RDS NW e-bulletin – November 2021

RDS NW logo

RDS NW e-bulletin

November 2021


NIHR Research Design Service – Research for Social Care Residential Grant Development and Writing Retreat

23 to 25 March 2022 – Castle Green Hotel, Kendal

The NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) is offering a unique opportunity for research teams across England to attend a three-day residential Grant Development and Writing Retreat in March 2022. The purpose of the Retreat is to give busy professionals dedicated time to rapidly progress their social care research proposal to be submitted to the NIHR Research for Social Care (RfSC) Programme in January 2023.

The Retreat will provide a supportive environment for teams of two or three people, to develop high quality NIHR RfSC research proposals. It is encouraged but not essential for attendance at the Retreat, that a member of the wider research team is a social care professional employed in England. Successful applicants will be offered a free place at the retreat which will include food and accommodation*.

For anyone interested in applying to the Retreat please complete an expression of interest by 7 December 2021.

Applications to attend the Retreat should be submitted on a standard application form, available here, and submitted to: rdsc@essex.ac.uk.

Deadline for receipt of application forms is 14 January 2022.

Applications will be reviewed competitively and places awarded to those with the most promising proposals. Support from your local RDS is available and applicants are strongly advised to contact them as soon as possible.

Those attending the Retreat will have access to a range of RDS advisers while developing their proposals. Away from the workplace, they will have protected time to work intensively on their proposals. Continued support from the RDS will be essential in preparing your application for submission to the NIHR RfSC programme.

Visit the grant writing retreat website for more details. Request advice from the RDS NW on your application as soon as possible.

*excludes travel to/from Kendal.

NIHR Research for Social Care – Competition 4

Deadline for applications 19 January 2022.

NIHR Research for Social Care (RfSC) competition four is currently open for application and is inviting applications for research proposals that will generate evidence to improve, expand and strengthen the way adult social care is delivered for users of care services, carers, and the public. Proposals are expected to have a high degree of involvement from relevant users of social care and social care practitioners throughout the research.

RfSC welcomes high quality proposals from researchers and practitioners that are focused on:

  • social care needs and relevant outcomes (which could be quality of life, social or health care related, as appropriate to the study, population etc.)
  • developing a more robust evidence base for current ways of working
  • developing and evaluating new ways of delivering social care
  • secondary data analysis, record linkage and reviews
  • research methods development
  • care users’ and carers’ circumstances and needs
  • those who deliver social care including unpaid carers and the staff and professionals involved in the delivery of social care e.g. social workers.

This call also includes an autism highlight notice, specifically inviting proposals for collaborative research projects to better support autistic people who access social care.

Find out more about the funding call here.

The Research Design Service North West (RDS NW) will provide you with advice and support on your RfSC funding application. Come to us early to ensure you can make the best use of the support we provide. Request advice on your RfSC application.



A brief guide to patient and public involvement and qualitative methods  within health and social care research

There are similarities in both the ways patient and public involvement (PPI) and qualitative research activities are conducted, and the language used to describe them. Because of this, the distinction between the two can sometimes be blurred. These similarities can cause confusion for those writing grant applications and for those reviewing them.

Developed by the Research Design Service (RDS), a new guide aims to:

  • describe how PPI and qualitative research methods can support the development of health and social care grant applications
  • outline some key differences between a qualitative focus group and a PPI workshop, whether delivered face to face or online
  • suggest how PPI activities and qualitative research might be written into grant applications to demonstrate embedded PPI and collaborative research.

This guide does not set out to describe how to ‘do’ PPI or qualitative research, nor to cover all instances where the public can contribute to research. RDS advisers can provide specific and in-depth support for the development and conduct of PPI and qualitative activities in research applications.

View the guide here. Request PPI advice on your research funding application.


NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) and Programme Development Grants (PDG) – information webinar

9 December 2021, 10.00am to 12.30pm

An information webinar for the call for varied research approaches to address NIHR and NICE priorities in Multiple Long-Term Conditions (MLTCs) is being held on 9 December 2021.

This free half-day event for potential applicants will cover the expectations and requirements for this call. It will also provide background information on priorities in MLTCs and an overview of support available through the Research Design Service and Clinical Research Network. Whilst the event is not intended as a forum for detailed discussion; participants will have an opportunity to ask questions.

New and varied research partnerships, methods, and approaches are needed to better understand, prevent, and manage multiple long-term conditions (MLTCs) in populations, groups, and individuals. This PGfAR/PDG call seeks diverse evaluative programmes to provide evidence for health, public health and social care practitioners and services to address the growing challenge of MLTCs.

Registration for the information webinar is available here. Request advice on your PGfAR or PDG funding application.


RDS Blog: Beware – bias ahead!

Bias exists in all research. It can occur at any stage of the research process and if not considered carefully, bias can impact the validity and reliability of the study findings.

The RDS Blog, this month, aims to help you better understand bias and take measures to avoid it.

Read the November Blog here.


Public Health Research Programme – potential future research topics

The NIHR Public Health Research (PHR) programme, publishes a list of topics being considered for future commissioned research.

If prioritised, the potential advert date for Stage 1 applications to these funding opportunities is either Spring 2022 (possibly 15 March 2022) or Summer 2022 (possibly 28 June 2022). 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, sign up to receive the NIHR monthly funding bulletin, and weekly funding alerts.

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

View details of current PHR funding opportunities here. Request advice on your PHR funding application.


New Open Access policy for NIHR funded researchers

The NIHR has announced its new Open Access policy, requiring all peer-reviewed research articles arising from NIHR-funded research studies to be made immediately open access under an open licence.

In line with the Government’s commitment to Open Access, which “requires that research outputs funded by the UK government are freely available to the taxpayer who funds research” (R&D Roadmap), this new policy will allow evidence from NIHR funded research to be freely accessed and used across the health and social care system, empower patients and the public, and drive further innovation globally.

Find out more about the new Open Access policy here.


New NIHR package of funding for research on climate and health announced at COP26

The NIHR will launch new sustainability-themed package of funding for research into climate and health, NIHR Chief Executive Professor Lucy Chappell has announced at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).

Recognising the global nature of the climate challenge, the new funding package includes a £20 million funding call specifically to develop new evidence to improve the health outcomes of people most impacted by climate change and extreme weather events in low and middle income countries through adaptation and development of health service provision. This call will align with the priorities identified by the Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA)’s global health needs assessment on climate-resilient health systems.

Find out more about the new funding here. Request advice on your funding application.


NIHR’s Health Services and Delivery Research Programme changes its name

The NIHR’s Health Service and Delivery Research Programme has changed its name to the Health and Social Care Delivery Research (HSDR) Programme.

The programme’s director, Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone, says:

“This is a major milestone and more accurately acknowledges the hugely important research the programme commissions and funds in this area. The NIHR will continue to work in this area to support the health and social care system adapt practice to improve the quality and accessibility of services.”

Find out more about the Health and Social Care Delivery Research Programme here. Request advice on your HSDR funding application.


Did you know…about the RDS?

We don’t just advise on research funding applications to NIHR funding programmes!

We will also provide advice on your funding application to other funders such as charities and other funding bodies e.g. Research Councils. Our only requirement is that your intended funding programme is national, open competition, peer reviewed and is in the areas of applied health or social care research.

Our advice is free and confidential. Request advice on your funding application today.


Other events and webinars

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