The Statutes of the ESS ERIC detail its funding arrangements. All participating countries are required to contribute to the central coordination costs of the ESS ERIC. This contribution is made up of a basic membership fee and an additional amount, calculated according to the GDP of each country. Contributions are due at the start of each year. In addition, each country participating in the ESS ERIC undertakes, as a condition of participation, to cover the costs of fieldwork and national coordination.

Prior to the award of ERIC status, the ESS was funded on a round-by-round basis. The central coordination and design was funded through the European Commission’s Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Framework Programmes, the European Science Foundation (ESF) and national funding councils in the participating countries.


ESS ERIC was awarded a €2.3 million grant through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme to implement a new project, SUSTAIN. The project, which began in October 2015, aims to strengthen the long-term sustainability of the research infrastructure. SUSTAIN's work programme is designed to help increase the number of countries that take part in the European Social Survey. This will enable ESS ERIC to increase the body of data available and it will lead to lower costs of participation for all the countries involved.

The most important activities in the project are those which aim to:

Based upon the current number of twenty countries participating in ESS ERIC, an increase in membership will translate into lower participation costs, whilst strengthening the analytical power of datasets. The grant will support a number of activities including an impact case study in member countries, the appointment of ESS ambassadors to promote the study, investigation about accessing structural funds to finance membership and enhanced communications to highlight the output arising from the survey.

The project is coordinated by ESS ERIC Director Prof. Rory Fitzgerald.

To discuss becoming a member of ESS ERIC please contact Rory Fitzgerald.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 676166.