Research Policies & Procedures

Our ResearchResearch Policies & Procedures

Research Policies & Procedures

Listed in this section are Policy and Procedure documents related to Research Activity at Waterford Institute of Technology. These documents have been created by Waterford Institute of Techology and in some cases, where applicable, other state departments. WIT has a large number of other policy and procedure documents governing other aspects of the Institute's practices and these can be found on the main Policies page ».

Technology Transfer Policies
Policies of the TTO
Research Policies
Policies for Research Practice
Postgraduate Policies
Policies for Postgraduates
Project Management Policies
Policies for Project Management
Data Protection Policies
Policies for Data Protection


Research Practice (click summary to expand if not shown)

pdf Definition and Organisation of Research at WIT

This document sets out proposed definitions for research activity of staff and for research units within WIT.

This document follows the WIT Strategic Plan 2018 – 2021 and is intended to form part of the development of the 2018-2021 WIT Research and Innovation Strategy. It puts forward an initial framework for the stages of a research career in WIT, provides a definition for research active staff and endeavours to provide clarity on the differences between research groups, research centres and research institutes, in terms of scale, reach and governance, originally presented to the WIT Academic Council in 2012 as a White Paper on the Definition and Organisation of Research at WIT.


Word document Ethical Approval of a Research Project application form

All research in WIT is governed under a strict code of ethics

All WIT researchers, students and staff, have a personal responsibility for meeting the ethical requirements in the conduct of their research. All researchers should, in the first instance, refer to the Postgraduate Regulations, seek advice from their supervisor, and seek approval from the School or Department authorities for their proposed research activities.

Students may find it useful to refer to the considerations listed in this WIT Ethical Approval Application Form included which is also included as an appendix in the PG Regulations.


pdf WIT Code of Conduct for the Responsible Practice of Research

The responsible practice of research within WIT is clearly described by this document.

The document outlines the Institute's code of research conduct. Seeking knowledge, and imparting this knowledge, are fundamental functions of higher education. It follows from the right to pursue knowledge that researchers working under the auspices of WIT1 have a moral obligation to society as well as an obligation to the Institute to perform proper (ethically conducted) research and to communicate its outputs to their peers and, as appropriate, to the wider general community.

WIT embraces the traditional principles of academic freedom and recognises that members of Institute community, whether working collaboratively or individually, shall have, within the law, the freedom to question and test received wisdom, to put forward new ideas and to state controversial or unpopular opinions.


pdf WIT Open Research Policy

Open Research and sharing of knowledge is core to the ethos of the Institute.

This policy concerns published research (research paper, book chapter, monograph, dataset, software, or other artefact) that has one or more WIT-affiliated authors. This affiliation applies to any member of staff who is research active, or any member of the student body, whether they are postgraduate or undergraduate.

The aim of this policy is to maximise the return on investment of public money in research carried out at the Institute and it brings the Institute into alignment with the National Statement on the Transition to an Open Research Environment.



Project Management (click summary to expand if not shown)

pdf Procedural Guide for Managing Research Projects

This guide aims to address all aspects of managing your funded research project.

The Research Support Unit (RSU) is committed to assisting Researchers at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) with all aspects of their funded research activity. Every year we support our Researchers in submitting hundreds of research proposals and managing the research projects once funded. Our mission is to provide timely and accurate information, services and advice to support and inform the effective and efficient management of funded research activity at the Institute. We hope our experience and knowledge can help you be successful in every stage of the Research Project Lifecycle.


pdf Data Management Guidance

To assist researchers in better understanding the area of Research Data Management and in meeting funders’ requirements in devising a Data Management Plan (DMP)

The purpose of this guide is to assist researchers in better understanding the area of Research Data Management and in meeting funders’ requirements in devising a Data Management Plan (DMP). An increasing number of national and EU funding agencies and schemes such as EU Horizon Europe require researchers to develop a detailed plan for managing, storing or preserving data, sharing their data with the general public and the secure destruction of data following relevant retention periods. Devising a Data Management Plan is also good research practice for you and your wider research team even when the data cannot be shared for various reasons - legal, privacy, secondary use, etc.


