Sigma Xi Postdoc Survey
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The Postdoc Experience

[Case Western]
How satisfied are you with your PI? 1-7

[Case Western]
If not satisfied with your PI, why and what could be done to improve the situation?

[Brown]
To whom would you go with concerns regarding your advisor?

[Baylor]
Do you think your mentor has a realistic view of the job market for scientists?

[Duke]
How many postdocs are supervised by your PI / mentor?
1 to > 10

[Duke]
How many grad students are supervised by your PI / mentor?
1 to > 10


[Duke]
Rate the importance of each of the following for a successful postdoc-PI relationship:

Time to discuss research: Very important (1) to Not important (5)
Listening to and respecting each other:
Close personal rapport:
Relaxed and comfortable work atmosphere:
Freedom to become an independent investigator:
Large number of high profile publications:
High caliber research from the lab:
PI well respected in their field

[MGH survey]
Do you currently have or have you ever had someone at [university] whom you consider to be your mentor? (By mentor we mean someone you trust who is able to give you advice or answer questions about issues affecting your career, such as career opportunities, advancement or problems) Yes / no

[MGH survey]
If no, what effect has not having a mentor at [university] had on your research career?
Large positive / small positive / no effect / small negative / large negative

[MGH survey]
If yes, for how many years have you had a mentor at the [university]?

[MGH survey]
If yes, what effect has having a mentor at [university] had on your research career?
Large positive / small positive / no effect / small negative / large negative

[MGH survey]
If yes, how did your mentor help: what did he or she do? If you have had more than one mentor, please answer for the most significant of your mentors.

[MGH survey]
If yes, is (are) your mentor()… (please check all that apply)
Your supervisor
A senior member of your department (other than your supervisor)?
A peer in your department?
A member of another department?

[MGH survey]
Do you currently feel that you need a mentor at [university]? Yes/no

[MGH survey]
Do you feel the need to have a mentor at [university] outside of your immediate lab or unit? Yes/no

[MGH survey]
Do you feel that there is a need for an impartial appeal system or ombudsman? Yes/no

[UW – Madison]
What your mentor’s gender?
Male
Female

[U Chicago]
Have you, as a postdoc, mentored (longer than just to explain a technique) others (choose all that apply)?

1. no
2. yes, at U of C
3. yes, at another institution

If (2) yes, select from below
Undergraduate student(s)
Graduate student(s)
Technician(s)
Medical student(s)
High school student(s)

If (3) yes, select from below
Undergraduate student(s)
Graduate student(s)
Technician(s)
Medical student(s)
High school student(s)

[Scientist]
The principal investigator encourages me to attend symposia and conferences, and makes money available to defray expenses.
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Agree
Strongly agree

[Scientist]
The principal investigator provides me with names of colleagues that may be able to help in my research and job search.
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Agree
Strongly agree

[Duke]
How often do you and your PI / mentor meet to discuss your research?
Daily / weekly / monthly / other (specify)

[Duke]
How would you rate your PI’s / mentor’s accessibility?
Excellent / good / poor / not accessible

[Duke]
Did you and your PI / mentor write a plan / proposal detailing expectations of your project(s)?
Yes / No / Not sure / Other (specify)

[Duke]
Would you (or do you) find a written plan / proposal useful?
Yes / No / Not sure

[Duke]
Did you and your PI / mentor write a plan / proposal detailing expectations of your project(s)?
Yes / No / Not sure / Other (specify)

[Duke]
Would you (or do you) find a written plan / proposal useful?
Yes / No / Not sure
[Duke]
Does your PI / mentor provide you with written performance evaluations?
Yes / No / Not sure

[Duke]
Would performance evaluations be helpful during your postdoc training?
Yes / No / Not sure

[Duke]
If yes, would you prefer a written or oral evaluation?
Written / Oral / Both

[Duke]
How often would you prefer a performance evaluation?
Monthly / Semiannual / Annual / Other (specify)

[Duke]
Does your PI / mentor provide you with written performance evaluations?
Yes / No / Not sure

[Duke]
Would performance evaluations be helpful during your postdoc training?
Yes / No / Not sure

[Duke]
If yes, would you prefer a written or oral evaluation?
Written / Oral / Both

[Duke]
How often would you prefer a performance evaluation?
Monthly / Semiannual / Annual / Other (specify)

[Duke]
Did you receive adequate performance feedback?

[MGH survey]
Do you feel the need to have a mentor at [university] outside of your immediate lab or unit? Yes/no

[UC Davis]
Do you think your PI has a realistic view of the current job market in academia? Yes / no / don’t know

[UC Davis]
Do you think your PI has a realistic view of the current job market outside of academia? Yes / no / don’t know

[Stanford]
How would you rate your level of integration into the scientific community at (fill university) compared to the average graduate student in your department?
Considerably higher
Somewhat higher
About the same
Somewhat lower
Considerable lower

[UNC – suggested for future surveys]
Do you have your own grant?

