News roundup


HRB invests €3 million to make clinical trials more relevant, accessible and influential for all

Continued funding of the HRB-Trial Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) reinforces its important role in strengthening the methodology and reporting of trials in health and social care in Ireland.

Picture of clinical equipment

Since 2014, the HRB-TMRN has been a key component of Health Research Board (HRB)-funded clinical research infrastructure, working in harmony with Clinical Research Facilities/Centres, Clinical Trial Networks and the HRB National Clinical Trials Office.

Welcoming the new investment, Dr Mairéad O’Driscoll, CEO of the HRB said:

“The HRB-TMRN has excelled in its mission to strengthen the methodology and reporting of trials to benefit patients, practitioners, policy makers and the public, and is now considered an exemplar of best practice in its field, with many groups learning from and referencing HRB-TMRN examples. The Health Research Board looks forward to continued success from this new round of investment.”

Commenting on the new award, Professor Declan Devane, Scientific Director of the HRB-TMRN said:

“We are delighted that renewed funding means that the HRB-TMRN can continue our journey in improving how to make trials more usable in every sense of the word – better planned and designed, better conducted, and better reported and useable for decision-makers.”

A collaborative initiative

Led by the National University of Ireland in Galway, the HRB-TMRN is a collaborative initiative between a number of Irish and international higher education institutes and methodology centres across Ireland in NUI Galway, University College Cork, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and University of Limerick. The Network also works closely with UK partners in the University of Aberdeen and is a member of the MRC/NIHR-Trials Methodology Research Partnership in the UK. 

The HRB-TMRN has four broad areas of activity:

  1. Support and advice: HRB-TMRN supports and advises the clinical trial community in Ireland on appropriate trial design principles, methodologies and reporting.
  2. Training and education: HRB-TMRN has a programme of training and education to improve capacity in Ireland for the conduct, reporting and use of high-quality trials in health and social care. This includes seminars, short courses, summer schools, and internet resources. At the individual level, it includes mentoring and placement of PhD candidates working on trial methodology projects.
  3. Research and innovation: Advancing methodology through a planned programme of novel research into issues of the design, conduct, analysis and dissemination of trials; establishing a database of trial and trial methodology expertise; developing a People’s Trial; and developing methods of dissemination of evidence from trials through systematic reviews.
  4. Public engagement: Increasing understanding and awareness of the benefits of clinical trials to the general community. The HRB-TMRN recognises the valuable contribution of members of the public to the planning and design of clinical trials, and welcomes opportunities to link with them, offering free places to members of the public who wish to attend their training events.

The new round of HRB funding, our third for the HRB-TMRN, commences next September for five years, and will see it continue these activities, but with an extended scope to build on its international activity and provide a national coordinated training and education programme on trial processes.

Find out more:

Visit the HRB-TMRN website

The Health Research Board’s commitment to support trials methodology is reflected in our new strategy, Health Research - making an Impact