Advanced Care Research Centre

University of Edinburgh projects to meet challenge of healthy ageing

Two University of Edinburgh projects have been awarded grants totalling over £3 million to meet the challenge of healthy ageing.

The research projects are led by the School of Social and Political Science, working in collaboration with the Advanced Care Research Centre (ACRC), and the University of Edinburgh Business School, which will also work closely with the ACRC as the project develops.

The Healthy Ageing Challenge was established by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to support projects encouraging older people to remain active, productive, independent and socially connected across generations for as long as possible.

Within the Challenge, the Social, Behavioural and Design Research Programme awarded grants of up to £2 million to projects which would provide insights into the needs and opportunities of an ageing population.

University of Edinburgh was successful in gaining two out of the seven awards made under the programme.

Beyond 10,000 Steps

Beyond 10,000 Steps, led by University of Edinburgh Business School, will work with employers and older workers to understand ways in which health needs can be addressed to enable productive later-life employment.

Using these findings, the aim is to develop a suite of innovative projects and data-driven interventions to improve the health, wellbeing, and financial stability of older workers.

Wendy Loretto, Dean of the Business School said “With this funding in place, we have a real opportunity to make a difference to older people in the workplace, ensuring they are well supported to continue in their chosen career.”

Healthy Working Lives

Healthy Working Lives, led by Social and Political Science, also looks at employment, but specifically in the social care sector. The project addresses challenges in the recruitment, retention and enhancement of the health and wellbeing of older workers employed in residential care sectors.

Working closely with the sector, the project will aim to establish how social care can be promoted as a socially meaningful and personally fulfilling area of paid work. Outputs will include practical ways to remove barriers to fulfilling and longer-term work as well as exploring ways to support existing workers to determine their developmental needs.

Linda McKie, Dean and Head of the School of Political and Social Science said “Care work has a high staff turnover rate, and we want to work with the care sector to lower this, by making it an attractive proposition for older workers looking for rewarding work.”


The UKRI established the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) to address the big societal challenges being faced by UK businesses today. It’s made up of 23 challenges, covering the four themes of the government’s industrial strategy: clean growth, ageing society, future of mobility, artificial intelligence and data economy.

The projects began work on the 8th March, and a more detailed look at each project will be published later in the year.