Research Themes

DIPF is the centre for multi-disciplinary, empirical educational research in Germany with circa 140 academic staff members . It draws on expertise from many disciplines, in particular education science, psychology, economics, law, social science, history of culture and political science as well as eHumanities and information management. The areas of research covered at DIPF are respectively diverse. Six strategic priorities are highlighted:


The reliable assessment of learning outcomes and learning conditions is an important basis for research on teaching and learning, educational monitoring, and the evaluation of learning environments as well as the individualisation of learning in educational settings. To this end, innovative tests, technologies and psychometric methods are developed and researched at DIPF. Next to investigating possibilities for their practical application, DIPF also engages in research of historical assessment practices.

Digital Education

The digital transformation of society invokes principal questions, also for the design of education systems. In this regard, the implications of digital structures for education contents need to be considered as well as opportunities for more interactive and individualized learning and teaching. Of course, the risks and limits of digital media should be focused in the context of education, regarding data protection, the competencies of experts and pedagogical benefits. Scientific work contributes to further developing education by providing informed research results, computer-assisted procedures, instruments for science and practice as well as counselling services.

Educational Monitoring

Education is the prerequisite for social participation and personal development. The educational researchers at DIPF continuously collect data on the education sector, observe and analyse change processes and co-ordinate the central instrument of educational monitoring in Germany, the National Report on Education.

Implementation Studies

The Institute aims to transfer the results of its empirical research into educational practice. In order to identify which factors facilitate the implementation in the classroom, DIPF works closely together with practitioners in the field, educational administration and politics.

Research Data for Educational Research

Research data are a strategic priority at DIPF: following its two areas of work, research and information in education, DIPF is unique in bringing together competencies from the disciplines of education science, computer science and information science. Subject to Research Data Education Alliance (VerbundFDB) and the Research Data Centre for Education (FDZ Bildung), DIPF provides valuable sustainable services to educational researchers. Furthermore a particular focus lies on using digital technologies for research on education matters from the fields of educational science, the humanities and cultural sciences (eHumanities). DIPF coordinates the development of different data infrastructures in Germany.

Systematic Reviews

Decision-makers in education increasingly rely on empirical research data when making decisions. In order to make this process more efficient, DIPF prepares the multitude of research findings in user oriented systematic reviews.