Our unique role

We not only fund some of the very best of the UK’s academic and clinical research into understanding the mechanisms of ageing and treating age-related diseases and frailty; we also support community-based organisations that are working to enhance the lives of those who need extra support in later life.


Our aims: We’re committed to applying our knowledge, experience and financial resources to achieving the following aims:


Inspiring and enabling academic researchers (from across the disciplinary range) and health and social care professionals to apply their knowledge and skills to understanding the mechanisms of ageing, treating disease and frailty and identifying and developing new and effective ways to improve the lives of older people.

We will do so by ensuring that…
  • Our research focus is broad and multi-disciplinary and prioritises work that has the potential to translate into practical action within a reasonable period of time.
  • Our attitude to risk backs well-designed research which is imaginative, novel and acknowledges that the complexity of the issues involved often need a multi-disciplinary approach if it is to have real and positive impact on the lives of older people.
  • We keep our portfolio of research grants and funding mechanisms under review so as to identify gaps in under-supported, but important, areas.
  • We support the career development of those committed to enhancing our understanding of the mechanisms of ageing and treating and preventing disease and frailty.
  • Our application procedures are developed to help applicants demonstrate how their proposals reflect our objectives and our assessment procedures are delivered to the highest standards of quality and best practice.
  • We continue to attract a new generation of researchers by providing research fellowships and other awards. We will consider partnerships with others who share our vision and can help us to increase and broaden the support we can provide.


Grants for academic and clinical researchers


Enabling community-based organisations to develop innovative, evidence-based and best practice ways of delivering care and support for older people.

We will do so by…
  • Providing financial contributions to help deliver truly innovative projects which have the potential to share “what works” more widely.
  • Ensuring our application process assists community-based organisations to demonstrate clearly how their proposal fits with our objectives and our assessment procedures are helpful and proportionate.
  • Making the outcomes and impact of those projects openly available and sign-posting a range of evidence from leading organisations in the area.
  • Convening a dedicated and suitably experienced panel to consider applications from community-based organisations.
  • Re-balancing our face-to-face activity from pre- to post-award, where this is helpful and appropriate, to assist grant-holders in describing and sharing their outcomes and impact.


Grants for community-based organisations


Convening and supporting fora to inform and influence the collective understanding of “what works”.

We will do so by…
  • Providing funding to support clear pathways to impact within our research grant schemes.
  • Providing funding to community-based organisations to enable them to develop their capabilities in impact evaluation and communication.
  • Being proactive in developing productive networks, in particular aiding the development of relationships between the academic and practitioner communities.
  • Joining forces with high profile representative bodies to share the outcomes of our research grants and community-based projects.



Our news and events


Our ways of working: We will keep our ways of working up-to-date to ensure we can continue to deliver our aims effectively and efficiently.

We will strive to be a transparent, learning organisation.  We will aim to systematically collect and share the outcomes of our grant recipients’ work and make it openly available, as well as ensuring that our staff and trustees are well-equipped to support the work of our grant-holders.

We will do so by…
  • Initiating, facilitating and nurturing networks of researchers and practitioners, starting with our own fellowship community.
  • Supporting the career development of researchers who specialise in subjects relating to our area of focus.
  • Ensuring that our stakeholders are aware of the support we provide – both financial and non financial – and providing fora to enable them to share their stories, ideas and learning with us and others.
  • Investing in our office systems and developing our staff to achieve a better balance between evaluating applications and providing high quality decision support, relationship-building and communication of our impact.
  • Equipping our staff to embrace the opportunities that new ways of working inspire and support them with tools and resources to continually grow their capabilities and confidence.
  • Investing in confident, practical and helpful use of technology so that our staff and other stakeholders can access what they need from us – anytime and anywhere.
  • Respecting our legacy of prudent, yet visionary, stewardship. Our founder and his immediate descendants were visionary. They and their successor trustees, staff and advisors ensured that the initial financial legacy was transformed into the wonderful resource that it is today. We will ensure that, together, we continue to develop this legacy, keeping our governance procedures up-to-date and proportionate and our operational procedures effective, efficient, helpful and flexible.


Our governance and management


Where appropriate, we will join forces with other organisations, which share our vision and values, to provide greater support for our stakeholders and greater reach and impact.

We will do so by...
  • Proactively identifying other organisations (for example, learned societies and practitioner, representative and professional bodies) which can contribute experience, knowledge, access to networks, funding or other resources which can help us to achieve our objectives.
  • Sharing and using the outcomes of the Older People’s Care Improvement Initiative to influence approaches to older people’s care at the systemic level.
  • Developing a more active relationship with our endowed post-holders, for example replacing the need for an annual written report with a requirement to contribute to the annual events programme.

Our partners


The Dunhill Medical Trust
5th Floor
6 New Bridge Street
London EC4V 6AB



Telephone: 020 7403 3299