What we offer

RDS NW advice service

The support available includes all aspects of research design and conduct including:

  • Formulating research questions – including advice on literature review and publication database searches, embracing systematic review, determining what research has already been done on a topic to avoid duplication and how new research may be able to add to existing knowledge.
  • Research design for quantitative studies – including advice on randomised controlled trials and encompassing ethical issues such as equipoise; feasibility issues such as recruitment strategies and contingency plans if recruitment targets are not met; arrangements for blinding and allocation to trial arms; power calculations and other underpinning statistical advice including analytical strategies; advice on the conduct of observational and quasi-experimental studies in circumstances where RCTs cannot be carried out; and advice on economic aspects of studies.
  • Research design for qualitative studies – on the range of approaches from ethnographic to interview-based techniques, including appropriate methods and analytical strategies.
  • Identifying and applying to appropriate funding sources – including searching databases of funders, and advice on preparing appropriate applications.
  • Contacting appropriate collaborators in research – in universities and in the NHS including both researchers and practitioners, and embracing patients, patient representatives and the public at all stages in formulating research questions, designing, carrying out and acting on research.
  • Advising on the interpretation of feedback from funding committees.

These services are available face to face and are supported by telephone and e-mail contacts.

In the case of application for training fellowships, RDS NW will not fulfil roles that should more properly be taken by the research supervisor.

To request advice from our expert advisers, please use the Request Advice Link. Advice is available from the research idea stage and at any point in the development of your research funding application. Please allow plenty of time before a funding deadline if seeking advice.

For more detail on our advice service visit the how our advice service works page.

Online self-help resources are also provided via the section links above.

The Research Design Service can provide post-funding advice to researchers experiencing difficulties and who received and acknowledged Research Design Service support in their successful funding applications. This support may relate to study set-up, delivery or analysis, but will be advisory only, including signposting to other groups. The Research Design Service cannot provide support to fill gaps in the expertise of research teams.  Please contact the RDS NW coordinating office if such advice is required.

Targeted Events

The Research Design Service also runs targeted events to support applications for specific funds including NIHR Research for Patient Benefit and the NIHR personal award/fellowship schemes.

Current events organised by the RDS NW can be found on the RDS NW Events page. You can also find an archive of past RDS NW events here. Here you will find information on the events as well as resources such as slides and video.