About the Nuffield Foundation

The Nuffield Foundation is a charitable trust established in 1943 by William Morris, Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motors. Our aim is to improve social well-being. We do this by:

Impact on policy and practice

We play an active role in ensuring the work we fund has an impact on policy and practice, particularly in the medium and long term. This includes:

  • Identifying gaps in evidence in key areas of social policy and commissioning and stimulating work to address them.
  • Synthesising findings from research projects and publishing implications for policy and practice.
  • Convening events that bring together key researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners to discuss work we have funded and to agree next steps.

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. Most recently we have used this to fund research projects in southern and eastern Africa through our Africa Programme, which has now closed. We are currently reviewing how this fund will be used in future.


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.