by email from
  • Apply for a networking grant to cover the cost of visiting other Universities which helps to build networks. These are available at different times of the year from Enterprise Ireland, Intertrade Ireland, the Irish Research Council ant others. For more information contact
  • Crowd Helix is a platform that facilitates research networking and consortium building. It is a key source of contacts for potential Horizon Europe proposal applications. You can sign up for access to the Crowd Helix open innovation platform at using your TU Dublin credentials.
  • Join a European COST Network (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). This funds a consortium of researchers with a common research interest and are an excellent meeting place for researchers working within a discipline. Funding is available for travel and meeting / event costs. Read more 
  • Sign up to newsletters, e.g. to see who may be looking for expertise like yours for a European Grant application.

When you’re planning a research project, you can make the research more relevant, and increase its impact and the likelihood that it will be used for positive societal change, by working with the people who are most likely to be affected by it – the research stakeholders.  This will make sure that your research is as relevant as possible, that it has meaningful outcomes for your stakeholders, and that it is informed by the latest developments and current practices.

You can consider whose ideas, experience and expertise you need to inform and carry out your research. There are opportunities throughout the research process to involve stakeholders in different ways, and to include voices that are less often heard in the research process. The earlier you involve them the better, and taking a genuine partnership approach will maximise the benefits to you and your partners.

There are lots of resources and supports available to help you map your stakeholders, identify suitable partners, make introductions, and assist you in the collaborative research design process.

Contact for one-to-one supports, and consider joining TU Dublin's Engaged Research Network.

Making research transparent and accessible facilitates better reproducibility, leading to more reliable findings and trust in the research community. TU Dublin has adopted an open research culture and has signed up to national and international principles on open access to research outputs and data. This means that that we subscribe to being “as open as possible and as closed as necessary”.

We have a digital repository ARROW that curates and preserves research scholarly articles, artefacts, and data. Researchers are required to upload the accepted version of journal articles with outside publishers on ARROW to comply with our Open Access Policy.

Some funders have specific requirements relating to open research, which should be observed in making applications for funding to conduct research.

As you prepare and plan for a research project it is important to be aware of our Open Research Support Unit.

Collectively, the Pre-Award team in Research Support Services, has reviewed hundreds of proposals for National and European programmes as well as for TU Dublin staff and prospective students. The earlier you engage with the Pre-Award office the more support you will receive.
Contact the  Pre-Award team here  or email

The research funding environment is challenging and very competitive. It is no longer just about writing an application and delivering a piece of research to publish in an academic journal. You have to think about open access, outputs, engagement, data management, EDI and risk factors, and governance has increased. 

Our Research Support & Development Unit has a number of ways to help researchers write a winning proposal:

  • The Researcher Career Development (RCD) programme includes a number of workshops delivered by experts that will help you make the most of your proposal writing skills.

  • The Pre-Award office delivers workshops on individual funding calls near to the call launch. The team will also review your proposal and provide you with access to toolkits and background information to add to your proposal. More information is available on the staff intranet here.....

  • The Library team also offers support to researchers in relation to publications, open access and data management. 

  • The "Know How" section of Research Professional has useful articles including "Winning Proposals," "Winning over funders through open science" and "Impact and Innovation". All TU Dublin staff and students have access to Research Professional.


When you are planning a research project it is important to identify and/or involve potential beneficiaries from the start. Consider the impact as a key part of your research plan. If applying for a grant, check the funder's specific requirements.

Impact is the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to the economy, environment, and society. Engaging with potential beneficiaries can help shape your research question and focus, or even co-design the project.

TU Dublin offers support through the Research Engagement and Impact Office. They can help you map potential impact, include impact statements in funding applications, and provide resources and toolkits. Contact them at for more information.

Visit TU Dublin Research Support for details of supports and resources available.

All research projects involve the preparation of a research proposal on a specific form or template as part of the application process. This will include information on the research aims, objectives, tasks or work packages, timelines, and proposed deliverables at the end of the project. It will also provide information on who will be involved in directing the project, research team, budgetary planning, and who will conduct the research.

Where the project requires funding, the proposal will be prepared as directed by the funding agency is important to check what is required for submission at an early stage, and before you start to write the proposal, to avoid last minute delays. There are different types of approvals that may be required with a submission for funding.

You may be required to obtain Institutional approval, by way of a signature from the Vice President, a letter of approval, or electronic endorsement by the Pre-Award Office within the Research and Innovation Service.

Regardless of the type of submission, all proposals are required to be lodged with the Pre-Award Office for budgetary and content approval a minimum of 5 working days in advance of the funding agency deadline for electronic endorsement.

This increases to 10 working days where a signature or a signed letter is required . This office cannot guarantee completion of institutional endorsement unless the proposal is uploaded on the research information management system (PURE), well in advance of the deadline.

Given the diversity of funding calls, and their differing requirements and deadlines, it is important to confirm the exact information required for your submission. You can get this from the funding agency guideline documentation or from the Head of the Pre-Award Team at