The NIHR Research Design Service is closed to new requests from 30 September 2023. We will continue to support our existing clients with existing projects up to 31 March 2024. If you have a question you can email us.
For support with any new project ideas please now contact the NIHR Research Support Service.
Helping health and social care researchers prepare competitive, high-quality funding applications

The NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) provides a nationwide network of skilled research advisers. We help people develop research and funding applications of benefit to the general public and people who use NHS and social care services. All RDS advice and guidance is free of charge.

Would you like to discuss your idea with an RDS adviser?

NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) provides free and confidential advice to help you design your research study and apply for funding, including on how to involve patients and the public involvement in your research. Advice is offered online or face-to-face and is supported by telephone and email communications. Find out more.

Would you like help to promote active and meaningful public involvement in your research?

NIHR expects “active and meaningful” patient and public involvement (PPI) throughout its funding streams. RDS South West PPI advisers can support you to identify and involve the right people in the development of your funding application, and develop an appropriate PPI strategy for your planned research. We are supported by our panel of public contributors who provide written lay reviews of funding applications. Find out more.

Would you like the RDS to review your draft application prior to submission?

RDS advisers and members of our panel of public contributors can review and provide detailed feedback on your draft application prior to submission to the funder. The review will provide suggestions for improving the competitiveness of the application.  Find out more.

RDS seminars and other events

RDS South West and other RDS regions across the country deliver a wide range of events to promote funding and fellowship opportunities. We also run seminars, workshops and residential retreats to accelerate the development of research ideas, research design, and the funding application. Find out more.