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Health Research Board Clinical Research Facility, University College Cork, Ireland

The HRB Clinical Research Facility, at University College Cork (HRB CRF-C) is a collaboration between University College Cork (UCC) and the Health Research Board (HRB). The HRB CRF-C provides the dedicated infrastructure, experienced research and support staff and the necessary quality and oversight programs that are critical for the successful conduct of worldclass patient -focused research. The HRB CRF-C supports research undertaken through UCC and affiliated hospitals, both academic and commercial, as well as in the primary care setting. The HRB CRF-C has a core staff of over 40 staff, including the full range of skills and expertise required to delivery world class patient focused research and education: Education (MSc Clinical Trials (online), Quality and Regulatory Affairs, Biostatistics, Research Pharmacy, Research Nurses, Trial Management, Data Management, Research Methodology, etc. The CRF-C also maintains a variety of facilities dedicated to supporting patient focused research, including research support offices and units located throughout UCC, the Mercy University Hospital and Cork University Hospital (study sites). Our portfolio of work includes drugs trials and complex interventions, mechanisms of disease and treatments, cohort studies and informing policy and practice.  The mission of the CRF-C is to support the design, conduct and analysis of Patient Focused Research (PFR) and to mitigate all risks associated with such research by;

  • Promoting excellence in the education, design, conduct and analysis of PFR
  • Protecting the welfare of research participants
  • Mitigating all elements of risk associated with the conduct of research in human subjects

Engaging with the CRF-C

As a result of our diversity of staff expertise, we engage with researchers at all stages of the research pathway – grant/funding applications, pre-design, design and analysis, budgets, ethics, quality and regulation, monitoring and audit. We collaborate with researchers from the Health Service Executive, industry and academia. Click on the boxes below for a further details on our services.

Clinical Research Services

The HRB CRF-C is equipped to work in partnership with industry and provide the infrastructure, facilities and experienced research and specialist support staff to successfully conduct world-class patient- focused research. The HRB CRF-C supports researchers and companies in both the pharmaceutical and medical technologies sectors in developing and delivering cutting edge research in a safe and regulated environment to international standards.

We provide a range of services that are designed to improve the performance of research and help the delivery of studies, particularly large and multi-centre studies, on time and to target. These services are outlined below.

The HRB Clinical Research Facility at UCC serves as a full service Academic Research Organization. It is equipped to support Academic Clinical Investigators from concept development to grant submission and from funding award, through study set-up, recruitment to study close.


The MSc Clinical Trials at UCC is an online part-time course designed to give a competitive advantage for those wishing to pursue a career in clinical trials in the pharmaceutical, medical device or academic sectors. It is the first such course in Ireland, providing a pathway for progression from Postgraduate Certificate Clinical Trials to Postgraduate Diploma Clinical Trials and ultimately a Masters in Clinical Trials.  Our goal is to build capacity to educate a community of researchers with clinical trials as a common focus.  Clinical trials is a rapidly expanding discipline with exciting new job opportunities in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, working on academic or commercial clinical trials.  The MSc Clinical Trials Teaching Team is comprised of experienced Clinical Trialists, with knowledge designing, analysing and conducting multicentre, multinational clinical trials, and who bring practical application to teaching.  Each year of the course is designed to build on prior knowledge with the ultimate goal of understanding the design and conduct of multicentre clinical trials.  With three 10-week semesters, including a week in the middle and end to catch up and complete course work, this learning experience, fully online, is designed for busy professionals.  There is no requirement to attend campus, instead we will engage with you virtually online through a variety of media. Assessment is standardised for each semester.  Fees for EU and non-EU students are the same, so this course is a great investment in your education.  We are educating students in UCC since 1845, and we are proud of our teaching and learning tradition. Join us on our exciting journey promoting clinical trials and patient focused research to improve the health of our citizens.

Click on this link for a short video on our programme, email us at or visit the UCC website at for more details.

For more on education visit

Public involvement in research in Ireland sits in a changing and evolving environment. There is now a greater commitment to and acknowledgment of, the importance and contribution public involvement can make to research. There are now far more organisations and individuals supporting public involvement (for example IPPOSI) and there are also many more researchers and research funders working alongside the public for the first time (for example the Health Research Board).

Funders of Clinical research now advocate for PPI approaches to be embedded in research projects. For example, the HRB Strategy 2016 – 2020: Research. Evidence. Action. includes a commitment to develop and promote public and patient involvement (PPI) within the HRB and in HRB-supported projects and programmes.

The HRB CRF-C can provide the support and advice to investigators on how to address PPI issues in funding applications and how to incorpoate PPI approaches into funded research. See below for further details.


The HRB CRF-C is an active HRB TMRN partner and works with the network to promote trials methodology research and trials methodology education.  At HRB CRF-C we run various study days, contribute to the webinar series and conduct trial methodological research. We have successfully secured SWAT funding, Summer Student Scholarship funding and PhD student funding to conduct this research. 

Ireland joined ECRIN as a member country in December 2018.  HRB CRF-C supports the work of ECRIN and is involved in a number of its trials. 


At HRB CRF-C we value research integrity, and support open science practices aimed at improving the transparency and replicability of research. Consequently, all our work will be conducted under our quality system, which includes sharing all analysis code and pre-registration of analysis plans. Further, we encourage the use of pre-prints and responsible data sharing.

Contact us

The HRB CRF-C is willing to consider any study or trial idea or any trial methodological project. For more information about collaborating with our research team or to keep up to date with news and events…

Twitter: @CRF_CORK

Tel: + 353 (0) 21 4935120


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