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Terms of Reference

This note establishes the terms of reference of the BHPS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) appointed by the United Kingdom Longitudinal Studies Centre (ULSC) with the approval of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).


The BHPS Scientific Steering Committee will:

  • Provide oversight and stewardship of the BHPS study to ensure its long-term health, development and scientific utility.
  • Liaise with the National Longitudinal Strategy Committee (NLSC) ; where appropriate:
    • Referring to or advising the NLSC on matters arising from work of the BHPS study
    • Considering or acting upon advice from the NLSC.
  • Engage and work with any organisation or individual in pursuance of the SSC’s responsibility for oversight and stewardship of the BHPS study


The SSC will have responsibility for:


  • Of all aspects of the strategic direction of the BHPS study including matters of content, design, sampling and periodicity etc
  • Of all new research and other activities likely to affect the BHPS study including data linkage, research collaborations etc.
  • Of all aspects of the quality of the BHPS study including response rates, coding, timing, documentation, data access etc
  • Of all considerations relating to research ethics beyond the remit of, or not satisfactorily addressed by, Essex University research ethics procedures


  • By taking action to promote the continuation, development and use of the BHPS study
  • By encouraging and supporting measures to, for example: Solicit ideas for improving and developing the BHPS study Foster increased research activity use of the BHPS Increase the use made of the BHPS in teaching
  • By promoting appreciation of the contribution of the BHPS study to: Better understanding of modern British society Informing the development of public policy Advancing the social science disciplines Enhancing methodological development Etc.

Modus operandi (to be added to and amended at next meeting of the SSC)

  • The membership of the BHPS Scientific Steering Committee is appointed by the ESRC United Kingdom Longitudinal Studies Centre (ULSC) with the agreement of the ESRC.
  • There will normally be two meetings with Committee members each year. Where possible, the timing of one of these bi-annual meetings should coincide with a TRIOKA meeting to enable the nominated liaison member of the Research Resources Board and member of the ESRC secretariat to attend.
  • The nominated liaison member and the ESRC Centre Officer should be provided with copies of the meeting papers in advance and subsequent minutes for all meetings
  • The SSC will additionally convene when and in whatever form is necessary and appropriate in pursuance of its responsibilities.
  • The SSC will commission such reviews and papers for consideration and discussion on strategic and other issues that assist it in pursuance of its responsibilities.
  • The SSC will respond to papers and issues raised by the NLSC and other interested parties.
  • The SSC will sponsor the Free One Minute Competition to identify questions for possible (usually one-off) inclusion in the BHPS.
  • The SSC will take reports each year covering:
    • A quality assessment of the implementation and release of the latest wave of the BHPS.
    • Trends in the usage of the BHPS.
    • Progress on future waves of the BHPS.
  • A web-page for the SSC will be added to the BHPS website to communicate with and take suggestions from the BHPS constituency.
  • The SSC will undertake other activities consistent with pursuance of its responsibilities.