We believe in the power of evidence to change lives.

The Nuffield Foundation is an independent charitable trust with a mission to advance educational opportunity and social well-being.

We fund research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also provide opportunities for young people to develop skills and confidence in science and research.

We are the founder and co-funder of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory and the Ada Lovelace Institute.

The Nuffield Foundation was established in 1943 by William Morris, Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motors.

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.

Our principles

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Connecting perspectives
    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

Making a difference.

We are dedicated to advancing educational opportunity and social well-being

Our people

We have seven Trustees and over 60 members of staff. 

We are committed to advancing educational opportunity and social well-being. Our team is comprised of specialists in research and policy, student programmes, grants management and operations, communications, office services and finance and investment.

Nuffield Foundation publications

In addition to the research we fund, we produce publications, briefing papers and responses to government consultations.


Our approach to investment and governance reflects our values of independence, rigorous evidence and concern for effective social policy.