Our approach and strategy
We are an open, collaborative, and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the projects we fund, we give voice to an overarching narrative and strengthen their collective impact. We value academic rigor, but understand that to be successful in effecting change, our research needs to be relevant to people’s experience. In 2017, we launched our five-year strategy for influencing social policy, shaping the research agenda, and supporting new ideas.
Our aim is to engage with, and to understand the significance of, new trends and disruptive forces – social, demographic, technological and economic – that are changing the structures and context of people’s lives.
Our strategic goals
Educational opportunity and social well-being
Fund research that advances educational opportunity and social well-being across the United Kingdom.
Evidence and data
Improve the accessibility, use, and collection of the evidence and data necessary to understand the issues affecting people’s life chances.
Opportunities for young people
Increase opportunities for young people – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds – to be active participants in a knowledge economy.
Profile and influence
Increase the profile and influence of our research portfolio.
Freedom and independence
Our endowment guarantees our intellectual independence. We therefore have the freedom to challenge settled policy assumptions and to frame distinctive and larger questions over the longer term.
Commitment to quality
Our research is founded on quantitative evidence, but we believe that the insights from combining this approach with well-designed qualitative research can explain the problems facing our society and support the development of solutions.
Our research output is most effective when it allows academic disciplines to engage with each other and with those working in policy and in professional practice. We put an emphasis on synthesis, bringing together individual research projects to offer broader insights and conclusions.
Building trust in evidence
At a time when public trust in the authority of evidence is frequently called into question, the wider credibility of our research depends not only on its rigour and independence, but on demonstrating its connection with, and relevance to, people’s daily experiences.
Enabling individual opportunity and growing confidence
Our student programmes further our commitment to fostering opportunity and to the analytical thinking that underpins our research agenda.