Professor Paul Seawright

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor's Office

Belfast campus

Room BD-06-004,
2-24 York Street,
BT15 1AP,

Art and Design Research

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Professor Paul Seawright


Professor Paul Seawright OBE is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Ulster University.

Paul was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences for five years and was previously Head of Belfast School of Art. Before joining Ulster he was Dean of Art, Media and Design at the University of Wales, Newport. He held the position of Director of research at Newport and is widely recognised as a subject expert in Art & Design research, participating on panels in RAE 08 and REF14 and specialist advisor in REF21.

As a former member of the HEFCE expert advisory group on the development of the REF, he has advised numerous universities worldwide on research strategy. He has sat on the advisory boards of the Imperial War Museum and British Council in London, having previously served for eight years as a Board member of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Paul has an international profile as an artist and researcher. His work is held in many museum collections including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Tate, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, International Centre of Photography New York, Arts Councils of Ireland, England and Northern Ireland, the UK Government Collection and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome.

In 2002 he was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum London as War Artist for Afghanistan and was awarded the Irish Museum of Modern Art/Glen Dimplex award for a major contribution to Irish Art.

Paul has a first class honours degree in Photography, Film and Television and was awarded a PhD by the University of Wales in 2007. He was awarded an OBE for services to Education and the arts in 2021.

He is a Fellow of the RSA and the RPS, Honorary fellow of Cardiff Metropolitan University and former Vice President of the Royal Ulster Academy of Art. He currently holds Visiting Professorships at Sheffield Hallam, Shenyang University and Luxun Academy of Fine Arts.