Eilis O’Brien - Director of Communication

W100 Representative

Eilis O’BrienDirector of Communication


Eilis is Director of communication at University College Dublin. Previously she held a similar role at Dublin City University. In addition to her marketing experience in brand identity and corporate reputation, Eilis has extensive strategic and operational experience in running media and corporate public relations operations with a high degree of crisis management.

Prior to her current role, she was director of communication, education & training during the start-up phase of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Eilis was public relations manager with Bank of Ireland for eight years and with Bord Gais Eireann, the national natural gas operator in Ireland, for five years.

Eilis has held a number of senior communication and marketing roles in a variety of sectors including finance, natural gas, food safety, health and higher education. Her experience covers the public and private sectors.

In addition to her marketing experience in brand identity and corporate reputation, she has extensive strategic and operational experience in running media and corporate public relations operations with a high degree of crisis management.

Within the realm of public affairs she has worked on clean air designation, tobacco control, food safety enforcement and Government funding.

University College Dublin

Founded in 185 Year by John Henry Newman, University College Dublin is one of Europe’s leading research-intensive universities. UCD is Ireland’s largest and most diverse university. It actively promotes university life as a journey of intellectual and personal discovery through its highly innovative and flexible UCD Horizons undergraduate curriculum and is the most popular destination for Irish school-leavers.

The University places great emphasis on the internationalisation of the Irish student experience – preparing all UCD students for future employment and life that crosses borders, boundaries and cultures.

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Successful engagement with Irish society onevery level and across every sphere of activity

UCD’s world extends beyond its campus, city and borders. UCD students and worldwide network of 279,000 alumni benefit from a UCD education that enables them to thrive and contribute in an increasingly global community. As the number one ‘university of destination’ for international students coming to Ireland, UCD’s 8,428 international students make up 29% of the student body, while international academics make up 30% of UCD’s faculty.

As Ireland’s Global University we value global research, teaching, exchange, and collaborative programmes. University College Dublin has an extensive global network of partner institutions, comprised of over 400 institutions across more than 89 countries.

UCD has established the first Beijing-based awarding institution and the first Confucius Institute for Ireland. We have a comprehensive network of mobility, study abroad and joint awarding partners across the globe, ensuring opportunities for UCD staff and students to partake in overseas study.

UCD Global seeks to foster and develop links by supporting a variety of University-wide and College-level collaborations.

UCD is a member of several international networks and collaborations within research and education, such as Universitas 21 (U21), Tempus, Erasmus, Erasmus Mundus Action 1 and Action 2. Being a part of international networks and programmes offers exceptional opportunities for student and staff mobility, scholarships as well as research and teaching collaboration. In addition to our network of university partners we have a number of other strategic relationships with government ministries, sponsors and funding bodies.

Mission and vision

  • To contribute to the flourishing of Dublin, Ireland, Europe and the world through:
  • The excellence and impact of our research and scholarship
  • The quality of our graduates
  • Our global engagement; providing a supportive community in which every member of the University is enabled to achieve their full potential

Ranked within the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide

1,611+

PhD Students

153m

in research grants

Research and innovation are essential drivers of a dynamic economy, an informed society and a vibrant culture. The spectrum of research and innovation at UCD encompasses individual scholars, research groups, start-up companies and large-scale collaborations with industry and other partners. Research is conducted within each of the University’s extensive range of disciplines, and in multidisciplinary research programmes addressing challenges of global scale.

UCD expertise is recognised worldwide, with international accreditations for UCD degrees from the world’s leading professional organisations in Veterinary Medicine, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Regional and Urban Planning, and Engineering.

In 2018/19 UCD researchers secured €153 million in research grants from national and international funding agencies, companies and foundations. Since 2009/10 UCD researchers have secured over €1 billion in such grants. Their research underpins national research and technology institutes and centres. UCD has had nationally-leading success in many of the most prestigious European awards, including European Research Council and Marie Sklodowska-Curie schemes.

Over the last decade UCD researchers have increased their annual number of papers in the international literature by 40% and have authored more than 31,000 papers in total. 54% of the papers were co-authored with researchers from more than 130 countries. These papers are cited by other researchers at a rate that is 71% above the world average.

As Ireland’s leader in innovation, technology transfer and commercialisation, UCD’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship recognises the importance of active participation and collaboration to exploit leading-edge research and development outputs. Supports for innovation include NovaUCD – the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs and NexusUCD – the Industry Partnership Centre. Since 2003 UCD has provided support to over 360 companies and early-stage ventures through the services and supports provided across the university, through NovaUCD, and through business support programmes run and managed by NovaUCD.


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The World 100 Reputation Network is a group of the best universities in the world, delivering research that enhances reputation and offering leaders the chance to develop their own careers on a global stage. Members benefit from events and study tours, training, monthly media monitoring, and unique reputation research to provide institutional advantage.

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