Research Design Service: West Midlands

In this week’s newsletter:

Latest NIHR funding calls
Funding calls from other bodies
Latest fellowships
News, info, updates and resources
NIHR and RDS News


Latest RDS blog: Literature searching essentials

A crucial part of any research funding application is conducting a thorough literature search of your topic area. This can seem like a daunting task, but don't worry - help is at hand! The NIHR Research Design Service has recently created a collection of literature-searching resources to support you, and our blog this month provides you with an overview and description of how each resource can help.

Read the blog here



Latest NIHR Funding Calls

NIHR PRP Programme: Latest funding calls

The Policy Research Programme (PRP) funds high quality research to deliver robust, relevant, timely, accessible and intelligible evidence to government and arms-length bodies. The Policy Research Programme is inviting Stage 1 applications to the following funding calls:

Deadline for proposals: 11 July 2023

NIHR i4i Addiction Mission: Innovation for Treatment and Recovery Awards

The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme, in collaboration with the Office for Life Sciences (OLS), invites applications to the Addiction Mission: Innovation for Treatment and Recovery (AMI) Awards. Proposals must create valuable, innovative tools to help treat people with opioid or cocaine addictions and aid in their recovery. The call is focused on the research, development, and testing in real world settings, of innovative digital, MedTech, and pharmaceutical interventions that support treatment and recovery for people with opioid or cocaine addiction.

Deadline for proposals: 12 July 2023

Find out more here


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

Stroke Association Project Grant

The Stroke Association wishes to fund project grants which clearly address priorities for stroke research within the top ten topics from the James Lind Alliance (JLA) 2021 Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) for either prevention and acute care, or rehabilitation and long-term care. We are also looking for applications in childhood stroke which fall under the priorities of the Childhood Neurological Disabilities PSP Top 10.

Deadline for proposals: 21 August 2023

Find out more here

ESRC: Enhancing well-being for the future

Apply for funding to conduct innovative social science research across Europe, on the topic of ‘enhancing wellbeing for the future’. The program Enhancing well-being for the future will have three major objectives:

  • To advance excellent and internationally leading theoretical and methodological research on wellbeing, which may be multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and comparative, and which builds synergistically on a pan-European basis.
  • To develop and promote theoretically grounded, research-based knowledge and insight into wellbeing related to issues of high societal, policy, economic and practical relevance, in ways that have the potential to have substantive impact on people’s lives.
  • To motivate and support excellence and capacity building for research on well-being on a cross-national basis.

Deadline for proposals: 21 September 2023

Find out more here

EPSRC: Accelerating the medicines revolution outline: small grants

Apply for funding to revolutionise the development of future medicines. EPSRC seek high quality research ideas that will address key bottlenecks in the medicines manufacturing pipeline. From discovery to deployment, proposals will facilitate a revolution through speculative, high risk ideas that could potentially offer high reward. Studies should contribute to one or more of the following objectives:

  • Explore the viability of more speculative translational pathways for medicines manufacturing
  • Develop novel approaches or fundamental basis for more sustainable pathways
  • Investigate disruptive appraoches to reduce time from discovery to deployment
  • Ensure manufacturability, including scale-up and the needs of users, is considered from the outset of the process of new medicines discovery
  • Create the EPS knowledge, skills and workforce to take forward future biological breakthroughs
  • Cover research in any part of the pipeline from innovative chemistry to novel manufacturing techniques, including multidisciplinary work where appropriate.

Deadline for proposals: 1 August 2023

Find out more here

Diabetes UK: Early-career small grants

For researchers at key career transition points, with the aim of enabling successful recipients to go on to secure further funding. 

The scheme operates through three distinct funding streams:

  • Medically qualified scientists should apply to The Academy of Medical Scientists Starter Grants for Clinical Lecturers.
  • Basic scientists should apply to either The Academy of Medical Scientists Springboard for Biomedical Scientists or the Diabetes UK Early Career Small Grant.
  • Allied Health Professionals should apply to the Diabetes UK Early Career Small Grant.

Deadline for proposals: September 2023

Find out more here

Diabetes UK: Project grants

For high-quality, hypothesis-driven diabetes research projects, lasting up to five years and costing less than £500,000.

Deadline for proposals: 1 December 2023

Find out more here


Latest Fellowships

Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellowships 2024/25

The Commonwealth Fund's Harkness Fellowships for 2024-25 provide a unique leadership development opportunity for mid-career research professionals who are committed to advancing health care policy and practice. Co-funded in the UK by the NIHR and The Health Foundation, the Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice fund successful applicants to spend a year in the United States (US), conducting internationally comparative research with mentorship from leading US experts.

The Harkness Fellowship provides dedicated research funding to allow Fellows to:

  • gain an in-depth understanding of the US healthcare system and policy landscape
  • engage in a series of leadership development activities, and
  • build a robust network for cross-national exchange and collaboration.

Successful applicants will also become a member of the NIHR Academy - a community that provides access to events, networking, leadership development and online training.

Find out more here


News, info, updates and resources

Dementia Researcher blog: How does an idea turn into a clinical product?

In this blog, Dr Sam Moxon (University of Birmingham) looks at the goal of having a research project transformed into a clinical product. He emphasises implementation, regulations, funding, and market research.

Find out more here

A guide to starting out in clinical academic research

This is a series of ten films giving advice and tips on becoming a clinical academic. It has been produced by the Enhancing Research Culture Team, including staff from the School of Health Sciences at the University of Southampton, NIHR ARC Wessex and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

Find out more here


NIHR and RDS news

NIHR Academy launches new research career support for students

NIHR Academy has launched new schemes to give students insight into research careers in health care, social work and public health. The schemes provide opportunities for institutions and researchers to showcase research to students. They aim to support those at an early stage as they embark on their professional careers. These opportunities hope to encourage interest in professions currently underrepresented within research. This includes nursing, social care, and public health.

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.  Once closed to recruitment we may ask you to share lessons learned to better advise other study teams in the future.

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.

The CRN WM Digital Portfolio Maps have been developed to inform Researchers and Healthcare Professionals of the research studies available locally (West Midlands) and nationally:


Website: CRN West Midlands (