Apotheke Windischgarsten

Nuffield Foundation FUNDamental



Nuffield Foundation is an independent charitable trust with a mission to advance educational opportunity and social well-being, particularly for those whose opportunities are constrained by disadvantage at different points in their lives.  The foundation supports research that informs social policy, primarily in EducationWelfare and Justice. They also provide opportunities for young people to develop skills and confidence in science and research. Established in 1943, The Nuffield Foundation is the founder and co-funder of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory and the Ada Lovelace Institute.


Funder priorities and how these inform applications for research funding.

Aims, as per the Nuffield Foundation Strategy 2017-2022
How these translate to priorities for research funding
We will fund research that advances educational opportunity and social well-being across the United Kingdom. We will shape our research portfolio by bringing together researchers and users of research to identify the larger questions in our core areas of Education, Welfare, and Justice.


  • Projects must address one of the 3 specific areas that the Trust is interested in; each area is detailed fully in their scheme guidance.
  • Meaningfully engage end-users in your research where appropriate – organisations, communities, individuals. Might they be co-producers; involved in developing Research Questions; included on project steering groups?
  • Consider the ‘larger questions’ that will inform debate – and the pathway from your research to influencing workable proposals for policy and practice over the medium term.
  • Articulate how your research will improve the design and operation of social policy.
We will work to improve the accessibility, use, and collection of the evidence and data necessary to understand the issues affecting people’s life chances. We will consider the broader implications of a digital society.
  • Methodologies that enable the collection of robust data, evidencing and accessibility of evidence are important. Consider how findings will be accessed post completion of the work.
  • What are the implications of a digital society and digitization in general for your specific area of investigation?
We will increase the profile and influence of our research portfolio and of the Nuffield Foundation as an organisation.
  • What public facing / profile raising opportunities might your work offer and how might you maximise them for your own and your funder’s benefit?
Cross- cutting themes.  

  • In what ways do factors such as socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, community, and geography affect the vulnerability of people to different types of risk, and how can this be mitigated?
  • How do digital technologies and digital communications alleviate, exacerbate and shift vulnerability, and affect concepts of trust, evidence, and authority?
  • What interventions might promote opportunity and reduce adversity through different life stages, and promote social inclusion between and across generations?
  • What are the social and economic implications of physical and mental disability and chronic illness?
  • How can social policy institutions make better use of research, evidence, and data in order to understand better the needs of those they serve, and improve services and outcomes?


Top Tips:

  • Nuffield are fairly consultative compared to some other funders – so do pick up the phone and talk to them about your idea; they may well give you generous and helpful advice.
  • An obvious point, but do read their scheme guidance carefully before you consider applying. They detail exactly what they are looking for and although they are a responsive funder for the most part and have recurring open calls, these calls are seeking work in distinct thematic areas and you need to be clear on what they are seeking.
  • Take on board the ‘social good’ aspect of their motivation; this frames their work and should frame yours too if you want to get funding.
  • Nuffield presents events through the year as part of its aim to be better engaged and higher profile – sign up for these and get to know the funder and the team so you can be as well positioned as possible to speak to their current priorities.


Key Schemes

The following is a selection, for full information see the Nuffield Foundation Opportunity pages

Research, Development and Analysis Fund

  • Eligibility: UK based institution.
  • Amount: £10kmin – £500k max. Occasional pilots funded for less. Occasional large grants funded for more.
  • For: a wide range of research, development and analysis projects in Education, Justice or Welfare
  • Calls: 2 calls per year, in March and September. 2 stage application.


Strategic Fund

  • Eligibility: UK based institution.
  • Amount: £1m – £3m.
  • For: ambitious, interdisciplinary research proposals beyond the normal scope of the research, development and analysis grants.
  • Calls: June 29th 2020 – Deadline for outline applications to be considered in the second funding round. 2021 deadlines tbc.


The Oliver Bird Fund 

  • Eligibility: UK based institution.
  • Between 2019 – 2029, Nuffield is dedicating up to £12.5m on research into musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.
  • Calls: Currently closed, sign up to newsletter on website to register interest.


Links and resources

Nuffield Foundation website

Nuffield Foundation Impact Stories

Getting to know the Nuffield Foundation Article

Contact: info@nuffieldfoundation.org
+44(0)20 7631 0566

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