RDS News - February 2014

Welcome to the e-bulletin 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).
A History of Success
The RDS South West has supported many researchers with their proposals since its launch in October 2008 and the value of this guidance shows through the number of RDS SW supported applications receiving funding. Here is a recent example of just one of the many studies that have received funding:

The HeART of Stroke Project - Dr Caroline Ellis-Hill
Bournemouth University researchers working alongside Royal Bournemouth Hospital stroke services and Cambridge Community Services have been awarded £250,000 funding from the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme, obtained with RDS support.

Caroline Ellis-Hill, Senior Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Care, Bournemouth University will work with a team of researchers, clinicians and artists to run a trial over two years in Bournemouth and Cambridgeshire to see if it will be feasible to design a national study exploring the effectiveness of an Arts for Health group to support people to maintain/regain a sense of wellbeing up to one year following a stroke.

Caroline worked closely with the RDS from the inception of the project and really valued the expertise provided in Randomised Controlled Trial design and statistical support. Also, the RDS set up the links with Bristol University to support the economic evaluation and Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit (PenCTU) to support randomisation. The successful application was submitted to the South West RfPB committee following feedback on the draft application from the RDS South West Project Review Committee. A number of RDS staff continue to work on the project, with this extra role funded from the research grant.

Dr Caroline Ellis-Hill said “The RDS South West team were very supportive and encouraging. The feedback from the team and their Project Review Committee was invaluable in helping to design a great study, think through the practicalities; and communicate effectively with the potential funders - thank you very much for your support.”

For more examples of just some of the many studies that have received funding with RDS South West support, visit our Success Stories webpage.
RDS grants workshop - deadline approaching
The deadline for applications to attend the Grant Applications Workshop, run by the
RDS South West, is fast approaching.

This free one-day workshop is designed to help you make your application as persuasive as possible and will next be held on Tuesday 1 April 2014 at Taunton Racecourse, Somerset.

The deadline for applications is 1pm Monday 3 March 2014. To find out more about the workshop and the application process visit on our Grant Applications Workshop webpage, or
contact us at rds-sw@tst.nhs.uk or 01823 342792.
New Public Involvement Impact Assessment Framework launched
The Public Involvement Impact Assessment Framework (PiiAF) has been produced to help researchers assess the impact of involving members of the public in their research.

The guidance is designed to be used at the research design stage and helps researchers choose what impact they want public involvement to have and decide on an appropriate method. The PiiAF is aimed at researchers, but members of the public interested in getting involved in research may also find it useful and some people have used it in training for researchers and the public. The PIAFF is available at: http://piiaf.org.uk 

Plain English please
High quality research summaries are crucial to researchers wishing to impress funding bodies. A plain English summary is a brief summary that has been written for members of the public, rather than researchers or professionals.

At the research approval stage, reviewers use summaries to help form their opinion of a funding application. Review panels include members of the public, clinicians and researchers who may not have specialist knowledge of the research. A clear summary can help towards a positive review.

INVOLVE have developed guidance and recommendations on producing clear summaries and the Plain English Campaign produce a series of guides that can be downloaded free of charge from their website including, ‘How to write in plain English’ and ‘How to write medical information in plain English.’

The RDS can help researchers write research summaries and offer expert support and advice on all aspects of designing and developing applications for NIHR funding, as well as applications to Research Councils and major charities. Visit the RDS SW website to find out how to access our advice, or contact your local RDS SW office.
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.
Long-term Conditions in Children and Young People Themed Call
The NIHR has issued a call for evaluative research for long term conditions in children and young people. The research should aim to provide the evidence base to improve the health outcomes for children and young people that result from long term conditions.

The following NIHR managed research programmes will be participating:
Completed application forms must be submitted by 21 May 2014. Funding decisions will be made around March 2015. For further information on the participating programmes, and to apply, please visit the NIHR website: www.themedcalls.nihr.ac.uk/children 

Please note that the NIHR Fellowships Programme is also participating in this call, welcoming applications for evaluative research for long term conditions in children and young people. The deadline for submission of applications to round 7 of the programme was 1pm on the 21 January 2014, however, round 8 of the programme which opens in Autumn 2014 will also be participating in the call.

There is a useful overview video outlining all of the participating NIHR programmes in the context of this themed call, in the Resources section of the themed call website.
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