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Interim Heads 2011-2012

Report of February 11, 2011

On February 11, the DIW Board of Trustees appointed Gert G. Wagner to serve as Chairman of the Executive Board for the next almost two years. Prof. Dr. Wagner's previous Deputy Heads, PD Dr. Joachim Frick and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schupp, will take over as Interim Heads of the SOEP during this period.

Since Joachim Frick is currently ill, Jürgen Schupp will initially carry this responsibility alone. He will also represent the SOEP in the official bodies of DIW Berlin.

The relationship between the Research Infrastructure SOEP and the other units of DIW Berlin has not always been entirely free of conflicts. Jürgen Schupp is confident that the relationship between the SOEP and the DIW's Executive Board, its research departments, and its administration and service units will now improve substantially. 

In the future, a new set of proposed SOEP bylaws will govern the relationship between the SOEP and the other units of DIW Berlin as part of the DIW Berlin's new statutes. The Board of Trustees will decide on the new bylaws at its next regular meeting and thus formally establish the SOEP's institutional home at DIW Berlin.

As a longtime member of the SOEP group, Jürgen Schupp will be able to rely on the full support of his colleagues, and is optimistic about the work to be done in the coming months.  "The entire team is highly motivated based on our successful work over the past almost 25 years," says Schupp. "In years to come, we will gradually implement the agenda recommended by the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat)." Well over a year ago, the Council recommended expanding the SOEP's sample size  and setting up an "Innovation Panel." In Spring 2011, the first enlarged wave of the SOEP survey will go into the field, and in 2012, the planned SOEP Innovation Panel will be launched.

After his term as Chairman of the Executive Board of DIW Berlin, Gert Wagner will return as Head of the SOEP Research Infrastructure in 2013. Jürgen Schupp will then devote himself to completing an analysis project that is already in the planning stage.

Joachim Frick, Jürgen Schupp, and Gert G. Wagner are unified in their conviction that the next two years will be challenging.  During this period, efforts will need to be made to optimize the SOEP's institutional integration into DIW Berlin. The SOEP will have to work to enhance its international networks and further improve the range of services offered to its users. Its objectives will include making substantially larger samples available to SOEP users, and providing - for example - a wide range of geodata linked to the SOEP.