About the Glasgow End of Life Studies Group

we conduct interdisciplinary research on end of life issues, collaborating with communities, policy makers, practitioners and academics worldwide

Our work in context

Over a million deaths occur in the world every week and this will almost double by 2055.

With the ageing of the world's population, and patterns of mortality and morbidity evolving, we believe that care for people at the end of life is going to become one of the most pressing humanitarian issues of this century. How we should die has become a matter of international importance.

Perceptions of the ‘good death’ are being shaped by different modes of practice, by evolving cultural and resource factors, by the interventions of key actors, professions and protagonists and by changing ethical and moral reasoning.

Although the social sciences could be adding to these debates, we believe our academic field is currently failing to make a significant impact on policy. Recent social research on end of life issues has often been too remote to be relevant to policy and practice, or it is too embedded in the field to stimulate new thinking and innovation.

We aim to develop new frontiers for research and knowledge exchange in this important field.

Our research

Our main research project is a five-year study which began in March 2015, called Global Interventions at the End of Life. This project will run until February 2020.

This work is supported by the Wellcome Trust and led by the University of Glasgow. In this study we are examining how responses to end of life issues, ‘interventions’, transfer from one location to another, and how they translate to another culture or context:

Members of the Glasgow End of Life Studies Group are involved in many other research and related activities, including:

  • Consulting on the Scottish Government Strategic Framework for Action in End of Life Care in Scotland (2015)
  • Reporting to the Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee inquiry on palliative care
  • Researching palliative and end of life care provision in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
  • Creating biographical works on Dame Cicely Saunders
  • Researching and developing the Crichton Care Campus idea
  • Updating the World Map of Palliative Care Development
  • Updating the study of the imminence of death of hospital inpatients
  • Advising on the EAPC Task Force on the Development of Palliative Care in Europe
  • Researching spirituality and palliative care
  • Creating Open Educational Resources in collaboration with the Open University
  • Producing public engagement activities

Our approach

We wish to re-frame social science research on end of life care in the international context, providing knowledge to shape policy, service and practice development globally. We are addressing these issues from an interdisciplinary perspective and trying to create an innovative framework for studies in care at the end of life, bringing high levels of methodological and theoretical rigour, coupled with a far-reaching synthesis of empirical evidence.

Our approach is to bring together the best ideas and perspectives from the social sciences, humanities, public health and clinical disciplines.

We aim to work openly and collaboratively, and welcome your suggestions and feedback.


The University of Glasgow End of Life Studies Group was founded by Professor David Clark OBE in 2014.

Members of our Wellcome Trust funded Global Interventions at the End of Life project team joined David on the University's campus in Dumfries on 1 March 2015 to begin a four year study.

Study with us

We have several PhD students and we often host visiting students and academics from other institutions around the world.

Our postgraduate research students are closely involved with our research and play an active role in the activities of the Glasgow End of Life Studies Group.

Undergraduate students on our MA in Health and Social Policy (Dumfries Campus) may also choose to get involved.

If you'd like to find out more, please contact us

Find out more

Our staff, students and guest bloggers use the End of Life Studies blog as a platform to express opinions and publish updates about our end of life research projects and case studies. We also blog about end of life publications, policy, doctoral studies, educational resources, events and cultural activities.

Listen to our podcasts on SoundCloud 
Watch related videos on UofG End of Life Studies YouTube 
Follow us on Facebook or Twitter