Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey

The Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey (PIRLS) gathers anonymous views and experiences from principal investigators in relation to their role as managers and leaders of researchers and research groups. 

In the UK, PIRLS runs concurrently with the Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS) and collectively these data indicate progress on implementation of the UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the European HR Excellence in Research Award.

if you are interested in modifying PIRLS for use with institutions outside the UK.

Search Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey

Benefits of PIRLS

PIRLS provides institutions with:

greater knowledge of the views and experiences of research leaders across topics, including leadership, management and recognition

progress measures over time and confidential comparisons with groups of institutions or national results

evidence to support institutional submissions, such as for the European HR Excellence in Research Award, implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and Athena Swan

PIRLS background and management

PIRLS was first run in 2011 in the UK to provide greater knowledge and understanding of the views and experiences of research leaders and to inform the implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

PIRLS is managed by Vitae and hosted on the Bristol Online Survey (BOS) tool, which provides a secure web environment for the design, delivery, administration and analysis of online surveys

PIRLS is overseen by the CROS/PIRLS Steering Group

Running PIRLS

PIRLS is run biennially in the UK and will next run in spring 2015, concurrently with the Careers in Research Online Survey

PIRLS can be modified to meet the needs of institutions outside the UK. For general information about running PIRLS contact us or for help with technical issues contact BOS

PIRLS 2013 question set

Participating institutions sign a collaborative agreement

PIRLS 2013 activity checklist

How to create the survey

Analysing CROS/PIRLS data webinar

PIRLS 2013

Our 2013 UK aggregate results report analyses 4837 responses received from research leaders in 49 UK higher education institutions, representing a response rate of 28%.

Browse other PIRLS publications

Three behaviours 2013 respondents considered most important in excellent research leaders:

advances significantly the discipline/research area

creates opportunities and nurtures researchers’ careers

exemplifies the highest standards of research integrity and conduct.

Related links

Careers in Research Online Survey. Anonymous views of research staff in higher education institutions

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey. Views and experiences of docotral candidates

Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. An agreement between the funders and employers of researchers in the UK

HR Excellence in Research Award. An EC initiative to support better employment and working conditions for researchers

Every Researcher Counts. Resources and briefings to improve the understanding of equality and diversity issues amongst those who support and manage researchers