In 2015 The Elizabeth Casson Trust agreed its strategic intentions including the specific intention to support the development, implementation and adoption of occupationally-focussed research evidence in practice, demonstrating the unique value of occupational therapists and occupational therapy.

This strategic intention feeds into the wider ambition of the Elizabeth Casson Trust to provide funding opportunities to support occupational therapists by facilitating environments that deliver quality research, leadership and business training and skills development.

Our aims and objectives within the research strategic intention


  1. Broaden the ethos of enquiry and knowledge creation in all aspects of occupational therapy to support the creation a research, innovation and enterprise base.
  2. 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.
  3. Support the accessibility and availability of our research and scholarship to our local, regional, national, and international audiences.
  4. 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.
  5. Grow our productive partnerships; professional body; research based institutions; health and social care; and other stakeholders.
  6. Support the implementation, translation, adoption of occupation focussed evidence based practice by occupational therapists

From this flow the following objectives:

  1. Support research into the cost effectiveness of occupational therapy through appropriate work with health economics experts (O1).
  2. Support the production of evidence about the value of occupation and participation (O2).
  3. Support the implementation and adoption of evidence in practice (O3).

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 develop and deliver occupational therapy research on priority areas as identified by WFOT and RCOT/ JLA (priorities in development) and to build capacity in evidence generation & knowledge mobilisation such that occupational therapists will use the evidence overtly in day to day practice.

Pump-primer research grants

The Elizabeth Casson Trust is excited to launch a new 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.

The application form can be downloaded here.

We are keen to hear from you if you have any questions or feedback on this initiative; please email  Pam

Research Awards

In 2020 the Trust made two substantial research awards following our call for proposals earlier in the year. Occupational therapists were invited to submit proposals for studies addressing the translation of evidence into practice. In total almost £120,000 was granted for a study by Dr Fiona Maclean at Queen Margaret University  ([email protected]: The occupation of drinking alcohol in later life) and 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.

NIHR non-commercial partner

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.


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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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