Our research

We carry out research into promoting healthy ageing, the future needs of older people and the provision of high-quality, cost effective care.


Our work is arranged in themes that are central to the health, wellbeing and care of older people.

These themes include:

  • the impact of population change on health and social care;
  • the links between frailty, disability and multiple conditions;
  • long-term and end-of-life care;
  • use of technologies;
  • personalised care;
  • self-care and healthy ageing.

Important or influential issues will be considered in every aspect of our research. These include social inequalities, the experiences of family and other carers, current financial constraints, Brexit, and how best to commission services for the future.

Health and social care services are working closer together to deliver care that is designed for individuals, and our research will take this shift into account.


The broader research themes are grouped under our three main research priority projects.

These projects are:

  • Project 1: the contribution of single and multiple chronic conditions to the deteriorating time trends in later-life disability;
  • Project 2: using individual and neighbourhood profiles and trends to understand frailty, using nationally representative population data;
  • Project 3: rapid evidence syntheses on a range of topics, including digital technologies for health, loneliness and end of life care;
  • Project 4: future trends in disability in old age.

We also have a rapid response mode when we respond to government requests for the latest research information on important topic areas view project page).


We will use a range of research methods to answer important policy questions in a way that is timely, scientifically robust, takes account of patient and public views, and makes the best use of resources.

In particular, we will focus on:

  • evidence synthesis (bringing together findings from existing research);
  • big data analysis (analyses of existing datasets that include large numbers of people or organisations);
  • listening to the voices of stakeholders and research that includes the experiences of all older people, carers and the public.

Patients, carers, the public and stakeholders are an important and integral part of our team, influencing both the questions we pose and the way we conduct our research.

We aim to pay attention to inclusion and diversity, and effectively capture and listen to voices that are seldom heard. These may include residents of long-term care, their carers, and people who feel isolated or are excluded by geography, ethnicity, culture or socioeconomic status.


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