Professor Helen Roche Appointed Interim VPRII at UCD

2nd May 2023

Posted In: So In Demand

UCD announces the appointment by the Governing Authority of Professor Helen Roche to the position of Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact (VPRII) on an interim basis.

Professor Roche takes up her new position this week {May 1st} and joins the University Management Team.

Professor Roche is currently the Director of the UCD Conway Institute, and Full Professor Nutrigenomics (Nutrition & Omics) at the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science.

Welcoming her appointment, incoming President of UCD, Professor Orla Feely said: “Research and innovation are central to our university. They add to the bank of knowledge that leads to discovery. They disrupt current tenets and make a difference to society through the application of new thinking and the development of talent. And they inform our teaching so that we pass on the principle of critical thinking to the next generation of creators.

“I am very proud of the achievements UCD has made in research, impact and innovation.  And I am delighted to have Professor Helen Roche take up the role of interim Vice-President for this portfolio. Helen has all of the attributes we seek in research leadership. She is a scholar and principal investigator of international renown in an area of global need.

She understands the research arena and places a strong emphasis on supporting early career academics.  And she connects with society so that her own expertise is shared for the wider good.”

Professor Roche takes over from Professor Feely as she begins her term as President of University College Dublin.

Professor Helen Roche looks forward to the new role, saying: “Excellence is my key vision and mission – consolidating the existing strength and depth of research excellence within UCD is of key importance. Within this role, I am very much looking forward to supporting the UCD Research Community, building upon UCDs success to date.

“As a passionate clinical research scientist, I am under no illusion as to the challenges relating to the Irish research sector, both nationally and internationally.

Nevertheless, I am firmly committed to advocating for vital basic research excellence that translates into advanced scientific and technological discovery, progressive societies and sustainable innovation.

Adding: “Mentorship has always been close to my heart. To this end, it is now time to return those valuable insights I received, in order to support our exceptionally talented Ad Astra and Emerging Investigator researchers in UCD. My end goal, attaining a dynamic research environment that spans STEM and the Humanities and Social Sciences, wherein UCD provides international exemplars of cutting-edge and inter-disciplinary research that address our societal grand challenges.

“Our future success is completely dependent upon the very vibrant UCD Research Community to achieve excellence – whom I will tirelessly represent.”

Words: Eilis O’Brien, UCD University Relations