The research of the Life Course Centre is focussed on describing and understanding the key causes of disadvantage and developing innovative solutions to address it. The Centre demands excellence in research, not as an end, but as a means for addressing intergenerational disadvantage. The maturity of the Centre’s research programs, partners and collaborations are key to this pathway and the maintaining and enhancing of research momentum and productivity.

The Life Course Centre is committed to leveraging evidence-based research to develop innovative new practices to benefit people living in disadvantage. Our mission is to identify the mechanisms underlying the transmission of disadvantage across generations and within families over the life course, and to translate our findings to enable public and private industry organisations to deliver policies and programs that will reduce deep and persistent disadvantage.

The adoption and advancement of the Centre’s 10 Big Research Questions is an important platform for ensuring effective and impactful research translation. The ongoing development of Flagship Research is also critical to positioning the Centre at the forefront of international research and research translation on social and economic disadvantage.

Our research is organised into three interrelated research programs: Disadvantage Systems (how disadvantage occurs); Human Capabilities (who experiences disadvantage and why); and Social Transformation (what to do about it).

The connections between the programs provide an important feedback loop. Testing new solutions to target disadvantage teaches us more about how it happens and who is affected.

Disadvantage Systems

The Life Course Centre’s Disadvantage Systems Research Program aims to identify how disadvantage occurs. The program investigates how social and economic systems, the community, and institutions shape deep and persistent disadvantage, and determines how new data systems and technologies can inform this research.

Human Capabilities

The Life Course Centre’s Human Capabilities Research Program sheds new light on the factors that lead to disadvantage and analyses the effectiveness of current practices and policies that aim to alleviate disadvantage.

Social Transformations

The Life Course Centre’s Social Transformation Research Program aims to improve life outcomes for children and families. It builds on the findings of the Disadvantage Systems and Human Capabilities research programs and identifies new integrated social interventions to trial.

Working Paper Series

The Life Course Centre Working Paper Series showcases important and well-timed research on pressing social issues facing Australia today. The Working Paper Series is the ‘go to’ place for the latest research on Australian social disadvantage.

Journal Articles

Academic publications are a key research output from the Life Course Centre. Click here to explore the variety of research undertaken.

Fact Sheets

As part of our commitment to making the research of the Life Course Centre more accessible, our Fact Sheets highlight key areas of research focus and findings.