RDS News - August 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).
Grant Applications Workshop - now accepting applications

- Are you thinking of applying for a research grant?
- Would you like guidance on improving your chances of success at getting funded?

The Grant Applications Workshop, run by the RDS South West, is designed to help you make your application as persuasive as possible. This free one-day workshop will next be held on Thursday 6 November 2014 at Taunton Racecourse, Somerset. The deadline for receipt of completed application forms and research proposals is 1pm Monday 6 October 2014.

To find out more about the workshop and the application process visit our Grant Applications Workshop webpage, or contact us at rds.sw@nihr.ac.uk or 01823 342792.
An innovative and interactive seven-week, online support programme for young people aged 12-17 with a visible difference called YP-Face It has been awarded over £289,000 funding from the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme, obtained with RDS support. 

There is a lack of evidence-based psychological interventions and limited support resources to address the psychosocial difficulties experienced by young people (YP) with disfigurement (visible difference) resulting from traumatic injury, congenital or skin conditions and surgical or medical treatments. The YP Face IT team therefore developed an innovative and interactive seven-week, online support programme called YP Face IT that requires minimal supervision from health professionals. YP Face IT addresses key concerns of young people with visible difference including low self-esteem, depression, social and appearance-related anxiety. It provides self- management skills via social skills training and CBT techniques.

The research team received advice from the RDS SW in a number of areas and Dr Heidi Williamson said “We made contact with the RDS early on in the planning of our study to investigate the feasibility of YP Face IT, which is essential to make the most of the team’s expertise. As a group, we debated at length the design of the study, and were given advice on where to apply for funding and when. Our draft protocol was reviewed by the RDS, and their constructive comments informed a draft RfPB application which was reviewed by the RDS Project Review Committee. This latter stage was the most helpful as it’s reflective of the review process by the RfPB committee and provided feedback from a wider group of reviewers with expertise in PPI, research and clinical practice. The RDS team were interested, conscientious and keen to help us succeed.”

The RDS South West offers free support and advice on all aspects of preparing grant applications. We have nine offices based in universities and the NHS across the region. If you are a researcher who would like help to increase your chances of submitting a successful grant application, please contact us on 01823 342792 or  rds.sw@nihr.ac.uk. To find out more about us, visit our website.
The new NIHR website - now live
The new website for the NIHR has just been launched and has a completely new look and feel, which has been  based on user requirements rather than the structure. The website is also platform independent - you can view it from your desktop, laptop or tablet and the screen will resize accordingly. The main navigation areas are:
There is much more in terms of content, including a new ‘Newsroom’ stuffed full of NIHR news - go take a look!
Recruiting new panel members
  • Are you interested in health research?
  • Do you have experience of working in committees/groups?
  • Do you have experience of patient and public involvement?
  • Do you have good communication skills?
The NIHR are currently looking for members of the public to join the panels/committees for the following research programmes: 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.
Health Technology Assessment Programme - invitation for applications
The HTA commissioned workstream commissions research proposals that address specific topics or themes, as identified by the HTA boards and panels. There are three rounds a year (opening March, July and October) containing up to 20 separate call topics. The following commissioned calls have been issued for research proposals:

14/26 - Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS): primary care intervention
14/28 - Covered versus uncovered self-expanding metal bowel stents
14/29 - Enhancing health related quality of life in children who live with a primary carer with serious mental illness

The deadline for these applications is 1pm, 16 August 2014. Read more and apply.
Public Health Research (PHR) Programme - commissioned calls
The PHR Programme funds research to evaluate non-NHS interventions intended to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities in health. The following commissioned calls have been issued for research proposals:

14/53 - Choice architecture - deadline 1pm, 4 August 2014
14/67 - Weight management after pregnancy - deadline 1pm, 1 September 2014
14/54 - Health improvement interventions for offenders or ex-offenders under community supervision - deadline 1pm, 1 September 2014

Read more.
Health Innovation Challenge Fund - Round 10
The Health Innovation Challenge Fund is a parallel funding partnership between the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health to stimulate the creation of innovative healthcare products, technologies and interventions and to facilitate their development for the benefit of patients in the NHS and beyond.

Applications are invited from UK-based investigators from the academic, healthcare and commercial sectors in six theme areas:
  • surgical technologies
  • innovative diagnostics
  • trauma and critical care medicine
  • informatics to assist clinical decision making
  • repurposing of medicines and medical devices
  • biological therapeutics.
Preliminary Application Closing Date 15th September 2014
Short-listing of Preliminary Applications 17th October 2014
Full Application Closing Date 12th January 2015
Funding decision 16th & 17th April 2015

Full details and application forms are available from the website.
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