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Harmonization of data from Starting Cohort Grade 9

with the international CILS4EU data from MZES (CILS4NEPS)


CILS4NEPS is offered jointly by the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Survey in Four European Countries Projekt (CILS4EU), based at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), the Oxford University, the Universities of Utrecht and Tilburg, and the SOFI at Stockholm University, and the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), based at the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories in Bamberg (LIfBi). CILS4NEPS provides researchers with a harmonized dataset that combines information from CILS4EU (waves 1-3) and the NEPS Starting Cohort 4 (waves 1-6).

(external) CILS4EU is an international longitudinal study investigating the structural, cultural, social, and emotional integration of young people with and without a migration background in Germany, England, the Netherlands, and Sweden. (external) NEPS Starting Cohort 4 follows young people in Germany since the 9th grade and collects extensive longitudinal data on competence developments and educational processes in formal, non-formal and informal contexts. Both datasets refer to the same target population (adolescents in grade 9 in the school year 2010/2011) and rely on almost identical sampling approaches. This ensures a high degree of comparability and offers the possibility of a meaningful combination.

The harmonized and pooled CILS4NEPS dataset includes a total of 34,293 respondents in the first wave. Thus, CILS4NEPS is a valuable enhancement for national analyses, since a significantly increased sample size is available for certain (e.g., ethnic or social) groups as well as for certain events (e.g., transitions to specific types of schooling or education). At the same time, CILS4NEPS facilitates the use of information from NEPS Starting Cohort 4 for comparisons of school and labor market trajectories of young people in Germany with those in England, the Netherlands, or Sweden.


For working with CILS4NEPS, the materials listed below are provided. Please also refer to the respective data documentation of (external) CILS4EU and the (external) NEPS Starting Cohort 4.

Data Access

The moderately anonymized data of CILS4NEPS are hosted by the Research Data Center at LIfBi in the (external) RemoteNEPS environment. The data are accessible for all researchers with a proven interest in analyses based on this harmonized dataset. Exclusive access to the original CILS4EU data is not possible via the LIfBi; for this purpose, a separate application has to be submitted to GESIS.

For the use of CILS4NEPS two steps are necessary:

  1. Application to GESIS for the reduced version of the CILS4EU data: This application should briefly explain why the research question can only be answered with the harmonized dataset and not separately with one or both of the original data resources.
    (external) Link to GESIS Data Service for the Social Sciences with data search tool and application form

  2. Application to LIfBi for the NEPS data: In addition, a NEPS Data Use Agreement including a RemoteNEPS Supplemental Agreement for remote data processing is required.
    (external) Link to the NEPS website with the agreement forms and instructions for filling them

Once both applications have been checked and approved, the CILS4EU data and the NEPS data can be downloaded and used as Scientific Use Files from the respective portals. The harmonized CILS4NEPS data themselves are only accessible via remote data processing using (external) RemoteNEPS.


Researchers working with CILS4NEPS are obliged to indicate the use of the data in their publications by citing the data version (DOI) as follows:

Dollmann, J., Horr, A., Arnold, L., Kerzner, V., Schmidt, R., Weber, F., & Weißmann, M. (2023). CILS4NEPS - A Harmonised Dataset Based on CILS4EU and NEPS SC4, Scientific Use File 1.0. FDZ-LIfBi, Bamberg.

Materials provided for data documentation such as the Codebook, the Weighting Report, and the Technical Report may be cited as follows:

CILS4NEPS (2023). Codebook: A Harmonised Dataset Based on CILS4EU and NEPS SC4 (CILS4NEPS), Version 1.0 with CILS4EU Waves 1-3 and NEPS SC4 Waves 1-6. Mannheim: Mannheim University.

Würbach, A. & Aßmann, C. (2023). The Composite Weight of CILS4NEPS: Joint Weighting of the German CILS4EU Sample and the Sample of Starting Cohort 4 of the German National Educational Panel Study (Wave 1). Technical Report referring to DOI:10.5157/CILS4NEPS:SUF:1.0. Bamberg: Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi).

Dollmann, J., Arnold, L., Horr, A., Kerzner, V., Schmidt, R., Soiné, H., Weber, F. & Weißmann, M. (2023). Technical Report: A Harmonised Dataset Based on CILS4EU and NEPS SC4 (CILS4NEPS), Version 1.0. Mannheim: Mannheim University.

Starting Cohort Grade 9