Sigma Xi Postdoc Survey
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Project Overview

The Association of American Universities recommends that institutions survey their postdoctoral populations "in order to assure that the legitimate educational needs and career interests of postdocs are being fully met." Postdoc associations and offices at a number of institutions have begun to implement such surveys and have found survey results invaluable for promoting improvements to the postdoctoral experience at their institutions.

Our project provides resources to strengthen these existing survey efforts and to simplify the process of establishing surveys at new institutions. We worked with postdoc offices, postdoc associations and deans to support and coordinate a national set of postdoc surveys. The result was a set of results which, unlike those of past surveys, are comparable across institutions. We will pool selected results to generate a set of cross-institutional comparisons of policies and perceptions of the postdoc experience.

Sigma Xi has provided participating organizations with

  • a common set of questions that can be augmented locally,
  • methodological guidelines,
  • publicity materials,
  • participant privacy protection guidelines,
  • online survey software for gathering responses,
  • a set of reports generated from the data, and
  • modest financial resources to cover local survey-related expenses such as publicity initiatives and discussions of results.

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