How our advice service works: a case management approach

How does our advice service work?

The process of obtaining and receiving free, expert and confidential advice for an eligible funding application/research idea is outlined in the steps below. Our advice service is very much focused around a case management approach which is also described in the steps below.

1. Requesting advice

The easiest way to request advice is to use the “Request advice” button which you will find at the top of this website. – we are now no longer accepting advice requests, visit the NIHR Research Support Service for support.

You will find an advice request form here which you should download, fill in and then return, as described in the form.

As much information should be filled in as possible to allow us to find the most suitable advisers for you.

Here you will also find details of how to contact us if you have a general query about the service.

2. Allocating you a case manager

If your advice request is eligible for our advice service we will allocate a case manager who will contact you. If at this stage your advice request is deemed not eligible we will sign-post you to other resources where possible.

The case manager will contact you to

  • introduce themselves and arrange an initial meeting
  • meet to discuss advice requirements
  • provide advice where appropriate.

The case manager’s role

The case manager’s role is to be your primary point of contact for your advice needs. They will facilitate your journey through the advice service.  They are responsible for:

  • ensuring you receive the advice you require, enabling you to submit a high quality research funding application. If they are unable to provide all the advice you need they will ensure advice is provided by other advisers from our service. On rare occasions if we are unable to provide advice in the North West we will seek advice, with your permission, from other RDS regions and/or external sources
  • identifying areas, which you may not have considered, where advice might be required and facilitating any advice that is needed
  • ensuring you receive the advice you need in time for submitting to your funding deadline*
  • ensuring that you receive advice on any conditional funding offer
  • helping you to respond to feedback from the funding panel
  • ensuring that you receive any “troubleshooting” advice post funding
  • ensuring that we receive information from you to facilitate the running of the service.

* Note: it is advisable to contact us early to allow time for advice and implementing the advice given. If you contact us too close to the submission deadline, we may not be able to provide you with all the advice that is required.

3. Providing you with advice

Our advisers will provide advice via your chosen method of contact e.g. email or phone, but where possible we try to arrange face-to-face meetings.

Our advisers are experts in research methods and research design. As part of our service we can advise in almost all aspects of producing a research funding application. We can provide advice in a number of core areas but our advice is not limited to these core areas, including providing critical reads of your application. While it is not possible to list all areas of expertise of our advisers, you can find examples in our expertise A to Z.

Our newsletters also feature a regular “Adviser Spotlight” article which introduces you to one of our advisers in each edition.

Working agreement, charter and terms and conditions

Our working agreement, charter and terms and conditions provide information about what you can expect from our advice service in addition to what we expect in return from you.

4. Follow-up

Your case manager will continue to offer support post submission as described above but can also be your point of contact should you require advice on another funding application.

Finding out more

We have more information available about our service as follows:

If you have any further questions please contact us, our contact details can be found here.