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Annual report and financial statements 2018

By Nuffield Foundation

2018 was our 75th anniversary and the first full year of our five-year strategy. In our annual report and financial statements, published today, we present the work we have undertaken towards achieving our strategic goals and publish our accounts for the year.  

During 2018 our charitable expenditure was £18.3m, an increase on £14.6m in 2017. This is indicative of our strategic goal to increase expenditure over the period to 2023. The chart below shows how this expenditure is split across our different areas of work. 

Expenditure on research grants in our core domains of Education, Welfare and Justice (and cross-cutting projects) was £12.9 million, up from £10.3 million in 2017.  

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics continued to make strategic interventions in policy deliberation in 2018 with, for example, the publication in July of a particularly timely report on the ethical and social issues raised by genome editing and human reproduction.

Also in 2018, the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (Nuffield FJO) began its development phase, with £2.7 million funding allocated, including provision for a new data partnership. The Nuffield FJO supports better outcomes for children in the family justice system and aligns with our broader strategic goal to make better use of data and evidence in order to understand the issues affecting people’s life chances. The Nuffield FJO published its first major output, Born into care, the first ever national study of newborn babies (under one week old) in the family justice system.

As part of our commitment to consider the implications of a digital society, we established the Ada Lovelace Institute in March 2018, a new independent research and deliberative body to ensure data and AI work for people and society. We have allocated £5 million over five years to fund Ada, which we have established in partnership with the Alan Turing Institute, the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Royal Statistical Society, the Wellcome Trust, Luminate, techUK and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

It was another successful year for our student programmes, which provide opportunities for young people to be active participants in a knowledge economy. We increased the proportion of Nuffield Research Placement students from low income families (from 57% to 64% of the cohort), and the number of student enrolling on Q-Step degree programmes (from 1,231 to 1,940).

For our 75th anniversary celebrations we were honoured to be joined by Lady Hale, who gave a lecture on ‘Challenges in the justice system and the contribution of empirical research’. Lady Hale’s lecture was the centrepiece of a research symposium we co-convened with UCL to debate the future of justice. These events were amongst the activity delivered to raise the profile and influence of the Foundation and our research portfolio – another of our strategic goals.  

Looking ahead to 2019

In early 2019 we announced a major new £2.5 million five-year study by the IFS on the nature of inequality in the 21st century. The IFS Deaton Review will be led by an expert panel, chaired by Nobel Laureate Professor, Sir Angus Deaton.

In May 2019, we co-convened a conference with the Nuffield Trust and Nuffield College to stimulate fresh-thinking on the major challenges for UK social policy in the 2020s. This conference helped shape the development of our £15 million Strategic Fund, which opened for applications this month.

Over the next ten years the Foundation will designate up to £12.5m, from the Oliver Bird Fund, for research to improve the lives of those living with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. The first call for applicants opened in December 2018 and we look forward to working with the first round of grant-holders in 2019.

Nuffield FJO and Ada continue to establish themselves, with Lisa Harker and Carly Kind appointed as respective Directors. Nuffield FJO has launched a new data partnership and published a review of special guardianship orders. Ada has published findings from a national survey of public attitudes to facial recognition technology, in collaboration with YouGov.  

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Chair of the Nuffield Foundation said: 

“I was fortunate to become Chair of the Nuffield Foundation during its 75th anniversary year. This anniversary gave us the opportunity to reflect on the Foundation’s past achievements as well as to galvanise our efforts to implement our ambitious strategy.

“Seventy-five years on from its inception, the Foundation continues to work towards improving the lives of the disadvantaged and vulnerable, empowering people through education, and recognising the value of research and innovation to drive positive change. Our 2018 annual report sets out the work we have undertaken towards achieving this mission via the commitments set out in our strategy.”

2018 was the first full year of our five-year strategy and we have made good progress against our main goals, which are increasingly reflected in our new projects, programmes and grants. This year’s Annual report gives a clear picture of our accelerating activities but it also reveals how much remains work in progress whose impact will be realised in years to come.” Tim Gardam, Chief Executive of the Nuffield Foundation

In our annual report and financial statements, we present the work we have undertaken towards achieving our strategic goals and publish our accounts for the year.

By Nuffield Foundation

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We improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in EducationWelfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We offer our grant-holders the freedom to frame questions and enable new thinking. Our research must stand up to rigorous academic scrutiny, but we understand that to be successful in effecting change, it also needs to be relevant to people’s experience.

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