Winter 2015 Edition



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Welcome to the Winter Edition of NILS News

Welcome to the latest issue of NILS News which keeps you up-to-date on the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS), and the related Northern Ireland Mortality Study (NIMS), including latest news, events and publications.

Follow @NILSRSU on Twitter to be the first to know of the latest news, events and fact sheets.



Closure Dates:

NILS-RSU will be closed on Friday 18th December. There will be no access to the secure setting on this date.

RSU will close over the festive period from Wednesday 23rd December 2015 and will reopen on Monday 4th January 2016.

Please note: Although RSU is closed there may be a staff member present to facilitate research on Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st December please contact the RSU to confirm.

NILS Impact Event 2015

The NILS Impact Event successfully took place on Thursday 15th October in McAuley House.

Funders, data providers, researchers and the users of research findings were brought together for a critical discussion on the impact of NILS, its benefits and its limitations.

Speakers included Dr Ian Shuttleworth (QUB), Mr Robert Beatty (NISRA), Ms Jo Lake (ESRC), Dr Nicola Armstrong (HSC R&D), Ms Claire Dewhirst (QUB), Prof. Allan Findlay (University of St Andrews) and Mr Chris Matthews (DHSSPS).

All speaker presentations have been compiled here.


1981 Census Link

The NILS 1981 Census link was released in June 2015. This allows analysis to be carried out on over 30 years of data.

Please refer to the NILS Data Dictionary to see the 1981 variables that are currently available. Work is ongoing to release the remaining Census 1981 variables in the NILS.

There are projects now availing of this data such as:

         Deprivation, Social Mobility and Population Health and Mortality in Northern Ireland 1981 2011. A life-course analysis of associations and trajectories between and within Cohorts (Project 105).

         Social and Occupational Mobility: Estimating the Extent of and Mechanisms Underpinning Intergenerational Mobility over a Thirty-Year period (Project 094).


Recent NILS Publications

Since our last newsletter, a number of NILS researchers have had their papers published. Check out the links below to explore the published findings from each project.

         O'Reilly, D., Rosato, M., Maguire, A. and Wright, D. (2015) 'Caregiving reduces mortality risk for most caregivers: a census-based record linkage studyInternational Journal of Epidemiology, 2015, 1-11: doi: 10.1093/ije/dyv172 [Project 086]

         O'Reilly, D., Rosato, M., Maguire, A. and Wright, D. (2015) 'Caregiving is associated with a lower risk of suicide: a longitudinal study of almost 200,000' Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health (Impact Factor: 3.29). 09/2015; 69(Suppl 1). doi: 10.1136/jech-2015-206256.46 [Project 086]

For more outputs visit the NILS website.

Research Briefs - There are a range of research briefs online giving an overview of individual projects and some significant findings from the research. These briefs may be helpful when generating project ideas and also to get an idea of the possible policy implications of the research.

Fact Sheets Keep an eye on the Research Ideas section of our website for our published Fact Sheets. These should help to highlight the potential of NILS and stimulate new project ideas.




Data Releases

Currently the data includes Health Download data until April 2015, GRO Births and Deaths until end 2013 and an updated NIMS11 database with Death data to end 2013 linked to 2011 Census data.

Recent data releases:

  • June 2015: 1981 NILS new Census link to take the NILS to over 30 years of coverage.
  • June 2015: Health Download data until April 2015 and any updated Census variables.
  • June 2015: Historical deaths dating back to 1974.

The next planned data release is:

         January 2016: Health Download data until October 2015 and GRO Births and Deaths until end of 2014.



The NILS Research Approvals Group (NILS RAG) meets every two months to consider applications for approval. A schedule has been released for NILS RAG meetings for the coming months. It should be noted that new applications must be submitted to the NILS-RSU by 5pm TEN WORKING DAYS prior to the RAG meeting for consideration.

RAG Application Deadline


11th January 2016

25th January 2016

4th March 2016

21st March 2016

10th May 2016

24th May 2016

Further information on developing potential projects can be found in the Access section of the NILS-RSU website.



Dates For Your Diary

Safe researcher training is provided by RSU on a monthly basis in McAuley House. Please contact NILS-RSU to book your place on Safe Researcher Training.

Safe Researcher Training Dates

11th December 2015 @ 2pm

20th January 2016 @ 2pm

17th February 2016 @ 2pm

16th March 2016 @ 2pm



Phone: 028 9082 8208


Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
McAuley House
2-14 Castle Street

Queen's University Belfast
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