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News & Outputs

10 October, 2007

The ESRC have announced a call for the third round of User Fellowships

The ESRC is currently funding a range of projects undertaken by early stage or mid-career researchers working in academic and non-academic organisations in the UK. Funding is available to support User Fellowships for early stage or mid-career researchers working in public or voluntary sector organisations to undertake research involving quantitative analysis of secondary (census, survey, administrative) data in association with an academic partner in an academic centre of excellence. Typically funding will cover the cost of up to 6 months full-time salary of the Fellow although it will be possible to spread the equivalent funding over a longer period of time.

For more information about the call please go to the ESRC website.

3 October, 2007

Report of the UPTAP strands at the BSPS annual conference held at University of St Andrews, 11-13th September 2007.

UPTAP at the BSPS 2007

UPTAP had a strong presence at the annual British Society of Population Studies (BSPS) Conference held at the University of St Andrews from 11-13 September 2007.

John Stillwell (UPTAP Coordinator, University of Leeds) spoke in the first plenary session of the conference on Tuesday evening on the ‘ESRC Population Change Research Challenge and UPTAP’ where he explained the current demographic focus of several of the ESRC’s initiatives, outlined the current challenges and the guidelines behind the recent ESRC Research Centre Competition, and then talked about the UPTAP programme. He illustrated the different types of work being undertaken within the programme, emphasised the importance of capacity building and communication with the user sector and finished by encouraging applications to the forthcoming third call for UPTAP User Fellowships. Following John’s presentation, Guy Goodwin (Director, ONS Centre for Demography) spoke about the impacts of migration and the demographic research priorities at the Office of National Statistics, the history of collaboration and the need to build up the Centre’s staff expertise and the need for future partnerships to ensure that the important research challenges are addressed in the optimal way..

See John Stillwell’s Presentation

See Guy Goodwin’s Presentation

There were two UPTAP sessions on the following Wednesday, both consisting of three papers. Paul Norman (University of Leeds) kicked off the first session with a presentation showing the results of some of his work on ‘The micro-geography of UK demographic change 1991-2001’, demonstrating the extent and whereabouts of population, net migration and deprivation change at ward level between the two censuses. He showed that the populations of most urban and more deprived areas were maintained by natural change gain and that the population was moving away from more urban and more deprived areas during the 1990s to less deprived semi-urban locations. He also suggested that more urban and deprived areas had younger populations that less urban and non-deprived areas and that the least deprived and most rural areas were ageing the most rapidly. This presentation became an interactive session as the audience were keen to question Paul along the way about the plausibility of some of his results.

See Paul Norman’s Presentation

The second paper was presented by Adam Dennett (University of Leeds) and reported on an audit of spatial interaction data undertaken at Leeds with Oliver Duke-Williams and John Stillwell that forms the basis of new plans for an ‘An enhanced UK spatial interaction data service’. This paper was given due to the late withdrawal of one of the speakers. Adam explained that, over the next five years and in the run-up to the next census in 2011, the Centre for Interaction Data Estimation and Research (CIDER) is aiming to extend the interaction (migration and commuting) data holdings in WICID so as to provide researchers with access to sets of interaction data that complement the flows available from the SMS/SWS/STS. He summarized the main findings of the audit before discussing the three selected datasets (NHSCR and patient register data, HESA data and HES data) that will be incorporated into the new system and some of the challenges that their inclusion may present as CIDER moves towards offering a more comprehensive spatial interaction data service.

See Adam Dennett’s Presentation

The final paper of the session on ‘Developing individualised life tables’ was presented by Martin Karlsson (University of Oxford) reporting on work undertaken with Les Mayhew and Ben Rickayzen, (Cass Business School, City University). Martin outlined the recent trends in healthy life expectancy, pointing out that life expectancy free from disability has been slowly increasing although the proportion of life spent free from any disability has remained fairly constant. He identified the factors which are of particular importance in people’s life expectancy: health, labour market participation, cohabitation and mortality. The significance of these variables is twofold: they determine the well-being of individuals, but the variables also determine the resources available to the individuals in times of ill health. Using the BHPS, he showed the extent to which these variables are influenced by one another, and by exogenous factors such as education and race. Estimating a system of probit models using simulation techniques, he was able to distinguish the effects of the exogenous and endogenous variables from state dependence and unobserved heterogeneity and to estimate time trends in mortality, health and other dependent variables to investigate whether a compression of morbidity has occurred in the recent past. The parameter estimates were used to simulate life tables for various sub-groups in the population and compare measures of life expectancy and healthy life expectancy for different groups.

