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ESS celebrates 10 years of being an ERIC

Today (Thursday 30 November) marks the tenth anniversary of the European Social Survey (ESS) becoming a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC).

Following an application to the European Commission, which was submitted by the UK on behalf of 14 other countries, the ESS was awarded ERIC status on 30 November 2013.

A European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) is a specific legal form that facilitates the establishment and operation of Research Infrastructures with European interest.

There are currently 26 ERICs across all scientific disciplines who participate with the ESS in the current Horizon Europe project: Second implementation project for the ERIC Forum (Grant agreement number 101124559)

Prior to the project becoming an ERIC, the ESS was funded on a round-by-round basis through the European Commission, the European Science Foundation (ESF) and national funding councils.

The move to ERIC status meant all participating countries contribute to central coordination costs, composed of a basic membership fee and an additional amount, calculated according to national gross domestic product (GDP) figures.

In addition, each country covers the cost of fieldwork and national coordination.

Following the move to ERIC status, the ESS was named as a Landmark Research Infrastructure by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) on three consecutive Roadmaps (2016, 2018 and 2021).

The ESS has played an active role in several European Commission funded projects that have relied on the knowledge and influence of established ERICs.

The ESS currently has the highest number of members (28) of any ERIC across all scientific disciplines. ESS ERIC is hosted in the UK and its statutory seat is housed at City, University of London. The UKRI-ESRC is the main national funder of the ESS ERIC. 

Professor Rory Fitzgerald, Director of the ESS ERIC, said:

“I am very proud that the ESS has excelled since becoming a European Research Infrastructure Consortium a decade ago.

“The infrastructure has gone from strength to strength, and we are really pleased that national participation in the survey has risen above pre-ERIC levels.

“It is an honour and a privilege that we are able to represent the social sciences amongst other ERICs and, as part of the ESFRI process, are able impart our knowledge and experience to research infrastructures who have ambitions of becoming an ERIC.”

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