Pandemic Rapid Response Funding

In response to the fast-evolving COVID-19 pandemic, HRB in cooperation with the IRC is 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.

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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.
  • Duration of funding 3-24 months


Eligibility criteria of Lead Applicant, Co-Applicants and Collaborators:

  • 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 program 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 recognisedresearch institution in the Republic of Ireland (the “Host Institution”) as an independent investigator, or
      • Be a contract researcher recognised 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 contracted 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 organization, 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.
    • If access to samples, vulnerable population groups, healthy volunteers or patients, data, databases or a link to an existing national or international study (e.g. an existing cohort or longitudinal study) is an integral part of the proposed project, evidence of commitment and access must be demonstrated
      by having the key Gatekeeper of this data or study included as a Collaborator.
    • To expedite the process, Collaboration Agreement Forms from each official collaborator will be requested during contracting and not as part of the application.
    • Forms will be made available during the process and given a very tight timeline for contact negotiation it is recommended that Lead Applicants collate these documents as soon as possible.
Eligible Regions: Open for All

Application Process

  • 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.
  • 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.

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Application Deadline: April 9, 2020

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

Email: [email protected]
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