CEDARS data so far…

CEDARS has now been open for nearly a week, and we so far have 288 responses, which is exceptional as my records from 2019 tell me that – at this point – we were well below that.

So, first of all, a huge THANK YOU to all of you who have completed the survey so far.

Thank you too to those of you who have booked time in to complete it, but haven’t got there yet. We know you’re on the case.

For others, I’ll be sending you out a link reminder tomorrow.

It’s too early to be making any real analysis of the data, but with one week done, I thought I’d give you a glimpse of some of the issues that are surfacing. These include some challenges that we are aware of. But they also include some other things that we’ll want to also look into carefully, including:

  • Recognition in a host of areas ranging from contributions to grant writing, to supervision of students and other research colleagues. We know that, with future positions often heavily reliant upon CVs and reputation, that recognition is a key issue, so it’s good to have some concrete examples.
  • A need for more information about university policies to do with redundancy and redeployment.
  • Support in how to think about careers, including those beyond academia.
  • Support for those of you managing others. Many of you want more information on how to do this well, but are struggling to find it, or to get practice in how to do it as well as you could.
  • The huge impact of the COVID ‘year’, and its effect on your working environment, workloads and your career planning.

That last point is clearly something that will dominate the 2021 survey. And it’s enormously valuable data for us as we work out how we can best support many of you back into working patterns that are more familiar.

I’ll try and update more as new data comes in.

In the meantime, please encourage as many of your pathway 2 colleagues as you can to complete the survey.

And… stay safe!

 

 

 

CEDARS is live!!

This morning, at about 10 a.m., I pressed the ‘launch’ button on our CEDARS survey.

It’s now live and has (at this moment of writing) been completed by 106 of you.

It’s also generated at least one email asking if answers will be kept anonymous…

So I thought I’d respond by posting a brief FAQ.

What is CEDARS?

CEDARS is the Culture, Employment and Development in Academic Research Survey. It is what – if you’ve been a researcher for a while – we used to call ‘CROS’ (Careers in Research Online Survey).

In short, it is your chance, available every two years, to tell us your experience of what being a researcher at Bristol is like, and what more we can do to support you.

It’s not the only chance – you also get to fill in things like the Staff Survey – but it’s the only survey that is aimed specifically at research staff and those who manage them. And it’s the only survey that delivers its data directly into Bristol Clear and hasn’t been digested by another part of the organisation.

Why should I fill it in?

CEDARS is recognised as an ‘official’ survey for university data-gathering purposes… it’s supported by HR, the Research Staff Working Party, and the university’s management more generally. That means that what you tell us carries weight and is reported. That’s why we work closely with research staff to ask the questions that they want to answer, so that you can tell us what you want to tell us. This year, research staff have added questions on well-being, work-life balance, and the impact of the COVID working patterns.

The data also informs our concordat action plan, and is used by the national body ‘Vitae’ to generate a report for the sector.

How honest can I be?

Although we use information like email to send out the survey, we delete all of that before we do any analysis, we remove all qualitative comments, and we are careful not to release  statistical data unless we have sufficient numbers to ensure that any particular individual can’t be identified by an analysis of secondary evidence (research group, project, funding body etc.). So please be as honest as you can, knowing that you won’t personally be identified in any of the reporting.

When will it run?

CEDARS will close on the 11th June.

How do I complete it?

You should have had an email this morning from ‘jisc.ac.uk’ – it contains a link (which is personalised, but only so that we can track who has filled it in, and stop reminders once you’re done). Just click on it, and you’ll reach the survey.

How long does it take?

The survey is ‘routed’ depending on your answers, so it will vary. But we think, about 25 minutes.

If that sounds a long time, then it might help to know that we ask your PIs, Heads of School, etc. to support you in having time to fill it in. In 2019, about half of our research staff community (over 700 of our 1400 research staff) completed the survey, giving us our best snapshop yet of the culture and employment environment of our research staff.

If I have questions?

… then please let us know by emailing us at bristol-clear@bristol.ac.uk

 

Why complete CEDARS?

CEDARS is your chance, available every two years, to tell us your experience of what being a researcher at Bristol is like, and what more we can do to support you.

It’s not the only chance – you also get to fill in things like the Staff Survey – but it’s the only survey that is aimed specifically at research staff and those who manage them. And it’s the only survey that delivers its data directly into Bristol Clear and hasn’t been digested by another part of the organisation.

Consequently, it’s a survey that we listen to carefully, and draw data from constantly to shape what we do.

The survey runs in May, for one month. The data is then analysed, compared with CEDARS data from across the UK, data from previous CEDARS (CROS) surveys, and shared with both your local Research Staff Reps, and the Research Staff Working Party.

The data also informs our concordat action plan, and is used by the national body ‘Vitae’ to generate a report for the sector.

CEDARS is recognised as an ‘official’ survey for university data-gathering purposes… it’s supported by HR, the Research Staff Working Party, and the university’s management more generally. That means that what you tell us carries weight, and is reported. That’s why we work closely with research staff to ask the questions that they want to answer, so that you can tell us what you want to tell us. This year, research staff have added questions on well-being, work-life balance, and the impact of the COVID working patterns.

CEDARS is being updated for launch as we speak, and should go live next week. Please support us to support you, by filling it in as honestly as possible, and encouraging others to do the same.

If you have any questions about the CEDARS survey, then please let us know by emailing us at bristol-clear@bristol.ac.uk