Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions

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Professor Paul Ewings

Honorary Visiting Professor (Director of NIHR Research Design Service South West)

 01823 342796

 RILD Building 


University of Exeter Medical School, RILD Building, RD&E Hospital Wonford, Barrack Road, Exeter, EX2 5DW, UK


I am an honorary visiting professor at the Medical School, with substantive employment in the NHS at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.

I am Director of the NIHR Research Design Service South West.  The RDS SW is one of ten regional services funded by the NIHR to provide advice and support to people developing a grant proposal for submission to a nationally competitive applied health research funder.  This is often the NIHR itself, but may be one of the NIHR partners such as a research council or major charity.

I am a statistician by background and work mainly in the area of health technology assessment, in particular clinical trials.  In addition to running the RDS SW, I work on a number of NIHR-funded research projects.



BSc, MSc, PhD, CStat, CSci


After a mathematics degree from the University of London, I obtained an MSc and PhD in statistics at the Universtiy of Southamptoon, where I also worked as a research fellow.  I have worked in the NHS since 1984, alongside honorary academic appointments at Bristol and then Exeter. I initially worked in Public Health, mainly on epidemiology work.  Since 1994 I have been based at the acute hospital in Taunton and have worked to support health professionals wishing to undertake research.

The Research Design Service commenced in 2008 and is entirely focussed on supporting people who wish to apply for a national competitive funding award to undertake applied research in health or social care.  I have been director of RDS SW since its inception and have a team of people based in various locations across the south west - Plymouth, Exeter, Taunton, Bristol, Bath, Salisbury and Bournemouth.

Although most of my work is for the RDS, I also work as a statistician and general methodologist on NIHR-funded studies.


Research interests

I am a general methodologist in health and health services research and a statistician by background.  My main interests are in health technology assessment, especially through clinical trials.

Research grants

  • 2016 National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit
    A study to establish the feasibility of a definitive randomised controlled trial evaluating SAFE, an intervention for families of children with autism.
  • 2016 National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit
    Halting olfactory haemorrhage with Tranexamic Acid in the Emergency Room.
  • 2016 National Institute for Health Research HTA Programme
    Balance Right in Multiple Sclerosis (BRiMS): A guided self-management programme to reduce falls and improve quality of life, balance and mobility in people with Multiple Sclerosis
  • 2015 National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit
    Trial of intraoperative cell salvage vs transfusion in ovarian cancer – a feasibility study (the TIC TOC study).
  • 2013 Department of Health
    NIHR Research Design Service South West (RDS-SW).

External Engagement and Impact

Advice to Government, Parliament, devolved and English regional administrations, other national, international, regional or local agencies; advice to non-government organisations and to private practice

Member of the NICE Technology Appraisals Committee (2000 - 2010)

Member of the MHRA Paediatric Medicines Expert Advisory Group (2007 - 2009)

Member of the NIHR Strategy Board (2011 - 2012)

Research funding

Member of the NIHR HTA Clinical Evaluation and Trials Board (2014 - date)

Member of the South Central Research for Patient Benefit Funding Committee (2011 - 2014)

Member (and vice-chairman) of the South West Research for Patient Benefit Funding Committee (2006 - 2008) 


Supervision / Group

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