New European network on child cohort studies inaugurated in Strasbourg

13 June 2008

New network aims to promote the exchange of information and ideas between those running and analysing cohort studies of children in different countries.

A new European network on child cohort studies, EUCCONET, was inaugurated in Strasbourg at the first meeting of its Steering Committee, on May 27, 2008. The European Science Foundation is co-ordinating the funding of this network. The network was proposed to build upon the International Conference on Child Cohort Studies organised by CLS in Oxford in 2006.

The network aims to promote the exchange of information and ideas between those running and analysing cohort studies of children in a number of European countries and beyond. Another international conference is planned towards the end of its five-year funding. Meanwhile it will run approximately two workshops per year and promote exchange visits between studies. Participating studies include several major surveys in Norway, Denmark, France, Ireland , as well as North America and Australia. UK studies  include the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, Growing Up in Scotland and Born in Bradford. The network also hopes to provide a forum for those planning cohort studies in other countries such as Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Steering Committee consists of representatives of the individual funding councils across Europe that have subscribed the funding, and has members from Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK.  Dr Henri Leridon, Director of the French cohort study ELFE, was elected as Chair of the network, and Heather Joshi, as Director of MCS, the co-chair.  Dr Leridon was given the go-ahead to set up a part-time co-ordinator and and website at INED in Paris, and to start planning the programme of activities. 

The first workshop is likely to be in early 2009, and is likely to be concerned with issues of cohort maintenance and consent. Details will be announced when known on the CLS website, and on the EUCCONET website when it is ready. Suggestions for topics and speakers will be welcome.