Born in Bradford

Born in Bradford is an internationally-recognised research programme which aims to find out what keeps families healthy and happy.

Born in Bradford is an internationally-recognised research programme which aims to find out what keeps families healthy and happy. We use this information to work with the local authority, health, education and voluntary sector providers across Bradford district to develop, implement and evaluate ambitious programmes to improve population health. We have a vast ‘city of research’ infrastructure which includes detailed health and wellbeing information on Bradfordians enrolled in our three birth cohort studies and a connected routine dataset of health, social care and education data for over 700,000 citizens living in Bradford and Airedale. We host a range of initiatives to improve health working with the local authority, health, education, cultural and voluntary sector providers.

Birth Cohort Studies

Born in Bradford hosts three birth cohort studies; Born in Bradford Cohort, Born in Bradford’s Better Start (BiBBS) and BiB4All.

The eldest in our family, The Born in Bradford cohort is a longitudinal birth cohort which enrolled over 12,400 families during pregnancy between 2007-2011 to explore reasons why some families stay healthy and other families fall ill. We follow-up our families regularly by administering surveys, collecting measurements and biological samples, and collecting routine data from health and education records. We use our findings to help decision makers in the city implement evidence-based changes to improve health and wellbeing in the city and beyond.
Recent follow-ups of our original BiB cohort include Born in Bradford Growing Up and Primary School Years projects.

BiBBS is the world’s first experimental birth cohort. Established in 2016, we recruit pregnant mums and their new babies living in the Better Start Bradford area and aim to enrol 5000 families. BiBBS families share data with us so we can understand the impact of the Better Start Bradford programme and support planning of better services for families.

BiB4All is the newest birth cohort study in the Born In Bradford research family of families in Bradford. Midwives ask women to join the cohort during routine maternity care appointments. Then we link together data from a variety of health, education and social care datasets to explore health and development over time. We aim to work with partners across Bradford to use our findings to shape services and improve health and wellbeing in the city and beyond.

Age of Wonder

BiB has collected lots of information to help understand how to improve health and wellbeing, and has produced important results relevant world-wide. We want to continue to follow children from the Original BiB Cohort from the start of secondary school until age 21, and expand our study to include other YP in Bradford secondary schools (up to 30,000YP). With YP we will collect information about mental and physical health, behaviours, environments, and education; things that all play a part in health and the risk of developing diseases. YP will help collect and analyse data, building their scientific skills. Moving from childhood to adulthood is a key stage that can shape future mental and physical health, and opportunities. Understanding it better in partnership with YP means we can work towards a better future.


BiB4All is a data linkage cohort study of babies born in Bradford and their mothers. Every pregnant woman due to have their baby in Bradford will be invited to join the project by their midwife. If you would like to be a part of BiB4All or want to learn more, please visit


Bradford Centre for Qualitative Research (BCQR)

Led by Born in Bradford, the Bradford Centre for Qualitative Research (BCQR) is a dynamic collective of researchers from within the Bradford Institute for Health Research, and affiliated Universities of Bradford, Leeds and York, carrying out research in or about different dimensions of health experiences and health inequalities in the city of Bradford, West Yorkshire. While we have wide-ranging research focuses within applied health research, we share a passion for qualitative approaches.

Since the launch of BCQR in January 2023, we have been working to shape our offer to support us in achieving our goals. These are: to connect qualitative researchers in Bradford, to support those researchers to build capacity and opportunity, and to develop high quality, impactful and innovative research. We design and deliver bespoke training sessions on a range of components of doing qualitative research. These sessions aim to educate both beginners and experts in a variety of qualitative practices, from interview skills and focus groups, to using creative qualitative methods. We view our training as a cornerstone of the Centre’s work and hope to bring further diverse and exciting opportunities for researchers in Bradford to develop their skills. Keep an eye out for our bi-monthly newsletter which outlines upcoming training opportunities. Learn more here:

For more information on the Born in Bradford research programme please visit:

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Reports, publications and other resources