Residential Grant Writing Retreat
Monday 4 September to Friday 8 September 2017
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Residential Grant Writing Retreat?
The Residential Grant Writing Retreat is a unique initiative developed in the NHS for health and social care researchers in the South West and South Central areas. It is organised and facilitated by the Research Design Services South West (RDS SW) and South Central (RDS SC).
The aim of the Retreat is to produce proposals to undertake high quality applied health research which will be competitive in seeking national peer-reviewed research funding. This is achieved through a residential practical programme led by a team of advisers in specialist fields. The participants at the Retreat work as teams on their own research proposals. The team of advisers works with the research teams in developing the project into a high quality research proposal.
Teams are selected to participate in the Retreat based on the quality of an initial application and an assessment of the potential of the research proposal to succeed in competitions for national peer-reviewed funding.
The Residential Grant Writing Retreat will appeal to health, public health and social care professionals and academics within the RDS SW and RDS SC areas who are keen to pursue the development of an idea into a high quality research proposal. Teams can also include service users and carers working with project teams. At least one of each team’s three members must be employed in a health, public health or social care organisation in the RDS SW/SC areas.
No, not unless one of you also works as a practitioner in a relevant field. That can include someone working within the NHS, or within public health or social care in a local authority for example. The NIHR supports applied health and social care research and it is important that practitioners from the relevant fields are involved at all stages of such research.
No. Although the RDS in general can and does support individuals developing applications for individual training awards such as fellowships, these proposals do not lend themselves so well to the team working for which the Retreat is designed. Potential team applicants should be working on a proposal for an individual research project or programme.
The Residential Grant Writing Retreat 2017 takes place between Monday 4 September and Friday 8 September 2017 inclusive at Dillington House near Ilminster, Somerset. The period of the Retreat is fully residential and accommodation and all meals are provided.
Applications for the 2017 Retreat must be made using the application form available via this website.
Full applications must be submitted by 1pm on Wednesday 26 April 2017.
You will hear the outcome of your application by the end of May 2017.
The Retreat costs £2,850 for a team of 3 people.
Most teams attending the Retreat in previous years have obtained funding from their NHS Trusts, which have been very supportive of the event.
The Retreat is open to health and social care researchers in the RDS SW/SC area. Each team must comprise three individuals, at least one of whom must be employed in a health or social care organisation in the South West / South Central.
What is not included?
Selection for the Retreat is by open competition. Teams are asked to submit their research ideas using the Retreat application form. The proposals are reviewed using assessment criteria similar to those typically used by funding bodies, but in particular the value and importance of the question that your proposal addresses, and the feasibility of delivering the project.
Scientific quality is also important but we recognise that your submission will obviously be ‘work in progress’, and we are more interested in the potential of the project to be successful in attracting national peer-reviewed funding. Using the review, decisions are therefore based on this potential for funding and the likelihood of realising that potential through the team attending the Retreat.
We strongly advise that if you are thinking of applying for the Residential Grant Writing Retreat you make early contact with your local RDS SW or RDS SC office whose staff will be able to help with early development of your proposal.
No. The way the Retreat works would make this problematic because of various activities taking place at different times. It is important that all team members are committed to the residential nature of the Retreat and attend for the entire duration. If there are exceptional circumstances which make this particularly difficult for you, then please get in touch to discuss. As stated above, the individuals named on the application form must be the people who would actually attend for the duration of the Retreat if the application is successful.
Collectively the advisers have a wide range of knowledge and experience of health and health services research methodologies. All have considerable experience of seeking and obtaining high quality research funding and individually have their own areas of expertise.
The Retreat support team is responsible for making sure everything goes according to plan – that is the application procedure, all the arrangements for the Retreat, looking after the teams and advisers whilst on the Retreat and providing support throughout the whole experience. The team will also ensure your dietary and access requirements are met as far as possible during your time at the Retreat.
Access to research resources whilst at the Retreat will be in the form of books and papers that the Retreat support team bring with them and access to the internet. Please note however that you will get more out of the Retreat if you have made as much use of the internet in advance. You should think ahead and be prepared to bring all relevant research related information you might need (e.g. literature searches).
Costs that you must meet yourselves include travel costs to and from the residential venue, personal spends throughout the Retreat and any travel and/or equipment insurance as required.
This is really up to each individual and the insurances you already have in place, however if you are driving to the Retreat then you may well need ‘business use’ car insurance to cover this.
If you bring your own personal equipment to the Retreat (e.g. a laptop) you will need to have your own insurance to cover personal items. If you bring any equipment owned by your employing organisation it may be covered by your organisation’s insurance.
Yes – each delegate will have their own room with en-suite facilities.
The Retreat support team will inform the venue of individual dietary requests as early as possible. We cannot guarantee these will be fully met but we will work with the catering staff to address any special dietary needs and if necessary suggest options.
We recognise that research and indeed general NHS funds are currently restricted and that taking a group of staff out of their workplace for an entire week may seem an unnecessary extravagance. However, there are some particular - and we believe unique - benefits to running the Retreat this way. In particular, the relative isolation of the Retreat from domestic concerns and day-to-day workload means a much greater focus on the teams’ research projects; it is this protected time (with methodological advice constantly available) that captures the epitome of the Retreat. In addition, holding the Retreat at an external venue generates greater interest and enthusiasm for the competition for places.
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