IRSIS: International Research Student Support Service

O’Brien, John, Gleeson, John, Kelleghan, Peter and O’Brien, Fergal (2011) IRSIS: International Research Student Support Service. [Conference Proceedings]


In the current economic climate where diminished national research funding is encouraging the procurement of grant funding from European and International sources, there is increasing pressure on teaching and research institutes to become more competitive in terms of attracting the worlds best and brightest academic minds. As a result, it is critical to identify the determining factors involved in the decision-making process that leads them to actively pursue opportunities within an institute. One major contributing factor is the support that the institute provides during the student induction process. Unfortunately, these support services predominantly cater for the needs of undergraduate students and not the distinctly different needs of national and international postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers. The overall goal of this project was to develop a pre-arrival support framework for prospective international students, followed by their continued professional development as part of the RCSI research family. This was achieved by the creation of aweb-based International Research Student Information Service (IRSIS), developed on the existing RCSI moodle framework and built around their identifed needs. The two main aims of IRSIS are to (i) help prospective international researchers find a safe home, make some new friends and understand our culture before they arrive and (ii) develop new international researchers' careers during their time in RCSI (postgrad to postdoc to PI). Currently, the IRSIS initiative has been fully realised from a technical point of view and is currently available to all RCSI research staff and is continuously assessed to improve the quality and content. It is envisaged that this service could be rolled out on a national level to help student induction and relocation, from home or abroad, to any major Irish Higher Education Institute and could serve the student's needs while simultaneously promoting teaching and research in Ireland.

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NAIRTL 4th Annual Conference (Cork) 2010 Flexible Learning Conference Proceedings_sm.pdf

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