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Personal profile

Research interests

Research projects


  • Support for Older Carers of Older People: The Impact of the 2014 Care Act (2015-2017)
  • The Everyday Operation of Models of Social Care Provision within the Extra Care Housing Sector (2015-2017)
  • Healthy Ageing in Residential Places (HARP) (2013-2015)


Randall Smith retired in 2001 as Reader in Policy Studies having reached pensionable age.  He now enjoys a two year renewable University appointment as a Senior Research Fellow.  In 2009 he was awarded the title of Honorary Professorial Research Fellow.  Between 1996 and 2004 he was a member of the Research Evaluation Committee of the Economic and Social Research Council.  Apart from a modest teaching load, he concentrated in the early years after retirement on completing two co-authored books on community care and services for older people and two co-edited books based on an EU Fifth Framework Programme project on participatory governance.

Since then, he has published a UACES monograph on Constitutionalising the European Union and has a jointly authored report on significant life events in old age, based on research financed by the Nuffield Foundation.  In 2005 he worked on a project funded by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.  The report influenced the government’s review of the disabled facilities grant.  He is co-editor of a book published by Nomos in 2008, based on papers given at a EU sponsored conference in Athens in May 2005. The conference theme was Multi-Level Governance in Europe.  Also in 2008 he completed with two colleagues the fourth edition of the textbook, Community Care: Policy and Practice, published by Palgrave Macmillan.

His more recent research, funded by the ESRC, revisited Peter Townsend’s study of residential care (published as The Last Refuge in 1962).  This was conducted with two colleagues from the Open University.  Articles have been published in the International Journal of Social Research Methodology, Quality in Ageing and Older Adults and the Journal of Social Policy.  A book, Residential Care Transformed, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in June 2010.  In 2011 it was awarded the inaugural Peter Townsend Policy Press Prize, promoted by the British Academy.  A paperbook edition was published in 2012.

He was also involved in an ESRC project as part of the New Dynamics of Ageing programme.  Its theme was maintaining dignity in old age and the project was led by Dr Liz Lloyd at the School together with colleagues from the Universities of Kent and Nottingham.  In 2010 and 2012 he was a member of the Commissioning Panel for the ESRC’s Professorial Fellows Competition.  In 2013, for a year, he became Chair of the Advisory Board of the LSE based NIHR School for Social Care Research.  Also in 2013 he became a member of a cross national research team, led by Dr Liz Lloyd in the UK funded by the ESRC, to investigate healthy ageing in residential care homes.  Current research includes two projects funded by the NIHR School for Social Care Research (The Everyday Operation of Models of Social Care Provision with the Extra Care Housing Sector, 2015-2017 - PI, Ailsa Cameron: Support for Older Carers of Older People: the Impact of the 2014 Care Act - PI, Liz Lloyd).

He is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal, Policy and Politics, having been its editor between 1996 and 1999.  Outside the University, he was a member of the Executive Committee of the British Society of Gerontology (BSG) between 2003 and 2009 and was a Trustee of Age Concern Bristol (now Age UK Bristol) between 1997 and 2012.  He is currently the BSG representative on Age Platform UK.

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Ageing Futures


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