FAQS – Frequently Asked Questions

How did ObservAS come about?

Following the publication of the Statutes of the Social Action Services of IPC (SAS-IPC) in 2020, the creation of an observatory of consultative nature and oriented to the technical and scientific support of those Services was contemplated.


What does ObservAS do?

ObservAS’ mission is to stimulate the IPC community – teachers, researchers, non-teaching staff and students – to develop studies which focus on the areas of intervention of the IPC’s Social Services (SAS-IPC), so that they may contribute to the policies to be implemented by those Services.


Which research areas are integrated in ObservAS?

ObservAS seeks to provide a wide-ranging knowledge about the students’ welfare. The areas of interest are all those arising from the mission of the IPC’s Social Services (SAS-IPC) and the areas in which these Services have an articulated intervention, namely: food, accommodation, social support, health and well-being and support for cultural and sports activities.


How does ObservAS work?

ObservAS has a coordinating committee which depends on the Administrator of IPC’s Social Action Services (SAS-IPC), who is responsible for directing and guiding the activities approved in the annual plan.


Does the Observatory carry out studies autonomously?

ObservAS is not intended to systematically develop studies in the areas where it operates. However, it can help such studies and give visibility to work focused on the areas of research covered by its activities.


Does the Observatory promote the dissemination of knowledge arising from the studies undertaken?

Yes, the ObservAS is strongly committed to providing a wide dissemination of knowledge around the areas of Social Action and Student Welfare. For this reason, the studies developed under ObservAS will be publicly presented to the IPC community, as well as to the entire scientific community with an interest in these areas of knowledge.


What does it mean to develop a study under ObservAS?

Developing a study under ObservAS means that:

  1. the theme falls within the areas of action of IPC’s Social Action Services (SAS-IPC);
  2. the study focuses on the IPC student community;

iii. the study was reported to ObservAS;

  1. the results of the study will be disseminated by ObservAS;
  2. eventually, ObservAS facilitated the conduct of the study (at the request of the researchers).


Who can carry out studies under ObservAS?

The whole IPC community – teachers, researchers, non-teaching staff and students – can develop studies under ObservAS.


What kind of studies can be developed under ObservAS?

ObservAS provides support for different types of studies, such as final degree and master’s work, scientific research by teachers/researchers, groups of teachers/researchers or non-teaching staff, and technology development work, provided that it is geared towards the students’ welfare.


What is the “ObservAS seal”?

This is an award/recognition of studies which focus on the themes of the Social Action Services of the IPC (SAS-IPC) and which have been communicated to this Observatory. The studies may have been facilitated by ObservAS and their results are disseminated. The ObservAS seal values the contribution of each study to the pursuit of IPC’s Social Action policies and to scientific knowledge on these matters.


How can ObservAS facilitate studies?

ObservAS has the means to:

  1. Disseminate to the student community the data collection instruments;
  2. To stimulate the participation of students in the studies through “calls” for interviews, participation in tests/simulations for data collection or for participation in the validation of computer or technological solutions. Besides, the observatory acts as a promoter of partnerships between Organic Units in order to carry out studies, whenever requested.


Can ObservAS submit the application for approval to the IPC ethics committee in place of the researchers?

No. The submission of this request is the responsibility of the researchers developing the study. However, it is suggested that the integration of the study within the scope of ObservAS, whenever appropriate, is valued.


Does ObservAS commission studies?

However, it defines priority areas of interest, in close coordination with the Administrator of IPC’s Social Action Services (SAS-IPC), which do not limit the range of studies to be carried out. In addition, it annually carries out the “Portraits” study which aims to characterize IPC’s 1st year/1st time student population and which identifies relevant areas of study. It is stressed that the Observatory welcomes all studies proposed by the community as long as they meet the requirements identified in the FAQ “What does it mean to develop a study under the scope of ObservAS?”


Does ObservAS ensure the management of enquiries?

ObservAS has the means to distribute surveys to the student community that fall within the scope of its mission. However, it does not collect or process the data.


Can ObservAS fund studies?

No. ObservAS does not have financial autonomy or funds to carry out studies.


Which populations are covered by ObservAS studies?

The studies carried out under ObservAS focus on the themes of IPC’s Social Action Services (SAS-IPC) and focus on students’ well-being (cf. FAQ “What are the research areas integrated in ObservAS?”). Thus, the studies should focus on the student community as a whole or on specific groups.


Can ObservAS promote cooperation between UOs to carry out studies?

Yes, ObservAS can, in close collaboration with researchers, contribute to establishing contact and bridges between skills and people within the IPC community, fostering multidisciplinarity.


In the studies carried out within ObservAS framework, who is the author of the studies?

Hosting studies under ObservAS has no bearing on the authorship of the studies. Thus, ObservAS does not request any intervention in the authorship of the studies.


Does ObservAS have data to supply for studies?

Yes, ObservAS has data collected in the scope of action of the Social Action Services of IPC (SAS-IPC) or in studies carried out by the observatory. Whenever these data are not confidential and subject to possible personal data protection issues, data sharing may be ensured.


What is the relationship between ObservAS and the research centers to which the researchers belong?

None. ObservAS is not a research center, so the carrying out of studies within the observatory does not conflict with the autonomy or the proper financing of research centers, either in i2A or external to IPC.