About the NDA programme

The New Dynamics of Ageing Programme was an eight year multidisciplinary research initiative with the ultimate aim of improving quality of life of older people.

The programme was a unique collaboration between five UK Research Councils - ESRC, EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC and AHRC. It was the largest and most ambitious research programme on ageing ever initiated in the UK.

The programme aimed to develop practical policy and implementation guidance and novel scientific, technological and design responses to help older people enjoy better quality lives as they age.

This required integrating understandings of the changing meanings, representations and experiences of ageing and the key factors shaping them (including behavioural, biological, clinical, cultural, historical, social, economic and technological), through direct engagement with older people and user organisations.

The programme harnessed inputs from a wide range of disciplines to reveal the dynamic interplay between ageing individuals and their changing technological, cultural, social and physical environments - local, national and global. It also aimed to develop methods and means for overcoming the consequent constraints on the quality of life of older people.

Programme objectives

The overall aim of this programme was to advance our understanding of the dynamics of ageing from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Therefore, the central questions were:

  • What are the forces driving ageing?

  • What are the influences shaping them (behavioural, biological, clinical, cultural, historical, social and technological) and how can their consequences be managed to achieve the maximum benefits for older people?

The central objectives of the programme were

  • to explore the ways in which individual ageing is subject to different influences over the life course, including identifying the biological determinants of healthy ageing and the social and environmental factors contributing to ageing well

  • to understand the dynamic ways in which the meaning, understanding and experience of ageing are currently changing and becoming more diverse

  • to investigate the diverse ways in which ageing is or has been understood and represented at different times and in different cultures

  • to encourage and support the development of innovative multidisciplinary research groups and methods

  • to provide a sound evidence base for policy and practice (including the development of prototype systems, procedures and devices) so that research contributes to well-being and quality of life

NDA programme specification (PDF, 152KB)