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 School brings together leading academic centres in England demonstrating excellence in social care research, and complements NIHR funding streams.

The NIHR launched a new, open, two-stage competition to refresh and renew the membership of the School on 1 November 2017. Funding of the School by the NIHR is in recognition of the significant contribution that social care makes to the nation's health and the continued need to build capacity and capability in social care research in England.

The NIHR SSCR launched in February 2009, as a partnership between six leading social care research centres in England. In 2013 a renew and refresh competition was held with 5 leading academic centres chosen to continue with Phase II of the School. 

Intellectual focus 

The SSCR carries out primary research in the adult social care sector in England. It covers the delivery of social care by professional and non-professional staff working in both statutory and independent sectors. It includes research by social care professionals as well as academics, and encourages the active involvement of service users and their carers. 

Professional social work is a major focus but is not the sole disciplinary resource for the School. Its work draws 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.

NIHR SSCR competition 2017

The Government is committed to improving the evidence base for social care practice so that people are provided with better and more effective services in future. It recognises a continuing need to develop capacity and capability in social care research in England and wishes to build on the success of the School by refreshing and renewing the membership through an open competition. The aim of the new NIHR SSCR funding is to build on the progress made in the initial funding term and enable the School to continue to fulfil its mission.

The NIHR currently provides funding to the School that will continue until April 2019. From May 2019, the intention is to award NIHR funding in the region of £15-18 million over a further 5 years.

SSCR membership

Following an open competition to renew and refresh members of the School in the summer of 2013, the membership 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).


 Further information:

NIHR briefing document