Understanding Society Scientific Conference 2017

When: Tue 11 Jul 2017 07:00 am - Thu 13 Jul 2017 03:00 pm

This year, the three-day Scientific Conference will feature research that uses Understanding Society data, British Household Panel Survey data and comparative studies using other longitudinal household panel data.

We are pleased to announce Professor Sir Richard Blundell, Professor Hilary Graham, Dr Heather Wardle & Professor Lucinda Platt will be the keynote speakers.

Professor Michaela Benzeval, Director of Understanding Society, comments: “This year, the Understanding Society Scientific Conference is set to be its best yet, with over 70 presentations and workshops. As well as papers based on Understanding Society we are really pleased to welcome a range of international researchers presenting comparative research."

“Understanding Society covers a wide range of topics and this is reflected in the conference papers which cover health, income, employment, wellbeing, education, families and survey methodology to name a few.”

Register now

Please register for the conference by 30th June 2017. If you have any questions about the conference or registration, please email us. Follow conference tweets via @usociety and #usociety17

Conference highlights

  • Workshops and social events will complement plenary and parallel sessions.
  • Key features of Understanding Society will be showcased, including sessions on: geographically linked data; exploiting biomarker data in economics research; making use of the immigrant and ethnic boost samples; family dynamics; household finances and their measurement; using harmonised BHPS-Understanding Society datasets; genetic markers as instrumental variables; and epigenetics in Understanding Society. Survey methodology sessions are also confirmed, covering the role of interviewers in survey measurement, and longitudinal survey participation.
  • Two optional workshops are also scheduled alongside the parallel conference sessions – on Tuesday 11th July there will be a workshop to examine how researchers can engage with journalists and programme producers; and on Wednesday 12th July there is a practical session on on the Cross-National Equivalent File, which includes BHPS and to which Understanding Society has recently been added.
  • ‘Drop-in’ sessions will be held during the conference for data users, to enable researchers to maximise their use of Understanding Society data. Survey experts from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex (which hosts Understanding Society) will be available to answer queries on topics such as the use of weights, using linked administrative data, combining social and biological data for research, questionnaire content and survey management, and the Understanding Society Innovation Panel.
  • On Wednesday 12th July there will also be a user consultation session on the harmonised BHPS-Understanding Society dataset which is due for public release later this year, for data users to ask questions and make suggestions about the harmonisation process.


Understanding Society is keen to recognise and celebrate exceptional academic research that has been conducted using Understanding Society data. This year there will be two prizes to be awarded at the Conference. Read more about the Understanding Society Paper Prize and the Understanding Society Young Researcher prize on the Conference website, including details of how to make your nomination.

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