Understanding the experiences of fixed-term researchers undertaking maternity, paternity, adoption, or parental leave
The UK Research Staff Association (UKRSA), in association with Vitae, is conducting a study investigating the experiences of researchers taking maternity, paternity, adoption, and/or parental leave. The lead researcher is Anna Slater (University of Liverpool, co-chair of UKRSA), alongside colleagues on the UKRSA Committee who are members of research staff working at Universities within the UK.
You are being invited to participate in this research study. Before you decide whether to participate, please take the time to read the following information carefully. You do not have to accept our invitation to participate. You are free to ask questions or for more information before deciding whether or not to participate.
The purpose of the study is to understand the needs of researchers undertaking these types of leave, the issues they may experience, and to ask for examples of good practice in this area. We would like to collate a national picture of how researchers, particularly those on short term contracts, feel they are supported to take periods of leave relating to childcare. With this information, we will produce a short report relating to these issues, and design an online resource to support researchers on short term contracts taking leave of this type.
You have received a link to this survey because we believe you are a researcher on a fixed-term contract at an institution within the UK.
We would like to invite you to take part in a survey. It will be administered via a secured site, and no personal information will be collected. By answering the survey, you are agreeing to participate in the project.
The information provided by you in this questionnaire will be used for research purposes. It will not be used in a manner which would allow identification of your individual responses, and free text quotes will be anonymised to remove any potentially identifying data. We ask that you do not identify yourself or your institution in the free text boxes unless you are happy for this information to be recorded and subsequently anonymised. Quotes, with identifying information removed, may be used in a publicly available report on these research findings, and although every attempt will be made to ensure anonymity of participants, it may not be possible to guarantee complete anonymity.
We recognise that issues around maternity, paternity, and adoption can be an emotive or sensitive subject depending on individual circumstances. The survey is voluntary and does not explicitly cover sensitive topics, although if you wish to discuss anything related to your experiences there are free text boxes that allow you to do so. If you have been affected by any of the topics related to this survey, a list of organisations providing support and advice concerning pregnancy and related issues can be found here.
Participation in the project in any form is entirely voluntary and consent may be withdrawn at the end of the survey. After completing the survey online, no identifying information will be stored, therefore it will not be possible to withdraw from the project. Whilst University protocol requires us to inform you that there are no specific benefits for individual research participants, the results of the study will be publicly available and copies will be provided to any participant who requests them.
If you are unhappy, or if there is a problem, please feel free to let us know by contacting Anna Slater on Anna Slater, and we will try to help. If you remain unhappy or have a complaint that you feel you cannot come to us with then you should contact the Research Governance Officer on 0151 794 8290 or email. When contacting the Research Governance Officer, please provide details of the name or description of the study (so that it can be identified), the researcher(s) involved, and the details of the complaint you wish to make.
Data will be stored securely. All participants will be made anonymous. Data will be used for this project as well as for future research. Only the identified researchers will have access to the non-anonymised data. Data will be anonymised and archived after the project in accordance with the protocols of the UK Data Archive.
The results of the research project will be publicly available. We will produce a research report, which will be disseminated online. In addition, we intend to present our findings at academic conferences relating to researcher development.
If you have any further questions, or would like additional information, please contact:
Department of Chemistry
University of Liverpool