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Support for Health Services

The HRB is committed to improving health through research and to working in partnership with the health services.  Recognising that we share a common goal to improve healthcare, the HRB and the HSE are working together on a number of important initiatives.

Clinical research facilities

Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs) provide crucial research infrastructure in terms of physical space, facilities and the experts needed to support patient-focused research studies within a hospital setting. The HRB, the HSE and the Wellcome Trust are developing clinical research facilities on the sites of University College Hospital Galway, Cork University Hospital and St James's Hospital, Dublin.  In addition, the HRB and the Wellcome Trust are supporting the development of a network (the Dublin Clinical Research Centre) to co-ordinate the activities of all the clinical research facilities in Dublin.

Health services research

The HRB supports a number of fellows in health services research as well as a dedicated PhD Scholar's Programme in Health Services Research (the Health Services Research Institute in RCSI).  The HRB also offers a number of funding schemes targeted at the health services, namely Strategic R&D Awards and projects grants in population health and health services.

The HRB, the HSE and the medical postgraduate training bodies are developing a PhD training programme for medical doctors which will integrate research with clinical training.  This implements a key recommendation in the Buttimer Report (Department of Health and Children).

The HRB also offers pre-doctoral and postdoctoral research fellowships to health professionals. 


The HRB and the HSE are co-funding ICRIN (the Irish Clinical Research Infrastructure Network) for two years on a pilot basis.


Two commissioned studies are currently being co-funded by the HRB and the HSE, the first analysing the impact of demographic changes on demand for and delivery of health services and the second developing a resource allocation model for the health service.

The HSE is represented on the Steering Committee of a HRB led review of population health research to be conducted in 2008.  The HSE is represented, along with the HRB, on the recently established Heath Research Group (HRG). This provides a mechanism by which greater coherence may be brought to the system. The HRB is represented, along with the HSE, on the National Medical Education and Training Committee.

Relevant reports

For further information download the following reports:

Buttimer Report (pdf)

Preparing Irelands Doctors to meet the Health Needs of the 21st Century: Report of the postgraduate medical education and training group

Fotrell Report (pdf)

Medical Education in Ireland, A new direction: Report of the Working Group on Undergraduate Medical Education and Training.

HSE METR Report 2007 (pdf)

Medical Education, Training and Research: HSE Strategy.

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