0121 414 8533 | rds@contacts.bham.ac.uk
about us

The Research Design Service is part of the infrastructure of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
The Research Design Service West Midlands (RDS WM) is one of ten regional services across England.  Our advice is free of charge and although priority is given to those applying to NIHR and nationally competitive funding streams, where capacity allows we can provide advice to those planning to submit proposals to other recognised funding bodies such as research councils or charities.

Professor Neil Thomas is the Director of RDS WM and is based at the University of Birmingham.  He is Professor in Epidemiology and Research Methods in the Institute of Applied Health Research. He is also the Co-Director, Master of Health Research Methods Programme.  Professor Thomas has an international portfolio of research in Europe and Asia investigating in the fields of cardiometabolic disease epidemiology, prevention and control.  Major ongoing studies include the 30,000 plus Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study, China, and one of the largest CVD endpoint studies assessing the effectiveness of a PolyPill in Iran.  He has published over 270 articles, including over 200 in indexed, peer-reviewed journals, with a Google H-index of 50.  These are predominantly in the area of cardiovascular disease epidemiology.  He is on the editorial advisory board of 7 international journals and a reviewer for a number of national and international funding agencies.

RDS WM is a collaborative service with hubs based at the Universities of Birmingham, Keele and Warwick.  We can advise on all aspects of designing a research study or identifying suitable sources of funding for projects and you can contact us at any stage in the development of your proposal.  However, we are able to offer the greatest assistance when we are involved at an early stage.
Each of our three hubs serves different zones in the West Midlands region; this enables you to get advice from experts based in your local area