New European Birth Cohort Study Achieves 2021 ESFRI Roadmap Status
Growing Up in Digital Europe (GUIDE), Europe’s first cross-national birth cohort study, has been included in the 2021 European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) Roadmap – signalling its role as one of the highest quality and valuable research infrastructures in Europe.

European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)  is a self-regulated body, mandated in 2002 by the EU Council, which exists to create a coherent and strategy-led approach to policy-making on research infrastructures in Europe. ESFRI supports the development of select pan-European research infrastructures of the highest quality through its Roadmap. The ESFRI Roadmap provides a high-level indicator of research excellence and direction that national roadmaps across Europe can refer to.

Growing Up in Digital Europe GUIDE is jointly coordinated by research teams at University College Dublin (UCD) in Ireland, and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) in the United Kingdom. The sub-project of th GUIDE at the University of Helsinki is led by Academy Professor Katariina Salmela-Aro.

GUIDE is a pan-European research infrastructure that will provide policy-makers with comparable cross-national information on the development of children’s wellbeing from birth to age 24-years. GUIDE has an accelerated birth cohort design following two age cohorts (infants, and 8-year-olds) approximately every three years. GUIDE has received political and/or institutional support from 20 countries who were part of the ESFRI application and plans to expand its consortium to new partner countries during the next four years.

GUIDE has already received EU funding to assess its feasibility (MYWEB), develop its research design and business plan (ECDP), and to initiate a ‘Starting Community’ (COORDINATE).

The GUIDE survey is scheduled to begin in the mid to late 2020s and will continue until the early 2050s. This landmark longitudinal study will produce harmonized data across partner countries, allowing for rigorous cross-national comparisons of environmental and social causal factors and child wellbeing outcomes thanks to GUIDE’s longitudinal design.