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European Social Survey becomes an ESFRI Landmark

Announcement made at launch of the ESFRI’s Roadmap 2016 in Amsterdam

by Ed Grover (Senior Communications Officer)

European Social Survey logoThe European Social Survey (ESS ERIC), headquartered at City University London, has been recognised as an ESFRI Landmark by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).

The announcement, made at the launch of the ESFRI’s Roadmap 2016 in Amsterdam, marks a significant achievement for ESS ERIC.

ESFRI Landmarks are research infrastructures that were implemented or had started implementation under previous stages of the ESFRI Roadmap.  They are established, excellent research infrastructures responding to the long-term needs of European research communities.

The ESFRI Roadmap, which has been updated three times since its inception in 2006, identifies new research infrastructures of pan-European interest, covering all scientific areas. ESS was awarded European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) status in 2013.

Dr Rory FitzgeraldDr Rory Fitzgerald, Director of ESS ERIC, said: "Becoming an ESFRI Landmark is a major achievement for the European Social Survey and I am delighted that the infrastructure has achieved this important status.

"It is recognition that charting stability and change in the social structure, conditions and attitudes in Europe and interpreting how the social, political and moral fabric is changing is critical for academics, civil society, policy makers and the public alike.

"The ESS illuminates social attitudes and behaviour on many of the key challenges facing European societies – such as immigration, climate change and energy security, democracy and health inequalities.

"The next steps for the ESS are to work towards full pan-European membership of the ERIC and I urge those countries outside the infrastructure to ensure that their citizens are heard on these key challenges through participation in ESS ERIC."

Dr Eric Harrison, Deputy Director of ESS ERIC, spoke at the ESFRI Roadmap 2016 launch as part of a discussion on the policy and socio-economic impact of social science research infrastructures.

He represented ESS ERIC and other social science infrastructures, including the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE ERIC) and the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA AS) that were also recognised as ESFRI Landmarks in the ESFRI Roadmap 2016.

Both SHARE and CESSDA, together with the Generations and Gender Programme (GGP), the European Values Study (EVS) and the WageIndicator Survey, are part of a collaboration coordinated by ESS ERIC, called Synergies for Europe’s Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences (SERISS).

Professor Andrew Jones, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, welcomed the news. He said: “I am delighted that this City-based research infrastructure has been recognised with this award, which is a mark of the pan-European relevance and scientific excellence of the survey.

"Social surveys play a critical role in the social sciences and I proud that City’s ESS team is providing high-quality data about key challenges facing the UK and the rest of Europe.”

The European Social Survey (ESS ERIC) is hosted by the Centre for Comparative Social Surveys (CCSS) at City University London. The ESS is a cross-national survey of public attitudes, behaviour and experiences conducted to the highest methodological standards. The survey has been carried out every two years since 2001 and gathers data from more than 20 countries in each round. The ESS was awarded European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) status in 2013. To find out more, visit

Synergies for Europe’s Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences (SERISS) is a collaboration between six European data research infrastructures:  European Social Survey (ESS ERIC), Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA AS), Generations and Gender Programme (GGP), European Values Study (EVS), WageIndicator Survey. For more information about SERISS, visit, or follow @SERISS_EU on Twitter.

European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) is a strategic instrument of the European Commission to develop the scientific integration of Europe and to strengthen its international outreach. The competitive and open access to high-quality research infrastructures supports and benchmarks the quality of the activities of European scientists and attracts the best researchers from around the world.

The ESFRI Roadmap 2016 consists of 21 ESFRI projects with a high degree of maturity – including six new projects – and 29 ESFRI Landmarks – research infrastructures that reached the implementation phase by the end of 2015. Since 2006, ESFRI has presented a series of Roadmaps supporting a coherent and strategy-led approach to the development of pan-European Research Infrastructures, which would ensure that scientists in Europe have access to world-class facilities enabling them to do cutting-edge research.

Image: tai11 / Shutterstock

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