The Role of Philanthropic Funding in Building Research Evidence to Support an Aging Population: A Case Study from Ireland

J Aging Soc Policy. 2017 May-Jun;29(3):262-275. doi: 10.1080/08959420.2017.1312207. Epub 2017 Mar 31.


This case study examines the role of philanthropic funding in building capacity for aging research in Ireland, and how this investment has addressed the lack of evidence to support planning for an aging population. The funding has supported a range of initiatives including the national longitudinal study on aging (TILDA), the creation of three professorships/chairs, and the establishment of four new research centers. Important potential outcomes are emerging across other domains including research-informed policy development and the generation of health benefits. The efforts of academic researchers to ensure that their findings are readily accessible to end users and to forge robust working relationships with all stakeholders have helped to enhance the use of research findings. Overall, philanthropy has played a pivotal role in building capacity, infrastructure, and expertise in academic settings in Ireland. Moreover, this work provides an excellent example of how such efforts can begin to inform effective planning and service provision.

Keywords: Aging research; capacity building; philanthropy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Fund Raising*
  • Health Services Research*
  • Humans
  • Ireland
  • Male
  • Private Sector*
  • Research Support as Topic*
  • Retirement*
  • Social Support