Nature wants PhD and master’s students to participate in a survey that will explore their experiences and career progression. Created in partnership with Shift Learning, a London-based research consultancy, the global survey will run throughout June and into July. The survey questions, aimed at students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, is available in English, Chinese, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
Nature’s last graduate-student survey, published in 2019, drew responses from more than 6,000 trainees around the world. In 2022, the goal is to hear from even more students from a wide variety of backgrounds and with diverse perspectives. This will be the first Nature survey to seek input from master’s students, an important segment of the scientific community.
“The world has changed a lot since our last global survey of graduate students, and we’re keen to capture how current cohorts of both master’s and PhD students are responding to the many challenges and opportunities they face,” says David Payne, the London-based managing editor of Nature’s careers section.
The 2022 survey will include questions addressing issues of key importance to students, including their workloads, supervision, mental health, experiences of harassment and discrimination and financial situations. “Given the worsening financial climate in many parts of the world, cost-of-living pressures are a major concern,” Payne says. Free-text questions will give respondents a chance to expand on their thoughts, worries and advice.
Nature will cover the results in a series of feature articles later in 2022. As in previous years, the articles will include interviews with respondents who agree to discuss their experiences and situations. Analysis of the findings will be ongoing. “We will again be making the full raw data set available so others can dig into the findings for their own research,” Payne says.
The survey results will help to guide Nature Careers’s future coverage of issues facing PhD and master’s students, Payne says. “Students are busy, but we’re asking them to take the time to let us know about the things that are important to them,” he says. “We hope to hear from as many as possible.”