2015 Awards

2015 Outstanding Service Award: Jaak Billiet
The ESRA board awarded the 2015 prize for Outstanding Service to Survey Research to Jaak Billiet.  Jaak Billiet is professor emeritus in methodology at the Centre for Sociological Research at the University of Leuven where he became a professor in social science methodology in 1979. He received the prize for his impressive contributions to the foundation and quality improvement of international survey projects. In Belgium, he is a founding father of the General Election Surveys and the survey research into ethnocentrism, anti-immigration attitudes, political attitudes, voting behaviour, and religious orientations. He obtained the Francqui chair at the University of Brussels in 1993, and he is member of the Flemish Royal Academy of Sciences & Arts (Belgium). At the international level, he acted as member of the Central Coordinating Team of the European Social Survey (2001-2010), as president of the executive committee of the European Values Study (2006-2008), as vice-president of ESRA (2010-2013), and as co-editor of Survey Research Methods. Numerous inspiring publications testify to his significant contribution to methodological work on non-response, measurement error, validity assessment, cross-cultural measurement equivalence and to the link between surveys and substantive work.

2015 Early Career Award: Christoph Kern
Christoph Kern from the University Duisburg-Essen was awarded the early career prize for his paper “Comparing coefficients of nonlinear multivariate regression models between equations” (jointly with Petra Stein).  The prize committee noted the paper takes a known (if often ignored) problem with the interpretation and comparison of nonlinear regression coefficients in logit and probit models and develops a novel solution, based on structural equation modeling with a widely used software package. The author nicely demonstrates that the existing solutions to these problems, due to Allison and others, are special cases of a more general SEM solution, which can produce equivalent model likelihoods but in a more flexible setting. As such, this is a genuinely novel, and useful, contribution to the literature.

Honorable mentions:  Marco Haenssgen and Cynthia McLauchlan.

2015 Best Paper in SRM Award: Jolene D. Smyth, Kristen Olson and Alian Kasabian
The award for the best paper published in ESRA’s journal “Survey Research Methods” in 2013-2014 goes to Jolene D. Smyth, Kristen Olson and Alian Kasabian from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. The paper is entitled “The Effect of Answering in a Preferred Versus a Non-Preferred Survey Mode on Measurement”. The prize committee noted this is the first paper to examine whether there is a relationship between answering in a preferred survey mode and survey quality. The paper is based on results from multiple experiments in a large scale survey, the clarity of writing is exemplary and the paper is technically sophisticated using, for example, negative binomial regression to adjust for overdispersion.