Preparing for the future III – tackling key challenges facing longitudinal population studies in a post-COVID world ShareThis


The call for abstracts has now closed for our upcoming Preparing for the future conference. The programme and details on how to register will be announced soon.

Event details

  • Date:

    Tuesday 18 January 2022

  • Time:

    - TBC

  • Venue:


  • Event organiser:


  • Price:


About the conference

Longitudinal population studies (LPS) currently face a range of challenges. With the world still dealing with COVID-19 and its far-reaching impacts, the value of longitudinal studies, with the wealth of data already collected in the years before the pandemic, and their ability to track individuals during and after the pandemic, has never been greater.

But what will these studies look like in a post-COVID world? How will the experiences during the pandemic influence approaches to policy engagement and impact, the adoption of novel approaches to data collection and emerging technologies, and to participant and public engagement? How are studies harnessing the opportunities that have arisen during the pandemic and what learning has been gained?

Following the success of CLOSER’s 2018 and 2020 Preparing for the future conferences, we’re bringing the LPS community together again to discuss best practice and identify ways to tackle shared challenges. This online conference, to be delivered over three days, will be a collaborative, interactive event with a strong focus on sharing best practice and problem solving.

The programme has been shaped by consultation with UK and international longitudinal studies. Each session will involve short presentations of exemplar work in a given area, followed by facilitated group discussions and the chance for delegates to share their own experiences.

The conference will address the following topics:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on longitudinal population studies
  • Influencing policy
  • Data linkage
  • New forms of data collection
  • Participant and public engagement

While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will inevitably be a theme that cuts across all topics, we have also included a topic specifically dedicated to COVID-19 and how studies are now building on their experiences during the pandemic.

If you would like to share your study’s work in any one (or more) of these topics, please take a look at our call for abstracts below. We would love to hear about any innovative work that your study is doing.

Who should attend?

CLOSER welcomes LPS management and delivery teams from around the world to attend this online conference.

Please note this conference is for those who work for a longitudinal population study team, including Principal Investigators, research staff, data managers, fieldwork staff, study managers, laboratory technicians, tracing experts and communications professionals. It is not intended for students or data users with no study management responsibilities.

Call for abstracts

We would like to hear from a range of voices at our conference – from UK longitudinal population studies to those based around the world, and from across the social and biomedical sciences. Our call for abstracts ran from June to August 2021.

We invited submissions from longitudinal population study teams carrying out exemplar work in the following areas:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on longitudinal population studies
    • New opportunities for longitudinal population studies arising from experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts on study design, implementation and management
  • Influencing policy
    • How studies are engaging with policy makers and influencing policy
  • Data linkage
    • Successful linkage of longitudinal studies to other datasets, such as administrative, geographical, environmental, social media, and transactional
  • New forms of data collection
    • Novel data collection approaches, such as the use of wearables and other forms of remote data collection, novel phenotyping, including experiments and methodological work comparing new and older forms of data collection
  • Participant engagement, public engagement
    • Novel approaches to participant engagement and how studies are engaging with the public to promote the benefits of longitudinal studies
    • Changes in attitudes to science, methods of data collection (remote versus face to face) and engagement with LPS

Abstracts will be reviewed by the conference Scientific Organising Committee and submitters will be informed of the outcome by mid-October 2021.

Members of the Scientific Organising Committee include:

  • Paul Bradshaw (Growing Up in Scotland)
  • Emla Fitzsimons (Millennium Cohort Study)
  • Rebecca Hardy (CLOSER)
  • Lynn Molloy (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children)
  • Andrew Steptoe (English Longitudinal Study of Ageing)

Conference programme

The full conference programme will be made available in the autumn.


Registration for the conference will open in the autumn.

Previous Preparing for the future conferences

In 2018 and 2020, CLOSER brought together delegates from across the social and biomedical sciences to deliberate over key issues facing longitudinal population studies now and in the future.

For more information about the previous conferences in this series, including executive summaries, full reports and blogs, visit Preparing for the future of longitudinal science.

Contact information

If you have any questions, or require any further information, please contact CLOSER’s Digital Communications and Events Manager, Jennie Blows: