The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) was founded in 1969 as Social and Community Planning and Research (SCPR) by Professor Roger Jowell and Gerald Hoinville. Its aim was to carry out rigorous social policy and academic research. It was registered as a charitable trust and then recruited and trained a national fieldwork team. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ...
Within five years SCPR had become Britain's only non-commercial organisation outside government capable of designing, conducting and interpreting major social surveys.
In 1980 SCPR set up its Survey Methods Centre with the aid of a long-term grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
SCPR's Qualitative Research Unit was established in 1985. This completed the transition into an all-round social research organisation with a comprehensive range of both substantive and methodological specialisms.
By the early 1990s SCPR had become the UK's largest non-profit making social research institute.
In 1999 the institute celebrated its thirtieth birthday, changing its name to the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), so as to better reflect its current activities.
In July 2002 NatCen changed its status to that of a company limited by guarantee. It remains a registered charity: its company registration number is 4392418 and its charity number is 1091768.
NatCen is now Britain's leading independent social research institute, with two long-term ESRC-funded centres, and an annual research income of over £30m.