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£28.5M investment for groundbreaking new research facility
Date:7/24/2008

A groundbreaking new research facility is planned to enable unprecedented understanding of how economic, social and biological factors combine to shape human behaviour. The 28.5 million funding comes from the science portfolio of the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), and will be used for the study of birth cohorts. The new facility will be a collaboration between the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Birth Cohorts are a set of studies which track a large sample of babies from birth into adulthood, gathering information on their lives as they grow up. These studies have produced a series of important findings which include for example the risks of smoking in pregnancy, childhood asthma and the link with parental occupational exposure to allergens, the origins and consequences of child poverty, and the long-term impacts of education and training. British birth cohort studies are recognised worldwide as unique and remarkable data resources which have underpinned innovative research on the health, wellbeing and socio-economic status of a wide range of people in the UK.

This pioneering facility will, for the first time, enable the co-ordination of data collection across existing birth cohort studies which span over 60 years. The most significant impact of the facility will be its ability to allow analysis across the generations by comparing patterns of activity, at similar ages, amongst the different cohorts' members. For example, it will enable the analysis of the latter 20th century/early 21st century phenomenon of women delaying starting a family what are the social, economic and educational impacts of having older parents compared with earlier generations? As such, it will provide the bedrock for cutting edge research to be undertaken, across the lifecourse, into such important areas as health and poverty.

The new resource will also expand the series b
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Contact: Kelly Barnett
Kelly.barnett@esrc.ac.uk
01-793-413-032
Economic & Social Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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