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Information regarding Government tenders

Requests for tenders are frequently advertised through the Office of Government Procurement on the e-tenders website

These projects can include the provision of advice or expertise by a Trinity academic to an Irish charity, Government department, or public body.

Consultancy or Research?
Some Government tenders are classed as research, and some are classed as academic consultancy. It is one of many ways to apply academic expertise for the public good.
To help identify which route is relevant to you, below is a table outlining some differences between consultancy and research, as per the TCD Consultancy Policy.

We value academic freedom and the academic can decide if the project being applied for is classed as research or consultancy.
If it is considered consultancy (i.e. the provision of existing knowledge and expertise to an external body regarding a specific issue or idea) CONSULT Trinity offers some support for tender applications, including:

  • Preliminary advice and review of terms and conditions
  • Supplying documents regarding Trinity’s financial status, insurance levels, and the university’s status as a charity

Trinity College Dublin, rather than the individual or the School, is the contracting party. Invoicing and disbursement of funds is covered by CONSULT Trinity. Contact  for more information.
If it is considered research, please contact the Research Development Office at

A note on overheads/fees and VAT:
The following points should be taken into account when budgeting for any tender applications:

Overheads for research projects are 40%.

CONSULT Trinity take a 15% fee of the total quotation price. Generally, no other overheads are applied.

Typically, consultancy and research tenders will be subject to VAT (current rate is 23%) although there are certain activities that may be VAT exempt. See Revenue’s website for more information.

NOTE: In general, the tender budget will be quoted exclusive of VAT but on occasion, the value quoted will be inclusive of VAT. The VAT needs to be deducted to get the total funds available prior to calculating the project budget.

Example 1:
Tender budget inclusive of VAT (123%) = €100,000
VAT (23%) = €18,699
Total available funds (100%) = €81,301

Example 2:
A research project: Applicants might budget for a tender application of €100,000. A possible breakdown is below:

Direct costs €71,429
Overhead (40%) €28,571
Total (ex VAT) €100,000

Example 3:
A consultancy project: Applicants might budget for a tender application of €100,000. A possible breakdown is below:

Direct costs €85,000
CONSULT fee (15% of Quotation) €15,000
Quotation Total (ex VAT) €100,000

Contractual terms to watch out for:

Each tender application is unique and not all tender applications can be facilitated by CONSULT Trinity.
We recommend reading all tender related documentation before deciding to apply.
Trinity is a charity rather than a commercial entity. Some terms and conditions required by Government tenders require guarantees regarding insurance and liability which are not possible for the university to accept. Trinity must prioritise its academics’ research and intellectual property, and must protect against potential legal risk.
Terms and conditions not acceptable to include:

  • Requests for Trinity to warrant that particular results will be achieved in a particular timeframe
  • Requests for unlimited or excessive liabilities and indemnities
  • Requests to own intellectual property created by Trinity academics outside of the bounds of the agreement

This is particularly relevant for applications which include language such as the following:
‘Tenderer(s) are required to state that they agree (by returning the attached appendices) to be bound by the terms and conditions laid out in this document, in the tender specifications and in the service level agreement(s), should they be successful in this competitive process and subsequent tender. This statement must be clear and unequivocal. Acceptance “in principle” is not acceptable as the agreement will not be negotiated with individual Tenderers.’

Tender applications must be open for negotiation on the terms and conditions if and when the tender is awarded. As such a wide variety of research, teaching, and consultancy work is ongoing at Trinity, each project undertaken must be tailored to the specific project, and this can only be done post-award.
Please note that there are no standard Trinity templates for applications.

Get in touch:
CONSULT Trinity is available to discuss potential consultancy tender applications and their viability. If you or your School does not have an e-tenders account, we can help you set one up. We can also log in on your behalf, in the initial stages, to obtain the relevant tender documentation. For more information, contact

Other useful contacts:

1. Your own Head of School for initial discussions

2. The Research Development Office:




Maria Treanor

Research tender support

Patrick Lansley

E3: Engineering, Energy and Environment

Maureen Burgess

Trinity Long Room Hub

Dr Patricia Doherty


Dr Christine Shortt

School of Computer Science and Statistics

3. FSD Finance Partners:


Email (


Keith Creedon


Financial Planning & Risk Manager

Marian Brady


Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Mairead Garry


Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics & Sciences

Emma Hagan


Faculty of Health Sciences

Geraldine Joyce


Faculty of Health Sciences

Shumane Cleary


Academic Services Division (ASD)

Colman Rowe


Commercial Revenue Unit (CSD)

Brian O'Connor


Corporate Services Division (CSD)


4. Technology Transfer Office and Industry Engagement Team:

Dr Gordon Elliott – School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Dr John Whelan – Information and Communications Technology, ADAPT and CONNECT Centres

Emma O’Neill – Life Sciences, Biochemistry and Immunology

Dr Graham McMullin – Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, the AMBER centre, CONNECT

Dr Chris Keely, Senior Business Development Manager

Dr Juan Valverde – Business Development and Innovation Manager (particularly Nature+)

Audrey Crosbie – Industry Liaison Manage

Aoife Tierney – IP Development Manager

Want to know more about CONSULT Trinity?
See here for some examples of successful consultancy and impact.