Report findings released for first Culture, Employment and Development in Academic Research Survey (CEDARS)


Vitae is delighted to announce the first aggregate results of the Culture, Employment and Development in Academic Research Survey (CEDARS), today. This new survey was piloted in 2020 and reflects the Principles of the revised Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. It provides essential information about the environment, culture, professional development and employment of research staff and the experiences of their managers.

There has been increased interest in how the research environment and culture is impacting on researchers. CEDARS 2020 reveals that although over 70% of researchers reported good levels of job satisfaction and believe their institution is committed to equality and diversity, women are more likely feel discriminated against and less likely to trust their institution will take action. Similarly, women are more likely to have felt bullied or harassed and less comfortable reporting incidents. This is in an environment where 28% of managers of researchers indicated a lack of confidence in responding to such issues.

In terms of progress in implementing the Principles of the Concordat some of the key findings are:

  • Over three quarters of research staff remain on fixed term contracts
  • 72% of research staff aspire to an academic career, with only 35% aspiring for a research career beyond academia (data not additive)
  • Less than a third of research staff believe promotion and progression processes are fair
  • Large majority of research staff feel well-managed, while half their managers are not confident in dealing with poor performance
  • Only 14% of research staff have spent 10 or more days on professional development and around a half do not have time to develop their research identity or leadership capabilities.

In response to the inaugural CEDARS report launch Dr Janet Metcalfe, Head of Vitae said:

“The CEDARS alignment with the revised Principles of the Concordat to Support the Development of Researchers, and its implementation alongside the HR Excellence in Research Award makes it a powerful and effective tool from which to set new benchmarks and monitor trends and perspectives of researchers in the UK, both at an institutional and policy level.”

By identifying the successes and importantly, the challenges of the researcher environment - especially during the current pandemic, we can collectively work towards creating improved support around culture, employment and the professional development of researchers so that research can continue to flourish and thrive.”

CEDARS is available for Vitae member organisations to run this year, between April and June. Institutions interested in running the survey should contact

A dedicated practice-sharing member event in which the CEDARS report results will be discussed will take place during March. Register for CEDARS event

The CEDARS report slide-set is available in PDF format and in PowerPoint.

 Further information

Sarah Nalden, Communications and Marketing Executive

T: 07708 914976 E:

Notes to editors


CEDARS is run by individual institutions who agree to pool their respective data to create an aggregate UK dataset. This provides institutions with the ability to benchmark their own results against the UK data and groups of comparable institutions.

CEDARS has replaced the long-running Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS) and the Principal Investigators & Research Leaders Survey (PIRLS). It is also applicable to a wider range of academic staff, including postgraduate researchers.

22 UK institutions took part in the 2020 pilot survey, totalling 3,025 responses.

More about the Concordat

About Vitae

Vitae and its membership programme are managed by the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Limited, an independent registered charity.

Vitae is the global leader in supporting the professional development of researchers, experienced in working with institutions as they strive for research excellence, innovation and impact.

Vitae is a non-profit programme with nearly 50 years' experience in enhancing the skills and careers of researchers. We strengthen our members' institutional provision for the professional development of their researchers through research and innovation, training and resources, events, consultancy and membership

CRAC provides research intelligence and innovation for all those who support career development for people of all ages and in all sectors. We work in partnership with government agencies, education organisations and providers and employers and professional bodies.

CRAC is a registered charity No 313164 established in 1964.