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Inequality

Inequalities are at the forefront of many contemporary public and policy debates. We want to understand the causes of inequalities, the effect they have on people’s chances in life, and to identify viable policy options for a more inclusive society.

We fund research that explores all types of inequality, including income, health, wealth, gender, ethnicity, disability, geography, age and education. We recognise that different types of inequality are often interrelated and can affect people’s concept of fairness, rights and identity.

Our research explores the ways in which factors such as socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, community, and geography affect the vulnerability of people to different types of risk and identifies ways that such risk can be mitigated.

We also want to understand what interventions might promote opportunity and reduce adversity through different life stages and promote social inclusion between and across generations.

 

Our team


  • Alex Beer
    Senior Consultant, Welfare
  • Catherine Dennison
    Programme Head, Welfare

  • Director, Welfare

Our impact in inequality


  • Over 1.2 million people have accessed findings from the only independent, comprehensive analysis of the effects of the major economic and political changes in the UK between 2007-2015. The Social Policy in a Cold Climate project examined the impact of these changes on distribution, poverty and inequality – generating debate in the media and parliament.

  • NIESR’s report on regional inequality, funded as part of our pre-election briefing series in 2017, was widely used by the media to scrutinise the manifestos of the major political parties.

  • Our work has influenced policy on social mobility. In 2016, the Social Mobility Commission’s annual ‘State of the Nation’ report referenced 11 different projects funded by the Nuffield Foundation, relating to aspects of childcare, inequality and education spending.

Inequality projects

Education | Welfare | 2020 – 2020

Measuring the disadvantage attainment gap in 16-19 education

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In progress

Education | 2019 – 2021

Post-16 pathways: the role of peers, family background and expectations

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In progress

Welfare | 2019 – 2022

The effect of Community Mental Health Services in England

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In progress

Education | 2019 – 2020

Empowering staff to enhance oral language in the early years

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In progress

Education | 2019 – 2021

Educational choices at 16-19 and adverse outcomes at university

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In progress

Education | 2019 – 2021

Development & evaluation of a preschool language programme

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In progress

Welfare | 2019 – 2023

Inequalities in the twenty-first century

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In progress

Welfare | 2018 – 2020

An intergenerational audit of the UK

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In progress

Education | Welfare | 2018 – 2020

‘First in family’: higher education choices and labour market outcomes

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In progress

Welfare | 2018 – 2019

Atlas of inequality: understanding the local nature of a global phenomenon

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In progress

Education | Welfare | 2018 – 2021

Talking Together: language support at home for parents of 2 year olds

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In progress

Education | Welfare | 2018 – 2020

The academic trajectory of disadvantaged pupils during Key Stage 3

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

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.

Profile