Emerging Clinician Scientist Awards (ECSA) 2020 (Next call expected in Q2/Q3 2O23)

The overarching aim of the HRB Emerging Clinician Scientist Awards is to support health practitioners by the development of a cohort of new and talented emerging clinician scientists in the Republic of Ireland enabling their transition towards research independence.

This scheme will target health practitioners who have already consolidated their research knowledge, skills, methodologies and capabilities through post-doctoral research and are currently progressing towards research independence. The scheme mirrors the Emerging Investigator Awards for Health, which is aimed at building capacity at an equivalent career stage mainly among academic-based health researchers.

Additional Information

Each award will provide 40-50% FTE protected time for research and funding for a research project including research personnel. Each award will have a duration of four years and a maximum value of €775K exclusive of overheads. The HRB envisage an investment up to €5M in this round which will support up to five awards.

The main objectives of this scheme are to:

  1. Support talented health practitioners at a critical career transition stage to establish themselves as independent investigators in a higher education institution while retaining their clinical practice in the Irish health services;
  2. Develop collaborative investigators who can facilitate actionable knowledge by
  • a. translating knowledge generated through research into the health care system, policies or practice, or
  • b. generating research findings informed by policy and practice.

The scheme is open to health practitioners who are currently engaged in research activities and are able to demonstrate they have the skills and experience to match the transition to research independence career stage.

Lead applicants must 

  • have a PhD or MD degree; 
  • hold (or will hold if your application is successful) a clinical post either in the Irish health service which covers the duration of the award (e.g. SpR, medical consultant, nurse practitioner, physiotherapist, and generally have completed the professional training if from the other non-medical professions etc) or in a private practice (e.g. General Practitioners, private Physiotherapy practice)


  • have a joint academic position with a Higher Education Institution and the Irish Health Services 


  • if not currently working in Ireland, have the support of a HRB approved Host Institution and have obtained or are negotiating a clinical post in the Republic of Ireland. In these cases the Lead Applicant must be recognised by the institution upon receipt of the HRB Award as a member of the academic staff. 

The Lead Applicants must not 

  • be recognised as an independent investigators by having already built a research team or by leading a research programme in their own right.

Please see Guidance Notes for full details on eligibility criteria



All applications must be made using the HRB Grant Electronic Management System (GEMS) https://grants.hrb.ie GEMS will close automatically at the stated deadline date and time.

The Emerging Clinician Scientist Awards scheme will use a two-stage application process consisting of:

  1. Open call for Pre-application stage (Stage 1)
  2. Invitation of selected applicants to submit a Full Application (Stage 2).

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 Brian Nolan
Project Officer, Pre Award
Email: bnolan(at)hrb.ie
Tel: +353 1 234 5108


A webinar on the ECSA 2020 was held on Tuesday 19 March 2019 at 14.00hrs. You can listen back the this webinar via this link.


Opening date
11:00 11-03-2019
Closing date
13:00 16-05-2019
End of June
January 2020
Decision expected
February 2020
Next call expected