Research Design Service: East Midlands
National Institute for Health Research

How we can help 

Project advice, RDS PIF fund and workshops

Face-to-face adviceFace-to-face advice is available for local researchers, supported by telephone, email and website contact. Investigators are asked to complete our online support request form. Upon receipt of your request, we will allocate an adviser to work with you. A scoping search is carried out for each project to give teams an overview of the range and depth of research that exists and to discover on-going studies. Other members of the RDS team will then be brought in to provide more specialised advice as needed. It is preferable to contact the RDS EM at an early stage to discuss your ideas, although we will try to help at any stage in the development of your research proposal.

 

Scientific panel This is a mock bid reviewing panel attended by the RDS EM team together with 2 public contributors. The idea is that the panel will review your nearly-ready funding application, replicating as far as possible how the funding panel will consider the application. It is a great opportunity to have your project seen with fresh eyes and to be given detailed attention by a range of experts. Our panel runs four times a year (March, June, September, December) and researchers can specifically request that their bid be considered or your adviser may suggest that it would benefit from this process. Contact your adviser or rds.em@nihr.ac.uk for more details.

 

Public contributors' service is available to all researchers in the East Midlands. The service provides confidential reviews of grant applications by our panel of public contributors. The public contributors assesses the plain English summary, advises on the project's public involvement plans and on any ethical issues, to help improve the quality of the application. To access this service please contact our public involvement lead.

 

 


Information service provides current research checks to projects supported by the RDS and, on request, provides literature searches and advice on how to conduct systematic reviews.

- To ensure no similar research currently being carried out
- Identify any systematic reviews in the field
- Highlight research priorities
- To provide background information and justify the proposed project
- Review proposals prior to submission to consider how literature and evidence has been used to support the case for research

All requests to access this service should be done through your assigned RDS EM adviser.

 

Post award support The RDS can provide post-funding advice to researchers experiencing difficulties and who received and acknowledged RDS support in their successful funding applications. This support may relate to study set-up, delivery or analysis, but will be advisory only, including signposting to other groups. The RDS cannot provide support to fill gaps in the expertise of research teams.

 


Public involvement fund (PIF) These are small awards to support service user engagement where it will contribute to the development of a funding application. Any team being supported by RDS EM is eligible for financial support. One application for a PIF can be made per project for the maximum amount of £300. All requests for an award should be submitted using the application form which needs to be filled out with support of your project adviser giving a detailed and accurate breakdown of all costs included. Once submitted it will be peer-reviewed by another RDS EM staff member and the outcome of the application will be made available within two weeks of submission. Guidance notes.


 Application workshop are full day events which run six times a year (3 Leicester and 3 Nottingham workshops). The workshops focus on elements of the application process, covering key aspects including what makes a proposal fundable, framing research questions and objectives, the NIHR standard application form, stakeholder involvement and building suitable research teams. The workshop is built around practical presentations paired with group activities and culminates in a mock funding panel or Q&A panel session. Each event will include a presentation from a recently successful applicant giving their thoughts and experiences on the process and how their team's thinking changed during the bid development. Please consult our events calendar for the date of the next application workshop.

 

 Public involvement workshop  These are designed to help researchers plan meaningful and appropriate public involvement in their research proposals in order to improve the overall quality of a bid. The workshop will give researchers an opportunity to consider public involvement during bid development and how to capture this within their applications. The session includes a combination of teaching, information giving and group discussion. Each session will last three hours and will have a maximum of 10 people. The workshop runs twice throughout the year. For the date of the next public involvement workshop consult our events calendar.

 

 Funder focus seminars RDS EM runs a programme of 6 funder focus seminars that provide an overview of specific NIHR programmes, outlining how they work (e.g. how research is commissioned and funding decisions made). The events provide an insight into what makes a successful application together with insider tips on what the funding panels are looking for. The seminars include speakers from the funding streams, previously successful researchers and RDS staff. It is a good opportunity for networking and initial one-to-one meetings with RDS staff. Seminars are run several times thoughout the year. For the dates please consult our events calendar.


Partnership RDS EM works closely with local partners
- Clinical Research Network East Midlands (CRN EM): Supporting researchers with the development, set-up and delivery of high quality research to time and target. Contact supportmystudyeastmidlands@nihr.ac.uk for more information. CRN Flyer
- Clinical Trials Unit (CTU): Academic unit providing expertise and support for the management of multi-centre randomised controlled trials and other complex studies.
For more information contact Leicester CTU: ctu@le.ac.uk; or Nottingham CTU: ctu@nottingham.ac.uk