A charitable trust formed in 1943 by the philanthropist William Morris, Lord Nuffield (not the man in the node William Morris). His intention was to "advance social well-being", and today the trust supports and organises projects devoted to enhancing society. It is financially independent, raising its £9m a year by investment - it does not receive government grants.

The foundation gives financial support to projects covering a number of social issues, including mental health, child protection, and collaborative projects in the Commonwealth. It also gives grants to aid particular groups of people, such as young scientists.

Its main self-run projects are the Curriculum Centre, which helps develop school education, the Council on Bioethics, which offers advice to those involved in public policy and public understanding of medicine and biology, and the Languages Programme, devoted to increasing foreign-language capability in Great Britain.

My one personal experience of the Nuffield Foundation is that it sets the specification for the chemistry curriculum that I used to study. Their approach is holistic - the idea is that students are encouraged to speculate about possbilities, test their predictions experimentally, and draw together understanding from different areas. Basic chemical principles lead onto specific applications and an imaginative approach to science is encouraged. But you still have to pass the exams.

Source: http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org

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