COVID-19 Pandemic Rapid Response Funding Call (COV19 2020)

In response to the fast evolving COVID-19 pandemic, HRB in cooperation with the IRC, are launching a rapid response mechanism to fund research that will provide evidence for the national and global efforts to deal with the virus outbreak. The research priorities of this call are aligned with the WHO R&D Blueprint  and informed by the Global Infectious Disease Collaboration for International Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R). The scope of this funding call covers medical countermeasures, health service readiness, and social and policy countermeasures to COVID-19. 
Expedited timelines apply throughout the process. It is expected that contracting and start-up of successful projects is equally expedited, and that project staff will mostly be redeployed rather than specifically recruited. Host Institutions are required to treat awards arising from the call with utmost urgency.

Scheme at a glance

Career stage
  • Mid career
  • Senior career
Research area
  • Health services research
  • Patient-oriented and clinical research
  • Population health research
Funding available Typically up to €200,000, in exceptional circumstances higher
Duration of funding 3-24 months

Additional Information

The format of applications is based on a shortened version of the well-established HRB funding instrument, the Investigator-Led Projects. However, whilst not a requirement we emphasise that applications with involvement of health and care practitioners, policy makers and planners are particularly welcome. Applications may be made on all-island basis. We encourage researchers to address questions of relevance to the National Public Health Emergency Team , the Health Protection Surveillance Centre , and relevant groups within the HSE and internationally. 





The Lead Applicant must demonstrate that they have the skills, knowledge and supports necessary to direct the proposed research and to be actively engaged in carrying the research through to completion. This means that the LA will show appropriate evidence of expertise matched to the nature and context of the project.


All applications must be made using the HRB Grant Electronic Management System (GEMS) GEMS will close automatically at the deadline.
The application must have been reviewed and approved by the signatory approver at the research office (or equivalent) in the host institution before it is submitted to the HRB. Therefore, applicants should ensure that they give the signatory approver sufficient time before the scheme closing date to review the application and approve it on GEMS. Please note that many host institutions specify internal deadlines for this procedure.


Dr Annalisa Montesanti
Programme Manager
Pre-Award Team
Health Research Board

Email COVIDCall(at)

Opening date
18:00 26-03-2020
Closing date
13:00 09-04-2020
Decision expected
22 April 2020