French birth cohort study wins funding

21 December 2009

The Millennium Cohort Study’s ‘sister’ project in France has finally secured funding for the first round of data collection.

The team leading the French longitudinal study of children (ELFE) were informed this week that the project would receive funding from 2010 to 2012. They have also been told that the prospects for funding beyond 2012 are good.

As a result, field work on the study will begin in January 2011. The 20,000 children who will be involved in ELFE will be enrolled at birth, during four periods of four days in 2011.

The first sweep will take place at maternity hospitals to obtain information on pregnancy, the perinatal period and mothers’ and babies’ health at delivery. Biological samples will also be taken at maternity hospitals to provide information on genetic traits and biomarkers of exposure to certain pollutants.

The ELFE team has drawn upon the Millennium Cohort Study’s (MCS) experience during the French project’s protracted preparatory stage. ELFE and MCS are both members of the European Child Cohort Network (EUCCONET), and Professor Heather Joshi, director of MCS, is a co-chair of the  network and a member of ELFE’s Scientific Advisory Council.  She said that CLS welcomed the funding announcement as it paves the way for continued collaboration with French colleagues and opens up the possibility of comparative research.

Further information about ELFE is available at

Information about EUCCONET can be found at

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