In this paper we deal with those methods which are used, or which may be used, to ensure that research in the biomedical and health services field is of a satisfactory standard. We discuss not only what is undertaken to ensure that the quality of the applications which are funded is of the best, but also those activities which may be pursued in an endeavour to stimulate a healthy quantity of high-quality applications for research. This latter point is an issue relating primarily to health services research. We cover the topic of quality assurance of biomedical and health services research from an experience which is derived mainly, but not solely, from involvement with Scottish funding agencies. Consideration is given to the allocation of budgets for research in medicine and the impact that this has on the quality of biomedical and health services research.