Our mission is to carry out high-quality internationally leading research to produce new knowledge (including, where appropriate, reviews and syntheses of existing evidence) to inform the development of adult social care practice in England. We emphasise the importance of impact to ensure that the research we commission has the potential to improve care.

Over the next five years, we will be commissioning primary and secondary research. Our research will draw on a wide range of academic disciplines and research methods. We encourage multi-disciplinary complex research questions relevant to real world practice. Our research strategy remains flexible to ensure that our research spans the most important themes in adult social care practice and related policy in England.

We also provide a focus for adult social care research within the NIHR, as well as strategic leadership for the development of social care research more generally.

Defining adult social care

We use a broad and inclusive description of adult social care:

The term ‘adult social care’ refers to provision of personal and practical care and support that people may need because of their age, illness, cognition, disability or other circumstances. It also includes support for family members or other unpaid carers. Important aims are to help people remain independent, retain their dignity and achieve a better quality of life. Another important aim is to safeguard vulnerable individuals from abuse and neglect. Care and support are provided in a number of settings: in residential and nursing homes, in people’s own homes (domiciliary or ‘home’ care) and in other community settings such as day centres. There are also various accommodation settings, such as sheltered housing, extra-care housing, supported living and Shared Lives schemes. Social workers and other staff carry out assessments, provide information and coordinate activities to back up this service provision.

Improving the evidence base

In the last ten years, we have commissioned ​174 research studies and a number of scoping and methods reviews.

Research Findings from original research cover a wide range of issues and themes in adult social care

Methods Reviews help researchers make the best use of the various approaches available

Scoping Reviews systematically evaluate the current literature in a particular area.

Details of all of our studies are available in our Research Library.

SSCR projects by Research Theme – click to expand