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HRB Grants and Fellowships

HRB Internship Programme 2015
Training / Career Development
Opening Date:
2 October 2015
Closing Date:
30 October 2015
Objectives of the HRB Internship Programme

The HRB is committed to building capacity in health research and encouraging and supporting our early-stage researchers in the development of their careers.  To support this aim, the HRB runs an Internship Programme, offering researchers at the early stages of their careers an opportunity to gain first-hand experience of working in a state agency  alongside experienced professionals and a range of stakeholders. 

The HRB Internship Programme is targeted at early-stage researchers working in health-related areas (defined as those with a degree in a health-related area who have recently secured or are soon to secure a higher degree (MSc, PhD) who are interested in pursuing a career in academic research, health analytics, research coordination or research management, health policy and management, public administration or in the private sector).

For those researchers who wish to pursue a career in academic research, research coordination or research management, the Internship Programme can provide a valuable opportunity to understand better the way that funding decisions are made, how calls are developed, the implementation of best practice peer review processes, the critical success factors in securing funding, the research governance and policy environment in which national and international research operates and factors involved in grant monitoring and evaluation. Interns may also gain first-hand knowledge of how health information is collected, collated and analysed, the process for designing and conducting evidence synthesis and reviews and how evidence can be effectively used to inform policy and drive the development of new and existing services.

The Internship Programme will also benefit individuals who are thinking about making a transition from academia into public administration or the private sector as it will provide them with a broad range of knowledge and skills.  

Structure of the Programme
Support from an eligible Host Institution

It is important to note that applicants wishing to apply to the HRB Internship Programme must apply to the HRB with the support of a Host Institution. A HRB Host Institution is a research performing organisation that is approved by the HRB for the purpose of receiving and administering HRB grant funding and is responsible for compliance with all general and specific terms and conditions of awards. See for details of the HRB’s host institution policy and for information on applying for host institution status.

A Host Institution must demonstrate their support for an application to the Internship in the form of a signature from the Vice President for Research (form available for download from the HRB website below). For successful candidates, the costs associated with the Internship will be issued to the Host Institution as an award and all aspects of the Internship, including terms and conditions, will be managed by the Host Institution.

The duration of a HRB Internship will be for a minimum period of 12 months and for up to 24 months.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Intern

HRB Interns may rotate their work between the Research Strategy and Funding Directorate (RSF) and the Health Information and Evidence Directorate and will report to a senior manager within the relevant Directorate. 

Within the Research Strategy and Funding Directorate interns will work across a range of activities including but not limited to:

  • Assisting with the generation of call documents for research grant schemes
  • Supporting the announcement of funding programmes
  • Coordinating the online processing and management of grant applications through the HRB’s GEMS system 
  • Responding to requests for advice and guidance from the research community 
  • Participating in the delivery of peer review processes and panel meetings, and provision of feedback to applicants
  • Contributing to all post award management activities including contracting, payments, progress reports and interim reviews
  • Contributing to the collection, collation and analysis of evaluation data for annual and other reports
  • Contributing to development and refinement of grant-related processes, systems and policies
  • Data gathering, analysis and report writing
  • Supporting knowledge transfer, outreach and promotional activities (including event organisation)
  • Liaising with other national and international agencies on joint funding arrangements and new initiatives.


Within the Health Information and Evidence Directorate interns may work in the National Health Information Systems Unit and / or the Evidence Generation and Knowledge Brokering Unit. Interns will work across a range of activities including but not limited to:

  • Managing the day-to-day aspects of a national health information system (i.e. maintaining a service inventory, training data providers, data collection, data coding, and entry, data querying and validation)
  • Analysing large data sets using the statistical package SPSS
  • Writing reports to meet the needs of policy-makers and health service providers
  • Contributing to testing and updating national health information system protocols and data management mechanisms
  • Understanding data standards, data governance and data protection issues of health information systems
  • Understanding how national health information systems can be used for research purposes
  • Working with policy-makers or service planners to clarify their evidence needs
  • Deciding the best methods to answer the research question and agreeing these with the policy maker or service planner
  • Developing peer review literature and grey literature search strategies that are repeatable and complete and implementing them
  • Screening literature using relevant inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Reading the literature to ensure it is relevant and extracting the relevant information to answer the policy-makers or service planners questions
  • Identifying the level of evidence and carrying out quality assessment of each paper
  • Synthesising the research or information to answer the policymakers questions
  • Presenting to and drafting an evidence review in a clear and concise manner for policy-makers or service planners
  • Identifying possible peer reviewers for selection by the Director, recruiting them and dealing with their comments

In addition interns will develop key skills in teamwork, use of ICT systems, general administration and project management, and enhance their understanding of national and European research governance and policy issues in areas such as IP, ethics, data management and research prioritisation.

Training will be provided and each intern will prepare a personalised training plan. 

Eligibility Criteria for the Applicant (Intern)

Applicants wishing to apply to the HRB Internship Programme can only do so with the support of a Host Institution (see section on Support from an eligible host institution above for information on the HRB’s Host Institution policy). Prospective applicants are advised to contact a Host Institution for guidance.

The HRB Internship Programme is targeted at early-stage researchers working in health-related areas (defined as those with a degree in a health-related area who have recently secured or are soon to secure a higher degree (MSc, PhD)). For those applicants with higher degrees, they should not be in receipt of their higher degree for more than 24 months at the time of application to the Internship Programme. Candidates who are currently working to attain a higher degree who have completed their research activities but have not yet graduated (and have therefore not received their MSc/PhD Certificate) may still apply to the Internship Programme as long as they can provide proof that they successfully conducted their viva examination.

Applicants must currently be funded through a competitive peer reviewed grant from the HRB or other funding agency, or have been in receipt of such funding within the previous 12 months. Potential applicants may either be working currently within a host institution or they may be at a natural break in their careers

To apply to this current round of the Internship Programme, candidates must be available to take up the Internship at the HRB from January 2016. Ideally, applicants will have a keen interest in health research and be familiar with the HRB and its functions. Good communication and organisational skills are essential, as is attention to detail and the ability to work well in an office environment, as part of a team and under their own initiative.


Allowable costs for an Internship Award, payable via the Host Institution, include salary, salary-related costs (PRSI and Employer’s pension contribution) and an overhead contribution (25% in accordance with HRB policy for desk related research). Salary costs for a HRB Intern will be paid at the appropriate point on the IUA’s Researcher Salary Scale (Level 2). 

Application Process

To apply for a HRB Internship, please complete the signature form (available to download below), and submit it along with a curriculum vitae and cover letter, addressed to the HR Officer at the HRB. The CV and cover letter should emphasise relevant qualification, skills, current employment status, career plans and interests. Applications should indicate an available start date.

These documents should be submitted by email to no later than 3 pm on Friday 30th October 2015. Applications will be shortlisted by the HRB and shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview in November.

Contact information 

If you have any queries regarding the Internship Programme please email

The HRB reserves the right to reject any application that does not meet the terms of this call. The decision of the Board in respect of any grant application is final and cannot be appealed or reviewed.

  1. Signature Form: Must be signed by Vice President Research in Host Institution
  2. Applicant CV
  3. Cover Letter
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