Research Design Service: West Midlands


National Policy & Guidance

The goal of the NIHR is to create a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals, working in world class facilities, conducting leading edge research focused on the needs of patients and the public.

NIHR School for Social Care Research

The NIHR School for Social Care Research aims to develop the evidence base for adult social care practice in England.

Find out more about their research and guidance for social care research here

Department Of Health And Social Care

Read here for health and social care policy, guidance and publications for NHS and social care professionals.

Integrated Research Application System (IRAS)

Online system for applying for permission and ethical approvals for healthcare, social care, or community care research in the UK.

NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN)

The Clinical Research Network is part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and is the clinical research delivery arm of the NHS, set up to support research to make patients, and the NHS better.  

The Clinical Research Network (CRN) West Midlands is the largest of the 15 local networks across England. They can offer complementary advice on cost attribution for your grant application, portfolio eligibility, feasibility of delivering your study in the NHS and site identification if your project is a multicentre study. 

The CRN Early Contact and Engagement team are where the specialist team who provide support for the Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Template (SoECAT) are based.

NIHR Learn

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.

Log in to NIHR Learn and you can register for Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training and find out more about the full range of online and face-to-face courses.

Not logged in before? Get started with NIHR Learn.

NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination (CED)

On 1 April 2020, the NIHR opened it's new Centre for Engagement and Dissemination (CED) to make research representative, relevant and ready for use.

The Centre brings together activities in patient and public involvement, engagement and participation with research dissemination. The aim is to further enhance the strong collaborative culture already established in involvement, engagement across the NIHR

To find out more

The James Lind Alliance-prioritising the unanswered research questions

The James Lind Alliance (JLA) was established in 2004 to bring patients, carers and health and social care professionals together in Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs) to identify and prioritise the Top 10 unanswered questions that they would like to see answered by research.  JLA PSPs provide an important opportunity for the users of research to help shape the research agenda.

There are now over 100 completed JLA PSPs addressing a wide range of health conditions.  Each PSP is led by a Steering Group of patients, carers and clinicians who have clinical and lived experience of that health area.

The Top 10 priorities are typically in the form of broad thematic areas and researchers can find out if their areas of interest are included among the huge range of priorities listed by visiting the JLA website.

Email the JLA coordinating team on for more details about any of the PSPs and the groups which have led them, or speak to your RDSWM adviser about your ideas for using the priorities in your research.

Systematic Review Capacity Resource

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West Midlands

One NIHR systematic review capacity-Resources available to you in our region.