We are creating a unified UKRI website that brings together the existing research council, Innovate UK and Research England websites.
If you would like to be involved in its development let us know.

ISCF Healthy Ageing Challenge Social, Behavioural & Design Research Programme Outline Stage

ISCF Healthy Ageing Challenge Social, Behavioural & Design Research Programme Outline Stage

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), via the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), is inviting outline proposals for research grants of up to £2 million (at 100% fEC) for a period of up to 36 months.

The Healthy Ageing Social, Behavioural and Design Research Programme (SBDRP) is part of the ISCF Healthy Ageing Challenge portfolio of activities. The SBDRP will provide £9.5m (100% fEC) to fund interdisciplinary academic-led teams to carry out research into social, behavioural and design aspects of healthy ageing. The Programme will contribute to the Challenge mission to, ‘ensure that people can enjoy at least five extra healthy, independent, years of life by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the richest and poorest’ by enhancing our understanding of the aspirations, preferences and needs of the ageing population. Funded projects may address, but are not limited to, the impacts of the CoVID-19 pandemic on social, behavioural and design aspects of healthy ageing. Projects will also be expected to make a significant contribution to disseminating this knowledge, helping to inform innovators and positively influence market behaviours.

This is a two-stage call. Outline proposals must be submitted via UKRI’s Joint electronic Submissions (Je-S) system by 16:00 on 7 July 2020. Proposals will then be assessed by a Panel and shortlisted applicants will be notified of their success and invited to submit a full proposal. See full commissioning timetable for more information. Proposals must be led by an academic who is based at an eligible UK research organisation.

Successful projects must start on 1 March 2021.

Those interested in applying are invited to view our briefing webinar here.

Call details

Awards up to £2 million (100% fEC) are available for academics based at UK Research Organisations to conduct research into social, behavioural and design aspects of healthy ageing. Proposals are expected to critically engage with businesses, including social enterprises, to enhance their understanding of the needs and opportunities of an ageing population, help inform innovators and to open up creative spaces for businesses and consumers in an ‘ageing market.’ The public sector and charities should also be engaged where appropriate.

Applicants are encouraged to critically engage with one or more social, behavioural and design aspect of the Healthy Ageing Challenge themes outlined in the Challenge Framework, as well as:

  • meaningfully engage with older people
  • work with business
  • address diversity and environments of ageing
  • address ageing across the life course
  • accommodate the impacts of COVID-19
  • work across disciplines to meet the aims of the project
  • include a compelling and well-designed impact, knowledge exchange and communication strategy

Key dates

  • Outline call opens – 14 May 2020
  • Outline call closes – 7 July 2020, 16.00
  • Shortlisting Panel meeting – 14 September 2020
  • Full proposal stage (invite only) opens – 28 September 2020
  • Applicants’ Workshops – 5-6 October 2020
  • Full proposal stage (invite only) closes – 5 November 2020, 16.00
  • Full panel meeting – 20 January 2021
  • Applicants notified of final decisions – 3 February 2021
  • Mandatory grant start date – 1 March 2021
  • Latest grant end date – 29 February 2024

How to apply

To apply you need:


If you have any questions or would like further information about the scheme, contact:

Huw Vasey / Pete Henley
Email: ISCFHealthyAgeing@esrc.ukri.org

Enquiries relating to technical aspects of the Je-S form should be addressed to:

Je-S helpdesk
Email: jeshelp@je-s.ukri.org