Public review of health research funding applications


Research Area:


What is the research about?

The Health Research Board (HRB) funds research projects and programmes in universities and hospitals to improve health and enhance patient care. We support different types of health research including research that focuses on better results for the patient, research focusing on delivery of healthcare services in Ireland as well as research focusing on prevention of ill health and promotion of wellbeing.


We promote the active involvement of members of the public in the research that we fund.


Researchers applying for HRB funding must complete an application form saying what research they want to do and how they plan to do it. Before a funding decision is made, each application is reviewed by scientific peer reviewers. We also seek input from public reviewers, to bring the voice and perspective of the public, independent of organisations or specific causes, to contribute to our funding decisions, helping to ensure that the research we invest in is relevant, reliable and useful.


The HRB maintains a dedicated database of potential public reviewers.  Ireland is home to a culturally and linguistically diverse population and we would like to grow our database so that we have representation from minority groups. It is also important that we have greater representation from young people. If you are from a minority group or are aged 18-30 we would particularly like to hear from you, and we would also like to hear from anyone else interested in being a public reviewer.



What do public reviewers do?

Public reviewers provide feedback to researchers on the quality of the PPI in a research funding application. We do not expect you to be able to provide commentary on the scientific methodologies or theory but would hope that through your lived experience you will be able to comment on whether the research is in the best interests of the patient. Your review is written from your perspective as a member of the public or informed by your knowledge and experience as a patient and/or carer and as an actual or potential user of services.


Are there any qualifications or requirements?
Current health care professionals/current health researchers are not eligible as public reviewers.


You do not have to have any experience to become a reviewer. You will need to have an email account and be able to fill in forms on a computer. Training workshops are available to those selected to review.


Once you have registered as a public reviewer, you may be invited to review research proposals. Reviewers are selected by lottery at various points throughout the year. As a public reviewer, you will be asked to review 1-5 of these research proposals and complete a short report within a pre-agreed period of time (usually 4 weeks).


The review can be done from home, in your own time, and you will be paid a standard fee for each application reviewed and for attendance at training workshops. You may be assigned to a research proposal across a wide variety of health areas.

Opportunity for:

Person living with condition / Member of the public / Parent or carer / Social care experienced person / Service user

Involvement Opportunity Details


Time commitment:

Reviewers are invited to attend 1 meeting prior to completing a review. Approx. 90 minutes online or a half day in person training.

Contact between meetings:

Reviews of grant applications are done independently between meetings, using email and online forms.

Length of involvement:


Start date for involvement:




Online / In Person

If online, explain how:

Workshops in preparation for completing a review are usually held virtually.

If in person, explain where:

Occasional opportunities arise to attend an in-person workshop, held in the HRB offices in Dublin and take place over half a day.

Other ways of communicating:

None Currently Planned

Funding available for:

PPI contributor’s time / Travel and other expenses

If no funding available, explain why:

Not applicable

Other Information

Stage of the research study/ programme:

More than one research study

Is this opportunity for PPI in a PhD:


Closing date to contact researchers:


Research Team

Contact person:

Sara Lord


Health Research Board (HRB)

Contact email:

Researcher background:

Research Funder

Research funder:

Health Research Board


Interested in this PPI Opportunity?

Please complete this form and click SUBMIT

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