Institute of Education


Cohort and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources (CLOSER)

CLOSER, the home of longitudinal research, brings together eight world-leading longitudinal studies with participants born throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

Director: Professor Rebecca Hardy

Our work maximises the use, value and impact of these, and other, longitudinal studies to help improve our understanding of key social and biomedical challenges.


How CLOSER is making a difference:

Enabling change over time and across generations to be better understood
CLOSER is bringing longitudinal data together in a consistent format - a process known as data harmonisation. This is allowing longitudinal researchers to compare data from different studies for the first time, revealing how and why the country is changing over time - and what this means for the future. Read more about data harmonisation

Enhancing insights through data linkage
CLOSER is leading research to link data held by government to survey data collected by longitudinal studies. Linking this data enables researchers to gain rich insights into how different aspects of people's lives interrelate. Read more about data linkage

Helping researchers find data
CLOSER's search engine, CLOSER Discovery enables researchers to search and browse questionnaires and data from the UK's leading longitudinal studies to find out what data are available. This is opening up new opportunities for working together across different longitudinal studies. Explore CLOSER Discovery

Training the longitudinal community
CLOSER provides training and capacity building opportunities for experienced researchers and those running longitudinal studies. The CLOSER Learning Hub has information and resources aimed at those in academia, government and the third sector who are new to longitudinal studies, to help them better understand the value of the studies and how to use the data. Read more about the CLOSER Learning Hub and view our latest training events

Funding research projects
CLOSER funds research projects that use longitudinal data to investigate a wide range of areas of interest, including obesity, physical activity, mental health, and ageing. Many of the research projects CLOSER funds are creating harmonised datasets, improving data linkage or developing other resources for the wider longitudinal research community. Read more about the research we fund

Maximising the impact of longitudinal research
CLOSER is working to achieve the greatest possible impact for CLOSER's outputs, activities and studies. CLOSER does this by influencing government, producing longitudinal resources for the academic community and funding research that addresses the biomedical, social, economic and environmental challenges facing the UK. Read more about how CLOSER maximises research impact

Our staff

CLOSER is run by a group of researchers and professionals based at leading academic institutions and data management centres.

CLOSER staff

Rebecca Hardy, Director
Jennifer Blows, Communications and Events Officer
Rob Davies, Public Affairs Manager
Charles De Barros, Programmer
Hayley Mills, Metadata Officer
Nimal Vitharana, Metadata Assistant 
Jon Johnson, Technical Lead
Meghan Rainsberry, Communications Manager
Aidan Riley, Project Officer
Dara O'Neill, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Jonathan Tebbett, Project Manager


Michaela Benzeval, Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Essex
Rebecca Hardy, University College London
Hazel Inskip, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton 
Lynn Molloy, Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children      
Allan Sudlow, British Library

Leadership team

Michaela Benzeval, Institute for Social & Economic Research, University of Essex
Andrew Boyd, University of Bristol
Cyrus Cooper, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit
Louise Corti, UK Data Service
Elaine Dennison, University of Southampton
Emla Fitzsimons, UCL Institute of Education
Alissa Goodman, UCL Institute of Education
Rebecca Hardy, MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL
Hazel Inskip, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit
Lynn Molloy, University of Bristol
Alison Park, UCL Institute of Education
Amanda Sacker, International Centre for Lifecourse Studies, UCL
Allan Sudlow, British Library
Alice Sullivan, UCL Institute of Education

Find more about our researchers, publications, activities, groups and themes: UCL Research Portal, IRIS

Our partners

There are currently eight studies participating in the CLOSER network, with participants born as early as the 1930s to the present day. The British Library and the UK Data Service are also key partners, and the UCL Institute of Education is the lead research institution.

Our studies
  • Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (Children of the 90s)
  • 1970 British Cohort Study
  • Hertfordshire Cohort Study
  • Millennium Cohort Study (Child of the New Century)
  • 1958 National Child Development Study
  • 1946 MRC National Survey of Health and Development
  • Southampton Women's Survey
  • Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Study

Research features

Funnelback feed: https://search2.ucl.ac.uk/s/search.json?collection=drupal-ioe-research-p...(CLOSER)%22Double click the feed URL above to edit

Latest news

Funnelback feed: https://search2.ucl.ac.uk/s/search.json?collection=drupal-ioe-news&meta_...(CLOSER)%22Double click the feed URL above to edit

Forthcoming events

Funnelback feed: https://search2.ucl.ac.uk/s/search.json?collection=drupal-ioe-events&met...(CLOSER)%22&meta_UclEventType=!%22Short+course%22Double click the feed URL above to edit