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  1. Rory Fitzgerald

portrait of Rory Fitzgerald

Rory Fitzgerald

Senior research fellow

School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology

Contact Information


Visit Rory Fitzgerald

DG18, Rhind Building


Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Dr. Rory Fitzgerald has been a Senior Research Fellow at City, University of London since 2004, and from 2013 became the Director of the European Social Survey (ESS). In November 2013 the UK and 14 other European governments established the European Social Survey as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ESS ERIC) – an independent international research organisation hosted at City, University of London. Rory is the first Director of ESS ERIC and oversees the ESS Core Scientific Team (CST) and the ESS National Coordinators Forum. In addition to these committees he works closely with the General Assembly as well as the Scientific and Methods advisory boards.

The ESS is a rigorous comparative biennial survey of changing attitudes and values in up to 34 European countries. With other members of the CST, he was awarded the Descartes Prize in 2005 for 'excellence in collaborative scientific research'. In 2016 the ESS was declared to be a landmark infrastructure by the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures in Europe (ESFRI). There are just under 100,000 registered users of the ESS data and over 3,000 publications using the data available online.

Rory is an Associate Editor of the Survey Research Methods Journal.


DPhil Sociology, City, University of London, 2016
MSc (Econ) European Politics, University of Wales, 1996
BSc (Econ) Politics, University of Wales, 1995


10/2012 - to date City, University of London, ESS Director (ESSS ERIC from 2013)
01/2012 - 10/2012 City, University of London, CCSS Acting Director
10/2007 - 01/2012 City, University of London, CCSS Deputy Director
05/2004 - 10/2007 City, University of London, CCSS, Senior Research Fellow
10/1999 - 05/2004 National Centre for Social Research, Researcher/Senior Researcher/Research Director
11/1996 - 10/1999 The Gallup Organization, Research Executive

Membership of professional bodies

2007 Cross National Survey Design and Implementation workshop (CSDI)
2008 European Survey Research Association, Member
2009 World Association of Public Opinion Research, Member
2010 American Association for Public Opinion Research
2010 - 2013 UCU City, University of London Branch, Vice President


Worked with other ESS colleagues on the successful transition of the survey into a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in 2013. In addition, was the PI of the ESRC funded ADDResponse project that completed in 2016.

In 2015 was the Coordinator of two H2020 awards totaling over €10 million. This includes a grant to promote the sustainability of the ESS and another - SERISS - which supports pan-social science infrastructure collaboration in Europe.


Books (2)

  1. Stoop, I.A.L., Billiet, J., Koch, A. and Fitzgerald, R. (2010). Improving survey response: Lessons from the European Social Survey. John Wiley & Sons Inc. ISBN 978-0-470-51669-0.
  2. Jowell, R., Roberts, C., Fitzgerald, R. and Eva, G. (Eds.), (2007). Measuring attitudes cross-nationally: Lessons from the European Social Survey. SAGE. ISBN 978-1-4129-1981-4.

Chapters (8)

  1. Winstone, L., Widdop, S. and Fitzgerald, R. (2016). Constructing the Questionnaire: the Challenges of Measuring Views and Evaluations of Democracy Across Europe. In Ferrin, M. and Kriesi, H. (Eds.), How Europeans View and Evaluate Democracy (pp. 21–42). UK: Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-876690-2.
  2. Butt, S. and Fitzgerald, R. (2014). Critical consensus? Britain’s expectations and evaluations of democracy. In Park, A., Bryson, C. and Curtice, J. (Eds.), British Social Attitudes 2014 ed. 31st report (pp. 1–24). London: NatCen Social Research ISBN 978-1-907236-33-4.
  3. Fitzgerald, R., Harrison, E. and Ryan, L. (2013). The ESS: a social science research infrastructure for Europe and beyond. In Kleiner, B., Renschler, I., Wernli, B., Farago, P. and Joye, D. (Eds.), Understanding Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences Seismo Verlag. ISBN 978-3-03777-133-4.
  4. Fitzgerald, R., Harrison, E. and Steinmaier, F. (2011). Age identity and conflict: Myths and realities. In Park, A., Clery, E., Curtice, J., Phillips, M. and Utting, D. (Eds.), British Social Attitudes SAGE. ISBN 978-1-84920-666-2.
  5. Harrison, E. and Fitzgerald, R. (2010). ‘A chorus of disapproval? European attitudes to non-traditional family patterns. In Park, A., Curtice, J., Thomson, K., Phillips, M., Clery, E. and Butt, S. (Eds.), British Social Attitudes SAGE. ISBN 978-1-84920-387-6.
  6. Fitzgerald, R. and Jowell, R. (2010). Measurement Equivalence in Comparative Surveys: The European Social Survey – From design to implementation and beyond. In Harkness, J.A., Vijver, F.J.R.V.D. and Mohler, P.P. (Eds.), Cross-cultural survey methods Wiley-Interscience. ISBN 978-0-471-38526-4.
  7. Harrison, E., Jowell, R. and Fitzgerald, R. (2007). Non-respondents in the European Social Survey: in a class of their own? In Loosveldt, G., Swyngedouw, M. and Cambré, B. (Eds.), Measuring meaningful data in social research Leuven: Acco NR. ISBN 978-90-334-6829-2.
  8. Jowell, R., Kaase, M., Fitzgerald, R. and Eva, G. (2007). The European Social Survey as a measurement model. In Jowell, R. and Britain, C.F.C.S.S.G. (Eds.), Measuring attitudes cross-nationally Sage Publications Ltd. ISBN 978-1-4129-1981-4.

