Deadline: 7 April 2020
In response to the fast evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Research Board (HRB) in cooperation with the Irish Research Council (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.
This call is closely co-ordinated with the rapid response call launched by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Enterprise Ireland (EI), and IDA. The SFI, EI and IDA call is an agile and adaptive initiative to support development of innovative solutions (including STEM-based, social/behavioural science) that can have rapid demonstrable impact on the current COVID-19 crisis in Ireland.
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The scope of this funding call covers medical countermeasures, health service readiness, and social and policy countermeasures to COVID-19. HRB may fund awards under any of these headings whilst the IRC will fund a number of awards under the social and policy countermeasure strand.
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Examples of research in scope include:
- Medical countermeasures (awards supported by HRB)
- Natural history, transmission and diagnostics
- Virus origin and management measure at the human animal interface
- Epidemiological studies
- Clinical management
- Infection prevention and control, including health worker protection
- Health service readiness (awards supported by HRB)
- Care pathways
- Workforce deployment and planning, including balancing pandemic needs with ongoing needs of the health and social care system
- Technology and data to improve efficiency
- Tailoring the public health response to the unique circumstances of different populations
- Logistics of the response (e.g. infrastructure, transport, evaluation) and opportunities for their immediate improvement
- Social and policy countermeasures (awards supported by the IRC)
- Public health response, including the feasibility and effectiveness of social policies aiming to prevent and contain COVID-19 and to mitigate its secondary impacts (e.g. supply shortages, school closures, travel restrictions, quarantines, racism);
- Supporting the psychosocial needs of those caring for people with COVID-19;
- Strategies to combat misinformation, stigma, and fear, to address their underlying drivers, and to improve public awareness, knowledge, and trust during the outbreak response;
- Involving local perspectives, citizens, and communities in the outbreak response effort;
- Social dynamics of transmission and vulnerability and how to best communicate related risks, uncertainties, and implications;
- Dynamics/impacts in respect of socio-economically disadvantaged or marginalised groups.
There will be no strict scope check for this call as long as relevance to the COVID-19 outbreak is proven.
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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.
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The duration of awards is between 3 and 24 months, and deliverables should emerge as early as possible. Projects of immediate relevance will be prioritised over those with longer-term outlook.
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- 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 recognised 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 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.
- 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).
- An official Collaborator is an individual or an organisation 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 organisations from outside the Republic of Ireland, but an individual or organisation 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.
For more information, visit https://www.hrb.ie/funding/funding-schemes/all-funding-schemes/grant/covid-19-pandemic-rapid-response-funding-call-cov19-2020/