The aim of the NEPS study (National Educational Panel Study) is to collect longitudinal data on competence developments, educational processes, educational decisions and educational returns in formal, non-formal and informal contexts over the entire life span. Therefore, the NEPS study comprises six cohorts that start at different stages of life and are each followed over a longer period of time.

From 2009 until the end of 2013, the project was headed initially by Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Hans-Peter Blossfeld and since August 2012 by Prof. Dr. Hans-Günther Roßbach at the Institute for Educational Longitudinal Research (INBIL) at the Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg. Since 2014, the NEPS study has been continued by the Leibniz Institute for Educational Progress (LIfBi) at the Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg in close cooperation with a Germany-wide network.

After the departure of Prof. Dr. Hans-Günther Roßbach in March 2017, first Prof. Dr. Sandra Buchholz and then Prof. Dr. Sabine Weinert headed the Leibniz Institute for Educational Pathways (LIfBi) and thus also the NEPS study “Educational Pathways in Germany” on a deputy basis during a transitional phase. In February 2019, the baton passed to Prof. Dr. Cordula Artelt.