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“The committees play an important role in helping us deliver our mission to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research.  Through funding by the Department of Health and Social Care, the NIHR enables and delivers world-leading health and social care research that improves people’s health and wellbeing, and promotes economic growth.

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.

The NIHR is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in all areas of our work. We recognise public contributors may encounter barriers to involvement. We will take steps to ensure we are as accessible and inclusive as possible. We want to increase the diversity of our public contributors and the voices heard in research, and are trying to take positive steps to improve representation in our committees.

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: “

“The Health and Social Care Delivery Research (HSDR) Programme invites applications for palliative and end of life care research which supports health and care services to help people at the end of their lives to live as well as possible and to die with dignity, compassion and comfort.

The HSDR Programme welcomes research proposals in any disease, service or setting, including (but not limited to) hospitals, specialist centres and services, community services, home and care homes.

In addition to the specific areas noted in the commissioning brief, research proposals should address inequalities in access and experience of care and services, including intersectional differences and disadvantage. To build capacity and address geographical and other disparities in research funding and activity, we welcome partnerships between research active institutions and others less active to date, and located in geographical areas of deprivation and/or high care need.

Other NIHR funding programmes are involved in this call (HTA; EME; PHR) and, given its scope, we welcome applications that span the remit of one or more of the participating research programmes, and which comprise of co-ordinated teams of investigators spanning different specialties/disciplines.

In order to apply you will need to carefully review the:


This is a two-stage call. Any changes to these dates will be emailed to all Lead Applicants with an application in progress.

  • Stage one deadline: 1pm on 26 April 2023
  • Notification of out of remit/non-competitive decision if unsuccessful: early July 2023
  • Notification of stage one shortlisting decision: early August 2023
  • Stage two writing window: early August 2023 – early October 2023
  • Notification of stage two funding decision: late December/early January 2024
  • Start date for funded studies: 1 May/June 2024″
“The next RDS South Central Pre-Submission Review Panel (PSRP) will take place in December 2022.The PSRP is a service that allows researchers to submit their draft health or social care grant application for review by a group of experienced methodologists, clinicians and a lay representative, who collectively critique the strengths and weaknesses of the application and provide feedback. Your draft application will be reviewed by our team and you will be provided with detailed feedback on your proposal in early/mid-December.To be eligible:
  • You must be developing a research application for submission to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) or another open, national and peer-reviewed applied health or social care research funding programme.
  • You must be based at or collaborating with an organisation from the RDS South Central region (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Oxfordshire).
If you would like your project to be reviewed, please email us as soon as possible (as availability for reviews is limited), and by 18th November at the latest. Please tell us the following when you contact us:
  • The funding programme you are applying to;
  • The deadline of the funding programme you are working to;
  • The organisation from the South Central region you are based at or collaborating with.
To register your interest, or if you have any questions, please email”

With millions of us living longer with ever-increasing care needs, providing effective care for older people living in nursing homes is now more important than ever.

An estimated 361,000 people live in UK care homes, with this figure expected to rise in line with an ageing population.

Research is a key driver in the continuous improvement of health and social care services, including providing dignified end-of-life care for care home residents, many of whom are living with dementia. But how can we champion and facilitate research in what can be a challenging care environment?”

To learn more about how the NIHR intend to engage with care homes to carry out research click here for the full blog.

“Residents’ quality of life is better in care homes rated as good or outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Research found that their quality of life is better in fully-staffed homes, and where staff have better pay and training.

Care providers are obliged to nurture residents’ quality of life, but there is no standard way of measuring quality of life in care homes. The CQC rates whether homes are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. But before this study, it was not known whether CQC ratings were a good reflection of residents’ quality of life. It was also not known whether staff numbers, pay and training were linked to CQC ratings. This is important because care workers often have poor pay and little training beyond basic induction training. Staff shortages, which increase time pressures, are common.

Staff need the right tools to gather information about residents’ health and quality of life. Many care home residents have dementia and may find it difficult to tell staff how they are feeling. In the first part of this study, the research team worked with staff, residents and families to develop tools to help care home staff identify pain, anxiety and low mood in residents. These tools are suitable for residents with dementia and those with communication difficulties; staff do not need clinical training to use them.

The study also found that better CQC ratings were linked with higher quality of life among the residents who need most help. Caring and well-led services made a measurable difference, especially for residents who rely on staff to meet their basic needs. Better pay and training for staff were linked to higher CQC ratings. A 10% wage increase was linked to a 7% higher chance of a care home being rated as good or outstanding.

Together, the findings show the link between working conditions, care quality and residents’ quality of life. The researchers say that policies to improve working conditions for staff are essential to improve outcomes for people living in care homes.”

If you would like to read more about this study 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.

In order to apply for this call you will need to carefully review the following documents:

All primary research projects are expected to establish a programme appointed Study Steering Committee and it is important that you read the TSC/SSC Guidance before completing your application. Costs incurred by this committee should be included in the budget as appropriate.


Any changes to these dates will be emailed to all Lead Applicants with an application in progress.

  • Stage one deadline: 1pm on 16 November 2022
  • Notification of out of remit/non-competitive decision if unsuccessful: Early December 2022
  • Notification of stage one shortlisting decision: Early February 2023
  • Stage two writing window: early February to late March 2023
  • Notification of stage two funding decision: early June 2023
  • Start date for funded studies: 1 October 2023″

For more information click here

What is the Starting Research Workshop?

