Call for Research Proposals: GCRO Quality of Life 7 survey analysis papers

  • Date of publication: 14 March 2024

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) periodically conducts Quality of Life Survey, which includes more than 200 questions on development indicators and respondent attitudes. The dataset contains more than 13 500 rigorously sampled respondents over the age of 18 across Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous province. Fieldwork for the 7th Quality of Life survey will be completed in March 2024. Although the dataset will become a public resource after it is launched in the second half of 2024, the GCRO is inviting proposals from researchers who would like to conduct early statistical analysis on the dataset during the embargo period of 31 May to the launch in August 2024. Successful applicants’ draft papers will be published as part of the launch of the survey in August 2024, and they are expected to submit this research to an accredited scientific journal before the end of 31 December 2024. Three grants of R80 000 will be offered to support this work. Applications are due by 19 April 2024. 

The Quality of Life Survey

The GCRO’s QoL survey, first conducted in 2009, has been the basis for measuring and tracking the quality of life and wellbeing, broadly defined, of Gauteng residents. In a face-to-face interview, randomly selected respondents are asked questions about their living and socio-economic circumstances, their perceptions about service delivery and government, and their experiences and opinions on a broad range of personal, social, and political issues (download the instrument here). The overall methodology and a large proportion of questions have remained constant across seven survey iterations starting in 2009, ensuring that results can be compared over time. The QoL surveys provide a tracking and diagnostic tool, affording a rich information resource for policymakers, researchers, and the public (see de Kadt et al 2021 for a descriptive report of many of the variables in the 6th survey, conducted in 2020-21). The survey data from the first six surveys are freely available for download through the DataFirst service. Fieldwork on the 7th Quality of Life survey began in the second half of 2023. By 31 May 2024, a final dataset will be made available to selected researchers for preliminary analysis during an embargo period before the launch in August 2024. 

Call for proposals

The GCRO invites the submission of proposals from researchers who would like to conduct innovative and rigorous statistical research using the QoL 7 Survey (2023/24) dataset during the embargo period from 31 May to August 2024. Applications may be made by single individuals or teams. A grant of R80 000 will be made available to each of the three successful applicants to support the research. Additional proposals that do not require funding will also be considered. Applicants (or lead applicants where a team is applying) should have substantial experience analyzing quantitative datasets and publishing the results in accredited scientific journals. Priority will be given to teams led by, or who include, individuals from designated groups. Applicants are encouraged to co-author with GCRO researchers where an alignment of research interests is evident. 

Applicants may propose to analyse either the QoL 7 Survey (2023/24) alone, or to track change over time using the previous datasets. Applicants are also free to propose the use of other datasets, such as the census, as part of their analysis. Proposals can be based on any variables in the dataset. These could include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • Demographic, migration, and family dynamics
  • Gender dimensions of quality of life
  • Poverty, inequality and social mobility
  • Social marginalisation, inclusion and social cohesion
  • Economy and employment
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Governance and service delivery
  • Crime and violence. 

The full questionnaire, with all the variables, can be downloaded here

The successful applicants will be expected to submit a draft paper of their original research article by 9 August 2024 to be published on the GCRO web site during the launch of the survey. Authors will be expected to submit the article to a scientific journal by 31 December 2024. 

Proposal requirements

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  1. A maximum two-page proposal outlining the research project including aims, methods, and a justification of the project in relation to knowledge production and policy. The proposal should specify which questions from the instrument will be analysed and how. 
  2. Name of the lead applicant and institutional affiliation.
  3. Names of co-authors and their institutional affiliations where applicable. This may include names of possible co-authors based at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory. 
  4. CVs of the applicants. 

Proposals are to be submitted to the GCRO on with email subject line “Quality of Life 7 survey analysis papers”. Submissions made after the due date (19 April 2024) will not be considered.

Note that contracting of successful applicants will occur in terms of the requirements of Wits University. Grantees contracted as single researchers will be required to provide a confirmation of bank account, ID, Wits payroll information forms. Payroll-based payments will be taxed in line with SARS rules. Alternatively, contracting of researchers through organisations is possible.


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