Gemini COVID-19 study information

We hope you and your family are all well. We would like to start by thanking you for your continued participation in the Gemini study and for taking part in the Home Environment telephone interview earlier this year.


The outbreak of COVID-19 has meant big and sudden changes to how we all live our lives. We are interested in learning about how families have responded to these changes, and to explore the impact of COVID-19 restrictions and ‘lockdown’ on family life, daily activities, and the home environment. We hope that this will improve our understanding of how the pandemic has affected the Gemini twins and their families.

We would therefore like to invite you to participate in another telephone interview and to invite your twins to complete a short online questionnaire each. If you agree to take part in this first stage, we will also invite you take part in a second stage of the Gemini COVID-19 study next year, when the situation has evolved further.

What will the next phase of Gemini involve?

Telephone Interview

The information you provided over telephone when your twins were 4, and again earlier this year, about your home and family life has contributed to the most comprehensive study of the home family environment ever undertaken. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant upheaval to many families. We would therefore like to collect information about your home and family life again, by another telephone interview. This interview should take approximately 45 minutes to complete.

If you are happy to take part, please click here to book a time and date that would be best for you.

We appreciate that you might be very busy and unable to take part right away. We have made time slots available for the next 3 months so please do choose a time that fits in with your schedule.


If the available options are not suitable, please do get in contact via email ( and we will do our best to find a convenient time to call you.

If you have booked a timeslot but need to re-arrange, you can do so easily online by choosing a new time and date that works for you. Alternatively, you can get in contact via email ( and we will re-arrange the interview date for you.

Twin questionnaire

We would also like to hear directly from your twins about their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will ask your twins to tell us about their eating, sleeping and activity habits, their experiences of schooling during the pandemic, their social connections, and their physical and mental wellbeing.

If you would like to view the twin questionnaire and see the questions we will be asking the children, please click here to view the questionnaire in full. Once you have booked in for your home environment interview, we will send you an email to confirm the time/date of the interview and in this email we will provide you with a link for both your twins to access the online questionnaire directly.


Alternatively, both your twins can access the online questionnaire here: 

The questionnaire should be completed by each twin separately. Please ask your twins to enter your Gemini ID number when prompted. If possible, it is best to do the whole study in a single session. If this is not possible or the session is interrupted, it is possible to log in again later.

Rewards for taking part

To say thank you to you and your twins for taking part, we will send you (by email) a £20 electronic shopping voucher. If you also complete the second stage of the study next year (we will contact you about this again nearer the time), you will received another £20 voucher. You will be able to provide your email for the voucher when you complete the telephone interview.

What will happen to the results of the research project?

As we have done every year since the study began, we will send you an annual newsletter informing you about the progress and results of the study. We will also include summaries of the findings on the Gemini website ( or, via the Gemini Twitter account (@GeminiResearch), and via the new Gemini Facebook page (Gemini - Health and Development in Twins). We will also present results at conferences and publish them in scientific journals.

Will our participation in this study be kept confidential?

Yes. All the information that we collect about you and your twins during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential. The information you provide will be stored in a pseudonymised format using your participant ID numbers (separate from your name and contact details), on a secure server at UCL. It will not be possible to identify any individual (parent or child) from the data, or in any ensuing reports or publications.


Confidentiality will be respected subject to legal constraints and professional guidelines. For more information please read our Data Protection Privacy Policy.

Who is organising and funding the research?

This research is funded by the Economic Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of the wider UK Research & Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19 (ES/V005006/1). To satisfy research council requirements, we will be sharing pseudo-anonymised data with other researchers to support and contribute to future research projects.

The research is led by the Principal Investigator, Dr Alison Fildes and Co-Principal Investigator, Dr Andrea Smith.

Contact information

If you have any queries about the study, please contact the lead researcher on this project Alice Kininmonth [].

If you have concerns about this research, please contact Dr Alison Fildes [].

All proposals for research using people are reviewed by an ethics committee before they can proceed. This study has been approved by the UCL Research Ethics Committee (Project ID Number: 1624/004). Should you wish to take your matter further you can contact the Chair of the UCL Research Ethics Committee []. 

Thank you for reading this information

The Gemini Team

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Proudly created by Alice Kininmonth

Gemini Research, Department of Behavioural Science and Health, University College London, London, WC1E 7HB | Tel: 020 7679 1263