A free to attend, half-day session, on how to move from thinking about doing research to taking your first steps in getting support, dedicated time and funding to actually do it.

The workshop will cover:

  • Routes into research
  • What makes a good research question
  • Establishing the evidence-gap: libraries, literature searches & reviews
  • Finding a good supervisor
  • An introduction to patient & public involvement
  • Finding training and funding to develop research ideas
  • Sources of other support for undertaking research
  • Taking first steps in research

Who should attend?

This event is relevant to health care professionals, social care and public health practitioners who are thinking about research.

Whilst much of what will be presented and discussed will be of general use, the Q&A panels will be regionally based, and will consist of people with specific knowledge concerning training, funding and other support available in South Central (including Wessex), East Midlands and East of England. If you are unsure of where you are, see below:

  • South Central: Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight
  • East Midlands: Derbyshire. Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland
  • East of England: Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk

What to expect on the course

  • Time and Date: 09:00–14:00 on Thursday, 22nd September, 2022. There will be optional one-to-one sessions with RDS advisers from 14:30 in the afternoon.
  • Venue: Online
  • Content: Presentations and Q&A panels

Enquiries to:

  • Please note that places at this event are limited, and will be allocated on a ‘first-come – first-served’ basis.
  • If you are booking a one-to-one session, following confirmation of your place, you will be asked to complete a very brief summary about your research idea prior to the event.


The NIHR Research Design Service can offer expert advice and support on all aspects of designing and developing applications for NIHR and other funding bodies. To find out about your local RDS, go to

This event is being run by RDS South Central. If you are based in the South Central region of England (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Oxfordshire) and would like to request free advice and support directly from RDS South Central, please complete our online ‘Request for Support’ form.

‘Call for Research Proposals – Dementia

As part of the NIHR Three Schools’ Dementia Research Programme, we are inviting proposals for research projects to address priorities for improving the lives of people living with or at risk of dementia, family and other carers.

We are seeking innovative, original, high-quality proposals which represent good value for money. Although this is an open call, we would particularly welcome proposals:

  • focusing on post-diagnostic support and/or end-of-life care
  • that explore equality, diversity and inclusion issues in dementia prevention, care and support, including in relation to the ‘oldest old’ and people with multiple long-term conditions
  • where research will be carried out in localities that are not so well engaged in dementia studies.

Through this call, we are also seeking to encourage new and developing dementia researchers to lead studies, as well as proposals led by practice researchers, professionals (including managers and commissioners), and people living with dementia and/or carers.

Funding of up to £200,000 is available for projects between January 2023 and March 2024.

This is a one-stage call for proposals. Proposals must be submitted by 16.30 on Wednesday 7 September 2022.’

For more information click on this website: 

Continence, dementia, and care that preserves dignity

 “Dementia is a growing, global challenge. As populations age, it has become one of the most important issues facing health and care systems around the world. People living with dementia often have problems going to the toilet (continence problems) which can have a profound impact on their lives and on their carers’. There is a misconception that nothing can be done if a person living with dementia experiences episodes of incontinence of urine or faeces or both. In fact, continence can be promoted through activities and care practices, including a balanced diet, exercise, and a clear routine. Encouragement and help to use the toilet may involve ‘signposting’ the toilet and mobility aids. A growing range of products, including assistive technology, can help some people at some times. Even so, the progressive nature of dementia means that there will come a point where containment might be the best approach. In which case, carers and practitioners need support and advice to provide this intimate care in the best way possible.”

“This themed review, featuring NIHR-funded research, identifies the impact of continence problems on people living with dementia and their carers, as well as ways to improve continence care at home, in care homes and in hospitals.”

For more information on this topic you either read the report by clicking here or listen to our podcast by clicking here

“Inspiring different teams to work together is key to the successful leadership of any integrated health and social care system (ICS). However, little is known about how effective leadership can be supported and improved.

In England, ICSs are bringing together local NHS services and working with social care systems, local authorities, communities, and other groups, each with their own motivations. Leaders of ICSs therefore may be managing several professional teams with different goals and accountabilities. The challenges are not the same as in managing a team of professionals working towards a single goal.

ICSs are being rolled out across the UK and will soon be the new model of healthcare delivery. They are designed to put the person at the centre of their care. But there is little research on how leadership works (the mechanisms of leadership), and what makes it successful.

Research into successful leadership in health and social care mostly focuses on single teams and their tasks. This new study explored leadership of complex integrated teams and systems across health and social care. Working with a range of service providers and users, carers and researchers, the team reviewed the published evidence. They identified 10 mechanisms (such as balancing different perspectives, or working appropriately with power) which could influence the success of ICS leadership.

The researchers then searched for papers which either did or did not support the importance of these mechanisms. This allowed them to describe the influence of these mechanisms on ICS leadership.

Overall, the researchers said there was a lack of evidence on ICS leadership. Most studies referred to simple models of leadership and did not explore more complex teams and systems. They generally assumed the necessary skills for leadership are the same. The researchers argue that this assumption is not valid and that more research is needed to understand how to successfully lead ICSs.”

To read more on this topic click here