Research Priorities

Research Priorities 2019/20

The Abbeyfield Research Foundation will support research within the following core project areas:

Wellbeing - we are keen to fund research that supports healthy ageing, and practical interventions to promote active lifestyle and physical, emotional and mental wellbeing in later life. Particular focus will be given to research investigating the following:

Equality of access to, and integration of, health and social support services

Reducing social isolation, loneliness and supporting community integration

The prevention of disability and its progression, including falls and fractures

Nutrition – particularly the impact of under-nutrition on physical frailty

The practical benefits of consideration of the ‘whole’ person

The built environment – the consideration of different models of provision for older people and its integration with social and health care, particularly in relation to quality of life, socioeconomic variables, geographical location, innovation in design, artificial intelligence and other technologies

Quality of life and living – the provision of a robust evidence base for factors that ultimately lead to people being happier and more fulfilled for longer in older age, with special emphasis on projects which seek to de-bunk the negative contemporary stereotypes and misperceptions of ageing

Digital innovation and older people – the development, assessment and implementation of new products or technologies

2019-20 Focus

Preference will be given to research in the above areas set in the context of community based independent living and /or supported housing.

We are currently in collaboration with The National Association of Almshouses, who have identified funding for projects within the supported housing environment, for either a PhD Studentship or Small Project based on the following title “Eligibility for residence in an Almshouse commonly rests on locality or occupation. To what extent does this contribute to networks of support?”


All projects must have clear and direct relevance to resident populations that our sister charity, The Abbeyfield Society, supports but also where appropriate to older people elsewhere within the housing and care sector

Applicants should give particular attention to explaining plans for follow-on research including where possible scalability to a national level

Priority will be given to projects with practical outputs and/or a clear strategy to achieve non-academic impact

We are interested in funding projects that can demonstrate a social return on investment or cost-benefit analysis from the perspective of older people, policy makers and practitioners.

Given the expertise of other agencies that support dementia research, we will not focus on projects solely relating to dementia, but will welcome (1) projects that focus on other mental or physical conditions that may overlap with dementia and (2) projects that address dementia in the context of supported housing.

Projects involving a PhD Studentship must show evidence of doctoral training and support throughout the life of the research programme