Research Design Service: West Midlands

Advice if RDS are not able to help you

Thank you for contacting the West Midlands Research Design Service (RDSWM). We are sorry that we have been unable to offer you full support on this occasion. We are contracted by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to provide support for research proposals that will be submitted to a peer reviewed funding programmes in applied health research and therefore have to remain within our remit, not being able to support you could be for any of the following reasons:

  • projects where there is no intention of submitting an application to a national peer-reviewed funding stream
  • applications that are not research, e.g. audit, evaluation and satisfaction surveys
  • Provide supervision or informal support for students
  • Being asked to carry out any of the research – but we can help to find potential co-applicants for your project

However, we hope that you will return to RDS in the future when you have refined your idea. We strongly recommend that you sign up to receive our weekly newsletter as it contains information on all current research calls and workshops/events that may be of interest to you. To sign up please send your details to

Other NIHR organisations that can help develop your research skills

NIHR Learn is an online Learning Management System (LMS) and the platform used to deliver accredited learning programmes. NIHR offer a range of courses to develop your knowledge of clinical research and support you to do what you do best.

The programmes have been developed by international leaders from the clinical research field and are available to anyone directly employed by the NHS, UK universities and other publicly funded organisations conducting and supporting clinical research.

The NIHR Academy supports a vibrant community of health and social care researchers from different professions, backgrounds and research interests. They have over 4,000 members who are accessing the training programmes or support these programmes, from doctors and dentists to nurses and midwives, from allied health professionals and social care workers to methodologists and public health professionals. Members also work in a variety of settings including hospitals, universities, within local authorities or in community settings. There is a wide range of NIHR training and career development awards available at different levels and accessible by different professional backgrounds.

The NIHR Incubators have been established to support capacity building and multidisciplinary career development in priority areas where critical mass is low. Incubators are virtual, managed across multiple sites and organised by discipline. They provide targeted high level career development support, led by experts in the field and supported by the NIHR Academy.

Current NIHR Incubators include: