Research Design Service: East Midlands

Latest News

Listen to THIS

  Created on Friday, 26 Mar 2021. Posted in News Items

New podcast series

The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute has created a podcast series focusing on the field of health care improvement studies. In each episode, guests explain their research interests and discuss how their disciplines can potentially contribute to health care improvement research.

Listen to the podcast via the THIS.Institute website:

Centre for Reproduction Research

  Created on Wednesday, 03 Feb 2021. Posted in News Items

A pregnant pause? Oral histories and futures of reproduction and austerity

On Monday 8 February, Dr Sarah Marie Hall (University of Manchester) will talk about the development of an Oral Histories and Futures technique aimed at capturing reflections on past, present and prospective life-courses.

Register to attend this online CRR seminar via this form.

Healthcare Research MOOC

  Created on Monday, 04 Jan 2021. Posted in News Items | Guidance

A free MOOC developed by Coventry University - 'Healthcare Research: For Healthcare Professionals' - will begin on 18 January 2021.

If you are looking for an introduction to healthcare research, this short course might be useful.

National Patient Recruitment Centres launched

  Created on Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020. Posted in Industry | News Items

Five new NIHR National Patient Recruitment Centres launched

The NPRCs are dedicated to delivering late-phase commercial research by:

  • Increasing the UK’s capacity to deliver late-phase commercial clinical research
  • Making it easier and quicker to deliver commercial research in the NHS
  • Increasing opportunities for patients to benefit from early access to innovation
  • Providing a test bed for future innovation in clinical trial delivery

For more information, visit the NIHR website.

NIHR INCLUDE Ethnicity Framework

  Created on Thursday, 12 Nov 2020. Posted in EDI

the INCLUDE ethnicity framework which is a very comprehensive resource pack for helping researchers to identify which ethnic groups need to be represented in clinical trials and what the barriers to recruitment might be. The resource pack can be downloaded from 

COVID-19 and health inequalities – levelling up in our post-pandemic future

  Created on Thursday, 05 Nov 2020. Posted in EDI

This one-hour seminar explores how existing health inequalities and social determinants of health are interacting with COVID-19 to create a Syndemic Pandemic effect – where we are witnessing closely intertwined and mutually enhancing health and social determinants combining to exacerbate the impact of COVID-19. This could also deepen health inequalities even further in the long-term, if we don’t act now.

The seminar then goes on to discuss what health care systems can do to address our health and care inequalities and outcomes.

Making the economic case for social care (The Economics of Social Care Compendium, ESSENCE)

  Created on Monday, 26 Oct 2020. Posted in Health Economics | Social Care

Resources are always tight in social care, and these pressures have grown as a result of recent substantial cuts in local authority funding. Difficult choices have to be made about how to use available resources.

The ESSENCE project collated economic evidence on adult social care services, and made it available to decision-makers, managers, practitioners and users to inform their decisions. The ESSENCE Toolkit coveres a comprehensive collection of relevant research and summarised it with individual case summaries (33) as well as a searchable database of evidence (231 sources).

New guidance on end of life care in frailty

  Created on Thursday, 17 Sep 2020. Posted in End of life care

The aim of this guidance is to support clinicians and others in considering the needs of and providing high quality care for frail older people as they move towards the end of their lives. It aims to prompt and support timely discussions about preferences for care, ideally at a time which facilitates the input of the older person themselves.

If you are researching in the area of end of life care this is a valuable guide to the issues around endo of life care and current best practice.

Introduction to social care research

  Created on Thursday, 17 Sep 2020. Posted in Social Care

Great introduction to social care research by Martin Knapp from the NIHR School for Social Care Research (SSCR). For more information about the SSCR take a look that their website and join the weekly Tuesday lunchtime webinars.


Process evaluation – HTA tips from the funding committees

  Created on Thursday, 13 Aug 2020. Posted in Funding

Make sure the case of need and cost is described clearly, and the process evaluation activities are well integrated into the main study and not confused with other qualitative or recruitment optimisation activities

  • Needs to be well justified – usually process evaluation is seen in complex interventions to help explain why a treatment works or doesn’t work, for whom and in what context. But it’s not required unless it is justified which maybe more the case for new interventions or new care pathways
  • Take care how you describe it – too much detail will suggest that you are preparing for failure
  • Needs to be clearly differentiated from other qualitative elements of the study
  • Needs to be fit for purpose – you need to justify complexity and cost (remember HTA are aiming for rapid, simple and efficient trials)
  • Remember although implementation is normally considered within a process evaluation, planning and undertaking implementation work beyond the main trial findings is out of remit for HTA
  • Must be clearly integrated into the overall study – must clearly relate to key decisions and interpretation of the data

If the above criteria are met then take a look at the MRC guidance on how to design and conduct process evaluation