HRCI/HRB Joint Funding Scheme 2020

Deadline: 3pm Tuesday 3rd December 2019


The Irish Cancer Society is a member of the Health Research Charities Ireland (formerly Medical Research Charities Group (HRCI)), which was founded in 1998 with the aim of supporting charities in Ireland to increase both the quality and quantity of healthcare research being done in Ireland. The HRCI represents the joint interests of charities specialising in restoring health through medical research, diagnosis and treatment and, where possible, the prevention of disease.

Since 2006, the work of the HRCI has been supported by the Department of Health through annual funding to the Health Research Board (HRB) for the co-funding of research projects with medical research charities. The HRB is the lead agency in Ireland supporting research linked to health and social care. Together the HRCI and the HRB operate an innovative joint funding scheme that allows members of the HRCI to to support research of particular interest to specific patient populations, where they might otherwise not be in a position to finance the full cost of that research.

HRCI/HRB Joint Funding Scheme aims to fund researchers and research teams to conduct internationally competitive and innovative research in areas of strategic relevance to each individual charity. HRCI/HRB awards are up to a maximum total award value of €300,000 for projects from 12 up to 36 months.

The Irish Cancer Society will run our own call based on our strategic priorities but will be using the standard application guidance and forms provided by the HRB.

**Please note- only one application per Principal Investigator to this scheme will be considered. Therefore researchers can only apply to one charity as PI. There is an option to be a PI on one application and a co-applicant on another, provided the researcher can justify the time spent on each project should both reach final HRB panel discussions. The same project cannot be submitted to more than one charity in this scheme.**


The HRCI/HRB Joint Funding scheme 2020 provides funding for clearly defined research projects in disease areas of strategic relevance to each individual charity. HRCI/HRB awards are up to a maximum total award value of €300,000 for projects from 12 up to 36 months.

How the HRCI/HRB Joint Funding Scheme works

Once funding procedures and a timeline for the scheme have been agreed by the HRCI and HRB, HRCI member charities are invited to solicit applications however they wish and define the theme of the call themselves. Applications to the Irish Cancer Society must be made on the standard documents provided by and agreed with the HRB.

The Irish Cancer Society manages the international peer review of all eligible applications. Shortlisted applications are submitted by the Irish Cancer Society to the HRB where they are reviewed by a jointly-appointed HRCI/HRB panel. 


The theme for the Irish Cancer Society call as part of the HRCI/HRB Joint Funding Scheme is- Immuno-oncology 

Immuno-oncology is the study of the role of the immune system in the control, progression and development of cancer; the most well-known application is cancer immunotherapy, which utilises the immune system as a treatment for cancer.

Recent advances in our understanding of the immune system and its role in cancer has led to the revitalisation of the field of immuno-oncology with immunotherapy becoming a clinically validated treatment for many cancer types. However, although immunotherapy regimes show promise and have produced dramatic results for some patients, these types of responses are only observed in a subset of some malignancies and side effects can be severe.

Therefore, it is clear that much remains to be understood about the potential for immune-based treatments in cancer and more translational research is needed in this area to identify how best to make impactful treatment advances which improve patient outcome.

To address this the Irish Cancer Society, as part of the MRCG/HRB Joint Funding scheme 2019, is inviting applications to support inter-disciplinary and/or inter-institutional translational research in the area of immuno-oncology.

Your proposal should address key questions in the immunology of cancer and must be translational in nature i.e. directly focussed on improving outcome for cancer patients.


There are two guideline documents for applicants-

  • 'Instructions to Applicants'- supplied by the HRB. This document contains all information on the call.
  • 'Irish Cancer Society Call Document'- This document contains the Irish Cancer Society specific information on the call such as the theme, more information on our strategic goals, specific requirements on eligibility criteria, etc.

It is extremely important that both documents are read fully. 


All applications must be submitted by email to by 3pm (GMT) Tuesday, 3rd December 2019.

---We ask that you inform us if you are thinking of applying by emailing

Key Dates

Call Open  Monday 7th october 2019
Deadline for Applications 3pm Tuesday 3rd December 2019
Irish Cancer Society external peer review December 2019-January 2020
Right-to Reply Phase February 2020
Charity Selection Committee February/March 2020
HRB Application Deadline Monday 6th April 2020
Joint Funding Committee Meeting Early June 2020
HRB Board Meeting June 2020
Applicant Notification July 2020
Contracts Issued From August 2020
Research Project Start Date From September 2020


The following documents are to be submitted to the Irish Cancer Society.

All applications-

  • Part B1 Application form *
  • Part B2 Gantt chart
  • Part B3 Figures supporting project description (1 document)
  • Part D1 Signature pages for principal investigator *
  • Part D2 Signature pages for Host Institution *

Where applicable-

  • Part C1 Collaboration Agreement Form *
  • Part C2 Infrastructure Agreement Form Part *
  • Part C4 Letters of support

*Available as attachments on this webpage to be downloaded. Please see 'Instructions to Applicants' document for more information on the format that these documents need to be submitted.

Date Last Reviewed: 
Monday, August 26, 2019