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Corporate Information

The Center for Urban and Regional Sociology (CURS) is a private company for social and marketing research. CURS was established in 1990 on the basis of the Laboratory for Urban Sociology of IPCT - an institute for civil engineering design and research. Since 1990 CURS has worked with a vast array of clients that require high quality social science and marketing research. These clients include domestic and foreign government agencies, non-governmental organizations and charitable foundations, and private-sector companies. CURS’ research projects fall into four substantive areas and are conducted by the following departments:

  • Public Opinion Polls
  • Urban and Regional Research, and Local Development
  • Market Research
  • Advertising and Audience Research

Research topics

CURS’ research topics include (but are not limited to): civic and political participation, perceptions of and attitudes towards current economic, political, and social changes, urban and regional development, social migration and mobility, interethnic relations, media and cultural consumption, consumer behavior and product testing, evaluation of advertising strategies. CURS has extensive experience in conducting ad-hoc and omnibus surveys, media and market research, pre-electoral polls, and exit-polls. Over the years, as compared to some of its major competitors, CURS has predicted the results of local, parliamentary, and presidential elections with a high degree of accuracy.

Human Resources

CURS’ permanent staff (13 persons — sociologists, economists, political scientists) consists of specialists with a solid knowledge of Romanian realities, with intensive and varied experience in the field of interdisciplinary research. Some of CURS’ permanent staff hold Ph.D. degrees from Romanian and U.S. universities. Moreover, CURS has an expert network that includes respected Romanian academics and civil society leaders. In addition to its permanent staff, CURS has a national network of over 800 field interviewers in all Romanian counties. On a regular basis, we employ 150 interviewers, who are supervised by 8 regional and 42 county-level coordinators. Our interviewers are trained to work with respondents of various ethnic backgrounds from different Romanian regions.

Methodology

Most of CURS’ studies have relied on national samples, which are representative for Romania’s population, ages 15 years and over. CURS has also designed and conducted surveys on nationally representative samples for the Republic of Moldova. CURS uses multistage, random sampling techniques that observe international standards in the field of sampling methodology. Also, CURS is unique among its competitors due to its extensive experience in conducting surveys on large samples, ranging from 13,000 to 37,000 cases. Such large samples allow for more detailed statistical analyses at municipal, county, micro-regional, and regional levels.

CURS also has extensive experience in conducting studies that rely on qualitative methodologies. For instance, during the last 3 years, our experts have conducted 250 focus groups and 400 in-depth interviews on topics such as the performance of (local and central) public administration, political attitudes and voting preferences, media and cultural consumption, inter-ethnic relations, corruption, the social impact of economic restructuring in coal-mining areas, media's impact on children and teenagers, civic and political participation in rural communities, international migration, organizational cultures and strategies, consumer behavior and product testing.

Logistics

Our data production and analysis activities are carried out by CURS’ computer programming and research specialists. Relying on an excellent computer infrastructure, our specialists routinely perform a wide range of sophisticated empirical analyses in the areas of political affiliation and voting preferences, social stratification and inequality, urban and regional development, media and cultural consumption, social problems and economic development, consumer behavior and life-styles. In addition, CURS has a panel sample of 1,500 households and a master-sample of over 150,000 cases, which was a part of our study “The Social Atlas of Romania.” CURS has the necessary infrastructure (i.e., audio and video equipment) to conduct focus-group interviews.