Definitive Intervention and Feasibility Awards (DIFA) 2023 - Full Application

DIFA supports researchers and research teams to conduct high-quality definitive intervention trials and feasibility studies. Outputs should provide evidence on the efficacy, effectiveness, cost, and broad impact of the intervention. Applications should be in the areas of clinical research, population health research, or health services research.

Applications should: 

  • Be relevant to health priorities internationally and/or nationally.
  • Translate research knowledge into new ways of treating patients, delivering care, or changing behaviour. 

The DIFA scheme also supports the conduct of trial methodology research within the context of proposed interventions.

Additional Information

The scheme funds:

  • Definitive trials of interventions of any appropriate design aimed at assessing the efficacy or effectiveness, cost and broad impact of therapy or intervention. This includes randomised controlled trials, and non-randomised trials.
  • Stand-alone feasibility studies conducted in preparation for future definitive intervention. The HRB’s sole aim in funding these studies is to establish a pipeline for definitive interventions. 
  • Studies within a trial (SWATs) built into the main study or the feasibility study to explore primary trial methodology questions. Additional funding is available for conducting a SWAT. 
  • Participation in international studies at feasibility stage or participation in full-scale international studies subject to evidence of the feasibility in Irish sites.

Cancer Stream:

Aligned to HRB’s recent investment in cancer clinical trials infrastructure, €3M of the total DIFA 2023 budget is aimed at supporting cancer-specific trials (both DIs and Feasibility studies) as a separate cancer stream within the overall call. The assessment process and criteria will be the same for all DIFA applications. 


HRB DIFA 2023 Stage 2 Full Application is by invitation only following international Panel review.

Researchers should be at the mid-stage or senior stage in their career. It is strongly recommended that the Lead Applicant(s) should have experience in the conduct of interventions. For this round, a Co-Lead Applicant option is available, where at least one of the Co-Lead Applicants is a Health and Care Practitioner investigator in Ireland. 

The research team should demonstrate the necessary breadth and depth of expertise in each of the methodological areas required for the delivery of the proposed project. Appropriate multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary involvement in the research team is essential. 


ll applications must be made using the HRB Grant Electronic Management System (GEMS) GEMS will open on 01 July 2022.

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 Karen Crowley

Project Officer

Health Research Board


Opening date
13:00 01-07-2022
Closing date
13:00 15-09-2022