The FORS lunch seminars are held to foster scholarly exchange between FORS researchers and related researchers to profit from their diverse scientific and cultural backgrounds. Occasionnally researchers from outside of FORS are invited to present their research findings. The FORS Lunch seminars are open to the public and are currently, all meetings are held online. They take place regularly on Tuesdays at 12:45 and are advertised beforehand on the FORS homepage.
The FORS Lunch Seminars are organised by FORS collaborator Dr. Marieke Heers.
The next FORS Lunch Seminar will take place on Tuesday, October 10, from 12:45 to 13:45 in Room 5621 (Géopolis).
Katarzyna Wac from the University of Geneva will give the following presentation:
mQoL Living Lab: Quantifying Quality of Life Beyond Self-Reporting and Incorporating Daily Life into Medicine
Current Quality of Life assessment methods and tools are mostly based on self-reports, which are infrequent, subjective, memory-based, and context-poor. Personal technologies can enable quality-of-life quantification. But how? The Quality of Life Technologies (QoL Lab) lab has been established in 2010 and since then is researching how mobile and emerging sensor-based technologies can be leveraged for an accurate, longitudinal personalized assessment of the individual’s behavior and life quality, as they unfold naturally over time and in context, and the improvement of the latter. The QoL lab research draws on new emerging models from computer science incorporating examination, diagnosis, and treatment of daily life as an “organ” – much like a cardiologist examines heart. The mQoL Living Lab is a software infrastructure designed and maintained by the QoL Lab that leverages personal, longitudinal, real-world data approaches acquired via mixed-methods along human subject studies spanning observational to interventional designs (including RCT and N-of-1 designs). More at qol.unige.ch.
There will be coffee and tea as well as a little dessert. Please bring your cup and join us a few minutes before the start of the seminar to get your drink!
To stay up to date concerning the FORS Lunch Seminars, check our website: https://forscenter.ch/events-training/fors-lunch-seminars/
Join us at Géopolis for this lunch seminar with Katarzyna Wac from the University of Geneva
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: ISSP USER CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT
The International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) is delighted to announce its second ISSP User Conference, scheduled to be held online on December 4, 2023, and focusing on the topic of Environment. The Call for Abstracts is currently open, with a submission deadline set for October 20, 2023.
Access the call here: Call-for-Abstracts_ISSP-User-Conference.pdf.
For more information about the ISSP, please visit: www.issp.org
The International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) is delighted to announce its second ISSP User Conference, scheduled for December 4, 2023 around the topic of Environment. Submit your abstract till October 20, 2023.
The CNES Seminar Series casts a spotlight on different National Election Studies that share their experiences in designing and conducting election studies.
Participation is free and open to everyone interested in the practices and methodological aspects of electoral research.
First edition: Implementing mixed-mode surveys
14 November 2023
15:30-17:00 (Central European time, GMT +1)
Chair: Eva Heiða Önnudóttir, Icelandic National Election Study (ICENES)
|15:30-15:40||Welcome (Eva Heiða Önnudóttir)|
|Åsa von Schoultz, Finnish National Election Study (FNES); Chair of CNES|
|Introduction to CNES|
|15:40-16:00||Kasper Møller Hansen, Danish National Election Study (DNES)|
|Fighting falling response rates. Mixed-mode, incentives, and response time|
|16:00-16:20||Mikołaj Cześnik, Polish National Election Study (PNES)|
|Field research in a rapidly changing social reality – experiences from Poland|
|16:20-17:00||Discussion and Q&A|
Participation is free but registration is mandatory.
Click here to register no later than 31 October 2023.
Further information on CNES: https://www.cnes.community/
The CNES Seminar Series casts a spotlight on different National Election Studies that share their experiences in designing and conducting election studies. Free online event.
The next SSP-FORS Methods and Research Seminar will take place on Tuesday 26th of September 2023 (room 5621, Geopolis 12:15 to 13:30).
