The RDS is changing – Introducing the Research Support Service
Since 2009, the Research Design Service (RDS) has been supporting research teams to develop funding applications for health and social care research. In October this year, the RDS contract will come to an end. In its place, the new Research Support Service (RSS) will form. They will continue to offer research design and methodological support to research teams, whilst also expanding their remit.
The NIHR has announced that the University of Southampton will host one of eight hubs of the newly-established Research Support Service (RSS) from 1 October 2023. The scheme replaces the NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) and NIHR Clinical Trial Units (CTU) Support Funding, which both end on 30 September 2023.
The hub, hosted by the University of Southampton, is a collaboration between 15 units: in universities (Oxford, Oxford Brookes, Portsmouth and Southampton), local authorities (Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Portsmouth and Southampton), and four clinical trials units (National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit CTU, Oxford Clinical Trials Research Unit, Primary Care CTU and Southampton CTU).
Led by Professor Issy Reading from the University of Southampton, and co-director Dr Ly-Mee Yu from the University of Oxford, the collaboration has been awarded £16.5m over five years to provide researchers, especially those applying for and in receipt of NIHR funding, with free access to support, advice and expertise. The NIHR RSS will help researchers develop and deliver efficient and impactful clinical and applied health and care research.
Together with the new NIHR RSS hub, the collaboration will also host one of two National Specialist Centres for Public Health Research, led by Professor Julie Parkes from the University of Southampton and Dr Adam Briggs from Oxfordshire County Council.
The NIHR RSS has been established following an open and competitive process assessed by research experts and public contributors.
More information about the new RSS can be found here:
Issy Reading said: “I am thrilled that we can continue supporting researchers to develop high-quality applications for health and social care research funding. We have supported thousands of research teams since the RDS was formed in 2009; I’m looking forward to developing that support in new and exciting ways as we move into the NIHR Research Support Service contract.”