Explainer, Funding

The NIHR RDS is evolving

The NIHR RDS is evolving
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Many of you will have heard of the NIHR Research Design Service – perhaps from our  explainer post? –  some of you might have used it. It provides help, support and advice to submit an application for research funding to the NIHR or another funder, but there the service ended.

But no more!

The NIHR has just announced that from the beginning of October 2023 the RDS is becoming the Research Support Service (RSS). The new service will still provide all the pre-application support you know and love, but it will now continue to provide free support for anyone with a grant throughout the research process, including implementation, PPI and research inclusion.

Everything else will stay the same and the service is still open nationally (England) to researchers wanting to apply to funding from the NIHR or other sources.

The NIHR also say the RSS will:

“function as an integrated research design, development, collaboration and implementation system. It will support training and career opportunities for everyone working in health and care research design. It will also help develop capacity in areas of current and future need. This will ensure that research design and methodology keep up with new technologies and ways of conducting research.”


The new Research Support Service will be run through 8 national hubs, along with their partners. The hubs will be located at:

  • University of Birmingham
  • Imperial College London
  • King’s College London
  • University of Lancaster
  • University of Leicester
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Southampton
  • University of York


This change has come as the result of extensive consultation and it is great that the NIHR will be providing support throughout the research process now.

Check out the full announcement on the NIHR website at this link, and keep an eye out for more details ahead of the launch on October 1st.

If you want to read more about what the service is now and will be until September 30th, head over to part 3 of our NIHR funding series which was dedicated to the RDS

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