Bettina Moltrecht from the University College London (UCL) will give a presentation on the following topic:
Development and use of Harmony, a Natural Language Processing tool to facilitate measurement harmonisation across studies
Abstract: Integrative epidemiological and social science research has been hindered by inconsistent approaches to the measurement of similar constructs. For instance, reviews have estimated that over 280 questionnaires have been used to measure depression. One crucial approach to addressing this issue is the harmonisation of questionnaires, i.e. identifying similar question items that tap into the same symptom from different scales, and testing their measurement properties and equivalence empirically – thus enabling researchers to compare and combine findings across existing studies, even when different measures have been administered. Successful measurement harmonisation and thus pooling of data allows not only for greater statistical power and more refined subgroup analysis, but also enhances generalizability of findings and the capacity to compare and cross validate data and findings from different contexts. I will demonstrate the new AI-driven tool called “Harmony” (https://harmonydata.ac.uk/app/#/ ) and how its functionalities allow researchers to identify, compare and match survey items across multiple studies in a more efficient and transparent way. I will present use-case examples using real world meta-data from two UK cohort Studies, findings from our ongoing validation research and how existing platform can benefit from Harmony. In the end I would like to invite the audience to use Harmony, discuss familiar challenges and possible solutions around data harmonisation, especially considering cultural and contextual adaptations.
Co-authors: Eoin McElroy, Mauricio S Hoffmann, Thomas Wood and George Ploubidis
Dr Bettina Moltrecht is a mental health researcher at the University College London (UCL) and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in the UK. Bettina combines a strong clinical, tech and research background in her work. She is currently based at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies where she leads the Harmony project; and uses UK cohort and electronic health record data to investigate and model population mental health trends to identify new intervention targets. At the Anna Freud Centre she leads on the development of a new online intervention for families living with parental mental illness and is co-investigator on a large clinical randomised control trial to investigate the impact of mentalization-based treatment on emotion regulation in children.
We look forward to your participation.
The organizing committee:
The title of the presentation: Development and use of Harmony, a Natural Language Processing tool to facilitate measurement harmonisation across studies.
In September 2023, the new Federal Act on Data Protection (nFADP) will become effective in Switzerland.
Do you have questions on what data protection laws imply for your research?
Are you insecure how to share your data and related research materials while respecting the legal requirements?
Do you want to know where to share your data and related research materials safely?
If so, then register for an online symposium on “Sharing data in the light of the new data protection law” and get the chance to ask questions.
This free event will take place online and all presentations will be held in English.
Detailed information and registration: https://forscenter.ch/sharing-data-in-the-light-of-the-new-data-protection-law/
What means the new Federal Act on Data Protection for your research? How and where to share your data and related research materials safely, while respecting the legal requirements? Register now.
After a very successful 2022 edition, we are happy to publish the 27th Summer School programme.
The Summer School in Social Science Methods has been conceived for those who feel the need to refresh, deepen and widen their methodological knowledge and skills, whatever their professional situation: student, researcher or practitioner.
In response to requests from past editions’ participants, we are introducing three new courses:
We are looking forward to welcoming you for two weeks of learning in August at the beautiful campus of Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano!
Organised by USI and FORS.
The programme of the 27th Summer School in Social Science Methods in Lugano is out now. Registration is open.
The 12th International Conference of Panel Data Users in Switzerland will take place on June 14-15, 2023 at the University of Lausanne.
This edition will include thematic sessions covering a wide variety of topics, such as health and well-being, education and labour market, families, gender, ethnic minorities and migration, politics and attitudes, survey methodology, and longitudinal methods. The program also includes a session on TREE data and one on health literacy using SHARE data.
Consult the scientific programme: https://forscenter.ch/12th-international-conference-of-panel-data-users-in-switzerland/
The registrations are now closed.
