Stirling expert appointed as Research Director for Healthy Ageing Challenge

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A leading University of Stirling academic has been appointed as Research Director for the Healthy Ageing Challenge delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Professor Judith Phillips, Deputy Principal (Research) at the University, will be responsible for research across the full portfolio of Healthy Ageing activities and will spearhead a £10.5 million social, behavioural and design research programme, to develop insight and evidence on the key challenges facing the older population and ways in which support and care can be delivered effectively.

This is a part-time role which will enable Professor Phillips to continue to manage a productive research programme at the University of Stirling.

Professor Phillips has a track record of world-leading research and impact within areas relevant to Healthy Ageing. She is currently Deputy Principal (Research) and Professor of Gerontology at the University of Stirling.  Prior to this role, she was Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor, Director of the Wales Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research at Swansea University.

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Professor Judith Phillips, Deputy Principal (Research) at the University of Stirling

As an academic she has published widely on topics such as housing, working carers, older offenders, community and family life of older people, rural ageing and geographical gerontology. Before coming to academia Professor Phillips practiced as a social worker with older people in both community and residential settings. Her expertise in social sciences and gerontology is recognised through several awards and fellowships. She was awarded an OBE for Services to Older People in 2013.

Professor Phillips said: "It’s crucial that ideas for products and services to help us age well are grounded in a sound evidence base. Insights from the latest social and behavioural sciences and cutting-edge design research will be woven into the fabric of this Challenge. There’s huge potential here and I’m looking forward to making connections between programme activity, policy and practice, and the private sector, adding value to research activity and contributing to a programme that will make a real difference to people’s lives within the next ten years."


George MacGinnis Challenge Director of the Health Ageing Challenge said: "It is great news for the healthy ageing challenge that such a leading light in Gerontology research has joined the team. Dr Phillips’ unique experience and insight will be a crucial in developing the research base to help businesses, including social enterprises, to develop the innovations that will help us age well."

The £98 million Healthy Ageing Challenge is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and aims to inspire a new generation of services and products to help people remain independent, productive, active and socially connected for as long as possible as they age. The central ambition is to ensure that people can enjoy at least five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest.

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