Research Design Service: West Midlands


Q:  When should I contact RDS WM? 

A:  Researchers who are at the initial stages of designing their study should contact RDS WM as early as possible, ideally six-months in advance of an intended submission date. At this early stage we can also give guidance on incorporating Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) to substantiate the importance of the topic and the research question and then input into the study design. We may also be able to provide financial support for this activity from our Public Involvement Fund.

Q:  How can RDS WM support me?
A:  RDS WM can provide practical advice and guidance in the design of research studies. We can also help identify suitable sources of funding for projects and foster collaborative links with established research groups in this area.

Q:  What expert input can RDS WM provide?
A:  RDS WM is able to advise on all aspects of designing research, including: focusing an idea and refining a research question; study design; choice and application of appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods; advice on trials and economic evaluations; statistics; involving patients and the public in all stages of the research process.

Q:  How many consultations can I have with RDS WM?
A:  Our service is not limited to just one consultation and advisers may work with research teams or researchers over a period of many weeks to ensure that they have the greatest chances of success.

Q:  Can appropriate RDS staff become co-applicants on my proposal?
A:  Yes, but there are no obligation for users of the RDS WM service or RDS WM staff to enter into arrangements of this kind.

Q:  Do I have to pay for the support given by RDS WM?
A:  No, advice is provided completely free of charge. However, if you would like a member of the RDS WM team to be a co-applicant then their time must be appropriately costed into the bid so that their RDS WM commitments can be covered by other staff.

Q:  Does RDS WM run training courses? 
A:  RDS WM does not have a research capacity building role (with the exception of supporting Fellowship applications) and does not provide formal training courses. However we continually monitor the types of request that we receive and this information is used to identify generic issues which can then become the basis of online guidance or workshops.

Q:  I have filled in a support request form, what happens next?
A: Once we have received your request for support a RDS WM adviser will be allocated and make contact with you (usually within 7 days) to provide initial feedback and co-ordinate the input of further expertise within RDS WM.  Meetings can be face to face or feedback can be given by email or phone/Skype depending on the nature of the enquiry. We may need to meet with your team to fully understand the project or issues being faced. We may also need to share the documents that you have provided with RDS WM colleagues. On all occasions we treat all discussions and the information that you provide with appropriate confidentiality.

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