Research Design Service: West Midlands

In this week’s newsletter:

Latest NIHR funding calls
Funding calls from other bodies
Latest fellowships
News, info and updates
Workshops and Events
NIHR and RDS news


Join the TrialBlazers and Be Part of Research 
 The NIHR TrialBlazer campaign celebrates the community of research volunteers – the thousands of people who take part in, and support trials and studies all over the UK. The campaign takes place from Monday 16 May to Sunday 29 May 2022, with International Clinical Trials Day being part of the celebrations on Friday 20 May.


Join the Facebook event at 7pm on Monday (16th May) to hear from Dr Sarah Jarvis, BBC One Show’s health and medical reporter, alongside Professor Andy Ustianowski, Clinical Lead - NIHR COVID Vaccine Research Programme, and Jeremy Taylor, NIHR Director for Public Voice, who will discuss what's involved in taking part in research and why it matters.

Find out more here


Latest NIHR funding opportunities

NIHR Policy Research Programme: New Commissioned Calls

The NIHR funds policy research to enable evidence informed policy making in health and social care. The NIHR Policy Research Programme is inviting proposals for the following calls:

  • Complete Care Community Programme: This project should provide evidence as to how the CCCP is being implemented across different sites nationally. This will include an initial assessment of impacts and outcomes.
  • Evaluation of RECONNECT services for adult prison leavers: This research is needed to better understand if the RECONNECT programme improves engagement with community-based healthcare services for prison leavers.
  • Translating Obesity Research into Policy, 2nd Wave: Open to researchers with existing NIHR funded research projects looking at issues relating to healthy weight, obesity, food systems, physical activity and health incentives to develop an additional work stream which provides learning for policymakers.
  • Evaluation of the Start for Life Programme: Improving outcomes in the 1,001 critical days: This package will be used to transform support for families in 75 upper tier local authorities in England during the crucial first 1,001 days, following the publication of the Government’s The Best Start for Life: Early Years Healthy Development Review in March 2021.
  • Research call on vaccine evaluation to inform policy and decision making for the national immunisation programme: This call is for clinical research, to inform key policy decisions on the national immunisation programme. It will provide evidence to inform the advice given to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) by the Joint Committee Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
  • Detecting abuse in residential settings for people with learning disability and/or autism: A single research project to support detecting abuse in residential care settings for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people.
  • Post Implementation Review of the Health and Care Act 2022: This is a significant opportunity to contribute to the evidence base on a high profile and important policy area of national policy.
  • Understanding the impact of alcohol calorie labelling on alcohol and calorie consumption: This research call aims to commission one project to consider the following questions: (1) Do intentions to consume alcohol change as a result of alcohol labelling? (2) Do stated preferences for alcohol products change as a result of alcohol labelling? (3) What is the modelled impact of changes to alcohol and calorie consumption on morbidity and mortality?
  • Evaluation of Government Health Incentives Scheme: A multi-disciplinary team of researchers to provide evidence informed advice to the design of the second phase of a Government Health Incentives Scheme; and to provide an independent evaluation of its implementation and effectiveness. Based on the findings of this evaluation, the team will support policymakers in the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) to shape future policy on health incentives.
  • Navigation of Trade Challenge at the World Trade Organisation for Public Health Policies: A single research project to look at the key factors which determine whether public health policies successfully navigate challenges at the World Trade Organisation’s Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO TBT) committee.
  • Ethnic minority communities’ experience of accessing bereavement support services: The research will allow for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and the wider sector, to gain a better understanding of the challenges in place that prevent people from ethnic minority groups from accessing the bereavement support services they need, and therefore what changes need to be made or new interventions required to help address this.
  • Evaluation of the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund: This evaluation will support policymakers in the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) shape policies on housing-related care and support, in the context of wider adult social care policy.
  • Health Protection Modelling: Provides a programme of modelling to address two key areas: (1) Dynamical disease and health economic modelling relating to the national vaccination programme. This will provide an alternative or ‘second’ opinion to and run parallel with, that provided by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA); (2) Modelling of other infectious diseases that lie outside the immunisation programme.
  • Working Age: Research on working age health to support Government policy around work, health and disability. Research projects will investigate the relationship between health and work, and generate knowledge about effective interventions.

Deadline for proposals: 14 June 2022

NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme: Future calls

The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme funds research about the clinical and cost-effectiveness, and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests, for those who plan, provide or receive care from NHS, and social care services.

The HTA Programme is considering the following topics for future commissioned research:

The likely advert date for these topics, if prioritised, is 28 July 2022. However, please note this is an indicative date, which may change.


