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Advice for Research Staff

This advice is designed to help you survive the first days of your new job as a Researcher. There is more information available on many different websites; some of them are listed below. We also recommend asking your colleagues and friends for “insider tips”.

students sitting on steps in front square

Starting as a Researcher at TCD

You will need:

  • Nomination form (TCD)
  • Bank account
  • PPS number
  • Tax credit
  • Staff number

Before arriving at TCD

Before you arrive at TCD you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Who is your boss/supervisor/principal investigator (PI)?
  • When does your contract start, when does it end?
  • Will there be an extension or will you get a contract for the full duration?
  • Where does your funding come from?
  • How much will they pay you?
  • Are there reimbursements for moving to Ireland?

Make sure your PI gets the nomination form before you arrive. You need to complete this form to get a staff number. Sending this form in advance is the only thing you can sort out before you actually arrive at TCD. Getting this done might take a while, but don't be afraid to regularly ask about the form’s status.

If you require a visa, it is advisable to secure a letter of appointment in advance and before making travel arrangements. Once you are officially appointed, you are entitled to get a written contract within two months.

Once you arrive in Ireland

To get a bank account and PPS number, the most important documents you need are your national passport (most Irish institutions do not accept EU identity cards) and at least one letter from your PI /faculty.

Bank account:

To get a bank account the letter should be addressed to the manager of the bank, and state at a minimum, your title, full name, date of birth, start of contract, end of contract and that you are working full-time at TCD. The letter should ask the manager of the bank to open an account for you. Most importantly, the letter should also state that all correspondence can be sent to you using the TCD address. Take this letter with you and hand it over together with your account application. The bank will require an original of this letter. But make sure you keep copies of the letter and that you get another original, generic “to whom it may concern” letter for the PPS number.

PPS (Personal Public Service) number:

This unique number identifies you within the Irish social and revenue system. It is absolutely essential. Get it as quickly as possible in person from the nearest Social Welfare Office. If you are not Irish, you will need your passport (identity-cards are mostly not recognized) and a proof of address. You should be able to use the modified “bank-letter” for this (see above). Wait at least 24 hours after applying and then you should be able to call the social welfare office to find out your new PPS number.


You are entitled to several tax credits, depending on your marital status, You will most likely have to pay income tax, the universal social charge, and pension levy. These levies frequently change, so it is worth getting up-to-date information about your net salary before you accept the TCD offer.

All levies and taxes will be deducted automatically every month from your gross salary using the PAYE scheme (pay-as-you-earn). Initially, you will have to apply for tax credits with the revenue commission. Make sure that the revenue office has your staff number and that they send a copy of the certificate to both yourself and TCD. Double-check by phone/email that TCD has matched the tax credit certificate they get from revenue with your file.

The tax-credits you get are distributed over the whole year. So depending on when you start, your first salaries will most likely change from month to month. If the treasurer’s office does not have a tax credit certificate, they will put you on emergency tax (marked on your payslip), which is very high. Don’t panic - once you submit your tax certificate, the emergency tax you’ve already paid will be factored in. Do not hesitate to ask someone in HR to explain your payslip and answer pension related questions. It’s their job! They are friendly and do know about these things.

Health insurance:

Think about getting health insurance. Health services are neither completely free as in the UK, nor are they covered completely by insurance, like for example in Germany. You will have to pay every time you visit a doctor. There are several big health insurance companies in Ireland (Aviva, VHI), and some of them have special rates for TCD members. Compare their offers on the Internet. As a staff-member you can use the TCD health service at a reduced rate.

TCD staff induction:

Human Resources provides information for new staff and an induction day will also be organised for you.

Email and network:

IT Services will give you a short official email address, like smithj(at) The first part of this address (smithj) is your college username. This username together with your college password is important to identify yourself within the college network.

Staff card and library:

You will need a staff-card to have access to TCD’s infrastructure.

If you require access to the libraries, you should register with the Berkeley library first. The library sometimes offers tours for new staff members.

Once you have a staff-number, you can go to the staff-office in front square to get a picture taken and receive a brand-new staff card.