Funders’ Joint Statement on COVID-19

Posted: 13 March, 2020

The Irish Research Council (IRC), Health Research Board (HRB) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) are fully aware that the current situation regarding the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is having a significant impact on the research and innovation community, both in Ireland and internationally. We anticipate that the precise nature of these impacts may evolve over the coming weeks and months, and we note that projects may be unavoidably delayed as a result of practical measures taken to contain the virus.

At our agencies, our priority is the safety and wellbeing of people – researchers, research participants, and those who support them, including our own teams.

On an ongoing basis, we are working to understand the nature of any impacts on our funded projects and to facilitate any appropriate measures that may prove necessary.

The IRC, HRB and SFI are taking a pragmatic approach and will give due consideration on a case-by-case basis to the following:

  • Call deadlines
  • Deadlines for progress reporting
  • Deadlines for the return of award documentation
  • Budget reallocations or exceptional charges to grants arising from travel/other restrictions
  • No-cost extensions
  • Restructuring of project deliverables and timelines for researcher mobility and collaborations, where direct adverse impact has occurred

Our agencies are working collaboratively with higher education institutions and are closely monitoring the impact on Ireland’s research community. Fortnightly conference calls will be held between the IRC, HRB, SFI and senior representatives from the universities and institutes of technology.

Applicants to open calls should watch the agencies’ individual websites for any further developments. Where the same issues recur, agencies will publish Frequently Asked Questions on our websites.

Please note that, in larger calls, outcome announcements may be delayed due to the effects of the current situation on our international assessors. Where this arises, applicants and institutional Research Offices will be advised of all relevant developments.


Advice from IRC:

Queries may be directed to the IRC by awardees or by their institutional Research Offices. Queries should be sent to call-specific mailboxes, which are listed below. The IRC will respond to all queries as swiftly as possible, though some delays may be inevitable; we regret any inconvenience caused.

Early career researchers may also find it helpful to contact their academic supervisor/mentor for advice.


Advice from HRB:

Please direct any queries to the contacts identified for each call or your contact in the post-award and evaluation team. We will endeavor to respond as quickly as possible; please be patient in the meantime.

General queries:

HRB website:

HRB funding calls:


Advice from SFI:

Please direct any queries to the contacts identified for each call listed on the SFI website or your known direct contact point at SFI. We will endeavour to respond as quickly as possible.

General queries:

SFI website:

SFI Funding Calls:

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