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MRC launches new Cohort Directory

20 May 2015

A new online directory of the UK’s largest population cohorts has been created by the MRC to help researchers and policy-makers to find and use them more easily.

These large-scale studies of healthy people are a valuable UK asset; currently 1 in 30 people in the UK are cohort study members. Each cohort contains a wealth of data that can be used to study a wide range of health risk factors and outcomes.  Ensuring that information about a cohort is easy to discover and the ability to access this data was a key recommendation of the MRC Strategic Review of the Largest UK Population Cohort Studies (PDF, 2.07MB).

Bringing together the portfolio of large UK cohorts into a single directory will raise awareness and increase the utility and value for money of these valuable UK resources.

The Directory provides a brief profile of each cohort and a high level overview of the information it collects. Users can filter their searches by gender, age range, sample size at recruitment and variables collected such as physical, cognitive, lifestyle and socioeconomic measures and biological samples.

The Directory currently holds information on the UKs largest population cohorts as featured in the MRC Strategic Review; ultimately this will be expanded to include a broader range of cohort studies.

Professor Jill Pell, Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow, said:

“As a researcher, I think this resource will be invaluable in improving awareness and use of these valuable resources, and I encourage the rest of the research community to take full advantage of this exciting development.”

You can access the directory at

To read more about the value of cohort studies and the new Directory please see a blog post by Professor Jill Pell, Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow. 


  • Categories: Research
  • Health categories: Generic
  • Strategic objectives: Mental health and wellbeing, Life course perspective, Lifestyles affecting health, Environment and health, Aim: Picking research that delivers
  • Locations:
  • Type: News article