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HRB to invest €4.5 million in new research training programme

6 April 2017

The new Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) scheme targets healthcare professionals and others, and will bring a structured approach to research training in the clinical space.

According to Dr Mairead O’Driscoll, Interim Chief Executive at the Health Research Board,

‘This is a long-term strategic investment in PhD training.  As the name implies the scheme places a premium on collaboration.  Patients, charities, policy makers; primary, secondary, or tertiary care health professionals; they can all play a part in this initiative’.

The research training aspect of the CDA scheme is directed at people from a range of disciplines and professions, such as, healthcare professionals and health-related researchers like scientists, epidemiologists, health economists, biostatistics, and health informatics. 

It will give them a structured training and research programme in patient-focussed research. This research must address current or future significant health challenges. Each award will support three to five trainees. The HRB hopes to fund up to three of these awards in this first round of the call. 

A central aspect of the award will see it create a cross sectoral-group that links the researchers with key stakeholders like patients, charities, industry, health policy and decision makers.

‘We want those working in our health services to be better researchers, so that they can apply those skills directly into the care and services that they provide’, adds Dr O’Driscoll. ‘This is simply another part of our larger plan to enable the entire healthcare system to conduct and absorb research findings in its everyday practice’.

In the last 10 years the HRB has taken a deliberate, methodical approach to build our national clinical research environment and expand the research capability of our health services. It has:

  • built three clinical research facilities in Dublin, Cork and Galway;
  • established five clinical trial networks in areas that include, cancer, stroke, emergency care, and mother and baby care;
  • funded a trial methodology research network;  established a national coordination mechanism for multi-centre clinical trials and healthcare interventions; and
  • invested in new funding schemes that prioritise clinical trials, feasibility studies and other definitive interventions.

There will be a short webinar for anyone interested in applying on Tuesday 25 April 2017, starting at 3.00 pm. This webinar will focus on the application process. 

You can register for this at:

The full grant call information can be viewed at the first link below.

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