The HRB portfolio includes many schemes that are run regularly and that are fundamental to health research in Ireland. Complementing these are a number of strategic initiatives. These are initiatives that focus on specific strategic needs in the health research arena that are not addressed by established HRB schemes or other funders. Many of these initiatives comprise one-off or limited numbers of awards, and many (but not all) are substantial awards financially. They balance the overall portfolio to include structured capacity building (physical infrastructure and human capital), and coordination of research efforts.
Strategic Initiatives arise out of the HRB's own analysis of the research landscape and corporate strategy, and can be influenced by reports from other bodies and by government policy such as the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation.