International Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society and Health (ICLS) Legacy

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Epidemiology and Public Health


ICLS's future activities build on an exceptional track record of scientific and societal impact, capacity building and co-funded research. In the next phase we will concentrate on ensuring external visibility to maximise the impact of findings - past and future, horizon scanning for opportunities to leverage funding, building capacity and leadership, and extending reach nationally and internationally. Our approach will ensure that ICLS continues to provide a vibrant research environment which is flexible and adaptable to new opportunities, that supports interdisciplinary engagement across the social and biological sciences, in addition to engagement with a range of non-academic partners, within an inclusive environment in which all staff and students can thrive.
ICLS's outstanding track record in scientific research on health across the lifecourse and its focus on health inequalities has a multitude of policy and practical implications. Taking a lifecourse perspective to health means we can identify opportunities for springboards for action at all life stages. ICLS's prior work demonstrates that the entire lifecourse is important for health, and intervention is 'never too early, and never too late'. It is widely recognised that prevention of illness is more cost-effective and ethical than cure, and that improvements to the social and economic circumstances of people's lives are the most effective form of prevention. In the current context of deepening social and health inequalities there is the added need to identify springboard policies for improving the nation's health. ICLS's research provides valuable insights for long term sustainable policies. Past and ongoing ICLS research is relevant for a range of policy areas aimed at improving health and well-being including family violence, children in the care system, youth mental health, the disability-employment gap, new ways of working, social care reforms, ethnic and gender equality as well as widening economic and geographic inequalities.
To sustain ICLS's external visibility we plan to continue our popular portfolio of blogs - Child of our Time (1.3M hits) and WorkLife (0.5M hits), which will showcase new findings and recommendations from ICLS research. We will also continue to engage regularly on social media platforms and update the ICLS website with news and events.
Horizon scanning activities will include regular interactions with funders, and with partners outside of academia. Partner relationships will be maintained and built through regular meetings with individual organisations, in addition to seminar/workshop format meetings where findings and ideas will be shared, and research coproduced.
Capacity building will be achieved through several channels. Centre members at all career stages will benefit by contributing presentations at monthly group meetings, events with partners, and blogs. Students and ECRs will gain from an apprenticeship model with involvement from project inception including proposal writing where they will collaborate with academic colleagues and partners through to delivery of research, ultimately becoming independent researchers.
Our core aim to extend ICLS's reach will be achieved by working with national and international networks through a commitment to organize and participate in events and workshops aimed at knowledge exchange and leveraging external funding, in addition to ad-hoc meetings at learned society meetings.


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