The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service Yorkshire and the Humber (RDS YH) is one of ten regional services across England who each give design and methodological support to health researchers who are developing research applications.

The service aims to increase the volume and quality of successful grant applications for national peer reviewed funding competitions. RDS advisers provide expert advice and support in order to help researchers to develop and design high quality research proposals for those competitions. Support is provided free of charge.

The RDS YH is based at the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds and York.  The service is managed in Sheffield, with a team of specialist advisers including statisticians, qualitative researchers, epidemiologists, health economists, information specialists and advisers who have expertise in patient and public involvement (PPI) in research.  RDS advisers are based at each of the the three Universities.  Our advisers are research-active and have considerable expertise in developing and designing high quality research proposals. The RDS advisers work closely with the clinical trials unit at each site where appropriate.

NIHR funds research that:

  • provides the evidence to support decision making by professionals, policy makers and patients
  • makes this evidence available
  • encourages its uptake and use, for example, through NHS Evidence – which provides clinical and non-clinical evidence and best practice, to facilitate informed decision making

RDS YH offers advice and guidance on all aspects of research design and conduct.

We provide:

  • support for researchers to develop and design high quality research proposals for submission to the NIHR and other national, peer-reviewed funding competitions for applied health or social care research
  • access to a range of expertise based at the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds and York in health research design, including research synthesis, study design and methodology (quantitative and qualitative), statistics and health economics
  • a referral service directing enquirers to other sources of expert advice and support in the applied health and social care research system

This includes help with: 

  • focusing research ideas and refining research questions
  • identifying the most appropriate funding streams
  • building appropriate research teams
  • exploring how best to involve patients and carers in the research process
  • choice and application of research methods
  • appropriate data collection methods
  • the conduct of literature searches
  • successful recruitment strategies
  • the development of plans for data analysis
  • advice on common pitfalls encountered in funding applications
  • signposting researchers to other sources of research expertise
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