GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

The Foundation for Excellence

GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences is the largest infrastructure institution for the Social Sciences in Germany. With more than 300 employees in two locations (Mannheim and Cologne) GESIS render substantial, nationally and internationally relevant research-based infrastructure services. (Our mission)

Established in 1986 as German Social Science Infrastructure Services and publicly prefunded , GESIS consisted of the three independent institutes Social Science Information Centre (IZ) in Bonn, Central Archive for Empirical Social Research in Cologne (ZA), and Centre for Survey Research and Methodology (ZUMA) in Mannheim.

GESIS merged into one institute in 2007. In November 2008 GESIS assumed the name affix "Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences" to emphasize its affiliation to the Leibniz Association.

Executive board and Statutory Bodies

GESIS-Leibniz-Institut for the Social Sciences is a registered organization with following statutory bodies:

The president Prof. Dr. Christof Wolf  is the executive of the institute; he has appointed Prof. Dr. Beatrice Rammstedt as Vice-President. 


GESIS is divided in five scientific departments covering with their research based services the whole range of empirical social research. 

The research data centres are placed across the departments. Additional to the access to special data, they provide also documentations and context information and give advice based on own research.

Our infrastructure departments Administration, IT, Communication, Quality Management and Library maintain the scientific work at GESIS with internal and external services.  The knowledge transfer department organises the training events program.