HRB Webinar
Health Research Awards 2015
Objective of the call
Scope and Panels
Principal Investigator
Response to peer-reviewers (rebuttal)
Some general revisions in the application forms
Practical tips and contact
Time lines
Objectives and remit
The Health Research Awards aim to fund researchers and research teams to
conduct internationally competitive and innovative research that will create
new knowledge and evidence of benefit to health through investment in
 patient-oriented research,
 population health research
 health services research
Eligibility: choosing the right panel
Applicants must select the most suitable of four panels
1. Patient-oriented research panel
2. Population health research panel
3. Health services research panel
For clearly defined research projects up to a maximum value of €330,000 (inclusive of
overheads), including pilot and feasibility studies up to 36 months.
4. Definitive intervention panel
For conducting a definitive RCT or other intervention study involving humans up to
a maximum value of €800,000 (inclusive of overheads) with a duration of typically 2-4
years (but not beyond 60 months). Applications submitted to this panel must be able to
provide details and evidence from previously conducted pilot, feasibility and
acceptability studies (conducted by themselves and/or others) as set out in the MRC
Guidance on Designing and Evaluating Complex Interventions.
Applicants are strongly advised to carefully read the guidance and details of the research areas covered by the
remit of each Panel in Appendix II (page 44).
It is critical that all definitive intervention studies are submitted to panel 4 above regardless of whether the costs
associated with the study fall within the upper funding limits of panels 1-3 (i.e., €330,000). The level and type of
information required by reviewers for assessing a DI proposal is different from that required in panels 1-3, so a DI study
incorrectly submitted to panels 1-3 above cannot be reassigned to the DI panel, so will be deemed ineligible.
Eligibility: Principal Investigator
The Principal Investigator must demonstrate that they have the skills, knowledge and
supports necessary to direct the proposed research and to be actively engaged in carrying
the research through to completion. Generally this means that the PI will:
• Show appropriate evidence of expertise matched to the nature and context of the
• Show evidence of achievement as an independent researcher in their chosen research
field by:
 Demonstrating a record of research output, with at least three publications of
original research in peer reviewed journals. Where appropriate, they should also
provide evidence of other outputs such as published book chapters, reports to
government and/or any other relevant outputs that have resulted in a significant impact
in their field.
 Demonstrating record of independence by showing that they have secured at least
one peer-reviewed research grant for a research project/s, as either the lead
applicant or a co-applicant. Funding received for travel to seminars/conferences
and/or small personal bursaries will not be considered in this regard.
Show evidence that they possess the capability and authority to mentor, manage and
supervise less experienced researchers and to manage relationships with coapplicants, collaborators and the host institution.
Response to Reviewers
• This is a valuable step introduced last year to the HRA for the first
time. There is no obligation to submit a response but this phase of
the assessment process is extremely important and the response
may play a critical role in whether a proposal eventually gets
recommended for funding or not. The panel members really value
this additional step.
• Please make sure you don’t approach this step lightly!!
• For applications short-listed, each PI will have an extended time
line compared to last year - 10 working days - to submit the
response to the peer-reviewers comments through GEMS, and the
response has a maximum word count of 2000 words (compared to
the 1200 words last year).
General revision after panel
feedback and HRB reflection
o Application now includes a paragraph on any ethical concerns and/or
potential risks of the research
o Application now includes an “impact statement” regarding the likely
impact of the study on patients, public and healthcare system
o Applicants are encouraged to have public involvement in research, where
relevant. More guidance and useful resources have been added to the
HRA guidance notes.
o Applicants are strongly encouraged to better align the project to the
personnel required: This is a recurrent issue raised by several panels in
each year especially when the project involved one or more students
o Power calculations and sample sizes: it is strongly recommended to
properly justify and align with the study aim, objectives and goals and the
implementation context of the study. Do not just provide the mathematic
o In the Definitive Intervention studies, a graph describing screening and
recruitment of patients from the pilot/feasibility phase and for the full
intervention are now requested (mandatory).
Key tips
GEMS submission: leave plenty of time for endorsement and
submission of the application by the Host institution – don’t wait until
the HRB deadline!
For any doubt about eligibility of the scope or PI or which panel to
choose or anything else please contact the HRB
Please make sure the response to the peer-reviewers - even if not
mandatory to do - is completed well. The panel really appreciate a
good, well written, well thought and convincing response.
Sara Lord
T: 01/2345205
E: [email protected].ie
18 November 2014
Call opening
27 January 2015, 13:00
Call closing for applications to all panels
June to early July 2015
Response to reviewers
September 2015
Four Panel Meetings
Late October 2015
HRB Board approval
November/December 2015
January 2016
The earliest start date of projects

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