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.

Ensuring the long-term sustainability of the ESS

The European Social Survey 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, was intended to strengthen the long-term sustainability of the research infrastructure. SUSTAIN's work programme was designed primarily to help increase the number of countries that take part in the European Social Survey European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ESS ERIC).

The most important activities in the project included efforts to:

The project was implemented following Round 7 (2014/15) of the survey. During Round 7, ESS ERIC had 14 Member and two Observer countries. Ahead of Round 9 (2018/19), ESS ERIC has 23 Member and one Observer country. This represents an increase of nine members from the beginning of SUSTAIN to the end of the project. This increase in membership will translate into lower participation costs, whilst strengthening the analytical power of datasets.

The grant has supported 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 help finance membership; and enhanced communications to highlight the survey’s data.

The project has been coordinated by ESS ERIC Director, Professor Rory Fitzgerald. To discuss becoming a member of ESS ERIC please contact Rory Fitzgerald.

SUSTAIN has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 676166.

Further information about the project can be found below:

Membership Development

Raising the profile of the ESS


Impact Monitoring

Global Links

Funding and Governance

Structural Funds