1. European Social Survey
  2. City Q-Step Centre
  3. Culture & the Creative Industries
  4. Food Policy
  5. Jeremy Tunstall Global Media Research Centre
  6. The Centre for City Criminology
  7. Work, Class & Gender

European Social Survey HQ

Welcome to the European Social Survey.


The European Social Survey (ESS) is an academically driven survey using the highest methodological standards headquartered at City, University of London.

Since 2002/03, the ESS has provided cross-national data measuring public attitudes, beliefs and behaviour. Every two years, up to 40,000 face-to-face interviews are conducted across Europe on a wide range of subjects.

Funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 grants and membership fees from countries who take part, the ESS was made a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ESS ERIC) in 2013. It is currently the first ERIC to be hosted in the United Kingdom.

The involvement of the United Kingdom, and the extra costs of hosting an ERIC, are funded through the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

ESS data is available completely free of charge for non-commercial use - all results from 2002/03 can be accessed and analysed online or downloaded for use in statistical software such as SPSS, Stata or R.

For more information, visit the ESS website.


As well as the HQ based at City, the ESS consists of many colleagues based in different areas of Europe.

Find out more about the people who are part of ESS HQ:

Professor Rory Fitzgerald, Director of the ESS ERIC
Dr. Eric Harrison, Deputy Director of the ESS ERIC and Deputy Co-ordinator of the City Q-Step Centre
Dr. Sarah Butt, Deputy Director of the ESS ERIC and Research Fellow
Dr. Gianmaria Bottoni, Research Fellow
Dr. Salima Douhou, Research Fellow
Niccolò Ghirelli, Research Assistant
Claire Harding, Research Administrator
Mary Keane, Administrator
Dr. Lorna Ryan, Research Manager
Luca Salini, Researcher
Ian Simpson, Research Fellow
Stefan Swift, ESS ERIC Media and Communications Officer

ESS HQ has a number of Honorary Fellows based in the Department of Sociology: Dr. Rachel Cohen, Dr. Vanessa Gash and Dr. Sally Stares.


The European Social Survey (ESS)

The award-winning and academically driven cross-national survey project collects data biennially measuring citizens’ attitudes and public opinions on a variety of topics across Europe.

Every two years, a questionnaire is conducted in up to 30 European nations. The face-to-face interview lasts an hour, and includes questions from a core questionnaire asked in every round. In each iteration of the survey, two specially selected modules are included following a worldwide call for proposals from external academics.

Among other things, the ESS asks question about:

  • Crime
  • Democracy and politics
  • Human values
  • Immigration
  • Media use
  • National and ethnic identity
  • Perceived discrimination
  • Religion
  • Social exclusion
  • Social trust/trust in institutions
  • Subjective wellbeing
  • Socio-demographics

All data and documentation is available on the ESS website, including an online tool that allows registered users to view, weight and analyse ESS data. Since 2002, the project has seen over 100,000 people register to use the data - to sign up for free, visit the ESS website.

Fieldwork for Round 8 (collected in late 2016 and early 2017) will be published in autumn 2017.  This current round’s specialist modules include a range of questions on attitudes towards welfare provision and energy use and climate change. A copy of the Round 8 questionnaire is available.

Follow the ESS on Twitter.


The ESS-SUSTAIN (Project volume: €2.3 million) project has been funded by the European Commission through Horizon 2020. It aims to develop a strategy to significantly increase ESS membership, to lower the costs of participation in the ESS, and to enhance the quality of the ESS datasets. The overarching goal is to strengthen and sustain the ESS infrastructure.

The key aims of the project are as follows:
  • Ensuring long-term commitment of the ESS ERIC members and observers
  • Provision of guest membership and/or full membership for transitioning countries
  • Expansion of  the ESS coverage including new countries
  • Establishing partnerships with other cross-national social surveys
The grant will support a number of activities including an impact case study in member countries, the appointment of ESS ambassadors to promote the study, investigation about accessing structural funds to finance membership and enhanced communications to highlight the output arising from the survey.

Find out more about the ESS SUSTAIN project on the ESS website.

European Research Infrastructures in the International Landscape (RISCAPE)

RISCAPE brings together a consortium of organisations to undertake analysis of international research infrastructures for the use of European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), European Commission (EC), OECD and national or regional funding agencies.

The objective of the RISCAPE project is to provide a peer-reviewed report on the position of the major European research infrastructures in an international context.

