Secondary Data Analysis Projects (SDAP 2023)

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.

This is a rolling call and as such there will be two separate closing dates and associated peer review cycles.

  1. Applications for Cycle 1 closed on the 15th of December 2022, 14 applications were submitted in Cycle 1, and these applications will now undergo eligibility checks and peer and panel review.
  2. Applications for Cycle 2 are open, the closing date for Cycle 2 is the 4th of October 2023.


The HRB hosted a seminar on Wednesday 21 September for previous SDAP awardees.  The presentations are available in the additional documentation section on this webpage, including:

  • Overview of proposed SDAP 2023 call – Dr Caitriona Creely, HRB Programme Manager
  • Further opportunities for research: the Covid-19 Research Data Hub -Dr Frank Moriarty, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, RCSI
  • Central Statistics Office experience of working with researchers on access to data – John Dunne, Central Statistics Office
  • The importance of knowledge translation for the SDAP scheme - Professor Carl Thompson, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds

The presentation from Professor Thompson is also available on YouTube

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 are allowed 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.


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 should ideally  be included as Co-Applicants or Collaboratorse.
  •  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. This round has added an additional objective: to enhance capacity for further research of this nature in Ireland through upskilling, training and education of team members where possible.


This is a rolling call. Applications can be submitted at any time up to the second closing date. There are two distinct opportunities for peer review – see ‘Key dates’ section of the guidance notes. This enables researchers and knowledge users to develop collaborations and to submit their application at the time that best suits them.  

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.


Christina Rushe

Project Officer

E. crushe(at)