RDS News - March 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).
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@tst.nhs.uk
Public Patient Involvement (PPI):
INVOLVE 2014 – call for presentations is now open.

INVOLVE is a national advisory group, funded by the NIHR that supports greater public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research. INVOLVE’s ninth biennial conference is taking place on 26 and 27 November 2014 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.  The theme for this conference is Changing Landscapes, and the call for presentations is now open.
Topics for presentations could include changes to organisations with a remit for public involvement, changing expectations for public involvement and innovative ways to involve the public in research.

INVOLVE are inviting presentations on this theme that will encourage debate and discussion on the following topic areas relating to public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research:
  • range and diversity
  • learning and development
  • recording and assessing the impact
  • international perspectives
  • future directions 
To apply online please visit: www.profbriefings.co.uk/involve2014 The closing date for applying to do a presentation: Friday 4 April 2014. You can also read about previous INVOLVE Conferences.
Checking that a research idea is really novel
Claire Beecroft, Information Specialist at the RDS Yorkshire & Humber, has produced a 20 minute video guide to identifying if a research idea is novel at: http://bit.ly/1d3piBc

There are various databases and search techniques that you can use to quickly establish if your research idea is unique or whether it repeats (or may seem to repeat) previously existing research. Demonstrating that your research idea is novel is essential to the success of your grant application, so taking the time to check that it is, is time worth spending.
Research: increasing value, reducing waste
The Lancet recently published a series of five papers about research.  These papers set out some of the most pressing issues, recommend how to increase value and reduce waste in biomedical research, and propose metrics for stakeholders to monitor the implementation of these recommendations.
The first paper in the series, "How to increase the value and reduce waste when research priorities are set" (Iain Chalmers et al), discusses how decisions about which research to fund should be based on issues relevant to users of research. The other papers also raise interesting points about the following topics:
  • John Ioannidis et al consider improvements in the appropriateness of research design, methods, and analysis.
  • Rustam Al-Shahi Salman et al look at issues of efficient research regulation and management.
  • An-Wen Chan et al examine the role of fully accessible research information.
  • Paul Glasziou et al discuss the importance of unbiased and usable research reports.
Find out more at: www.thelancet.com/series/research
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 and Commissioned applications invited

The EME Programme is accepting applications to its researcher-led workstream. Applicants are invited to apply by 1pm on 17 June 2014. The EME Programme is also accepting applications to its commissioned workstream for the following topics:
• 14/37 - Surfactant therapy for critically ill infants with bronchiolitis - closes 8 May 2014
• 14/24 - Mechanisms of action of health interventions - closes 3 June 2014
Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Competition 24 - now open
The researcher-led Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme funds NHS research projects for regionally derived applied research in health services and social care.  RfPB does not specify topics for research; instead, it encourages proposals for projects covering a wide range of health service issues and challenges.  The programme funds a broad range of topics and research methodologies that increase the effectiveness of NHS services, provide value for money and benefit patients.

Competition 24 is now open and is included in the NIHR's themed call on Long-term Conditions in Children and Young People. The deadline for proposals is 1pm, Wednesday 21 May 2014. Find out more.
Funding and Partnership Opportunities for Research in Stratified Medicine
in Non-Cancerous Conditions

The Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme (EME) and NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI) are hosting an event on 1 April 2014 which provides a unique opportunity to understand more about the new EME funding call in Stratified Medicine in Non-Cancerous Conditions and for clinical researchers, academics and the life-sciences industry to meet and form collaborative partnerships to apply for EME funding.
Visit the booking site for more information. The last booking date for this event is 31 March 2014.
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