Project Officer - Research Strategy and Funding

Role Profile

The Health Research Board (HRB) supports and funds health research in Ireland. Our mission is to improve people's health and enhance healthcare delivery. An overview of the HRB's objectives and activities may be found in Research, Evidence, Action: HRB Strategy 2016-2020. (

The Research Strategy and Funding Directorate is responsible for the HRB's external funding activities. The Directorate allocates approximately €40 million per annum to projects, fellowships, networks and centres through a process of competition and peer review. It manages, monitors and evaluates an awards portfolio of over 400 awards, with a value in excess of €170 million. Whilst many initiatives are well established, others will be developed over the next four years.

The Directorate is currently organised into two teams. The Pre-Award Team develops and manages HRB funding calls, application and assessment process, and negotiation of the budget with successful applicants. The Post-Award and Evaluation Team manages monitors and evaluates all active HRB awards across all scheme types, namely fellowships, projects, programmes, centres, networks and clinical research infrastructures.


Key responsibilities of the post of Project Officer

The Project Officer (Researchers II) will be located in the Post-Award Team. However they will be expected to support the overall work of the Directorate and may therefore be assigned to different teams depending on need. The Project Officer role is team-based, and teamwork and coordination with others are crucial. Duties will include:


Post-award and Evaluation
  • Ensuring all grant records are up-to-date including grant records in database/GEMS and are correctly classified; Overseeing all award acceptance documentation and related queries;
  • Managing a system for processing and implementing requests for variations to existing contracts;
  • Working with colleagues in finance-legal to develop template award contracts and to refine the General Terms and Conditions and Special Conditions to accompany all award contracts;
  • Implementing SOPS for award management, compliance and monitoring and coordinate the continuous improvement of same and related forms/documentation;
  • Coordinating all aspects of the monitoring of active research awards in conjunction with Finance-Legal including annual reports, interim reviews and end-of grant reporting, including escalation of issues, as required, to the Executive Team and HRB Board;
  • Preparing summary material for corporate reports/ HRB website in respect of funded awards;
  • Assisting with the design, implementation and closeout of interim and renewal reviews and/or site visits for large-scale and strategically important awards;
  • Assisting with the design, implementation, commissioning and closeout of large-scale field reviews in line with the HRB Evaluation Strategy 2016-2020 and Implement Plan;
  • Developing strategies to continuously improve the quality of management and monitoring , and ensure best-practice in award governance processes and procedures;
  • Working with programme managers to develop integration of ongoing monitoring and evaluation data to assess the outcomes and impacts of HRB funding.


Duties may also include assisting with Pre-Award activities
  • agreeing dates, budgets, key actions and deadlines for new initiatives with the programme manager;
  • updating and finalising call documentation;
  • generation of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and other text for website and other dissemination media;
  • interaction with other national and international agencies on joint funding arrangements and new initiatives;
  • responding to all queries from applicants and host institutions co-ordinating eligibility checks (both technical and in scope);
  • taking the lead role in identifying and securing appropriate peer reviewers (including training and mentoring of external support staff, where appropriate, and ensuring that the necessary performance is delivered);
  • coordinating the selection committee members (and Chair) based on understanding of range of applications within a call and match with expert skills;
  • coordinating the process of shortlisting, where appropriate, in association with PM and committee Chair;
  • co-ordinating, attending and recording proceedings of committee meetings;
  • collating and editing (where required) feedback for applicants;
  • negotiating and revision of award budget, milestones, deliverables and any other special conditions for inclusion in contracts.

Project Officers also play a key role in delivering activities such as grant workshops, launches and events and will assist the delivery of the HRB communications strategy by contributing to the website, press releases, publications and other promotional activities.

Project officers may be asked on occasion to provide secretariat and/or support and/or attend an expert group on a topic of importance to RSF, including:

  • Gathering relevant information from documents or stakeholders.
  • Assisting with internal/external consultation process.
  • Writing minutes, drafting a report and/or recommendations based on various inputs.


Requirements: Skills, knowledge & experience

This role profile reflects the grade/responsibilities appropriate to Researcher II / R&I III / Services III Grade in the HRB and maps approximately to a Civil Service role at Administrative Officer level.  

A Project Officer in the HRB will interact closely with the academic and healthcare research community and should therefore have a strong interest in and understanding of these environments. Research experience is essential but it is important to note that this is an administrative role and not a research role.        

Formal requirements include:

  • A PhD in a relevant area; OR a Master’s degree with at least three year’s appropriate research / professional experience.
  • Knowledge of research management, governance, funding, evaluation and policy issues.
  • High degree of computer literacy, including knowledge and experience of using Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and experience of databases.
  • Knowledge of national health research, and of the Irish academic and health services environment.   



Competencies incorporated into the role profile reflect the competency framework issued in conjunction with the Civil Service PMDS for 2013 which has been adapted by the HRB.

Competencies include:

  • Excellent planning and organising abilities.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Problem analysis and resolution skills.
  • Excellent communications skills.
  • Ability to network and influence people.
  • A high degree of motivation and professional integrity.
  • An ability to effectively communicate the vision and values of the  HRB.
  • Ability to work well in a team and on own initiative.

Click to view - Core competencies for Project Officer (RSF)


Reporting relationship and salary information

The Project Officer will report to the relevant Programme Manager within the Post-Award and Evaluation Team or designate.


Salary Scale

Project Officer  €46,308 - €56,592

Note. This post is a permanent full-time position.

Appointment will be made in accordance with the Department of Health guidelines. New entrants will be appointed at the first point of the scale.


How to apply

Closing Date for applications is Thursday 12 July 2018 at 12:00 noon.

NOTE: Interviews will be carried out during the week commencing 23 July 2018.

Please submit a cover letter and curriculum vitae by email to recruitment(at) You must include the name of the post that you are applying for in the email subject line.

If you require further information, please contact Karen O'Donnell, HR Officer at recruitment(at)

The Health Research Board is an equal opportunities employer.

Download - Role profile and core competencies