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Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact

Waterford (County), Munster (IE)
€104,154 - €133,961
Closing date
28 Mar 2023

Commencement Date: Post is immediately available
Contract Duration: 5 year term with the possibility of an extension
Responsibility: The post-holder will direct the strategic development of research, innovation and graduate studies across the University. 

South East Technological University (SETU) invites applications for the post of Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact


SETU was established in May 2022 and is Ireland’s newest University.  Located in the south east of Ireland we are an internationally orientated, entrepreneurial and connected multi-campus Technological University.  We aim to drive sustainable economic, environmental, cultural and social development through our research and innovation activities, with impact not only for the south east region but also nationally and internationally.

By building on SETU’s significant research and innovation activities to date, we aim to: deepen our impact on regional society and the economy through increased high-quality innovation and research; attract additional research funding and increase research student enrolments; enhance the innovation ecosystem in the region; and attract additional inward investment.

At the core of SETU’s research ethos is its commitment to engagement and knowledge- exchange with research partners, regional and national stakeholders, and industry. The University has developed an extensive network of academic research collaborators at a national and international level. The University has an established record of large-scale research collaborations with both indigenous enterprise and multi-nationals. It also has a demonstrable track record in delivering impact through the commercialisation of research and the transfer of technology and knowledge. SETU hosts four of Ireland’s Technology Gateways, is a full partner in the European Universities Initiative, EU-CONEXUS, and has an annual research expenditure of €14M.

The Technological Universities Act (2018) outlines key metrics that SETU must achieve over the next 10 years which relate to a substantial increase in research activity, including the number of PhD students. 

Job Description

Reporting directly to the President, the Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact is a key member of SETU’s executive team with a senior leadership role in planning, developing, managing and implementing the University’s strategies in research, innovation and graduate (research) studies. The post-holder is responsible for maintaining and enhancing our commitment to staff and student success in all areas of research. The successful candidate will work closely with our research community, the Heads of School/Faculty and Research Centres/Cores and Institutes, ensuring alignment with the overall University strategic plan and research agenda.

They will ensure that research resources and investment at all levels of the University are focused on maximising regional impact and enhancing SETU’s national and international profile.  Of key importance in SETU’s foundation year is the development of a new Research Strategy for the University which will be led by the VP for Research, Innovation and Impact.

The successful candidate will have executive responsibility for creating and strengthening strategic research and innovation partnerships with diverse external partners, including industry, SMEs, national and international academic institutions, non-profit organisations, national and EU research sponsors and government agencies. The VP for Research, Innovation and Impact will play a leadership role, on behalf of SETU, in the development of the South East Innovation Region.

They will be responsible for the intellectual and financial sustainability of the University’s research base. This includes co-ordinating the preparation and submission of institutional proposals pertaining to the development of research, innovation and graduate studies, and the management and administration of externally sponsored research ensuring adherence to good governance and practice in this regard.

They will have responsibility for positioning SETU as a leading research Technological University offering excellent postgraduate research education, entrepreneurship, commercialisation of research, and for the delivery of the University’s HR Strategy for Researchers Action Plan.  The role will also involve chairing and attending a number of committees and working groups.

SETU is in the first year of a merger of two legacy higher education institutions and a priority task will be to lead the integration of a high performing team that supports research, innovation and graduate studies. Therefore, the VP for Research, Innovation and Impact will oversee the direction and ongoing development of the work of unified cross-campus support services at SETU, including Research Support, the SETU Innovation Centre, Technology Transfer and the Graduate Studies Office. The VP for Research, Innovation and Impact will work with colleagues across our campuses in support of the overall SETU research agenda.

The post holder may be required to undertake other duties commensurate with the nature and level of the post as directed by the President.

Person Specification
Qualifications - Essential

  • Candidates for this senior leadership post must hold an honours primary qualification and a postgraduate qualification at Doctoral level. 
  • Applicants should have at least five years appropriate experience of research in a leading research environment subsequent to obtaining the minimum academic qualifications.

Experience / Knowledge
Candidates should be able to demonstrate:

  • a strong track record of research leadership.
  • success in securing research funding.  
  • a proven track record of scholarly output and impact, and experience in the supervision of research students to PhD level.
  • a proven record of leading and working with others to help build their research skill and knowledge, and to support and guide their professional development.
  • experience in developing successful strategic research partnerships with external stakeholders in academia, government/public sector organisations and industry/ community.
  • a comprehensive knowledge of the research funding landscape in addition to research, innovation and enterprise development policy at national and international level.
  • excellent knowledge of the technology transfer and research commercialisation processes.
  • knowledge of relevant policies and frameworks associated with research ethics and integrity.
  • Knowledge of and/or experience in advancing gender equality.

Candidates should be able to provide evidence of:

  • leadership and management skills, including a commitment to high performance and continuous improvement.
  • proven influential skills and the ability to represent the University’s interests in research policy debates at regional, national and international level.
  • excellent communication and presentation skills, in particular an ability to present research outputs to diverse stakeholders. 

Applicants should demonstrate:

  • a strategic and analytical approach to their work.
  • a creative and innovative approach to problem-solving.
  • an ability to motivate, influence and lead diverse stakeholders.
  • strong interpersonal attributes.
  • leadership in the context of change management

Salary: The gross salary scale applicable to the post is: €104,154 - €133,961 (9-point scale)

Closing date for receipt of applications: 5pm on Tuesday, 28th March 2023.  Late applications will not be accepted.


Application Procedure

Applications must be submitted at this link by uploading (1) a full CV and (2) a detailed covering letter. 

NB: The covering letter must set out how the applicant meets each of the criteria listed in this Person Specification.

SETU will shortlist only those applicants who appear from the information provided to be the most suitable in terms of qualifications, experience and other requirements of the post.

Candidates should keep a hard copy of the advertisement for their records.

SETU is an equal opportunities employer

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