About the network

Colum Walsh holding a test tube

The Epigenetics and Social Science Network is an ESRC and BBSRC initiative.

The Research Councils provided £3M of funding through grants to eight new projects, which together have formed a collaborative network.

This is an innovative collaboration between biological and social scientists from many disciplines to study the impact of early life experiences on health outcomes throughout our lives. We aim to facilitate collaboration and communication within the epigenetics community.

Evidence shows that experiences in early life are linked to health and behavioural outcomes in the future, but the ways in which these experiences become embedded are not fully understood. Epigenetic research allows us to look at the underlying factors of diverse human responses to environmental signals.

The research will look at the complex interactions between social phenomena, human biology and behaviour and has significant potential implications for both life long health and social policy.

The network comprises of researchers from the following institutions:

  • Cardiff University
  • Durham University
  • Imperial College London
  • King's College London
  • Max Planck Institute for Medical Research
  • Technion Israel Institute of Technology
  • Ulster University
  • University College London
  • University Hospital of Lausanne
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of Warwick

Find out more about our research outputs

This innovative collaboration between biological and social scientists will help us understand the impact of early life experiences on future health. By bridging the gap between disciplines, we will help build an excellent, multidisciplinary research community in the field of epigenetics.

Professor Melanie Welham, BBSRC Chief Executive

I’m delighted that ESRC and BBSRC have worked together so closely to fund these excellent projects. Not only will this research provide fascinating insights and potentially impact on policy, but will build interdisciplinary research skills that will be invaluable for the years ahead.

Professor Jane Elliott, ESRC Chief Executive

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