We are living in strange times. The pandemic has disrupted our established work and life routines. For the moment most of us are stuck in our own contexts with little travelling and in-person interactions. But it seems that the online research collaboration on Zoom and other platforms is working for now, as the research pouring out of the community during the pandemic has remained stable, if not even increased. It is impressive and evidence of our ability to adapt. 

However, what is worrisome is the current status and wellbeing of researchers, especially PhD students and early career researchers. They may not have strong research networks and are often very dependent on networking at international conferences. Since the pandemic, many important scientific events have been cancelled resulting in fewer opportunities to connect and collaborate. For that reason, we want to identify alternatives for early career researchers to be involved in and develop their research within the academic community. 

To that end, we are conducting a small-scale survey about the perceived expectations, support and wellbeing among doctoral students in our community. We invite everyone in the SERVSIG community to participate in this study, whether you are a PhD student, early career researcher or established researcher. Please feel free to also pass it on to other researchers as well. PhD supervisors and professors are also invited to participate in the survey, as we are also interested in the supervisors’ perceptions of the supervisory support and potential interest in informally mentoring/guiding PhD students. 

The survey for all participants can be found through this link: https://link.webropolsurveys.com/S/709151A27885F4E4 

The results will be used to develop the support for PhD students in our field, and our intention is also to share the information in the SERVSIG community. All individual results are kept confidential, and the survey contains no personal questions. 

Feel free to also pass on any feedback, ideas, or other comments to us, either through the survey or directly via email.  

Our overall objective with this study is to generate new insights into the doctorial support system. We hope you will contribute to this objective by participating in the survey. Many thanks in advance for your support. 

Best regards,
Kristina Heinonen, SERVSIG Mentoring officer
Steven Schoenmaker, PhD student (Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki Finland)

Image credit: Emily Morter