Role Profile

Research Officer (National Health and Information Systems)

HRB Grade 7 Job Family (consisting of R&I IV, Services IV and Research Officer grade) on a three-year, fixed-term contract. You can download a full job description here (PDF) and at the bottom of this webpage (PDF and MS Word).


The Health Research Board (HRB) is a statutory agency under the aegis of the Department of Health. As the lead agency in Ireland responsible for supporting and funding health research, generating health information and promoting the use of evidence in policy and practice, we are motivated and inspired by our vision – Healthy people through excellent research and applied knowledge. Our mission is to improve people’s health and enhance healthcare delivery. An overview of the HRB’s objectives and activities may be found in Research, Evidence, Action: HRB Strategy 2016-2020. (

The National Health Information System Unit (NHIS) within the HRB currently manages four national health information systems in the areas of drugs and alcohol, disability and mental health.  All of these aim to generate timely and accurate data at a national level to assist with service planning and monitoring of key policies in the areas identified as well as reporting at national, EU and international levels.  A key aspect of the HRB’s work in this area in this current strategic planning phase is to implement the new HRB LINK system which is an initiative designed to redevelop the functionality of the existing systems.

Key responsibilities of the post of Research Officer (NHIS)

The HRB is now seeking to recruit a temporary Research Officer on a three-year fixed-term basis who will primarily work in the disability area and be responsible for the roll out of the HRB’s new disability system the National Ability Supports System (NASS) as well as working on the HRB’s other systems.

Duties will include (but are not limited to)

Oversee the ongoing organisation and development of the National Health Information Systems (NHIS) including:

  • Monitoring accuracy and comprehensiveness of data
  • Promoting the NHIS systems
  • Developing and maintaining data definitions
  • Checking/testing database functionality
  • Providing support to data providers
  • Developing strategies to improve data quality.

Liaise with key stakeholders including:

  • Meeting with the Department of Health, the HSE and data providers
  • Overseeing the organisation of HRB-hosted data provider meetings.

Train data providers.  This will involve:

  • Developing and/or updating hard copy and on-line training materials
  • Delivering training for data providers
  • Rolling out of new health information ICT system (LINK)

Analyse and disseminate data: This will involve:

  • Providing statistical outputs as requested by stakeholders, data providers and others that request ad hoc analysis
  • Providing analysis for Parliamentary Questions (PQs), Freedom of Information and media requests
  • Calculating performance indicators, and completing basic epidemiological and statistical analysis where required
  • Writing, and supervising the writing of, reports and peer review papers
  • Liaising with potential collaborators about research using the HRB’s NHIS
  • Contributing to steering committee and other governance group meetings
  • Preparing and presenting papers/presentations at meetings or conferences.

Project management and line management including:

  • Devising project plans for key aspects of national health information work
  • Line managing and supervising the work of staff to ensure that objectives are achieved.

Essential knowledge and experience:

The Research Officer (NHIS) will interact closely with the academic and healthcare research community, with governmental and statutory bodies and with other national and international funding agencies and should therefore have a strong interest in and understanding of these environments. 

Formal requirements include:

  • A Masters degree in a related discipline will be required combined with specialist knowledge in research methods.
  • An in-depth understanding of quantitative methods, in particular SPSS is required, and knowledge of SPSS syntax design is required.
  • A publication track record, preferably in peer-reviewed journals.
  • At least five years’ appropriate professional experience is required with proven experience in supervising and developing a number of staff/students.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, attention to detail and the ability to work independently and as part of a team are essential. The post holder must also be able to meet deadlines.

This role profile reflects the grade/responsibilities appropriate to Services IV/ R&I IV / Research Officer in the HRB and maps approximately to a Civil Service role at Higher Executive Officer level.Competencies incorporated into the role profile reflect the competency framework issued in conjunction with the Civil Service PMDS for 2013 which has been adapted by the HRB.

The complete list of core competencies for this post is in Appendix A.

Reporting relationship

The Research Officer will report to the Senior Researcher/ Health Information Manager within the NHIS Unit of the HRB as appropriate.

Salary scale:

Salary Range for Research Officer(Grade VII)  €50,834 - €66,081.

NOTE: This is a temporary full-time position.

Appointment will be made in accordance with the Department of Health guidelines. New entrants will be appointed at the first point of the scale.

How to apply:

Please submit a cover letter and curriculum vitae by email to You must include the name of the post that you are applying for in the email subject line

Closing date for applications is Friday 4 December 2020 at 12:00 noon.

NOTE:  Interviews for this position are expected to take place on a date between Wednesday 16 December and Friday 18 December 2020. 

If you require further information, please contact Karen O'Donnell, HR Officer at

The Health Research Board is an equal opportunities employer

Appendix A:  Core competencies – Research Officer (Grade VII))

Teamwork and Leadership
  • Works with the team to facilitate high performance, developing clear and realistic objectives and addressing any performance issues should they arise.
  • Provides clear information and advice as to what is required of the team.
  • Strives to develop and implement new ways of working effectively to meet objectives.
  • Leads and participates in the team by example, coaching and supporting individuals as required.
  • Places high importance on people development, training and maximising the skills and capacity of the team.
  • Is flexible and willing to adapt, positively contributing to the implementation of change.
Judgement, Analysis and Decision-Making
  • Gathers and analyses information from relevant sources, whether numerical, financial or otherwise weighing up a range of critical factors.
  • Takes account of any broader issues and related implications when making decisions.
  • Uses previous knowledge and experience in order to guide decisions.
  • Makes sound decisions with a well-reasoned rationale and stands by these.
  • Puts forward solutions to address problems. 
  • Judgement and decision-making.
  • Identifies key stakeholders in work processes and ensure that they are involved in communications and decision-making.
  • Ensures that identified tasks meet the goals and objectives set out in annual business plans.
Management and Delivery of Results
  • Takes responsibility and is accountable for the delivery of agreed objectives.
  • Successfully manages a range of different projects and work activities at the same time.
  • Is logical and pragmatic in approach, delivering the best possible results with the resources available.
  • Completes and delegates work effectively, providing clear information and evidence as to what is required.
  • Applies appropriate systems/ processes to enable quality checking of all activities and outputs.
  • Practices and promotes a strong focus on delivering high quality customer service, for internal and external customers.
Interpersonal & Communication Skills
  • Builds and maintains contact with colleagues and other stakeholders to assist in performing own role.
  • Acts as an effective link between staff and senior management.
  • Encourages open and constructive discussions around work issues.
  • Projects conviction, gaining buy-in by outlining relevant information and selling the benefits.
  • Treats others with diplomacy, tact, courtesy and respect, even in challenging circumstances.
  • Presents information clearly, concisely and confidently when speaking and in writing.
Drive and Commitment
  • Strives to perform at a high level, investing significant energy to achieve agreed objectives.
  • Demonstrates resilience in the face of challenging circumstances and high demands.
  • Is personally trustworthy and can be relied upon.
  • Ensures that customers are at the heart of all services provided.
  • Upholds high standards of honesty, ethics and integrity.
Specialist Knowledge, Expertise and Self Development
  • Has a clear understanding of the roles, objectives and targets of self and team and how they fit into the work of the unit and organisation and effectively communicates this to others.
  • Has high levels of expertise and broad Public Sector knowledge relevant to his/her area of work.
  • Focuses on self-development, striving to improve performance.