Germany, Cologne

Design and Implementation of Longitudinal Surveys

when 15 August 2016 - 19 August 2016
language English
duration 1 week
credits 4 ECTS
fee EUR 250

The course will provide an overview of those aspects of survey design and implementation that are unique to longitudinal surveys or that have distinct features in the longitudinal context. Discussion will be placed within a framework of the sources of survey error (sampling, coverage, nonresponse, measurement error, and costs). The course will begin with a review of the advantages and limitations of longitudinal surveys and an outline of some of the uses to which longitudinal surveys are put. The course will then discuss key aspects of survey design, sample design, measurement, non-response and attrition, weighting and imputation. The course material will address a number of necessary key design decisions, such as the interval between waves, data collection modes, question design for capturing micro-level change, and how to weight for longitudinal analysis given that missing data patterns differ between waves. Additional topics include gaining consent to obtain biomarker data and to link administrative records to survey responses. The daily “free study time” will specifically be focussed on interaction between students and the instructors, with assignments providing practical application of the lecture material.
You can find the full syllabus of the course with complete information on the topics, literature, and day-to-day schedule on

Course leader

Dr. Tarek Al Baghal, Research Fellow at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, UK.;
Dr. Alexandru Cernat, Research Associate at the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research and the National Centre for Research Methods, Uni

Target group

Participants will find the course useful if:
- they are interested in the uses and importance of longitudinal surveys ;
- they are involved in planning or conducting a longitudinal survey;
- they are interested in the processes involved in measurement of phenomena over time;
- they are interested in methodological aspects of longitudinal data collection;
- they want to assess, prevent and correct for missing data over time.

Course aim

By the end of the course participants will:
- be familiar with the central design issues of longitudinal surveys;
- understand different strategies on how to collect longitudinal data;
- be able to design questions that meet research objectives for longitudinal surveys and minimize error;
- be able to identify and implement features that should help to prevent panel attrition;
- be able to study the nature of non-response and attrition in a longitudinal survey;
- understand generally the methods used in weighting and imputation in a panel survey.

Credits info

- Certificate of attendance issued upon completion.
Optional bookings:
- 2 ECTS points via the University of Mannheim for regular attendance and satisfactory work on daily assignments (EUR 20).
- 4 ECTS points via the University of Mannheim for regular attendance and satisfactory work on daily assignments and for submitting a paper/report of about 5000 words to the lecturer(s) up to 4 weeks after the end of the summer school (EUR 50).

Fee info

EUR 250: Student/PhD student rate.
EUR 350: Academic/non-profit rate.
Early bird discount: EUR 50 for applicants who book and pay by April 30.
The rates include the tuition fee, course materials, the academic program, access to library and IT facilities, coffee/tea, and a number of social activities.


10 DAAD scholarships are available via the Center for Doctoral Studies in Social and Behavioral Sciences (CDSS) at the University of Mannheim.