£10 million funding award for new Centre for Care

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Kent is one of five universities collaborating on the launch of a new ‘Centre for Care’ to address the urgent need for accessible research and evidence on social care.

£10 million in funding has been awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to lead institution University of Sheffield’s Centre for International Research on Care, Labour & Equalities.

Sheffield will lead the collaboration of five universities (including Kent, Birmingham, Oxford and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), the Office for National Statistics, and charities Carers UK, the National Children’s Bureau and the Social Care Institute for Excellence. They will work together with academics, sector partners, agencies, public policy experts and people who need or provide care across the UK and internationally. The Centre will provide an extensive array of evidence to address pressures and inequities in how people experience social care across the life-course.

Fully operational from March 2022, the centre will bring together some 50 scholars: leading experts on care in multiple disciplines; 12 new post-doctoral researchers, based in the five universities; a large group of PhD students, including six commencing new studies of care in autumn 2022. Advised by a board of leading and diverse experts on care, the Centre will produce major new studies of care and build a new generation of care specialists for the years ahead.

Dr Nadia Brookes, Senior Research Fellow at Kent’s Centre for Health Services Studies (CHSS) will be leading a strand of work ‘Care in a new climate: continuity and change in work practices’ which includes investigating how changes in how care is organised affects relationships between care workers, their employers, people receiving support and their families. She said: ‘Working in partnership with care sector organisations and people who need support in daily life will be a vital part of the Centre’s work. This will enable us to really understand what can be done to improve experience of care for families, individuals and communities of all types and in a variety of settings.’