National Educational Panel Study (NEPS)

The National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) is a study carried out by the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (Leibniz-Institut für Bildungsverläufe, LIfBi). It is an interdisciplinary and multilocational network of excellence consisting of research institutes, research groups, and individual scientists. To find out more about the acquisition of education and its effects on individual life courses and to describe and analyze key educational processes and trajectories over the entire life span, this longitudinal study examines educational processes and competence development from early childhood to late adulthood. Data collected by NEPS are made available free of charge to international scientists aiming to study educational processes. Over the mid- and long-term, the design of NEPS will make an important contribution towards answering the following key questions:

  • How do competencies develop over the life course?
  • How do competencies influence decision-making processes at various critical transitions in educational careers (and vice versa)?
  • How and to what extent are competencies influenced by learning opportunities in the family, in the peer group, and in the learning environments of kindergarten, school, higher education, vocational training, and further education?
  • What competencies are decisive for obtaining educational qualifications, which for lifelong learning and which for a successful personal and social life?

The National Educational Panel Study significantly improves the parameters for empirical educational research in Germany, supports the promotion of young scientists, and strongly increases the visibility of German educational research.

In cooperation with:

  • Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi)
  • German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF)
  • German Institute for Adult Education - Leibniz Centre for Lifelong Learning (DIE)
  • Hector Research Institute of Education Sciences and Psychology (HIB) at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen (link)
  • German Centre for Research on Higher Education and Science Studies (DZHW); previously Institute for Research on Higher Education (HIS)
  • Humboldt University of Berlin (HU)
  • Institute for Employment Research (IAB) of the Federal Employment Agency (BA)
  • Institute for School Development Research (IFS)
  • Ifo Institute – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich
  • Justus Liebig University Gießen (JLU)
  • Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN)
  • Ludwig Maximilians University Munich (LMU)
  • Institute for Educational Quality Improvement (IQB)
  • Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
  • Leipzig University (link)
  • University of Mannheim (link)
  • University of Siegen (link)
  • WZB - Berlin Social Science Centre
  • German Youth Institute (DJI)
  • European Forum for Migration Studies (efms)
  • Max Planck Institute for Human Development (MPIB)
  • Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB)
  • State Institute for Family Research at the University of Bamberg (ifb)
  • State Institute of Early Childhood Research (IFP)
  • Technische Universität München (TMU)
  • University of Kassel (link)

Project management: Prof. Dr. Sabine Weinert

Contact: Prof. Dr. Sabine Weinert (sabine.weinert[at]

Duration: Since 2009

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Research Focus

Partners in the Network