Update on the study into the impact and careers of doctoral graduates

The study into the impact and careers of doctoral graduates is progressing. On February 25th we passed the first checkpoint and we decided to survey doctoral graduates in April.

Even before we have reached the survey itself, hundreds of doctoral graduates from 2003-2006 have contacted CFE to register their willingness to participate. From this, we know many doctoral graduates are willing to help with research into the benefits of doctoral study and inspiring a next generation of researchers. However, there is still much to do and work is on going to reach more people who were awarded a PhD by a UK university between 2003 and 2006, with the start point being UK and EU people.  We hope to survey as many as possible, however they were funded and across all subjects of study. Many universities and professional bodies have offered to help contact their networks.  We hope that current and recent researchers will also mention the study to friends and colleagues who might be in this group.

If you, or someone you know wishes to register for this survey, please visit the CFE website at: www.cfe.org.uk/doctoralimpactstudy.

CFE and partners are drafting questions for the survey, building on work done to review relevant literature and develop the logic chain for impact indicators.  These questions will be agreed by the steering group over Easter so that CFE can pilot them in early April. The questions will explore what doctoral graduates have been able to do as a result of their PhD studies.  Impacts may be many and varied, for example: problem solving; technological developments; medical or bioscience advances; environmental benefits; process improvements; policy development; informing standards and legislation; improving our understanding of society and/or; enriching our culture and knowledge.  We will also be interested in the extent to which doctoral graduates inform or lead on innovations and their career paths to their current roles. The survey will inform plans for interviewing employers and doctoral graduates, to explore the impacts further.

If you wish to pass on information about the study, briefings can be found here.

When the survey gets underway we will provide another update and the link to the questionnaire. We are also looking into doing a podcast, seeking volunteers from the pilot to participate in interviews.