See Martin Karlsson’s Presentation

The three papers in the second session were more related to one another in focusing on health and well-being. Dimitris Ballas (University of Sheffield) began the session with a presentation co-authored with Mark Tranmer, (University of Manchester) on ‘Building a multi-level model of happiness and well-being’. Dimitris provided a short outline of the history of ‘happiness research’ before explaining the rationale behind the multi-level approach that he has adopted. He showed some of the results of the analysis of applying a model at individual, household, district and region level and concluded that whilst happiness is primarily an individual characteristic, the household or immediate social context does matter whilst the district and region contexts are much less important. However, there is some evidence to suggest that spatial variations in happiness do exist, even after accounting for the individual and household context. Slough has the unfortunate characteristic of being at the bottom of the happiness league table whereas Wycombe is at the top!

See Dimitris Ballas’ Presentation

Harriet Young (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) then presented the final results of her UPTAP project entitled ‘Old, sick and alone? Living arrangements, health and well being amongst older people’. This is a project that she has completed in collaboration with Emily Grundy (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and which used data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) to analyse cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between living arrangements and health and well-being in England amongst older people. Specific health outcome variables include self-rated health, CES-D depression score and loneliness. Additionally, she examined the influence of extra-household support and socio-economic status on this association. Two of the main conclusions of this work are that there is a close association between living alone and higher levels of depression and loneliness, and that among women, better self-rated health occurs if they are living alone that with a spouse.

See Harriet Young’s Presentation

Paul Boyle (University of St Andrews) finished off the session with a presentation entitled ‘Does being a step-parent influence your health? A longitudinal analysis’. He reported work done in collaboration with Peteke Feijten, Zhiqiang Feng and Elspeth Graham, (University of St Andrews) and Vernon Gayle (University of Stirling). Paul began by indicating that while there have been many studies which have explored the health-effects of living in a stepparent family on children, there have been virtually none which considered the potential psychological impacts on the parents in stepfamilies. He then reported on an analysis using longitudinal birth cohort data from the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS) and comparing the mental health of stepparents and their partners with parents in first families. He suggested that while the stresses involved in stepfamilies may have an impact on mental health, it is also possible that those with poorer mental health are more likely to end up in a stepfamily – thus, the direction of causality may be difficult to determine.

See Paul Boyle’s presentation

In addition to these presentations, UPTAP researchers also gave papers in other sessions at the conference. In a session on Transitions to Childrearing and Partnerships, Dylan Kneale (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education, University of London) gave a joint paper with Heather Joshi on ‘Social polarisation and timing of motherhood in Britain’ and Ernestina Coast (London School of Economics) spoke about her UPTAP project on ‘Currently cohabiting: relationship attitudes and intentions in the BHPS’. Finally, in a session devoted to Methods, Paul Norman (University of Leeds) gave a paper on ‘Estimating with Confidence’ and hindsight: population estimates for areas smaller than districts, revisions to the levels of 1991 Census non-response’, illustrating some of the methods used to produce the data underpinning his analysis of demographic change between 1991 and 2001 that he presented earlier in the conference.

See Dylan Kneale’s Presentation

See Ernestina Coast’s Presentation

See Paul Norman’s Presentation

BSPS provided an excellent opportunity for raising awareness about the UPTAP initiative amongst the 160 participants who attended the conference, many of whom were from statistical agencies and local authorities.

2 October, 2007

Successful applications in 2nd round of UPTAP funding

Successful applications in UPTAP Round 2 are the following (* indicates that the award is conditional):
Sylvia Dubuc (University of Oxford)
Small grant
Demographic characteristics and projections of ethnic minority and religious groups

Zhiqiang Feng (University of St Andrews)
Small grant
Neighbourhoods and the creation, stability and success of mixed ethnic unions*

Nissa Finney (University of Manchester)
Research Fellowship
Ethnic Group Population Change and Integration: A Demographic Approach to Small Area Ethnic Geographies

Vanessa Higgins (University of Manchester)
Small grant
Ethnic differences in diet, physical activity and obesity

Paula Kautt (Cambridge University)
Small grant
Ethnic Variation in Criminological Experiences: A Single and Multilevel Statistical Analysis of British Crime Survey Data, 2001-2006 *

Lavinia Mitton (University of Kent)
Small grant
‘Black Africans’ in Britain: Integration or Segregation

Phil Rees (University of Leeds)
Large grant
What happens when international migrants settle? Ethnic group population trends and projections for UK local areas under alternative scenarios

Albert Sabater (University of Manchester)
Postdoctoral Fellowship
Estimating segregation and diversity of ethnic groups over time in England and Wales, 1991-2001 *

Marina Shapira (University of Edinburgh)
Small grant
Understanding the Labour Market Impact of Immigration in Britain

Antonia Simon (Institute of Education)
Small grant
Exploring the movement of people from different ethnic groups into or out of wards with high or low density of their own ethnic group *

Xuan-Mai Stafford (UCL, University of Manchester)

Large grant
Racial Discrimination and Health: exploring the possible protective effects of ethnic identity *

Liz Twigg (University of Portsmouth, University of Southampton)
Small grant
Exploring the Goodhart thesis at the local scale: neighbourhood social heterogeneity and perceptions of quality of life in the British Crime Survey