The Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCOB) is a leading independent policy and research centre, and the foremost bioethics body in the UK. We identify, analyse and advise on ethical issues arising in biomedicine and health so that decisions made in these areas will benefit people and society.

The NCOB was established by the Trustees of the Nuffield Foundation in 1991, and since 1994 it has been funded jointly by the Foundation, Wellcome and the Medical Research Council.

We aim to:

Embed ethics at the centre of decisions about biomedicine and health, so we all benefit. To achieve this, we work to inform policy and public debate through identifying, analysing and advising on ethical issues raised by developments in these areas.

Our strategic goals for 2024-2028 are to:

  • Enhance our capability to anticipate scientific developments and health trends that pose fundamental ethical questions to society.
  • Undertake and communicate rigorous ethical analysis in a way that is clear and relevant to decision makers and to the public.
  • Demonstrate the value of ethics to society and decision makers in order to embed ethics in policymaking.
  • Build greater connections across bioethics networks to strengthen the voice of bioethics in policy and public debate.

Our values are:

  • Rigour: Our approach to ethical analysis is multidisciplinary and deliberative. We draw on a wide range of expertise and experience and use the best available evidence.
  • Transparency: We are open about how we conduct our work, and our outputs are accessible and relevant to our audiences. Independence: We set our own agenda and select our own topics, methodologies and outputs. We do not represent any particular group or view.
  • Inclusiveness: We engage with a wide range of voices and views and are committed to increasing the diversity of the people we work with. We create safe and welcoming spaces for deliberation.
  • Relevance: We explore things that matter to society so we can support real-time policy developments and debates as well as anticipate those coming down the line.
  • Sustainability: We manage our organisation with a focus on contributing to environmental sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint.

You can find out more about our ways of working in our 2024-2028 strategy.

Impact Model circle text

Our impact model (as part of our 2024-2028 strategy: Making ethics matter)