Strategy 2021-2025

Health research - making an impact

Introducing our Strategy 2025

Every advance in health or healthcare depends on high-quality research. Research provides hope. 

The HRB Strategy 2021-2025, Health research - making an impact, sets out how we will advance health research, data and evidence to benefit Ireland’s people, society and economy. We are committed to ensuring that research and evidence are translated into important breakthroughs that improve people's health, deliver new treatments and inform health policy and practice. 

This strategy is a result of extensive engagement with stakeholders and input from an International Expert Advisory Panel. We would like to acknowledge everyone’s time and commitment. 

Vision, mission and strategic objectives

Our vision is for better health through excellent research, data and evidence. Our mission is to support research that improves people's health, promotes evidence-informed care and creates solutions to societal challenges.

We are committed to ensuring that people remain at the very heart of everything we do, led by our values as an organisation: leadership, independence, accountability, quality, responsiveness, collaboration and inclusiveness. 

To deliver on our vision and mission over the next five years, we have identified six strategic objectives across our activities:

1. Research that makes a difference

Research enables advances in health and social care that make a real difference to people’s lives. The HRB is committed to investing in research that delivers value for health, the health system, society and the economy. 

We will do this through a strategic, well-balanced funding portfolio that responds to real-world needs - collaborating with partners to address challenges and drive innovation in our health system, and supporting meaningful involvement of patients, carers and the public in research. This will ensure that HRB-funded research is applied in practice and contributes to better outcomes for Ireland and its people.

2. An independent voice

We aim to be an independent, credible voice for research and evidence, and a trusted thought leader. We will seek to enhance coordination between those involved in evidence synthesis nationally and internationally. And we will strive to earn and maintain people’s trust in the evidence produced, while facilitating dialogue on emerging health research topics. 

The HRB evidence centre will continue to support the generation of independent, credible evidence to inform decisions of policymakers, practitioners and the public. 

3. Trusted data

Health and social care data, along with research and statistical data, has the potential to transform healthcare delivery and how we manage our own health. The HRB is already playing a leading role in enabling this transformation. 

We are committed to promoting and enabling the use of data to shape health policy, enhance healthcare delivery and drive broader research and innovation initiatives. Moreover, we will work to increase public understanding of the importance of facilitating secure access to health and social care data for research, policy and planning. And we will support adoption of best practice in data management, governance and re-use by data producers and researchers.

4. Thriving research environment

Health research that delivers value needs an enabling environment to thrive – from skilled researchers and access to infrastructure, to policies that support and enhance good research practice.

The HRB will help build this strong, supportive environment for health research in Ireland, fostering connections between the academic and healthcare systems in the process. In partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, we will work to ensure that funding for researchers and infrastructure is delivered effectively, that the highest standards of governance, quality and ethics are met, and that innovative practices are developed and taken up here in Ireland. 

5. Productive international partnerships

From pandemics to climate change, many of the greatest health challenges we face are global and can only be addressed through international partnership.

To meet these challenges, we are committed to fostering and enhancing European and international coordination, collaboration and engagement in health research. We will help Ireland’s research community compete for EU and international funding, and work with policy stakeholders to identify opportunities to engage in initiatives that can advance health and broader government objectives. 

6. Organisational excellence

As a leading agency for health and social care research, evidence and data, the HRB’s goal as an organisation is to be the best.

We will further develop the HRB as a progressive place to work, where our people are supported to be innovative and responsive. We will maintain our culture of organisational excellence based on shared values that attracts the best talent, embraces change and delivers solutions. Our governance structures will support informed and accountable decision-making, and we will communicate with impact to strengthen our reputation across stakeholders.

What success looks like

With this strategy, we want to shape a future where the research we fund and the work we do deliver measurable societal value, support economic development in a post-pandemic environment, and enable the transformation of Ireland’s health and social care system. Our independent and trusted data and evidence will provide targeted support to policy and practice, and we will have helped our research system unlock the potential of data for health and social care. Plus, Ireland will be recognised as the location of choice to do health research, embedded in a strong network of international collaboration. By achieving these goals we will deliver on our mission of supporting research that improves people’s health, promotes evidence-informed care and creates solutions for societal challenges.

Join the conversation on the future of Irish health research by engaging with us on Twitter or LinkedIn - #HRBstrategy2025