Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Alison Sizer

My PhD Title: Non-employment, a risk factor for poor cognitive function and decline in later life?

Supervisor: Professor Marcus Richards, Professor Amanda Sacker and Dr. Rebecca Lacey

Lay summary: Ageing is associated with declines in cognitive function, which research indicates is influenced by a range of factors across the life course, including employment. However, there has been little research examining the association between non-employment and cognitive function and decline in later life. My PhD uses information life course data from the National Survey of Health and Development (1946 British birth cohort) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) to examine the association between economic inactivity over the working life and cognitive function and decline in later life. It also investigates whether the different situations that a person is in when economically inactive have differing associations with cognitive function and decline (e.g. unemployed and looking for a job, sick/ disabled, in education/ training, looking after the home/ family).

My Background

Research interests:

Life course epidemiology


Cognitive function and decline

I am a full-time ESRC doctoral research student in the International Centre for Lifecourse Studies. Prior to my PhD I worked in international development. I studied for an MSc in Social Epidemiology at UCL in 2011, which is when I developed an interest in the life course determinants of health, particularly in relation to ageing.


BSc in Geography, University of St. Andrews

MA Education and International Development, Institute of Education

MSc Social Epidemiology, UCL


2013 - 2016 ESRC studentship in Lifecourse Epidemiology, University College London

Contact details a.sizer.11@ucl.ac.uk