Frequently Asked Questions

Registration, Fees, Scholarships

Anybody motivated to learn about survey methodology is welcome to apply. The Summer School is designed for PhD students and researchers at any stage of their career in the Social Sciences (widely conceived). Professionals in the area are also welcome to apply.

However, participants benefit most from a course that matches their prior skills and knowledge. Hence, we recommend to carefully read course prerequisites described on the web page of the course or in the syllabus.

In addition to the prerequisites mentioned on the web pages and in the syllabi of the courses, all Summer School participants are expected to meet the following general criteria:

  • have basic knowledge of empirical research methods and the survey process, such as from a Social Science Master’s degree class on empirical research methods. (Exception: participants in the course “Introduction to Survey Design”);
  • the Summer School will entirely be held in English; thus a good command of English is required.
  • Apart from the training course itself, course materials (if applicable) as well as snacks and drinks for breaks are included in the participation fee. Meals, travel and accommodation for participants are not included in the participation fee. Please make your own arrangements. We will provide you with information on local facilities.
  • At the end of the event, every participant who has not missed more than 20% of the course receives a certificate of participation. ECTS points can be gained for a modest administrative fee.

Places become available again when participants cancel their registration or when they do not pay the participation fee on time. Therefore if a course is not heavily overbooked, it is quite likely that you may still get a place if there is still some time to go until the Summer School. We will inform you as soon as a place becomes available and ask you to react quickly to the offer.

You can change courses up to the end of the first day of the course if the desired course has a free place. Please email us to do so. Changing courses later is not recommended and is only possible if the instructors of the desired course agree.

To avoid changing courses, we recommend to carefully read the course syllabus before registering in order to ensure that the course suits your needs and interests. If after reading the course description, you are still not sure if it’s the right course for you, please email the Summer School coordinators.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides 10 scholarships for the GESIS Summer School in Survey Methodology for international participants.

The European Survey Research Association (ESRA) provides 5 scholarships for young researchers (eligible for the student rate) to participate in the GESIS Summer School in Survey Methodology.

The ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Commission,, is open to many students seeking funding for higher education. Eligibility varies from one action to another and from one country to another. Please inquire at your home university/institution if you are eligible for one of the funding options. You can find the form for your application here (135 kB).

Furthermore, students and Ph.D. candidates who receive a scholarship can often apply to their scholarship organization or research council for a grant to subsidize or cover the costs of attending events like the GESIS Summer School. Please enquire with your scholarship organization or research council.

Some university departments, graduate schools, doctoral programs and research training groups may also provide small-scale grants for attending training events. Please ask your local mentor or supervisor. Research projects funded through third-party funds may also include a budget to cover members' training needs.

For UK-based Social Scientists, there are training bursaries available from the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM).


Course Related Questions

All our courses are full-time courses. Short courses consist of about 6 hours of instruction per day. One-week courses consist of 4 hours of in-class instruction a day, either in the morning (9:00-13:00) or in the afternoon (14:00-18:00). In addition to in-class instructions, participants are expected to take part in guided individual or group study and take time for studying the course readings. Given this workload, participants can register only for one course per week.

Please refer to the course syllabus (available soon for download on the course website on to learn more about the workload of a particular course.

Please refer to the syllabi of the courses you booked. In each syllabus you will find detailed information on the course contents including a day-to-day schedule and relevant literature. Most instructors explicitly list preparatory readings that help you to prepare for the course. Most of the literature (except entire books) will be made available electronically on our online learning platform ILIAS in early July at the latest.

The main purpose of ILIAS is to easily distribute teaching materials and to foster communication among participants and lecturers.

In addition, via ILIAS we provide you with all necessary information about your Summer School participation as well as your stay in Cologne.

How to access ILIAS:

1.         Go to

2.         Select "English" in the drop-down menu on the bottom of the page.

3.         If you have an account at ILIAS already (e.g., because you attended our Summer School in past years), please use the same user name and password. If you have forgotten your password/username, there is a "forgot password" and a "forgot username" link right below the login fields that allows to reset password/username.

4.         If you are using ILIAS for the first time, select "New Account Registration."

5.         Fill in the form:

-           Please use your real first and last name, since these will be matched with your Summer School registration information to establish which course materials you will have access to;

-           Please consider writing a few words about your research and methods interests;

-           Read and accept the user agreement;

-           Submit by clicking the "Register" button.

6.         Go to Repository (menu on the upper left) and select folder "Summer School 2017."

7.         Click on the Summer School folder, search for the courses you are registered for within the subfolders "Short Courses", "Courses in Week 1", etc. and click "join" in the "Actions" menu for each of your courses. Note that we cannot grant you access for the courses you have not signed up for.

8.         Wait until we give you access - you will receive a confirmation email. We will try to respond swiftly during office hours (can take a couple of days).

Please view our short video to learn more about ILIAS, including how you can create your ILIAS profile to make the most of academic and professional networking, use the ILIAS message system, upload and share your files, etc:

Please note that we will not provide you with hard copies of the materials available on ILIAS, so if you prefer to read/use printed material, please print what you need yourself.

During the Summer School you are welcome to use:

  • The GESIS library, where you can find the literature listed in your course syllabus;
  • A PC Pool, which provides you with an opportunity to practice your statistical skills with various software packages: R, SPSS, and Stata.
  • A common room, which is a perfect place for group work.
  • The inner yard, if you want to take your work or group discussion outside.
  • Wireless internet, which is available in the whole building as well as in the yard. Every summer school participant will receive login information in their course pack when checking in on the first day of their summer school participation.

Yes, wireless internet is available at GESIS. Every summer school participant will receive login information in their course pack when checking in on the first day of their summer school participation.

You can find information about past Summer School courses in our archive.

General Information

The GESIS building is within walking distance (about five minutes) from Cologne main station and easy to find. Have a look here.

Please send an email to if you wish to receive a list with hotel recommendations. Here you can find a List of Youth Hostels.

Depending on where you come from, you may have to provide a formal obligation when applying for a visa at the German embassy. Please inquire at your nearest German embassy which documents you need for your visa application and let us know as soon as possible whether a simple letter of invitation is sufficient, or if you will need a formal obligation.

GESIS can provide you with a letter of invitation but we cannot obtain formal obligations from the Foreigners Authority of the city of Cologne.

GESIS does not have any dedicated secured space for storing luggage. Therefore please bring your luggage to the hotel before coming to the venue, and pick it up at the hotel after the summer school has ended. Cologne main station, a 5 minute walk from GESIS, has luggage storage facilities.

There can not be made any generalisations about the weather in August. At the 2012 Summer School, we were sweating at temperatures above 30° Celsius. In 2014 it was rather inconsistent with a mixture of rainy and sunny days. Temperatures in the mid twenties are more likely. Air conditioning is limited in Germany. Be prepared for rainy days or rain showers and low temperatures in the evening hours. is the most complete directory of summer courses in Europe.