HRB Awards €6m to SPHeRE PhD Training Programme
The Health Research Board (HRB) has confirmed funding for the next phase of the SPHeRE programme, which drives research to address Ireland’s current and emerging health and social care challenges.
SPHeRE (Structured Population & Health Services Research Education) is a structured PhD programme run jointly by RCSI and eight partner universities across Ireland. This €6m funding will fund a further five cohorts of six PhD scholars per year. It is the fourth phase of funding for this programme, which began with the HRB Scholars Programme in Health Services Research in 2007.
Dr Mary Clarke, RCSI Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry and SPHeRE Programme Co-Director, welcomed this renewed funding, saying, “RCSI is delighted to be the grant holder for this new HRB funding for SPHeRE. This important grant will enable 30 future SPHeRE scholars across five cohorts to advance their careers by developing the knoweldge and skills to conduct high-quality, interdisciplinary research, and maximising translation from academia to policy and practice.”
Dr Mairéad O Driscoll, Chief Executive at HRB, commented, “the HRB is committed to investing in research leadership and building capacity to respond to Ireland’s health and social care needs. This HRB investment will allow the SPHeRE programme to continue building a network of people across disciplines who understand how excellent research, data and evidence can influence decision making and inform health and social care policy.”
Dr Frank Moriarty, Senior Lecturer at School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences at RCSI and SPHeRE participant in the 2012 cohort, spoke of his experience with the programme, “the SPHeRE programme provided strong foundations for my career in academia. The exposure to a range of research methods really sparked my interest in the variety of approaches available to answer research questions. Studying alongside a multidisciplinary cohort of scholars was also hugely beneficial. The connections I developed during the programme have been really important in my career.”
The next SPHeRE conference will take place online on 29 March, during which the programme will open recruitment for the 2022 cohort of PhD scholars. Click here to register for the conference.