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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, career aspirations and career development opportunities for research staff and research leaders in higher education institutions (HEIs).


 The Culture, Employment, and Development of Academic Researchers Survey (CEDARS) logoQueen Mary University of London ran the Culture, Employment, and Development in Academic Research Survey (CEDARS) for the first time in 2021.

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

CEDARS replaces the Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS) and Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey (PIRLS), as one of the principal research culture survey instruments used across the UK HE sector.

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.
  3. Doctoral students.

Survey questions

The question set was adapted, based on questions from CROS and PIRLS, with a new section on environment and culture. All questions are mapped to the 2019 version of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

Each of the major groups listed above gets routed to a slightly different set of questions, to keep them relevant to each group. Common questions – including those directed at doctoral students – mainly focus on research environment and culture, and do not replicate questions from other sector surveys, like PRES.


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 Equality Challenge Unit Charters such as Athena SWAN
  • giving insight into the research environment element of the Research Excellence Framework.
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