The definition of research adopted in the HSE Action Plan for Health Research 2019–2029 is

the attempt to derive generalizable or transferable new knowledge to answer or refine relevant questions with scientifically sound methods.”

The HSE National Research & Development website includes information on a range of topics, this includes information and resources regarding:

  • A definition of health and social care research
  • A useful Table to help differentiate research from other activities, including clinical audit and service evaluation
  • Data protection in research
  • Frequently used sources of data for health research in Ireland
  • Ethical approval for research in the HSE & its funded organisations
  • Research dissemination, knowledge translation & impact

Furthermore, the website also includes a link to the HSE National Framework for the Governance, Management and Support of Health Research. To commence the implementation of this framework, research and development offices are being established within the health service.


Clinical Research Unit (CRU)

This overarching research body is jointly governed by the University of Limerick and the UL Hospitals Group. It is a resourced unit established to promote clinical research among scientists and full-time academic staff in UL with clinicians from all disciplines at University Hospital Limerick and at all the other hospitals within the UL Hospitals group.

All research activities involving the Clinical Research Support Unit, which is a branch of the Health Research Institute, (see below) and UL Hospital's staff is conducted through the UL/UL Hospitals Clinical Research Unit (CRU).