Strong infrastructure is essential for a vibrant research environment in Ireland.

Ireland is currently a member of three humanities and social sciences ‘European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures’ (ESFRI), which are constituted legally as European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERIC):

  • Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH)
  • European Social Survey (ESS)
  • Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA)

The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science have appointed the Irish Research Council to represent Ireland’s interests in these infrastructures.


European Social Survey (ESS)


The ESS is an academically-driven social survey designed to chart and explain the interaction between Europe’s changing institutions and the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of its diverse populations.

Currently in its eleventh round, the survey covers more than 30 nations. It is a repeat cross-sectional survey and uses the most rigorous methodologies. It is funded through the European Commission’s Framework Programmes, the European Science Foundation and national funding bodies in each country.

The ESS allows governments, policy analysts and scholars to keep up with social trends that affect how democracy is working and how European citizens perceive their lives, their nations, and the world.


Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH)

DARIAH is a pan-European network for arts and humanities scholars working with computational methods. It supports digital research, as well as the teaching of digital research methods.

In November 2014 it was formally established as a European Research Infrastructure (ERIC). The mission of the DARIAH ERIC is to enhance and support digitally enabled research across the humanities and arts. DARIAH ERIC develops, maintains and operates an infrastructure in support of ICT-based research practices.

The coordinator fulfils a number of roles, including:

  • representing the Council as required at national and international DARIAH events
  • serving as a link between the national steering committee and the DARIAH-EU coordination office
  • providing the secretariat and administration for the national DARIAH steering committee.


Read the full DARIAH call documentation.

CESSDA stands for Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives and ERIC stands for European Research Infrastructure Consortium.

CESSDA provides large-scale, integrated and sustainable data services to the social sciences. It brings together social science data archives across Europe, with the aim of promoting the results of social science research and supporting national and international research and cooperation.

The CESSDA Strategy 2018-2022 has four pillars:

  1. Building on TRUST
  2. Renown for TRAINING
  3. Proficient in TECHNOLOGY
  4. User-friendly TOOLS & SERVICES.

The Widening and Outreach pillar was added from 2021 onwards. It became a new strategic pillar with a set of activities in the coming years.

CESSDA builds trust in social science research by ensuring its quality and that it is available for future research. By acquiring the status of a trust repository, CESSDA Service Providers demonstrate their reliability to researchers as well as national and international research funders.

CESSDA supports continuous learning and training of its Service Provider staff and the social science user community. The areas covered include research data management, data discovery and reuse, digital preservation and data archiving, as well as CESSDA tools and services.


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