Announcement: GUIDE ESFRI submission


We are pleased to announce that the GUIDE project team has submitted an application to be included on the 2021 ESFRI Roadmap. 

Why the ESFRI Roadmap?

Across Europe there are large-scale research infrastructures (RIs) in most academic disciplines.  A small number of these are supported by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) which springboards developing RIs to achieve organisational independence and sustainability.

These RIs are organised within the ESFRI Roadmap.  The ESFRI Roadmap is periodically updated with the next refresh due in 2021.  Our aim is that GUIDE/EuroCohort will be included on the 2021 ESFRI Roadmap.  

Being placed on the ESFRI roadmap will help us to bring forwards aspects of GUIDE’s development and will increase our visibility across Europe, particularly within national funding systems.




An early blog in this project highlighted the importance of an infrastructural approach to large scale scientific endeavours. 

At the GUIDE launch event in November 2019, attended by academics and policy makers across Europe Dominik Sobczjak, executive secretary to ESFRI, emphasised the importance of studies such as GUIDE in the landscape of European demographic data.


Who is Involved in the Roadmap Application? The GUIDE consortium

Our submission to ESFRI provides details about the scientific rationale for GUIDE and how it would be funded.  It also identifies each of our existing partners, all of whom have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, and the levels of political and financial commitment that have been already agreed at a national level. 


What Does being on the Roadmap involve? Research Infrastructure Phases

All RIs on the ESFRI Roadmap must go through the five core phases. These are ideally suited to the longitudinal methodology and pan-European scale of GUIDE and are:

  • Design (preparing the scientific and economic case for the RI)
  • Preparation (organising the infrastructure to support the core RI activity)
  • Implementation (initiating the core RI activity)
  • Operation (operating the RI across its lifetime)
  • Decommissioning/termination (dissolving the RI to maximise its benefit after operations cease)


Where Are We Now? Design and Preparation Phases

GUIDE has successfully completed the design phase required by the ESFRI Roadmap, which has resulted in an agreed methodology for the survey, including draft questionnaires, as well as a robust business case.  We are now moving into the preparation phase.  This phase involves:

  • establishing the governance structure, which will provide a secure legal footing for the project and its members

  • refining and testing the data collection instruments

  • building the IT systems for data collection, storage and access


We anticipate that the preparation phase will take five years and on completion we will be in a position to roll out the first full wave of GUIDE which will be for the age 8 cohort and their parents, estimated to take place in 2026.


GUIDE fieldwork

The chart below shows when the GUIDE fieldwork will take place for each cohort.  The age 8 cohort will be surveyed every three years.  Two years after the age 8 cohort goes into the field, the birth cohort starts.  This accelerated structure will thus provide cohort comparisons relatively quickly.  By 2036 the study will have age comparable cohort data, comparable also with all participating countries. 

We eagerly await the results of the evaluation of our proposal and hope to join The Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement and the European Social Survey on the ESFRI Roadmap 2021.