The British Election Study Team is pleased to invite members of the BES user community to submit applications to include custom designed content to future waves of the BES Internet Panel Study. The dates of the waves are set out below. We have now completed 10 waves of the BES Internet Panel and after a large number of applications have fielded numerous user proposals, ranging from extra questions on party identity to survey experiments on support for Brexit.
Wave 1. February 2014
Wave 2. May 2014 Local and European elections
Wave 3. September 2014 Scottish independence referendum
Waves 4-6. General election 2015 Pre-campaign-post waves
Wave 7-9. EU Referendum Pre-campaign-post waves and May 2016 Local, Welsh and Scottish elections
Wave 10. November 2016, EU Referendum follow up
Wave 11. May 2017 Local elections
This invitation is open to all BES users including those working in overseas institutions. User designed content may include, but is not limited to, survey experiments, and may also include (for example) short batteries of items asked in other surveys.
The process will be competitive, and all applications will be judged by the BES leadership team and the BES Advisory Board against a number of criteria. In particular, priority will be given to proposals that:
- Contribute to the understanding of the British Electorate.
- Benefit users of the BES series.
- Address the BES themes of accountability, representation and disengagement.
- Enhance the understanding of ‘voters in context’.
- Exploit or benefit from the panel design.
- Are innovative, substantively or methodologically.
- Have a potential for either scientific or non-academic impact beyond the proposing individual or team.
Moreover, based on experience of wave 1 proposals and feedback from the international advisory board all proposal should meet the following criteria:
- Survey instruments should have been piloted or tested in other contexts.
- Proposals should be short and pay due attention to potential effects on response rates, and recognise the large number of competing demands and limited survey space.
- Proposals should carefully consider which (and how many) waves are required to carry out the research effectively.
- All proposals should consider carefully the sample size they require and provide adequate justification
- Proposals for experiments should consider carefully the statistical power of the experiments and the number of treatment groups in relation to the requested sample size.
- Proposals for experiments should take due care about ethical issues, and be aware that there is very limited scope for de-briefing respondents in the internet survey environment. For example, vignettes containing misleading statements, especially where attributed to actual organisations or individuals, are unlikely to be accepted.
Please note that due to competing demand for survey space and the need for inter-wave continuity there will be no more than a total of five minutes of interview time for all user defined content in each wave. Proposal should bear this in mind and indicate the likely interview-time required to complete the proposed instruments.
User content will be delivered to sub-samples of the BES internet panel which has a total N of 30,000. Proposals should normally be for a sub-sample of respondents and should state the minimum and preferred number of respondents that would be required. In order to satisfy different user needs, it may be necessary to balance the sample size for any module against the amount of time required to complete the module.
Applications should be no longer than 2 pages (A4, font size 12) not including the questions or instruments which may be appended separately. Applications should set out the justification for inclusion in the BESIP, bearing in mind the criteria set out above. All proposals MUST include full details of the actuals questions or experiments (including wording and response categories), rather than examples of possible instruments.
Submissions should clearly indicate at which wave(s) the items should be included. Please see the table below.
There is no single competition or deadline for proposals, but rather proposals will be considered on their own merit when they are received. However, all proposals must be received at least 4 months in advance of the wave in which they are to first appear. This is to allow adequate time for the board to consider proposal s and for the team to work with the proposer and with YouGov to finalise and test the instruments.
A decision will normally be made within two months of submission.