Kent among universities to benefit from multi-million pound health and social care award

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A £5.2 million package of renewed funding for health and social care researchers in the South East has ensured that they will receive valuable support and advice for the next five years.

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the award will be made to the member universities of the NIHR Research Design Service South East (RDS South East). Formed in 2008 to increase the quality and quantity of successful grant applications from researchers, the organisation includes the universities of Kent, Brighton and Surrey. Its services are open and offered to individuals seeking funding for applied health and social care research from open national peer reviewed funding programmes.

Kent’s Centre for Health Services Studies (CHSS) works in collaboration with the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at the University of Brighton and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey to run the RDS South East.

CHSS’ Bridget Carpenter, Business Director for the RDS South East, said: ‘The NIHR RDS makes a vital contribution to our national health and economy. The renewal of this contract means that health and social care researchers in the South East can continue to benefit from the specialist, free support in formulating research proposals. This includes advice on identifying an appropriate funding stream, statistics, health economics, qualitative methodology, and support for patient and public involvement in research.’

Professor Dame Sally C Davies, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health, said: ‘The NIHR is transforming research in the NHS to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. It is very important that researchers applying for NIHR funding access the services provided by the RDS so that they can submit their best applications to the NIHR and others for funding.’

Valerie Hall, Director of RDS South East and Professor of Midwifery at the University of Brighton, said: ‘The award is great news. Over the last five years, we have built an excellent team who deliver really effective support. Advice is informed, confidential – and completely free.  The new contract provides an opportunity to carry on working with academics and clinicians to develop high quality research applications that will ultimately benefit patients and improve health.’

RDS South East is one of a national network of ten NIHR RDS centres in England.

CHSS is a research unit within Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR).

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