SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP IS)

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SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS)—Deadline December 31, 2016 for 2017 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 for collecting household micro data that directly relate to your research. So, if you are a researcher looking for information on households or for people’s opinions, the SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS) gives you the opportunity to collect such information.

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. Project ideas that have already been approved are (complex) economic behavioral experiments, Implicit Association Tests (IAT) and complex procedures to measure time use (Day Reconstruction Method, DRM).

We offer researchers at universities and research institutes worldwide the opportunity to use this sample for their research projects. 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.

The data from the innovative modules are provided exclusively to the researchers who proposed the respective ideas for an initial period of 12 months. As soon as the 12-month embargo has ended, they are released and offered for secondary analysis to the entire SOEP user community. An overview of the innovative modules surveyed so far can be found here.

In 2014, almost 5,500 people in nearly 3,500 households have participated 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.

As a new technical feature, for the 2014 survey of the SOEP-IS 111 smart phones are available for data collection using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM). If you have an idea for using ESM in the SOEP-IS, please contact us for details.


Researchers interested in submitting questions should contact SOEP Survey Management by November 30, 2016, 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, 2016. Send us your proposal!

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.


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 (see overview over innovative modules up to now).
  • 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
    Richter, David, and Jürgen Schupp. 2015. The SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP IS). Schmollers Jahrbuch 135 (3), 389-399.
    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 2013 release of the SOEP-IS dataset.

For further questions please contact David Richter.