This edition includes sessions covering topics, such as health and well-being, education and labour market, families, gender, ethnic minorities and migration, politics and attitudes, survey methodology, and longitudinal methods.
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the law on advance directives (ADs) in the Swiss Civil Code (2013), the Advance Care Planning (ACP) Dialogue Workshop aims to examine the development, implementation, and use of ACP and ADs in Switzerland over the last ten years by adopting a public health approach. Academic experts from different fields (e.g., medicine, ethics, sociology, psychology, law, economics), professionals involved in ACP promotion and completion, and policy and public health stakeholders are invited to engage in a multidisciplinary exchange of views on the uptake of ACP and ADs in Switzerland, as well as their vision for the future. The workshop will result in a multidisciplinary, holistic, and multilevel picture of the past and current situation of ACP and ADs in Switzerland and the related challenges and recommendations for the future advancement of ACP practice and research. We organize the ACP Dialogue Workshop in collaboration with ACP-Swiss.
Register for the workshop
This is a public event but the number of places available is limited. Attendees are, therefore, asked to register for the event here:
10 years of advance directives in Switzerland: an interdisciplinary public health perspective on advance care planning
The next FORS Lunch Seminar will take place on Tuesday, March 14, from 12:45 to 13:45 in Room 5899.
During the seminar the winners of the FORS Data Re-use Award 2022 Rita Schmutz (first prize) and Mengling Cheng (second prize) will present their work and receive their awards.
Rita Schmutz (LIVES, University of Lausanne) will present the following project:
Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Switzerland: Exploring Regional Differences and Institutional Factors
This study provides estimates of inequality of educational opportunity (IEOp) in compulsory education in Switzerland using the 2016 Swiss large-scale assessments of basic competencies (ÜGK – COFO – VeCoF) dataset. IEOp measures the share of inequality in the distribution of educational performance that can only be attributed to students’ characteristics beyond their control (circumstances), such as their family socioeconomic status (SES), parental education, gender, and immigrant status. By employing a parametric ex-ante estimation approach, I estimate that IEOp in Switzerland is 21%, with considerable heterogeneity across cantons and the German-speaking region showing higher levels of unfair educational inequalities. The IEOp estimates are decomposed to identify the contributions of different circumstances and to develop a better understanding of the observed inequality. Socioeconomic status, parental education, and occupation are the most relevant circumstances in most cantons. Inequality of educational opportunity is associated with the institutional structure of cantonal education systems. Educational inputs in primary school explained most of the cross-canton variation in IEOp, followed by the level of stratification in secondary school.
Mengling Cheng (LIVES, University of Lausanne) will present the following project:
Evolution of the income-related gap in health with old age: Evidence from 20 countries in European and Chinese panel datasets
(joint work with Nicolas Sommet, Daniela Jopp and Dario Spini)
Background: Some studies show that the protective effect of higher income on health weakens with old age (the age-as-leveler pattern), whereas others show that it strengthens with old age (the cumulative advantage/disadvantage pattern). Existing studies are limited in that they use single-country and/or single-timepoint designs. To overcome these limitations, we used cross-national and longitudinal data to clarify how the income-related gap in health evolves with old age.
Methods: We used the longest-running European and Chinese panel datasets, namely, SHARE (2004-2019, 73,407 European participants from 19 countries) and CHARLS (2011-2018, 10,067 Chinese participants). We operationalised health using multimorbidity and three alternative indicators (functional disability, mobility disability, and memory). We performed Poisson growth curve modeling to capture the between-participant effects of age and the within-participant effects of aging.
Results: We obtained three consistent findings for both Europe (the effect was observed in most countries) and China. First, the protective effect of higher income on multimorbidity, functional disability, and mobility disability was weaker for older than for younger adults (between-participant age-as-leveler effects). Second, only the protective effect of higher income on mobility disability weakened over the later life course (within-participant age-as-leveler effects). Third, the protective effect of higher income on memory was stronger for older than for younger adults and strengthened over the later life course of the individual (both between-participant and within-participant cumulative advantage/disadvantage effects).
