RDS NW e-bulletin – March 2023

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RDS NW e-bulletin

March 2023


What a success! The RDS National Social Care Research Development and Writing Retreat

From the 15 to 17 March, RDS NW hosted a national Social Care Research Grant Development and Writing Retreat in Kendal. 13 research teams from across England spent three intensive days, developing and writing their social care research proposals to be submitted to a NIHR Programme for Social Care.

The Retreat programme included presentations from Professor Chris Hatton, Acting Chair of the NIHR RfSC Committee/ RDS NW Senior Adviser, and Claire Gregory Senior Research Manager at HSDR on NIHR social care funding programmes and Dr Michael Loizou a successful NIHR RfSC applicant and 2022 Social Care Retreat attendee. In addition to presentations from Dr Jenny Harlock and Raj Mehta (Public Contributor) on Public Involvement in Social Care Grant Applications, Dr Rebecca Barnes on Embedding Equality Diversity and Inclusion and Dr Alison Booth on Research Impact, Retreat delegates also enjoyed focused project development time with a dedicated RDS adviser, as well as support from a wide range of expertise from other RDS Advisers.

Feedback from delegates and RDS Faculty was overwhelming positive:

“It was excellent, exceeded any expectations. Impressed with how all advisers quickly understood aims of different projects and were able to contribute their expertise. Welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Thank you!”

“I feel much more confident in how to do this in practice – it has made it significantly less daunting.”

“I think the retreat is a real treat to research enthusiasts. There is so much learning and exchange of information  about all aspects of research – I just love it!”

“I loved how friendly and approachable all RDS staff were. Our RDS adviser’s approach was perfect. Kind but helped us think and figure out why our research was needed.”


RDS blog: Impact – what do you want to change for the better with your research project?

The language of impact can be confusing, with terminology to get to grips with, but the good news is that you are probably doing it already.

The RDS blog this month highlights the six main areas to think about so that you plan for impact at the research design stage of your project.                  

Read March’s RDS blog.


NIHR appoints new Senior Investigators including two from RDS NW

Following an open competition, the NIHR has appointed 56 Senior Investigators in 2023. In this 16th round, 27 researchers have been newly appointed as NIHR Senior Investigators. A total of 29 current or previous award holders have been reappointed. 

We have the pleasure to announce that two RDS NW senior advisers have become new NIHR Senior Investigators.  Many congratulations to Professor Soo Downe and Professor Katherine Payne.

NIHR Senior Investigators are among the most prominent and prestigious researchers funded by the NIHR. They are outstanding leaders of patient and people-based research within the NIHR research community. Senior Investigators receive an award of £20,000 per year of appointment to fund activities that support their research.

Read more about the Senior Investigator award.


RDS Essential Guide to Grant Applications – presentation videos available

1 March 2023, starting at 10.00 am, online

The RDS Essential Guide to Grant Applications (EGGA) was a three-day online masterclass, held from 8 to 10 March 2023. It focussed on how to write a grant application, from a strong methodological point of view that reads well and presents a convincing case for funding.

Videos of the presentations are available.

If you attended EGGA, you can receive continued support on your funding application from the RDS NW

EGGA was hosted by our RDS South Central colleagues.


Reducing compound pressures on the NHS and social care research funding call

The NIHR wants to generate high-quality research evidence into the evaluation of health and care interventions and services to reduce compound pressures on the NHS and social care.

This cross-programme call for research supports the recently published Department of Health and Social Care Areas of Research Interest which calls for high quality evidence to support those who plan, commission, manage, deliver and use services across the health, public health and social care sector.

The NIHR welcomes applications for both new primary research studies to establish the effectiveness of new, promising or existing interventions, and implementation science, evidence synthesis and policy research to support the translation of effective interventions into policy and practice. We anticipate that a range of projects in size and scope will be commissioned and that where possible, will be able to report meaningful intermediate data early in the contract period.

In order to apply for this call you will need to carefully review the following documents:

Find out more about the call and the participating NIHR funding programmes.

Request advice on your application.


NIHR Research for Patient Benefit competition 51 launched

The NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) programme is inviting stage 1 applications for research proposals that are concerned with the day-to-day practice of health service staff, and that have the potential to have an impact on the health or wellbeing of patients and users of the NHS.

As a researcher-led programme, RfPB does not specify topics for research but instead encourages proposals for projects that address a wide range of health service issues and challenges.

The programme aims to fund high quality quantitative and qualitative research with a clear trajectory to patient benefit. It particularly encourages applications that have a strong element of interaction with patients and the public and that have been conceived in association with a relevant group of service users.

Please note that the programme has a new funding limit of £500k for Tier 1 studies.

The submission deadline for applications is 1.00 pm on 12 July 2023.

Request advice on your application.


Blog: Not ‘hard to reach’ – increasing diversity in research participation

Data from the NIHR has revealed that UK geographies with the highest burden of disease also have the lowest number of patients taking part in research.

Dr Natalie Darko, Associate Professor of Health Inequalities at the University of Leicester and author of Engaging Black and Minority Ethnic Groups in Health Research: ‘Hard to Reach’? Demystifying the Misconception explains why diversity in research participation is so important.

Read the full blog.


NIHR Public Health Research Programme – future research funding call topics

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

  • Tobacco control plans in the UK
  • Population screening uptake in under-served groups
  • Faith Groups and impacts on health and health inequalities
  • Methodological development in public health
  • Understanding e-cigarettes better through modelling and a cohort study
  • Commercial determinants of health
  • School food in special schools and alternative provision settings
  • Health and health inequality impacts of vouchers and benefit uptake

If prioritised, the potential advert date for Stage one applications to these funding opportunities is either summer 2023, end of June, or autumn 2023. However, please note these are indicative dates, which 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 their monthly funding bulletin, and weekly funding alerts.

Alternatively, if you are interested in contributing to the development of their future topic areas, you can help by becoming a reviewer.

Request advice on your application.


Other events and webinars


NIHR funding opportunities

Find more NIHR funding opportunities here.

Request advice on your application.


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