BY-COVID Spring 2024 Baseline Use Case Workshop: Integration of individual-level socioeconomic data for infectious diseases research and prevention in Europe

6 June 2024


We are pleased to invite you and/or your representatives to the BY-COVID project Workshop on Integration of individual-level socioeconomic data for infectious diseases research and prevention in Europe.

The BY-COVID project aims to make data on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases available to scientists and the wider public. This workshop is part of the BY-COVID project's Work Package 5 implementing Use Cases, and is co-organised by KNAW-DANS/CESSDA, Sciensano and IACS.

The workshop will take place online on 6th of June, 09:30 - 11:30 and will be recorded to access afterwards.

Keywords: Real-world Data, Social Sciences, Data Integration, Federated Research, Vaccine Effectiveness, Pandemic Preparedness

Scope of the workshop

The baseline use case, developed in the BY-COVID Demonstrator Project (WP5), is prototyping a workflow standard for population health research. The workflow provides a structured process for causal inference based on real-world observational data to respond to policy-relevant questions.

Conducting causal research, which often implies the need for detailed individual-level data to mitigate confounding across national borders, brings challenges in terms of sensitive data access and interoperability. This federated analysis workflow is designed to leverage real-world heterogeneous data sources from different domains in multiple countries in a privacy-preserving and interoperable way, using valuable and innovative technologies like Directed Acyclic Graphs, synthetic data, and containerisation. A detailed description of the proposed framework has been described by Meurisse & Estupiñán‑Romero et al., 2023.

A policy-relevant research question on real-world vaccine effectiveness has been defined and is used to demonstrate the implementation of the described framework. More specifically, we aim to investigate the real-world effectiveness of SARS-CoV-2 primary vaccination as compared to partial or no vaccination in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection in resident populations spanning different countries. For this, we have designed an observational study to emulate the hypothetical target trial to estimate the causal effect of interest. Details on the methodology can be consulted in the published study protocol.

Further developments in the baseline use case will address how to integrate additional data types. Here, we will focus on those data sources containing information on individual-level socioeconomic status (SES) originating from Social Sciences. The integration of socioeconomic data into health research has gained significant attention in recent years, acknowledging that social determinants can play a crucial role in shaping health outcomes. A first Workshop was held in April 2023 on the “Integration of socioeconomic data in observational studies on vaccine effectiveness” to promote these developments and stimulate community discussion. The workshop report has been published and forms the basis of the current work.

The current workshop aims (1) to identify solutions for integrating socioeconomic data in population health research; (2) generalise such solutions in various disciplinary and geographical contexts (EU-level focus); and (3) translate the workshop findings into an innovative workflow standard to federated population health research.

Participants will have the chance to familiarise with the project and socioeconomic data requirements, mobilisation, and integration for infectious disease research, and collaborate on these issues in breakout sessions together with experts from social and health science backgrounds. Please refer to the agenda for more details (see below).


This workshop targets researchers working with sensitive data and having experience with or being interested in solutions towards the integration of individual-level socio-economic data for policy-relevant infectious diseases research. This can include BY-COVID partners or anyone interested in the topic. Due to the interactive nature of the workshop, places are limited.

Practical details

Date, Time6th of June 2024, 9:30 - 11:30 CET
RegistrationRegistration form, Interested participants are invited to register by filling out this form.

As places are limited, we encourage you to secure your spot by registering early.
Organised byKNAW-DANS/CESSDA, Sciensano, IACS
ContactIf you have questions or need any help, please reach out to the organisers at:


Thursday 6th of June, 2024
09:30 - 09:40Welcome, goals of the workshop, recap previous workshop & brief tour de table
09:40 - 09:55 Overview of the BY-COVID Baseline Use Case (Enrique Bernal-Delgado)
09.55 - 10:20 Experience from Baseline Use Case partners: mapping data availability, procedures, and challenges (Francisco Estupiñán-Romero, Marjan Meurisse, Markus Perola)
10:20 - 10:30Break
10:30 - 11:15Breakout sessions
A. Exploring socioeconomic data sources in Europe: availability, limitations, and mobilisation
B. Socioeconomic and health data linkage for EU-level research: challenges and solutions
C. Advancing socioeconomic data integration: generalisation, sustainability, and policy relevance
11:15 - 11:30Reporting back from breakout sessions & Wrap-up