Strategic Objectives

Research Foundation Strategy


The strategic aim of the Abbeyfield Research Foundation’s is to drive forward the pursuit of robust peer-reviewed evidence to underpin progress and sustainable high standards in the promotion of quality of life and provision of care for older people, both within the scope of its founding parent charity and across the wider sector.

Both the need and the opportunity are seen as immediate and urgent. Much contemporary perception of ageing – its nature, needs and possibilities – is based on assumption rather than hard fact, and when properly tested commonly proves to be wide of the mark, with adverse consequences for seniors themselves, for their families and relationships, for policymaking, for service provision, and for the population as a whole. Conversely, when objective evidence is systematically sought and applied, the findings and the dividends are frequently counterintuitive, beneficial, cost-effective and immensely rewarding.


In meeting this objective, some key criteria for the Foundation’s research strategic direction include the following:

(i) Breadth of scope – the whole person versus restricted domains only

Measures of effectiveness and quality in care provision for the whole person – physical, mental, emotional, relational and spiritual

(ii) Identification of care priorities - need versus demand

Measures of need (as distinct from solely demand) in the above categories - robust and evidence-based - to be identified and implemented in services providing care.

(iii) Support for innovation – progress versus preconception

Measures of innovation, achievement and progress in the field to be described, evaluated, benchmarked and published.

(iv) Integration of provision – continuity versus fragmentation

Measures of effective practice and service partnerships and cross-disciplinary working across agencies (health, social and spiritual provision) to be identified and promoted

(v) Engagement with the community – social inclusion versus exclusion or isolation

Measures to combat social isolation and promote integration within local communities to be evaluated and encouraged.


The Foundation’s operational criteria for research development and support include

(i) Transparency of methodology – commitment to peer review in grant selection, funding, interaction and dissemination.

(ii) Good standing within the academic research community – the Foundation is affiliated to the Association of Medical Research Charities

(iii) Collaboration, where appropriate, including options for co-funding, with other research funding partners sharing common objectives and criteria, including government, other charitable foundations and industry.