Helping researchers to prepare competitive, high-quality funding applications

The NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) provides a national network of skilled advisers offering free and confidential advice to develop competitive funding applications for health and social care research.

Would you like to discuss your idea with an RDS adviser?

NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) provides free and confidential advice to help you design your research study and apply for funding, including on how to involve patients and the public involvement in your research. Advice is offered online or face-to-face and is supported by telephone and email communications.

To be linked with an RDS adviser, please complete our support request form.

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Would you like to present your outline research plan to an RDS team for multidisciplinary feedback?

Research teams often find it helpful to briefly present their outline research plans to a small team of RDS advisers so they can receive multidisciplinary feedback. Feedback can help them to focus their research questions, confirm appropriate funders, consider alternative research approaches, and identify opportunities for patient and public involvement. 

If you would like to present to a multidisciplinary RDS advice panel, click here to arrange a date.

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Would you like the RDS to review your draft application prior to submission?

RDS advisers and members of our panel of public contributors can review and provide detailed feedback on your draft application prior to submission to the funder. The critical review will provide suggestions for improving the competitiveness of the application. 

If you would like to arrange for your application to be reviewed, book early to secure a place.

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RDS events

RDS East Midlands and others RDSs across the country deliver a wide range of workshops and events, including seminars to promote funding and fellowship opportunities, workshops to develop research ideas, masterclasses on various aspect of research design and application development.

Click here for a list of future RDS events.

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