Debora Price


  • 2.13Z Humanities Bridgeford Street, Oxford Road

    M13 (PL Manchester

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile


PhD students

I welcome PhD students interested in:

  • Pensions and poverty in later life
  • Financial services for an ageing society
  • Household money over the lifecourse
  • The financial consequences of cohabitation and separation


I am a Professor of Social Gerontology at The University of Manchester and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.  From 2016 – 2019, I was the President of the British Society of Gerontology and Director of MICRA, the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing.  I am a member of the Pension Advisory Group and was one of the lead authors of the report ‘A Guide to the Treatment of Pensions on Divorce: the Report of the Pension Advisory Group’ (July 2019).

After reading Law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge in the early 1980s, I qualified as a barrister and practised law in the Middle Temple specialising in complex ancillary relief cases, ultimately becoming a founding member of Coram Chambers, a set of barristers’ Chambers specialising in family law. I was drawn into academia by concern over possible increases in pensioner poverty as a result of rapid social changes in family life. My PhD research (2005) concerned the impact of family change on pension scheme participation in the UK.

Since then, my research has focused on finance over the life course, especially pensions and poverty in late life, financial services for an ageing society, household money, and the financial consequences of cohabitation, separation and divorce.  My research centres mainly on gender and age in the study of inequalities, poverty and wellbeing in later life. I have held numerous research grants from diverse funders, publishing widely in these areas.  I am frequently involved in analysis and commentary on UK pension reform and pensioner poverty.  Primarily a quantitative researcher, I also have an interest in survey methodology and data analysis, and I am a Deputy Director of the UK Data Service.   I am currently a member of the Legal & General Longevity Science Panel and a Governor of the Pensions Policy Institute.

Research interests

My research centres on finance over the life course, especially pensions and poverty, financing later life, financial services for an ageing society and household money. I am particularly interested in the political economy of pensions, and how pensions and social security systems influence household and family relationships. 

Other research

Research Projects:

January 2019 to December 2024, £4,997,373, Co-Investigator with Chris Todd (PI) and others. Policy Response Unit Older People and Frailty. NIHR. 

February 2019 to January 2020, £127,909, Consultant to NatCen, Pension Freedoms Qualitative Research. Department for Work and Pensions. 

October 2017 to September 2022, £15,995,372, Co-Investigator, United Kingdom Data Service 2017 - 2022. Economic and Social Research Council. 

January 2020 to July 2020, £5,998, Principal Investigator, Researching pensions on divorce: a scoping and feasibility study of UK data. MICRA and Pensions Policy Institute seedcorn funding.  

July 2017 to December 2018, £35,000, Co-Investigator, Pensions on Divorce Interdisciplinary Working Group. Nuffield Foundation. 

September 2015 to August 2018, £80,409, Principal Investigator. Connecting policy with the personal: UK pension reforms and individual financial decision making. Collaborative PhD Award, ESRC & Pensions Policy Institute

October 2013 to June 2017, £1,220,634, Co-Investigator with Karen Glaser (PI), Laurie Corna and others. The impact of extending paid work later in life on health and wellbeing: using the past to guide the future. [WHERL]. ESRC/MRC, ES/L002825/1

April 2011 to March 2013, £174,047, Co-investigator with Karen Glaser (PI) and Anthea Tinker. An international study of the role of grandparents in family life. The Gulbenkian Foundation.

October 2007 to July 2010, £274,728, Principal Investigator. Behind closed doors: older couples and the management of household money. ESRC, RES-062-25-0090

January 2010 to April 2010, £16,898, Co-investigator with Karen Glaser. An international study of the role of grandparents in family life: scoping study. The Gulbenkian Foundation/ Grandparents Plus

March 2009 To May 2009 £19,902, Co-investigator with Karen Glaser. Life-course influences on inequality and poverty in old age: a literature review. Equalities and Human Rights Commission

January 2009 To May 2009 £24,976, Co-investigator with Karen Glaser. Life-course influences on inequality and poverty in old age: secondary analysis of existing data. Equalities and Human Rights Commission

December 2008 to April 2009, £21,250, Principal Investigator. Investigating user satisfaction with the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education. Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education

July 2008 to November 2008, £24,643, Principal Investigator. Legal Aid graduated fees and access to justice in family proceedings. Family Law Bar Association 

July 2007 to January 2008, £45,338, Principal Investigator. Measuring the poverty of older people in the UK. ESRC/DWP Research Fellowship

July 2006 to January 2007, £11,305, Principal Investigator. An investigation into user satisfaction with the complaints system for the Bar of England and Wales on behalf of the Complaints Commissioner. Bar Standards Board

October 2001 to September 2004, £39,874. Full-time PhD Studentship: Pensions and Partnerships. ESRC

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

External positions

President, British Society of Gerontology, British Society of Gerontology

1 Jul 20161 Jul 2019

Areas of expertise

  • HM Sociology
  • HA Statistics
  • HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
  • HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Policy@Manchester
  • Work and Equalities Institute
  • Cathie Marsh Institute
  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing


  • ageing
  • gerontology
  • inequality
  • pensions
  • money
  • gender
  • families


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