Five minutes with… Emma Nixon

For the next instalment of our ‘Five minutes with…’ series of posts, we caught up with Emma Nixon, our Project Officer here at Child of the New Century.


What do you do at CLS?

I’m a Project Officer at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) and I support the research staff who design all of our studies, not just Child of the New Century. I would describe my job as ‘behind the scenes’. I am involved in organising all the contracts, budgets, meetings, and planning of the centre’s work. I get to work on all of the cohort studies so it is interesting to see the differences between them all.


How long have you been at CLS?

I started in November 2014, so two and a half years.


How did you come to work on the Child of the New Century?

I used to work for education charities but had a part time job at the University of Bristol whilst I was studying for my Masters degree a few years ago. I really enjoyed working at a university so I applied for the job at CLS once I’d finished.

When I was studying I also learnt a lot about the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children which is a similar study to CNC. It follows young people born in the early 1990s in Bristol, along with their parents and now even their children, so this job seemed like a good fit.


What is the top of your to do list?

At the moment I’m spending most of my time helping with preparations for the next survey of the cohort born in 1958. We are planning to visit them next year, when they are turning 60.


What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about when you started working on the study?

I think it’s fascinating that we can now take samples of things like saliva, and learn from this information in the future.


What is your favourite part of your job?

I really like being able to go to the training sessions that we run for the interviewers that come to visit you. I went to one for the Age 14 Survey and was surprised by how much they had to know. From learning how to find your new address if you’ve moved, to taking saliva samples from you!


What is your favourite question that has been asked in Child of the New Century? And how would you answer it?

I have to agree with everyone else and say the question that asks what you want to be when you grow up. If I had been asked this at 7 like you were, I would have said a hairdresser. When I was 14, I probably would have said I wanted to be a primary school or English teacher.


What is your favourite TV show?

I like all the glossy, big budget, American legal or medical shows – so Grey’s Anatomy, E.R. and the Good Wife. I think deep down I want to work in a hospital in Chicago.


What is your favourite place to be?

I grew up in Glasgow and spent the summer holidays by the sea in the north of Scotland. I very rarely get to go back but love it when I do.