Update on the Careers in Research Online Surveys (CROS) and Principal Investigators & Research Leaders Surveys (PIRLS) - December 2020

06/12/2019
Update on the Careers in Research Online Surveys (CROS) and Principal Investigators & Research Leaders Surveys (PIRLS) - December 2020

Dr Janet Metcalfe, Head of Vitae, leads on Vitae's researcher development policy activities, including the implementation of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and other impact and evaluation activities, including CROS and PIRLS.

I am pleased to provide a sector update on the evolution of the Careers in Research Online Surveys (CROS) and the Principal Investigators & Research Leaders Surveys (PIRLS).

The CROS and PIRLS surveys provide representative views across the UK higher education sector of the attitudes and activities of research staff and research leaders and have been used to demonstrate progress in implementing the original Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

Following the launch of the revised Concordat, the CROS and PIRLS Steering Group agreed that we should review how CROS and PIRLS need to evolve to reflect the measurable impact of the new Concordat Principles and we put a call out in October for any interested people to join us in this process.

Three working groups have been formed looking at the individual principles of: environment and culture; employment; and professional and career development, with an additional fourth group looking at the ‘audience’ for the Concordat. The ambition is to create a single ‘researcher experience survey’ that routes researchers through the survey depending on whether they research and/or manage researchers – recognised as important stakeholders in the new Concordat. The working groups are supported by a larger sounding board: we welcome more people to join this.  

I would like to extend my thanks to all those involved in the CROS and PIRLS working groups so far and acknowledge the significant contributions and progress they are making. Our aim is to have a draft survey to share with the sector in the new year with the aim of running it from March to May 2020.

Find out more:

CROS and PIRLS web pages

Want to get involved in the Research Experience Survey? email:

CROS and PIRLS 2019 aggregate data 

Five Steps Forward  - results from successive CROS and PIRLS surveys from 2008-2017.