Post-conference Workshops



Thursday 12th July 2018      13:30 - 18:00

     The German National Educational Panel Study: Introducing the NEPS Data Infrastructure

and its Research Potential

    Convenor: Daniel Fuss, Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories, Germany

                                                                                                    Coffee Break: 15:30 – 16:00

                                                                                                            Fee: 25 euros

                                                                   (Workshop available as an add-on item when registering for the main conference)


The German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) has been set up to find out more about how education is acquired, to understand how it impacts on individual biographies, and to describe and analyze the major educational processes and trajectories across the life span. It follows a multicohort sequence design consisting of six starting cohorts—early childhood, kindergarten children, fifth graders, ninth graders, first-year students in higher education, and adults—with over 60,000 participants that were sampled through the years 2009 to 2012. All panel participants are regularly interviewed and tested over an extended period of time. Additionally, about 40,000 relevant context persons such as parents, teacher and preschool staff, as well as heads and principals of educational institutions are surveyed.

The NEPS survey program focuses on five interlinked dimensions: (1) competence development across the life course, (2) education processes in life-course-specific learning environments, (3) social inequality and educational decisions, (4) education acquisition of persons with migration background, (5) returns to education. It is complemented by extensive biographical details, motivational variables and personality aspects, structural
information about the educational contexts, and numerous paradata for methodological research.


All data material is thoroughly edited, documented, and made available to the national and international scientific community free-of-charge in the form of scientific use files. The workshop will provide an overview of the design and survey program of the NEPS study, its research potential, and data access regulations. Workshop participants will gain insight into a unique research data infrastructure with rich longitudinal information on educational
transitions and trajectories across the whole life span. They will also have the opportunity to register for our remote desktop environment and to get some hands-on practice with the data.





Thursday 12th July 2018      13:30 - 18:00

     Introduction to the New SOEPlong-version: From Raw Data to Longitudinal Analyses

Convenor: Marco Giesselmann, Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Germany

                                                                                                    Coffee Break: 15:30 – 16:00

                                                                                                            Fee: 25 euros

                                                             (Workshop available as an add-on item when registering for the main conference)


The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) is a wide-ranging representative longitudinal study of private households in Germany, located at the German Institute for Economic Research, DIW Berlin. Some of the many topics include household composition, occupational biographies, marital biographies, employment, earnings, health and subjective indicators. The panel was started in 1984 and offers longitudinal information for more than 80.000 persons in about 20.000 households.

The purpose of the workshop is to introduce and familiarize doctoral students as well as senior researchers with the file structure and potential of the SOEP data. Specifically, we explore the potential of “SOEPlong”, a new mode of data-provision based on datasets in long-format. Particularly, the workshop focuses on the longitudinal components of the data. We demonstrate and discuss the ability of the longitudinal household design to a) validate causal interpretations, b) combine characteristics from different phases of the life course and c) track dynamics between partners (and other household members) over time.

Given the huge amount of data (and the correspondingly large number of files) covering 30 years of micro data at the household, individual and event levels, the SOEP dataset is growing into an increasingly complex structure which can be difficult to handle for users, even if they are experienced empirical analysts. The workshop shall serve to help users cope with this complexity. Additionally, the potential of longitudinal data in general (and the SOEP in particular) to model life-course dynamics in sociology is still largely underused. Therefore, the course aims at encouraging the sociological research community to make stronger use of the benefits of this type of data in research projects on dynamics of objective, subjective and biographical indicators.


Thursday 12th July 2018      09:00 - 13:30

Inequalities in Ageing: An Example of the Social to Biological Transition? Taking a Life Course Approach

Using Social and Biological Data

Convenor: Noriko Cable, University College London, UK

                                                                                                    Coffee Break: 11:00 – 11:30

                                                                                                            Fee: 25 euros

                                                                (Workshop available as an add-on item when registering for the main conference)


Background: In this workshop, we propose a model for examining the observed life course socioeconomic differentials in the ageing process. We suggest that the ageing process to be examined from the life course perspectives: looking into exposures during early life, where the conditions for producing socially patterned health outcomes are set in later life. This workshop aims to establish:

1. The rationale for examining the construction of health inequalities through the lifecourse approach;

2. An outline of the lifecourse approach within medical sociology and social epidemiology;

3. An understanding of the social and biological dynamics involved in ageing processes over the lifecourse by using longitudinal datasets;

4.Practical knowledge and resources about how to set up a piece of lifecourse research, testing a social-to-biological hypothesis that is theoretically guided.

Methods: To achieve this, a faculty consisting of experienced social, population, health and biological scientists from across Europe will provide a combination of theoretical, methodological and empirical sessions, combined with practical activities. The practical session will be designed around group work using a published methodology for teaching lifecourse theories and the social-to-biological transition through developing and analysing vignettes. The workshop will be held over one half-day after the main SLLS conference.

Expected results: The participants in the workshop will acquire an understanding of lifecourse theories as applied to the study of health. They will learn how to construct their approach by clarifying plausible social drivers and biological mechanisms underlying a hypothesis. They will learn to use available resources (data, biomarker glossaries, guidebooks) and will lead the field of social-biological interface research through support from the network of researchers within the SLLS Interdisciplinary Health Research Group.



Thursday 12th July 2018      09:00 - 13:30

      R Short Course: Analyzing Longitudinal Data with R

    Convenor: Danilo Bolano, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

                                                                                                    Coffee Break: 11:00 – 11:30

                                                                                                            Fee: 25 euros

                                                                (Workshop available as an add-on item when registering for the main conference)


The goal of this workshop is to provide an introduction on using R to analyse longitudinal data. R is a powerful free statistical software becoming commonly used both in academia and industry and public sectors (over 2 millions of users). R is a programming language in itself giving high flexibility to users who wants to write their own statistical routines. However, an increasing amount of well documented packages adapted for concrete task exists minimizing the needs of writing commands from scratch.

During the workshop we will show first functionalities of R and several interesting packages to handle data sets and perform data analysis in longitudinal setting such as running FE/RE models and sequence analysis. The software will be shown live by the instructor to give the audience time to type the commands. We will also provide the complete
R script at the beginning of the course. Being R a freely available software the attendees can bring their own laptop and install R prior the workshop.


This short course assumes no prior knowledge of R but knowledge of statistics, at least at an intermediate level is required.


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