ESS awarded major Horizon 2020 grant

06/01/20

The European Social Survey (ESS) has been awarded almost €5 million in funding from the European Commission to lead a new Horizon 2020 project - SUSTAIN 2 - from January 2020.

The majority of the funding will be used to collect survey data online from respondents in 12 countries, marking a significant investment in cross-national web interviewing for the future.

This harmonised, probability-based web panel will be fielded in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK.

Participants to the web surveys will be recruited on the back of face-to-face interviews for Round 10 (2020/21) of our survey, due to begin in September 2020.

This web panel builds on the successful implementation of online data collection in three countries, as part of the Synergies for Europe's Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences (SERISS) project.

The new project also builds on membership development activities implemented by the ESS in the European Union (EU) funded project, SUSTAIN, to boost the number of participating countries.

These efforts saw participation rise from 21 countries in Round 7 (2014/15) to 30 countries in Round 9 (2018/19), and membership in the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) grow from 14 to 25 countries.

As part of this new project, the benefits of joining the infrastructure will continue to be promoted to funding agencies in countries who did not participate in Round 9, or are yet to commit to fielding the survey in Round 10.

SUSTAIN 2 will also explore a potential partnership with the European Values Study (EVS), to consider whether EVS questions could be included in ESS data collection.

An Impact Case Study - a report that investigated the academic, non-academic and teaching impact of the ESS - was published by Technopolis Group (UK) in 2017. As part of SUSTAIN 2, this exercise will be repeated, with short country reports being produced for new or returning countries.

The new funding will also allow the ESS to work closely with CentERdata to provide all national teams with computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) software and the Translation Management Tool (TMT), developed in SERISS.

Professor Rory Fitzgerald, Director of the ESS, said:

“This €4.9 million grant award represents a significant boost to the ESS and a major investment from the European Union (EU) in the ESS. The inclusion of a 12-country web panel represents a ground-breaking moment for European social science. We are delighted in this vote of confidence in our infrastructure.”

SUSTAIN 2 is a 36-month project, due to be implemented from January 2020 until December 2022.

Other beneficiaries are: CentERdata (Netherlands); Tilburg University (Netherlands); Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Hungary); Sciences Po (France); NatCen Social Research (UK); Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences (Czech Republic); University of Lisbon (Portugal); University of Turku (Finland); Institute for Advance Studies (Austria); Umea University (Sweden); Istituto Nazionale per l'Analisi delle Politiche Pubbliche (Italy); University of Milan (Italy); KU Leuven (Belgium); University of Iceland (Iceland); University of Belgrade (Serbia) and Institute of Social Sciences (Serbia). ESS ERIC linked third parties City, University of London, NSD, GESIS, University of Essex and University of Ljubljana will also contribute to the project.

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