The governing body of University College Cork will today consider whether to allow the use of embryonic stem cells for research.
If given the green light, it would make UCC the first university in the country to carry out the practice.
Stem cells have the potential to develop into many different types of cells and scientists believe their use could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
Their use has led to huge controversy in the US and the UK because it involves destroying human embryos.
Ireland currently has no legislation banning the use of human embryos in research.
UCC says it would only use imported stem cells if it decides to go ahead with the research.
Its academic council and ethics board are in favour of the move, but staff are divided on the matter.