RISCAPE will establish close links with a panel representing the main user groups of the report and cooperate with European research infrastructures to build on the ESFRI landscape report (2016).

For more information, visit the RISCAPE website.

Synergies for Europe's Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences (SERISS)

The SERISS project develops strategies to ensure that Europe’s social science data infrastructures play an effective role in addressing the key challenges facing Europe today. It supports national and European policy makers by providing them with high-quality input on citizens’ attitudes, experiences, and behaviours.

SERISS is funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 (Project volume: €8.4million). The project has collaborative links between the ESS, the Survey for Health Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA), the Generations and Gender Programme (GGP), European Values Study (EVS), and the Wage Indicator Survey.

With the support of these partners, the project is able to address key challenges in cross-national data collection, to overcome the barrier across research infrastructures, and to embrace the future of social science exploring new ways of data collection. For more information see the SERISS website.

For more information see the SERISS website.

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CROss-National Online Survey Panel (CRONOS)

Part of the European Social Survey (ESS) led work package of SERISS, a Cross-National Online Survey Panel (CRONOS) has been established to explore the possibilities of using the Internet to collect survey data in future.

There remains serious challenges to obtaining accurate data using the internet, especially for cross-national studies of the general population. These include a lack of email listings to select and contact respondents, different internet penetration rates across countries, low participation rates and an increasing number of survey completion requests.

CRONOS has used respondents from Round 8 (2016/17) of the ESS to recruit respondents for a 12-month web panel. The CRONOS panel will run for one year, and respondents will be asked to complete a 20-minute web survey every other month, which respondents can complete at a time convenient to them, within a two month period.

The surveys are programmed and administered using Questback-EFS, one of the leading software solutions for online survey panels. The surveys contain topics from prestigious surveys like the European Value Study, ESS, and European Quality of Life Survey. Respondents will be offered a small token of appreciation for their participation in each survey.

For more information, visit the SERISS website

European Cohort Development Project (ECDP)

Funded by the European Commission under H2020 and coordinated by a team at Manchester Metropolitan University, The European Cohort Development Project (ECDP) 2018-19 is a Design Study which will create the specification and business case for a European Research Infrastructure that will provide, over the next 25 years, comparative longitudinal survey data on child and young adult well-being. The infrastructure developed by ECDP will subsequently coordinate the first Europe wide cohort survey, named EuroCohort.

ESS ERIC is a partner in the project providing expert input particularly with regard to issues around infrastructure governance, survey methodology and piloting.

Past projects


The ADDResponse project analysed Nonresponse Bias by looking at auxiliary data. The ESRC funded project held strong ties with the ESS. ADDResponse matched small-area administrative, commercial, and geo-coded data to the ESS data collected in the UK during Round 6 (2012/13). It aimed to: identify benefits and challenges of using different kinds of auxiliary data confidentially; analyse non-response bias with the help of auxiliary information; and develop corrective models and weighting procedures for non-response bias. Find out more about the project on the ADDResponse blog.

Making well-being count for policy

The ESRC funded research project aimed to sustain public and political interest in the use of well-being data and explore how best to employ this data for policy recommendations. The project holds strong ties with the ESS relying on well-being questions collected in the core questionnaire and in special modules. The project built on four core areas of research in the field: Designing well-being indicators based on survey data; analysing subjective well-being nationally and cross-nationally; exploring the well-being of societies; and studying the challenges of using subjective well-being data for policy recommendations. Read the final report - Looking through the Well-being Kaleidoscope.



Welfare and climate change events in September

Analysis of the most recent round of European Social Survey (ESS) data will be showcased at two events being held in Brussels next month. Read more


Exploring democracy and digital communication

Questions measuring attitudes towards democracy and media and communication will be included in Round 10 of the European Social Survey (ESS). Read more


ESS Conference: Call for Papers now open

Leading academics can now submit their research using our data to be considered for inclusion at the 4th International ESS Conference being held in Germany during April 2019. Read more


Details of Jowell-Kaase Prize announced

Details of how to apply for the 2019 Jowell-Kaase Early Career Researcher Prize have now been announced by the European Social Survey (ESS). Read more


Round 8: second edition of data released

We are pleased to announce that the second edition of data and documentation for European Social Survey (ESS) Round 8 was published today (Wednesday 30 May 2018). Read more


CROss-National Online Survey Panel data now available

Survey data collected online through the Synergies for Europe's Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences (SERISS) project is now available to download. Read more


Strengthening links between the ESS and Australia

The director of the European Social Survey (ESS), Professor Rory Fitzgerald, was a keynote speaker at an international conference at the University of Western Australia in Perth on 21-23 February 2018. Read more


Sir Roger Jowell Memorial Lecture 2018

The fifth annual lecture in honour of European Social Survey co-founder, Sir Roger Jowell, will be held at the British Academy in London on Monday 21 May 2018. Read more


Details of ESS conference announced

The 4th International ESS Conference - Turbulent times in Europe: Instability, insecurity and inequality - will take place at the University of Mannheim in Germany on 24-26 April 2019.

