RDS NW e-bulletin – June 2022

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RDS NW e-bulletin

June 2022


Providing more for Public Health and Social Care

Over the coming months we will be improving our website to provide more useful information and resources in the areas of Social Care and Public Health research.

We will also show how we can help Social Care and Public Health researchers and practitioners, apply for research funding.

You will find out, from some of our Social Care and Public Health clients, how we have helped them too.

Head on over to our website and you will find new Social Care and Public Health sections where you will find useful links and much more to come.

Keep an eye out for announcements of new content in our e-bulletins, Twitter and on our website.



The Research Design Service (RDS) produces many online resources that aim to support and help Applied Health, Social Care and Public Health researchers apply for research funding.

The RDSresources website has been created to provide a central location for these useful resources.

To-date resources include:

More resources are available and more will be added.


RDS Blog: Optimising recruitment to a clinical trial

During the past two years since the start of the COVID19 pandemic, we have seen clinical trials struggling to recruit participants. Clinics were cancelled and when they were restarted people were sometimes reluctant to come into clinics. Clinical research staff were redeployed from research to front-line services.

As we look at protocols for new studies it’s important to ensure that the sample size has a good chance of being met in the planned timeframe.

Many studies for which I have been on either the Trial Steering Committee or Data Monitoring Committee have struggled to recruit and some of the problems might have been avoided – especially the problem of poorly recruiting centres.

In this month’s blog post, we hear from Irene Stratton from RDS South Central about how to optimise recruitment to clinical trials – a key part of any successful research application and critical to successful study delivery.

Read the blog here.


Webinar: How to apply Public Involvement Effectively to your Research Application – still time to register

6 July 2022, 1.30 pm to 2.45 pm, online.

An integral part of research that is funded by the NIHR is to ensure that patients, carers, service users and the public have the opportunity to shape and influence the relevance, quality and impact of our health and care research.

This 75-minute webinar is aimed at researchers applying for NIHR Fellowship Awards and staff accountable for public involvement.

The webinar will cover:

  • NIHR’s definition of public involvement
  • UK Standards for Public Involvement in Research
  • guidance on co-producing a research project
  • the support Research Design Service (RDS) provides for researchers in regards to public involvement
  • what NIHR is looking for in the public involvement section of the researcher’s application.

By attending this webinar you will discover:

  • how to incorporate your public involvement programme successfully to your research
  • insights from a fellow researcher and public involvement representative that you can apply to your programme of work.

Find out more and register for the webinar here.


A successful First Grants event

On Wednesday 15 June, we held our first face-to-face event since the start of the pandemic.

Our First Grants event was attended by health, public health and social care practitioners and researchers all looking to apply for a first research funding grant.

At the event attendees heard from a successful applicant who had applied for their first grant. They found out about the support available from RDS NW, as well as support provided by the NIHR Clinical Research Network. One of our senior advisers provided an informative session on “How to develop a research question.”

After the event some attendees had the chance to meet with some of our advisers to discuss their research ideas. If you missed out on this opportunity you can always receive advice from our advisers by using our advice service.

If you were unable to attend, you can find the slides from the event here.

You can also watch presentations from our previous online First Grants event, which we held last year.

Request advice on your application.


Excess treatment costs: Payment thresholds lowered for NHS trusts

NHS trusts delivering non-commercial clinical research will benefit from additional funding to deliver studies across England – following a financial policy change lowering the point at which trusts can claim back research excess treatment costs.

Excess treatment costs (ETC) are the costs incurred by NHS trusts and care providers involved in delivering research, when the treatments given as part of delivering studies are more expensive than the care/treatment that the participants would have normally received.

Read more about this news on ETC here.


NIHR School for Primary Care Research website refresh

The NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) has refreshed its website, making it easier for you to find the information you need on the research they fund, their career development opportunities and on patient and public involvement and engagement.

The SPCR is a partnership between nine leading academic centres for primary care research in England. They work to increase the evidence base for primary care practice through high quality research and strategic leadership, and to build capacity in primary care with a well-established training programme.


Health Research Authority – Rethinking ethics review: new public conversation

The Health Research Authority (HRA) has recently be having a conversation about how they could make ethics review more streamlined and proportionate. They have spoken to people working in research and Research Ethics Committees (RECs) to hear what they think works in the current service and what could work better. They have also spoken to sponsors, the individual, organisation or partnership that have overall responsibility for a research project.

They would now like to broaden the conversation, and move the consultation into the next phase.

Based on what they have heard so far, ideas have been developed on how ethics review could be re-thinked, to improve both the application journey and the review itself.

They now want to hear your opinion. Take part in their online survey, which runs until 23 September 2022.

Find out more about HRA’s new public conversation.


NIHR Public Health Research Programme – future topics

The Public Health Research (PHR) Programme is considering the following topics for future commissioned research:

  • Interventions to support the health and wellbeing of asylum seekers and refugees
  • Interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of sex workers
  • Tobacco control plans in the UK
  • Health and health inequality impacts of place-based interventions
  • Interventions to reduce loneliness
  • Effectiveness of interventions aimed at preventing domestic abuse
  • The health impacts of no recourse to public funds
  • Workplace health: interventions to improve physical and mental health for employees
  • Reducing sexually transmitted infections.

If prioritised, the potential advert date for Stage 1 applications to these funding opportunities is either Autumn 2022 (possibly 25 October 2022) or Spring 2023 (possibly 7 March 2023). These dates are indicative and may change.

The commissioning briefs, published when the funding opportunity opens, will provide details of the topic.  If you would like notification of when PHR calls go live, please sign up to receive the NIHR monthly funding bulletin, and weekly funding alerts.

The current PHR open calls can be found here. These include:

Request advice on your PHR application.


Other events and webinars

Always check with the event organisers/funder for latest information.