Health Research Board (HRB)

Founding year



The Health Research Board (HRB) was founded in 1986 as a statutory body of the Irish Department of Health. It currently has 105 staff, an annual budget of €52 million, and manages an investment portfolio of approximately €200 million. The main areas of activity of the HRB are (i) funding research proposals and managing grants across the spectrum of health research, from applied biomedical research to health services and public policy research, (ii) conducting evidence reviews to underpin decision-making in health, (iii) managing data collections in the areas of alcohol and drug treatment and deaths, disability and psychiatric admissions and discharges and (iv) supporting national initiatives in mental health policy, and European engagement and research.

ENRIO member since



The HRB is a statutory body under the aegis of the Department of Health

Main Tasks

The HRB Strategy 2021-2025, Health research – making an impact, sets out how they will advance health research, data and evidence to benefit Ireland’s people, society and economy. they are committed to ensuring that research and evidence are translated into important breakthroughs that improve people’s health, deliver new treatments and inform health policy and practice.

This is achieved through support for five strategic areas, namely:

  1. Research that makes a difference

Research enables advances in health and social care that make a real difference to people’s lives. The HRB is committed to investing in research that delivers value for health, the health system, society and the economy, through a strategic, well-balanced funding portfolio that responds to real-world needs – collaborating with partners to address challenges and drive innovation in the health system, and supporting meaningful involvement of patients, carers and the public in research.

  1. An independent voice

The HRB aims to be an independent, credible voice for research and evidence and a trusted thought leader. They seek to enhance coordination between those involved in evidence synthesis nationally and internationally and to earn and maintain people’s trust in the evidence produced while facilitating dialogue on emerging health research topics. The HRB evidence centre will continue to support the generation of independent, credible evidence to inform decisions of policymakers, practitioners and the public.

  1. Trusted data

Health and social care data, along with research and statistical data, has the potential to transform healthcare delivery and how we manage our own health. The HRB is already playing a leading role in enabling this transformation. They are committed to promoting and enabling the use of data to shape health policy, enhance healthcare delivery and drive broader research and innovation initiatives. Moreover, they are working to increase public understanding of the importance of facilitating secure access to health and social care data for research, policy and planning. They support the adoption of best practices in data management, governance and re-use by data producers and researchers.

  1. Thriving research environment

Health research that delivers value needs an enabling environment to thrive – from skilled researchers and access to infrastructure, to policies that support and enhance good research practice. The HRB is striving to build this strong, supportive environment for health research in Ireland, fostering connections between the academic and healthcare systems in the process. In partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, they are working to ensure that funding for researchers and infrastructure is delivered effectively, that the highest standards of governance, quality and ethics are met, and that innovative practices are developed and taken up here in Ireland.

  1. Productive international partnerships

From pandemics to climate change, many of the greatest health challenges we face are global and can only be addressed through international partnership. To meet these challenges, the HRB is committed to fostering and enhancing European and international coordination, collaboration and engagement in health research. They help Ireland’s research community to compete for EU and international funding, and work with policy stakeholders to identify opportunities to engage in initiatives that can advance health and broader government objectives.


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

Health research is funded in a range of host institutions across Ireland, including universities, Technological universities, hospitals, and health-relevant government agencies. Health-related statistics are collected and analysed to inform planning in the health system and government policy.


Catherine Gill PhD

Programme Manager

Health Research Board
Grattan House
67-72 Lower Mount Street
Dublin D02 H636 - Ireland

+353 1 2345188

Royal Irish Academy (RIA)

Founding year



The Royal Irish Academy (RIA) is Ireland’s premier learned body. It was founded in 1785, with the Earl of Charlemont as first president. Its royal charter, granted the following year, declared its aims to be the promotion and investigation of the sciences, polite literature, and antiquities, as well as the encouragement of discussion and debate between scholars of diverse backgrounds and interests. The early academy was concerned to provide an opportunity for the development of antiquarian studies and was the first Irish society to successfully balance the requirements of the sciences and the humanities. From the outset, the academy’s council was composed of eleven members representing the scientific disciplines and ten representing the humanities, led by a president. The presidency rotates between a representative of the sciences and of the humanities on a three-yearly basis.At the annual general meeting, members elect the president, officers and members of the council who oversee the academy’s business. An all-Ireland body, the academy organises conferences, arranges discourses and public lectures, and conducts research, with the assistance of a staffing complement of c. 80. In addition to the approximately 400 members there are also more than 60 distinguished honorary members, who in the past have included Edmund Burke, Charles Darwin, Enrico Fermi, Max Planck, Maria Edgeworth, Theodor Mommsen, Albert Einstein and Max Born.

ENRIO member since



An independent all-island institution, governed by a Royal Charter granted in 1785. It is run by a Council of its Members, which is headed by a President who is elected for a three year term. Membership of the Academy is by election only and is considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

Main Tasks

The Royal Irish Academy is a member of the National Research Integrity Forum. The Forum was established in late 2015 on foot of the publication of a National Policy for Ensuring Integrity in Irish Research. The National Research Integrity Forum does not have a statutory function, but is rather an advisory and harmonising body.

The Royal Irish Academy has been engaged with research integrity and ethics for a number of years. It hosted the Irish Council for Bioethics up to 2009, and is also a member of ENRIO and has a nominee on the ALLEA Permanent Working Group on Science and Ethics, which has been involved in a revision of the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity.

As part of the national drive to harmonise the management of research integrity in the university section, the Academy has agreed to develop a panel of independent experts (international) who could participate in university investigation committees.

Promoting Research Integrity

The Royal Irish Academy has been actively involved in the promotion of research integrity for several years. It is a member of Ireland’s National Forum for Research Integrity and was closely engaged in the drafting of the National Policy on Research Integrity. In the years preceding the adoption of the National Policy, the Academy worked closely with the academic and research community and research funders to build awareness of research integrity issues, organising and hosting several public seminars and workshops enabling public discussion and sharing of national and international best practice. Through its membership of the ALLEA Permanent Working Group on Science and Ethics, the Academy has contributed significantly to the development of the revised 2017 European Code of Conduct for researchers.


Sinéad Riordan

Head of Policy and International Relations
+353 1 6090640