The NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) London can advise and assist you on all aspects of designing and securing grant funding for research studies.

If you are preparing a grant application and targeting submission to an NIHR, Research Council or charity funding stream, for applied health or social care research then NUHR RDS London can help.

The service is provided by four partner institutions located in different sectors of London, embedded in applied health research environments of King’s College London (coordinating centre), Imperial College London, Queen Mary University of London and University College London and their associated NHS Trusts and Academic Health Sciences Centres.


How can RDS London help me?

Using a network of research advisers, RDS London is able to advise on designing research studies.

The service can also help to identify suitable sources of funding for projects and potential academic and clinical collaborators to strengthen applications and make the research more viable.

Specialist advice can be provided on:

  • Presenting evidence and rationale

  • Formulating research questions

  • Study design

  • Building an appropriate research team

  • Involving patients and the public

  • Statistical methods

  • Qualitative methods

  • Economic evaluations

When should I contact RDS London?

The Service is designed to help researchers at all stages of preparing proposals, including:

  • Ensuring that the research topic is within the scope of the targeted funding programme
  • Providing advice on the quality, practicality and feasibility of research questions and methods
  • Advising of the common pitfalls encountered in funding applications
  • Identifying enhancements to the proposal to improve chances of success
  • Dealing with feedback and failure from previous funding competitions

Although RDS London can help at any stage of the preparation, you are advised to contact the service as early as possible, especially if you have a clear funding deadline in mind.

Six to eight weeks before the submission deadline will normally give the advisors enough time to provide you with their full support. Four weeks before the deadline is normally the least amount of time they will need to help you.


How much does the service cost?

The service is completely free of charge and is available through consultations and regular clinics and drop-in sessions.

How do I contact RDS London?

Please visit the RDS London website for more information about the service and useful links and online resources.

If you would like support for your funding application, please complete the online support request form. For any other enquiries call 020 7848 6782 or email