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University of Essex

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Institute for Social & Economic Research Socio-economic research and surveys


Based at the University of Essex. ISER’s world-class team of survey and research experts specialises in the production and analysis of longitudinal data – evidence which tracks changes in the lives of the same people over time.


ISER enjoys an international profile for its cutting-edge socio-economic research. Its prestigious team of researchers has a wide range of expertise in social science disciplines, including economics, sociology, demography, geography and statistics.

Using longitudinal studies such as the ISER-led British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society, our researchers also produce substantive research as the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-social Change focussing primarily on the life-course of the individual and the changing nature of society.

ISER is also home to UK Longitudinal Studies Centre which was established by the Economic and Social Research Council in 1999 and is the national resource centre for promoting longitudinal research and for the design, management and support of longitudinal surveys. Its goal is to ensure the collection of longitudinal data of the highest quality to meet UK social research needs and to promote its widest and most effective use. In achieving this the centre makes a major contribution to the UK’s unique portfolio of longitudinal studies and to the advances they help us make in advancing the social sciences and in understanding society.

We also lead the prestigious EUROMOD project, the tax benefit microsimulation model for the European Union, providing resources for economists within ISER and across the world to study the impact of tax and benefit policy changes or proposals on household economic situations within individual European countries and in comparison with others.

At any one time, our acclaimed international academic team is involved in a wide range of projects and our research makes a crucial contribution not just to the academic literature on these subjects, but to the decisions that are made by practitioners and policy makers around the world.

ISER research matters.Their work is used by academics and researchers, policy makers, other influential bodies, charitable organisations and journalists involved in ongoing debates about society.


ISER is one of the leading centres in the world for the design and management of longitudinal surveys and for survey methodology.

The British Household Panel Survey, run by the team at ISER since 1991, is one of the most widely used data sets in the world and its successor, Understanding Society, is the largest study of its kind, interviewing people annually in 40,000 UK households.

Its highly-specialised team of experts ensure the collection of longitudinal data of the highest quality to meet UK social research needs and to promote its widest and most effective use. The team also supports researchers and other users of the data through the provision of advice, information and training in longitudinal analysis and the provision of resources to make data easier to use.



Current projects

ISER research matters and makes a difference. Find out about the projects our world-class team is working on right now.


  1. ECASS
  2. ESEC