IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Cohort and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources (CLOSER)

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

Director: Professor Jennifer Symonds

Our mission is to increase the visibility, use and impact of longitudinal population studies, data and research.

About us 

How CLOSER is making a difference

CLOSER, the home of longitudinal research, is the interdisciplinary partnership of leading social and biomedical longitudinal population studies, the UK Data Service and The British Library.

Our mission is to increase the visibility, use and impact of longitudinal population studies, data and research to ensure that longitudinal evidence is used to address the health, social, economic and environmental challenges facing the UK, now and in the future.

Our work focuses on four primary areas:

Data discoverability 

We increase the use, visibility, and awareness of longitudinal population study data through advancing and expanding both the content contained in, and the research services provided by, CLOSER Discovery.

Policy and Dialogue 

We mobilise data and research from multiple longitudinal population studies, provide evidence and insights to policy and decision makers, and generate demonstrable impact across a range of policy areas.

Training and capacity building 

We provide training and capacity building opportunities for researchers and those running longitudinal population studies, with a particular focus on filling gaps in current provision.

Data innovations

We ensure the long-term value of our extensive work on data harmonisation and data linkage through knowledge dissemination and training.

Our staff

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

Centre staff

  • Claudia Alito, Metadata Assistant 
  • Jennifer Blows, Digital Communications and Events Manager 
  • Charlotte Campbell, Research Fellow 
  • Rob Davies, Head of Policy and Dialogue 
  • Suparna De, Honorary Senior Research Fellow 
  • Emla Fitzsimons, Principal Investigator (Interim) 
  • Jon Johnson, Technical Lead 
  • Neil Kaye, Research Fellow 
  • Jenny Li, Metadata and Data Manager 
  • Hayley Mills, Metadata Manager 
  • Jack Norcross, Metadata Assistant 
  • Bill Norley, Proragmmer 
  • Becky Oldroyd, Metadata Officer 
  • Aidan Riley, Project Officer 
  • Jennifer Spiegel, Metadata Assistant 
  • Jonathan Tebbett, Project Manager 
  • Sarah White, Metadata Assistant 

Executive team

  • Darren Bell - UK Data Service 
  • Jackie Carter - University of Manchester 
  • Emla Fitzsimons - University College London 
  • Faten Hussein - UK Parliament 
  • Rachel Kotarski - British Library 
  • Rosie McEachan - Born in Bradford, Bradford Institute for Health Research 

Advisory committee

  • Nathan Cunningham - University of Sheffield 
  • Bobby Duffy - King's College London 
  • Daisy Fancourt, University College London 
  • Emla Fitzsimons- University College London 
  • Vernon Gayle- University of Edinburgh 
  • Grant Hill-Cawthorne- Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology 
  • Clare Holdsworth, Keele University 
  • Flo Martin, University of Bristol 
  • Alison Pritchard, Office of National Statistics 
Our partners

There are currently 19 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 Social Research Institute is the lead research institution.


CLOSER studies
  • 1946 MRC National Survey of Health and Development
  • 1958 National Child Development Study
  • 1970 British Cohort Study
  • Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (Children of the 90s)
  • Born in Bradford
  • English Longitudinal Study of Ageing
  • Generation Scotland
  • Growing Up in Scotland
  • Health and Employment After Fifty
  • Hertfordshire Cohort Study
  • Longitudinal Survey of Young People in England: Cohort 2 (Our Future Study)
  • Millennium Cohort Study (Child of the New Century)
  • Next Steps
  • Northern Ireland Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Ageing 
  • ONS Longitudinal Study
  • Southampton Women’s Survey
  • Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Study
  • Whitehall II (The Stress and Health Study)
  • Wirral Child Health and Development Study (The First Steps Study)
Our research

Research features

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Latest news

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Forthcoming events

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