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Methodological support and local collaborators

To conduct research in the NHS you will need to collaborate with people who have the relevant expertise and experience to build your team. These can come from colleagues in the NHS who have already run research studies, local universities, and specialist methodological units. You will probably need advice on statistical design, qualitative methodology, and health economics for larger studies. Contact R&I, and we can link you with the relevant collaborators. Email

Research Design Service

The Research Design Service (RDS) South West is funded by the NIHR for all researchers in the South West of England to help in the preparation of NIHR and partner charity grants. The RDS employs specialist methodologists including statisticians, qualitative researchers and health economists who often become co-applicants on the grant and become members of the research team. The RDS also offer a scientific review prior to grant submission. The RDS in Bristol will also advise on our local grants by referral from R&I.

Contact the UHBW grants team who can put you in touch:

Clinical Trials Units

For larger NIHR & charity grants that involve a clinical trial, you should aim to involve a clinical trials unit. The University of Bristol hosts an NIHR accredited unit - Bristol Trials Centre.  You can contact them using the common form: or contact UHBW Grants Manager who can put you in touch ( We also collaborate with other trials units across the country who have specialist expertise.

There is local expertise in many areas at UHBW, and at our partner universities (Bristol and West of England) 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.

Workshops and courses - grant writing and methodological

RDS grant-writing workshops and residential writing retreat: Research Design Service (RDS) South West 

UHBW  workshops specifically about our small grants schemes prior to each call, see our events page.

CReSS (Clinical Research Start-up and peer Support), are workshops for staff currently managing a project or who are new to research and want to learn more. The purpose is to provide informal support and practical advice for anyone applying for funding or managing a research project. The workshop will include talks from active researchers and other experts in research practice. The workshops are hour-long lunchtime sessions with additional time for those that want to continue the discussion.  Dates and details of the 2022/2023 programme

Bristol Medical School provides a programme of high quality intensive short courses covering a range of methodologies 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. Fees are payable. Discounts are available to some clinical staff with affiliations to Bristol Medical School. Please contact  to check if this applies.