In 2020 The Elizabeth Casson Trust agreed its strategic intentions and operational framework including an aim to support the development of the evidence base of occupational therapy in order to strengthen the understanding of the efficacy, utility and unique contribution of occupational therapy.

Our aims for research

At a summary level, we aim to:

  1. Facilitate the production of evidence about the value of occupation and participation including impact and potential economic value
  2. Facilitate the implementation and adoption of evidence in practice

Within this, we hope to:

i/ Broaden the ethos of enquiry and knowledge creation in all aspects of occupational therapy to support the creation a research, innovation and enterprise base.

ii/ Ensure our professionally occupation focussed, intra and interdisciplinary high quality research and innovation activity directly informs, influences, and influences on the communities in which we work.

iii/ Support the accessibility and availability of our research and scholarship to our local, regional, national, and international audiences.

iv/ Grow and develop our community of researchers and innovators through supporting their development from early career researchers to established experts and leaders in their field.

v/ Grow our productive partnerships; professional body; research based institutions; health and social care; and other stakeholders.

vi/ Support the implementation, translation, adoption of occupation focussed evidence based practice by occupational therapists.

To this end, the Trust will support the funding of research grants ranging of £25,000 to £200,000 for individuals or groups of researchers. The aim will be to build capacity in evidence generation & knowledge mobilisation such that occupational therapists will use evidence overtly in day to day practice.

Research Call 2022

Our annual call for research study applications is now open.

This year the Trust will be offering funding for innovative studies, with priority given to those that consider:

  • a workforce for the future
  • occupational therapy in mental health
  • occupational therapy in social care

Funding for studies between £10,000 – £100,000 is available with value for money an essential factor to allow the Trust to support as any projects as possible.

Read there full call here. Expressions of interest as an outline proposal should be submitted no later than Friday 13 May, 17:00BST to Pam at [email protected]

Research Awards 2021

In 2021 the Trust made two research awards following our call for proposals looking at Occupational Therapy: 2021 and beyond. In total almost £100,000 was granted for:

  1. a study by Dr Anita Atwal of London Southbank University, together with Professor Elizabeth McKay (Edinburgh Napier University) and Dr Vimal Sriram (Imperial College London): No Barriers to Success: Safe space as a vehicle to promote personal and career transitions for BAME OTs and Managers, and
  2. a study by Alicia Ridout of Involve Me Digital Health, together with Emma Casimir (HMA Digital): Co-designing a competency-based programme to build novice Occupational Therapy digital health practice: Crossing the flaky bridge.

To read more about these studies and their aims, take a look here.

Research Awards 2020

In 2020 the Trust made two substantial research awards following our call for proposals around the translation of evidence into practice. In total almost £120,000 was granted for:

  1. a study by Dr Fiona Maclean at Queen Margaret University: [email protected]: The occupation of drinking alcohol in later life, and
  2. a study by Dr Carolyn Dunford at Brunel University London: Can a targeted knowledge translation intervention increase implementation and adoption of evidence in practice by community children’s occupational therapists?

To read more about these studies and their aims, take a look here.

The Elizabeth Casson Trust is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) non-commercial Partner. This means the studies we fund may be eligible to access the NIHR Study Support Service which is provided by the NIHR Clinical Research Network. Learn more about what this means for you here.

The Elizabeth Casson Trust also offers smaller funding opportunity of awards of £500-£5000 to pump-prime research activity. The award is  intended to support activities in any stage of a study/ project which is not part of an academic award. The intention is that the activity supports and enables your development as an early researcher. Read more about this funding award here


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Case Studies

I presented a poster on OT led research at the European Palliative care Research conference in Switzerland in May 2018. Stimulating, sharing and surprising captures the impact of the experience…. Sharing knowledge on outcome measures will result in the implementation of quality of life measures to demonstrate the value of occupational therapy interventions. Meeting two of the developers of a carers’ tool…has resulted in offers of help to ensure publication of this work.

Jackie Pottle, Specialist Palliative Care OT
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