Synergies for Europe's Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences

Project Summary

Europe is facing huge socio-economic challenges: an economic crisis with a young generation in search of jobs, population ageing potentially straining inclusion and innovation of our societies, climate change with its pressures to redesign energy, transport and housing patterns, just to name some of the most urgent “Grand Challenges”.

SERISS brings together three research infrastructures in the social sciences: the European Social Survey (ESS), the Survey for Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA). Also involved in SERISS are non-ESFRI research infrastructures: Generations and Gender Programme (GGP); European Values Survey (EVS) and the WageIndicator Survey (

The overarching objective of this project is to support the European Union, the European Commission and the Member States to tackle these challenges with a solid base of socio-economic evidence.

The scientific objective of this project is to exploit the synergies among these three infrastructures to their fullest extent and to leverage these synergies to influence the still rather fragmented landscape of smaller infrastructures.

Specific objectives

  • To better represent the European population, including target groups of policy measures addressing the Grand Challenges, e.g., young unemployed, older persons in institutions and migrants.
  • To strengthen cross-national harmonisation across Europe by leveraging recent advances in questionnaire design, translation and coding techniques.
  • To exploit the advances in software technology for cost-effective web-based interviewing, more efficient fieldwork management, and to support new ways of collecting data.
  • To better connect the world of research-driven social surveys with the world of process-generated administrative data.
  • To ensure that the ethical and data protection concerns of the respondents are properly taken into account by creating a consistent and EU-wide framework for all social surveys including new 'Big Data'.

Project partners

European Social Survey European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ESS ERIC), UK

European Research Infrastructure Consortium Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE ERIC), Germany


Koninkluke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (KNAW), Netherlands

Stichting Kathokieke Universitet Brabant Universiteit van Tilburg (TiU), Netherlands

Universiteiit van Amsterdam (UvA), Netherlands

The project has 20 partners in total when beneficiaries are combined with linked third parties.

Project news

For the latest news, visit the project website.

The kick-off meeting of the project took place on 21-22 September in London, UK.

CESSDA published a news piece for the occasion which can be seen here.

Watch short video interviews from the launch:

Project duration

The Agreement entered into force on 1 July 2015.

The duration of the action will be 48 months.

Read more:

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Disclaimer: This project has received funding from the European Union’s EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 under grant agreement number 654221.

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