European Social Survey Competence Centres invite visitors
Have you used data from the European Social Survey, looked at the ESS data website, browsed the questionnaires, read methodological papers, attended ESS presentations at conferences and still want to know more?
The Central Coordinating Team (CCT) of the European Social Survey (ESS) welcome visitors to the seven Survey Competences Centres. Researchers across Europe are offered the opportunity to make short visits to the Centres and engage directly with the scientific and research staff.
If you are interested in cross-national research and live in one of the ESS participating countries this will give you a chance to see the internal operations of the ESS in person.
What can we offer?
The seven Survey Competence Centres all have their own specific expertise:
The Centre for Comparative Social Surveys is based within the School of Social Sciences at City University London. It hosts, and is the lead partner of, the European Social Survey (ESS). The Centre has expertise in:
Cross national survey design
Cross national questionnaire design
Mixed mode surveys
Development of attitudinal indicators
Management of large scale social science research infrastructures
The Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD) has been the official data archive for the European Social Survey since the first wave of the survey in 2002, and partner in the central coordinating of the ESS. It is also responsible for dissemination of data and metadata from the ESS. NSD is a national multi-disciplinary research service facilities and one of the largest archives for research data in the world. In addition to the provision of research data, NSD offers a resource centre, assisting researchers with data gathering, questionnaire design, social science data analysis, methodology, privacy issues and research design. The Centre has expertise in:
Candidates will be given the opportunity to gain insight in this process by studying specifications and procedures, processing guides, programs and outputs and the principles behind the processing of data and metadata. They will be given the opportunity to study the procedures concerning documentation of data and the measures taken to ensure closeness between data and metadata both in data processing and dissemination. In order to study programs and outputs, knowledge of statistical packages (like SPSS/PASW and SAS) and logical syntax is a prerequisite. NSD will be open for visit during 2012 by individual arrangement.
GESIS, Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, is the largest infrastructure institution in Germany. More than 250 employees in four locations (Mannheim, Cologne, Bonn, Berlin) render substantial, nationally and internationally relevant research-based infrastructure services. The scientific department in Mannheim provides research based services in the area of survey design and methodology. The Centre has expertise in:
Sampling (statistical implications of a multi-national comparative survey)
Translation (access to ESS translation data and documentation)
Quality management (comparative survey methods/methods of comparative analysis)
Management of large social surveys
The Netherlands Institute for Social Research/SCP is a government agency which conducts research into the social aspects of all areas of government policy. The main fields studied are health, welfare, social security, the labour market and education, with a particular focus on the interfaces between these fields. The reports published by SCP are widely used by government, civil servants, local authorities and academics. The Centre has expertise in
Within UPF the Research and Expertise Centre for Survey Methodology (RECSM) concentrates in its research on the evaluation of the quality of questions and composite scores with respect to reliability and validity, the effect of question wording and using different modes of data collection. Visitors to our centre will be given the opportunity to work with us on these topics under supervision of one of the permanent researchers. Basic knowledge of statistics, regression and correlation is required. Knowledge of Structural equation models would be a distinct advantage.
At KUL the Center of Survey Methodology (CSM) is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences, more specifically the Center of Sociological Research (CeSO). The focus of research conducted at CSM is survey data quality. CSM aims to study ways to reduce and/or model different aspects of the "total survey error" using the principles of the "Integral Quality" perspective. More specifically, it focuses on the various aspects of a survey interview: the interviewer, the questionnaire, the respondent and the survey mode.
CSM has particular expertise in
Interviewer effects (interviewer variance, interviewer behaviour, intra-interviewer correlation, design effects)
Nonresponse bias (paradata, auxiliary information, refusal conversion, bias adjustment)
Mixed mode designs (selection effects, measurement effects, survey design).
- Measurement equivalence in comparative surveys.
Visits to this Centre can take place in two stages. At the first visit (in 2012) a general introduction in one of these themes can be given and an exchange of ideas, experience and materials will take place. Visitors will than draft a research proposal. At the second visit research activities based on this proposal can be discussed and evaluated.
The University of Ljubljana houses two leading national sociological empirical centres. The Public Opinion and Mass Communication Research Centre has been a partner in major European and global comparative projects for two decades. It is the principle national institution in the field of empirical sociological research and a key source of empirical data for social scientists and students. The Centre for Social Informatics has built an extensive team of survey experts specialising in methodological and statistical topics. Its members carry out methodological research in the areas of survey measurement, social networks, sampling weights, linear models and survey communication technologies. The Centre has expertise in:
Visitors interested in post-stratification will help the Centre to elaborate strategies and techniques for post-stratification, in particular for their country. After demonstrating our procedures methodological dilemmas will be discussed, along with appropriateness of different software for raking calibration. Sensitivity of measures will be examined and validity tests performed, focusing to concrete cases in the visitor’s country. A post-stratification weighting manual with specifics for the country is to be prepared for dissemination activities.
The visits in the area of post-stratification will preferably take place in spring 2012.
Who can apply?
Basically every social scientist or PhD student in the social sciences who are interested in cross-national research, live in one of the ESS participating countries and have practical experience with ESS data. In some cases (see individual SCCs) additional statistical knowledge is required.
When and how long to visit?
Visits typically take 1 to 4 days. Visits can in principle be made any time in 2012 and 2013. In some cases (see individual SCCs) visiting periods have been specified in advance. In all cases the actual visiting period will have to be agreed upon by the host SCC.
In the EU funding for the ESS project funds have been reserved to partly cover the costs of the visits. Visitors will receive a reimbursement of maximum €250 for flights/travel, maximum €75 per night for (student type) accommodation, and maximum €50 for daily subsistence. Visitors must have their own health and accident insurance.
How to apply
You can apply by completing this form. Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:
Work you have done in the area of cross-national research
Clarity of goal for visit
Practical issues such as language competence, programme days available at the SCCs, and whether the preferred SCC can accommodate a visit in the requested period
Your proposed post-visit dissemination activities.
What will happen after my application?
A peer review panel will review proposals within one month after submission. It will evaluate proposals with regard to scientific and practical criteria. The final decision on the visit will be made by the SCC that will host the applicant. Applicants will be informed as soon as possible about the decision.
And after my visit?
We of course hope that you will have had a great time and have learned a lot. Please tell other people about the European Social Survey and your experiences. Similarly, we also hope to learn from you. Following your visit you will be asked to evaluate your experience of the programme so that it can be refined for future visitors. You will also be asked to file a report on your post-visit dissemination activities.