About Us

With the support of the Health Research Board, host institution University College Cork, Enterprise Ireland and the seven University-based Clinical Research Facilities/Centres (CRFs/Cs) in the Republic of Ireland the Health Research Board National Clinical Trials Office (HRB NCTO), will deliver on the aims of the National Clinical Trials Coordination Programme 2021 over the 3-year term of its funding award. This programme was developed to build on the positive achievements of previous investments in clinical trials coordination and future investments in national clinical trials infrastructures. The overall aim of this investment is to ensure that Ireland has the capacity to conduct innovative high quality clinical research for the benefit of people’s health and the economy. HRB NCTO, as an integrated Clinical Trial network, will be aligned to the local supports of the existing clinical trials infrastructures to ensure a harmonised strategic national approach to the conduct of high-quality clinical trials in Ireland.

The HRB NCTO central office provides overarching support and expertise, through a range of services and activities to academia and industry. The partner CRF/Cs provide the infrastructure, physical space and facilities, experienced research and specialist support staff and the necessary quality and oversight programs that are critical for the successful conduct of world-class patient-focused research.

HRB NCTO and the CRF/Cs facilitate research but are not in a position to independently fund research. Our now seven partner CRF/Cs have over seventy years of combined research experience and include:

HRB CRF-University College Cork at Cork University Hospital, Mercy University Hospital & University Hospital Waterford

HRB CRF Galway at University Hospital Galway

Royal College of Surgeons Ireland CRC at Beaumont Hospital

University College Dublin CRCs at Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and St. Vincent’s University Hospital

Wellcome Trust – HRB CRF at St. James’s Hospital

HRI-CRSU:Health Research Institute Clinical Research Support Unit at University Hospital Limerick, Co Limerick.

Children’s Health Ireland (CHI)-CRC at Children’s Health Ireland

NCTO Strategic Objectives:

  1. Increase the number of multicentre clinical trials in Ireland through the provision of central signposting and the promotion of the infrastructures and resources available within the Irish Clinical Trial Ecosystem.
  2. Increase the number of International Sponsors undertaking Clinical Trials in Ireland though focused Relationship Management and Business Intelligence of key stakeholders.
  3. Improve the functionality of Irish Clinical Research Facilities/Centres by the efficient and cost-effective central provision of selected infrastructures and services:a)
    a) Increase the total number of Irish study-specific trial sites by supporting site selection, set-up and performance monitoring of academic or commercial international clinical trials;
    b) Facilitate the efficient and accountable running of clinical trials in Clinical Research Facilities/Centres by the central provision and support of CRF Management software (CRFManager);
    c) Achieve mutually agreed, appropriate, minimal quality standards across all participating Clinical Research Facilities/Centres;
    d) Support Pharmacovigilance Capabilities Training and shared best practices across the Clinical Research Facilities/Centres;
    e) Support development and implementation of Standardized National Budget Template.
  4. Achieving simple, effective and efficient processes for undertaking Clinical Trials in Ireland by identifying systematic barriers, opportunities and developments that are amenable to being addressed.
  5. Increase number of Academic Multinational Clinical Trials lead by or using Irish trial sites by engaging with ECRIN.
  6. Increase number of MedTech companies conducting Clinical Investigations within CRF/Cs.
  7. Ensure the high-quality, compliant and responsible conduct of all NCTO activities.
High Quality Clinical Research

High Quality Clinical Research

Clinical Trial Network

Clinical Trial Network

Expertise & Infrastructure

Expertise & Infrastructure

Support Academia & Industry

Support Academia & Industry

HRB NCTO’s Mission

“To advance healthcare by enabling a coordinated system with the specialist skills, expertise and infrastructure to design, conduct and analyse clinical trials and other intervention studies in Ireland, undertaken by networked clinician investigators and/or industry.”

HRB NCTO operates a membership scheme, and invites investigator’s and those working as part of investigator teams in clinical research across Ireland to join. In addition, HRB NCTO works with a number of collaborating CRF/Cs. This allows us to extend the potential benefit of the infrastructure and network across the island and to link with experienced members and collaborators to further strengthen our organisation and achieve our aims.