The aim of the ESRC longitudinal review is to provide an evidence-based and challenge-led assessment of the future social and interdisciplinary scientific and policy-relevant needs for data to address the types of research questions for which longitudinal data has typically been used (or could be used), and the value of the life-course evidence from their longitudinal studies in comparison with other sources of evidence. It will provide an assessment of the feasibility and effectiveness of alternative options for delivering the evidence needed, through exploration of trade-offs between options or combinations of options, and costs and benefits of each, under certain specified conditions. The review will need to address the questions how research and policy-relevant needs could be met without continuing investment in longitudinal studies, and what of value would be missing without them. It will need to be mindful of uncertainties about the future context, including Research Council funding and key issues such as access to routine data.
The review will form a core contribution to the development of the ESRC vision for longitudinal studies and related resources the next 10 years and beyond. It will provide the ESRC with the evidence needed to support future social science investment in longitudinal infrastructure as the ESRC moves forward into UKRI.
For the ESRC review, Pamela Davis-Kean will serve as Chair, and Sandra Tang will serve as Research Assistant.