UCD COVID-19 Emergency Fund

Many of you have asked how you can help out during this crisis. It is essential at this unprecedented time that planning and delivery of education continues for the current and coming academic year. Our primary concern is the wellbeing and safety of our current and prospective students, particularly the most vulnerable, who must not be the ones to lose out once we get through this period. We are in the midst of a global pandemic that will significantly reduce the ability of the University to achieve vital objectives. How we respond in such times says a lot about who we are. We are grateful for our alumni’s desire to help our current students, which is truly inspirational and hugely appreciated.

That is why we are delighted to announce the launch of an Emergency Fund in support of the ongoing response to Covid-19 at UCD, adapting our learning environment for a changed world and most importantly for our students, many of whom we know will need immediate financial or mental health support to either continue or begin their studies. The aim is to provide these students with essential financial and mental health supports that will limit the decimating impact of this crisis for those most likely to suffer now and in the aftermath. We expect the numbers of students in financial difficulty to be very significant.

There are five urgent goals that your support can help make happen

UCD’s Ongoing Covid-19 Response
Student Hardship Supports
Pandemic Research Fund
Adapting our Learning Environment for a Changed World
Mental Health

MORE INFORMATION

UCD’s Ongoing Covid-19 Response

UCD is at the forefront of the response to this pandemic. We want to support the selfless dedication of academic staff and students of UCD schools working on the front line to save lives by funding materials costs for making PPE and hand sanitiser on campus, as well as supporting other priorities as they arise. We want to ensure that we all play our part in making a meaningful difference. Your support in this effort is vital.

Whatever it takes, we aim to do it.

Student Hardship Supports

The current pandemic will leave a great number of current and prospective students in urgent need of financial aid. UCD supporters will likely recall our feature on Engineering graduate, Colin Keogh in last year’s donor impact report.

Colin’s story highlights the impact of student support on individuals and their families. But the programme’s real impact is far greater and wide reaching. Colin is currently leading the global Open Source Ventilator initiative in response to Covid-19. This creative effort to allow life-saving ventilators to be produced quickly and easily anywhere in the world using 3D printing has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives.

We cannot afford to lose the potential of UCD students just like Colin, whose impact on the world right at this moment could be transformative.

Pandemic Research Fund

As Ireland’s leading research university, our academic staff are on the frontline leading clinical trials with COVID-19 patients in intensive care, while UCD researchers are manufacturing reagents, developing national contact tracing capability, and investigating new ways to tackle the disease. Our researchers hope to expand Ireland’s testing capacity by developing novel approaches to delivering essential reagents for COVID-19 testing – responding to the collapse of supply chains due to unprecedented international demands. Your financial support for research at UCD will enable us to make a valuable contribution in solving the current crisis as quickly as possible and mitigating against such severe impact in the future.

Adapting our Learning Environment for a Changed World

This is a stressful time for our students as they adapt to a new way of living, a core element of which will be digital transformation.

Students face challenges like broadband access/disruption, lack of privacy to study, lack of equipment, increased caring responsibilities, job losses and illness. It is vital to ensure that students experiencing disadvantage will have the resources to purchase the necessary technology to excel in their courses in a virtual environment.

We are working hard to make a host of support services available to staff and students, such as virtual tutoring, virtual career services and virtual onboarding for new students globally. Here in Belfield, we must establish a new normality that includes enhanced automated access to buildings, and the availability and visibility of wall-mounted hand sanitiser dispensers throughout campus.

Mental Health

The University has a duty of care to protect the mental health of our students. We recognise that this is now more important than ever, when vulnerable students may be suffering from extreme psychological stress, financial hardship, or managing ongoing conditions. We therefore want to fund a minimum of three additional student advisors, and provide on-campus resources to support students who may be affected by the current crisis. Your support will be crucial in making this happen.