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The impact of RDS YH advice: service user experiences – Research Design Service Yorkshire and Humber

The impact of RDS YH advice: service user experiences

The impact of RDS YH advice: service user experiences

Researchers in our region may approach us for general advice, help answering a specific question or for support in a particular area such as health economics or public involvement. The following quotes from people who used our service highlight the impact we had on their plans.

Research fellowship advice and support

Neil Lawrence
Oncology and Metabolism, The University of Sheffield / Sheffield Children's Hospital
NIHR Doctoral Fellowship - Awaiting panel interview June 2022

Sheffield RDS service has provided me with invaluable advice and support in both preparing an NIHR doctoral fellowship proposal, and getting funding and advice for carrying out important patient and public involvement work prior to submission of the proposal. Their advice is always prompt and honest, with salient points that can be addressed to strengthen the proposal. The staff work well as a team, and can always signpost in the direction of other expertise that may be required. A fantastic group of people who are motivated by excellent patient centred research, I look forward to working with them again in the future.

Adwoa Parker
York Trials Unit, University of York
NIHR Advanced Fellowship - 01/07/2022-30/06/2032

I found the York RDS support absolutely invaluable. When preparing my application, I received multidisciplinary input from different RDS staff, which really strengthened it. When I was shortlisted for interview, the RDS arranged for a mock interview, which again was invaluable. I am very grateful and would like to thank everyone from the RDS who helped me, especially Catriona McDaid, my lead adviser.
Stephanie Harrison
Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine and Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine
Wellcome Trust 4Ward North Clinical PhD Fellowship - Aug 2022- Aug 2025

The RDS provided me with much valued constructive criticism and peer review. Their feedback was particularly useful at the early stages of application, not just because of the project-specific feedback but also because of the way they helped me change my way of thinking and approach to grant writing, which was still a very new thing for me at the time. I would recommend contacting them early in your fellowship application process, before sitting down to start writing the full grant application. With their experience and tutelage you can avoid major pitfalls and errors to increase the likelihood of the success of your project. Everyone I encountered at the RDS was friendly, approachable and professional and I am very grateful to all of the team for their help in making my PhD application successful.
Fiona Noble
School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield
NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship - 2021 – 2024

The RDS were a great source of help for me when I was preparing to submit my grant proposal. They helped me to understand the best ways to engage PPI participants and checked over my plain language statement and gave me some advice on how to improve it. I was also fortunate to receive a grant from my local RDS to support PPI work prior to submitting my proposal, which helped me to inform several aspects of my project including the age range to target, and creating a title and logo. Once I had submitted and been invited to interview, they set up a practice interview for me which was invaluable in helping me to prepare for the panel. I would strongly recommend anyone considering a research project to take advantage of the expertise and guidance the RDS can offer.
Michelle Black
ScHARR, University of Sheffield
NIHR Doctoral Fellowship - April 2020 – 2023

Whilst working on a research project on early years health policy, as a public health registrar at ScHARR, I became particularly interested in development mid-childhood and how this impacts on health and health inequality in adolescence. The RDS listened to my ideas and gave excellent advice on how to turn it into a fellowship application. They also provided a very helpful mock interview with clear and honest feedback. Their advice and support contributed to me successfully securing a doctoral fellowship.

PPI advice and support

Matthew Marzetti
Medical Physicist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
RDS YH PPI grant - May 2022

I initially contacted the RDS when coming up with an idea for a PhD project. I had an initial conversation with an RDS adviser, which opened my eyes to all the different things I would have to consider. This was incredibly valuable as I had never applied for funding before. While further developing my proposal I had several online conversations with different RDS advisers. One area of my application which the RDS really helped me strengthen was patient and public involvement (PPI). As a physicist, talking to members of the public and patients about my research is not something I’d ever done before, and I had no idea how to start. However, it all became a lot more feasible thanks to help from the RDS advisers. The RDS read over lay person summaries of my application, helped me develop material for PPIE, and even helped me secure a small grant I could use to provide compensation to the patients that attended my focus groups. These focus groups provided me with valuable feedback on my application, and I doubt I would have run them as effectively without RDS help.
Jamie Miles
Health Services Research, School of Health and Related Research
Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship (CRDF) - April 2019- March 2022

The RDS were one of the largest reasons my award was successful on first application. They worked so hard with me to develop a strong and coherent application, that really met the grant brief. In the early stages, they were able to steer the project and ensure I had the right people involved. They gave me a task list of things I needed to do to strengthen the application. The RDS also have a small PPIE grant which I applied for and was able to undertake a PPIE event, which led to the development of a strong PPIE section in the grant application. They brought in methodology experts to scrutinise and improve my methods, and also provided coaching on how I could sell myself as someone who would be a great candidate for a fellowship. From start to finish they were excellent, and a service I will use repeatedly throughout my research career.

Meet Jamie Miles:

Research grant advice and support

Dr Hannah Armitt
Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust
Research for Patient Benefit - March 2022

I had an initial idea for a grant application which focused on using nature to support children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Being an early career researcher, I was unsure how to progress this initial draft proposal and where to apply for funding. I met with the RDS early on to discuss my initial thoughts and seek support on grant funding and how to build a successful research team. Bella Scantlebury and Gerry Richardson were incredibly patient and supportive. They advised applying for the Research for Patient Benefit funding stream. I met with Bella and Gerry throughout the development of the grant application, and they provided excellent constructive advice about how to ensure the grant had the best chance of being successful. I learnt a great deal from these consultations and as well as ending up with a successful application I have developed skills I can now use on other proposals. I would certainly recommend the RDS service.
Professor Paul Dimitri
NIHR Children & Young People MedTech Cooperative, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
NIHR i4i Product Development Award - Commenced 2021

I led my team and collaborators to apply for an NIHR product development award. We received excellent advice and support from the NIHR RDS during application process. When we got through to the interview stage NIHR RDS set up a mock interview which was invaluable in preparing us for the interview and helped us focus our attention on key areas. We were successful in receiving £800,000 for our project and are in the process of developing our product. I would strongly recommend NIHR RDS support

Research impact advice and support

Sarah Cockayne
Health Sciences, University of York
NIHR PHR programme - February 2020

My study aimed to assess whether safe and well visits by the Fire and Rescue Service reduced falls in high risk older people. Having got through to stage 2, I was clear about the potential impact that should result from the proposed trial, depending on the findings. What I needed was advice on the ideas I had put in the draft application and ways to strengthen and organise activities. I was able to talk to the RDS YH adviser about the different stakeholder groups, ways to engage them and break down barriers so different perspectives could be shared and used throughout the study and ultimately to inform and disseminate outputs. Our discussion covered all the headings for impact in the PHR application form and helped identify a number of activities for me to think about that could either be incorporated into the application or identified as potential subsequent actions.

View some older examples here.