European Social Survey awarded ERIC status
The European Commission has today announced that the European Social Survey (ESS) will be granted European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) status.
The ESS ERIC, which has its headquarters within the Centre for Comparative Social Surveys at City University London, is the only ERIC hosted in the UK and joins some of the most innovative research infrastructures in Europe, including CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory.
ERIC status will bring much-needed funding stability to the European Social Survey and acknowledges it as a leading European research infrastructure in the social sciences.
Research Infrastructures (RIs) are playing increasingly important roles in the advancement of knowledge and technology. They create a formal structure within which international academics and industry experts can work collaboratively in search of solutions to many of the problems society is facing.
Professor Paul Curran, Vice-chancellor of City University London, said: "City has a commitment to academic excellence and much of our world-leading research seeks to address society's contemporary challenges.
"For more than ten years, the ESS has produced data and insight which have influenced research and informed policy across Europe. The award of ERIC status is recognition of the excellent reputation that the ESS has in social science research and I congratulate my colleagues on this achievement."
The founding members of the ESS ERIC are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Other countries are expected to join in the coming months.
ERICs offer unique research opportunities to users from different countries and are playing an increasingly important role in the advancement of knowledge and the development of technology. Their creation is central to Europe 2020, the European Union's ten-year growth strategy.
Mr Rory Fitzgerald, Director of the ESS, said: "I am delighted that the application to establish the European Social Survey (ESS) as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) hosted at City University London has been successful. The long-term future of the ESS is now secure and this important time series at last has a funding time horizon. The awarding of ERIC status is recognition of the importance of that work which is led by the team at City University London".
ESS is one of five Social Science and Humanities (SSH) projects on the ESFRI Roadmap and the only one to be based in the UK. It was included on the ESFRI Roadmaps of 2006, 2008 and 2010 and secured EU FP7 funding in 2008 to work with countries to prepare the application for ERIC status.
The ESS ensures that academically rigorous, comparative data about the attitudes, behaviour and beliefs of Europeans is freely available. This important academic resource, containing around 300,000 interviews with those from across Europe, has already been used by more than 60,000 people worldwide and has been used in thousands of publications. It has also influenced policy and led to higher standards of cross-national measurement.