Science & Technology in Action

Health Research Board

Imagine you are on a boat in the middle of the ocean with no sail, no compass and no rudder. How long do you think it would take to find land? Health care systems can be just like that boat at sea. Without new medicines to tackle disease, without new equipment to perform operations, and perhaps most importantly of all, without experienced researchers to come up with new breakthroughs, our health care system could just drift aimlessly and never reach new ground.

The Health Research Board (HRB) provides direction and funding to support health research in Ireland. By doing so, the HRB underpins the delivery of, and the continued improvement of, our health care system.

The HRB funds research into a wide range of areas. Our funded researchers study diseases like diabetes, cancer and Parkinson’s disease. In Parkinson’s disease we are studying ways to grow nerve cells outside the body which could then be transplanted back into the body. This is just one of our projects on the central nervous system.

In addition to funding research, we also carry out our own research in areas such as mental health, child health and drug misuse. The HRB keeps databases on drug misuse, disability and mental health. By examining this data we can spot trends, and help others plan relevant services where they are needed around the country. 

Health research can provide a rich, varied and stimulating career. Health researchers can have a background in nursing, social science, maths, medicine, computers, chemistry, physics or biology.