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Is the North East & North Cumbria Research Design Service (RDS NENC) free?

Advice and support is free of charge to researchers whose work is within our scope.

How do I know if I am eligible to receive support from the RDS?

The primary aim of the RDS NENC is to support investigators:

  • based in, or working with researchers from the North East of England, although boundaries are flexible;
  • preparing proposals for applied health or social care research;
  • aiming to enhance clinical practice & patient outcomes and/or improve public health and social care;
  • submitting proposals to NIHR and other national peer reviewed funding competitions;
  • if in doubt as to whether you are in scope contact the RDS NENC.

How can the RDS help me?

The RDS NENC can help in the following ways:

  • help you identify a suitable funding stream for your project;
  • provide professional advice on all aspects of developing a grant application, research design and research methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative;
  • give support to identify and approach suitable lay and professional collaborators;
  • we can signpost clients to our specialist advisers. Our specialist advisers are able to provide expert advice in clinical trials, statistics, qualitative methods and health economics;
  • refer the investigator to a clinical trials unit;
  • provide advice from our designated Patient and Public Involvement Lead;
  • provide formative peer review of grant applications.

Please note that the following are not part of the role of the RDS:

  • help develop projects where there is no intention of submitting an application for peer review to a recognised funding stream;
  • support applications that are audit, evaluation or satisfaction surveys;
  • provide supervision or informal support for students;
  • provide ad-hoc statistical advice;
  • become a co-investigator unless undertaken outside the RDS advisers role;
  • calculate the costs of the research.

When should I contact the North East & North Cumbria RDS?

You can contact the NIHR RDS North East & North Cumbria at any stage of development of a research proposal: from simply wanting to discuss an initial idea through to requesting peer review for a well-developed proposal. It would be prudent to contact the RDS as soon as possible to assist with any ideas/proposals you may currently have. If you contact us too close to the deadline we may only have capacity to provide very limited advice.

Will the RDS staff become co-applicants on a research application?

The RDS is funded to support research design, but not to conduct the research itself. RDS advisers may agree to become collaborators in your research project, but this must be undertaken by them as independent researchers.