Funding updates


HRB announces €20 million to support evidence-informed decision making in health and social care

The funding will support eight programme awards* to tackle challenges in dementia, breastfeeding supports, speech and language interventions for children, autoimmune disease, pandemic preparedness and climate-resilient healthcare systems. They also include two projects on mental health designed specifically to support Sharing the Vision, our national mental health strategy.

Big team of people in a medical setting

The Applied Programme Awards are designed to support high-quality, team-based applied research which will lead to a step change in practice and policy to deliver outcomes for the health system, population health, or for service users and carers.

According to Dr Mairéad O’Driscoll, Chief Executive at the HRB,

“The successful projects in this scheme are carefully aligned with the aims of not only the HRB Strategy, but also wider Department of Health and EU research priorities.

“We were delighted to receive additional support from the Department of Health to increase the number of projects we could fund and many of the successful awards address evidence gaps identified in the Department’s Statement of Research Priorities.

“It was also particularly pleasing to see that many of the awards built on previous HRB-funded work, which indicates a coherence among our combined efforts to maximise the impact of Ireland’s health research investments.”

The awards were specifically designed to ensure that knowledge generated from the research can be quickly put into policy and/or practice.

According to Dr Anne Cody, Head of Investigator-Led Grants, Research Careers and Enablers, 

“All of the successful awardees involved knowledge users in their core team at all stages of the research process, which we know leads to improved research outcomes that are more likely to be applied in practice and deliver the greatest benefit.

“They also have very strong Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) components. Both of these elements should help to quickly translate knowledge generated into the health care system.”

The successful applicants were:

  1. Professor David Cotter, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, VISTA: VISion To Action for promoting mental health and recovery. An Implementation Science approach to "Sharing the Vision" - Ireland's national mental health policy. Award value €2,499,605 
  2. Dr Michelle Flood, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sjögren’s beyond dry eye: Advancing policy and practice through co-creation of integrated care journeys and education for health professionals – The SYNERG-IE Programme.  Award value €2,558,926
  3. Professor Iracema Leroi, Trinity College Dublin, 'EMERALD-Lewy: Improving the diagnosis, management, and lived experience of overlooked dementias in Ireland'.  Award value €2,499,965
  4. Professor Deirdre Bennett, University College Cork, Educating Healthcare Professionals for Climate Change Resilient and Sustainable Healthcare Systems. Award value €2,475,908 
  5. Dr Pauline Frizelle, University College Cork, Maximising the benefits of intervention research to support language and communication in children. Award value €2,493,765
  6. Professor Patricia Leahy-Warren, University College Cork, Maximise support for breastfeeding for sustainable population health and wellbeing: Integrated knowledge translation approach, MaxSBF.  Award value €2,445,580
  7. Professor Alistair Nichol, University College Dublin, PRIME-Ireland Pandemic Resilience Ireland Clinical PlatforM: Refining, Performing, Predicting and Applying a globally integrated clinical research response for future pandEmics in Ireland. Award value €2,499,982
  8. Associate Professor Brian O'Donoghue, University College Dublin, Achieving Recovery in Psychotic Disorders with Comprehensive Clinical Guidelines. Award value €2,499,412

A full list of the successful awards including lay summaries is also available to download (500kB) with this release.

For more information on individual awards and / or to speak to the lead applicants, please contact the press offices at their respective host institutions.


*Programme awards provide support for the long-term development of a health research field by established investigators with an outstanding track record of achievement. The HRB Applied Programme Awards scheme invited proposals in pre-selected thematic areas which reflect broad health and social care challenges nationally and internationally and include areas that cause significant burden or emerging areas where there is a need for increased capacity and additional long-term commitment of funds. While not the only input, particular attention was paid to the Statement of Research Priorities published by the Department of Health.