Research Design Centre East Midlands

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service (RDS) supports researchers in designing and developing high quality research proposals for submission to national, peer-reviewed funding competitions for applied health or social care research. This is a free national service throughout England which is locally delivered.

The RDS East Midlands (EM) has its main bases in Leicester and Nottingham with associated staff located in Northampton, Derby and Lincoln. There is a wide skill-mix of staff including statisticians, qualitative researchers, epidemiologists, health economists and information specialists. RDS staff are research active and have considerable expertise in developing and designing high quality research proposals.

The RDS EM maintains strong links with the NHS, Social Care organisations and NIHR Biomedical Research Units across the East Midlands.

The RDS EM can advise on all aspects of preparing grant applications including:

  • Designing a research study
  • Research methods (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Public involvement in research design
  • Identifying potential academic, clinical and lay collaborators
  • Identifying and refining the research question
  • Medical statistics
  • Health economics
  • Advice on common pitfalls
  • Interpreting feedback from funding panels

To make the most of the service, contact our team as early as possible and request support by:

  • Completing a request form, or
  • Emailing:
  • Alternatively telephone the Leicester team on: 0116 252 3276 or the Nottingham office on: 0115 970 9310.

For further information including funding updates and research news, please visit our website: