COVID-19 Survey Research Working Group

In the context of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, an extraordinary number of research projects have been launched using survey, poll, and questionnaire-based methods. To help facilitate the sharing of lessons learned, discussion of common challenges, and distribution of results and opportunities, we are running an ongoing working group on survey research methods in COVID-19. Sessions are hosted every week and membership is open to anyone with interest or experience in these topics.

While we love hearing about results and findings, this group has a slightly different focus: we're honing in on the methodological core of survey research during COVID-19 and other emergencies/public health crises. The discussions focus on the very detailed, 'nerdy' aspects of questionnaire research (both qualitative and quantitative), including sampling, incentives, item design, instrument design, and data analysis. Our goal is to share promising practices, overcome obstacles and common challenges, and advance a practice-oriented understanding of high quality research

How to Listen & Join

Meetings are held via Zoom and Youtube Live every Tuesday (Wednesday in Australia/Asia) at 16:00 Eastern Standard Time (click here for local time conversion).

There are two ways to participate in the meetings: as a member of the working group or as a viewer.

Working Group Membership

Membership in the working group is open to anyone interested in the methodological dimensions of survey-based research in COVID-19 (or other emergency/public health contexts). Members receive email updates about upcoming presentations, research/funding opportunities, and agenda-setting questions about survey methods in emergency contexts. In exchange, we ask that members contribute their perspectives to these discussions and participate in the weekly sessions as regularly as possible. Members are also invited to participate in the live Zoom version of the meeting (i.e., audio and video sharing options, if desired), rather than just viewing the live broadcast via Youtube. To become a member, please fill out this registration form.

Working Group Viewers

If you are simply interested in viewing these sessions, you can use this link to watch the sessions live on Youtube. Audience members are encouraged to submit their questions throughout the sessions via the chat feature. If the conversations prove interesting, we invite you to join as a member as well.

Upcoming Schedule

Each meeting has a common agenda. The first ten minutes are dedicated to working group members sharing updates about their projects, funding opportunities and upcoming research, and other timely news. The next fifty minutes are provided for a featured guest speaker to share details about the methodologies of their COVID-19 survey research.

May 6th, 2021:

  • Working group member updates

  • Dr. Cristiano Vezzoni (University of Milan) will discuss rolling cross-sectional designs in COVID-19 survey research.

May 11th, 2021:

  • Working group member updates

  • Dr. Sravanthi Parasa (Swedish Health Services, Seattle, Washington) will discuss surveying medical professionals - namely endoscopy units! - about impacts of COVID-19 on case loads and practice.

Past Presenters

April 27th, 2021 (View on Youtube):

  • Working group member updates

  • Dr. Kyle Payton (Yale) discussed issues related to the generalizability of COVID-19 survey research via replication experiments.

April 13th, 2021 (View on Youtube):

  • Working group member updates

  • Shahmir Ali (NYU) presented on experiences, advantages, and limitations in working with social media recruitment sources (Facebook and Instagram) in large n COVD surveys.

April 6, 2021(View on Youtube):

  • Working group member updates

  • Gary Langer presented the Societal Experts Action Network's (SEAN) COVID-19 Survey Archive, as well as discussed experiences reaching typically hard-to-reach populations for COVID-19 surveys.

December 9, 2020 (View on Youtube):

  • Ed Morawski, President at Angus Reid Global and Demetre Eliopoulos, Managing Director of Public Affairs at Angus Reid Global presented both ongoing public opinion research on COVID -19 and the Ab-C study (Action to Beat Coronavirus) in partnership with University of Toronto and Unity Health Toronto testing 10,000 Canadians for virus antibodies.

December 2, 2020 (View on Youtube):

  • Dr. Willen and Dr. Mason from the University of Connecticut shared the Pandemic Journaling Project, an initiative collecting ongoing journaling input from around the world to document pandemic experiences.

November 25, 2020 (View on Youtube):

  • Dr. Lena Hipp, Dr. Mareike Bünning, Armin Sauermann, and Stefan Munnes shared work on retrospective biases in COVID-19 survey design.

November 18, 2020 (View on Youtube):

  • Liza Kurtz (ASU) and Dr. Sara McBride (USGS) discussed challenges and best practices in conducting research in the context of COVID and cascading disasters.

November 11, 2020 (View on Youtube):

  • Dr. Ryan Tibshirani & Dr. Alex Reinhart (Carnegie Mellon University) discussed the COVIDCast project, a massive survey partnership with Facebook to generate COVID-19 insights.

October 28, 2020 (View on Youtube):

  • Dr. Jean-François Daoust (Edinburgh) shared recent research on issues with social desirability bias in COVID-19 survey item framing.

October 21, 2020 (View on Youtube):

  • Ethan Greenwood (Wellcome Trust) and Patrick Sturgis (London School of Economics) shared the Great Britain monitor on COVID-19. (Download powerpoint here)

October 14, 2020 (View on Youtube):

  • Dr. Igor Grossmann (University of Waterloo) and Dr. Michael Varnum (Arizona State) shared about the use of survey-based forecasting tournaments for predicting the future of COVID-19.

October 7, 2020 (View on Youtube):

  • Danielle Goldfarb introduced the RIWI approach to internet survey recruitment using micro-surveys and landing pages.

September 30, 2020 (View on Youtube):

  • Cary Funk from the Pew Research Center shared about COVID-19 survey research from the perspective of a think tank.

September 23, 2020 (View on YouTube):

  • Dr. Simon Bacon and Dr. Kim Lavoie shared about the iCARE project (the International COVID-19 Awareness and Responses Evaluation Study), a project covering dozens of countries around the world and already on round five of the survey.

September 16, 2020 (View on YouTube):

  • Dr. Alexandra Freeman (Executive Director, Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, University of Cambridge) and members of her team (including Dr. John Kerr, Dr. Claudia Schneider and Dr. Sarah Dryhurst) shared methodological approaches to designing and running a massive, multi-country survey on COVID-19 social impacts, attitudes, and behaviours.

September 9, 2020 (View on YouTube)

  • Steve Trites (Director, Centre for Social Data Insights and Innovation, Statistics Canada) introduced the ongoing survey research projects being lead by Statistics Canada to monitor the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across Canada. The discussion focused on emergent efforts to coordinate survey instruments across governmental priorities, as well as crowd-sourcing based efforts to recruit participants.


Who are these sessions for?

All are welcome! Group members include academic researchers, public health agencies, think tank and private sector pollers, students, and others. The sessions are primarily oriented at those interested in the methodologies of COVID-19 survey research. As such, discussions focus on the details of project design, execution, and analysis. Members are welcome to share their results, but the core content of each agenda is focused on methodological questions.

What if I can't make the live session?

Good news: we record the sessions for later viewing! You can view the past sessions by following this link. While we encourage folks to watch live whenever possible, as it allows for contributing via the real-time chat function, we understand that global schedules can make that challenging.

Thanks to our supporters:

This working group is supported by the National Science Foundation-funded Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) network and the CONVERGE facility at the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder (NSF Award #1841338). The efforts of this working group are also supported through contributions from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Award #1006-2019-0001).

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF, SSEER, CONVERGE, or SSHRC.