Social Science and Humanities Open Cluster Switzerland (SSHOC-CH)

In April 2024, during a meeting involving over 60 representatives from national research infrastructures, the Swiss nodes of European ERICs and long-term projects launched the “Social Science and Humanities Open Cluster Switzerland (SSHOC-CH)”. This initiative is aimed at redefining collaboration, finding synergies among various projects, and coordinating resources nationally to better support SSH scholars in their research and in managing […]

Recognise ORD (recORD)

The project will perform an analysis of best practices in ORD recognition based on (a) a literature review and (b) the discussions on the use of ORD in research assessment in CoARA working groups as well as the Swiss national CoARA chapter. These analyses are then contrasted with an analysis of the policies and needs of all involved partners. For […]

COVID Generation – Understanding young people’s wellbeing

The Covid Generation research project The Covid Generation is a collaborative project involving researchers from FORS, the University of Lausanne and the University of Neuchâtel. It examines wellbeing of young people as well as the response of the policy field to support their wellbeing. 1. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected wellbeing of young people? Specifically, we examime how wellbeing […]

CNES – Consortium of National Election Studies

The Consortium of National Election Studies (CNES) is the network of scientific national election studies that conduct voter surveys for national general elections. CNES promotes the exchange of data, knowledge and standards on national elections and election studies to improve the understanding of electoral behaviour and electoral democracies through national and comparative election research. Elections are key in any liberal […]

DReMSS – Developments in Research and Methods of the Social Sciences

The University of Lausanne funds a joint research programme that involves many researchers from FORS and the Faculty for Social and Political Sciences (SSP). This collaboration resulted in a high-quality platform for national and international social science methods and substantive research, recently launched at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lausanne. This new platform DReMSS Developments in […]


At the international level, FORS is engaged in the establishment and development of European research infrastructure. These activities are important to connect Switzerland to European research infrastructures and to enhance the international visibility of Swiss social sciences. As a member of CESSDA (Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives), which was granted the status of a European Research Infrastructure Consortium […]

SHP – Swiss Household Panel

The main objective of the Swiss Household Panel is to observe social change, in particular the dynamics of changing living conditions and representations in the population of Switzerland. It is an annual panel study based on a random sample of private households in Switzerland over time. FORS collects the data and makes it available on FORSbase. Duration: 1999 – ongoing […]

SELECTS – Swiss Electoral Studies

The Swiss Electoral Studies (Selects) have been investigating the electoral behaviour of Swiss citizens in national elections since 1995. The project sheds light on the dynamics of the Swiss citizens’ opinion formation as well as on the determinants of their political participation and voting choice for a specific candidate or party. In addition, it collects survey data on the candidates’ […]

ESS – European Social Survey

The European Social Survey (ESS) is a cross-national survey that has been conducted every two years since 2002 in more than 30 European and several neighbouring countries. The ESS measures values, attitudes and behavioural patterns of the populations of European countries. In order to obtain high-quality data that is internationally comparable, the methodological specifications of the survey are very precise […]


MOSAiCH is a cross-sectional survey that focuses on the Swiss population’s values and attitudes toward a wide range of social issues. It was initiated in 2005 and is conducted every two years. The survey is designed in such a way as to allow both comparisons over time and across countries. The thematic focus lies on the current module of the […]

EVS – European Values Study

The European Values Study is a large-scale, cross-national and longitudinal survey research programme on basic human values. It provides insights into the thinking, beliefs, preferences, attitudes, values and opinions of citizens throughout Europe. It is a unique research project on how Europeans think about life, family, work, religion, politics and society. The European Values Study started in 1981. Every nine […]

SHARE – Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe

SHARE is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel database of microdata on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of more than 120,000 individuals aged 50 and over in Europe and Israel. The survey has been conducted every two years since 2004. Together with the University of Lausanne, FORS is responsible for conducting SHARE in Switzerland. Participants: 27 European countries and […]


Many research institutions in Switzerland are confronted with the challenges of managing research data and ensuring long-term preservation and accessibility, but do not have the tools nor the knowledge needed to fulfill the requirements of Open Data. Hence, a national, public, sustainable and cross-disciplinary solution is needed. SWISSUbase offers such a solution. SWISSUbase is a research data service that provides […] supports data linkage in the fields of social sciences and medicine to deliver relevant knowledge for society. It aims to provide an environment that allows a better use of the potential of existing data while respecting the regulations on the protection of personal data and in accordance with scientific principles. offers a metadata service with information on data sets […]

MEDem – Monitoring electoral democracy

Understanding voters, parties, media and elites (and how they influence policy-making) is crucial to monitoring the functioning of electoral democracy in modern societies. The proposed research infrastructure for Monitoring Electoral Democracy (MEDem) in Europe aims to: bring together well functioning national and comparative projects and to link and coordinate existing endeavors as well as to support innovation in research on […]