Conclusion: Our results suggest that the income-related gap in physical health (i.e., multimorbidity, functional disability, and mobility disability)—but not in cognitive health (i.e., memory)—narrows in old age for both Europe and China.
Presentations of the projects of the winners, notably Rita Schmutz (LIVES, University of Lausanne) and Mengling Cheng (LIVES, University of Lausanne)
Register for the free online webinar
Introduction to LaRS-SWISSUbase for the Linguistics Community”, that takes place on February 14, 2023 from 15:00-16:00 (CET).
In this webinar, you will learn about the SWISSUbase archiving platform for the linguistics community and the services provided to researchers including data curation, archiving and publishing of your linguistics data.
The session will include a demonstration of the platform and time for questions and answers.
Register now for this free online webinar that explains how you can deposit and share your research data in linguistics.
The meeting will take place on Tuesday January, 31, 2023, Room 5799, Géopolis, UNIL, 12:15-13:30.
Who is minding the children? Gender equity in the first two years of the Pandemic
The “Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) Research Infrastructures in Switzerland” initiative is piloted by a coordination group consisting of the directors of national research infrastructures (RIs) in the SSH, the national coordinators of international SSH RIs with Swiss participation (CESSDA, CLARIN, DARIAH, ESS, SHARE, GGP) and one representative of the Swiss Academy for the Swiss Academy for Social and Human Sciences (SAGW).
As a follow up to the first event (31 May 2022) and of the position paper (November 2022), the coordination group of this initiative invites the members of the Swiss SSH scientific community interested in research infrastructures to a second event on 18 January 2023.
This meeting has three main objectives.
- First, to raise awareness on the importance of research infrastructure in the SSH domain and how prioritisation and funding works (national and ESFRI roadmap process).
- Second, to share experiences from other countries and the European level on how collaborations between projects and infrastructures work.
- Third, to give a platform to potential new Swiss RIs in the SSH domain in order to reflect on needs of the SSH community and how to create synergies and join forces.
To reach these objectives, we will welcome four invited speakers from abroad (see the updated Programme), who will share their experience of how collaboration and clustering happened successfully in other countries and at the European level. In addition, the floor will also be given to several Swiss projects of RIs in the SSH field with the aim to reflect on user needs and possible synergies. Finally, the day will end with a Round Table with an open discussion, in which invited guests from the SNSF, the SERI, swissuniversities, the SAGW and all members of the audience will have the opportunity to express themselves.
Prof. Dr. Georg Lutz (FORS)
Dr. Cristina Grisot (DARIAH-CH & CLARIN-CH)
Dr. Elena Chestnova (USI)
Dr. Claire Clivaz (SIB)
Dr. Beat Immenhauser (SAGW)
Further information and registration: https://www.dariah.ch/post/ssh-research-infrastructures-in-switzerland-initiative
The registration for this event is now closed.
The event “Paving the way for the future” will take place at the University of Bern on January 18, 2023.
The workshop “Cognition, decisions and wellbeing in later life” aims to assemble cross-disciplinary perspectives on cognition, decisions and wellbeing and their interplay in later life with invited speakers, contributed talks, and posters.
During this 1.5-day event, we will particularly give emphasis to works using data from the international family of health and retirement studies such as the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) and other sister surveys.
On this occasion, we will be delighted to welcome three keynote speakers:
- Prof. Kenneth Langa from the University of Michigan (US)
Expert in epidemiology and costs of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
Associate Director of the HRS, Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol (HCAP) Network Co-Principal Investigator
- Prof. David Richter from the Freie Universität Berlin (Germany)
Expert in survey research, aging and wellbeing
International coordinator of the SHARE
- Dr. Dorina Cadar from the University of Sussex (UK)
Expert in cognitive epidemiology and dementia
Involved in the implementation of the HCAP in the ELSA
There is no registration fee for this event, but places are limited.
Registrations are open until December 8, 2022.
- Dates: December 15 and 16 (until 2:00 pm)
- Location: University of Lausanne, Géopolis building – rooms 2137 and 1620
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- This is a free event, yet registration is mandatory.
With oral presentations from FORS collaborators: Valérie-Anne Ryser, Clément Meier and Sarah Vilpert.
The next FORS Lunch Seminar will take place on Thursday, December 8, from 12:45 to 13:45 in room 2879 (Géopolis).
The BUNAVIA-team (Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development, UZH) will present the following project:
BUNAVIA: Development and Learning in Context
Presenters: Prof. Dr. Laura Bernardi, Prof. Dr. Moritz Daum, Dr. Doris Hanappi, Dr. Martin Kindschi, Prof. Dr. Michael Shanahan
Rising social inequality and diminishing returns to education make early investment in children’s different living environments (contexte de vie) – their learning, leisure, and school – increasingly important for their development and well-being. BUNAVIA, a project funded by the Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development (UZH), and conducted in collaboration with University of Lausanne and the Department of Education Planning of the Canton of Zurich, investigates the impact of context on child development by studying social networks and the development of identity. It pays particular attention to the perception of autonomy, self-efficacy, and self-regulation during transitional phases, for example, starting school, changes within and between schools. Since Spring 2022, BUNAVIA is part of the Zurich Learning Progress Study (Zürcher Lernverlaufserhebung). Data will be collected via web-based surveys from parents and in-class assessments from the focal child (age 4-5 entering premier cycle primaire/kindergarten,) in the Canton Zurich in Fall 2023. As BUNAVIA plans to propose a parallel study in the canton Vaud, the presentation will give an overview of the project and a summary of its main concepts, research priorities, and data collection design.
Important: There will be coffee and tea as well as a little dessert. Please bring your cup and join us a few minutes before the start of the seminar to get your drink!
The BUNAVIA-team (Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development, UZH) investigates the impact of context on child development by studying social networks and the development of identity.
Défis éthiques de la numérisation des données – Cours public
Quels sont les enjeux éthiques et légaux de la collecte des données personnelles ?
Ce cours public aborde les enjeux de la protection de la personne et des données personnelles, ainsi que les impacts qui en résultent pour la recherche en sciences sociales.
Plus d’informations :
Ce cours est gratuit et sans inscriptions.
Mercredi 7 décembre 2022, 18h – 19h30 | Pôle Sud, Lausanne
Ce cours public aborde les enjeux de la protection de la personne et des données personnelles, ainsi que les impacts qui en résultent pour la recherche en sciences sociales. Le cours est gratuit et sans inscriptions.
We are pleased to invite you to the next Methods and Research Meeting organized by FORS and SSP/UNIL. It will take place in room 5779 at Géopolis building, University of Lausanne on Tuesday 29th of November 2022 from 12:15 to 13:30.
We welcome Marc Asensio Manjon from the University of Lausanne.
He will give a presentation on the following topic:
The feasibility of using data donations to measure mobile media usage
Self-reports collected from survey responses have been the most common method to measure online behaviors. However, self-reports on online behaviors, and especially, when such behaviors are fragmented across situations, devices and platforms, are known to contain error due to its cognitively challenging nature. A proposed alternative to these self-reports is the use of direct observations of individuals’ online behaviors. We focus on the ‘Data donations’ approach, a process in which respondents willingly share with researchers data that already has been collected by their devices or platforms they use. Thereby, establishing a transparent and self-administrable dynamic that tracking software procedures do not have.
