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