Bryson Purdon Social Research LLP (BPSR) is an independent research partnership specialising in policy and programme impact evaluation and survey methodology. There are two partners: Caroline Bryson, a quantitative social scientist, and Dr Susan Purdon, a statistician.

Who we are

Bryson Purdon Social Research LLP is an independent research partnership set up in 2009 specialising in policy and programme impact evaluation and survey methodology.

We work on evaluations across a wide range of policy areas, including early intervention and support for families, health and disability, and ageing. We collaborate with academics, research organisations, consultants and third sector organisations, typically leading on the design and analysis of the impact evaluation. We specialise in quasi-experimental and randomised controlled trial designs.

We also conduct methodological scoping and feasibility studies in relation to evaluations and surveys, and provide ongoing and ad hoc consultancy and advice.

Dr Susan Purdon is a qualified statistician with research interests in the design, implementation and analysis of sample surveys, social experiments, and quasi-experiments. She is an expert in the statistical aspects of evaluation impact studies, and has many years’ experience of techniques such as propensity score matching and regression. She also has considerable expertise in complex sampling and estimation, including standard error estimation for complex surveys, non-response and missing-data assessment; weighting; and statistical tests. She worked for 15 years at NatCen Social Research, spending periods as Director of both the Survey Methods Unit and the Evaluation Unit, and as its Quantitative Methods Advisor. Susan has a BSc in Mathematics, an MSc in Applied Statistics and a PhD in Mathematics.

Caroline Bryson is a quantitative social scientist with over 25 years’ experience. She has broad-reaching expertise in evaluation and survey development and implementation, questionnaire design, primary and secondary data analysis, and reporting for a wide range of audiences. Her substantive specialisms include family separation, parenting and early years intervention. Prior to setting up BPSR, she spent 13 years at NatCen Social Research, latterly as Co-Director of the Families and Children Group, and a year at the Nuffield Foundation. She is Deputy Chair of the NSPCC Research Ethics Committee. She has a BA in Psychology from Exeter University and an MSc in Social Policy from the London School of Economics.

What we do

We are a quantitative research partnership offering expertise in:

  • The design, analysis and reporting of impact evaluations, using quasi-experimental designs and randomised controlled trials
  • Survey design and development, particularly advice on sampling, weighting, questionnaire design and research ethics
  • Critical reviews of quantitative research evidence

We collaborate on research studies and evaluations with academics, research organisations, consultants and third sector organisations

We conduct feasibility and scoping studies on evaluation and survey design, and provide ad hoc advice and consultancy

Projects

Evaluation of the ‘A Better Start’ Programme
Commissioned by the Big Lottery Fund and led by Professor Jane Barlow at the University of Oxford
Evaluation of the ‘Ageing Better’ Programme
Commissioned by the Big Lottery Fund and led by Ecorys
Evaluation of the Integrated Personal Commissioning Programme
Commissioned by the Department of Health and led by SQW
Finding fault? Divorce law in practice in England and Wales
Funded by the Nuffield Foundation and led by Professor Liz Trinder at the University of Exeter
Understanding the lives of separating and separated families in the UK
Funded by the Nuffield Foundation and led by BPSR
Evaluation of Bikeability
Commissioned by the Department of Transport and led by SQW
Evaluation of the Homelessness Prevention Trailblazers
Commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government and led by ICF
Evaluation of the New Troubled Families Programme
Commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government and led by Ipsos MORI

Completed projects and publications

Shown in reverse date order of publication.

Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme
Commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government and led by Ecorys
Evaluation of the Help and Support for Separated Families Innovation Fund
Commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions and led by Kantar Public
Scoping how best to involve fathers in the Life Study birth cohort study
Funded by the Nuffield Foundation and ESRC and led by Professor Kathleen Kiernan at the University of York
Evaluation of the NSPCC’s Coping with Crying Programme
Commissioned by the NSPCC
Review of the relationship support provided under the DWP Learning and Support Contract
Commissioned by Relate, conducted in collaboration with Clarissa White Research
 
Study of public attitudes to child support
Funded by the Nuffield Foundation and led by BPSR
Scoping study to assess the feasibility of conducting a robust survey of civil and private family court users
Commissioned by the Ministry of Justice and led by TNS BMRB (now Kantar Public)
Impact evaluation of the SEND Pathfinder Programme
Commissioned by the Department for Education and led by SQW
Evaluation of the CANparent trial of universal parenting classes
Commissioned by the Department for Education and led by Professor Geoff Lindsay at the University of Warwick
A randomised controlled trial of a relationship support training programme for frontline support practitioners working with children
Commissioned by and carried out in collaboration with One Plus One
Kids aren’t free: the child maintenance arrangements of single parents on benefit
Funded by the Nuffield Foundation and led by Gingerbread
Evaluation of the Right to Control Trailblazers
Commissioned by the Office for Disability Issues and led by Ipsos MORI
The role of informal childcare: a synthesis and review of the evidence
Funded by the Nuffield Foundation and led by BPSR
The National Survey for Wales: methodological reviews
Commissioned by the Welsh Assembly and conducted in collaboration with Ipsos MORI
 
Quarterly Public Attitudes Tracker: Advice on measuring trends in awareness, trust and confidence
Commissioned by the Food Standards Agency
An evaluation of the Separated Parents Information Programme
Commissioned by the Department for Education and led by Professor Liz Trinder at the University of Exeter
Evaluation of child poverty pilots: delivering improved services for separating parents
Commissioned by the Department for Education and led by the Tavistock Institute
Quarterly Public Attitudes Tracker - Cognitive testing of the questionnaire
Commissioned by the Food Standards Agency and conducted in collaboration with Gillian Elam
Aiming High for Young People: evaluation feasibility study
Commissioned by the Department for Education and conducted in collaboration with NatCen

To contact BPSR

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