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Research Design Service London
NIHR Research Design Service London’s Open Day

collage-OpenDay-(1).jpgTo celebrate the 10th anniversary of Research Design Service (RDS) London, and to mark the start of a new five-year contract with the National Institute for Health Research, we hosted an Open Day at City Hall in London. 

The event was an opportunity for us to discuss our future with key stakeholders from across London. We also launched a new video that shows how we’ve developed over the last 10 years and our important role within NIHR.

We had a variety of speakers on the day including
Prof Charles Wolfe (Director, RDS London), Mike Batley (Department of Health and Social Care), Katie Hunter (Greater London Authority), Fiona Reid (RDS London), and Prof John Weinman and Jessica Walburn (King’s College London).

Charles Wolfe gave an overview of RDS London and its achievements since inception in 2008, while Fiona Reid outlined a range of new initiatives and collaborations we will focus on as part of our new contract. For example, we plan to support social care researchers, create a network of RDS advocates, increase PPI support and strengthen our cross-NIHR partnerships.

We also heard from Mike Batley who gave a forward look at areas that NIHR will focus on over the next few years and how RDS will have a key role in helping tackle these health and care challenges. Katie Hunter from the Greater London Authority described the Mayor’s role in health, their vision (and strategy) to make London a healthier and fairer city and recognised the important role that organisations such as RDS London play in tackling the causes of health inequalities. Our final speakers were a research team based at King’s College London who received NIHR funding with the help of RDS London.

Speaking about the event, Lynn Kerridge, Chief Executive Officer, NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, said: “I was delighted to be invited to this celebratory and networking event. It was great to hear about the successes and to find out about future plans. It was inspiring to hear how RDS London had made such a significant difference to the research team leading a NIHR themed call very rare diseases project.”

Imogen Scott Plummer, Senior Programme Manager at NIHR, said: "It was great to see how RDS is contributing to the NIHR's goals - especially hearing about how RDS London helped in the application process for a current programme grant, and new initiatives to increase capacity for social care research."   

Newly appointed Director of RDS London, Dr Peter Lovell said: “Sharing our successes made me immensely proud of what we have achieved over the past ten years.  Our Open Day marked the start of a new chapter for RDS London and gave us a great opportunity to share our vision for the service and discuss important areas where RDS can extend its reach and make a real difference, such as public involvement and social care.”

More information:

Watch our RDS at 10 video to find out how RDS London has supported health and social care researchers over the past 10 years.

Download our yearbook which includes 10 stories from researchers that successfully received funding with RDS support.

Photos by Simon Hildrew