A photo of the European Commission building in Brussels, Belgium

New Horizon Europe project to begin next year

A new €9.75m project funded by the European Commission will bring together outputs from key social science research infrastructures to inform the NextGenerationEU recovery plan and European Union youth policy.

Infra4NextGen – a four-year project set to begin on 1 March 2024 – will re-purpose and customise existing research services to support the five themes of the NextGenerationEU programme.

The project will be co-ordinated by the European Social Survey European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ESS ERIC) and includes CESSDA ERIC, the European Values Study (EVS) and the Generations and Gender Programme (GGP) at its core.

NextGenerationEU aims for Europe ‘to build a greener, more digital and more resilient future’ with a focus on five key areas: Make it Green; Make it Digital; Make it Healthy; Make it Strong; and Make it Equal.

In each of the five areas, partners will initially produce an inventory of relevant items already fielded on cross-national surveys, including Eurobarometer, European Quality of Life Survey, the European Social Survey (ESS), GGP, the EVS, and the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP).

The inventory will be compiled by City, University of London (ESS ERIC); the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), for the Generations and Gender Survey (GGS); and University of Milan (for the European Values Study).

Harmonised and merged extracts from existing datasets that reduce the burden on analysts and increase sample sizes will be produced by GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (representing CESSDA ERIC). 

Existing data from these surveys will then by analysed and summarised to produce a series of policy-relevant tabulations and visualisations with commentary presented in a dedicated online portal.

This initial analysis will be supplemented with new data collected on each topic later in the project via the online CRONOS web panel fielded over five waves in 11 countries (Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom).

Post-collection weighting of the panel data will be undertaken by Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex (representing ESS ERIC).

New data on each NextGenEU theme will be collected and made rapidly available through the established CROss-National Online Survey (CRONOS) Panel. This panel will be administered by Centerdata.

Sikt - Norwegian Agency for Shared Services in Education and Research (representing ESS ERIC) will ensure that the CRONOS data is processed and easily accessible by the research community through a dedicated Data Portal with all data organised by NextGenerationEU theme.

Data collection via the CRONOS 3 panel will be conducted by beneficiaries in 11 countries: Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna, IHSInstitute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, ICS-ULInstitute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of SciencesKU LeuvenNational Centre for Social ResearchSciences PoSocial Science Research Center, HUN-REN TKUmeå UniversityUniversity of LjubljanaUniversity of Iceland; and University of Turku.

The work on compiling existing and collecting new data will also be undertaken by Cardiff University (Make it Green); Bielefeld University (Make it Digital); NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Make it Healthy); Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Make it Strong); and TÁRKI Social Research Institute and University of Exeter (Make it Equal).

King’s College London (UK) will use evidence from the partners working on each area to plan and schedule deliberative workshops with young people (aged 18-34) in four countries.

An educational tool (E-NextGen) allowing data to be used in classrooms and by the general public will be implemented by European Association of Geographers EUROGEO; and Tilburg University representing the European Values Study.

The tool will include interactive maps, infographics, blog posts, short research notes and the ability for users to position themselves on the five themes.

Comprehensive training materials related to all project outputs and NextGenerationEU areas will be generated by CESSDA ERICCity, University of London (ESS ERIC); GESIS (CESSDA ERIC), KNAW; ADP – Slovenian Social Science Data Archives at the University of Ljubljana (CESSDA ERIC); University of MilanAUSSDA – The Austrian Social Science Data Archive with contributions from University of Vienna (CESSDA ERIC) and University of Innsbruck (CESSDA ERIC).

This will include online training, a series of 17 webinars, nine workshops, and a short video series with demonstrations, tutorials/guides and research discussions.

Infra4NextGen will help to support evidence-based policy making and more informed debate.

Professor Rory Fitzgerald Coordinator of Infra4NextGen

Professor Rory Fitzgerald, Director of ESS ERIC and Coordinator of Infra4NextGen, welcomed the award:

“Social science research infrastructures in Europe have a wealth of data relevant to the NextGenerationEU priorities and EU youth policy.

“That data is currently scattered and sometimes burdensome to access. This exciting new project brings together Europe’s leading social science initiatives to produce harmonised policy relevant outputs that will be of use for policy makers and academics alike. 

“By providing more accessible, effective and tailored data summaries and complementing this with new data from the web panel and deliberative forums, Infra4NextGen will help to support evidence-based policy making and more informed debate.”

There are six affiliated entities (AE) involved in the project for ESS ERIC and CESSDA ERIC: City, University of London (UK)GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (Germany)University of Essex (UK)University of Innsbruck (Austria)University of Ljubljana (Slovenia); and University of Vienna (Austria).

Additionally, a further 24 beneficiaries are taking part in the project: Bielefeld University (Germany)Cardiff University (UK)Centerdata (Netherlands)CESSDA ERIC (Norway)European Association of Geographers, EUROGEO (Belgium)Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna, IHS (Austria)Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Bulgaria)Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, ICS-UL (Portugal)Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Czechia)King's College London (UK)KU Leuven (Belgium)National Centre for Social Research (UK)NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway)Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, KNAW (Netherlands)Sciences Po (France)Sikt - Norwegian Agency for Shared Services in Education and Research (Norway)Social Science Research Center, HUN-REN TK (Hungary)TÁRKI Social Research Institute (Hungary)Tilburg University (Netherlands)Umeå University (Sweden)University of Exeter (UK)University of Iceland (Iceland)University of Milan (Italy); and University of Turku (Finland).

Icon of two people sitting at desks communicating via digital devices.

Media enquiries

Stefan Swift
T: +44 (0)207 0404907