Data and Research on Society

Monitoring current social developments is a primary objective of the social sciences. The department supports the social sciences in this task by providing comprehensive resources to describe and analyse social change. In addition, the department supports German universities and research institutions in achieving gender equality by providing comprehensive information on the topic, advising them on the topic and evaluating measures in this area. We conduct research in the area of survey methology as well as on contemporary social processes and topics.

We would particularly like to highlight the following offers from our department

Find out more about people and teams:

The International Survey Team is part of the Department of Data and Research on Society (DRS) at GESIS and supports three international survey programs, namely the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), the European Social Survey (ESS), and the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES). Across the three survey programs, our tasks involve different activities associated with questionnaire- and survey-design, survey implementation in the German context, and data management, maintenance, and documentation.  The team also hosts the Secretariats of the ISSP and the CSES studies (the latter in conjunction with the Institute for Social Research, Michigan). The Secretariats are responsible for the management, and coordination of the international programs, project promotion, event organisation, and liaising with collaborators.

Our team is also committed to international and comparative research in a range of areas:

  • Electoral behavior,
  • Attitudes and public opinion
  • Health inequality
  • Survey methodology in representative surveys

CEWS Center of Excellence Women and Science is the national hub for the realization of equal opportunities both for women and men in science and research. CEWS sparks new ideas, initiates processes of change and engages in knowledge transfer processes between science and politics. CEWS main areas of activity are:

  • Social science research on gender relations and gender equality policy in science at the (inter)national level
  • Knowledge transfer through policy advice, networking and scientific service
  • Monitoring and evaluation of gender equality in science and research 

The German Microdata Lab (GML) is a service facility for research on official microdata from Germany and Europe. The tasks of the GML are: a) to continuously improve access to and information on official microdata in Germany and Europe; b) to provide a service and research infrastructure for this data; c) to mediate between official statistics and empirical research; and d) to carry out exemplary research in the field of social structure analysis.

Team Family Surveys works on integrative tasks as part of the Integrated Data and Survey Infrastructure (IEDI) at GESIS. Our core tasks including conducting social science surveys and to provide operational support for the other teams of the department in the further developing their survey programs. The team's focus is on contributing methodical expertise, which we aim to continuously expand by conducting surveys and research. Within the Team Family Surveys, methodical research is carried out primarily on nonresponse, questionnaire design, response behavior, and research designs.

Surveys in Team Survey Synergies:

  • German Longitudinal Election Study (GLES)
    • Candidate Campaign Survey
    • Rolling Cross-Section Campaign Survey
  • European Values Study (EVS): national survey
  • World Values Study (WVS): national survey

The main mission of the team is the implementation and further development of social science survey programs as well as tasks within the framework of the integrated data and survey infrastructure at GESIS. Comparative surveys set high quality standards. This applies to both the content and the methods used.


We regularly collect survey data within the framework of the following national research programs

Our methodological and substantive research is based on the survey programs we implement.  The central themes of work and research are:
  • Methods of survey research in representative Surveys
  • Data quality in the Total Survey Error Framework especially Nonresponse Bias, and
  • Political sociology, including candidate effects and social media use in election campaigns