What is the START Competition?

Every year the world celebrates International Clinical Trials Day on May 20th. This event marks the anniversary of the first well-documented randomised clinical trial which took place in 1747 in the British Navy. The Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) wishes to celebrate this important occasion with the help of the younger members of our community. We invite primary school students in 4th, 5th & 6th classes to lead on an exciting project and create their very own fun randomised clinical trial.

How can schools take part?

Teachers and students are asked to identify a suitable research question they can answer scientifically using the information provided. The purpose of this competition is to help students become aware of the randomised clinical trial process, rather than answering a groundbreaking question. Pick a simple, easy to answer question, but use the proper steps of a clinical trial to answer it.

The best part is that you can report the findings in any way you like, podcast, video, collage or poster, report, it’s up to you to be as creative as you like! The deadline for receipt of completed projects is April 12th 2019.

What can schools win?

Shortlisted entries will be invited to join the HRB-TMRN in NUI Galway on Friday, May 17th, where the winner will be announced and presented with the HRB-TMRN START Trophy 2019.

The HRB-TMRN will cover all travel expenses for attending the ceremony and lunch will be provided on the day. Students will enjoy a series of educational, interactive, fun workshops and learn more about clinical research.

To get started, Simply download the relevant helpful documents: Lets Go

November 19th


April 12th


April 29th

Notification of
Shortlisted Schools

May 17th


Lets Get Started

To get started, Simply download the relevant helpful documents below.

Stories, Videos, Online Resources, Memories and More…

2018 Judging Panel

2019 Judging Panel

Meet our Juding Panel for 2019

START 2018

Check out all of the fun of our 2018 event

START 2017

Check out all of the fun of our 2017 event

START 2016

Check out all of the fun of our 2016 event

The First Randomised Clinical Trial

The First Randomised Clinical Trial

Learn more about the first Randomised Clinical Trial and Dr James Lind.

Learn more about START

Click here to view our Q&A webinar with Prof. Declan Devane

The Irish Times

The Irish Times

Clinical trials: how oranges and lemons ensured we don’t compare apples with oranges

The Irish Times

The Irish Times

‘START’ competition lets pupils create clinical trials adjoining hall.

Learn more about START

Click here to view our Q&A webinar with START Ambassadors Elaine Finucane and Tom Conway

Cloghan’s Hill National School

1st Place START Winners 2017

Scoil Moibhí

2nd Place START Winners 2017

St. Josephs NS Macroom Cork

3rd Place START Winners 2017


Learn more about Randomised Trials

The Irish Times

The Irish Times

‘START’ competition introduces pupils to the scientific way of problem solving

Modern Medicine

What the Industrial Revolution Did for Us

Past Events

Have a look at previous events

Click here to view the 3 shortlisted entries for 2016, 2017 & 2018. Each shortlisted school received a START trophy and attended a fun interactive day in NUI Galway to meet with people working on randomised clinical trials.

Need Support?

Talk to us today! We have a team of experienced people around the country who are very happy to help you and your class or school take part in START. We can arrange for a visit to your school or chat over the phone to help you.

Sandra Galvin
Sandra Galvin
Programme Manager HRB-TMRN and START Co-Founder
Contact Details
Phone: 091 494492
Our Volunteer
We have a number of national volunteers who can help your school take part
Carol Burke
Carol Burke
Senior Administrator
Contact Details
Phone: 091 494492

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