At each survey, we’ll ask you about things that are relevant to your lives. When you were younger, we asked you about school, friends, family life and your hopes for the future. Now you are older, we’ll ask you about things like work, health, whether you get married or have children, and about your attitudes and beliefs. We’ll write to you before each survey to tell you all about what is involved.
If you move or if your contact details change, please let us know as soon as you can. This means we can make sure you get information about Next Steps and that we can contact you to invite you to take part in each survey.
We’re interested in following your life story. We want to see how your life changes over time, and what your life is like at certain ages. When you were growing up, Next Steps surveys took place every year because your lives were changing so quickly. Now that you are older, we will visit you less often.
The most recent survey was in 2015 when you were 25. We hope to continue to get in touch with you at particular ages throughout your adult life. These ages are specially chosen to mark key points in your lives that are interesting or important. The timing for future surveys has not yet been decided. But it is likely that future surveys will take place every 3-5 years.
The more information that the study gathers about your life over time, the more valuable it becomes. This is why we so value your unique and continued contribution.
It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part in each survey. We will send you information before each survey to let you know what it will involve. If you move between surveys, it would be very helpful if you could contact us with your new address.
We hope that the study will continue throughout your life. Other similar studies, which started in 1946, 1958, 1970 and 2000/1 are still going on today.
We really hope that you continue to take part. However, the study is voluntary so if you no longer want to take part in the next survey or in any future surveys, please contact us to let us know.
If you are not sure whether you’d like to continue to take part or if you have any questions about taking part, please do not hesitate to contact us. We really value the contribution you make to the study and are always happy to talk to you and answer any questions you may have.
Without you Next Steps is not possible. If you decide not to take part, we can’t replace you with anyone else. Your unique contribution is incredibly valuable.
To find out more about how your involvement helps make a difference to society visit the ‘What we’ve learned‘ page.
Yes! We’d like everyone to take part each time we visit. But it’s up to you to decide whether or not to take part each time. If you miss a survey, you can still remain in the study and do the next survey.
Even if you haven’t taken part for a while, we would love you to take part in the next survey. There’s a lot we can learn from how your lives have changed since you last took part even if we don’t have all the details of your life in between.
Each survey is important because we focus on different aspects of your lives each time we get in touch. The more information that the study gathers about your life over time, the more valuable it becomes. This is why we so value your unique and continued contribution.
If you are not sure about whether to take part or if you have any questions about taking part, please do not hesitate to contact us. We really value your contribution and are always happy to talk to you and answer any questions you have.
It’s fine to tell family and friends that you are part of the study. We do advise you not to make this detail public though, for example on social media, as this could risk compromising your anonymity.
Next Steps was transferred to the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) in 2013 from the Department for Education (DfE), who had run the study since it started in 2004. At the same time, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) took over funding of the study.
DfE wrote to all study members to tell you about the transfer, and give you the opportunity to opt-out of your details being passed to CLS. The letter and leaflet they sent to you are available in the resources section.
ESRC decided to pay for Next Steps to continue because it is the only major study following the lives of your generation. They asked CLS to manage Next Steps as we have lots of experience running similar studies.