RDS News - July 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).
RAFT study awarded £1.3m funding
with RDS support

A multicentre study designed to test a group cognitive-behavioural intervention for rheumatoid arthritis fatigue has been awarded over £1.3m funding from the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme, obtained with RDS support.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a lifelong condition leading to joint damage and disability. Up to 70% of people with RA are tired and experience overwhelming and unmanageable physical exhaustion or ‘wipe-out’. This study will look at a recently developed psychologist-led CBT approach course, which will be delivered by rheumatology health professionals who are not CBT therapists, and will aim to find out how well this method works and the cost/savings to the NHS in comparison to usual fatigue management.

The research team received advice from the RDS SW in a number of areas and Professor Sarah Hewlett said “The RDS were critical in helping us work out the best methodology for our multi-centre RCT of a complex intervention into self-management. As collaborators, they advised on and reviewed the developing application and protocol, and calculated our sample sizes that had to include the complexities of potential group and centre effects.” 
Read more.
Patient recruitment to research studies
hits three million

More than three million NHS patients in England have taken part in research studies over the last six years supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network.

The Network has published its annual statistics which show that more than 600,000 patients took part in clinical research studies last year alone. During the year the Network hit a recruitment milestone of more than three million patients engaged in clinical research studies in just six years. Read more.
National guidelines on recruiting and supporting mental health service
user and carer researchers now available

The ‘NIHR Clinical Research Network: Mental health good practice guidance for the recruitment and involvement of service user and carer researchers’ is now available online. These are the first national guidelines on recruiting and supporting mental health service user and carer researchers. The Guidance covers a wide range of topics ranging from securing approval from ethics committees for research projects with service user and carer researchers, to payments, to training.

The Guidance contains a number of useful appendices including the updated ‘Balancing good research with good mental health. A step-by-step guide to employing and supporting service user researchers’ from the Section of Mental Health at St Georges, University of London.
How and why Senior Investigators involve patients and the public in their work
NIHR Senior Investigators constitute a network of approximately 200 pre-eminent researchers who represent the country’s most outstanding leaders of clinical and applied health and social care research. In a new publication from INVOLVE - NIHR Senior Investigators: Leaders for public involvement in research, five Senior Investigators give an account of how and why they involve patients and the public in their work.
The publication has a foreword by Professor Dame Sally C. Davies FRS FMedSci, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health, and an introduction from Simon Denegri, Chair of INVOLVE and NIHR National Director for Public Participation and Engagement in 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.
Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) programme - Competition 25
The RfPB programme invites research proposals which are related to the day-to-day practice of health service staff and is concerned with having an impact on the health or well-being of patients and users of the NHS. As a responsive rather than a commissioning programme, RfPB does not seek to name specific topic areas and welcomes applications on a wide range of issues and aims to fund high quality research that will be directed at achieving benefit for users of the NHS in England.

Please note, in addition to usual commissioning arrangements, researchers can apply to the Long-term Conditions in Children and Young People Call through this competition. The closing date for applications is 1pm on 17 September 2014. Find out more.
Public Health Research (PHR) Programme
The PHR Programme is currently accepting applications to its researcher-led workstream. In addition to applications under the normal remit, we are looking for applications under the following three highlighted areas:
  • Pre-existing data
  • Community pharmacy: harnessing the potential, for health and health care
  • Domestic violence and abuse
The closing date for applications is 1pm on 4 August 2014. To find out more, please visit the PHR researcher-led funding opportunities webpage.
Policy Research Programme: Call for Stage 1 Outline Applications
The Department of Health Policy Research Programme (PRP) invites applications in the following area: 
  • Evaluation of the integrated care and support Pioneers programme in the context of new funding arrangements for integrated care in England 
This is a two-stage application process.  The deadline for receipt of stage 1 applications is 1pm on 12 August 2014.  Any applications submitted after the 1pm deadline will not be considered. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their stage 1 application approximately nine weeks after the submission date. Researchers with applications shortlisted at stage 1 will be invited to submit a stage 2 application which will need to be submitted by 18 November 2014. Find out more.
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