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Government & Academic (North America)

Expertise, collaboration, and rigor - this combination is what brings researchers from government, academic, and nonprofit research sectors to GfK and the Government & Academic team. Combining the largest probability-based online panel, KnowledgePanel®, with rigorous state-of-the-art sampling methodology, GfK experts work with you to deliver the high quality standards required for federal and peer review. 

We work with government agencies, not-for-profits, academic institutions and consultancies. We deliver nothing less than globally trusted, reliable understanding of public opinion and behavior at a local, national and global level. Our clients have published their findings in academic journals, newspapers, magazines, and books.

Why choose GfK?

We work within the following sectors:

Government Funded Research

Why do federal, regional and local government agencies choose GfK Government & Academic?

  1. Deep experience conducting government funded projects, making us well versed in the intricacies of government sponsored research
  2. 20-year GSA Professional Services Schedule contract speeds your process
  3. Expertise delivering research to achieve core mission goals for numerous federal civilian, health, defense, financial and international agencies.
  4. Results built upon the nation's largest probability-based, 100% online survey research panel (known as KnowledgePanel®) - precise, representative, and projectable data
  5. Research expertise and thought leadership that brings added value to even the most fully formed research projects
Academic Research

GfK conducts both cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys for a broad spectrum of academics – economists, political scientists, psychologists, sociologists, health researchers and others who require high quality US survey.

  1. We meet and adhere to strict IRB guidelines
  2. An online survey platform, that is device neutral, allows us to field complex survey instruments with sophisticated experimental designs
  3. Our survey methodologists are available to consult on final sample and questionnaire design to ensure your research questions are answered
  4. KnowledgePanel and accompanying panel member profile data allow for both representative general population samples as well as complex stratified samples
  5. Our clients have published hundreds of articles in dozens of peer reviewed journals including: JAMA, American Journal of Public Health, American Journal of Political Sciences, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and many others
Public Health Agencies and Health Policy Research

Issues surrounding health policy encompass some of the most important areas of research in the US today.

  1. Our methodological rigor and our 55,000 member panel are two reasons why exacting health researchers come to us.
  2. For investigators exploring health conditions or concerns, our 2100+ profile questions yielding more than 4,000+ profile variables, including health variables, allows us to pre-select people who suffer from of a variety of conditions (cancer, heart disease, depression).
  3. With healthcare and health insurance profile data we can target those with higher or lower health care utilization.
  4. Our profile data add the additional element of time. Annual profile updates allow you to see how a person’s status changes or stays the same year after year.
  5. Profile data helps you save time and money since we've already asked our panelists questions that you need answered.
  6. All of this translates into reduced survey length, increased speed and efficiency, and an optional temporal element to the data.
Consulting and Public Release

Public Opinion data, particularly data that is to be publicly released, is under greater scrutiny than ever given its ability to significantly shift public opinion, as explicitly stated by the American Association of Public Opinion Research.

Virtually all surveys taken seriously by social scientists, policy makers, and the informed media use some form of random or probability sampling, the methods of which are well grounded in statistical theory and the theory of probability.

  • Our KnowledgePanel is the largest online probability panel in the United States
  • Online data collection means we can react quickly to current events and enable you to add video, audio or images to your survey
  • With 55,000 panel members, we can target sub-groups and hard to reach populations
    to meet unique study needs

Solution Areas

Research Expertise

The members of our team are leaders in online survey research and we have the experience and expertise to guide your research in complex methodological areas.

  • Questionnaire development
  • Complex sample design
  • Longitudinal research
  • Statistical weighting
  • KnowledgePanel CalibrationSM
  • Low incidence and hard to reach populations, such as: tobacco users, populations with unique health conditions, low-income households, cell phone-only households, African Americans, Latinos and youth (ages 13+)
  • Custom panels
  • Data for public release
  • Passive online digital measurement
  • Audience measurement and insights
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • User experience (UX)
  • Brand and customer experience
  • Digital market intelligence
Research on Research

Over the years, our staff have conducted dozens of methodological research studies, either with GfK support or in collaboration with our customers.

Topic areas include:

  • The transition from RDD to ABS-sourced sampling
  • Web panel response rate reporting
  • Panel conditioning studies
  • Topics that are also central to the evolution of non-panel survey research, including
  • Studies of survey mode effects
  • Non-response bias
  • Optimal questionnaire design, including ones on mobile devices
  • Use of respondent incentives
  • Methods for gaining respondent cooperation

Sampling is an integral part of any research that aims to produce measurable inferences about a target population when a complete census is infeasible.

Our sampling statisticians: have theoretical and practical experience with the latest sampling techniques, be it random digit dialing, address-based sampling, targeted samples of various geo-demographic subgroups, as well as samples for establishment surveys.

While at the forefront of developing innovative alternatives for creation of representative samples, such as GfK KnowledgePanel, we rely on optimization techniques to improve the efficiency of our samples. That is, smallest samples that can secure the various precious and analytical requirements of each survey.

American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Transparency Initiative

GfK Government & Academic and GfK Public Communications & Social Science are proud members of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Transparency Initiative, demonstrating GfK’s commitment to high-quality research. By joining the Transparency Initiative, these two GfK groups have taken a voluntary pledge to abide by AAPOR’s highest standards for the disclosure of research methodology.

2016 AAPOR Papers

View GfK's papers from the 2016 AAPOR annual meeting

Veterans Pulse Survey
Bob Torongo, GfK
Ryan Tully, GfK

Next Steps Towards a New Math for Non-Probability Sample Surveys
Frances Barlas, GfK
Nicole Buttermore, GfK
Mansour Fahimi, GfK
Randall Thomas, GfK

The Income Gap in Survey Research: Non-Response to Income Questions in Online Panel Research
Frances Barlas, GfK
Nicole Buttermore, GfK
Abigail Giles, GfK
Larry Osborn, GfK

Asking About Gender Identity in Surveys
Frances Barlas, GfK
Nicole Buttermore, GfK
Mansour Fahimi, GfK
Maya Grosul, GfK
Randall Thomas, GfK

Can Survey Data Be Too Clean? Data Cleaning and Bias Reduction
Frances Barlas, GfK
Nicole Buttermore, GfK
Mansour Fahimi, GfK
Randall Thomas, GfK

Calibration of Non-Probability Samples to KnowledgePanel for Election Polling
Frances Barlas, GfK
Robert Benford, GfK
Mansour Fahimi, GfK
David Pace, The Associated Press
Emily Swanson, The Associated Press
Randall Thomas, GfK

Beyond the Survey: Improving Data Insights and User Experience with Mobile Devices
Patricia Graham, GfK
Gavin Lew, GfK