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Queen Mary Academy

Culture, Employment, and Development in Academic Research Survey (CEDARS)

CEDARS is a national survey designed to gather anonymous data about working conditions, employment policies and practices, research culture, and career and professional development support for research staff, academic staff, and research leaders in higher education institutions (HEIs).


 The Culture, Employment, and Development of Academic Researchers Survey (CEDARS) logoQueen Mary University of London runs the Culture, Employment, and Development in Academic Research Survey (CEDARS) biennially (in odd years), and is one of the one of the principal research culture survey instruments used across the UK HE sector.

The survey was compiled through a collaborative effort between Vitae (and the CEDARS Steering Group), researchers and researcher developers from across the UK.


CEDARS closed on 21 May 2023 with over 500 responses. A big thank-you to our research community for feeding back to us about your experience. The survey responses are currently being analysed and you will hear updates soon.

Survey audience

  1. Research staff, postdocs and early-career researchers who have not yet undertaken an academic research leadership role. This group also includes technical and support research staff, as well as staff who are primarily employed as teaching staff, but are research-active in addition to those duties.
  2. Academic staff (lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, and professors) who lead research, either individually or as part of a research group, those who manage research staff and or supervise postgraduate students.

Survey questions

The question set was piloted in 2021 and updated for this run. All questions are mapped to the 2019 version of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

Research Staff and Academic Staff get routed through a slightly different set of questions, to keep them relevant to each group. The common questions mainly focus on research environment and culture.


Input from CEDARS provides long lasting benefit to staff and institutions by:

  • informing and feeding back on policy and practice in researchers' employment, management and career development
  • providing sector benchmarking
  • enabling the measurement of progress over time
  • giving insight into the views and experiences of research leaders across topics, including leadership, management and recognition
  • collecting evidence to support institutional or departmental efforts, such as for the European HR Excellence in Research Award, implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, and Charters such as Athena SWAN and the Race Equality Charter
  • from 2023, survey results are reported to faculty research culture groups so that they may feed into Concordat action planning process
  • giving insight into the research environment element of the Research Excellence Framework.
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