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More than £50 million awarded to improve health and social care research

Queen Mary University of London has received funding from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) to advise researchers on how to develop high quality research proposals.

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Credit: Ken Teegardin (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Credit: Ken Teegardin (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This is part of the NIHR’s £50 million award to 10 NHS organisations and higher education institutions to provide Research Design Services (RDS), with the aim of helping researchers who are making funding applications to carry out health or social care research.

RDS London will receive £6.3 million from the new contract and is a collaborative project between Queen Mary, King’s College LondonImperial College London and University College London. The award will allow RDS London to continue offering free and confidential advice to researchers, drawing on a unique breadth of experience and a proven track record in improving funding applications.

Applications to host a Research Design Service were invited from institutions in England with proven expertise in research methodology and design.

‘Research that makes a difference to people’s lives’

Dr Richard Hooper from Queen Mary University of London said: “This is knowledge transfer on a huge scale. The Research Design Service staff at Queen Mary will be giving their knowledge and experience back to the wider community of people who conduct research in health and social care at Queen Mary, Barts Health NHS Trust, and across East London and the City, and back to the patients and public who are encouraged to get involved in the research design process. The result is research that makes a real difference to people’s lives.

“Every year more and more researchers who are supported by us are successful in winning funding for their research ideas. In particular, we have seen a significant growth in the number of early career researchers we have supported in applying for awards that give talented individuals the space and the opportunity to grow and build successful careers in health and social care research.”

Involving patients and the public in research

The RDS also works closely with agencies to help identify priorities for research, and has a patient advisory group that advises researchers directly, as well as giving workshops on patient and public involvement to research advisors.

Professor Charles Wolfe, Director of RDS London said: “London universities and their associated hospitals have been successful again in bidding for infrastructure funding for health research design and we can be proud that we have worked so collaboratively over the last 10 years to sustain and innovate our research design offering that benefits patients and the public in London.”

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