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The Culture, Employment and Development in Academic Research Survey (CEDARS) has been developed as a single experience survey, gathering anonymous data about the research environment, working conditions, career aspirations and professional development opportunities for those conducting research.  

CEDARS aligns to the Principles of the revised Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, commonly known as the Researcher Development Concordat, which was launched in September 2019. It integrates questions from the previous Careers Research Online Survey (CROS) and Principal Investigators & Research Leaders Survey (PIRLS).

CEDARS is managed and supported by Vitae, which is a programme to support the career development of researchers run by the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Limited.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’re keen to make sure that Researchers have the best possible experience while working at the University of Wolverhampton. To do that we need to know what you think we are doing well and what we can do better. If you’re thinking about taking part this year, these are the answers to some of the questions research staff often ask:

Who is the intended audience for CEDARS?

Institutions are encouraged to run CEDARS with their research staff, principal investigators and managers of researchers, research leaders, and other populations conducting research, such as technicians and staff on teaching contracts.

What is the CEDARS definition of 'research staff'?

The target audience for CEDARS is principally based on the definition contained in the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers:

'[Research staff] are defined as individuals whose primary responsibility is to conduct research and who are employed specifically for this purpose by a higher education institution or research institute. Within this group, it is recognised that these staff often have different contract types, levels of training, experience and responsibility, as well as different career expectations and intentions. Disciplinary and institutional context can also mean a broad range of job titles fall within this definition.'

What is the CEDARS definition of 'managers of researchers'?

Managers of researchers are staff in higher education and research institutes who are personally and formally responsible for the management of research staff (and/or the supervision of postgraduate researchers).

The Concordat defines managers of researchers as follows:

‘This [group] includes all individuals who have direct line management responsibility for ‘researchers’ (as defined above). These managers will frequently be principal or co-investigators on research grants, although it is recognised that some research staff may be grant-holders and be line-managed by another senior researcher or head of unit.  It is also recognised that outside of this group of direct line managers, other staff have management responsibilities that have direct and important influence on the research environment, culture and working conditions. These include heads of faculty, department, unit and research directors, all of whom play a key role in ensuring that centrally agreed policies and practices in support of the Concordat are effectively implemented within their units.’

When does CEDARS run?   

CEDARS will be run on a two-year cycle.

How long does it take to complete the survey?

The survey is very simple to answer and will take about 20 minutes of your time.

What will be asked?

CEDARS includes questions relating to the three Concordat Principles and covers the research culture, working conditions and professional development.

Why should I take part?

CEDARS provides a valuable source of information for the University of Wolverhampton. In particular it:

  • informs policy and practice in researchers’ employment, management and career development
  • progress measures over time and confidential comparisons with national results
  • helps those concerned with researcher development to plan their interventions
  • provides benchmarking for measuring progress in implementation of the Concordat, achieving and maintaining the HR Excellence in Research Award and Athena Swan, and submission of the REF Research Environment.
  • provides UoW with the opportunity to compare our institutional results with the UK aggregate.

What platform is CEDARS run on?

CEDARS is hosted on the JISC Online surveys platform.

Data protection and Freedom of Information (FoI)

Data and results from individual institutions, as well as overall data and results, will be stored securely by JISC. Under Data Protection Act 1998 JISC will meet Data Processor requirements. The University of Wolverhampton will be the Data Controller and data storage is in compliance with The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

How do we ensure anonymity and confidentiality?

The rights of the respondent for anonymity and confidentiality are critically important and no name or individual identifier will be collected. The individual responses are confidential to the Research Policy Unit and only anonymous aggregate data will be supplied to Faculties so no-one will be able to identify you from any results.

The survey asks that any comments you make should not identify yourself or any specific members of staff. The Research Policy Unit will screen qualitative comments prior to any dissemination or publication of the results to ensure they reveal neither the identity of respondents nor that of others, even by implication.

Data and results from individual institutions

No body, other than the University, JISC or the research and development function of CRAC, will have access to the University of Wolverhampton’s data or results, or is permitted to identify or publish those data or results, without our prior consent. Data from individual institutions will not be released by CRAC, Vitae, the Steering Group or its agents to any third party.

Any persons making a FoI request to JISC will be directed to make their requests to individual institutions. Under the Freedom of Information Act, an institution can be asked to share its results, but not the underlying data. CRAC is not gazetted under the Freedom of Information Act and cannot be required to release data or results from individual institutions.

When will the data will be available?

The University of Wolverhampton owns our results and can decide whether to make them public. Detailed results will be made available to Faculties by the Research Policy Unit. 

The UK aggregate data for benchmarking will be available after all the surveys are closed and Online Surveys has pulled all the institutional datasets together. The analysis of the UK aggregate results is usually published in an annual report at the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference.

CROS & PIRLS National Data

More information?

For more information about CEDARS please contact Jill Morgan, Research Policy Unit on 01902 518769 or by email:

Visit the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers webpage for more information about implementation at the University of Wolverhampton.