Two projects led by Professor Alistair Nichol amongst recipients of HRB funding of €1.2 million in Knowledge Translation Awards

Medication safety, long term care residents with dementia, and cancer patients are just some of the research areas and people that will benefit from the HRB’s Knowledge Translation Awards (KTA) 2022 scheme. Professor Alistair Nichol, Chair of Critical Care Medicine UCD School of Medicine, Consultant SVUH & Director of Irish Critical Care-Clinical Trials Network, received funding for two projects:

  • Pandemic Resilience- translating knowledge for improved future pandemic preparedness
  • TAME-Translation: Translating the TAME cardiac arrest trial results to public, policy, clinicians, and researchers.

These two projects were part of a total of 26 projects to share the HRB funding. profalistairnichol,healthresearchboard,awardThis is the fifth round of these awards which began in 2012 as the HRB’s Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination scheme. Having since evolved into the Knowledge Translation Awards (KTAs), the scheme allows HRB grant holders to apply for additional funding to what is normally allocated to every HRB grant for communication and dissemination activities.

Dr Mairéad O’Driscoll, Chief Executive at the HRB said: “The Knowledge Translation Awards view each stage in the research process as an opportunity for collaboration with knowledge users, which include healthcare practitioners, policy makers and the public. These awards give the HRB-funded research community extra opportunities to communicate the impact and value of their work.”

*The researchers in this instance are holders of active HRB grants. Knowledge Users include those involved in delivering health, managing healthcare, decision or policy making, charities, members of the public, patients or carers. Activities may use any media or formats, such as written or audio materials, online technologies, meetings or events, television or radio, or creative media.


Details of both projects led by Professor Alistair Nichol follow:

Pandemic Resilience- translating knowledge for improved future pandemic preparedness.

Since 2015, the HRB-Irish Critical Care-Clinical Trials Network has established a research program in preparation for pandemics. As part of this, we assessed the barriers and developed solutions to conducting research during a future global pandemic. This work led to a coordinated Irish and global response to COVID-19 with a programme including a clinical trial (REMAP-CAP), observational data, biological samples, public/clinician perceptions research and public patient involvement (PPI). This was successful with 11 COVID-19 treatment recommendations (NEJMx3, JAMAx3), identification of genetic factors for COVID-19 critical illness (first time-Naturex2), global data and public/patient insights (focus groups, surveys etc). It is now essential to understand what worked well (and what didn’t) and use this period at the pandemic end to consolidate knowledge gained and disseminate these findings, so that Irish (and global) society can prepare for the next pandemic (or COVID variant emergence). To this end, we propose Pandemic Resilience, a phased portfolio of multifaceted knowledge translation activities for all audiences to consolidate and translate these learnings for future pandemic preparedness.

We will produce and widely disseminate lessons learned and barriers to pandemic research documents providing key insights for future planning. This will prime the pump for pandemic preparedness in Ireland and align/inform with a CTN Pandemic resilience program of new research activities. This KT will involve national and global Pandemic resilience meetings, document/policy briefs, global KT consortium establishment and PPIE program. Plans will be disseminated to all interested stakeholders- PPI, policymakers/Government, clinicians, healthcare, funders. We will supplement this with a multimedia platform of podcasts, website, social media, and media releases. A major activity will be our REMAP-CAP Public Patient Involvement Engagement led by PI-Nichol and ICC-CTN including the first global meeting, regular quarterly meetings, and public-facing documents. Pandemic-Resilience will lay the foundation for future preparedness and widely translate knowledge gained.


TAME-Translation: Translating the TAME cardiac arrest trial results to public, policy, clinicians, and researchers.

People who survive sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) usually require intensive care unit (ICU) treatment. The ‘TAME’ cardiac arrest trial, co-led by the Irish Critical Care-Clinical Trials Network (ICC-CTN), has just completed, including 1700 ICU patients from Ireland and 17 countries worldwide. TAME looked at a novel intervention of facilitating slightly higher carbon dioxide levels (‘hypercapnia’) to reduce brain injury (due to lack of oxygen) which occurs after an OHCA. Right now, the trial data trial is being analysed and we are preparing to present the results (2022/2023). It is essential that these important results, which will significantly influence patient treatment (whether hypercapnia is beneficial or not), are properly translated to all stakeholders (patients, public, policymakers, bedside clinicians/healthcare providers, clinician-researchers). We propose ‘TAME-Translation’ a programme of knowledge translation activities aimed at widely disseminating TAME, enhancing ‘translation’ of results into clinical practice/healthcare policy, public/patient knowledge, and future research directions.

TAME-Translation will incorporate a varied knowledge translation (KT) strategy. A major highlight will be the results presentation at Critical Care Reviews 2023- an in-person (500 delegates) and live-streamed (>50 countries, >2000 viewers) interactive global meeting with a diverse audience including research funders, healthcare policymakers, patients/public and bedside-clinicians. Alongside this, we will host an OHCA stakeholder session at our ICC-CTN Summer meeting to specifically inform/involve knowledge users including PPI, supporting the development of a European OHCA KT partnership to continue to inform optimal trial conduct and dissemination practice. Our KT strategy will include a multimedia platform to disseminate/translate results including public-facing documents, Department of Health policy brief, website/social media, and press releases. As part of TAME we collected biological samples in collaboration with another large OHCA trial (‘TTM2’). We will develop data and sample access plans for dissemination, and to prime future knowledge translation. Our stakeholders will inform this strategy at all stages.