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Press Release

Press release

HRB build on 10 years of leading the way in Irish clinical research training

9 April 2008

The Health Research Board (HRB) has announced eight new research awards for doctors which will enable them to undertake a PhD in a topic of their own choice. Now in the tenth year of its pioneering Clinical Research Training Programme to support PhD training for doctors and dentists, the HRB has invested almost ?11 million to enable more than 80 medical doctors to undertake clinical research in key areas like cancer, schizophrenia, diabetes and MRSA.

The Health Research Board (HRB) has announced eight new research awards for doctors which will enable them to undertake a PhD in a topic of their own choice. Now in the tenth year of its pioneering Clinical Research Training Programme to support PhD training for doctors and dentists, the HRB has invested almost ?11 million to enable more than 80 medical doctors to undertake clinical research in key areas like cancer, schizophrenia, diabetes and MRSA.

Speaking about the awards Dr Mairead O' Driscoll, Director of Research Strategy and Funding says;

?When we launched the Clinical Research Training Programme in 1998 it was the first of its kind in Ireland. It was established with two aims in mind; firstly, improving the care that patients receive on the basis that doctors would be aware of, and act on, the latest research findings available in their specialty and secondly, developing research capacity and capability within the health system by training the next generation of clinician scientists?. 

The Buttimer Report on Postgraduate Medical Education and Training, published in 2006, recommended that research should form an integral part of training for Irish Doctors. ?We were already contributing to the aspirations laid out in the Buttimer report but we recognise the need for this scheme to evolve to reflect the changing needs within the system. The HRB is now working with the Health Service Executive and medical training bodies to develop an integrated, coherent training model. This scheme will in time allow medical graduates to undertake a PhD alongside higher clinical training in their chosen specialty and will represent an important step beyond academic training to improve the link between research and health care', said Dr O' Driscoll.

Looking at the bigger picture, this scheme is part of a bigger HRB strategy to bridge the gap between basic research and translating research into innovations and understanding that will help prevent illness and improve patient care.

The eight new awards made to doctors this year brings to 22 the number of medical graduates currently being supported by the HRB as part of their Clinical Research PhD Training programme. The research awards worth ?1.7 million will help to increase our knowledge and understanding of Breast Cancer, Eczema, Arthritis, Appropriate Prescribing in Late Life, Neo- natal EEGs, Pathology and Mechanisms of disease and Ovarian Cancer.

For more information contact:
Gillian Markey, Communications Manager
Health Research Board
m 00353 87 2288514
t 00353 1 2345103
e gmarkey(at)hrb.ie

 

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