Health Research Board (HRB)
The Health Research Board (HRB) was founded in 1986 as a statutory body of the Irish Department of Health. It currently has an annual budget of €45 million and a staff of 60. In addition to supporting research across the broad spectrum of health research, from applied biomedical research through to applied health services research, the HRB supports five National Information Systems. These databases collect national data on intellectual, physical and sensory disability, psychiatric in-patient admissions, drug treatment and drug-related deaths.
ENRIO member since
The HRB is a statutory body under the aegis of the Department of Health
The HRB funds a variety of RPOs to conduct research across a broad range of health issues. The focus is on generating evidence that can be applied in health policy and clinical practice. This is achieved through support for five focus areas, namely:
Focus 1: Support innovative, investigator-led and internationally competitive research to address major health challenges in society
Objective 1.1: Support high-quality, investigator-led, internationally competitive research
Objective 1.2: Develop and implement co-funding opportunities with international agencies and institutions
Focus 2: Support trials and healthcare interventions, in order to improve health outcomes and health service delivery
Objective 2.1: Support the design, conduct and evaluation of trials and intervention studies
Objective 2.2: Facilitate national and international collaborations that improve the volume, quality, relevance and impact of trials and intervention studies in Ireland
Focus 3: Support research, information and evidence that meet the needs of the Irish health and social care system
Objective 3.1: Support research that addresses questions of national relevance for clinical and population health practice and for health services management, and its corresponding translation into policy and/or practice
Objective 3.2: Provide high-quality, timely and relevant data for policy, service planning and research through the HRB’s national health information systems
Objective 3.3: Promote and support evidence synthesis and knowledge translation activities, in order to assist policy-makers, service planners and providers in making evidence-based decisions
Focus 4: Support exceptional researchers, talent and leadership
Objective 4.1: Attract the best people into health research by supporting excellent PhD training programmes
Objective 4.2: Provide opportunities for career development for postdoctoral researchers and emerging investigators
Objective 4.3: Work with HEIs, hospital groups and the HSE to identify, develop and support leaders in health research
Objective 4.4: Work with national and international partners to identify training opportunities and skills gaps
Focus 5: Build a strong enabling environment for health research in Ireland
Objective B.1: Provide strategic leadership to shape the national research agenda in relation to health and social care
Objective B.2: Contribute to, and benefit from, international developments in policy, regulation and legislation relevant to health research and healthcare in Ireland
Objective B.3: Invest in research infrastructure to promote excellence, critical mass and coordination, in order to support HRB strategic focuses and the wider health community
Objective B.4: Support Irish health researchers to participate in Horizon 2020 and other European research programmes
HRB-funded research, data from its Health Information Systems and evidence reviews directly support the Research and Data Plan and Outcomes Framework of Healthy Ireland and HRB generated reviews and evidence is contributing to a number of national strategies in health
The HRB does not conduct investigations of allegations of misconduct by researchers that it funds, but expects its host institutions to have in place appropriate guidelines and processes to do undertake investigations. This expectation forms part of the HRBs Terms and Conditions of funding.
The HRB does not deliver ethics and research integrity training to the researchers that it funds, but expects its Host Institutions to have in place appropriate training at post-graduate level (as part of PhD programmes). This expectation forms part of the HRBs Terms and Conditions of funding.
In addition, through its active participation in the National Research Integrity Forum, an umbrella body for both RFOs and RPOs in Ireland, the HRB actively advocating for harmonized ethics and research integrity training in Ireland for researchers at all levels of the career path.
Promoting Research Integrity
The HRB has been actively involved in the promotion of research integrity through its own policies and guidelines, and was the first Irish funding agency to publish such policies and guidelines, and to articulate its expectations in this regard in its Terms and Conditions for funding.
The HRB has been represented in both the ESF and Science Europe Working Groups and Research integrity, has participated in ENRIO for a number of years, and has played a leadership role in Ireland in the promotion of research integrity through its involvement in drafting the National Policy on Research Integrity, co-funding national seminars, chairing the Funders Subgroup of the National RI Forum and ensuring that it was specifically names in the relevant action in the National Innovation Strategy up to 2020.
Other tasks: Funding of health research
Funding of health research in a range of host institutions across Ireland, including universities, Institutes of Technology, Hospitals, health-relevant government agencies. Collection and analysis of health-related statistics to inform planning in the health system, and to inform government policy.