ESRC announces funding for analysis of major data resources

28 June 2013
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Closing date November 2013.

Does the month you were born in affect your school achievements? How do childhood circumstances affect health in old age? Are younger generations any more socially mobile than their parents?

For decades the UK’s birth cohort studies have been leading resources for answering questions like these. Now, an upcoming Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding call is giving researchers the opportunity to answer new questions using cohort and other data.

In Phase 2 of its Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (SDAI), the ESRC is seeking innovative and creative projects of up to £200,000 each, with a maximum duration of 18 months. The programme funds analyses of major data resources and aims to deliver high-impact research that is relevant to both policy and practice.

The Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) encourages applicants to use the British birth cohort studies as resources for their research. CLS houses three of the UK’s leading studies, which together span nearly 50 years of life in the UK: 

As the UK changes – through recessions, successive governments and globalisation – the cohorts have been tracking the lives of their members. These multidisciplinary studies now hold a wealth of information on all aspects of people’s lives, including physical and cognitive development, economic circumstances, education, employment, family life, health and wellbeing, social participation and attitudes, parenting, childcare, school choice, housing, and neighbourhood and residential mobility. Most importantly, cohort data can tell us how these dimensions have changed or stayed the same over the lifecourse.

New data available!

New data from the age 42 survey of the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) and the age 11 survey of the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) will be available via the UK data service by January 2014. New topics covered by these data include:

  • BCS70 age 42: belief in God and the afterlife, attitudes towards science and religion, sexual orientation, reading and television viewing, eating habits, childlessness, fertility intentions and the use of fertility treatments
  • MCS age 11: aspirations and expectations for secondary school, engagement in anti-social behaviour, early puberty, as well as results of two computer-based ‘games’ relating to spatial memory and decision or risk-taking.

Support and training

The CLS website provides detailed documentation on each survey of the three studies. CLS also runs training workshops for new and potential users of the data. The next introductory workshop for the 1958 and 1970 cohorts is taking place on 4 July 2013 at the Institute of Education.

Start planning your SDAI proposals now!

The closing date for funding proposals to the ESRC is expected to be late November 2013. Further information and guidance for applicants is available on the ESRC website.