Prof Alison Park appointed ESRC Director of Research

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CLOSER’s Director, Prof Alison Park, will be taking on a new role as Director of Research at the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). She will be stepping down from her position as CLOSER’s Director at the end of year.

Prof Park joined CLOSER in 2015. Reflecting on the past four years, she said “It has been a privilege to direct CLOSER, working with an excellent consortium and a talented team of UCL staff. CLOSER’s overall focus is on improving the use, value and impact of the UK’s longitudinal studies, and is underpinned by its bringing together of eight key UK longitudinal studies from across the social and biomedical sciences. I’m proud of what we have achieved since CLOSER began, with particular highlights including our work to improve longitudinal research practice, new research to harmonise measures across studies, the creation of a Learning Hub for those new to longitudinal research, and our data discovery platform, CLOSER Discovery. These areas, and many others, will continue to be priorities for CLOSER over the next few years.”

The recruitment process for a new Director will be announced as soon as possible, and interim arrangements will be put in place to cover any gap between their appointment and Prof Park’s departure. CLOSER is currently working with the ESRC to finalise a one-year extension to the current CLOSER grant, extending its funding to September 2020.

Lynn Molloy, a member of CLOSER’s Executive Team and Chief Operating Officer for the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, said “Alison has made tremendous contribution to CLOSER over the past four years. She has been instrumental in bringing the studies together and advocating on behalf of the scientific community on important issues facing longitudinal research. We thank her for all her hard work and wish her all the very best in her new role.”