If yes, what is the source?

If yes, what does it cover? (salary, fringe benefits, travel, etc)


[Mass General Hospital]
Have you submitted proposals as a principal investigator? Yes / No

[MGH survey]
Please rate the extent to which you are satisfied with the advice and information you have received about…
Career opportunities at [university] Very satisfied / somewhat satisfied / neither satisfied nor dissatisfied / somewhat dissatisfied / very dissatisfied
Promotion criteria at [university]
Selection of [university] academic tracks [?]
Opportunities for research funding
Writing grant proposals

[Duke]
Would you be interested in a mentorship program at [university] (in which faculty or other scientists volunteer to be a mentor to you in your scientific pursuits / career interests)?
Yes / No / Not sure

[MGH survey]
Please rate the extent to which you are satisfied with the advice and information you have received about…
Career opportunities at [university] Very satisfied / somewhat satisfied / neither satisfied nor dissatisfied / somewhat dissatisfied / very dissatisfied
Promotion criteria at [university]
Selection of [university] academic tracks [?]
Opportunities for research funding
Writing grant proposals

[Duke]
How do you rate your postdoc training in (do not check if item does not apply to you):

Lab techniques: Poor (1) to Excellent (5)
Lab management: Poor (1) to Excellent (5)
Experimental design:
Writing / publishing papers:
Writing grants:
Presenting scientific talks
Intellectual scientific reasoning
Determining the direction of your research projects

[Hopkins exit survey]
Were you trained in grantsmanship?

[Hopkins exit survey]
Did you collaborate on reviews or book chapters?

[Hopkins exit survey]
Did you learn management skills?

[Mass General Hospital]
[School] has initiated a series of educational seminars on topics such as molecular genetics and disease, clinical trial design, scientific writing. Overall, how useful were these seminars? Very useful / somewhat useful / not very useful / not at all useful / Knew about but did not attend / Did not know about them

[Mass General Hospital]
To what extent would PhDs benefit from educational seminars in major topics in disease pathophysiology? To a great extent / To some extent / Very little / Not at all

[Mass General Hospital]
How often has your supervisor encouraged you to attend seminars? Frequently / Sometimes / Rarely / Never

[Mass General Hospital]
In the last year have you made research presentations…
In your own department? Yes / No
In other departments at [school]?
In the [city] area?
At national / international meetings?

[Mass General Hospital]
How often has your supervisor encouraged you to present your work? Frequently / Sometimes / Rarely / Never

[Duke]
Are you encouraged to present your research outside your lab?
Yes / No / Not sure

[Duke]
How many times have you presented your research outside your group?
On campus at [university] 0 through >6
Outside [university] 0 through >6

[Hopkins exit survey]
Did you orally present and/or publish your research?

[Duke]
Employee status:

Employee, paid monthly
Employee, paid bi-weekly
Non-employee
Other (specify)

[Duke]
Eligible for university benefits?
Yes / No / Not sure / N/A

[Stanford]
Classification as a non-matriculated graduate student is overall
Advantageous/beneficial
Mostly disadvantageous
Don’t know


[Scientist]
The department offers opportunities to collaborate with labs in other institutions and labs.
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Agree
Strongly agree

[MGH survey]
Please rate the following:
Your supervisor’s availability to discuss your research Very poor / poor / fair / good / very good / N/A
Your colleagues’ willingness to share their unpublished research results, biomaterials, ideas, and research methods with you
The supportiveness of your colleagues
Your supervisor’s support of your career advancement
The ability of someone senior to your supervisor (e.g. your department chair or unit chief) to discuss your career goals

[MGH survey]
Please rate how difficult it is for you to find other researchers at [university] who are conducting research similar to yours:
Very difficult / difficult / easy / very easy

[MGH survey]
How much do you use each of the following sources of information to identify other [university] researchers who are knowledgeable about topics and techniques that would be useful in your research?
Information conversations with colleagues – to a great extent / to some extent / very little / not at all
Research seminars and presentations at [university]
Research seminars and presentations at other institutions
Information provided by the Office of Research Affairs
The internet / web
The published literature

[MGH survey]
Would you make use of an internal [university] web site that would provide information about the research topics and techniques of other [university] researchers?
Often / sometimes / rarely / never / don’t know

[FHCRC]
How would you rate your access to the following equipment and facilities (where 1 = poor, and 7 = excellent, 8 = not applicable)?

Experiment Equipment
Computers
Lab Space
Office Space
Journals/Books pertinent to your study
Parking
Other__________________________

Surveys cited