ESRC ran an open consultation between October and November 2016. The consultation received 637 responses from individuals in the UK (83%) and internationally (17%). Most respondents are from the academic sector (80%) with the remainder spread across government, civil society and business sectors. Most respondents (81%) have a background in economic and social research, with medical researchers accounting for 17%.

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to contribute towards the consultation. The substantial number of survey responses reflects the importance of the Longitudinal Studies Review and the high levels of engagement from our community in the area of longitudinal studies.

An initial report on consultation responses is available below: 

Responses to the consultation informed the Longitudinal Studies Review workshop hosted in January 2017. The above areas were discussion topics explored during the workshop.


Respondents identified the following key ongoing scientific priorities for longitudinal research:

  • long-term effects of childhood and adult experience
  • demographic shifts and mobilities
  • health and wellbeing
  • equality and inequality
  • biosocial research and genomics
  • diversity and identity
  • ageing population.     

In addition, many sub-themes were suggested in detailed responses, reflecting a high degree of expertise and engagement among respondents.

Respondents also identified the following priority methodological and technological issues that longitudinal research needs to address: 

  • longitudinal study design
  • data collection
  • data handling and treatment
  • data analysis
  • data linkage

Briefing papers

We have commissioned a series of more detailed and specific briefing papers to probe the consultation responses, for example highlighting common themes amongst responses from policy makers, with the dual aims of maximising the value of the consultation exercise and informing the Longitudinal Studies Review Panel in their future thinking. The views represented in these reports are from those who responded to the consultation and do not represent the views of ESRC.