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ExCHANGE is a collaboration between organisations in Devon and the South West Peninsula concerned with the care and happiness of care home residents: PenARC; the University of Exeter; the Devon Care Homes Collaborative – a group of over 250 independent care providers committed to improving the lives of those living in their care through a programme of continual review and improvement and the South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN).

“The ExCHANGE project is all about exchanging and mobilising knowledge between researchers and those working, living in and visiting care homes. Our collaboration is made up of researchers, care home providers and family members exploring ways to use research to improve care home practice. We’ve co-designed workshops for care staff about how to use evidence to inform their practice alongside workshops to help researchers make sense of care homes in their work. We want to breakdown long-standing academic hierarchies to get care home stakeholders and researchers working together on an equal footing, with the ultimate aim of enhancing quality of life in care homes.”

To inspire and encourage innovative future collaborations between academics and practitioners take a look at our project list and share as widely as possible.

“Together we can work towards producing critical and timely research to move us closer towards our shared goal of improving the health and wellbeing of those working, living in and visiting care homes.”

For more details click here 

The Health and Social Care Delivery Research (HSDR) Programme is accepting stage one applications to this funding opportunity.

The programme aims to commission high quality, well designed research which will be carried out by effective and efficient research teams, providing findings which meet the needs of NHS and Social Care managers and leaders.

Closes: 13:00 on 19 July 2022

For more details please click here

“Since its establishment in 2006, the NIHR has invested over £200m in more than 470 social care research projects across its portfolio, with £90m worth of NIHR-funded social care studies starting in the last three years. Of these, over a third have been funded by the NIHR’s dedicated School for Social Care Research.

NIHR-funded research is diverse, exploring a wide range of important issues, and has led to a number of changes to social care practice. In one example, a new approach was developed which reduced challenging behaviours among people with learning disabilities in residential settings by two thirds and was rolled out across 800 residential care sites.

As well as the £200m in direct funding, we have also supported and delivered social care research through our wider infrastructure, in particular the Applied Research Collaborations which worked with local authorities to support over 80 studies in 2020/2021, and the Research Design Service which supports researchers to develop high quality applications.

Additionally, the NIHR has supported those who want to develop their career in social care research, funding internships, career development and senior leaders awards and PhDs through the NIHR Academy and the School for Social Care Research. We have also supported those working in the social care sector through the Local Authority Fellowship Scheme.”

If you are interested in learning more about NIHR funding click here

“The committees play an important role in helping us deliver our mission to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, the NIHR is the nation’s largest funder of health and social care research.

We are looking for people who have a broad interest in health, social care and actions to improve public health and address health inequalities.

You do not need to have a scientific background to help us shape research! We are looking for people who are able to use their own experiences to improve the research we wish to fund.

NIHR is committed to creating a supportive, inclusive and positive community. Membership is open to people from across the United Kingdom and we welcome applications from all sections of the community.

For more information about the role and how to apply, visit the NIHR website: Public Committee Member – NIHR Programmes

We would be happy to answer any questions about these opportunities and provide guidance and support on the application process, please contact us by email:  “

“About the event

The NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) is offering this online event aimed at those who want to develop and submit a research funding application to one of the NIHR funding programmes.

The event will provide information on:

  • targeting the right NIHR funding stream
  • support available to help you develop your funding application, include the support available from the RDS, NHS, NIHR Clinical Research Network and Clinical Trials Units
  • the experience of applying for NIHR funding from a successful applicant.

Who should attend

This event is aimed at professionals and researchers in the NHS, public health and social care, as well as academics from universities across England.


10.00 am – Welcome and introduction – Mark Gabbay, Associate Director, Research Design Service North West (RDS NW).

10.10 am – Targeting the right NIHR funding stream –  Dr Steven Lane, Adviser, RDS NW.

10.35 am – Applying for NIHR funding, the experience of a successful NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) applicant – Dr Kathryn Scott, Senior Grant Writer, University of Liverpool.

10.50 am – Patient and Public Involvement (PPI), the experience of a successful PGfAR applicant – Mrs Lynn Hedgecoe, Public co-applicant.

11.05 am – Questions and answer session with the presenters.

11.15 am – Break.

11.30 am – The Research Design Service (RDS) Public involvement Funds (PIF) – Dr Stuart Oultram, Specialist PPI adviser, RDS NW.

11.40 am – How can the Research Design Service help you with your application – Dr Kenny Finlayson, Adviser, RDS NW.

11.50 am – Other support available:

  • NIHR Clinical Research Network – TBC
  • Clinical Trials Units – Ben Hardwick, Supervising Trials Manager, Liverpool Clinical Trials Centre, University of Liverpool
  • NHS R&D – Stacey Carruthers, SPARK.

12.15 pm – Summary and final questions.

12.30 pm – End of session.

Download a PDF of the programme here.

Date and time: 10 March 2022, 10.00 am to 12.30 pm – online event


To attend this event, please register here.”

Pre-Submission Review Panels are held monthly. Documents for each Panel will need to be submitted to us by 9am on either 14 February, 07 March, 18 April or 16 May 2022. If you would like your project to be reviewed, please email us as soon as possible (as availability for reviews is limited) and at least one week before the above dates to register your interest:

Please see the RDS South Central Pre-Submission Review Panel page for more information.

As we enter a new year, our priority is to update the ENRICH website and ensure that it’s up-to-date and fit for purpose. We know it could be more streamlined and easier to navigate.

As members, we’d like to invite you to share your views about what you would like to see on the ENRICH website by emailing Liz Edgar, Communications Manager before 30 January 2022.


“The Health and Social Care Delivery Research (HSDR) Programme aims to produce rigorous and relevant evidence to improve the quality, accessibility and organisation of health and social care services. The HSDR Programme is accepting stage two applications to the following funding opportunities:

“The MARQUE programme includes a range of techniques to help staff get to know residents’ interests, address their agitation, and improve communication. In the original study, researchers introduced the programme into 10 care homes.

In this study, researchers revisited 6 of the same care homes. They asked staff to look back at action plans they had drawn up two years earlier. The study found that all homes had continued with at least one intervention. Staff members felt their working lives and the culture of the home had improved as a result. Themes that emerged from interviews with staff were: improved communication, more respect for junior colleagues, and an increased willingness to try new strategies. They saw benefits both for themselves and for residents.

However, only one home was still using its full action plan. That may be because members of staff who were trained in MARQUE techniques had left.

Many interventions have been designed to improve dementia care. But long-term assessments are rare. Most studies look at the effects of an intervention within a year. That may not be long enough to embed improvements in a care home’s culture.

This is a small study, but it suggests the MARQUE programme could be rolled out more widely.”

To read more click here

Funding: This research was co-funded by the NIHR and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The two year follow study was funded by the NIHR ARC North Thames

“This NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) hosted event will introduce social care researchers, practitioners and users to the latest call from the RfSC programme, competition 4.

Speakers include the RfSC Programme Team, the RfSC Committee Chair, Dr Mark Wilberforce (who is a successful applicant) and a public involvement expert.

There will also be a presentation from Autistica. Working with Autistica, the NIHR are also inviting proposals for collaborative research projects to better support autistic people who access social care.

The remit of the call, requirements and application processes will be covered.

The event will provide top tips for your application from researchers who have been funded by RfSC and offer a chance to ask specific questions.

There will also be the opportunity to speak to an RDS adviser about your research question/proposal.”

Date and time

Thu, 25 November 2021

13:30 – 15:00 GMT

Online Event

If you would like to register for this event click here