About Us

Who are RDS South Central?

The Research Design Service (RDS) helps individuals seeking funding for applied health and social care research.

By increasing the quality and quantity of successful grant applications, the RDS makes a vital contribution to improving the health and wealth of our nation.

RDS South Central is part of a national network of ten regional RDS offices.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funds the Research Design Service (RDS) to provide design and methodological support to health and social care researchers across England to develop grant applications to the NIHR and other 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.  Advice is confidential and free of charge.

What help can we offer?

We offer advice on all aspects of formulating a research proposal, including methodology, statistics, health economics and support for Patient and Public Involvement in research.

We know what funders are looking for; our team has many years’ experience of making applications to NIHR and other funding programmes.  We also understand the challenges of the modern research environment; our staff are active in a broad range of projects. Find out more about our team.

Who do we help?

We can help you if you are:

  • developing grant applications for applied health or social care research
  • applying for personal fellowships
  • writing applications to national, open, peer-reviewed funding streams.

We support a broad range of people, including:

  • doctors, nurses and allied health professionals
  • patients and service users
  • academics and NHS and social care managers.

Our priority is to support applications to NIHR research funding streams and fellowships. We also support applications to Research Councils and other open, national, peer-reviewed funding programmes. RDS South Central supports researchers based in the South Central region (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Oxfordshire). If you are based elsewhere, please contact your local RDS office.

Information Pack for Health and Social Care Researchers

To get you started, we would highly recommend that you read through our Information Pack. This highlights some of the key issues to consider when making a research grant application. Download the Information Pack for Health and Social Care Researchers.

Working with us

What you can expect from our service, and what we expect from you: