About the study

Generation New Era is a groundbreaking scientific study of children born in 2022/23, and their families. It will provide vital new insights into children's health and development and help improve the lives of children and families in the UK.

Birth cohort studies follow children from birth throughout their lives. They show how children grow and develop, and how childhood experiences affect later lives. The UK is a world leader in this kind of research, with national studies of people born 1946, 1958, 1970 and 2000 still running today.

These kinds of studies have been vital for providing evidence to change policy and services for children and families in the UK. Several government measures benefiting parents today have been informed by findings from similar studies. For example, extending maternity leave to one year, increasing the weekly rate of statutory maternity pay, and introducing two weeks of paid paternity leave.

You can read more examples on our Making a difference page, or hear about why others like taking part in our Participant stories.

The Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), at University College London (UCL), is in charge of the study. CLS is the UK’s leading cohort studies research centre. They were chosen to run the study because they are experts in this kind of research. UCL is one of the world’s leading universities.

The study team also includes Swansea University in Wales, the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Ulster University in Northern Ireland.

Ipsos is carrying out the interviews for Generation New Era. Ipsos is an independent research organisation that follows the rules of the Market Research Society Code of Conduct. Ipsos was chosen to collect the information for the study as they have lots of experience in carrying out similar studies with children and families.

Generation New Era is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK’s leading academic funder of social research and part of UK Research and Innovation.  

This research has been reviewed and approved by an NHS Research Ethics Committee. This is an independent group of people committed to protecting your safety, rights, wellbeing and dignity. 

Your participation in Generation New Era

Families were chosen at random from records of births held by government departments and agencies, who provided your name, address, and additional information about you to Generation New Era. Approval by special committees in each country is needed to allow this.

In England and Wales, this information was provided by NHS England, and approved by the NHS Health Research Authority’s Confidentiality Advisory Group and NHS England’s Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data.

In Scotland, this information was provided by the National Records of Scotland and Public Health Scotland, and approved by the NHS Scotland Public Benefit and Privacy Panel for Health and Social Care.

In Northern Ireland, if approved, this information will be provided from the Northern Ireland Maternity Information Systems.

You can find more information about this on the looking after your information pages.

For the study findings to benefit all kinds of families, we need to hear from many different families, in all nations and regions of the UK. By including families from all backgrounds and cultures, and all kinds of children, we can build a full picture of the lives of this generation and give everyone a chance to be heard.

Taking part is completely up to you, but we hope very much that you will be willing to help with this important research and that you will enjoy taking part. 

We will be interviewing mothers and fathers when their baby is around 9-10 months old. All babies grow and develop differently and change a lot in their first year of life. Therefore, it is important that we visit you at this time to understand these changes, and so we can collect information about different babies at the same age. 

In England, Wales and Scotland, the notification letters were sent in early July 2023. The invitation letters were sent, and interviewing started, a few months later. 

Notification letters will be sent in February 2024 in Northern Ireland from the Health and Social Care Business Services Organisation on behalf of your Health Trust. Invitation letters and fieldwork will begin in late March.

Which family members are invited to take part?

No. We hope both will take part, but it’s up to each of you to make your own decision.

We want to include mothers or fathers who live apart from their child’s other parent, whatever the relationship between the parents, and whatever involvement they have with their baby.

Each parent will be interviewed separately. Your baby does not need to be present.

We will use information from birth records in England, Wales and Scotland, if available, to invite each parent to take part. In Northern Ireland, we will ask the parent listed on the maternity record about inviting the child's other parent to take part.

In all countries, we will ask each parent for the other parent’s contact details, which they may give if they wish. These details will only be used to contact the other parent about this study.

Your participation and survey responses will be kept completely confidential. This means we will not tell your baby’s other parent about any of the information you provide or about your circumstances, including your address.

If you have any concerns about us contacting your baby’s other parent, please contact us as soon as you can via tel: 0800 151 0610 or via email: gnestudy@ipsos.com.

We would like to ask you about all your babies if you have twins, triplets or more! Some of the questions we ask will only need to be answered once (e.g. questions about yourself) but other questions will need to be repeated for each baby (e.g. about each baby’s habits and how they are developing). This may mean the interview is slightly longer for you.

Yes, every family invited to take part can do so, regardless of citizenship or nationality.

Only parents who live in the UK are being invited to take part.

Yes! For the study findings to benefit all kinds of families, we want to hear from many different families from all backgrounds, and this includes families of children with disabilities.  

No. In England, Wales and Scotland we are using the details of parents listed on the child’s birth registration to invite all birth parents to take part in Generation New Era. In Northern Ireland, we are using the details of the parent listed on the child's maternity record.

We’d like to include stepparents or partners of parents who live with the study child. Generation New Era will not know any details about stepparents or partners of parents, as they are not listed on birth or maternity records. When the interviewer comes to speak with you, they will ask you some questions to establish whether there are any partners or stepparents who would be eligible to take part.

Yes. In England, Wales and Scotland we are sending invitations to all parents listed on the child’s birth registration records. Sometimes one or both same-sex parents may not appear on the birth certificate. If you are not listed on your child’s birth registration you will not receive an invite addressed to you, but you can still take part. The interviewer will speak with the person listed on the child’s birth registration to establish this and invite you to take part. In Northern Ireland, we will be contacting the parent listed on your child's maternity record and inviting other parents to take part through this parent.

Adoptive and foster parents with legal parental responsibility will be invited to take part. We may not have these details from the birth registration/maternity record, so the interviewer will speak with the person whose details we have to establish who can take part.  

If the interviewer finds the baby is not living with either parent, we may be able to invite whoever the baby is living with to take part. We can only interview in households without a parent if someone has legal parental responsibility for the child. For example, a kinship carer with a special guardianship order.

What will the interview involve?

A fully trained interviewer will call at your home address to find out if you would like to take part. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have. The interviewer will always carry photo ID. If you’re out or it’s not convenient, the interviewer will come back at a better time.

We would like one parent of each child to complete a 60-minute interview in person with the interviewer. We would like the other parent to complete a separate 30-40 minute interview, which can be done either in person with the interviewer or online, whichever suits you best. We can also sometimes do this by telephone.

There are some questions which need to be answered by both parents to get a full picture of your and your child’s life (e.g. details about yourself and your relationship with your child) whereas other questions only need to be asked once per family. For example, details about your home or about your child’s health, diet and development.

We always need one parent to complete the longer interview. This is usually done by whichever parent spends the most time with the baby. If you and your child’s other parent live separately, we will always ask the parent who lives in the child’s main household to complete the longer interview.

You can read more about what you will be asked about on our What's Involved page.

You do not have to answer any question you do not want to. During the in-person interviews, some of the questions are answered privately on the interviewer’s computer. 

Yes, you will be asked about adding information from administrative records to your survey responses. You can find out more about this on the Adding information page.

Interviews will usually happen in your home and should ideally take place in private, that is without other family members present. During the interview, you will be asked to complete some of the more personal questions (e.g. about your health and well-being) privately on the interviewer’s computer. If you would rather not be interviewed in your home, you can agree on a suitable alternative location with your interviewer. For example, in your child’s other parent’s home, or in another family member’s home. Interviews should not usually take place in public spaces. 

We understand parents lead very busy lives, so the interviewer will arrange a day and time that works best for you. Interviews can take place at weekends and evenings.

We only have your name and address and no other contact details, so we are not able to get in touch via email, text or by phone.

No, your baby does not need to be present when your interview takes place. 

No, your child’s other parent does not need to be present when your interview takes place. 

Interviews can be done in languages other than English with an interpreter being present during the interview. This usually works best if you have a trusted family member or neighbour that can help to translate the questions. This should usually be someone aged 16 or over. If you do not have anyone to do this, we can sometimes arrange for an interpreter to join a telephone call with you and the interviewer. You can find translations of the materials we have sent to you on the Letters and leaflets page.

This can sometimes be arranged. Please contact us to request this.  

Each parent who takes part will receive a voucher as a thank you for their time. The voucher can be spent in a range of high street shops. The interviewer will give you a gift card at the end of in-person interviews. You’ll receive an e-voucher if you take part online or by telephone.  

The interview will give you an opportunity to reflect on your life as a parent and your baby’s development. People who’ve taken part in previous studies like this have told us they have really enjoyed taking part.

Yes, you can stop the interview any time you want without providing a reason.

If your child’s other parent lives in your household, you’ll have the same interviewer. If your child’s other parent lives close to you, it is possible you will both be interviewed by the same interviewer.

The interviewer will never share any of the responses or personal details you provided them with in your interview, or whether or not you’ve taken part. If you have any concerns about this, please contact Ipsos via tel: 0800 151 0610.

The information is used for research purposes only. Your survey responses will be put together with the answers from all the other people who are interviewed and made securely available for research via the UCL Data Safe Haven, UK Data Service and other secure research environments.

Sometimes this may include commercial organisations using the data for approved research purposes. This research data does not contain any names, addresses, or other personal details that could directly identify individuals in the study.

Your study information is treated in strict confidence and kept securely. It is used in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and will be retained until no longer required by the study. Generation New Era has strict security rules and secure systems to protect your information.

You can find more information about this on the looking after your information pages.

The data controller for the study is University College London (UCL). A data controller is the organisation that determines for what reason and how personal data is processed. UCL’s legal basis for using your information is for ‘a task in the public interest’ under the General Data Protection Regulation.  

More information about privacy, confidentiality, legal rights and responsibilities, is available on the looking after your information section of this website, including the study’s privacy notice.

If you are concerned about how your personal data is processed for the study you can contact the UCL Data Protection Office via email: data-protection@ucl.ac.uk or the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Find more information on the ICO website.

The information you give will be kept entirely confidential from other members of your family and from organisations who provide services or administer benefits that you or your baby may use or receive.

In very exceptional circumstances your confidentiality may be broken, for example, if something you tell us indicates that someone is at significant risk of harm.

More information about privacy and confidentiality is available on the looking after your information page

You do not have to take part in Generation New Era if you do not want to, and you have the right to withdraw from the research at any stage, without having to give a reason. If you do withdraw or if we lose touch with you, we will retain and continue to use your study information for research unless you tell us not to.

If you choose not to take part, we will use the information from birth records in England, Wales and Scotland to understand who does and doesn’t take part. In Northern Ireland, we will use information from maternity records to understand who does and doesn’t take part. This information will only be accessed using a safe setting hosted by the Health and Social Care Business Services Organisation (BSO) and the data will not contain your name and address.

You can find out more about this on the looking after your information pages.

What will happen in the future?

We will not provide any individual feedback to you about your family or your child. This is because research does not look at results for individuals, but at groups of people.

So that you can see how your participation is making a difference, we will regularly share important research findings from the study with you, and the changes made possible by your participation. The findings from Generation New Era will be published in reports and scientific papers, and may be reported in newspapers, on TV, and radio.

In future, we hope to visit you again to understand how your baby is continuing to develop as they become a toddler, a child going to school and eventually a young person. It will always be up to you to decide whether you want to take part. Future surveys are dependent on further funding.

Got a question?