u3a - Research and Shared Learning

u3a Quilt projectCastles Quilt produced jointly by u3as in Wales

u3a Research and Shared Learning Projects take many forms. Some are devised on a national or regional basis, and others are devised and run by the members themselves. Projects cover anything that stimulates the interest of those taking part. Some may want to work with a university department, others might be counting species for a local wildlife initiative, but they are all valid and valued.

There may be organisations in your own area that you can partner with for a project: local history societies, arts groups, libraries, museums, town twinning committees and so on.

Research and Shared Learning Conference 2022

The Research and Shared Learning Conference 2022 will take place on the 3rd of August.

The easily-accessed venue will be Preston, Lancashire and an exciting programme showcasing and celebrating our members' activities and achievements is being put together.

Bookings are now open

To make sure we know about YOUR local projects and activities, please complete our quick survey. More conference information will be publicised from April onwards, including booking links.

Family History Network Conference

The Peak District u3as Family History Network are resuming their face to face annual conference at Buxton, Debyshire on 17th September 2022. This long-standing event has been greatly missed during the last two years and early booking is recommended. Full programme and booking form available to download:

PDN FH Conf 2022 poster (113.83 KB)

Help and advice

The Research and Shared Learning Committee oversees all projects and can provide help and advice about any part of a project, from approaching a potential partner organisation to overall project planning and delivery.

The Research and Shared Learning Committee also manages the research database which has a list of projects undertaken by u3a members to date; this would be a good place to start if you are looking for project ideas. If you are looking for projects that are available for you to join in with at the moment, the projects page details projects currently in progress and examples of recent projects.

If you're looking to get started on a project, try using our ACTIVE Project methodology which is designed to help get you up and running quickly.

  ACTIVE Project Methodology (123.7 KB)

If you're considering research in depth, the below guides may help you. If you have any further questions, please contact us

Research - The Ethical Implications - Sept 21 (89.6 KB)

External Research with U3A members as Research Subjects (166.43 KB)

Research Requests - Sept 21 (88.02 KB)


There are both national and regional contacts in the Research and Shared Learning Committee listed below that you can contact for assistance with your project. We also run a mailing list with news about opportunities about Research and Shared Learning. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to join the mailing list.

National Contacts

Regional Contacts

 England - North West

England - West Midlands

England - East Midlands

England - East of England

England - London