About the Nuffield Foundation

The Nuffield Foundation funds research, analysis, and student programmes that advance educational opportunity and social well-being across the United Kingdom.

We want to improve people’s lives, and their ability to participate in society, by understanding the social and economic factors that affect their chances in life. The research we fund aims to improve the design and operation of social policy, particularly in Education, Welfare, and Justice.

Our student programmes - Nuffield Research Placements and Q-Step - provide opportunities for individual students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to develop their skills and confidence in quantitative and scientific methods. We believe these skills are essential for people to participate fully in a digital knowledge economy. 

We are financially and politically independent, but we often work in partnership with other organisations that share our aims and interests.

In June 2017 we published a five-year strategy setting out our funding priorities.

Lord Nuffield

The Nuffield Foundation is a charitable trust established in 1943 by William Morris, Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motors.  

Nuffield Council on Bioethics

We are the founder and co-funder of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, which examines and reports on ethical issues in biology and medicine.

Curriculum development and resources for teachers

In the past, we have funded and developed a range of curriculum projects in both primary and secondary education. Some of these projects include resources that are still widely-used by teachers today, and these are available on our teachers page.

Restricted funds

We also have two restricted funds: 

  • The Oliver Bird Fund for investing in rheumatic disease research. In recent years we have used this money to fund PhD studentships in five university-based centres of excellence. We are currently reviewing how this fund will be used in future.
  • The Commonwealth Relations Trust, a small fund established to strengthen relationships between the UK and other Commonwealth countries. We are currently reviewing how this fund will be used in future.

Expenditure

We spend about £11 million on our charitable activities each year, using the income generated by investing the Foundation’s endowment

Board of Trustees

Our board of trustees is responsible for deciding what we should fund, working closely with senior staff.

Financially and politically independent

We are financially and politically independent, but we often work in partnership with other organisations that share our aims and interests.