Each workstream is led by a member of the international review panel. The review steering group provides guidance on the UK context to the international panel members. The steering group is comprised of experts from academia, government and charitable research foundations.

Workstream 1: Introduction, remit and context

The panel chair, Professor Pamela Davis-Kean (University of Michigan) is addressing the strategic context of and background to the review.

This includes understanding social scientific and biomedical research and policy needs, the evolution of the ESRC’s major longitudinal studies, study design and data collection, and use of the data. Professor Davis-Kean will also be addressing the strategic context, including the evolving UK research funding landscape and the interests of other key funders, as well as developments and opportunities in longitudinal research internationally, and is engaging with a range of key stakeholders to ensure that the review is relevant and salient.

Workstream 2: Content needs

Professor Corinna Kleinert (Leibniz Institute for Educational Conduct) leads this workstream. 

This workstream is considering the future research and policy needs for the ESRC funded Longitudinal Studies, including the needs for a new study and the development of current investments. This will investigate what focus studies should have, determine how far the current 'key themes' of relevance to science and society, informed by the consultation and workshop, are being addressed in existing longitudinal studies, and consider how the studies fit with the broader national and international data infrastructure.

Through this workstream, the review is engaging closely with government departments to gauge policy needs around longitudinal data and resources. 

Workstream 3: Data linkage

This workstream is led by Professor Ray Chambers (University of Wollongong). 

This workstream takes into account the current state of linking non-survey routine data with survey data to build or enhance longitudinal datasets. It uses national and international examples to identify key scientific, technical and methodological, legal, ethical and public attitude related issues arising when linking survey with non-survey data and consented with unconsented data. Professor Chambers looks to assess why data linkage matters, how linkage can support understanding across the life course, the contribution of data linkage on how ESRC supports longitudinal studies, and how data linkage will be positioned in ESRC's future strategy for longitudinal studies.   

Workstream 4: Data harmonisation

This workstream is led by Professor Qiang Ren (Peking University). 

This workstream explores the opportunities, benefits, limitations, trade-offs and challenges of data harmonisation across and beyond key UK longitudinal studies. It seeks to understand the value of harmonisation, the nature of demand for data harmonisation, which resources to focus harmonisation efforts upon, and the user needs related to the challenges of harmonised data, such as access, training, discoverability and data documentation, to inform where the effort is best focused in future.  

Workstream 5: Training, access and discovery

This workstream is led by Professor Leslie Davidson (Columbia University).

The workstream seeks to understand future requirements for training in terms of equipping researchers to use longitudinal data, consider what can be done to facilitate access to longitudinal data, both within and beyond the academic arena, and examine the ease with which researchers can find out about what data are available to answer their research questions, considering how this can be made easier in the future, to inform the ESRC's future strategy.