Information Services Division


Institutional Research Information Service (IRIS) - FAQ


What is IRIS?

How do I Log into IRIS?

How do I navigate in IRIS?

Finding Information in IRIS

Who can have a Profile in IRIS?

Where does data in IRIS come from?


How do I change my Profile?

My name is incorrect on my profile page - how do I change this?

How do I export the contents of my profile from IRIS?

Can I add my Twitter handle and LinkedIn details to my IRIS profile?

I have other sources of funding not in FIS, can I display them in IRIS?


How do I browse research themes?

How do I browse research groups?


Who do I contact if data is incorrect?

How do I delegate access to a Secretary or PA?

How do I find a researcher?

Where can I find further information about IRIS?

Questions about SLMS

Known Problems

Where can I review IRIS Project Progress and Release Notes?

Q.  What is IRIS?

A. IRIS stands for “Institutional Research Information Service” and is a one-stop shop for information on research activity at UCL.

It brings together data from Human Resources, Finance, Student Records and Research Publishing systems.

The key focus is the Researcher Profile which displays HR information, chronologically listed publications and other outputs, individuals’ grants and contracts, and details of supervised students.

IRIS categorises research activity by Researcher, Theme, Groups and Departments:

  • Researcher is an individual working as part of a Group or Department.
  • Theme is way of categorising research. Examples of theme include “Ageing”, “Thoughts belief and Philosophy” and “Global Health”
  • Groups are collections of several researchers who often come from different UCL departments.
  • Department is an UCL organisational unit such as Chemistry or School of Life and Medical Sciences.

Q. How do I Log into into IRIS?

A.  IRIS is a browser-independent application, meaning that all mainstream browsers      are valid (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Dolphin, etc...)

Go to www.ucl.ac.uk/iris and login with your main UCL user ID and password.

Q.  How do I Navigate in IRIS?

A.  IRIS presents quick-links on the left hand side of the screen to return to Home or to browse categories.

Within user profiles, IRIS also provides tabs (4 standard tabs for all to see, and 2 additional tabs for IRIS account holders).

In addition there are also breadcrumbs that can be used to go up to a parent page.

Q.  Where can I review IRIS project progress and release notes?

A.  Use this link:  IRIS Project progress and release notes

Q.  Who can have a Profile in IRIS?

A.  Research Staff have a profile created automatically, to be more specific the following occupation types are automatically provided with a profile in IRIS:

ACA* Anyone with an 'Academic' occupation type.

CLI* Anyone with 'Clinical' occupation types.

RES* Anyone with a 'Research' occupation type.

As well as the following:

HONEME Honorary Emeritus
HONVPR Visiting Professors
HONRDR Honorary Readers
TCHSNR Senior Teaching Fellow
HONPRO Honorary Professors
TCHTCH UCL Teaching Fellows
TCHPRI Principal Teaching Fellow

Please note:

If however you do not belong to the above occupation types, exceptions can be made by senior management BUT users must be linked to Research in some capacity and be on the HR system as staff (this does not include 'Casual' staff).

Post Graduate students cannot currently have a profile because of data protection issues. Under Graduates cannot have a profile either. This may be addressed in a future release of Portico and become possible. 

Q.  How do I change my Profile?

A.  Edit your own profile by clicking on the Edit this Profile link at the top right of the profile screen. This shows the Control Panel from where the following can be changed:

Current Details
  • Location & Contact Detail
  • Photograph
With respect to the contact details, only the Town is currently a required field. 
  • Biography, Research & Teaching Summaries
  • Academic Background (LERSA)
  • Other Funding
  • Research Groups
  • Research Themes
  • Publications (RPS)
  • Project funding (FIS)
  • Students (PORTICO)
  • Additional Editing Functions
  • Achievements (such as memberships, prizes and other awards)
  • Appointment History
  • Keywords or Key Phrases
With respect to BR&TS, the text fields only take the very basic forms of text (i.e. from notepad/text editor). Special fonts may result in an error and prevent you from saving your changes. However there is a source code view that allows users versed in HTML to add additional features.
Additional Editing Functions
  • Research Activities
The Additional Editing Functions currently has a slightly different feel though this will be remedied in a future release.

Q. What are Themes?

A. Themes can be regarded as umbrellas of related subjects that can cover multiple disciplines and are not mutually exclusive.

