Life study

Life Study is the new UK Birth Cohort Study and is the largest ever UK-wide study of babies and young children, with 80,000-90,000 families taking part. Its goal is to understand and ultimately improve the lives, health and wellbeing of children.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) are funding the £38.4 million study, with a landmark £24.5 million commitment from the Government’s Large Facilities Capital Fund. It is the only UK-wide study of its kind to recruit participants during pregnancy. It aims to represent the diverse mix of people living in the UK today including traditionally under-represented groups.

Life Study involves leading scientists and researchers from biomedical and social sciences in universities across the UK. The scientific team is led by Professor Carol Dezateux, Scientific Director and Principal Investigator of Life Study.

For further information, please visit the Life Study website.


The Life Study Strategic Advisory Committee, chaired by Professor Dame Janet Finch provides strategic assurance to the Life Study Corporate Board (chaired by Professor Paul Boyle, ESRC CEO) in order to maximise its benefit as a long-term scientific resource of importance both nationally and internationally. Full membership details can be found below:

The Cohort and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources (CLOSER)

The ESRC and MRC cohort and longitudinal, including Life Study, will be strengthened by a new resource, the Cohort and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources (CLOSER). Directed by Professor Jane Elliott of the Institute of Education. It is a £5 million initiative over five years, jointly funded by the ESRC and MRC.

This world leading resource is a consortium of the UK’s leading birth cohort and longitudinal studies and will play a vital role in maximising the use, value and impact of the data collected.

The CLOSER will make the most of the UK’s existing investments in this area and ensure the UK’s world leading position in the lift course and birth cohort studies. It will be unprecedented understanding of how economic, social and biological factors combine to explain human behaviour in key important areas such as health, poverty, child development and healthy ageing.

For further information please visit the CLOSER website.

Further Information