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Graduate Student Culture, Climate and Career Plans Survey

Description of Survey

The Graduate Student Culture, Climate and Career Plans survey was developed by Linda Sealy, Senior Advisor to the Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Basic Sciences, with essential assistance by Angela Byars-Winston, Professor of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Christine Pfund, Director of the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Pfund is lead author of the Entering Mentoring Curriculum and Dr. Byars-Winston is lead author of the Culturally Aware Mentoring curriculum.

The survey is anonymous and has been administered three times, in the late fall of 2017 and 2018 and in early 2021 by the Office of Biomedical Research Education and Training.  The survey was sent to all graduate students who entered through the IGP or QCB umbrella programs and were at least 2nd year students.  In 2021, 53% or 165 out of 309 students responded.

The survey employed a Likert scale with these options: agree completely, agree somewhat, disagree somewhat, disagree completely, or prefer not to answer.  8 statements related to the student’s graduate program or department and 9 statements related to the student’s lab.  A Likert scale of excellent, good, fair, poor or prefer not to answer was used for 18 statements addressing mentor satisfaction.

Survey data for all 165 respondents or for the subset of 45 respondents who self-identified as underrepresented (American Indian or Alaska Native; Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; Black of African-American or Hispanic) are shown in the following slides.  The values are the percent of respondents selecting agree (either somewhat or completely) or the percent selecting excellent or good.  Overall, values for all respondents and UR respondents are very similar and no areas where UR students were significantly less satisfied were observed.  In fact, the percent of satisfied UR respondents consistently equaled or exceeded that of all respondents.

Overall satisfaction with the training environment of the department or program and the mentor are also broken out by gender.

Survey Results

View survey results (VUNet ID/password required)

Questions should be addressed to linda.sealy@vanderbilt.edu.

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