Themes can be accessed from the IRIS home page by clicking on the Research Themes link on the photo carousel.

Any given theme (once selected) can show multiple departments, groups and researchers.

Themes cannot be created or modified directly from IRIS. Any changes to these must be passed though The Office of the Vice-Provost Research.

Clicking on a theme displays a summary of the theme the main areas of research and any research groups involved in this area. An A-Z list of researchers is also displayed. Clicking on a researcher displays the researcher profile.

There is more information on UCL's research theme philosophy here:http:www.ucl.ac.uk/research/themes.

Q.  What are Groups?

A.  Groups (Research Groups) are essentially circles of like minded individuals with respect to a specific area of Research. Each group can consist of Research students as well as Research Staff, be associated to one or more Research Themes.

Click on an entry in the A-Z list of research groups.

Researchers may add themselves to research groups — see above, but only departmental heads (or Lead Department Administrators) may create them.

Q. My name is incorrect on my profile page - how do I change this ?

A. Your First Name Last Name and your title are brought into IRIS from the HR system - If you are normally referred to by your middle name or another name you can set a preferred name through the HR myview self service system  http://www.ucl.ac.uk/myview - this will then display automatically in IRIS. Please note that this can take up to 24 hrs to take effect.

Q.  How do I delegate access to secretary or PA?

A. Contact the IRIS project team and they can arrange this for you.

Q.  Where does data in IRIS come from?

A.  The following tables details information displayed in IRIS and where that data comes from.

Your Name

Profile Tab

Role HR
Contact IRIS
Address HR/IRIS
Appointment HR
Joined UCL
Research Summary
Research Group
Research Themes
Biographical Details
Academic Background

Publications Tab

Field Source
Name RPS
Authors RPS
Type RPS
Year RPS
 Hightlighted  RPS (This is the IRIS default sort setting for publications. To highlight your publications at the top of your IRIS profile page, you need to set them as 'favourite' in RPS.  Please refer to Maintain Publications.  )

Funding Tab

Award Type
Project Date FIS
Sponsor Name FIS
Funding Souce FIS
Project Status FIS

Students Tab

Field Source
Supervisor Portico
Student Name Portico
Department Portico
Faculty Portico
Programme Portico
Start Date Portico
Expected End Date Portico
Expected Award Portico

Achievements Tab

For more information explaining the available values for the Achievement Type field please see the IRIS Achievements Types help page.

Field Source
Title IRIS
Organisation IRIS 
Description IRIS
Start Date IRIS
End Date

Q.  Who do I contact if data is incorrect?

A.  Contacts if data is incorrect:

HR HR Helpdesk
RPS rps-support@ucl.ac.uk
FIS http://www.ucl.ac.uk/finance/fiswebsite/contactinfo.htm
Portico http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ras/portico/helpdesk
IRIS Incorrect data in IRIS can be changed by the individual researcher (see “How do I change my Profile” above. If you require help with this then contact iris-support@ucl.ac.uk

Q. How do I export the contents of my profile from IRIS?

A. Once you have logged into IRIS, on your profile page, you will see two buttons next to the photo on the profile.

Click on Export This Profile button.

On the panel window that now displays, click on Export Profile as .docx Word document (Office Open XML format).

The profile can now be saved or viewed, including contents from all tabs except for the 'Student' Tab.

Q. Can I add my Twitter handle and LinkedIn details to my IRIS profile?

A. From March 2013, you can add your personal twitter handle and/or LinkedIn details to your IRIS profile.

Click on Edit my profile, on the top right once you have logged in to IRIS.

Then click on 'Location & Contact detail'.

At the bottom of the page, there is a heading 'Personal Contact Details':

  • Twitter Username: enter in your Twitter handle (with or without the '@' symbol)
  • LinkedIn Profile Page: enter in the full web address (URL) to your public LinkedIn profile page

Click on the Save button

Links to Twitter and/or LinkedIn will now appear on your profile page, at the top, underneath the other contact details.

Q. I have other sources of funding not in FIS, can I display them in IRIS?

A. As a researcher, you may be in receipt of external funding that is not captured in FIS, either because it falls outside the 'Frascati' definition of research or because it was paid directly to you or via a departmental or research group ledger account.

