Regional NIHR Research Design Service extends support to researchers as the NIHR RDS North East and North Cumbria.

From 1 October 2018, we are delighted to be extending our support to health and social care researchers across our region as the NIHR RDS North East and North Cumbria.

Led by Professor Helen Hancock, the RDS NENC is one of 10 regional RDSs across England, who support researchers to develop and design high quality research proposals for submission to NIHR funding programmes and other national open peer reviewed funding competitions for health and social care research.

The RDS NENC brings partnerships between Newcastle, Northumbria, Teesside, Durham and Cumbria Universities, South Tees Hospitals and Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS

Foundation Trusts, Newcastle City Council, the NIHR Clinical Research Network NENC and other key NIHR Infrastructure across the region and nationally.

Renewed funding, for five years from 1 October 2018, will allow enhancement of RDS provision; advice is free and draws upon a unique breadth of experience and a proven track record in improving funding applications.

Prof Hancock said: I am delighted; our working together will bring new opportunities for researchers across the region as we capitalise on strengths within each of the partner organisations. Together we bring extensive expertise including acute care, mental health, public health and social care research.

To contact us please email, or phone (0191) 208 7000

For further information please click here

Find out more about the NIHR RDS and national RDS network.

NIHR awards £5 million for research into vaccines for disease epidemics

The NIHR has awarded £5 million of global health funding for research into how infectious diseases spread and develop into epidemics in low-and middle-income countries, so that new vaccines can be tested in clinical trials or used more effectively in future outbreaks.  Read more here.

Reaching Out : Diversity in involvement in research event

The North East Creating Connection Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) network hosted Reaching Out: Diversity in involvement in research. The event brought together patients, members of the public, researchers and organisations from across the North East and North Cumbria (NENC) and was also the launch event for the start of Creating Connections work on Reaching Out. Read more here.

National Survey of Patient, Carer, Service User and Public Experiences of Being Involved in NIHR Research

NIHR is running a national survey asking patients, carers, service users and members of the public what’s it been like to be involved with them.  They want to know if public contributors think they have made a difference, whether they have felt supported and valued, received any feedback on their contribution, and how they can improve the way they work with public contributors in the future.  The survey is not about people’s experience of being a participant in a research study. The brief online survey is completely anonymous and the results will be published in March 2019.  It is hoped that it will provide some useful information which together with the UK PPI Standards will help to measure progress in future years.  Please click here to take part in the survey

Social care research gets up to £20 million boost from NIHR

Social care research in England will get up to £20 million in new funding through the National Institute for Health Research, boosting research to improve adult social care across the country. Read more here.

NIHR launch nurse and midwife leadership programme

The 70@70 NIHR Senior Nurse and Midwife Research Leader Programme is aimed at senior nurse and midwife clinical leaders with experience of building a research-led care environment for patients, and is now open for applications.  For further information click here.

NIHR – making a difference

The NIHR invests over £1 billion a year in research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care, prioritising the questions that are most important to doctors, patients and evidence-users. Find out how they’re making a difference to people’s lives by clicking here. Keep an eye out for new stories and follow #NIHRmakingadifference on Twitter.

NIHR Academy launches in London

The NIHR has launched the NIHR Academy to ensure the nation’s research workforce has the capacity and capability needed to address growing challenges ranging from multimorbidity in the elderly to the mental health needs of the young.  Read more here.

NIHR announces £30 million of new funding to support mental health research worldwide

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has announced up to £30 million of new funding to support research into mental health in low- and middle-income countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one in four people worldwide experience a mental health problem at some point in their lifetime, with around 450 million people currently experiencing such conditions. By 2020, mental health conditions will account for 15% of cases of disease in the world.  The new funding call, by NIHR’s Global Health Research Programme, will award Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding for mental health research to researchers in the UK and low- and middle-income countries working in partnership.

For further information please click here.

2018 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 will touch on various themes in the design process and highlight what you need to know before you make a research application.  This month’s blog: Top Tips for Climbing the Intellectual Property Ladder.  Intellectual Property: What is it and why does it matter? Identifying where Intellectual Property exists is the first step, as unless it is identified, it cannot be captured, protected and exploited.  Read out latest blog and we’ll help guide you through the IP.   Read the full blog here

Check out our previous blogs below:

October: Another day, another tip for a social care (and beyond) research proposal

September: Applying for NIHR Fellowships: An Insides View

August: Sometimes you just have to jump in and make a splash! Co-producing research with patients, carers and public partners

July: Putting the Quality into Qualitative Research

June: The Importance of the Research Question

May:  Time to Write?

RDS NENC Monthly Newsletter

View our monthly newsletter for up to date news, events and funding calls – you can also subscribe here to receive news direct to your inbox.








New recommendations launched to improve researchers’ feedback to patients and the public shaping studies

A new guide has been launched to help researchers improve patient and public involvement (PPI) in their studies.

Guidance for Researchers: Feedback is a new tool providing researchers advice on the best ways to ensure patients, carers, service users and members of public contributing to their work are kept informed of research progress and their input is formally acknowledged.

For further information, please see here.  The guidance, which was also developed with the Research Design Service (RDS) and INVOLVE, is available online.

CRN NENC Newsroom

The NIHR Newsroom NENC is the Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria’s research news platform. CRN NENC stories include what’s happening around our region, opportunities, funding, awards, events and much more. The Newsroom also features news and information from our partner organisations across the region.

They have recently launched a Newsroom redesign with an improved look, making the design more modern, clear and fresh. Navigation has been improved to allow an easier user experience and an ‘Events’ page has been added to detail the events happening around the region.

Guidance on co-producing a research project

INVOLVE have published a guidance document with an aim to moving toward clarity about what is meant by co-producing  a research project. It explains the key principles and features of co-producing a research project and suggests ways to realise the principles and key features. Finally, the guidance outlines some of the key challenges that will need addressing, in further work, to aid those intending to take the co-producing research route.

Please visit the INVOLVE website to access the guidance document.

The story of RfPB

The Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme launched its first call in July 2006 with the aim of funding research projects in health and social care to improve, expand and strengthen the way that healthcare is delivered for patients, the public and the NHS. To date the RfPB Programme has provided a platform for research success nationwide, enabling teams to answer the questions that matter at the frontline of health and social care. Indeed, RfPB is the programme that will fund the inquisitive clinician, with or without extensive research experience, and at whatever career stage.

To learn more about the story of RfPB funding, please visit the NIHR website.

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR): Impact on research

The rules for handling information relating to research participants will change on 25 May 2018, when the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force. The Health Research Authority has published detailed guidance about operational arrangements that researchers and organisations may need to put in place. The guidance is published as a living document that will be updated over the coming weeks. The HRA will update their website as updated versions are published.

For more information, please click here

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) – Health Research Authority: Researchers are ‘missing a trick’ with public involvement

Health researchers are ‘missing a trick’ by not demonstrating how patients and the public have contributed to the design and conduct of research, the HRA has said. Good public involvement can help smooth the process through ethical review, lead to better designed research and improve participant recruitment. But a new study has shown that researchers applying for approvals to start their projects rarely describe their public involvement in enough detail for those reviewing their application to know what involvement has happened and what difference this has made.

For more information, please click here