Over the past 15 years, more than 45,000 research teams have made good use of the NIHR Research Design Service. They sought and received advice on research funding opportunities, study designs and methods, public involvement and engagement and, importantly, how to express their ideas and plans in competitive funding applications. These teams have gone on to win over £3.5 billion for important health and care research that will continue to benefit patients, service users and carers.
We know from feedback that people have greatly appreciated this support and that some could not have delivered their research without it. But times move on, and the NIHR Research Design Service will soon wind down to be replaced by a new NIHR Research Support Service. I would like to thank all the many hundreds of research advisors, public contributors, professional service staff and other experts who have helped to deliver a truly unique world-class service over the past 15 years. It will always be a source of pride for me to have worked alongside so many dedicated and talented people.
The NIHR Research Support Service will open its doors on 1 October 2023. It will continue to provide researchers with free advice and support to develop important health and care research but can now offer more specialist support and has capacity to work with teams after their studies have been funded. I look forward to working with researchers across England as part of this new collaboration.