Healthy Ageing Research Group (HARG)

Conducting research that aims to promote healthy and active ageing

The Healthy Ageing Research Group (HARG) at The University of Manchester is a multidisciplinary group conducting research that aims to promote healthy and active ageing.

Our work covers the range of ages considered for older people (from younger older people aged 55 and above to the oldest old). In our research, we use quantitative, qualitative, mixed-methods and evidence synthesis review techniques.

Our emphasis is on healthy and active ageing to promote active participation in society. We ensure our work has direct relevance to policy and practice for older adults at a local, national, and international level.

We engage with and involve the public, patients, and other stakeholders in our research activities, and develop research capacity in this crucial topic.

Our research

Our areas of expertise include:

  • falls and falls prevention
  • physical activity and exercise promotion (strength and balance)
  • nutrition and diet
  • rehabilitation and musculoskeletal conditions
  • development and evaluation of novel m-health interventions and gerotechnologies
  • social gerontology
  • healthy behaviour change and health literacy
  • user involvement in the design of technologies and services to support healthy ageing

We aim to:

  • Develop interventions to promote active and healthy ageing, assist older people to maintain independence, promote quality of life and ensure active participation in society.
  • Promote equity, especially by investigating determinants of access to services and treatments as they relate to ageing.
  • Inform policy and practice for older people locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Involve the public and patients in research.

Our research is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Economic and Social Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, and Innovate UK, as well as public and charitable sectors.

Research team

HARG is led by Professor Chris Todd and Dr Emma Stanmore.

Professor Chris Todd, Professor of Primary Care and Community Health

Chris is Director of the NIHR Older People and Frailty Policy Research Unit and Theme Lead for the NIHR ARC-GM.

View Chris’s research profile

Dr Emma Stanmore, Reader

Emma is Reader and Lead of the Healthy Ageing Research Group.

View Emma’s research profile

Our affiliations

Colleagues within the Healthy Ageing Research Group (HARG) are also involved with the following:

For more information on specific outputs relating to COVID-19, visit the University’s coronavirus response webpages.

Research projects

Below is a selected list of research projects undertaken by HARG that have been awarded from 2017 onwards.

If you are interested in our extensive work prior to this, please get in touch.

Development of a Frailty Index using Standard Laboratory Tests and its Utility in Predicting Adverse Health Outcomes

Rsearchers: Terence O’Neill (Principal Investigator, University of Manchester), Chris Todd (Co-Investigator)


Further development of a gamified strength and balance training and healthy literacy platform (Keep-On-Keep-Up) for older adults living in the community.

Emma Stanmore (Principal Investigator, University of Manchester)

Period of award: May 2020 to March 2022

Project website: Keep-On-Keep-Up

Fall risk assessment and prevention in acute hospital settings: A realist evaluation

Researchers: Rebecca Randell (Principal Investigator, University of Bradford), Dawn Dowding (Co-Investigator), Chris Todd (Co-Investigator)

Period of award: 1 July 2020 (ongoing for 24 months)

The Active, Connected, Engaged (ACE) study

A multi-centre randomised controlled trial of a peer-volunteering, active ageing, community programme for people at risk of mobility disability

Researchers: Helen Hawley-Hague (Principal Investigator, University of Manchester, Afroditi Stathi (PI, University of Birmingham), Chris Todd (Co-Investigator), Lis Boulton (Co-Investigator).

Period of award:
1 February 2021 (ongoing for 42 months)


Assembling the data jigsaw

Powering robust research on the causes, determinants and outcomes of musculoskeletal disease.

Researchers: Will Dixon (Principal Investigator, University of Manchester), Dawn Dowding (Co-Investigator)

Period of award: 1 May 2020 to 31 October 2023

View project description

PhD opportunities

We are happy to supervise students who would like to conduct a PhD in the area of healthy ageing.

Find PhD projects and information on funding and self-funding at the following links:

A number of our PhD students have funded studentships from the NIHR.

Find out more about the PhD students working in the Healthy Ageing Research Group.

Current PhD students
  • Bibhusha Karki
  • Chloe French
  • Danielle Harris
  • Helena Bilsborough
  • Jana Sremanakova
  • Lily Mott
  • Lishan Huang
  • Mohammad Zougar
  • Nada Almohaisen
  • Sally Hoodless
  • Schenelle Dlima
  • Ya Shi
  • Yang Yang
  • Yvonne Mckenzie

Contact us

If you would like to find out more about our research group or to join, please get in touch.

Dr Emma Stanmore