020 7848 6782 | info@rdslondon.co.uk
Research Design Service London
how can we help?
Using a network of specialist advisers based at each of the partner institutions, RDS London can provide free design and methodological review to applied health or social care researchers who are developing research funding applications to NIHR and other open, national, peer-reviewed funding programmes. Additionally, the service can help identify suitable sources of funding for projects and foster collaborative links with established research groups in the capital. RDS London is particularly focused on supporting applications for funding from NHS researchers and those working in partnership with the NHS.

To access the assistance available at RDS London:
  • Complete our quick online Support Request Form to get in touch with RDS London and request individual advice or a consultation
  • Visit our drop in sessions to discuss your questions with an advisor. These sessions aim to provide the research community and NHS clinicians with an opportunity to discuss emerging ideas for research without having already prepared a detailed proposal.
  • Visit the guidance and resources section on our website to find out about how to design research studies, identify sources of funding and write successful funding applications.
  • Attend our events and seminars

RDS London can advise on all aspects of preparing grant applications, including:
  • Focusing ideas and refining research questions
  • Supporting in selection and development of suitable research methods
  • Identifying suitable funding opportunities and providing guidance on how to align the narrative of a grant application with the requirements of the funding scheme
  • Involving patients and the public in research design and emphasising the benefits of PPI at the early stages of study design
  • Reviewing research team composition and suggesting potential collaborators
  • Signposting to additional sources of research expertise and guidance
  • Targeting a resubmission
  • For fellowship schemes, we can advise on training and development plans and assist with interview preparation 
To find out more about whether we can help you, please read our FAQs.

Clinical observations
Our service can provide guidance on how to translate clinical observations into well-focused research questions. Many of the clinical questions that have been presented to RDS London require some preliminary work to determine prevalence, develop an intervention or assess its feasibility and acceptability. Thus, a considerable part of our role has been to appraise the presented evidence and rationale and give advice on how the proposed study should be positioned.

Trial design
Studies using a trial design form a significant proportion of the requests that RDS London receives. Statisticians and health economists can provide consultancy and advise on the estimation of sample size, the choice of outcome measures, evaluation of cost-effectiveness and modelling approaches.  
Qualitative methodologies
Our expert knowledge of qualitative social science methods also allows support on proposals that seek patient views and experiences. We have provided expert input into projects that have investigated workforce issues and helped develop studies that will impact on health policy. 

Patient and Public Involvement
Resource dedicated to Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) has promoted active and meaningful involvement of service users, patients and carers into the design of research studies.