A few months ago, the ESRC and MRC invited  a group of UK academics to travel to Beijing for a spot of speed dating with Chinese researchers in the field of ageing. The result of a series of hot days in the stunningly beautiful campus of Peking University is the interdisciplinary funding call now advertised on the ESRC website Understanding and Address Health and Social Challenges in the UK and China. You will see from the call that social scientists of ageing are needed in China. Chinese researchers are interested in our capacity to connect health issues with the broader social context. They need our expertise in articulating connections between health outcomes in later life and early life problems. Our experience in research ethics and our long experience in running cohort studies are of huge interest in China.  China is a booming economy, but this is happening in the context of a rapidly changing social structure which is not getting the attention it deserves,  particularly when it comes to gender issues and family formation. UK researchers can also learn from Chinese researchers on ageing. They have long running longitudinal studies such as CHARLS (like our ELSA, NICOLA and HAGIS). However, their cohort studies have many more participants in the 100+ cohort. China is also a great place to study technological adaptation. As a social policy scholar, one of the most interesting aspects of Chinese policy is that if something seems like a good idea their government will actually implement it. Leaving aside all of the obvious differences in terms of culture, history and political regimes, both countries have growing older populations. Perhaps sharing our expertise on ageing has the potential to improve the lives of older people on a grand scale.

For further information on the funding call click here .

If you would like  further background information contact Gemma Carney, BSG International Liaison on g.carney@qub.ac.uk.