Marquis (1948) has suggested that psychological research can be carried on at three fairly distinct levels: isolated experiments on particular topics, programmes of work on general topics, and long-term investigations of whole areas. This report is intended as a contribution to the third level, i.e. the level of policy design, and makes recommendations about the general nature and scope of psychological research on maturity and old age. The advantages of a generally accepted but informal research policy are clear: basic problems are located and adequate methods are developed for tackling them, theoretical systems become strongly linked with practical issues to the benefit of both, knowledge is more readily communicated because research workers have a common frame of reference, research findings become progressively more comprehensive, detailed, accurate and meaningful, and so on. Possible disadvantages are that originality may be curtailed and work may be duplicated, but it is doubtful whether the former is a real danger or the latter a real disadvantage. This report is not intended to specify particular research projects or programmes—this could be done only after discussion between members of research teams, their sponsors and advisers—the final choice of project depends very much on the interests and abilities of the team members and on the human ecology of the area in which they are working.