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In a new blog post, Dr Grace Lewis writes about a discussion with members of the Elders Council of Newcastle that led her to re-think and re-design her research project completely. Having planned to explore “better conversations” with and about people living with frailty in acute healthcare settings, Dr Lewis shares how public involvement challenged her thinking—and how, rather than being disheartened, she listened to feedback from members of the Elders Council, and designed a project which is “completely different and hugely improved, for their input”. Click here to read the full blog post.

“Dipping our feet into research”: Find out more about the experiences of the Discovery Group as they analysed media coverage of Covid-19

The Discovery Group was a service-user led research project, which explored media coverage of Covid-19 in different countries. Service users and staff at the Forensic Service, Roseberry Park Hospital (Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust) decided to “dip their feet into research” as a way to stay motivated and engaged, despite the difficult loss of freedom that came with lockdown restrictions in spring 2020. Service users reported that leading their own research helped to occupy their time, and many would be keen to design and deliver research again in future.  You can read their full report here:

Celebrating Language Diversity in the North East & North Cumbria

People across the North East and North Cumbria speak many languages from all over the world and, of course, lots of local dialects. It’s important that everybody’s voice is heard in health and social care research, so that we can all live healthier, better lives for longer. To celebrate UNESCO International Mother Language Day (21st February), NIHR’s Research Design Service NENC and Clinical Research Network NENC want to explore our region’s language diversity. Click here to join in by adding your languages and dialects to the virtual map. All you need to do is click the pink “+” button to add a post, and type in your location (your city/town/village – no need to add your exact address). Once you select your location, your new post will pop up. Type in the names of any languages or dialects that you speak. Add as many as you like, including any languages you speak at home or with your family, or any languages you’re learning, even if you only know a little. Feel free to add more text to tell us a bit about yourself or your language skills. Click off the post anywhere onto the map behind it (or on a mobile device tap ‘save’), and your post will be saved for everyone to see.

If you would like to get involved and have your say on health and social care research, then we would love to hear from you. Email and to say “hello”, “bonjour” or “السلام عليكم”, and find out how you can use your voice to help change lives across our region.

RDS Blogs: From the RDS desk

Each month, the Research Design Service, brings you handy tips, insights and experiences of the funding application process. The blogs touch on various themes in the design process and highlight what you need to know before you make a research application.

This month’s RDS blog, Optimising recruitment to a clinical trial, discusses how to optimise recruitment to clinical trials – a key part of any successful research application and critical to successful study delivery.

Read previous blogs below:

May 2022: Key messages from the Thinking Ahead Study: Barriers and Enablers to End of Life Care Planning with Ethnically Diverse Patients, their Family and Health Care Professionals

April: Celebrating young people making a difference in health research

March 2022: All systems go: systems thinking in public health researc

February 2022: Making a case for the priority of a research topic,

January 2022: Your RDS adviser – a steadfast travelling companion