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Research, Development and Analysis Fund

Our Research, Development and Analysis fund is for projects to inform the design and operation of social policy and practice across our three core domains of Education, Welfare and Justice.

Fund information

We have a two-stage application process. Applicants submit a short outline application, and those that meet our criteria are invited to submit a full application, which is subject to independent peer review and considered by Trustees.

We have two deadlines for outline applications each year – in March and September. We usually receive 400-500 outline applications, of which 10-15% are invited to submit a full application. We support short-listed applicants in refining their proposed projects, to help maximise their rigour and potential impact.

Our funding approach is set out in our strategy. To see our full funding priorities and application criteria, please read our Guide for Applicants.

Before submitting an outline application, you must check that our Terms and Conditions are acceptable, both to you and your host institution.


Round 1 Round 2
Mar Sep Outline applications submitted.

The next deadline for outline applications is 16th March 2020.

May Nov Successful applicants invited to submit a Full application and unsuccessful applicants notified.

The next deadline for full applications is 10th July 2020.

Jul Dec/Jan Full applications submitted. Over the following months, applicants may be asked to submit additional information in response to peer reviews.
Nov May Full applications considered by Trustees.
Dec Jun Applicants notified of decision.
Jan Jul Earliest project start date.

What we look for

  • Relevance – an interesting question/issue that fits the Nuffield Foundation’s mission and is relevant to the questions in our three domains. There should be a clear articulation of what you intend to do, why it matters, and what difference it will make.
  • Rigour – for analysis and drawing conclusions as well as design/data collection. Methods need to be right for the question (and many of our questions need some quantitative analysis).
  • Engagement – with policy and/or practice, as well as public dissemination through the media and other channels. Engagement needs to be end-to-end, not just at dissemination stage.
  • Impact – explanation of the potential for impact: clarity of outputs and outcomes and the relationship between the two.
  • Resources – strong team and appropriate budget.

Applications for research, development and analysis grants are usually between £10,000 and £500,000. Most of the grants we award are between £50,000 and £300,000 and are between six months and three years in duration, but we will occasionally consider proposals with a larger budget or longer timescale.

The best way to get a clear answer on any questions of eligibility is to submit an outline application.

What we do not fund

  • Individuals without a formal employment or other relationship with the institution hosting the grant.
  • Projects led by individuals unaffiliated to any particular organisation.
  • Projects led by schools or further education colleges.
  • Projects led by undergraduates or masters students.
  • PhD fees or projects where the main purpose is to support a PhD.
  • The establishment of academic posts.
  • Ongoing costs or the costs of ‘rolling out’ existing work or services.
  • ‘Dissemination-only’ projects, including campaigning work, which are not connected to our funded work.
  • Local charities, replacement for statutory funding, or local social services or social welfare provision.
  • Requests for financial help or educational fees from or on behalf of individuals.

Get started

Next outline application deadline:
16 March 2020

Explore our projects