Dr Catherine Porter starts today as our new Director!


We are delighted to announce that Dr Catherine Porter joins us today as our new Director. Dr Porter brings extensive research experience in applied microeconomics and many years close involvement with the Young Lives study to her new role.

“I am delighted to be taking the lead of this unique programme at such an exciting time. I look forward to continuing the excellent work of my predecessors and leading Young Lives research across our entire portfolio”

Dr Porter first joined Young Lives in 2008 as a Research Officer to co-ordinate the third quantitative survey round, before leaving to become a postdoctoral researcher in economics. She has remained closely involved with Young Lives, most recently as a senior advisor to our COVID-19 phone survey. 

Within the field of applied microeconomics, Dr Porter’s research focus is on the impact of unexpected events (shocks) on various outcomes such as nutrition, education and parental investments, how inequality develops through childhood into adolescence and early adulthood, and the effectiveness of policy in remediating such inequalities

Under Dr Porter’s leadership the team will seek to build on Young Lives’ extensive programme to date and deliver an exciting portfolio of research into the lives of the children in our four country study as they grow up into young adults

What inspires me most about this amazing study is the huge potential of combining twenty years of unique longitudinal data with innovative new research to continue making a real difference in improving young people’s lives especially in these times of unprecedented change and uncertainty amidst the global pandemic”

Dr Porter joins us from the University of Lancaster where she will continue her role as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics one day a week.

Look out for her first blog as Director, out Monday 4th in which she shares her thoughts on the main achievements of Young Lives over the last 20 years, the challenges of delivering longitudinal research during the pandemic and her ambition for the next phase of our research.

Dr Porter takes over as Director from Professor Andy McKay who led the study from July 2020.