RDS News - December 2014

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).
RDS Retreat deadline fast approaching

- Do you have a great idea for a research project?
- Do you need to apply for significant research funding?
- Do you need a sustained period of quality time with dedicated support to develop your research project?

The RDS South West is offering a unique opportunity to researchers in health and health care across the South West of England. Your team could win a place on the Residential Research Retreat, which will be held at the Ammerdown Conference Centre, near Bath in Somerset from 31 May to 5 June 2015 inclusive. The deadline for applications at 1pm Wednesday 7 January 2015, is fast approaching.

The Retreat provides an opportunity for research teams to develop high quality research proposals suitable for submission to national peer-reviewed funding schemes. The aim of the Retreat is to provide the environment and support to promote rapid progress in developing proposals over a relatively short time period. This Retreat is open to health professionals and academic partners working within the South West.

To find out more visit our website, or contact us at rds.sw@nihr.ac.uk or 01823 342792.
Project Review Committee
Our 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 SW 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. Find out more.
Using social media to actively involve people in research
Social media is now well-established, but its use as a way to involve people in research is a relatively recent development. INVOLVE have produced guidance that provides examples of ways in which different types of social media are currently being used to involve the public in research, the benefits, challenges, risks and ethics of using social media for involvement, and some top tips and things to think about.

This guidance is aimed primarily at researchers and others facilitating public involvement in research. However, it may also be of interest to members of the public involved in research and others interested in the use of social media to support public involvement. Download the guidance.
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.
Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme - Researcher-led call
The EME Programme funds clinical efficacy studies is accepting applications to its researcher-led work stream. The deadline for applications is 1pm, 3 March 2015

A series of webinars have been organised to support this researcher-led call and the latest round of commissioned calls. If you are interested in attending any of these webinars, please sign-up using our webinar registration form. Slides from the researcher-led webinar can also be downloaded. Read more and apply.
Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) Programme
The PGfAR programme invites Stage 1 research proposals to develop individual programmes. The amount awarded and the length of the funding period will depend on the nature of the proposed work, in particular whether or not the proposal includes a substantial powered trial.

Please note, in addition to usual commissioning arrangements, researchers can apply to the Mesothelioma themed call through this competition.

The closing date for applications is 1pm, 3 March 2015Read more and apply.
Public Health Research (PHR) Programme
The PHR Programme is keen to see applications for large-scale evaluation studies with the potential for national reach. This means primary research projects which:
  • address an issue of major strategic public health importance, with the cost in line with the significance of the problem to be investigated
  • are likely to lead to changes in practice that will have a significant impact on a large number of the population across the UK
  • aim to fill a clear 'evidence gap', and likely to generate new knowledge
  • have the potential for findings that are generalisable and transferable
  • bring together a team with strong expertise and track record across the full range of relevant disciplines
The researcher-led workstream offers the flexibility for ambitious evaluations of public health interventions. If a case can be made for public health importance, scientific quality and value for money, there is no upper limit to the amount of funding that can be applied for and applications can be made at any point, with three cut-off dates throughout the year. Multi-factorial research will be considered.

If you are planning a project of this type you may wish to refer to the MRC Complex Interventions Framework. Please contact the PHR Programme if you have any questions regarding issues such as remit or the timing of your application.
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