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NIHR RESEARCH DESIGN SERVICES AND EQUIVALENTS

NIHR Research Design Services (RDSs) exist to assist NHS researchers, or those working in partnership with the NHS, to prepare proposals for submission to national funding competitions for applied health or social care research, by providing expert advice on research design and methodology. Some give priority to researchers applying to the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit scheme. There are currently 10 RDSs, covering England only.

If you are a researcher based in Wales, some Welsh CTUs have designated funding for research support services for those working within the local region, including grant application development, so get in touch to check if this is available. If you are based in Northern, Ireland, see the Northern Ireland Clinical Research Support Centre. In Scotland, although there is no RDS equivalent, researchers requiring assistance with project design should contact their local NHS Board Research & Development office or CTU for this type of advice Additionally you can contact the relevant Chief Scientist Office research manager.

Unlike CTUs, you should contact the RDS in your geographic region. Another difference between this service and the CTUs is that RDS advice is provided free of charge. The RDS websites often include a resources section which can provide written advice on research design, and details of any training courses they are providing. Some also have mailing lists; these newsletters can provide useful updates on RDS activity, in addition to wider news regarding research funding opportunities and national events.

Find your RDS’ contact details and website address