Brain Sciences


Appointment of new Pro-Vice-Provosts (Mental Health and Wellbeing)

25 October 2023

Professor Essi Viding (Division of Psychology and Language Sciences) and Professor Argyris Stringaris (Division of Psychiatry) have been appointed as Pro-Vice-Provosts to lead the first of the new UCL Grand Challenges Themes, Mental Health and Wellbeing.

PVP Mental Health at UCL

Professors Viding and Stringaris bring a wealth of collective expertise to the role.

Essi is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, with a background in child and adolescent mental health. Her current projects use interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to develop school-based interventions to improve wellbeing and reduce the emergence of mental ill health. She chaired the development of UCL’s Mental Health Strategy, launched in 2019, and has led its implementation in the domain of children and young people’s mental health for the past five years.

Argyris is Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He works closely with young people with lived experience and colleagues from ethics and philosophy alongside psychologists, psychiatrists and computational neuroscientists. He recently chaired the Greek Government’s interdisciplinary committee on mental health, was President of the International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology and was until recently the Director of the Section of Clinical and Computational Psychiatry at the National Institutes of Health in the USA.

As Pro-Vice-Provosts, they will provide academic leadership to the new Theme, which evolved from UCL’s Strategic Plan 2022–2027, and support new collaborations, both within UCL and with external partners. Their joint role will cover research and knowledge exchange, as well influencing UCL’s educational offering and institutional operations.

In a joint statement, they said:

“We are united by our passion for mental health and wellbeing and excited to work together with colleagues across UCL on this Grand Challenges Theme. UCL has rich collective expertise in this area and our hope is that the activities supported by the Theme will enable us to harness this expertise for the benefit of our own university community and society at large. We firmly believe that we need to work across disciplines to achieve this goal: human beings are complex and embedded in different communities, so no single discipline will have the definitive answers for mental health and wellbeing.”

Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of the Faculty of Brain Sciences and Pro Vice-Provost London, said:

“Huge congratulations to Professors Viding and Stringaris. It’s great to see such accomplished colleagues being appointed to lead this important initiative for UCL. I have no doubt that their knowledge, leadership skills and complementary expertise will make for a powerful and effective leadership team.”

Professors Viding and Stringaris will assume their new joint role on the 1st of November 2023.