NIHR Funding deadlines calendar

For an overview of the year’s NIHR calls and ongoing opportunities, please view the online calendar:


Funding calls from other bodies

Action Medical Research for Children: Joint translational funding from AMR and LifeArc

Action Medical Research and LifeArc want to improve the lives of children suffering from rare disease and are working together to co-fund translational, rare disease research projects. Co-funding aims to accelerate promising, cutting-edge medical research that could have a significant impact on the treatment of infants, children and young people (CYP) with any of the >7000 heterogeneous conditions collectively called ‘rare disease’.

The joint fund will be used to support biomedical research projects from across the UK that have moved beyond a basic understanding of rare disease mechanism into the development of an intervention (therapeutic, diagnostic, or device). Applications should:

  • address a significant, unmet need for children and young people (CYP) with rare disease
  • have a strong scientific rationale
  • be target-driven, with a credible delivery plan and milestones
  • have a clear route to patients.

Deadline for proposals: 21 June 2022
Find out more here

Sight Research UK: Seed Award

Sight Research UK funds scientific, clinical, and applied healthcare research to help find new ways of diagnosing, preventing, and treating eye conditions. The Seed Award supports a diverse portfolio of research projects, including:
• Proof of concept, fundamental or basic, and disease modelling research with a clear pathway to patient benefit.

  • Laboratory based, pre-clinical research projects, building on existing proof-of-concept data, with a clear pathway to patient benefit. In particular, we will consider discrete elements of larger translational research projects (at Translational Readiness Level 5, 6, or 7) such as:
  • Projects that are relevant to and highly promising in the clinical setting (i.e., the applicants have already shown that the idea might be used as therapy in man).
  • Research delivered in a clinical setting as supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (Sight Research UK is an NIHR Non-commercial Partner).
  • Applied healthcare projects that can deliver tangible patient benefit, including the development of new low vision devices.
  • They encourage applications from non-tenured early career researchers.

Deadline for proposals: 26 August 2022
Find out more here


Latest fellowships

Diabetes UK: PhD Studentship

Diabetes UK PhD studentships are there to enable experienced researchers to recruit outstanding science graduates to study for a PhD in the field of diabetes-related research.

Applications are encouraged from those aspiring to join the next generation of talented researchers interested in continuing a career in diabetes research. Applications are judged on the following criteria:

  • Relevance of project to diabetes.
  • Supervisor’s training record.
  • Suitability of project for PhD training.
  • Scientific quality of proposed project.

Deadline for proposals: 31 August 2022
Find out more here



News, info and updates

Annual Report from the Chief Social Worker, Lyn Romeo

Chief Social Worker for Adults Lyn Romeo and the Department for Health and Social Care have published their annual report highlighting key achievements in 2021 to 2022 and setting objectives for 2022 to 2023. Priorities for the forthcoming year include supporting social care reform, training for the workforce, recovery from the pandemic, and the impact on staff and people receiving care and support and their families. The report may be of interest to anyone involved in, or thinking about, social care research.

Find out more here


Workshops and events

The Prognosis Research in Healthcare: Concepts, Methods and Impact course 


This 3-day online summer school is designed to introduce the key components and uses of prognosis research to health professionals and researchers, including a framework of four different prognosis research questions: overall prognosis, prognostic factors, prognostic models, and stratified care. The course will cover key principles of study design and methods, interpretation of statistical results about prognosis, the use of prognosis research evidence at multiple stages on the translational pathway toward improving patient outcome, the limitations of current prognosis research, and how the field can be improved. The course consists of lectures from a core faculty of epidemiologists, statisticians and clinical researchers, alongside group work and discussion session.

Date: 13 July - 15 July 2022
Location: Online
Cost: £595
Register here

NIHR and RDS news

NIHR Mastering the Basics: How best to involve others into your research

This is part of a hybrid program of interactive webinars, workshops and a face-to-face event, which aim to demystify, explain, explore and inspire those with a passion for clinical education research. This seminar will look at how best to involve others into your research planning, process and production.

When: 18:30-19:30 on 23 May 2022
Where: Online

Find out more here


Support and training available from the Clinical Research Network West Midlands

Support and advice is available from the CRN WM Study Support Service Team for any study that is potentially eligible or applying for CRN Support. This includes providing cost attribution advice to support researchers in completing their grant applications and authorising the Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Tool (SoECAT), navigating the approvals process, accessing training provided by the Network, identifying and supporting the management of excess treatment costs, and can highlight further support within the Network to support study set up and delivery to time and target. Once open to recruitment, we will stay in contact and continue to support optimisation of recruitment to your study.

Training available from the CRN WM Study Support Service Team ranges from basic Cost Attribution, SoECATs, IRAS/ HRA process, Amendments, Research Passports (HR Good Practice), Capacity and Capability and the use of EDGE for study set up and management. If you are interested in any of these or a tailored training session to suit your needs then please contact us to discuss.