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EVENT: Setting a course for life chances: a new direction

This event discusses how researchers can influence policy by considering life chances across the lifecourse.

Date/Time: Monday 12 September 2016, 14:00 - 17:00

Venue: Room 2.20, Research Beehive, Old Library Building, Newcastle University

Life chances is a catch all term which our government is using to move away from structural factors to a more nuanced view about opportunity, including intervention. They will launch a life chances strategy, proposed life chances indicators and a public consultation, expected in 2016. This subsumes separate strategies about poverty and social mobility and the ‘what works’ agenda but there is a risk that it could disenfranchise groups with a strong focus on specific structural factors.

A group of researchers in Newcastle University will be translating their research to influence policy, looking at ‘life chances across the life course’: Wider opportunities from the life chances agenda and how we can integrate our research to engage with it to influence policy and improve outcomes at regional and national levels. Outcomes corresponding to ‘life chances’ should include health,education and work, as well as spanning the full life course, and the impact of Research to Policy is supported by the societal challenge themes. We will also develop these to consider more structural aspects of poverty such as housing and fuel poverty, and therefore sustainability.


We aim to establish a regional network of researchers and stakeholders working in this area, for three specific purposes:


  • to develop an institutional response to the life chances strategy consultation;
  • to identify relevant issues for the life chances of children in the North East; and,
  • to identify Newcastle University research for impact on national policy.



  1. Opening thoughts on the origins of ‘life chances’ - Mark Shucksmith (NISR)

  2. Responding to a changing policy agenda - Moussa Haddad, Policy Officer, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)

    3. Policy relevance of life course research with presentations from:


  • John Wildman (NUBS)
  • Thomas King (ECLS)
  • James Law (ECLS)
  • Sara Walker (MSE)
  • Mark Pearce (IHS)
  • Suzanne Moffatt (IHS)
  • Murray Dick (SAC)

4. Discussion on opportunities for Newcastle researchers and ways forward in the North East

5. Concluding thoughts - John Veit-Wilson (GPS)

You can read more at the Newcastle University Life Chances blog.

For further information please contact


published on: 18 August 2016