RDS News - June 2015

Welcome to the eBulletin from the Research Design Service South West (RDS SW), keeping you updated with the latest news, events and communications from the RDS and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Project Review Committee

The RDS SW Project Review Committee provides an excellent opportunity for researchers to obtain a critical review of a proposed grant application before this is sent to a funding body. The committee brings the benefit of seeing the proposal with “fresh eyes”, replicating as far as possible the way the real funding committee will consider the application. ​

The Project Review Committee is an integral part of the support offered by the RDS to researchers. Two categories of project are eligible for review by the Committee with priority given to researchers applying to NIHR research funding streams:
  • pre-submission projects
  • other projects seeking methodological opinion from Committee members (e.g. rejected studies)
Projects will be assessed for suitability for Committee review and ideally researchers will already be working with their local RDS office who will arrange submission of the project to the Committee. Researchers are not required to attend Committee meetings.
The application will receive the advantage of detailed attention from senior RDS consultants who have considerable experience of obtaining research funding, resulting in comprehensive comments and advice fed back through the relevant RDS consultant.

Committee meetings take place on the dates outlined on our website - in order to submit a study for review at the meeting, study paperwork must be provided to the committee (normally by your local RDS office) two weeks prior to the meeting date.
It is recommended that studies are submitted to the committee for review at least two months prior to the target funding deadline. This then allows enough time to clarify or amend the application as appropriate, and gives the best possible chance of successful application for funding. The importance of making a good first impression on a funding panel cannot be overestimated.
For further information please contact your local RDS office, or the RDS SW coordinating centre on 01823 342792 or email: rds.sw@nihr.ac.uk
The research community celebrated International Clinical Trials Day
More than 100 events and activities took place across the country in May to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day and encourage more people to ‘ask’ about clinical research through the NIHR ‘OK to ask’ campaign.

Read more.
New website tells us how young people are improving health through research
Generation R is a National Young Persons’ Advisory Group funded by the NIHR and supports the design and delivery of pediatric research in the UK.

Generation R consists of six Young People’s Action Groups (YPAGs), based around England.  The YPAGs meet regularly to learn about clinical research and discuss how to make it work better for young people. 
Find out more.
Going the extra mile to take part in a
clinical trial

Retired broadcast television sound engineer David has participated in two clinical trials since he was diagnosed and treated for bladder cancer in December 2008.

David reflects: “Being told I had a tumour came as a terrible shock but the consultant made the right judgement call immediately offering me the chance to do a clinical drug trial because it instantly felt like being given the key to a new door for me to open in addition to my own treatment.”

David first completed a two year drug trial as a Dorchester hospital patient and then in 2012 he was contacted by a research nurse about the opportunity to take part in a new research study. The closest site conducting the Phase III national trial looking at a new treatment compared with standard treatments for bladder cancer patients was at the Royal Devon & Exeter (Wonford) hospital but that did not discourage David. Read more.
Latest funding calls and other opportunities
Funding deadline calendar
For an overview of NIHR calls and ongoing funding opportunities, please see our funding deadlines webpage.
Public Health Research (PHR) Programme: Public Mental Health
The PHR Programme funds research to evaluate non-NHS interventions intended to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities in health.  The PHR Programme is interested in receiving applications for research into the evaluation of public health interventions to improve mental health.

They hope to commission research on the effectiveness of mental health promotion or mental illness prevention interventions across the life course at a (sub) population level. All areas of public mental health are covered by this funding opportunity. However, the following areas are of particular interest:
  • workplace interventions to promote mental health
  • interventions to reduce social isolation
  • interventions to prevent bullying
The deadline for applications is 1pm, 30 July 2015. For more information and to watch a webinar about this funding opportunity, please visit the PHR website.
Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme
The HS&DR commissioned workstream focuses on evaluating models of service delivery and interventions which have the potential to improve service effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. There are three rounds, with up to nine separate call topics per year.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals on the following topic:
  • 15/77 - Evidence Syntheses to support emerging models of care
The closing date for applications is 1pm, 3 September 2015. Find out more and apply.
Programme Grants
Programme Grants aim to produce independent research findings that will have practical application for the benefit of patients and the NHS in the relatively near future. Programme Development Grants are a complementary scheme to allow investigators to undertake preparatory research that will position them to submit a competitive Programme Grant application. 

Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)
Competition 19 now open
Closing date: 1pm, 6 October 2015. Find out more and apply.

Programme Development Grants
Competition 14 now open
Closing date: 1pm, 13 October 2015. Find out more and apply.
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