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Queen Mary Academy

Culture, Employment & Development for Academic Researchers Survey (CEDARS)

 The Culture, Employment, and Development of Academic Researchers Survey (CEDARS) logoQueen Mary University of London will be running The Culture, Employment, and Development of Academic Researchers Survey (CEDARS) for the first time in 2021. This biennial national survey (run in odd-numbered years) is intended 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 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 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.

CEDARS surveys:

  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 are third group that was added to CEDARS when it was trialled in 2020.

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 so as to keep them relevant to each group. Common questions, including those directed at doctoral studetns mainly focus on research environment and culture, and do not replicate questions from other sector surveys, like PRES.

The last iterations of CROS and PIRLS ran from March-May 2019. Our response rate for CROS was the highest QMUL has ever received: 27% (192 researchers) across our 18 Schools and Institutes responded. 205 members of QMUL Academic Staff (approximately 13%) responded to PIRLS. Results from these surveys will made public following a series of focus groups with QMUL researchers, scheduled for September/October 2019.

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
  • enabling the measurement of progress over time and confidential comparisons with groups of institutions or national results
  • providing greater knowledge of the views and experiences of research leaders across topics, including leadership, management and recognition
  • providing progress measures over time and confidential comparisons with groups of institutions (e.g. The Russell Group) or national results
  • 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

CEDARS will run next from 17 May to 16 June 2021.

For information about the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES), please visit the Doctoral College website.