Projects for Members


Lead: Samina Aslam email
Denise West email
Dr Helen Brown email
Martin Harvey email
Veronica Wigley email
Pete Alcock email
Projects for Members is an opportunity to work in partnership with institutions such as museums, galleries, and universities. Learning is a one of u3a’s core activities, consequently we participate in learning projects with organisations which are of mutual benefit. U3a members have a vast and varied range of life experiences and skills which are of huge interest to academic researchers. Participating in a research project is not time consuming as most are completed online. Involvement in a learning or research project is a friendly way to learn new things and is both stimulating and fun. No academic qualification or previous expertise is required. If you would like more information about Project for Members, please contact one on the coordinators. For further information about any of our current Projects (see below) please email the relevant Project Organiser.


Projects Project Organiser
The Healthy Lifespan Institute HELSI and Sheffield u3a have formed a partnership to ensure research into healthy ageing incorporates the lived experiences of older people. The partnership with Sheffield u3a will give Healthy Lifespan researchers the opportunity to embed the insight and expertise of u3a members into research activity, with a particular focus on those experiencing multimorbidity, the presence of two or more chronic health conditions. For more information about this exciting project click here.
The University of Sheffield is looking for people who live or work within South Yorkshire to take part in a research study about how and why people work past pension age, and how pivotal turning points in working life have contributed. This applies to paid or voluntary (of which there are many of us) work. Why do we take on voluntary work? For more details click here. Dr Rachel Crossdale, The University of Sheffield (
This project involves an experiment to collect photos to understand streets where you feel safe or not safe to walk in at night. The first step will have you take the photos of these streets and sending to the research through the contact details provided, either by email or social messaging platform. Alternatively, you can provide details of the streets and location, so the researcher can take a photo. The researcher will then organise with you for a follow up interview that will last 10 minutes to ask a few questions about the photos shared. For more details click here. Samuel C. Okwemba
u3a launched Phase 1 of a national audit to record the types of local shops that our members encounter around the country, in order to get an idea of how the economic climate is affecting them. Sheffield was one of the largest participants in this project. The next phase will commence in September, and it will be interesting to see how the pandemic has changed our local High Streets. The national interim report can be found Maggie Simms u3a National Shared Learning & Research Coordinator
This 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 assessing hearing and memory.To take part 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 certain tasks that involve remembering to do things. It is important that these changes are accurately measured so that rehabilitation is specific to the needs of the individual. This research aims to measure a number of different cognitive functions at the same time in a quicker and easier way than existing measures by using a computerised task that better fits with things that people need to do e.g. cooking a meal. For details about the research 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 why not take part in a study that explores the effects of short-term aquatic exercise on human physiological function? For more details click. Dr Markos Klonizakis

For further information about the Project Organiser click
Our involvement in research to understand the impact of isolation on members over 70 with hearing loss has now finished. The conclusion of this study can be found at Dr Jenna Littlejohn:

For further information about the Project Organiser click