Life Course Centre

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course (Life Course Centre) is a national research centre that aims to identify the drivers of deep and persistent disadvantage. The Centre's goal is to uncover the causes and mechanisms of disadvantage and to develop innovative solutions to prevent its transmission within families and across generations.

Established in 2014 and re-funded in 2020, the Life Course Centre is administered by the University of Queensland and is a collaboration with the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney and the University of Western Australia. The Centre harnesses the interdisciplinary expertise of leading researchers across a range of fields, nationally and internationally, and has powerful partnerships with government and non-government organisations involved in human service delivery and policy. The Centre also has a wide range of collaborative links to research institutions in North America, Europe and Asia.

The Life Course Centre vision is to leverage evidence-based research to develop new knowledge, technology and practices to benefit people living in disadvantage. Researchers use large-scale intergenerational analysis to identify the causes of disadvantage, evaluate interventions and implement solutions. The Centre also capitalises on existing data investments by government combined with advanced data integration methods to follow Australian families throughout the life course.

To find out more, visit the Life Course Centre website or download the information sheet.

The Life Course Approach graphic

The life course approach

For Researchers

Life Course Centre Research Fellows are researchers making substantial contributions to the Centre’s research program. Life Course Centre Research Fellows have access to competitive funding and professional development opportunities, including attendance of research retreats and conferences. Research Fellows may also have the opportunity to take part in Centre committees.

View current Research Fellows

For Students

The Life Course Centre has initiatives to encourage collaboration and mutual support for students enrolled at one of the four university nodes (the University of Queensland, the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney or the University of Western Australia). The Centre does this by delivering professional training, mentoring and development opportunities that bring students and researchers together across disciplines, universities, government and non-government organisations.

The Centre has opportunities for honours and higher degree by research students, as well as a student affiliate program. To be eligible, students must be enrolled at one of the four universities, have an advisor who is a Life Course Centre member and their research topic must align with Centre aims.

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For Visitors

The Life Course Centre’s critical mass is enhanced by its Partner Investigators and Associate Investigators, who are exceptional leaders in their fields. The Centre also welcomes visits from respected leaders from both affiliate and non-affiliate international universities.

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Internal Grants

The Life Course Centre places a significant emphasis on capacity building, which includes opportunities to work with leading international researchers, as well as opportunities for advanced technical training, research collaboration and general academic training.

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For more information, visit

Life Course Centre and Australian Government logos

Partner Research Institutions

University of Queensland logo
The University of Sydney logo
The University of WA Logo