Research Design Service: West Midlands

About Us

Welcome to the Research Design Service West Midlands (RDS WM), part of the infrastructure of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

RDS WM is one of ten regional services across England.  It provides help to anyone working in the West Midlands region who has a 'good idea' and wants to turn it into a research proposal for submission to peer-reviewed funding programmes in applied health and social care. 

RDS WM can offer you the following services:

  • Advice on potential funders
  • Advice on research ideas and approaches
  • Access to specialist methodologists to discuss design choices
  • Review and formative feedback on draft funding applications
  • Interview preparation for fellowships and other personal awards
  • Seminars and workshops to promote NIHR funding opportunities
  • Advice on public involvement in research
  • Funding towards the costs of public involvement in research development

The RDS WM has three 'hubs' based in the Universities of Birmingham, Keele and Warwick. Each Hub has a team of staff with expertise in statistics, quantitative and qualitative research techniques, clinical trials, evidence synthesis, health economics, epidemiology, public and patient involvement, and  social care.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.

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. Lindsey Cooke is RDS Regional Manager and Engagement Lead and is based at the University of Birmingham. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the management of RDS WM, engaging with local NHS trusts and other relevant stakeholders and co-ordinating regional activities and programme of events.

Find out more about your Research Design Service Journey in our brochure available as:

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The Regional Administrator is Karen Biddle.