Past projects

WELLWAYS – Critical events and transitions in family and work and multidimensional well being

Research team: Laura Bernardi (Unil), Chiara Comolli (Unil), Marieke Voorpostel (Fors), Ariane Pailhé (Ined), Emmanuelle Cambois (Ined) Health and well-being are not equally distributed in society. WELLWAYS investigates how events and transitions in the family and employment domains, which significantly influence health and well-being, contribute to this inequality. We study individuals’  life course to understand whether and to what extent […]

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 human research law, as well as their willingness to participate in studies in the field of human research. The goal is to show whether the population feels protected by the Human Research Act and whether the information provided […]


Following each federal vote, VOTO examines the reasons why Swiss voters participated in popular votes at the federal level and explains their voting decisions. Funded by the Swiss Federal Chancellery, VOTO is a joint project of FORS and the Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau (ZDA) in collaboration with the polling institute LINK. Approximately eight weeks after the vote, all reports […]

ch-x 2017

FORS won the open tender by the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports to conduct the 2016-17 Swiss Federal Surveys of Adolescents (ch-x), which focuses on the topic of the geographical mobility of young people. ch-x are long-established large-scale surveys conducted amongst 19 to 21-year-old Swiss citizens. They provide virtually full coverage of young men drafted into […]

CESSDA ERIC projects

As a member of CESSDA (Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives), which was granted the status of a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in 2013, FORS is involved in a number of CESSDA ERIC projects: CESSDA Euro Question Bank In 2016, FORS joined partners from five other European countries to launch EBQ, a new CESSDA-funded infrastructure project, which aims […]


SERISS brings together three research infrastructures in the social sciences: the European Social Survey (ESS), the Survey for Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA). Also involved in SERISS are non-ESFRI research infrastructures: the Generations and Gender Programme (GGP), the European Values Study (EVS) and the WageIndicator Survey ( The […]

Selects civique

The Swiss Election Study (Selects) has been investigating the electoral behaviour of Swiss citizens in national elections since 1995. The project sheds light on the dynamics of citizens’ opinion formation as well as on the determinants of their political participation and vote choice for a specific candidate or party. Due to the increasing use of smartphones in the Swiss population and […]

PICE – Parental investment in children’s education in migrant families in Switzerland

PICE is an interdisciplinary research project financed by the SNF that examines the relationship between parental investments in the education of their children and the educational success of children. The focus is on how parents with and without a migration background in Switzerland differ in their behavior. FORS contributes to the coordination of the project and is involved in the […]

PAWCER – Public Attitudes to Welfare, Climate Change and Energy in the EU and Russia

The goal of the PAWCER project is to conduct comparative research on public attitudes towards welfare, climate change and energy, all of which are relevant to understanding conflict, identity, and memory. Cross-national analyses of survey and contextual data will be used to examine discrepancies and similarities, as well as diverging and converging trends between public attitudes towards these topics. Data […]

Wealth distribution in Switzerland and Germany

The project has four main aims: (1) assess the quality of survey data on wealth in Switzerland; (2) estimate the relevance of pension entitlements; (3) study the impact of migration and life events on wealth and wealth mobility; and (4) analyse the impact of wealth on subjective wellbeing. With its main focus on Germany and Switzerland, the project takes a […]

Assessment of Basic Educational Competences (ÜGK)

Within the framework of the ÜGK (Überprüfung der Grundkompetenzen) project, students from all cantons participate in large-scale assessments in order to evaluate the harmonisation of compulsory education in Switzerland. So far, competence tests in mathematics, the school language and the first foreign language have been carried out. The Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) mandated FORS to lead […]

Data management pilot study

In 2017, FORS launched a three-year pilot study together with the University of Lausanne Faculty of Social and Political Sciences. The aim of the pilot study is to follow a number of researchers in their day-to day data management practices and to jointly develop solutions that will ultimately result in new tools for the entire research community. Duration: 2017 – […]

CESSDA SaW – Strengthening and Widening CESSDA

The goal of the CESSDA SaW project was to strengthen and widen the existing CESSDA consortium (Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives). CESSDA brings together social science data archives from across Europe with the aim of promoting the results of social science research and supporting national and international research and cooperation. Like all CESSDA service providers, FORS was involved […]

Monitor Society and Disability 2016

The purpose of the Society and Disability Monitor is to measure the attitudes of the Swiss population towards people with disabilities and their most important requirements, 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 financial backing from the Federal Bureau for the Equality […]

ORD@CH – Open Research Data Pilot Platform Switzerland

Within the framework of the Open Research Data Pilot Platform Switzerland (ORD@CH) project, FORS (lead), the Digital Humanities Lab of the University of Basel and the ETH Scientific IT Services developed a publication platform for open research data in Switzerland. The pilot platform offered a metadata catalogue of the data available at the participating institutions. The ORD@CH project was part […]