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  commissioning and funding research focusing on improving outcomes for health and social care

The NIHR School for Social Care Research

The NIHR School for Social Care Research (SSCR) aims to increase the evidence-base for adult social care practice. The SSCR undertakes high-quality primary research and provides a focus for applied research in social care within the NIHR. The location of the School within the NIHR is recognition of the significant contribution that social care makes to the nation's health.

Intellectual Focus
The SSCR will undertake primary research in the adult social care sector in England. It will cover the delivery of social care by professional and non-professional staff working in both statutory and independent sectors. It will include research by social care professionals as well as academics, and encourage the active involvement of service users and their carers.

Professional social work will be a major focus, but it will not be the sole disciplinary resource for the School. Its work will need to draw on a wide range of academic disciplines and methodologies, including those typically under-applied to the social care context, yet central to understanding its operation.

SSCR membership
The current SSCR is a partnership between six leading academic centres of social care research in England:

  • London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
  • University of Manchester
  • University of York
  • University of Kent
  • Kings College London
  • University of Kent.  

The leaders of each form the School Executive and an Advisory Board, chaired Professor Randall Smith from the University of Bristol, works closely with the School Executive to develop business plans, including proposals for research programmes.

Following an open competition to renew and refresh Membership of the School in the summer of 2013, the Membership of the SSCR from May 2014 to April 2019 has been confirmed as:

  • University of Bristol
  • University of Kent
  • University of Manchester
  • University of York
  • London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

NIHR School for Social Care Research


NIHR briefing document:
3.3 Research Schools