Datasets (2)

  1. Fitzgerald, R. (2016). ESS Round 7: European Social Survey Round 7 Data (2014). Data file edition 2.1. NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data, Norway – Data Archive and distributor of ESS data for ESS ERIC.

    [publisher’s website]

  2. Fitzgerald, R. and ESS Core Scientific Team, (2015). ESS Round 7: European Social Survey Round 7 Data (2014). Data file edition 1.0. Norwegian Social Science Data Services, Norway – Data Archive and distributor of ESS data for ESS ERIC.

    [publisher’s website]

Internet Publication

  1. Fitzgerald, R., Winstone, L. and Prestage, Y. (2014). A Versatile tool? Applying the Cross-national Error Source Typology (CNEST) to triangulated pre-test data. FORS.

Journal Articles (7)

  1. Eikemo, T., Bambra, C., Huijts, T. and Fitzgerald, R. (2016). The first pan-European sociological health inequalities survey of the general population: the European Social Survey (ESS) rotating module on the social determinants of health. European Sociological Review .
  2. Fitzgerald, R., Winstone, L. and Prestage, Y. (2014). Searching For Evidence of Acculturation: Attitudes Toward Homosexuality Among Migrants Moving From Eastern to Western Europe. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PUBLIC OPINION RESEARCH, 26(3), pp. 323–341. doi:10.1093/ijpor/edu021.
  3. Fitzgerald, R., Widdop, S., Gray, M. and Collins, D. (2011). Identifying Sources of Error in Cross-national Questionnaires: Application of an Error Source Typology to Cognitive Interview Data. JOURNAL OF OFFICIAL STATISTICS, 27(4), pp. 569–599.
  4. Miller, K., Fitzgerald, R., Padilla, J.L., Willson, S., Widdop, S., Caspar, R., Dimov, M., Gray, M., Nunes, C., Prüfer, P., Schöbi, N. and Schoua-Glusberg, A. (2011). Design and analysis of cognitive interviews for comparative multinational testing. Field Methods, 23(4), pp. 379–396. doi:10.1177/1525822X11414802.
  5. Jackson, J., Bradford, B., Hough, M., Kuha, J., Stares, S., Widdop, S., Fitzgerald, R., Yordanova, M. and Galev, T. (2011). Developing European indicators of trust in justice. European Journal of Criminology, 8(4), pp. 267–285. doi:10.1177/1477370811411458.
  6. Miller, K., Fitzgerald, R., Padilla, J., Wilson, S., Widdop, S., Caspar, R., Dimov, M., Gray, M., Nunes, C., Prufer, P. and Schoua-Glusberg, A. (2011). Design and Analysis of Cognitive Interviews for Comparative Cross-National Testing. Field Methods .
  7. Billiet, J., Philippens, M., Fitzgerald, R. and Stoop, I. (2007). Estimation of Response bias in The European Social Survey: using information from reluctant respondents in Round One. Journal of Official Statistics, 23(2), pp. 135–162.


  1. Lahtinen, K., Slingsby, A., Dykes, J.A., Butt, S. and Fitzgerald, R. Informing Non-Response Bias Model Creation in Social Surveys with
    , 2015.


  1. Fitzgerald, R. Striving for quality, comparability and transparency in cross-national social survey measurement: illustrations from the European Social Survey (ESS). (PhD Thesis)

Other Activities

Editorial Activities (2)

  1. 2013 Survey Research Methods, Associate Editor.
  2. 2013 International Journal of Public Opinion Research Editorial Board.

Keynote Lectures/Speeches (10)

  1. A decade of attitudinal measurement: What the European Social Survey tells us about the people of Europe. Dublin (2013). Keynote Talk, International Conference on the ESS, June 10-11
  2. Acculturation and attitudes towards homosexuality: Moving from East to West Europe. Boston (2013). World Association of Public Opinion Conference, 14-16 May.
  3. A Versatile Tool? The Cross National Error Source Typology (CNEST): An Application to Triangulated Pre-test Data. Boston (2013). American Association of Public Opinion Research Conference
  4. From East to West: the impact of intra-European emigration on
    social attitudes.
    Cyprus (2012). ESS International Conference
  5. Translation Verification in the European Social Survey – a comparison of rounds 5 and round 6 and implications for the future. Cyprus (2012). ESS International Conference
  6. Mode Effects in Complex Questions. Cyprus (2012). ESS International Conference
  7. Challenges in comparative questionnaire design: Illustrations from the European Social Survey. Lausanne, Switzerland (2011). 5th ESRA Conference
  8. Inputs and Outputs in Comparative Studies. Gothenburg, Sweden (2010). Invited paper, World Congress of Sociology
  9. Responding to cross-national diversity and change over time. An analysis of possible revisions to the ESS Partnership and Life Course Questions. Lausanne, Switzerland (2010). Invited Paper, 7th CSDI workshop
  10. Facilitating triangulation of pretesting techniques through improved documentation of (cross-national) questionnaire development. Warsaw, Poland (2009). 3rd ESRA Conference

Other (3)

  1. 2010 - to date ESRC Peer Review College
  2. 2009 - 2010 NORFACE Data Collection Expert Panel
  3. 2008 Comparative Survey Design Implementation Workshop, Invited Member

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City, University of London

Northampton Square

London EC1V 0HB

United Kingdom

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