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Research Design and Conduct Service (RDCS)

Involving People: Research Design and Conduct Service South East Wales (RDCS) Ideas Event

2 May 2018

The Research Design and Conduct Service South East Wales (RDCS SE Wales) recently ran a one day “Early Ideas” workshop for NHS and social care staff. The Research Design and Conduct Service (RDCS) supports staff working within the National Health Service (NHS) and social care to develop high quality research funding proposals.

Aim of the RDCS One-Day Ideas Event

The aim of the day was for delegates to bring their fledging ideas for research projects and, with our help, start to bring them to life. Presentations from our consultants highlighted ways to develop a good idea, structure a research questions and chose a study design. Each lecture was followed by opportunities to talk over ideas with other delegates and with our experienced consultants, to progress the idea a little bit further.

Importance of Involving the Public in Research Design

One of the most valued aspects of the day was the talk by Barbara Moore, Senior Public Involvement and Engagement Manager at Health and Care Research Wales, who gave a talk on the need for early Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in a research idea. Barbara clearly defined public involvement and the need for it and emphasised that patients and the public should be involved early on in research. At the planning stage, they can: give feedback on a research idea, for example, whether the question is important and relevant; contribute to the design of the study, particularly on aspects of participant recruitment, and outcome measures; and help with grant writing, especially lay summaries.

Key Success Strategy for Grant Applications

It is important to know that most grant applications will include a section on PPI and reviewers will not accept tokenistic involvement. Members of patient groups and the public sit on funding panels and will quickly recognise whether PPI representatives have had any real input into the study question and design. The good news is, help is at hand. Barbara and her colleagues can help you to find suitable representatives through the Involving People Network and in addition can offer you guidance and training on how to involve the public in your research.

Our delegates shared that they were surprised PPI was so important and a key feature of grant applications, and wouldn’t have paid much consideration to it before coming to the workshop. Is it something you have included in your research planning?

Positive Delegate Feedback

Delegates rated the day highly, commenting that the approachable consultants provided useful advice and group discussions were helpful.

Feedback from delegates included:

All of it! I have had lots of research ideas for a long time, this day has finally enabled me to identify a focused research question, as well as first steps to move forward. Very valuable/informative.

  • Everything was really helpful and applicable to what I am trying to achieve
  • PPI and Public Involvement presentations were really useful
  • The pair and group work whilst working on our own research ideas. Being able to talk to others and listen to their feedback
  • All of it! I have had lots of research ideas for a long time, this day has finally enabled me to identify a focused research question, as well as first steps to move forward. Very valuable/informative.
  • Consultants easy to and ask questions. Brilliant.
  • Approachable consultants to advise
  • PPI, Study design. Potential sources of funding and advice

The presentations were all very interesting and informative. It was good to have a copy of the slides to take away. It was great to be able to discuss potential research Ideas with key members of the RDCS, really useful. Going away from today, I feel that I have the resources to be able to take research ideas forward.

RDCS Events and Support

If you would like to request support, please contact us using our Request Support Form.

For further information, visit the Research Design and Conduct Service Website.

Book now for the next RDCS event (“Applying for research funding”) on Thursday 13 September 2018

For more information, please email