pdf Data Retention Policy

The Institute is responsible for the processing of a significant volume of personal information across the organisation. It is vital that everyone is aware of their responsibilities in relation to data protection

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the Institute applies retention periods appropriately and retains data only for the period for which it is allowed under these retention periods. It sets out the procedures that should be in place and puts responsibility on each Function to ensure that the Institute remains compliant with this area of the regulation.


pdf Data Retention Schedule

The aim of defining a retention or destruction schedule or procedures for specific categories of records is to ensure legal compliance

The purpose of this schedule is to assist researchers to understand that data includes any digital data transferred by computer or automated equipment, and any manual information (information which is not processed by computer) which is gathered by employees/those representing the institute. Also, in relation to personal data, Article 5 (e) of the GDPR states that personal data shall be kept for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it is being processed. There are some circumstances where personal data may be stored for longer periods (e.g. archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes), with certain robust conditions being met.


pdf Guidelines for Remote Working in Research

To assist researchers in data collection and storage for remote working.

The purpose of this document is to provide good data management practices when working remotely in research. Working remotely may create many challenges for researchers in all disciplines. The collection, processing and storage of data may need additional consideration to ensure researchers maintain the highest standards in all aspects of research data management. Good data management ensures that data is handled to the highest standard of research integrity and is reliable, secure and compliant.


pdf WIT Overheads Policy

All research activities carry associated overhead costs, this policy outlines how best to address these.

Waterford Institute of Technology recognises and values the importance of all research funding to sustain and grow the research and scholarship reputation of the institution. Overhead costs are indirect expenditures incurred by the Institute in the conduct of research which are not readily identifiable as specific expenses to a grant/project/consultancy contract. Overhead costs are normally charged according to the procedures and rules of the granting agency. It is recognised that there are many variances in overhead cost rates, not all funding agencies permit overhead charges, and some agencies (e.g., small voluntary organisations) may not have the capacity to cover such costs. Nevertheless, all research carries with it indirect costs, and it is expected that these should be covered by the sponsoring agency, whenever possible.



Technology Transfer Office (click summary to expand if not shown)

pdf TTO Guidelines

An overview of operations and engaging with the Technology Transfer team in WIT.

The purpose of this document is to document the standard operating procedures in the Technology Transfer Office and provide a basis for those working with the Technology Transfer Team such that there are defined expectations for all parties. The document is structured into three main sections: 1) Research Support activities; 2) Technology Transfer specific activities; 3) Technology Transfer Office activities.

The WIT Technology Transfer Office is supported by Enterprise Ireland and Knowledge Transfer Ireland under the Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative and are part of a Technology Transfer consortium, along with Athlone IT, and IT Carlow and led by Maynooth University.


Intellectual Property Policy

The Institute's policy on Intellectual Property has been developed to ensure fair process for those involved.

In Ireland, each Institute of Technology, University and other public research organisation (a "Research Performing Organisation" or "RPO") is required to ensure that it has in place an internal Intellectual Property management system that meets or exceeds the requirements described in (or contemplated by) the 2016 National IP Protocol and that all of its research is carried out in compliance with that system. Where commercially exploitable Intellectual Property arises as a result of any publicly-funded research and development activities undertaken by the RPO, the RPO is further required to ensure, that the opportunity is taken, where possible and appropriate, to Commercialise that Intellectual Property in all possible fields, applications and territories.

Waterford Institute of Technology (the "Institute") has developed this Policy to clarify the role of Intellectual Property in the activities of the Institute. It takes account of the requirements of the 2016 National IP Protocol and draws on guidelines from various research funding agencies in relation to the treatment of Intellectual Property and similar policies from a selection of Higher Education Institutions in Ireland and internationally.


Consultancy Policy

Consultancy with industry is a way of sharing knowledge and benefitting businesses.

WIT encourages staff to engage in external consulting in order to maintain and develop their professional competence, keep up to date with developments and innovations in business and the professions and to support regional economic and social development by sharing the Institute's scientific and academic knowledge and facilities with business, the professions and the wider community.

