CEDARS 2021 results now available

Vitae CEDARS survey logo

The Graduate and Researcher College (GRC) is pleased to report top-line results from CEDARS undertaken in April and May 2021.

The Culture, Employment and Development in Academic Research Survey (CEDARS) is a biennial, benchmarked survey of researchers working in UK HE which is managed by Vitae, the international organisation supporting the professional development of researchers. Run for the first time at Kent this year, CEDARS replaced the former CROS and PIRLS surveys last undertaken across the sector in 2019 and integrated questions from those surveys with new ones reflecting the Principles of the revised Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. These covered the environment, culture, professional development and employment of research staff and the experiences, of their managers.

Kent had a 12% response rate from all academic and research staff (10% from postdocs). 37% were senior researchers, 46% were mid-career/established researchers and 15% were ECRs (including postdocs). With 49 institutions participating nationally, CEDARS is a barometer of how well the sector has supported academic and research staff.

Some key results:

  • 54% of Kent respondents felt that promotion pathways and processes were clear
  • 57% agreed their immediate manager clearly articulates their expectations of them with respect to their role and performance
  • 69% feel Kent treats them fairly in relation to access to training and development opportunities
  • 71% agreed that they took positive action to maintain their mental health
  • 74% have had an appraisal in the last two years
  • 88% of research managers feel confident in actively supporting their researchers in working towards their career aspirations.

However, there is room for improvement in areas relating to environment and culture (including wellbeing, time to do research and job security), employment (including progression) and professional, career and personal development (including the expectation of 10 days for development and knowledge of relevant UK sector initiative frameworks).

Professor Paul Allain, Dean of the GRC, said:

“A huge thank you to all colleagues who took the time to complete CEDARS. Thanks to your input, we have up-to-date data reflecting the real-life experience of researchers at Kent over the last two challenging years. Your valuable feedback, together with national benchmarking data, will further inspire the GRC as it expands its work to support all academic and research staff in their professional and career development, and will provide additional leverage for future changes at Kent in relevant areas.”

The CEDARS results have already been used to inform Kent policy and practice relating to researcher employment, management and development. Information generated by the survey provided a clearer picture of Kent’s progress towards implementing the Concordat Principles and results and accompanying recommendations (including key deliverables) have been incorporated into the new Concordat and forthcoming HRER Action Plans.

To learn more: View additional information including a PowerPoint summary of key results on our feedback page on SharePoint (Kent staff login required). Further information is also available on request to Kent colleagues, including data relating to specific questions – please contact the GRC with specific queries.