Current projects

Time Use Research for National Statistics (TURNS)

Our overall objectives are (i) providing a step change, based on new technologies, in the design of time use diary surveys (TUDs), and (ii) developing a system of social indicators of population health, wealth and wellbeing, all based on the same body of TUD information, connecting the once-per-decade TUD surveys up to 2015, with annual estimates starting from the early 2020s , using our recently-developed low-cost low-burden Click and Drag Diary Instrument (CaDDI) as the basis for experimental comparisons, varying the number of diary days, and different types of diary fields, and the granularity of activity recording as well as the use of wearable instrumentation (such as cameras and/or accelerometers) to provide validation and calibration.

The new social indicators will allow us to re-assess economic output, fully reflecting both unpaid work, and the value of extensions of the market as a result of innovative forms of production—Uber- or AirB&B-type “sharing economy” and the “internet of things”. 

We will:

  • provide indicators of subjective wellbeing using diary enjoyment evidence and its association with conventional measures such as feelings of life satisfaction or happiness;
  • estimate the extent and distribution of (un)healthy daily activities: sleep, sedentary activities, meals, snacking, and physical exercise;
  • develop our estimates of the behavioural risk of infectious disease transmission based on combinations of activity types, their locations, and who respondents were with during those activities;
  • contribute to the prediction of sustainability based on environmental “footprints” in the form of energy and other material requirements associated with activity patterns;
  • in each case addressing inequalities across the population, analysing differentials by gender, class, family type and ethnicity.


New Frontiers for Time Use Research (NFTUR)

An ESRC responsive mode grant, which continues the dual resource and research role for the centre, funds the development of new time use data collection methods and of improvements to the MTUS, as well as projects on time-diary-based accounts of economic circumstances and well-being, on work, self-employment and unemployment, children’s time-use and life-outcomes, gender and work/life balance, eating and exercise, sleep, daily/weekly rhythms of work and leisure, and connections between work, ICT and wellbeing.




Understanding how parental time influences educational and socio-behavioural outcomes of children.

PARENTIME looks at the mechanisms driving the inter-generational transmissions of inequalities by looking at the effect of parents and children interactions on their children's later life outcomes.

This 5-year project started in October 2018.

An ERC consolidator grant to develop new socio-economic theories that unpack the detailed mechanisms driving the inter-generational transmission of inequality. The research takes a theoretically-driven Big Data approach by linking large representative 24-hour diary survey data of parents and children with very comprehensive and detailed information on child outcomes from administrative data to:

  1. go beyond the quantity of parental time to explore the inter-connections between family members and their role in the child’s acquisition of human capital (i.e., the timing and sequence, co-presence, multi-tasking, and instantaneous parental enjoyment).
  2. establish long-term effects of parental time investments by looking at a comprehensive set of child human capital measures all the way into the child’s adult life.
  3. arrive at a well-coordinated scientific approach, starting at the micro-sequential level of parents and children’s everyday life and building progressively to a macro understanding of the (re)production of socio-economic inequality.