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HRB invests €6.4 million to support the career development of outstanding researchers in health and social care

The 13 new awards will support post-doctoral researchers who are pursuing academic careers and those from clinical backgrounds who wish to further enhance their research experience while remaining embedded in the health service.

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The research projects supported in this round will tackle a range of issues that include preventing tuberculosis (TB) in infants and children; suicide prevention in later life; using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve blood pressure treatment and examining ways to help health researchers to better communicate their work. 

A full list of the awards (including lay summaries) is available at the end of this release.

The awards were made under the dual-track HRB Postdoctoral Fellowship schemes, Applying Research in Policy and Practice (ARPP) and the Clinician Scientist Fellowships (CSF).

According to HRB Chief Executive, Dr Mairéad O'Driscoll:

“We are delighted to announce the latest round of funding in these HRB Postdoctoral Fellowship schemes. They are a key pillar in the HRB’s Research Career Framework.

“This framework provides a coordinated, coherent approach to building the capacity and capability of academic researchers and health and social care practitioners to respond to current and emerging health research needs. These awards enable our next generation of talented researchers to consolidate their scientific and professional skills and to progress towards research independence while at the same time enhancing the overall capacity to conduct applied health and social care research in Ireland.”

This is the second round of the CSF scheme and the seven new fellowships brings the total to 12 since 2020.

For the ARPP, this is the third round of the call with six new academic researchers awarded, bringing the total to 23 fellowships since 2018.

According to Dr Anne Cody, Head of Investigator-led Grants, Careers and Enablers at the Health Research Board (HRB):

“Having come through a highly competitive review process, the recipients of these fellowships exhibited immense potential to become future leaders in applied health and social care research.

“The HRB fellowship schemes are designed to embed fellows in as supportive an environment as possible, both to enhance their career development and to ensure the delivery of excellent research with clear pathways to impact. Fellows have individualised training and development plans and are supported by a personal mentor and a wider multidisciplinary team.”

The 2023 awards were selected via a rigorous application and assessment process, which included international peer review, public review, and interviews by an international panel of experts for shortlisted candidates.