Data collection and analysis

Our Services

The services FORS offers cover the entire research process from the conceptualisation of questionnaires to the presentation of results:

  • Conceptualisation and drafting of questionnaires
  • Sampling design and implementation
  • Programming and layout of questionnaires
  • Data collection
  • Data cleaning and preparation
  • Documentation
  • Data analysis, data visualisation and interpretation

Data is collected using online surveys, often complemented by paper questionnaires to ensure optimal representativity. Our services are available to any academic institution, public administration or non-profit organisation. FORS also accepts mandates for only a part of the research process, and we also offer support and consulting for researchers. If you are interested in our services or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our Strengths

FORS is a reference bench in Switzerland regarding survey methodology and has many years of experience running large-scale national and international surveys. In addition, we are very active in methodological and substantive research.

We apply the highest level of scientific rigour; FORS is responsible for some of the most important national and international surveys in the social sciences in Switzerland. Many of our core surveys, such as the Swiss Electoral Studies and MOSAiCH, are carried out in-house using a combination of web and paper surveys. In addition, we carry out a wide range of surveys for clients from scientific institutions, non-profit organisation and public administrations from the federal to the municipal level. A selection of recent projects is available at the end of this page.

Methodological and scientific rigor

FORS is responsible for some of the most demanding surveys at the national and international level, such as the European Social Survey (ESS), the Survey on Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), the Swiss Household Panel (SHP) and the Swiss Electoral Studies (SELECTS). All these surveys set benchmarks in their respective fields and demand the highest methodological rigor.

Our team of specialists is active in a wide range of fields of academic research covering various branches of social sciences. They ensure that the strictest scientific and methodologic standards are applied from the definition of the questionnaire right through to data analysis and interpretation.

Experts in questionnaire design

Whether you already have a questionnaire or you would like FORS to design your questionnaire from scratch, we ensure that it is displayed in any form and on any device in a way that leads to high-quality data while minimising the bias due to the form in which the questionnaire is answered.

State-of-the-art tools and partners

We apply the latest technology to ensure the best possible experience for respondents and to guarantee data quality and comparability across different devices and forms. We are able to conduct complex experiments, short-term panel surveys, or surveys with special designs or populations.

FORS has strong ties to the main actors in social science research and to the federal authorities involved at different levels in the research, funding, and support in this field.

Experience with the Federal Statistical Office’s SRPH sampling frame

Most of our surveys use the sampling frame of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), which offers numerous advantages, such as virtually complete coverage and basic sociodemographic information on target persons as well as on other household members. We apply our experience in working with the FSO to help you request and define samples and ensure that your samples are used in an optimal manner. To learn more about the sampling frame and find out whether your project qualifies, please visit the FSO’s Sampling Frame page.

Data linkage

FORS can also facilitate the linking of your data with data from the FSO or other sources. These can include administrative data at the individual level or contextual information (geographic, political, socioeconomic, etc.).


Knowledge and attitude of the Swiss population towards human research and its regulations

The aim of the study is to determine the public’s mood, level of knowledge and attitudes with regard to human research and the human research law, as well as their willingness to participate in a study in the field of human research. The aim is to show whether the population feels protected by the Human Research Act and whether the information provided is sufficient. For this purpose, FORS was mandated by the Human research and Ethics Section of the Federal Office of Public Health, to interview around 2,000 people living in Switzerland. The questionnaire could be completed online and on paper.

Duration: 2017-2018

For further information please contact Franziska Ehrler.

Assessing citizens’ preferences - University of Geneva

Do members of parliament have accurate perceptions of public preferences? That is the question motivating the research project financed by the SNF and led by Prof. Frédéric Varone from the University of Geneva. It is part of an international comparative project and looks at the conditions under which members of parliament correctly perceive the opinions of their electorate concerning concrete political measures. To do this, the responses given by elected representatives are compared to those of a representative sample of voting-age Swiss citizens. FORS was mandated to conduct a survey among approximately 4’000 individuals. The contacted persons have the possibility of responding either online or by paper questionnaire.

Duration: 2017 – 2018

For further information, contact Nicolas Pekari.

The Society and Disability Monitor

The Society and Disability Monitor aims to measure the attitudes of the Swiss population towards people with disabilities and their most important demands, and to determine to what extent the population supports concrete improvement measures in favour of people with disabilities. Mandated by Pro Infirmis Switzerland and with a financial contribution from the Federal Bureau for the Equality of People with Disabilities (FBED), FORS interviewed 3,200 people living in Switzerland. The questionnaire could be completed online or on paper.

Duration: 2015-2016

For further information see SWISSUbase or contact Michèle Ernst-Stähli.

Ongoing projects
FORS Connect :

EPFL Panel :