Call for Proposals: Employment and Social Developments in Europe

Sunday 24 June 2018


The Social Situation Monitor (SSM) is the European Commission’s observatory of employment and social developments in the EU.

As part of its research activities, the SSM invites any researcher affiliated with LSE to submit a research proposal meeting the specifications mentioned below, in relation to one of the following topics:

  • Work
  • Income, wealth and inequalities
  • Welfare policies
  • Work-life balance
  • Advanced methodologies


Research question

Any research question in relation to the following topics:

  • Work (including rural/urban differences, challenges arising from demographic trends, active support to employment, working conditions, education and training, gender equality and equal opportunities)
  • Income, wealth and inequalities (including rural/urban differences, challenges arising from demographic trends, income distribution, wealth, poverty, housing and material deprivation)
  • Welfare policies (including the provision and take-up of services and benefits, as well as issues of regulatory compliance)
  • Work-life balance (parenthood, happiness, and well-being)
  • Advanced methodologies

While applicants are free to choose any research topic within the five themes above, a number of topics of interest have been suggested by the European Commission. These include:

  • Integration of migrant workforce in local labour markets, notably whether migrating, from either a different EU country or from a third country, implies a migration premium and whether this premium has increased or not over time compared with wage levels of locals.
  • Income inequality, and its effect on intra-EU labour flows.
  • Household dimension of 'non-standard work' and self-employment (how do households combine different employment statuses? Is fixed-term work/self-employment concentrated within households?).
  • Distributive impacts of different means of financing social protection ('regressive' VAT versus 'progressive' social security contributions or labour taxes).
  • Access to essential services (water, sanitation, energy, transport, financial services and telecommunications). Click here for an example.


Any EU-wide dataset, including but not limited to:

  • The EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS)
  • The EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC)
  • The European Health Interview Survey
  • The Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)
  • The Luxembourg Wealth Study
  • The European Household Finance and Consumption Survey
  • The European Household Budget Survey (EHBS)

Unit of analysis

Individuals or households. 

Researchers should indicate whether they already have access to the microdata. Access to the microdata can be requested upon selection of the proposals. 

Geographical scope

As many EU Member States as possible.

Type of analysis

Any quantitative method.

Length of the Research Note

20 to 40 pages (excluding annexes).

Data management

The SSM team requires access to:

  • All datasets
  • All command files

Applicants are required to include a Data Management Plan (DMP) to their proposal. The DMP should explain how applicants intend to comply with Eurostat’s data management requirements. LSE Enterprise can provide advice (see ‘Contact’ below).

Intellectual Property

Authors of Research Notes are entitled to reuse or republish their work as long as they:

  • Make clear that the work, and the copyright on it, will continue to be fully owned by the European Union;
  • Make clear that exclusive licenses in relation to the Note cannot be assigned, transferred or granted;
  • Acknowledge that the work was funded by the European Commission;
  • Make clear that the opinions contained in it are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the points of view of the European Commission;
  • Received a confirmation from the European Commission that the content of the Note does not undermine the European Commission’s decision-making process.

In practice, this means that the work cannot be republished verbatim in an academic journal that requires a transfer of rights and exclusive license. 

Authors are advised to consult LSE Enterprise before making any decision to republish their Research Note.

Period of Performance

Applicants should indicate when their project will start and finish. It is expected that all Research Notes will be produced between July 2018 and July 2019. The exact timing will be discussed with the SSM team.

Applicants should note that the average project duration is 3-4 months, from the validation of the outline to the submission of the final version of the Research Note.


1)   An outline

2)   A draft Research Note

3)   A final Research Note


The maximum budget for each Research Note is €15,750.

How to submit an abstract

Please submit your research proposal online.

Deadline: The deadline for this call is Sunday 24 June 2018 at midnight. Unfortunately, late submissions will not be considered.


Any researcher affiliated with LSE can apply as Principal Investigator. This includes teaching and research staff, visiting staff and PhD students (with an appropriate supervisor). Any researcher can apply as Co-Investigator without restriction.


All proposals will be reviewed by the SSM team, which includes representatives from the European Commission, LSE Consulting and ICF. Abstracts will be assessed based on their quality and relevance to the work of the SSM team. 

All applicants will be notified by late June 2018. 

Successful applicants might be invited to revise their proposal to reflect the priorities and needs of the SSM.

About the Social Situation Monitor

The Social Situation Monitor (SSM) is the European Commission’s observatory of employment and social developments in the EU. The aim of the SSM is to provide a robust analysis of these developments, and ultimately to contribute to the formulation of effective employment and social policies targeting millions of EU citizens. In particular, the SSM provides key evidence to the Commission’s flagship publication on this issue: the Employment and Social Developments in Europe review

The activities of the SSM include:

  • The production of eight Research Notes per year;
  • The maintenance of an online repository of Research Findings;
  • The organisation of Research Seminars
  • The maintenance of a Data Warehouse;
  • The dissemination of research findings to stakeholders.

The SSM is directed by LSE Consulting, in consortium with ICF, on behalf of the European Commission. The team is led by Dr Bob Hancké from LSE’s European Institute, and Dr Simona Milio from ICF. 

Click here for more information about the SSM.


For more information about the call, please contact: 

Ms Bregtje Kamphuis 
Project Manager at LSE Consulting (part of LSE Enterprise)