Initiated and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF), an interdisciplinary consortium was developed for the implementation of the study under the leadership of sociologist Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Peter Blossfeld. Blossfeld managed the NEPS until the end of July 2012. The Bamberg-based educational researcher Prof. Dr. Hans-Günther Roßbach took over as project manager on August 1, 2012.
Since January 1, 2014, the National Educational Panel Study is carried out by the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi). Thus, no more than five years after its foundation, the NEPS turned from a temporary research project into an infrastructure facility permanently financed under the funding agreement between the German Federal and State Governments.
From April 1, 2017, until March 31, 2018, sociologist Prof. Dr. Sandra Buchholz took over interim leadership of NEPS, followed by Prof. Dr. Sabine Weinert on April 1, 2018. As of April 1, 2019, Prof. Dr. Cordula Artelt has officially assumed the office, she became in charge already on February 22, 2019, to prepare this transition.