Survey on working conditions of early-career researchers

The SNSF would like to know more about the working conditions of the staff employed in the projects it funds. It is inviting around 9000 early-career researchers to take part in an anonymised survey.

Ensuring good working conditions for early-career researchers and supporting their independence are important goals for the SNSF. At present, there is little systematic data on the professional situation of early-career scientists in Switzerland, and on SNSF project staff employed by the higher education institutions in particular. The Academia petition, submitted to the Federal Assembly in October 2021, criticised the precariousness of the working conditions of mid-level academic staff. The SNSF therefore wants to know more about the employment situation of the people involved in its projects.

About 9000 researchers invited to participate

The SNSF has launched a survey among the approximately 9000 mid-level researchers employed in its projects (doctoral students, postdocs and other employees). It hopes to obtain more information about their working conditions (such as type of contract, work-time percentage, workload and salary). Other topics include the division of tasks within projects, rights of team members in SNSF projects, job satisfaction within academia, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as sociodemographic information.

The survey will be conducted in anonymised form by FORS, the Swiss competence centre for social sciences based at the University of Lausanne. It will run until mid-March and the results will be known in April/May. The SNSF would like to use these data to establish a constructive dialogue with representatives of mid-level academic staff and higher education institutions on the working conditions of early-career scientists.