UCLan THRIVE Research Centre (Transdisciplinary Health Research for Thriving in the Early Years)

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The UCLan THRIVE Research Centre aims to describe and analyse the interaction between factors and mechanisms that influence human survival, flourishing, and transformation in the early years (first 1000 days) of life, and to implement and evaluate resulting solutions.

The centre comprises six interrelated groups, as follows:


We are currently working on a number of research projects including:

The Babies Born Better project – an online survey available in over 20 languages examining the views and experiences of women who have given birth in the last 5 years. The aim of the Babies Born Better project is to become a major resource for the improvement of maternal and childbirth care around the world. By finding out what works, for whom and in what circumstances, the project data will provide insight into best practice during birth.

Completed projects include:

COST Action IS1405 - Building Intrapartum Research Through Health - an interdisciplinary whole system approach to understanding and contextualising physiological labour and birth (BIRTH)

This action brought together over 100 scientists, artists, professionals, activists, political stakeholders and service users from around 30 countries in Europe and beyond, to try to understand the range and limits of normal childbirth physiology in different populations, individuals, and contexts.

COST Action IS0907 - Childbirth Cultures, Concerns, and Consequences: Creating a dynamic EU framework for optimal maternity care


World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Public Health Nursing and Midwifery

UCLan THRIVE Research Centre theme lead, Dr Karen Whittaker, has been selected following a competitive process, to join the team of technical advisors to the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Public Health Nursing and Midwifery at Public Health England’s Chief Nurse Directorate. For more information click here.

In the first year, we will publish State of the Art papers, and begin to collect data that will underpin a future prospective cohort study in this area.

The Centre team are very interested in linking up with local people who want to contribute to our plans into the future. We will also be running a monthly seminar series.

To find out more please contact Centre Co-Directors Professor Soo Downe or Dr Rebecca Nowland.