A new year, new ambitions and hopefully lots of new ideas for research projects. We'd like to start off our 2022 blog with a reminder of what you can expect from the RDS, how we can help and hopefully inspire you to get in touch.
RDS advisers have a wide variety of experiences, areas of expertise and funder insight that we want to share with you. We offer advice in a variety of different ways – in meetings, online discussions, by email, during workshops and seminars – but our goal is always the same: we want to help you to improve the quality of your research funding application. This means that we can help you with a wide range of issues because behind your funding application lies pretty much everything related to your research.
The journey to submitting your research application has many stages, some of which may be unexpected. We are here to be your companion on this journey.
Your application actually starts with the very topic of the research you intend to conduct. From this it flows to the research questions you’re asking and then on to your study design, data collection and analysis plans. And, from here, onward still to the dissemination of your results and your future plans. Your RDS adviser can help with every part of this journey – bringing their own expertise to bear on your plans along with that of other methodologists and service users as needed.
But even once you have this part completed, you still have yet to reach your journey’s end: there is then the matter of the funding application itself. Applications are very different from research plans or protocols despite many of the details being the same. Where the earlier stages of your journey are concerned with planning and outlining what you are going to do, the process of writing your funding application means that you have to sell these plans, along with yourself and your team, to your research funder. Again, your RDS adviser is there to support you – using our expertise of reviewing for funders and observing panels to offer advice on how to put forward your arguments most effectively and identifying potential pitfalls in your way. We run an annual online masterclass on how to write research applications. RDS regions also offer you detailed peer and lay reviews of your application, allowing you a trial run of this part of your journey.
Yet, even once you have your final stage application submitted, the journey is often not yet over. Panels frequently require detailed responses to comments, even if they decide to provisionally fund your application. You may also be required to attend an interview as a final hurdle. Your RDS adviser can offer their support and advice, seeing you through these last, final stages of your journey.
So although the journey to submitting your research application is long and often unexpectedly meandering, your RDS adviser will be with you every step of the way.