Secondary Data Analysis Projects (SDAP 2021) - (Next Call October 2022)

The Secondary Data Analysis Projects are designed to bring together researchers, knowledge users and data controllers to develop research projects that answer policy and/or practice-relevant questions through the use of secondary data. The proposed research should be explicitly linked to the documented evidence needs of the Knowledge User organisation.

Additional Information

The awards will support proposals typically between 18-24 months duration where the findings from the research will have direct relevance to policy and/or practice in the Irish health and social care system. This should involve close collaboration of researchers with relevant stakeholders including decision makers and data custodians/controllers. The proposed research should be explicitly linked to the documented evidence needs of the Knowledge User organisation.

As some data sets are not currently in an accessible format, proposals that include some aspect of development or improvement by the data provider/s in order to make datasets more accessible for research purposes in accordance with international best practice and ensures that the privacy, confidentiality and data protection rights of data subjects is preserved in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Health Research Regulations of the 2018 Data Protection Act (e.g., through the creation of a published data dictionary, use of encryption on de-identification techniques). In these cases, the duration of the award may be up to 36 months, with up to 12 months dedicated to the development of such protocols and tools.

  • Quality permitting, one award in the area of Drug Policy will be funded and a dedicated budget for this has been provided by the Drugs Policy and Social Inclusion Division in the Department of Health. 

Applications should be made by a team of team made up of researchers, knowledge users and data controllers.

  • The Lead Applicant and Co-Applicant(s) must include a researcher and a knowledge user. This is a requirement of the scheme.
  • Data controllers from data provider organisations must be included as Co-Applicants or Collaborators. This is a requirement of the scheme.
  • At a minimum, the data controller of the organisation providing access to the dataset/s must agree to provide access to the dataset.
  • PPI Contributors should be included as part of the team where appropriate.

In some instances, a researcher or a knowledge user may also be the data controller/processor. The applicant team should designate a Lead Applicant from the research team.

The applicant team must demonstrate clearly that the appropriate and relevant partners are involved in order to achieve the objectives set out in the research proposal and in a manner that aligns well with the sections included in the application on relevance, knowledge translation plan and impact.


All applications must be made using the HRB Grant Electronic Management System (GEMS) (, and this system 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 Karen Crowley
Project Officer
E. kcrowley(at)

Opening date
13:00 29-03-2021
Closing date
13:00 04-06-2021
August 2021
Decision expected
October 2021