The NIHR Research Design Service for the West Midlands

The Research Design Service for the West Midlands (RDS WM) is part of the infrastructure of the National Institute for Health Research. It is one of ten services in England making up the national RDS.

Our primary aim is to help NHS researchers, and others working in partnership with the NHS, in the West Midlands area who have a ‘good idea’ and want to turn that into a research proposal for submission to peer-reviewed funding programmes in applied health and social care. 

Watch the national RDS video here.   View or download different formats here.

Advice and practical support is provided free of charge and is available through research clinics, face-to-face, by telephone and email. We also offer a Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Pre-Protocol Bursary Scheme that can provide up to £500 per project. Click here for more information.

The RDS WM has three ‘hubs’ based in the Universities of Birmingham, Keele and Warwick.  Each Hub has a team of staff with expertise in statistics, quantitative and qualitative research techniques, clinical trials, evidence synthesis, health economics, epidemiology, public and patient involvement, and ethics and governance.

Each Hub can advise on all aspects of preparing grant applications including:

  • Formulating research questions
  • Building an appropriate research team
  • Involving patients and the public
  • Designing a study
  • Appropriate methodologies
  • Identifying suitable funding sources
  • Regulatory issues
  • Writing lay summaries
  • Identifying the resources required for a successful project

Please note that whilst the WMRDS has a team of advisors that can provide advice on all matters relating to developing funding applications, this service does not mean that the advisors will automatically have the capacity to be co-applicants. The decision to be a co-applicant will depend on whether the advisor has the specific expertise that you are looking for, whether the clinical application falls within their research interests and whether they have the capacity to undertake the research.  Where it is not possible to find a co-applicant within the WMRDS, we will as far as possible suggest potential co-applicants from elsewhere in the UK if this would help you.

Please also note that the development of an appropriate methodology can take a considerable amount of time.  We advise you to contact us as early as poosible if you would like assistance with developing your proposal.

For more details, please see our RDS charter.