Research Design Service South East

How we can help – support for grant applications

How we can help – support for grant applications


What advice can we give?
Our advisers help with many aspects of the research application process, including advice on the most suitable funder for your research idea.

Research advisers are happy to meet at a convenient time and place to discuss your research.  Do speak to us as early as possible so we can help you to develop your research ideas, and ensure that you get meaningful input into all aspects of your proposal.
Contact us via our ‘request for support’ page, or email

After you contact the RDS with some basic information about your research proposal, we will assign you a lead research adviser to discuss your ideas in detail. They can also help to coordinate other specialist support as needed.

  • New! Video resources from RDS Y&H:
    Finding Evidence to Support Your Research Proposal
    Is your research question novel?  6.01 m
    Showing that your research idea is novel and up to date with relevant literature. Resources to help identify funders’ priority areas.
  • Identifying gaps in current research 4.5 m
    Searching key databases for systematic reviews. Finding primary studies in the absence of relevant systematic reviews.
  • Checking ongoing and published research 5.32 m
    How to find trials and other types of ongoing research.
  • Research recommendations 2.45 m
    Highlighting research recommendations and your project’s relevance to a research priority. Resources to find research ‘uncertainties and priorities.

Advice available includes:Diagram outlining how we can help

Our research advisers have a wide range of skills and can draw on the support of the wider RDS SE team, including our collaborators to help guide you through the process of developing a fundable research proposal.

“Our local RDS-SE service are fantastic. They give prompt, rational, and scientific advice. They are always available and are genuinely interested in our work and ideas even when in very early draft form. From methodological to statistical or advice around grant applications, the service is measured, intelligent, calm and efficient.”

William Farr, Senior Research Fellow in Neurodisability/Psychology, Honorary Research Fellow Brighton and Sussex Medical School, NIHR Faculty Member/ Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

Why might I need help?

Most funding streams have particular emphases and requirements and it is helpful to find out about these from experienced researchers who have attended funding panels and understand what the funder might be looking for. For example:

  • the Research for Patient Benefit Programme (RfPB) has a strong emphasis on involving the public in the design and execution of research
  • Health Technology Assessment (HTA) research is undertaken where some evidence already exists to show that a technology can be effective and this technology needs to be compared with the current NHS intervention to see which works best
  • Invention for Innovation (i4i) funding supports the pre-clinical and clinical development of innovative medical technologies.  As collaboration is key, project teams must comprise at least two organisations from higher education institutions, NHS organisations and industry.

You may only want help with one aspect of your application – for example, your might need specialist advice on public involvement or you may just want someone to proof read your application. Speak to your lead adviser about what would be most beneficial to you.

Request Support