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PhD Student Questionnaire

The STFC Education, Training and Careers Committee is keen to gain feedback from students on their experience of the training provided by universities. As a result, STFC PhD students are invited to complete an annual on-line survey which seeks their views on their experience and skills development during their PhD.

The next survey will be available for completion by all STFC PhD students in February 2022.

Summary reports

Gender and the STFC-funded PhD experience (PDF, 92 KB): a summary looking at whether there were any differences in the perceptions of men and women in the key areas of supervision, overall training experience and career intentions.

  • Over 90% of students are motivated to study a PhD by enthusiasm for the subject.
  • Increasingly, students are undertaking a PhD in order to work in a first rate research group, to pursue a career in academia or because they believed that a PhD would enhance career prospects.
  • Each year about 95% of students rate the usefulness of their supervision as satisfactory or better.
  • The proportion of students rating their overall training experience as good has increased over the period from 55% to nearly 80%. In 2010 less than 2% of students rated their overall training experience as inadequate.
  • There are wide differences between higher education institutions in terms of the proportion of students rating their overall training as good.
  • In 2010 65% of students indicated that they wish to pursue a career in the higher education sector.

Key findings

  • Male and female students have similar motivations for undertaking a PhD.
  • Similar low proportions of female and male STFC-funded students rate their supervision and overall training as less than satisfactory/adequate.
  • Women are less likely to rate their supervision and overall training, respectively, as good/excellent or good.
  • Unlike female chemistry PhD students, female STFC-funded PhD students are at least as likely as men to wish to pursue careers in academia at the end of their period of study. In addition, the proportion of STFC-funded students, both male and female, wishing to remain in academia is higher than for chemistry.

Last updated: 16 July 2021


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