We are delighted to announce that LuCiD has secured funding for a further five years, to continue our work until 2024. The £6.2 million investment from the ESRC and LuCiD universities (Lancaster University, the University of Liverpool and the University of Manchester), will enable us to continue our transformative research on how children learn to talk, and deliver the scientific evidence needed to design effective interventions in early years education and healthcare.
The next phase of the Centre will look at why some children develop language problems, and explore why differences between children and differences in their homes and community environments affect how they learn to communicate. We will also conduct new research on the relation between oral language development during the preschool years and the transition to literacy in the early school years.
We will continue to work with partners to ensure the impact of our work is maximised and that key messages around supporting children’s language development reach those who need them the most. In particular, we will focus on solving three key problems: how do we monitor children's language and accurately identify those at risk of language delay, how do we train practitioners to provide children with a language-rich environment, and how do we ensure that the intervention programmes used to boost children's language are based on a secure evidence-base that ensures they really work.
This next phase of the Centre will be led by Prof Julian Pine (University of Liverpool), who will take over the directorship of LuCiD in September 2019 from Prof Elena Lieven (University of Manchester). The ESRC funding is part of a new initiative to provide follow-on 'centres transition funding' to existing centres to ensure they can continue pioneering social science research and maximise opportunities to translate their research into policy and practice. We are also applying for additional funding under the ESRC Centres funding scheme for a larger portfolio of work. The outcome of this application will be decided in early 2019. We'll keep you posted!