Participants are being invited to submit session proposals as part of a call published by the conference organising committee that will remain open until 31 May 2018. Read more


First Spanish Congress announced

The Spanish National Committee of the European Social Survey (ESS) has announced that its first Spanish Congress event will be held in Madrid during September 2018. Read more


European Social Survey part of new project

The European Social Survey (ESS) is a partner organisation involved in a new Europe-wide project aimed at assessing children’s health and well-being, led by researchers based at Manchester Metropolitan University. Read more


Call for Ethics Committee members

The European Social Survey European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ESS ERIC) is looking to appoint three external members to its revised Research Ethics Committee. Read more


European Social Survey has high impact

An independent report commissioned by the ESS HQ has found that the European Social Survey (ESS ERIC) has high levels of academic, teaching and non-academic impact across Europe. Read more


Round 8 data now available

The first edition of data and documentation for European Social Survey (ESS) Round 8 (2016) has been published today (Tuesday 31 October). Read more


The future of welfare: Basic income?

The European Social Survey (ESS) is joining together with Ronnie Cowan MP to host an event that will look at public attitudes towards the introduction of a universal basic income in London next month. Read more


Call for Round 10 Question Module Design Teams

Multi-national teams of researchers can now submit applications to propose modules of questions to be fielded in Round 10 of the European Social Survey (ESS). Read more


Invitation to tender: Report on measuring the media

The European Social Survey (ESS) ERIC is seeking applications to produce a scoping report that will outline potential methods for measuring the media context during future survey fieldwork periods. Read more


Global Links workshop

The European Social Survey (ESS) held a workshop to strengthen its global links with the world’s leading cross-national and cross-cultural surveys at ESS HQ based at City, University of London on 12-13 September. Read more

Academic Year 2016/17

Multilevel Data updated


The European Social Survey updated its Multilevel Data resource on Monday (26 June) to include the most recent data available. The resource is designed to facilitate the task of adding external data on countries and regions to ESS Round 4-7 data (2008/09-2014/15). Find out more about Multilevel data resource.

Immigration event held in European Parliament


The European Social Survey joined forces with Migration Policy Group to hold an immigration event, hosted by Jean Lambert MEP at the European Parliament, on Monday (19 June). ‘Attitudes towards immigration in Europe: myths and realities’ brought together leading academics to present research using data primarily from the ESS Round 7 (2014/15) module on immigration. Find out more about this event.

Round 9 Survey Specification published


The European Social Survey has now published the latest survey specifications for Round 9 (2018/19). The specifications outline the tasks and responsibilities required of national teams to conduct the international survey. Find out more about our latest survey.

Roger Jowell Memorial Lecture 2017


Chair of UK in a Changing Europe, Professor Anand Menon, delivered the fourth annual lecture held in memory of co-founder of the European Social Survey, Professor Sir Roger Jowell CBE.

Menon (based at King's College London) discussed what the vote for ‘Brexit’ means for the UK and its relationship with the European countries who remain a part of the union.

Roger Jowell sadly passed away on Christmas Day 2011 - Roger was co-founder of the European Social Survey (ESS) with Max Kaase.

An audio recording of the event is available through the British Academy website

European Social Survey to visit Albania


A free workshop focusing on Albanian participation in the European Social Survey will take place in the Faculty for the Social Sciences at the University of Tirana on 19 May 2017. Leading scholars and researchers will discuss the benefits of Albanian participation in Round 6 (2012/13) of the survey. Find out more about this workshop.

Madrid to host latest event


Analysis of European Social Survey Round 7 (2014/15) will be showcased at the Centre for Sociological Research in Madrid on Friday 31 March. The conference will have a specific focus on the two rotating modules fielded in Round 7: Social Inequalities in Health and Attitudes towards Immigration. Find out more about this event.

Visit the European Social Survey website for more news about the research infrastructure