Health Research Board (HRB) COVID-19 Pandemic Rapid Response Funding Call (up to €200,000)

Health Research Board (HRB) COVID-19 Pandemic Rapid Response Funding Call (up to €200,000)

Deadline: April 9, 2020

Applications are invited for the Health Research Board (HRB) COVID-19 Pandemic Rapid Response Funding Call. In response to the fast evolving COVID-19 pandemic, HRB in cooperation with the IRC, are launching a rapid response mechanism to fund research that will provide evidence for the national and global efforts to deal with the virus outbreak.

The research priorities of this call are aligned with the WHO R&D Blueprint  and informed by the Global Infectious Disease Collaboration for International Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R). The scope of this funding call covers medical countermeasures, health service readiness, and social and policy countermeasures to COVID-19. 

Expedited timelines apply throughout the process. It is expected that contracting and start-up of successful projects is equally expedited, and that project staff will mostly be redeployed rather than specifically recruited. Host Institutions are required to treat awards arising from the call with utmost urgency.


  • Funding available is typically up to €200,000 per project including overheads contribution. In exceptional circumstances and where well justified funding awards may be higher.


  • Lead Applicant
    • The Lead Applicant (LA) will serve as the primary point of contact for the HRB and IRC on the award and during the review process. The LA will be responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the research programme and has primary fiduciary responsibility and accountability for carrying out the research within the funding limits awarded and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the HRB.
    • The Lead Applicant must be an independent investigator based in a recognized host institution in the Republic of Ireland:
      • Hold a post (permanent or a contract that covers the duration of the award) in a recognized research institution in the Republic of Ireland (the “Host Institution”) as an independent investigator, or
      • Be a contract researcher recognized by the Host institution as an independent investigator who will have a dedicated office and research space for the duration of award, for which he/she will be fully responsible.
    • The Lead Applicant 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. This means that the LA will show appropriate evidence of expertise matched to the nature and context of the project
    • Where an applicant fails to meet the eligibility criteria, the application will be deemed ineligible and will not be accepted for review. The HRB will contact the Lead Applicant in the event that this situation arises.
  • Co-Applicants
    • A Co-Applicant has a well-defined, critical and substantial role in the conduct and steering of the proposed research.
    • Co-Applicants from outside of the Republic of Ireland are welcome.
    • A Co-Applicant may receive funding for items such as running costs and personnel but will not receive support towards his/her own salary if they are in salaried positions. However, Co-Applicants can request their own salary, depending on their role and percentage of time dedicated to the research project, for the duration of the award if they are contract independent investigators (up to a maximum of 5 Co-Applicants can be listed).
  • Collaborators
    • An official Collaborator is an individual or an organization who will have an integral and discrete role in the proposed research and is eligible to request funding from the award when properly justified. Named collaborators may include investigators or organizations from outside the Republic of Ireland, but an individual or organization should only be named as Collaborator if they are providing specific contributions (either direct or indirect) to the project.
    • A collaborator may supply samples or kits, may provide training in a technique, access to specific equipment, staff time, staff placements, access to data and/or patients, instruments or protocols, industry know-how, or may act in an advisory capacity.
    • They can come from a range of backgrounds such as academia, the private sector, a healthcare organisation, from the charity sector or a patient group to give some examples (up to a maximum of 10 Collaborators can be listed). Profile details must be provided for ALL official collaborators.


All applications must be made using the HRB Grant Electronic Management System (GEMS). GEMS will close automatically at the deadline. The application must have been reviewed and approved by the signatory approver at the research office (or equivalent) in the host institution before it is submitted to the HRB.

Therefore, applicants should ensure that they give the signatory approver sufficient time before the scheme closing date to review the application and approve it on GEMS. Please note that many host institutions specify internal deadlines for this procedure.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit Health Research Board.