Sigma Xi Postdoc Survey
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Timetable

  1. January 2003July 2003: Initial preparations. Survey preparations commenced in January 2003 shortly after funding was granted. During that time, we worked with our partners, advisors, and postdoc representatives at participating organizations to design the survey instrument and survey methods suitable for organizations with different resource levels.  We also wrote an comprehensive privacy policy and data-use agreement in preparation for legal and IRB review. Simultaneously, we were developing and testing the software and designing the various components of the survey package for review by our advisors and RTI's IRB before use.  During this time, we also selected our five pilot institutions
  2. August 2003December 2003: Pilot at five Institutions. In August 2003 we began supporting preparations at the pilot institutions (obtain postdoc contact information, generate local questions, local IRB review). In December 2003, we began collecting survey data from the pilots, with a focus on evaluating survey processes and materials in an ongoing fashion. At the end of 2003, we delivered preliminary results to pilot institutions and undertook a coverage analysis. At the same time, we began publicizing the opportunity for participating in the broad-based survey via Sigma Xi chapters, the NPA, the Postdoc Network, and partnering organizations.  
  3. January 2004January 2005: Full-scale Survey. We began accepting institutional participants for the full-scale survey in January 2004, continuing through January 2005.  We worked with participating institutions during this time in preparation of the commencement of data-collection (May 2004).  Participating institutions used these months to create their local questions, submit packages to local IRBs, and market the survey at their institution.  During this time Sigma Xi supported and monitored the activities of participating organizations and developed additional materials to facilitate the survey process at local institutions.  Simultaneously, we worked to finalize the post-survey reporting mechanisms.
  4. January 2005May 2005: Analysis, Reporting. Our focus during the winter of 2005 was on data analysis, the distribution of institution/program-level reports and the composition of a preliminary summary for public release. We will be working with the participating organizations to analyze the process, methodology and supporting materials and to design a plan for sustaining this program in the future.  The first public release of data took place April 6, 2005.