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Spark Seed Funding

Spark Seed Funding is an initiative where frontline staff can apply for micro-funding and other supports for innovative projects that will improve our health service.

Applications for individual and group projects opening soon!

We welcome ideas for a range of innovations, from process improvements to the introduction of new devices. Preference is given to smaller projects which are feasible, bring value your service and have the potential to be scaled up. Funding is awarded on a once-off basis.

 Spark Seed Funding has previously been used to support:

  • Printing of referral forms, pro formas and quick reference guides
  • Workshops for healthcare staff (including trainees) and students
  • Educational materials for patients and healthcare providers
  • Wellbeing events and initiatives
  • Purchase of new software or medical devices

There are three steps involved in Spark Seed Funding:

  1. Online application
  2. Design Thinking workshop
  3. Pitch Presentation

Due to the popularity of Seed Funding, invitation to our workshops is competitive. Attendance at a workshop is mandatory to receive funding but doesn’t guarantee that funding will be offered. 

This year, we are running two different calls for Seed Funding:

 1.    Individual Projects

NCHDs, nurses and midwives are invited to submit applications for funding of up to €3,000 for projects led by individuals. The most promising applications will be shortlisted to attend a one-day workshop and invited to do a pitch presentation at this event. Funding will be allocated to the strongest projects.

Submit your application for an individual project here.

 2.   Group Projects

We are trialling a new multidisciplinary team application. Applications for funding of up to €5,000 are open to groups that contain at least one NCHD, one nurse or midwife and one other healthcare provider. They must be led by an NCHD, nurse or midwife. The teams will be invited to attend two workshops spread out over a few weeks to further develop their idea using the principles of Design Thinking. Pitches will be done at the second workshop and funding will be awarded to the best projects.

Submit your application for a group project here.

If you need help further developing your idea or have any questions about the initiative, please contact spark@hse.ie

Application requirements: 

All applications must be made online using the individual application form or group application form. 

The application form asks you to think about the problem you are trying to address with a human-centred approach. You do not have to have a fully thought out solution to apply for funding, particularly if you are submitting a group application. When submitting your application, you can estimate the amount of funding your project will require. We understand that this may change as your project evolves. 


Applications will be shortlisted based on the following criteria:

1.    The problem/issues being addressed

2.    Feasibility of project

3.    Potential impact of the project on service/care provision

4.    Collaboration/stakeholder involvement

5.    Potential for project to be scaled up and transferred to other sites 


Previous recipients of Spark Seed Funding can apply again for new projects or for new phases of previous projects.

Application entry and closing dates to be announced soon!

If you have any questions about Spark Seed Funding please email spark@hse.ie and we will get back to you as soon as we can.