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 work in Education aims to improve evidence, policy and practice in education and skills, from early childhood onwards.

We want to understand more about the skills and attributes that equip children and young people for life and work in a rapidly changing world, and to develop and evaluate interventions to improve them. We do this by funding research and development, and by providing opportunities for individual students to develop their skills and confidence in quantitative and scientific methods through our student programmes (Nuffield Research Placements and Q-Step).

We also seek to improve the quality of teaching and learning across the education system, and to understand more about young people’s choices, decisions and pathways at key points in their progression through education and training. Our work also addresses the various forms of educational disadvantage and vulnerability encountered by children and young people.

See our social policy pages for details of our work in Welfare and Justice.

Current and past projects

Links to current and past projects can be found under the Our work in this area section of this page. Many of these are categorised according to previous funding programmes which have been superseded by our funding priorities in Education, Welfare, and Justice. Please see the apply for funding section for full information about our funding criteria and details of how to apply.