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How It Works

HRCI members inviting applications

Once funding procedures and a timeline for the scheme have been agreed by HRCI and HRB, HRCI member charities are permitted to invite research applications from researchers however they wish. Many charities use social media, their websites and direct approaches to alert researchers to the call.

Applications to the charities must be made on the standard documents provided by and agreed with the HRB. These documents are based on the typical research call documents used by the HRB. The individual charities must select their own closing date for their research call, ensuring that this will leave sufficient time for the submitted applications to be internationally peer reviewed and assessed by internal processes.

Peer Review

Charities must ensure that all applications they intend to submit to the Joint Funding Scheme are fully and appropriately peer reviewed by international reviewers. It is essential that experts in all relevant areas are consulted and international reviewers with no conflicts of interest are used. 

Following the peer review process, it is recommended that the charity uses its internal processes (medical / scientific / research committees) to assess the peer reviews and to fully ensure that the applications are in line with the charity’s research strategy. 

Feedback from peer reviewers must be provided to the HRB in the standard documents provided.

Submission to the HRB

At the commencement of each round of this scheme, the HRB and HRCI will agree a deadline and process for charities to submit applications to the HRB. Failure to adhere to this process may render any submissions ineligible for consideration for funding. Charities must only submit applications which they can afford to co-fund should they be recommended for funding by the joint panel and approved for funding by the HRB Board, e.g if a charity can only afford to co-fund 2 projects, that organisation must not submit any more than those 2 projects for consideration. 

Joint Panel

Health Research Charities Ireland and HRB jointly appoint a panel of experts to review applications to the scheme. The panel operates in a similar way to the standard processes of typical HRB research funding panels. 

Prior to the meeting, individual members of the panel are assigned to review specific projects in detail and to lead the discussion of those particular projects. The panel meets for a 1 day session at which all applications are reviewed and discussed. Following the discussion, projects are rated in priority for funding from highly fundable to not fundable. The number of projects funded in any round of the scheme is determined by the funding available and the funding required for the submitted projects. 

While projects may be recommended for funding by the joint panel, the funding of these projects must be approved by the Board of the HRB. 

Approved projects

Charities will be notified following the panel meeting and HRB Board meeting as to whether their submitted projects have been recommended or not. Once those projects recommended for funding have been approved for funding by the HRB Board, the applications will be offered multi-party contracts between the HRB,  HRCI partner(s), the approved Host Institution and the clinical institution (where applicable), setting out the respective roles and responsibilities of the parties and governing the research project. The HRB Terms and Conditions will govern the award in its entirety. Additional special conditions may apply. 


Funding will be issued to the approved Host Institution annually. The amounts of funding detailed in the application and approved by the board of the HRB cannot be increased as the scheme progresses. 

Information on the Joint Funding Scheme can also be found on the HRB website

Link to Irish Government websiteLink to Pobal websiteLink to Health Research Board website