Research Design Service: East Midlands
National Institute for Health Research

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Recent research design publications October 2018

  Created on Thursday, 18 Oct 2018. Posted in Literature

How to engage stakeholders in research: design principles to support improvement

  Created on Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018. Posted in Literature

Closing the gap between research production and research use is a key challenge for the health research system. Stakeholder engagement is being increasingly promoted across the board by health research funding organisations, and indeed by many researchers themselves, as an important pathway to achieving impact. This opinion piece draws on a study of stakeholder engagement in research and a systematic literature search conducted as part of the study.

Designing health research: a role for librarians and information specialists in developing grant applications and reducing waste in research

  Created on Monday, 12 Jun 2017. Posted in Literature

Librarians and information specialists' involvement during the development of grant applications for external funding can save researchers' time, provide specialist support and contribute to reducing avoidable waste in research. This article presents a survey of information specialists working for the National Institute for Health Research Research Design Service within English applied health services research, and a scoping review to identify other examples of librarians supporting grant applications. The survey found that support included: checking the proposed research has not already been done; literature searching to provide background for the project; advising on or writing systematic review methods. The scoping review found three examples where librarians were involved: in writing sections of the application; conducting reviews and becoming a co-applicant. We recommend librarians engage with researchers by checking whether search requests are to support an application and by becoming familiar with resources and techniques to support grant proposal development.

Removing the ‘gag’: involving people with dementia in research as advisers and participants

  Created on Thursday, 02 Mar 2017. Posted in Literature

Removing the ‘gag’: involving people with dementia in research as advisers and participants Jenni Brooks, Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics, Sheffield Hallam University; Nada Savitch, Innovations in Dementia; Kate Gridley, Social Policy Research Unit, University of York


People with dementia are often excluded from taking part in research because of perceived difficulties in consent, capacity and communication. We argue that involving people with dementia in research is important, and describe how we involved people with dementia as both advisers and participants in research about the use of life story work.

Researchers worked in partnership with Innovations in Dementia, who supported a network of advisers with dementia. Focus groups were arranged to ensure meaningful contributions by people with dementia. It was difficult to use standardised quality-of-life measures, and we describe the challenges faced with capacity and consent, recruitment and selection, and data collection.  We suggest there is a need for (a) new tools for measuring quality of life of people with dementia which do not require participants to respond in prescribed ways, and (b) ethics and consent processes which are appropriate for non-medical research and which facilitate the involvement of people with dementia.

Read the full paper on:  (see page 3 - 14)

Latest podcast talks about clinical research culture

  Created on Monday, 30 Jan 2017. Posted in Literature

The latest NIHR podcast is entitled ‘The culture of research’ and is a 10-12 minute podcast interview with Catherine Joynson, Assistant Director at the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. Catherine talks about the culture of scientific research, leading on from the Nuffield report published in 2015.

Across the series of 7 podcasts, listeners will hear the thoughts and opinions of a whole range of different people involved in clinical research. The podcast series also includes a virtual journal club, which involves the discussion of a recent, open-access paper to be discussed.

  • Podcast 1 - The Nurse’s Changing Role in Clinical Research with Dr Susan Hamer 
  • Podcast 2 - Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses with Prof Mike Clarke
  • Podcast 3 - Challenges and Opportunities in Large-scale Trials wit Prof David
  • Podcast 4 - A Clinical Trial Recruitment with Prof Shaun Treweek
  • Podcast 5 - Clinical Research in the NHS with Dr William van'tHoff


SR Toolbox

  Created on Monday, 31 Oct 2016. Posted in Literature | Toolkit/Database

The Systematic Review Toolbox is a searchable catalogue of tools that can be used to help you do a systematic review. Users can perform a simple keyword search (i.e. Quick Search) to locate tools, a more detailed search (i.e. Advanced Search) allowing users to select various criteria to find specific types of tools and submit new tools to the database.

The Toolbox also contains checklists, guidelines and reporting standards for systematic reviews.

Understanding Evidence New Cochrane Campaign

  Created on Tuesday, 04 Oct 2016. Posted in News Items | Literature

Cochrane is runing a 'Understanding Evidence' campaign in partnership with Students4BestEvidence. The main thrust of the campain centres around the ideas that underpin the way we think about evidence.

The campaign will share resources and initiatives that can help with making sense of evidence, and highlight opportunities to get involved with others with an interest in evidence.

The campaign launches with a special week of blogs from 4th October 2016 and social media post using #UnderstandingEvidence.

Diabetes themed review - On the level

  Created on Monday, 05 Sep 2016. Posted in Diabetes | Literature | Dissemination

This themed review brings together NIHR research on each aspect of type 2 diabetes care. It features:

  • 35 published studies
  • 19 ongoing studies
  • Questions for patients, commissioners, GPs, community nurses and others
  • Patient voices

Logic Model - information and sources

  Created on Wednesday, 31 Aug 2016. Posted in Literature | Toolkit/Database


New digital magazine aims to inspire the next generation of researchers

  Created on Thursday, 28 Jul 2016. Posted in Literature | Dissemination

A new magazine called The Researcher launched in July. The digital publication has been created for early career researchers by early career researchers aims to raise awareness of research careers among nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.

Working in collaboration with Health Education England (HEE), NHS North West Research and Development and a team of early career researchers, along with award winning writer Rob Young, the magazine illustrates the real-life stories of what it is like to undertake a research career.

Two further editions of The Researcher are planned over the next six months. The first edition has the theme of 'Breaking boundaries'