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Methodological advice and help writing the application including workshops and training

Research Design Service

The Research Design Service (RDS) South West is directly funded by the NIHR for all researchers in the South West of England to help in the preparation of NIHR grants, and can sometimes help with grants from partner charities. The RDS has access to specialist methodologists including statisticians, qualitative researchers and health economists who are usually then co-applicants on the grant and become members of the research team.

Contact or in Bristol

The RDS can also help with applications to the UH Bristol Research Capability Funding small grant scheme.

Clinical Trials Units

For NIHR-HTA grants and some other types of grant, it is usual to involve a clinical trials unit. There are two accredited units in UH Bristol: the Clinical Trials and Evaluation Unit (CTEU) and the Bristol Randomised Trials Collaboration. If you have not worked with them before you can apply using the common form:

The degree of involvement will depend on the nature of your study (small feasibility studies often do not require trials unit involvement as sufficient expertise is available within the research team).

Bristol was also awarded a Surgical Trials Centre, which started in 2013.

Biomedical Research Units

There are 2 Biomedical Research Units (BRUs) in Bristol, the Cardiovascular BRU and Nutrition BRU. If you have a research proposal related to either of these topics, then it is worth contacting them directly to find out what support they can offer (see the inidividual websites for details).


There is local expertise in many areas at UH Bristol, and at our partner universities and other NHS organisations; if you are unsure who to contact, or think you need specialist advice, please contact the Research Grants Manager, Dr Elinor Griffiths: or call 0117 34 20585.


RDS: runs grant-writing workshops (see link above)

University of Bristol: The Department of Social Medicine provides a programme of high quality intensive short courses covering a range of health services research and epidemiological methods, as well as generic research skills. They are aimed at academics, public health specialists, health-care professionals and industry. Courses range in duration from one to five days.

The University of Bristol also runs grant writing workshops for researchers at different stages; some of which may be available to UH Bristol employees if they hold an honorary university contract.

The University of the West of England (UWE) also runs a series of short courses in SPSS.

Anyone wishing to discuss course content and seek advice on the suitability for their purposes should contact Paul White via