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€5.5 million for new research programme that explores solutions to public health crises 

The Health Research Board is collaborating on a new research programme designed to create solutions to public health crises. 

logo of new DOROTHY programme

The initiative called the DOROTHY programme was announced today (06.07.21) by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD. 

The programme is designed to drive effective international cooperation. It will bring together researchers and specialists from multiple disciplines to create innovative research networks and deliver solutions that strengthens our ability to respond to emerging infectious diseases and address future challenges.

Over €5.5 million will be invested to support twenty-five, three-year postdoctoral fellowships which will allow researchers to work in both overseas and Irish research institutions for eighteen months, respectively. The programme will be led by the Irish Research Council, in partnership with the Health Research Board and the Environmental Protection Agency

Welcoming the partnership, Dr Annalisa Montesanti, Programme Manager, says: 

“Health emergencies demand rapid responses based on best practice. The Dorothy programme will drive interdisciplinary research programmes to inform and strengthen Ireland’s preparedness for emerging health emergencies. It is designed to bring together the best minds in research, industry, public health, and policy, to work together to ensure research and evidence is available in advance, to help inform decision-making and best practice in relation to events like COVID. When the call opens later this year, we look forward to working in partnership with the Irish Research Council and the Environmental Protection Agency to engage a multidisciplinary group of Irish and international researchers who can equip us with the evidence to respond to public health emergencies quickly and with impact.”

Read the press release.


Call details

The HRB will work closely with the Irish Research Council in the management of the call which will open in October, following a national launch event led by Minister Harris in September.

Fellowships are expected to begin in June/ July 2022. Researchers from all disciplines will be eligible, provided research projects fall within the remit of public-health crises. This includes epidemiology, engineering of materials, diagnostic tools, psychology, economics, social history, education, sociology, political science, medical and health humanities, and philosophy. 

Please visit our Funding Schemes page where updates will be posted in the coming months. For more information, contact the Irish Research Council by email to


About the DOROTHY programme

Following a highly competitive process, the programme was successful under the European Commission’s Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) pillar and will be co-funded by the Commission for a period of five years. The DOROTHY application for funding was ranked by the Commission as the second-highest programme of its kind in Europe. 

The programme is named after Dorothy Stopford-Price, an Irish doctor who was a pioneer in eradicating tuberculosis in Ireland, and is to be credited with being a key figure in promoting the merits and use of the BCG vaccine.