Priorities for our 75th year: a message from our Chief Executive, Tim Gardam

05 February 2018

I would like to update all our partners and stakeholders on our plans for 2018 as we work to implement our strategic plan. At its heart remains our mission to advance social-wellbeing by funding research and student programmes in Education, Welfare, and Justice (applicants will want to note changes to our grants timetable for Justice outline applications).

Our strategy set ambitious goals to grow the Foundation’s scale and influence. We will in the next two years launch our new strategic fund for major, longer-term projects, including those delivered in partnership with others. Developing the framework for the strategic fund will be a priority in 2018, and we are likely to launch a call for applications following a Nuffield Conference early in 2019.

Priorities for our 75th anniversary year

2018 is also our 75th anniversary, and we will mark the occasion with a 75th Anniversary Lecture, delivered by the Rt Hon the Baroness Hale of Richmond, President of the Supreme Court, in May. The lecture is the highlight of a two-day international research symposium we are convening in partnership with The Legal Education Foundation and UCL Faculty of Laws, which will examine and debate how we can harness the power of empirical research to deliver a justice system that serves all citizens.

We are continuing to work in partnership with The Alan Turing Institute, Royal Society and others to establish an independent body that will address the social and ethical implications arising from data use, artificial intelligence and associated technologies. We hope to make a further announcement about this early in the spring.

In April we will announce the development projects we are funding for interventions in the early years. These projects will be the first funded as part of a new strategic partnership with the Education Endowment Foundation that will deliver a joined-up approach to building evidence in the early years.

We are also beginning the development phase of our Family Justice Observatory, which will help ensure the family justice system is able to draw on the best research, analysis and insights of practitioners to improve decision-making for children and families. This work has been led by Teresa Williams, who will leave the Foundation at the end of February to join Cafcass as Director of Strategy. Teresa will continue to play a leading role in development of the Observatory from within Cafcass and we are recruiting a new team to manage this project, which remains the cornerstone of our strategy.  

Application timetable for grants in Education, Welfare and Justice

We are currently recruiting a number of senior posts. We are strengthening our research and policy team by recruiting a new position of Director of Welfare. We will also be appointing a new Director of Justice, as well as a Programme Head for Family and Youth Justice.

Until our new Justice team is in place, we will not accept any outline applications relating to our Justice domain.This does not affect outline applications relating to Education or Welfare, or on cross-cutting themes such as the impact of the digital society. To clarify, the deadlines for outline applications in 2018 are:

  • 16 March 2018: outline applications in Education and Welfare.
  • 24 September 2018: outline applications in Education, Welfare, and Justice.

Details of how to apply are available in our Guide for applicants.