IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


New studies join the CLOSER consortium in first phase of expansion

14 September 2020

Eleven new studies have joined UCL Institute of Education’s (IOE) Cohort and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources (CLOSER) consortium in the first phase of its expansion.

Several counters on board linking them together

The 11 new studies are:

  • Born in Bradford (Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust)
  • English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (UCL, Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care)
  • Generation Scotland (University of Edinburgh)
  • Growing Up in Scotland (The Scottish Government)
  • Health and Employment After 50 / HEAF (University of Southampton)
  • LSYPE 2 (UK Government, Department for Education)
  • Next Steps (UCL, Centre for Longitudinal Studies)
  • NICOLA (Queen’s University Belfast)
  • ONS Longitudinal Study (Office for National Statistics)
  • Whitehall II Study (UCL, Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care)
  • Wirral Child Health & Development Study (University of Liverpool)

This brings the total number of studies in the CLOSER consortium to 19, including the initial eight partner studies:

  • Hertfordshire Cohort Study (MRC Life Course Epidemiology Unit/University of Southampton)
  • MRC National Survey of Health and Development (MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing /UCL)
  • 1958 National Child Development Study (IOE)
  • 1970 British Cohort Study (IOE)
  • Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children / ALSPAC (University of Bristol)
  • Southampton Women’s Survey (MRC/University of Southampton)
  • Millennium Cohort Study (IOE)
  • Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Study (University of Essex, Institute for Social & Economic Research)

This exciting development is in response to the progress made by CLOSER since its inception in 2012, changes in the longitudinal studies landscape and an increasing need and desire for studies to work together. The time was therefore right to broaden the reach of CLOSER for the benefit of a wider range of longitudinal studies.

Professor Rebecca Hardy, Director of CLOSER, said: “I am delighted that the first stage of expansion has come to fruition, and I am excited to welcome all 11 new studies to CLOSER in line with my vision to expand and broaden CLOSER’s reach. I am very much looking forward to working with them as we continue CLOSER’s commitment to bring the longitudinal studies community together and provide the resources to support their needs.”

As well as welcoming these new studies, CLOSER has already widened membership of its Communities of Practice. These include three professional networks designed to cultivate knowledge exchange, share best practice and encourage innovative and collaborative projects, open to all in the wider longitudinal community:

  • Data Managers Network
  • Data Linkage Working Group
  • Longitudinal Communications Network

Professor Bobby Duffy, Chair of the CLOSER Advisory Committee, said: “It’s very exciting to see CLOSER begin to expand its network and help bring the longitudinal research community closer together. I believe this community is so much stronger when working collaboratively and the benefits to this, particularly when thinking about future developments in areas such as policy engagement, data linkage, and data discoverability, will prove invaluable.”

Looking to the future, CLOSER plans to continue this phased expansion to grow the consortium further and include additional longitudinal studies based across the UK and beyond.