Marked disparities in early child development (e.g., oral language skills) have opened up even before compulsory schooling begins. These disparities reflect and promote social inequalities and have been shown to persist through childhood into adulthood. The „SEED“-project (Social InEquality and its Effects on Child Development: A Study of Birth Cohorts in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands) will explore the mechanisms underlying these developments by drawing on the data from a range of different countries. The project addresses differences (especially social inequalities) in child development (specifically oral language skills and socio-emotional development) and seeks to explore the mechanisms by which this happens.
In particular, SEED has two principle objectives:

  1. Identifying the mechanisms through which changing social inequalities impact on children’s oral language and socio-emotional development
  2. Identifying the implications that these evolving social disparities have for patterns of performance at school age and beyond – into adolescence and adulthood

The analyses will base on the following representative longitudinal studies of these partner countries:

  • The Early Childhood Cohort Study from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS-SC1); Kindergarten Cohort Study from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS-SC2); Kindergarten Cohort Study from the research group “Educational processes, competence development and selection decisions in preschool- and school age” (BiKS-3-13) in Germany
  • The Millennium Cohort Study (MCS); Growing up in Scotland (GuS); The British Cohort study 1970 (BCS70) in the UK
  • The Generation R Study (GenR) in the Netherlands

The project team is made up of senior, mid-, and early-career researchers from the partner countries. In Bamberg, the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi) closely cooperates with the Prof. Dr. Sabine Weinert’s team at Bamberg University.


Apart from the main studies from the three partner countries, more analyses will be supplemented by further cooperation with the partners from USA, Canada, and Australia. It will be well placed to feed into policy and practice across Europe.


PIs of the German team:

  • Dr. Jutta von Maurice & Dr. Manja Attig, Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi), Bamberg
  • Prof. Dr. Sabine Weinert & Prof. Dr. Hans-Günther Roßbach, University of Bamberg


Research assistants:

  • Wei Huang, LIfBi, Bamberg
  • Claudia Karwath, University of Bamberg


International partners in SEED:

  • Prof. Dr. James Law (Project Leader), Dr. Cristina McKean and Dr. Helen Wareham, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  • Robert Rush, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK
  • Dr. Marie Christine Franken, associate Prof. Pauline Jansen, Prof. Henning Tiemeier, Dr. Marc van der Schroeff, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Further international collaboration partners from USA, Canada, and Australia


Fund: EU NORFACE (New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Cooperation in Europe); call on ‘Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course: structures and processes’ (DIAL).


Project Duration: 01/01/2018 – 12/31/2020


Link to international project website (Newcastle University)


Wei  Huang

+49 951 863-3980