Life Study

Life Study

Update on Life Study

“The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) have agreed that the Research Councils’ funding for Life Study will be discontinued from early 2016 due to the serious challenges encountered in recruiting participants. Life Study was an ambitious, complex, and innovative study led from University College London (UCL) that aimed to track the development, health and wellbeing of around 80,000 UK babies and their parents.

UCL, ESRC and MRC are very grateful to the participants and all who contributed to Life Study, which has provided useful insights that will benefit future research in child health and wellbeing and will also inform the design of a wide range of research in other areas.

UCL is working with their NHS partners and others to take forward key elements of the study."

If you are a participant or a member of the public and have any enquiries please email or call 020 7905 2758.

For media enquiries please contact the UCL Press Office on +44 (0) 20 3108 3844.

 Life Study FAQs for Participants

What will happen now that Research Council funding has stopped?

Recruitment of mothers, babies and partners for Life Study has been stopped.

Regrettably, this means that we will not be able to see six and twelve month old babies at King George’s Hospital. However the Baby Biosample Study, funded through the Wellcome Trust, will still be recruiting women at Queen’s Hospital.

What will happen to the data and samples I’ve provided Life Study?

A key aim of Life Study is to help research on how to give children the best start in life. As part of this, we are working with our partners and funders to find the most scientifically valuable use of the information families have provided and if appropriate, any samples donated.

Once confirmed, we will write to families who gave their time to Life Study generously to let them know what will happen to the Life Study information and samples. 

What will happen to the centres at King George’s Hospital and Leicester General Hospital?

Life Study is working with UCL and NHS partners to take forward key elements of the study, some of which may take place at the second Life Study Centre. The Life Study website will be updated once a decision has been made.

I’m already taking part in the Baby Biosample study at Queen’s Hospital – does this affect me?

The Baby Biosample study, associated with Life Study, will continue to recruit women giving birth at Queen’s Hospital. This study aims to explore how microbes, such as bacteria and viruses, and the immune system influence health in childhood and later life. If you have any questions please contact a member of the team, contact details can be found in your participant information.

The Life Study team are in discussions with NHS partners to determine which clinical teams would benefit most from the use of the centre.