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RatSWD Election

Election for the 8th Appointment Period of the RatSWD (2023–2026)

Dear people interested in the election of the RatSWD,
the election was completed successfully.

To the election results (German)

FAQ on the Election

What is the RatSWD?

The German Data Forum (RatSWD) is a council which acts as an interface between data production, science and politics. Its tasks are the strategic further development of the research infrastructure in the empirical social, behavioural and economic sciences and the representation of the interests of data users and data producers through scientific policy advice. The appointment period of the Council is three years and always begins on the 1st of July.

What is the composition of the RatSWD?

The RatSWD consists of twenty members: Ten representatives of empirical research and ten representatives of important data-producing institutions. It is made up of an equal number of women and men.

The representatives of empirical research are elected by the scientific community at each appointment period. The representatives of data production are not elected but appointed by virtue of their office. Finally, all members of the RatSWD are formally appointed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in agreement with the other federal ministries.

The entire appointment process, including the election, ensures a broad basis of legitimacy for the RatSWD by the scientific community and by data production.

Who is eligible to vote?

People  with a doctorate who work at a university or an institution of independent scientific research in Germany are eligible to vote. This requirement applies to the right to vote (active suffrage) as well to standing as a candidate (passive suffrage). Nationality is irrelevant.

Non-university institutions and departmental research institutions are considered relevant in the sense of the election regulations of the RatSWD, insofar as their statutes provide for independent scientific research as an institutional task.

The election regulations of the RatSWD stipulate that a completed doctorate is a prerequisite for eligibility to vote. If you do not hold a doctorate, registration in the electoral roll is not possible.

Retired researchers are not eligible to vote. People who work at universities/ research institutions outside Germany are also not eligible to vote.

Please note that you must apply for inclusion in the electoral roll by 27 February 2023. This also applies to candidates.

Who will be elected?

The 2023 election will elect the ten nominees from academia for the 8th appointment period of the RatSWD. These are academics from the social, behavioural, educational, and economic sciences.

The specialist societies listed in §5 of the election regulations are entitled to nominate one suitable representative each in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Appointment Act. In addition, at least ten academics eligible to vote may support an independent nomination. In the case of an independent election proposal, the names of the supporters will be published for the sake of transparency.

Nominations must be sent to the Chairperson of the RatSWD by 27 February 2023 (contact: wahl@ratswd.de). The candidates will be presented  on the website of the RatSWD on 6 March 2023.

How does the election of the RatSWD work? What are the deadlines?

Voter registration opens in September 2022 and prior registration is required in order to vote. All applications for inclusion in the electoral roll are considered individually with great care. The deadline for applying to the electoral roll is 27 February 2023.

The deadline for nominating candidates is also the 27th of February 2023.

Candidates for Acadmia will be published on the RatSWD website on 6 March 2023 and voting will run from 6 March – 26 March 2023 via an online system. Eligible voters on the electoral roll will receive all important information and the call to vote in good time by email.

Why should I vote?

You should vote because your vote will influence the future composition and agenda of the RatSWD and thus contribute to the further development of the German research data infrastructure.

Why is there an online election?

With online voting, the RatSWD responds to the needs of eligible voters who want to vote in an uncomplicated and location-independent way. In this way, the voting process is simplified for voters who are abroad, for example.

In order to make the process robust and secure against manipulation, the latest IT security technology and external expertise in the field of online voting will be used. Data protection and the secrecy of the ballot are guaranteed.

How many votes do I have?

The appointment proposals are determined in two lists separated by gender. Each voter has four votes: two for the list of female candidates and two for the list of male candidates (§7 election regulations). You can give each candidate only one vote.

I have already participated in the last election of the RatSWD. Do I have to register for the electoral roll again?

Yes, you will definitely need to re-register. Previous registrations are no longer available and have been cancelled due to data protection rules. In addition, your eligibility to vote must be re-verified for each election, as this may change, for example, due to a change of place of employment.

How will the election results be announced?

The election results will be announced at the 9th Conference on Social and Economic Data (9|KSWD) on 27 March 2023 in Berlin and subsequently via the RatSWD website.


The election of the nominations for the scientific representatives of the 8th appointment period of the German Data Forum (RatSWD) will be conducted by Dr. Daniel Vorgrimler (Election Officer) and Dr. Silvia Zühlke (Deputy Election Officer).

The office of the RatSWD is responsible for conducting the election. If you have any questions or problems, please do not hesitate to contact us.

German Data Forum (RatSWD)
Am Friedrichshain
10407 Berlin

E-mail: wahl@ratswd.de
Contact person: Dorina Hackmann (Tel.: +49 30 25491-826)