SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP IS)

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SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS)—Deadline December 31, 2014 for 2015 survey

Use SOEP-IS for new Research questions

We would like to remind you of the possibilities of the SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS) and encourage you to consider using this instrument in developing new empirical research questions. SOEP-IS is well suited to short-term experiments, but it is particularly useful for long-term surveys that are not possible in the framework of the core SOEP—whether because the instruments are not yet established or because the questions deal with very specific research issues.

For the 2014 survey of the SOEP-IS, we will be purchasing 111 smart phones for data collection using the experience sampling method (ESM). The telephones as well as the expertise of the SOEP group in conducting ESM surveys will be made available to the entire SOEP user community as of 2015. This type of survey is very labor-intensive and therefore requires additional resources. If you have an idea for using ESM in the SOEP-IS, please contact us for details.

The SOEP Innovation Sample is not designed for one-time pretesting of questions that have no relation to the content of the SOEP.

Send us your proposals

We offer researchers at universities and research institutes worldwide the opportunity to use this sample for their innovative research projects, thereby helping us to shape the catalog of questions in the SOEP and obtaining the resulting data very rapidly for their own analysis. We would be especially happy to receive proposals from doctoral students.

Since 2013, the contents of SOEP-IS have been determined in a competitive refereed process to select and implement the "best" research questions and their operationalizations. The SOEP Research Data Center distributes the SOEP-IS data to external users as an independent dataset.

5,500 people in 3,500 households in 2014

In 2014, almost 5,500 people in nearly 3,500 households will participate in the SOEP Innovation Sample. Many of these women and men have been answering core SOEP questions since 1998 as part of an extension sample to the SOEP, while others entered in 2009. These individuals provide a wealth of longitudinal data to the SOEP Innovation Sample.


Researchers interested in submitting questions should contact SOEP Survey Management by November 30, 2014, to present their proposal. If the project is determined to be viable from a survey methodology perspective, an official application procedure will follow. The official application must be received by December 31, 2014.

Applications should be submitted in English to .


A subcommittee of the SOEP Survey Committee will then evaluate and rate the relevance and significance of the proposed questions. If the proposed project already has funding from the DFG or other funding agencies, this step of external evaluation will be skipped. Since projects funded by the DFG and other organizations providing research funding also require a guarantee of survey methodological feasibility, interested researchers should contact SOEP Survey Management before submitting an application for funding.

See SOEP-IS Regulatories for further information. 


If you have any questions, please contact David Richter ().

SOEP Innovation Sample – at a Glance

The research infrastructure SOEP at DIW Berlin will establish a longitudinal Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS) in 2012 for particularly innovative research projects. The SOEP-IS should be primarily available for methodical and thematic research that involves too much of a risk of high non-response rates for the long-term SOEP study.

SOEP-IS ...:

  • is based on the evaluation conducted by the Science Council (see statement November 13, 2009 | PDF, 332.69 KB )
  • will establish a longitudinal sample for particularly innovative survey methods and behavioral experiments.
  • will be established in the period from 2012 to 2017 and should be fully developed by 2017.
  • annual field time will be September to December of each year
  • the first wave in the first subsample of the SOEP-IS has been started in September 2011, with a newly developed core questionnaire "SOEP Innovations" and new methods to measure gender stereotypes.
  • overall volume and costs of the surveys to be conducted in the SOEP-IS will be lower than if "fresh" samples were used: central household and individual characteristics, invariant over time, are already available and will not have to be collected again.

A 2-Step-Module of Governance will be established to regulate topics and question modules: first, the SOEP survey management runs a basic methodological test to establish whether the size, format and survey mode outlined in a proposal seem appropriate for implementation in the SOEP-IS. The SOEP Survey Committee will then check the content of proposals received and prioritize these for selection purposes.

  • Information about SOEP-IS in general is published in David Richter, Jürgen Schupp. 2012. SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS) - Description, Structure and Documentation. SOEPpaper 463 | PDF, 162.91 KB .

For information about data acess, field work reports, sample sizes and the later, please refer to our site on the 2012 release of the SOEP-IS dataset.

 For further questions please contact David Richter.