In today’s post we give a case study of how Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) recently supported the development of a grant application.
We recently supported a Programme Development Grant (www.ccf.nihr.ac.uk/PGfAR/PDG/Pages/default.aspx) application to the National Health Service (NHS) National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The Unit receives funding from the NIHR to be the Dorset Office of the NIHR Research Design Service (RDS), and thus can support local researchers in the University and the NHS to develop their funding applications. The topic of this grant application was early warning systems for use in an obstetric setting. Early warning systems are used by clinical staff in hospital to identify clinical problems before they get too serious, for example by regularly monitoring vital signs such as blood pressure. The purpose of Programme Development Grants is to fund preliminary work ahead of a larger Programme Grant for Applied Research (PGAR; www.ccf.nihr.ac.uk/PGfAR/Pages/Home.aspx).
This support involved:
- Providing methodological input in systematic reviews, surveys, qualitative designs, quantitative designs notably a sample size calculation, and trial design.
- Patient and public involvement (PPI) – the team has a designated person supporting PPI.
- Team development – a strong team needed to be developed with the appropriate skill mix to deliver the programme of research. Four members of BUCRU became co-applicants on the proposal bringing methodological expertise in systematic reviews, qualitative research, quantitative research, and PPI support. Via our link with the RDS we also have access to health economist support. Collaborations were initiated with the Wessex Health Innovation and Education Cluster (HIEC; www.wessexhiecpartnership.org.uk/) to gain support in the educational/ training aspects of the research.
- Liaison – we liaised with a number of different organisations, such as Research and Knowledge Exchange Operations for costing the Bournemouth University (BU) costs, the NHS host organisation that will be responsible for the research, and the Market Research Group (MRG; https://mrg.bournemouth.ac.uk/) who were involved to support the administration and data entry for the survey component of the project.
- Identification of appropriate funding schemes.
- Obtained peer review from RDS colleagues across the region to provide feedback on the suitability of the funding scheme and the ‘readiness’ for submission. This service is usually provided through regular Scientific Committee meetings that act as ‘mock’ funding committees (www.rds-sw.nihr.ac.uk/scientific_committee.htm).
Quote from lead applicant: “Without the expertise and assistance of BUCRU staff it would not have been possible to even contemplate applying for a large and competitive grant such as the NIHR Programme Development Grant” .
Please contact us for support with health research:
Louise Ward (administrator):
Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit
R505 Royal London House
Bournemouth BH1 3LT
Tel: 01202 961939