Support for applying for funding

There are many different ways in which we can support you in applying for our research funding and for other open national peer-reviewed funding programmes:

Research Design Service

Our Research Design Service (RDS) provides design and methodological support to health and social care researchers across England to develop grant applications to the NIHR and other open national peer-reviewed funding programmes.

RDS advisers in bases across England offer a unique breadth of experience and a proven track record in improving research applications. We have enjoyed continued success in 2014/15; working with more research teams, supporting more submissions and increasing the success rate of submissions along with an overwhelming response by research teams on the value of the RDS contribution to their projects. The RDS Annual Review for 2014/15 is now available.

Advice is confidential and free of charge. To find out more take a look at this leaflet, or visit the RDS website.


INVOLVE is our national advisory group that supports active public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research. It is one of the few government funded programmes of its kind in the world. As a national advisory group its role is to bring together expertise, insight and experience in the field of public involvement in research, with the aim of advancing it as an essential part of the process by which research is identified, prioritised, designed, conducted and disseminated.

i4i Life Sciences Accelerator Programme

Our i4i Life Sciences Accelerator programme is designed specifically to help health and medtech researchers maximise their chances of success when applying for funding and investment.

The programme has been developed by i4i, along with experienced medtech industry experts, to equip researchers in industry, academia and the NHS with the skills and knowledge required to put together robust business plans and strong funding applications that will satisfy funding panels, investors and external experts.

Clinical Trials Units (CTUs)

Clinical Trials Units (CTUs) are specialist units which have been set up with a specific remit to design, conduct, analyse and publish clinical trials and other well-designed studies. They have the capability to provide specialist expert statistical, epidemiological and other methodological advice and coordination to undertake successful clinical trials. In additon, most CTUs will have expertise in the coordination of trials involving investigational medicinal products which must be conducted in compliance with the UK Regulations governing the conduct of clinical trials resulting from the EU Directive for Clinical Trials.

Clinical Trials Toolkit

The Clinical Trials Toolkit provides practical advice to researchers in designing and conducting publicly funded clinical trials in the UK. Through the use of an interactive routemap, this site provides information on best practice and outlines the current legal and practical requirements for conducting clinical trials.