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ESRC Framework to Enable Biosocial Research. Why does biology matter to social scientists? ▶ Social experiences get biologically embedded – Blood analytes.

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Presentation on theme: "ESRC Framework to Enable Biosocial Research. Why does biology matter to social scientists? ▶ Social experiences get biologically embedded – Blood analytes."— Presentation transcript:

1 ESRC Framework to Enable Biosocial Research

2 Why does biology matter to social scientists? ▶ Social experiences get biologically embedded – Blood analytes and biomarkers – Brain and Central Nervous System – Genome (e.g. epigenetics, gene expression, telomere length) ▶ Lasting effects on health – E.g. Diabetes, Inflammation, and Obesity/ Sleep ▶ Biology interplays with experiences for socioeconomic outcomes – Cortisol reactivity to stress, immune systems, etc. – Gene x Environment interactions, genetic sensitivity – ? Gene expression

3 Biosocial Research – Dynamic interplays between biology, experiences and behavior over life course – Understanding pathways and mechanisms – Interplays and feedbacks across levels from molecules to macro-contexts (cells to society; neurons to neighborhoods) ▪ Genomic, neurological and physiological systems ▪ Physical and mental health ▪ Social behaviors, experiences and outcomes – Multidisciplinary collaboration required – Biological, medical and social sciences

4 ESRC Commitment ▶ Enabling innovative research using rich data sources ▶ Investing to enable biosocial research over several years ▶ Interdisciplinary research requires collaboration – Across disciplines and funders – Across nations ▶ Ensuring scientific quality, impact and high ethical standards ▶ Framework developed to ensure greater coherence in achieving goals

5 The Framework ▶ Developed by ESRC Biosocial Advisory Group ▶ Chair Neil Serougi (MIC) ▶ 8 independent members – Benzeval, Dezateux, Elliott, Hedgecoe, Hobcraft, Kumari, Mathers, and Wellings ▶ ESRC, MRC, BBSRC and Wellcome Trust ▶ investments/biosocial.aspx investments/biosocial.aspx ▶ ESRC monitoring and evaluating success in delivery

6 Enabling Biosocial Research ▶ Three key elements: ▶ Building Partnerships ▶ Building Resources ▶ Building Capacity

7 Building Partnerships ▶ Across Research Councils – RCUK - Lifelong Health and Wellbeing – MRC – Life Study, CLOSER, BCS70, Farr Institute, – BBSRC – Epigenetics initiative ▶ Government – Health and ADRN data linkage ▶ NIHR – Dementia ▶ Clinical Research Collaboration – Public health ▶ International - NIA – ELSA GWAS, Reversibility Network; – NIH, NSF - Epigenetics

8 Building Resources ▶ Understanding Society – Biomedical sweep - cognition, biomarkers and whole blood – Blood analytes and genome-wide scan ▶ ELSA – genome-wide scan ▶ MCS age 14 – salivary DNA collection (2015) ▶ BCS70 – biomedical sweep (with MRC, 2016) ▶ Life Study – strongly biosocial (with MRC) ▶ NCDS biomedical sweep (MRC funded, 2003)

9 Research and Capacity – CLOSER – EAGDA – Targeted Collaborative Research and Training awards to CLS and Understanding Society – ESRC International Centre For Life course Studies In Society and Health (UCL) – NCRM – especially Pathways Node – Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research (Manchester)

10 The Cohorts and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resource – CLOSER brings together 9 major longitudinal studies – Training and Capacity building – Uniform Search Platform – improve data discovery – Harmonisation – biosamples, biomedical measures, data linkage, socioeconomic measures – Stimulate collaborative cross-study and interdisciplinary research – Raise impact and awareness

11 Expert Advisory Group for Data Access (EAGDA) ▶ Wellcome Trust, MRC, ESRC, CRUK ▶ High-level independent expert group ▶ Provides guidance and advice to funders ▶ Current topics: – Identifiability – Data Access Committees: improving accessibility – Incentives: data sharing, service provision & infrastructure, career prospects & rewards – Public trust and commercial data access

12 Building Capacity -1 ▶ CLOSER, NCRM, Understanding Society, CLS and ELSA – Series of collaborative training and capacity building events on biomarkers and genetics in social science ▶ ESRC, BBSRC, NICHD, NIA, NSF – Series of cross-national meetings on social and behavioral epigenetics

13 Building Capacity - 2 ▶ Training activities and plans – DTC review – how to include biosocial? – NCRM Pathways, Essex Summer School, Manchester, CLOSER etc – SAT Report to MIC and TSB on Skills and Capacity for Big Data and Biosocial Science ▶ Need for coordinated and planned delivery mechanisms ▶ ESRC statement about investment in biosocial science and planned activities to build capacity in early 2015

14 Funding opportunities ▶ Epigenetics call with BBSRC: – £3m, closing date 15 January 2015 – Building capability, methodology, longitudinal – Networks (<£200K); Proof of Principle (<£500K); Larger research projects (<£1M) ▶ Secondary Data Analysis Initiative 3 – Early career researchers – awards, max £200K; closed 27 January 2015 – Interdisciplinary, including biosocial; ESRC data resource

15 Funding Opportunities ▶ Future Research Leaders: – Early career researchers – Up to 40 awards, max £350K; closed 20 January 2015 – Big data, Biosocial, Longitudinal ▶ Research Seminars and Strategic Networks – max £30k seminars; £100K Networks; closes 8 April 2015 – Biosocial, Big data, Education & neuroscience, Civil society

16 Science Capital Roadmap 2015 ▶ Up to £75m to ESRC ▶ Big Data and Information Economy – International interdisciplinary centre in real-time data analytics – Secure, seamless access to global data infrastructure for all – Integrated programme of biosocial data resources ▪ Ensure innovative use of existing collections for longitudinal studies ▪ Integrate the biosocial across life-course to enhance understanding of behaviours and society


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