Research and Shared Learning


Lead: Phil Long email
Denise West email
Dr Helen Brown email
Martin Harvey email
Veronica Wigley email


Projects for Members

are opportunities for members to share in joint learning in partnership with Sheffield’s universities, research institutes, museums and galleries, The knowledge, skills and life experiences which u3a members bring can add greatly to academic research projects. Your involvement offers a friendly way to learn alongside the researchers and should be both stimulating and fun. Participation is generally not time consuming as many projects are completed online. No academic qualifications, previous experience or expertise is required. If you would like more information about Projects for Members please contact one of the SLRP coordinators (above) . For information about one of our current partnership projects (below) please email the Project Organiser.


Projects Project Organiser
Living with Removable Partial Dentures A non Su3a sponsored project: This research project aims to understand the effects of dentures on everyday life. The first objective of the project is to explore the journey of individuals with their first dentures, including the overall impact of the loss of teeth and subsequent replacement by denture, as well as the impact of the denture on everyday life. Based on responses from the interviews a new quality of life measure will be developed. For more details click hereFor more details click here. contact
Are you 60 or over? Still in paid work?
In the summer of 2021 we highlighted a research project about people, 60 or over, who are still in paid work whether that be full or part time. An international research project which aims to identify barriers to longer working life through identifying and examining the impact of exclusion and inequality in the workplace.
The University of Sheffield are looking for 3 (three) more applicants to join this study.
If you are interested in this truly interesting project more details can be found here.
Dr Rachel Crossdale, The University of Sheffield (
Would you like to join the Zooniverse? You could be watching penguins? Or perhaps transcribing documents about children in care from the 18th century appeals to you? These and a range of other projects – such as helping to measure dark energy – are available through the Zooinverse platform which enables volunteers to take an active part in research projects. For more details click here.
Do you have a site, area or building in your area which you believe is significant or you are proud of? The South Yorkshire Heritage Listing is now open for nominations. These could be historic buildings, monuments, archaeological sites, parks and gardens, historic landscapes or any other heritage assets that are significant. Assets you nominate will be assessed and added to the Local List if appropriate. Assets which don’t make it onto the list will still be used to enrich the Historic Environment Record (HER) for Sheffield. You can view currently listed assets, see the assessment criteria or read the blog on the South Yorkshire Local Heritage List website . If you would like to learn more contact Sarah Cattell for an induction pack
Dietary Protein Intake Study This research involves reporting the amount and frequency of food and drink you consume and completing two short questionnaire about the types of protein-containing food you eat and your general knowledge about protein. For more details about the project click here. Esme Tuttiett
The Healthy Lifespan Institute (HELSI) is one of Sheffield University’s four flagship institutions, aimed at helping people live fulfilling, independent lives for longer. Sheffield u3a have formed a partnership with HELSI to ensure research into healthy ageing incorporates the lived experiences of older people. The partnership helps Healthy Lifespan researchers incorporate the insights and expertise of u3a members into their research activity. One focus is on working with people who are experiencing two or more chronic health conditions (multimorbidity). For more information about this exciting and wide-ranging project click here.
Which streets are safe to walk in at night? This project is collecting photos of streets where you feel safe or not safe to walk at night. The first step asks you to take photos of these streets and send them to the researcher through the contact details provided. Alternatively, you can provide details of the streets and locations, and the researcher will take a photo. The researcher will then invite you to a short online follow up interview to ask a few questions about the photos. For more details about the project and how it will be managed click here. Samuel C. Okwemba
How has the pandemic changed our High Streets? Previously u3a launched a national audit to record the types of local shops that members encounter around the country, to gather a picture of how the economic climate is affecting them. Sheffield was one of the largest participants in this project. The next phase has now started, and it will be interesting to see how the pandemic has changed our local high streets. You can read the national interim report at Maggie Simms u3a National Shared Learning & Research Coordinator
The research is looking at how ageing and noise exposure affect hearing in adults aged 50-70 who may have been exposed to either low or excessive occupational noise. Participation is by an anonymous online survey with some challenging and interesting tests to assess your hearing and memory. Optionally, there will also be some further testing in the audiology lab. To take part in this project please follow this link. Adnan Shehabi – a full time PHD researcher in Audiology

For further information about the Project Organiser click
After a head injury or stroke individuals can experience problems with remembering to do things. It is important that these changes in memory function are accurately measured so that rehabilitation is specific to the needs of each individual. This research aims to measure a number of different functions at the same time in a quicker and easier way than existing measures by using a computerised task that reflects everyday things people need to do such as cooking a meal. For details about what the research involves click. Dr Lynne Barker BSC (Hons) PhD, PgCert

For further information about the Project Organiser click
Are you 55 or older, healthy and currently doing no exercise. If so, would you like to take part in a study that explores the effects of short-term aquatic exercise on human physiological functions?. For more details about what the study involves click. Dr Markos Klonizakis

For further information about the Project Organiser click