Research Design Service: West Midlands

The NIHR is committed to maximising the impact of research by addressing the most important issues in health and social care leading to significant benefits for patients, service users and the public.

RDS WM are leading a national priority to on introducing the concept of impact, knowledge mobilisation and dissemination into the research design process. Each of the 10 RDS offices has an ‘Impact Champion’ who attended an NIHR training course in 2021 and are constantly developing their understanding of impact. They are working on a number of toolkits and guidelines for use by RDS advisors, their research clients and funding panels.







The overall aim is for RDS to provide support to  health and social care researchers to help them proactively plan for knowledge mobilisation through consideration of implementation potential, early engagement with key stakeholders, and by helping clients to chart a clear trajectory to patient and public benefit. This ongoing work will support greater research impact, relevance and value.

Did you know, it still takes years to translate finding from research into practice? Improving knowledge of how to achieve impact in a timely manner will see this reduce.

What do we mean by the term ‘Impact’ in an applied health research setting?

Impact is the effect of research on patients, service delivery and policy. It’s about how research influences change – whether it be in treatments, processes, cost effectiveness etc to bring about improvement.

What do we mean by the term ‘Knowledge Mobilisation (KMb)?

KMb is the methods of communicating research in a timely manner to bring about the change that creates good impact. KMb is the term for many methods used to transfer research results into practice - knowledge translation, knowledge transfer, knowledge exchange and knowledge brokering.

What do we mean by the term ‘Dissemination’?

Dissemination is how the research is communicated, not just by the publication of results in academic journals but in real world settings too.

Read our recent blog here that was written by members of the West Midlands KMb Collaboration (Krysia Dziedzic, and Fiona Cowdell,