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The EU Social Science Information Research Facility

The EUSSIRF visiting scholars' programme (1998-2003), was a joint initiative of the European University Institute and the London School of Economics, providing expert and financial support to doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in Economics, Law, Social and Political Sciences. Funded by the EU, the programme hosted 136 scholars from thirty countries. EUSSIRF stands for EU Social Science Information Research Facility.

The European Union Social Science Information Research Facility (EUSSIRF) was funded by the European Union, under the European Commission's Improving Human Potential and the Socio-economic Knowledge Base - access to research infrastructures initiative. The aim of the programme was to increase the human resources available for research and technological development. The research infrastructures component of the programme helped researchers gain access to high-quality research resources and services, by providing financial support and specialist training.



EUSSIRF comprises two branches: The European University Institute (EUI) and the London School of Economics (LSE). Scholars should direct their applications to the branch most suited to their research requirements and should to one branch only. Further information on branch resources is given below.


EUSSIRF offers access to the academic environments, library collections and training of its two constituent universities. Each institution implements a common programme of pre-arrival consultation and on-site training and assistance from information specialists in the exploitation of the infrastructure's resources, databases and ICT services.


EUSSIRF is open to academic and policy researchers carrying out non-proprietary research. Proprietary research (research where results are not available to the public or only made available under confidentiality arrangements) cannot be supported.

Applicants must be nationals and residents of a member state of the European Union or of an Associated State (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia). Applicants must be citizens of an EU state or an Associated State, and be working in an EU or Associated State, to be eligible. British and Italian researchers may apply to EUSSIRF, but cannot receive travel or subsistence financial support if they attend the university in their country.


Access to EUSSIRF Facilities

EUSSIRF can offer enhanced access to the services, library collections, training, and academic environments of each institution. On-the-spot assistance boosts the value of the research mission. Practical training in research techniques ensures maximum efficiency in exploiting the scholarly resources available.

A Stimulating Academic Environment

EUSSIRF visiting scholars are affiliated with a research centre within the host institution, which gives them an opportunity to attend seminars and conferences, integrate into the wider academic life of the university and make contact with Professors, Fellows and other Researchers working on similar projects and themes. At the European University Institute, EUSSIRF Visiting Scholars are affiliated with the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS).

Common Access

In order to maximise access to EUSSIRF's collective resources, scholars accepted at one branch of EUSSIRF may also visit the other branch. Second visits are not financially supported, but access to the collections, services and training of the branch are available. The timing of a second visit will be at the discretion of the local EUSSIRF Administrator (contacts below).


Each branch of EUSSIRF will provide assistance in finding suitable local accommodation for visitors. At certain periods of the year, it may be possible to offer university accommodation. At other times, the EUSSIRF branch office will assist in finding lodgings on the open market. The EUSSIRF Florence office acts only as an intermediary and cannot assume any financial obligations or make any payments on behalf of visitors. 


EUSSIRF visiting scholars will be provided with a per diem allowance to cover accommodation and daily expenses. For Florence, the maximum monthly subsidy is 1,400 Euros. In order to qualify for the full subsidy, visiting scholars must be at the EUI for a minimum of 22 'access days.' An access day is a day when the EUI Library is open. Visitors to EUSSIRF Florence are encouraged to time their visits to commence at the beginning of a calendar month. Health insurance will be the visitor's own responsibility.

Travel Expenses

Visiting scholars must make their own travel arrangements, and EUSSIRF will provide a significant contribution towards the total cost of their travel (although it will not always be possible to meet the total travel costs). Payment by the EUSSIRF Florence office is normally executed within three working days of arrival.


Selection Procedures

Applications to EUSSIRF Florence are reviewed by an international Scientific Selection Board (jury). Factors considered by the Board include the scientific value of the proposed work, the appropriateness of the project to the resources available, the likely benefits to the visitor and the value of the collaboration to the host institution and researchers.


Deadlines are announced every six months on this page.

Application Forms

Application forms are available from the EUSSIRF offices in Florence and London. If necessary, the EUSSIRF office will send applicants a hard copy. However, an e-mail request to either Florence or London is preferable. A set of explanatory notes accompanies the application form and should be read carefully before completing and returning, by postal mail, to one of the the EUSSIRF institutions.


Visitor Reports

At the end of the research visit, EUI EUSSIRF scholars are required to provide three reports:

  • EUSSIRF Visitor's Report (for the EUI)
  • Project Summary Report (for the EUI and the European Commission) 
  • Questionnaire (for the European Commission)

The EUSSIRF Visitor's Report should describe the research mission under the following (or similar) headings: Aim of the visit; Summary of research and academic activities; Outcomes/written work in progress; New academic links established.

The Project Summary Report is a synthesis of the EUSSIRF Visitor's Report - to be sent to the EUSSIRF office and the European Commission.

The European Commission also requires visiting scholars to complete a Questionnaire (Word format). This questionnaire should be e-mailed directly to the EC as an attachment.

The Project Summary Report and the Questionnaire are available on the web site of the EC. Click on 'Access to Research Infrastructures' and then the fourth item on the list: 'How to manage your ARI contract'. The two report forms are:

  • 'Part C: Project Summary Reports for Group Leader'; and,
  • 'Users Questionnaire (for Group Leader)'

Papers published as a result of the visit should acknowledge that the research on which an article, chapter or working paper is based, was carried out at the European University Institute (Florence) under the auspices of EUSSIRF, part of the The European Commission's Access to Research Infrastrucures initiative within the Fifth Framework Programme (Improving Human Research Potential). Copies should be sent to the EUSSIRF office.

This is an archived page.



Graham Camfield
London School of Economics
10 Portugal Street
London WC2A 2HD
United Kingdom
[email protected]  

Thomas Bourke
European University Institute
Badia Fiesolana
Via dei Roccettini, 9
San Domenico di Fiesole
50014 Florence
[email protected]    





Page last updated on 14 November 2018