SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP IS)

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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 (doi: 10.3790/schm.135.3.389)
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 and documentation, field work reports and questionnaires, sample sizes and the later, please refer to our site on the 2015 release of the SOEP-IS dataset.

For further questions please contact David Richter.

SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS)—Deadline December 31, 2017 for 2018 survey

Use SOEP-IS for new research questions

SOEP users are invited to submit proposals for the next round of the SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS). For those not yet familiar with SOEP-IS, this unique innovation sample offers great potential as a source of household micro-data, particularly for researchers seeking information that is not available in SOEP-Core—for example, specific information on households or on people’s opinions. SOEP-IS can accommodate not only short-term experiments but also longer-term survey modules that are not suitable for SOEP-Core, whether because the survey instruments are still relatively new or because of the specific issues dealt with in the research. Up to now, the SOEP-IS has included (complex) economic behavioral experiments, Implicit Association Tests (IAT), and complex procedures to measure time use (Day Reconstruction Method, DRM).

The SOEP-IS was launched in 2011, and each year since then, researchers at universities and research institutes worldwide have been invited to submit proposals for inclusion in the subsequent year’s survey. A competitive referee process is conducted to select the “best” research questions and operationalizations for implementation in the SOEP-IS. The SOEP Research Data Center distributes the SOEP-IS data to external users as an independent dataset.

Data from SOEP-IS modules are provided exclusively to the researchers who submitted the respective proposals for an initial 12-month period. After this embargo has ended, the data are released to the entire SOEP user community for secondary analysis. An overview of all SOEP-IS modules to date can be found here.

In 2015, almost 5,500 people in nearly 3,500 households participated in the SOEP-IS. Many of these women and men have been answering SOEP-Core questions since 1998 as part of a SOEP-Core boost sample, while others joined in 2009. These individuals provide a wealth of longitudinal data to the SOEP-IS.

As a new technical feature, the 2014 SOEP-IS premiered the use of 111 smart phones 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, 2017, 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, 2017. 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 ().

Print version of this call | PDF, 90.98 KB

Top-up funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) for SOEP-IS proposals

For those interested in submitting a proposal for SOEP-IS: Please note that the German Research Foundation (DFG) welcomes funding applications that include planned data collection in the SOEP-IS framework. The DFG has several requirements for such applications. First, any project funding it provides may be used only to cover the additional work created by the project (not to cover the basic costs of SOEP-IS data collection). Second, the DFG only funds projects for which the funding preconditions have been met by the time of the funding decision. To meet these preconditions, applications involving SOEP-IS must contain the following information:

  • A general description of the SOEP Innovation Sample and the project selection process.
  • A commitment from DIW Berlin that if the DFG approves project funding, the data for the project will be collected as described in the application.
  • A binding commitment for the specific date that the data will be provided to the DFG project for analysis.

As a rule, the DFG does not provide funding for data collection in SOEP-IS because this is already covered by the survey’s core funding. Exceptions to this rule may be made if applicants demonstrate that the inclusion of additional survey modules in SOEP-IS creates additional work. This would result, for example, from the inclusion of behavioral experiments or other non-survey elements (e.g., collection of biomarkers). Funding applications to the DFG that include data collection in the SOEP-IS must therefore include the following additional information:

  • A transparent calculation of costs that clearly distinguishes between the additional work required as part of the planned DFG-funded project and the survey work covered by the survey’s core funding.

It is in the interest of applicants that they submit all of the required materials, which are crucial in providing a basis for evaluation.

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 (doi: 10.3790/schm.135.3.389)
    David Richter, Jürgen Schupp. 2012. SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS) - Description, Structure and Documentation. SOEPpaper 463 | PDF, 162.91 KB .