Five minutes with… Nickie Rose

Next up in our “Five minutes with…” series is Nickie Rose. Nickie works for Ipsos MORI, who carried out the interviews for the Age 11 and Age 14 surveys, and who are currently working with us on the Age 17 Survey.

What is Ipsos MORI and how long have you been working there?

Ipsos MORI is a large market and social research agency based in London. I work in the Social Research team, and we carry out a variety of different studies for government departments and academic bodies. We employ the interviewers who visit all of the Child of the New Century families. I’ve been working here for 9 years.

What do you do on Child of the New Century and how long have you been involved with the study?

I have overall responsibility for a team of eight researchers who work on Child of the New Century. We work closely with CLS, who are our clients, to design the materials that you receive and the questions that we ask you. We also spend a lot of time making sure that the training that we give each and every interviewer covers everything that it needs to, and is high quality. The first time I became involved was on the Age 3 survey, when I worked in my previous job at an agency called NOP. Not long after I moved to Ipsos MORI we started to work on the Age 11 survey, and I’ve since worked on the Age 14 and now the Age 17 surveys. I think I’ve worked on more of the surveys than any other agency researcher in the UK!

What are you currently working on in Child of the New Century?

We are about to carry out another training session for some interviewers who will start to work on the study shortly. In total, it takes two solid days to train the interviewers, and in between the two training days, they have to practice carrying out the physical measurements and the number activity with two young people who aren’t part of the Child of the New Century. This helps them to become more confident at doing these things before they go to visit their Child of the New Century families.

What is the top of your to do list?

We look very closely at the information that the interviewers collect, to check that there are no quality issues. For example, we check to make sure that no individual interviewers are taking a lot longer than others. We carry out over 30 different individual checks. This is the most urgent thing that I am doing at the moment.

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

When I started to work on Child of the New Century, 14 years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to learn how much information families were willing to share about their lives. As time has gone on, this feeling hasn’t left me. It’s wonderful to know this, as the information collected is so valuable for so many reasons. As a survey researcher, it’s very rewarding to know that the information that our interviewers are collecting really does make a difference to people’s lives.

What is your favourite part of your job?

I enjoy many aspects of my job, but I think it’s probably training the interviewers. Although it’s hard work, and it usually involves travelling around the country in the winter in awful weather, I love doing it. As so many of our interviewers have worked on the past three surveys, they have built up relationships with some of their families, and you can see how many of them genuinely love working on Child of the New Century. It’s great to see that that they can’t wait to get cracking on the next survey.

One of our favourite questions from the study is ‘what would you like to do when you grow up’? We asked this to cohort members when they were 7 years old. If you’d been asked that when you were growing up – what would you have said?

I think I would have said that I wanted to be a teacher. I did consider doing that until I was in my early twenties, but then I discovered social research and I haven’t looked back!

Tell us your favourite joke

I can never remember jokes, so I looked online to find the funniest joke according to scientists at Oxford University. So here goes!

A man is sitting at home when he hears a knock at the door. He opens the door and sees a snail on the porch. He picks up the snail and throws it as far as he can. Three years later there’s a knock on the door. He opens it and sees the same snail. The snail says: ‘What was that all about?’

What is your favourite book, film, or TV show?

At the moment I am addicted to Masterchef. I also love Game of Thrones, Grey’s Anatomy and wildlife programmes.

What is your favourite place to be?

That is easy. The Scottish Highlands. I have been there on holiday for the past 6 years with my husband and we love it. It has it all – wonderful walks, wildlife and whisky!