In this study, we asked members of an online panel (N = 872) to take part in a data donation process by using their own smartphones to access their ‘Digital Wellbeing (Android) / Screentime (IOS)’ tool and share that information with us. The tool allows respondents to check the amount of time they have spent using their smartphone on a daily basis and more specifically, in which apps. Moreover, the tool also displays information on the amount of times the device has been unlocked and the number of notifications received – total and by app. Respondents were randomly assigned to one of the three treatment groups; in each of them, we asked respondents to share the same information from their ‘Digital Wellbeing / Screentime’ tool through a different method: 1) taking screenshots; (2) recording a screen video and; (3) checking and reporting the information. We present the challenges associated with the measures’ comparability across devices and operating systems and the preliminary results on task completion and engagement.
We look forward to your participation.
The organizing committee:
We welcome Marc Asensio Manjon from the University of Lausanne. The title of his presentation is: The feasibility of using data donations to measure mobile media usage. The seminar will take place at Géopolis at the University of Lausanne on November 29th 2022.
The one-day workshop “Safe Access to Sensitive Research Data”, organised by FORS and the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons (FHGR), took place in Bern and assembled relevant actors and stakeholders in Switzerland concerned by the dissemination of sensitive data for research purposes. The goal was to identify interesting models, key issues, and barriers regarding the building of national infrastructure for sensitive data, and to discuss and initiate forms of collaboration and concerted action.
The programme and all the presentations can be consulted on the workshop’s dedicated webpage: https://forscenter.ch/workshop-safe-access-to-sensitive-research-data/
The one-day workshop “Safe Access to Sensitive Research Data” assembled relevant actors and stakeholders in Switzerland concerned by the dissemination of sensitive data for research purposes.
The webinar on qualitative data anonymisation is given by Alexandra Stam. It will introduce you to the key principles of qualitative data anonymization and guide you through the different techniques for anonymising your data, as well as file handling procedures. It will also address some common concerns expressed by researchers, and how to possibly overcome them.
This webinar is part of the FORS Data Management Webinar series. All webinars are given by experts in the field at FORS. The participation is free, yet registration is required.
They all last an hour from 1 to 2 pm.
Further information and registration: https://forscenter.ch/data-management-webinar-series/
This webinar introduces you to the key principles of qualitative data anonymization & guide you through the different techniques for anonymising your data, as well as file handling procedures. It will also address some common concerns expressed by researchers, and how to possibly overcome them.
Methods and research meetings
The methods and research meetings offer researchers a plattform to present and discuss their substantive or methodological research raising interesting methodological questions or coming up with new methodological approaches.
The 2023/2024 programme will be published shortly.
Next presentation of the FORS-SSP Methods & Research Meeting: 26th September 2023 with Bettina Moltrecht from the University College London (UCL). All info here.
FORS Lunch seminar
The FORS lunch seminars are held to foster scholarly exchange between FORS researchers and related researchers to profit from their diverse scientific and cultural backgrounds. Occasionnally researchers from outside of FORS are invited to present their research findings. Currently, all meetings are held online.
The next FORS Lunch Seminar will take place on Tuesday, October 10, from 12:45 to 13:45 in room 5621 at Géopolis. Katarzyna Wac from the University of Geneva will give a presentation on the following topic: mQoL Living Lab: Quantifying Quality of Life Beyond Self-Reporting and Incorporating Daily Life into Medicine
Summer School in Social Science Methods
Established in 1997, the Swiss Summer School is open to all who need to use Social Science methods, both quantitative and qualitative, for their work. It has been conceived for those who feel the need to refresh, deepen and widen their methodological knowledge and skills, whatever their professional situation: student, researcher or practitioner.
The 27th Summer School 2023 took place in August 10-25: Programme
The 28th edition of the Summer School will take place in August 2024.
FORS Data management webinar series
Does your research involve data collection in a social science discipline or involve human participants? Do you want to learn more about key data management practices throughout the research process?
Check out the videos and presentation slides of the following domains:
- Data management planning
- Data protection
- Data security
- Archiving and data sharing
- Informed consent
- Data documentation
- Quantitative data anonymisation
- Qualitative data anonymisation