Project "Life course perspectives in studying youth transitions to adulthood: bridging qualitative and quantitative approaches" (YouthLife) 



The YouthLife project aims to strengthen research on youth transitions from a life course perspective through a partnership with Tallinn University and three internationally-leading research institutions with complementary methodological expertise and experience: University of Bamberg, University of Southampton, and the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute. YouthLife will initiate a three-year twinning programme to bridge qualitative and quantitative approaches to life course research with the aim of introducing methodological innovations and providing new insights into youth transitions to adulthood. The new knowledge will be applied in the design of the Estonian Longitudinal Study of Youth.

General objectives:

  • to tackle the methodological divide between quantitative and qualitative approaches in life course research through mutual learning and cooperation between Partners with excellence in both fields and by advancing the use of mixed method research designs and providing innovative tools for further research.
  • to bridge the research and policy divide and support successful science based policy making in youth field in order to better solve the pressing issues on the social inclusion agenda in EU and to raise the awareness about the advantages of longitudinal data, mixed methods and life course perspective in providing profound insights into youth transitions.
  • to strengthen the excellence of research on youth transitions and facilitating the multifaceted capacity building at TLU through a series of Twinning activities involving knowledge transfer, experience exchange and mutual learning during intensive training courses, practical workshops, networking events, expert and study visits, co-supervision and mentoring of ERSs, peer-to-peer interactions during the preparation of joint research proposals and publications.
  • to develop a scientifically excellent research design for the Estonian Longitudinal Study of Youth (ELSY) to fill the gap in empirical data on young people´s transitions into adulthood in Estonia.
  • to foster research management and administration (RMA) skills of both academic and support staff and to upgrade the RMA support system within TLU.


YouthLife project is funded by the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952083.

Duration: 01.01.2021 – 31.12.2023

Total budget: € 892 300

Funding Programme: H2020-EU.4.b. - Twinning of research institutions

Project Coordinator: Tallinn University, School of Governance, Law and Society, Institute for International Social Studies


Project Coordinator: Ellu Saar (

Project Manager: Gerli Nimmerfeldt (


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