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

The funding structure is on a five-year rolling system, designed to allow the Council and the Executive some flexibility to plan future work while maintaining intellectual independence and giving adequate financial stability.

Following the satisfactory completion of the last funding bid, the Council’s funding has been agreed to the end of 2022.