About the Age 32 Survey

Why Age 32?

We are keen to hear from you every few years to keep up to date with how your lives are changing. Now you are entering your 30s; many of you are building your careers, having children and experiencing new things. We’d love to hear about your lives right now.


Why take part?

Taking part in the study is a chance to represent your generation, and to inform the support and services available in the future. The study will inform and improve policy in areas such as work, education, and health. Most people usually enjoy taking part and find it’s a useful opportunity to reflect on life.


Who is running the study?

Next Steps is managed by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) at the UCL Social Research Institute, a department of University College London (UCL). The Age 32 Survey is being conducted by Ipsos, an experienced independent social research organisation.


Who is paying for the survey?

The Age 32 Survey is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).


Will the funders see my replies?

No, they will not know who said what. The names and addresses of respondents interviewed in this survey are only seen by a small number of researchers at CLS and Ipsos who are involved in this study. Names and addresses will be kept separate from all of the other information collected and are never revealed without your permission. This means that responses to our questions can never be identified.


What does the survey involve?

This time, the survey involves completing a questionnaire about your life now and over the last few years. You will be asked about your home life, relationships, housing, economic circumstances, and health and wellbeing. We will also request your permission to add some information about you from administrative records (if you haven’t given it before), and ask you to give a saliva sample so we can analyse your DNA for research.

To thank you for your time we will send you a voucher, which can be spent online in a range of stores or can be donated to a charity. You will have six months to redeem your voucher.

We will send you an additional £10 voucher when we receive your saliva sample.

We will send you full information about what taking part will involve with your invitation. You can also check out Giving a saliva sample here on our website for more information.

How long will it take?

If you answer the questionnaire online, it should take around 60 minutes. If you complete the questionnaire with an interviewer it should take around 80 minutes. It should take about 10 minutes to provide a saliva sample.


Is it compulsory to take part?

Taking part is completely voluntary, but most members of the study find it an enjoyable and interesting experience to reflect on life. You can skip any questions that you would rather not answer.


Can I take part in just the questionnaire bit?

Yes. Giving us permission to add information from administrative records or providing a saliva sample is your choice. We hope you do agree as this will make the information we collect even more valuable to researchers but it’s entirely up to you. Whatever decision you make, we would still really like you to take part in the survey.


Why does my voucher amount change if I don’t complete the questionnaire online?

We will initially invite you to take part online as this is the quickest and easiest way for you to complete the questionnaire. It is also cheaper for us meaning we can offer a larger value voucher. If you don’t respond to the survey within 3 weeks an interviewer will try to contact you to ask you to complete the questionnaire with them. Using interviewers costs us more so we’ll have to reduce the value of your voucher.


What if I don’t want to take part online?

We will invite you first to take part online, as this is the quickest and easiest way for study members to take part. But if you prefer to take part in another way please contact Ipsos on Freephone 08001522516 or uk-nextstepssurvey@ipsos.com. If you don’t respond to the online survey within 3 weeks an interviewer will try to contact you to ask you to complete the questionnaire with them.


What precautions will my interviewer take to limit the spread of Covid-19?

If you choose to take part in the survey a face-to-face visit in your home, interviewers will take the following precautions to limit the spread of Covid-19:

  • Interviewers will not visit you if they have symptoms of Covid-19 or have tested positive. Instead, they will reschedule for another time, or offer to conduct the interview another way (for example, by video call).
  • Interviewers will wear masks when inside your home, and will keep a distance of 1 metre from you and anyone you live with.
  • Interviewers will ask you to open a door or window for at least part of the visit, to allow some ventilation.
  • Interviewers will sanitise their hands and any equipment they hand to you before the interview.

Please let the interviewer know ahead of time if you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or have tested positive.

If you are uncomfortable having someone visit you at home, talk to your interviewer. They would be happy to discuss any additional arrangements to make you feel more comfortable, or they can offer you other ways of taking part in the Age 32 Survey, such as a video call.


What if I don’t want a face-to-face interview?

You will first be invited to take part online. If you don’t respond to the online survey within 3 weeks an interviewer will try to contact you to ask you to complete the survey face-to-face in your home. We understand that you may have concerns about the risk of COVID-19 infection. Ipsos require all their interviewers to follow strict procedures when conducting in home interviews which are designed to maximise safety for both study members and interviewers. However, if you would rather not have an interviewer visit you at home there are other options (including conducting the interview via video-call) which the interviewer will discuss with you.


How can I be sure that the interviewer who has contacted me is genuine?

All interviewers who work for Ipsos carry an identity card. Interviewers will have a copy of the booklets and letters that were sent to you in advance. You can verify the identity of your interviewer by calling Ipsos, on Freephone 08001522516.


I need to rearrange my appointment with the interviewer – what should I do?

If you need to rearrange your appointment, please call the interviewer directly if you have their telephone number. If you don’t, you can call or email Ipsos on Freephone 08001522516 or uk-nextstepssurvey@ipsos.com.


Is video interviewing secure?

Yes. If you choose to have a video interview, it will take place using Microsoft Teams. This software has been approved by the UCL Information Security Team. The software uses end-to-end encryption and authentication process which provides the highest level of security. Interviewers will make sure that they conduct the interview in a place where nobody else will be able to see or hear the interview taking place. The interviewer will record your answers on their laptop and the information collected will then be processed securely.


Will the video interview be recorded?

No, we will not be recording the video call interviews.