The Research Office (RO) provides administration support and has overall responsibility for Institute Consultancy Services. These procedures are in place for transparency and accountability as well as the legal protection of the Institute and its staff.  They should not in any way hinder the establishment of links with appropriate outside institutions, companies and individuals or involvement in joint research for industry/institute co-operation.


pdf Conflict of Interest Policy

Conflicts of Interest must be declared at the earliest identification of such.

The Institute prides itself in the integrity of its teaching, research and all other activities. It is concerned to avoid any actual, perceived or potential conflicts between the interests of the Institute and any personal interests of the Institute staff and students.

This policy sets out the procedures to be followed by the Institute in respect to actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest. The Institute encourages staff and students to engage in external activities, many of which are also of benefit to the Institute. On occasion activities may give rise to Conflicts of Interest. This policy seeks to manage these Conflicts of Interest in a manner that is fair to all.



Postgraduate Studies (click summary to expand if not shown)

pdf WIT Research Postgraduate Degree Regulations

Postgraduate Studies at the Institute are at the heart of its teaching and research activities.

Waterford Institute of Technology (formerly Waterford Regional Technical College) has been delivering higher education programmes since 1969. It was designated as Waterford Institute of Technology under statutory order in 1997. Under the Qualifications and Training Act (1999), the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) took responsibility for the Institute's awards. Since 2003, the Institute has had delegated authority from HETAC (now Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)) to make awards at all levels on the National Framework of Qualifications.

The mission of Waterford Institute of Technology1 as declared in the Institute's Strategic Plan 2018-2021 is:

"in our teaching and learning, in our research, in our structures and organisation, by our engagements with our stakeholders and partners, and by our other activities to be: 1) collaborative and cooperative, supportive of equality and diversity, inclusive and accessible; 2) active in support of equitable social, economic and cultural development; 3) progressive and innovative, generating new knowledge and new ways of doing things; and 4) demonstrably excellent, leading and ambitious."



Data Protection (click summary to expand if not shown)

pdf WIT Data Protection Policy

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is responsible for the processing of a significant volume of personal information across the organisation.

It is vital that everyone is aware of their responsibilities in relation to data protection as follows:

  • It is the responsibility of each Function to ensure personal information is processed in a manner compliant with data protection legislation and guidance.
  • The Institute has an appointed a Data Protection Coordinator who is available to provide guidance and advice on data protection issues and concerns.
  • All Staff must appropriately protect and handle information in accordance with the information’s classification as set out in 6.1 below.

This Policy shall not give individuals additional rights greater than those allowed for under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or Data Protection Act 2018.

The objective of this Data Protection Policy (Policy) is to set out the requirements of the Institute relating to the protection of Personal Data where it acts as a Data Controller and / or Data Processor, and the measures the Institute will take to protect the rights of Data Subjects, in line with GDPR legislation, and the Data Protection Act 2018.


pdf Authorship and Data Retention Policy

The Institute has a very clear policy on authorship and acknowlegment of contributions to published works.

This document outlines Waterford Institute of Technology's policy on authorship of research papers and other artefacts produced by members of the WIT academic community that are made available to the external community in a manner acknowledging the author's or authors' affiliation with the Institute. It covers the following: criteria for authorship; acknowledgement of the contribution of non-authors; order of authorship; responsibilities of authors; authorship dispute resolution; and issues relating to retention of data used in the preparation of the paper/artefact. The development of this policy document was informed considerably by similar policy documents from the Michigan State University, Harvard Medical School, The University of Michigan Medical School, and Oxford Brooks University.


pdf Data Protection Guidelines on Research in the Health Sector

Published by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner – 

"The Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003 provide the legislative basis for the approach of the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner with regard to personal data across all sectors of society – public, private and voluntary. The 2003 Data Protection Amendment Act transposed the 1995 EU Directive – 95/46/EC – the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data – which sets similar common standards for privacy across the EU.

The 1995 Directive, inter alia, contains specific minimum requirements in terms of the processing of personal health information which is categorised as a "special category of data" (in our Acts this is called sensitive personal data) which require special and additional protection in terms of obtaining, processing, security and disclosure. Data Protection requirements complement the strong ethical obligations imposed on health professionals in relation to their patients."