As of March 2013, you can now enter these into IRIS, and display them on your profile page (Note: all funding information for individual researchers is only viewable after login to IRIS, and is not displayed publicly to standard Internet users).

Please check that the funding is not already being displayed under the funding tab before entering your funding details into IRIS.

Click on Edit my profile on the top right once you have logged in to IRIS.

Then click on Other Funding under 'Profile', and then click the +Add Funding button.

Fill in the following fields.

  • Title: Full title of project
  • Role: Select your role from the dropdown option list - recipient, co-recipient, other
  • Award Type: research, council, charity, etc.
  • Award Date: award date in dd/mm/yyyy format
  • Funding Source: funder details
  • Amount: enter amount without symbols
  • Amount Currency: Select from dropdown - £,$,€
  • Ledger Code: reference code
  • Status: Select for dropdown - Active, Closed

Click Save to store the details.

This funding item will now appear under the 'Funding' tab under the 'Other' heading.

Finding Information in IRIS

Q.  How do I find a researcher?

A.  There are several ways of doing this:

  • If you know the researcher name use the Search Iris box on the home screen.
  • Use the Browse option that appears n the left hand side of the screen once you deviate from the homepage.click on People under Browse, then you can search by A-Z, Research Group, Theme or Department.
  • Use the More Search Options link under the string/text search box (on the homepage). 

At any point the Researchers' profile can be viewed by clicking on the researchers name . The profile includes contact details, a picture of the researcher, publications (including links to PDFs), grants (viewable by anyone who can login to IRIS), students the researcher is supervising and Achievements (such as memberships and awards).

Q.  How do I find a publication?

A.  You can either enter the keywords into the keyword search box on the IRIS homepage, or you can select the More Search Options link under the search box for additional search criteria that can help you narrow down your search.

If results are found the Type (Journal, Book, Conference etc), Name, Date and Author(s) are displayed.

Clicking on the Name shows Publisher, ISSN/ISBN and Abstract. There are links back to the Author and their Publications.

Q. What IRIS data gets passed through to my SLMS profile?

A.  Here is a table of IRIS => SLMS mapping:

Q. I can see collaborators appearing in my SLMS profile that I have not added myself, why is this and how do I remove them?

A.  Both external and UCL collaborators are linked to an activity in IRIS.  So, if two people link themselves to one activity in IRIS they are perceived as being collaborators.

To remove this collaboration just disassociate yourself from the activity in IRIS.

Q.  Where are the collaborators listed on my SLMS profile - I click on edit my profile but I cannot see where I can edit the list of collaborators.

A.  Collaborators in IRIS are associated with a particular activity.  When collaborators are displayed in your SLMS profile a list is created automatically that includes ALL the collaborators from each of your activities.  To add or a collaborator you must first create them and then associate each of them with a Research Activity. On the Edit Profile page click on any Research Activity and you will find a UCL Researchers tab for adding and removing UCL Collaborators and an External Researcher tab for adding and removing External Collaborators. Only collaborators associated with a Research Activity will be displayed

Q.  Where can I find further information about IRIS?

A.  There are a number of resources for IRIS:

Known Problems

Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)

A number of the functions in the IRIS editor create an "Error on Page" message in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.  These include: "Insert Image", "Insert Link" and "Insert Code Snippet".  The workaround is to use a different browser like Firefox or Chrome.



Data From

 Name  Profile Heading
 Profile Heading
 Appointment  HR
 Appointment  HR
 Research Domain
 Research Themes
IRIS - association created by user with existing Theme
 Contact  UPI
 Telephone  IRIS - Manually Entered
 Fax  IRIS - Manually Entered
 Address  Address1 & 2,Town, Country,Postcode
 IRIS - Manually Entered
 Web Page
 Web Page
 IRIS - Manually Entered
 Research Description
 Research Summary
 IRIS - Manually Entered
 Research Activities
Research Activities (list created from Titles of each activity)  IRIS - Manually Entered
 Education Description
 Academic Background
 UCL Collaborators
Research Activities/UCL Researcher (from each Activity)  IRIS - Manually Entered
 External Collaborators
Research Activities/External Researcher  (from each Activity)  IRIS - Manually Entered
 Publications  Publications
 Keywords Keywords (these are hidden fields in IRIS only visible through the edit function) IRIS - Manually Entered