Work Stream 3: Lifecourse Analysis


Lead: Prof Jo Duberley

This work stream encompasses the whole working lifespan and aims to examine how decisions are made across key life points and the cumulative impact of these decisions; how employers manage and support changes across the lifespan; how individuals adapt across the lifespan to changing work patterns and the impact of this on wellbeing and earnings.



The Big Questions

  1. How can work become a rewarding part of people’s lives?
  2. How does social construction of age constrain/fix starting points and positions over the lifecourse? 
  3. What are the factors that influence and impact on people’s ability to access and remain in work?
  4. How do we best enable people to manage work as part of their lives?
  5. How can health and well-being be promoted in work including in non-standard work and workplaces?

Illustrative project area: How do employers manage workers and how do workers manage work over their lifecourse?


To identify key transition points that workers go through and the challenges that each stage in the life course may present; To evaluate how employers manage staff across the lifecourse and evaluate the extent to which they are currently equipped/skilled to respond to these challenges.  To explore how workers manage work in its myriad forms over their lifecourse.

Research Questions:

  • What are the needs and objectives of business in the management of an age diverse workforce?
  • What are the challenges faced by employees and employers at different stages in the life course?
  • Are managers sufficiently able/skilled to manage staff across the life course?
  • How will retirement options be managed?


  • Longitudinal framework incorporating cross sectional/mid-term follow-up with different cohorts
  • Network of research hubs (either responsible for a different cohort or different research focus across the cohorts)
  • Retrospective studies
  • Modelling situations where estimation of future behaviour is required
  • Community/real world settings/case studies