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Postdocs@UCSD Survey

The Postdocs@UCSD Survey™ annually asks postdocs (Title codes 3252, 3253, 3254, 3255, and 3256) across campus, including General Campus, Health Sciences and Marine Sciences, to contribute their anonymous feedback about perceptions of their workplace. It measures department and leadership performance from the postdoc’s perspective and provides valuable data for improving the work environment.

The survey has been statistically validated to measure 6 key dimensions concerning:

  • Satisfaction with the University
  • Department Mission and Goals
  • Department Effectiveness
  • PI/Mentor Effectiveness
  • Postdoc Effectiveness & Satisfaction
  • Campus Climate

An additional 24 items ask respondents to indicate whether or not they have experienced any of a set of negative interpersonal behaviors, including behavior related to their race/ethnicity or gender.  Postdocs are also provided with items allowing them to self-identify their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other demographic categories.

New for 2020: questions related to COVID-19 and impact on dependent care responsibilities and remote work satisfaction.



General information

Survey Purpose

  • The purpose of the Postdocs@UCSD Survey is to collect data to help us understand how postdocs feel about their training and work environment, as well as other issues that impact the climate at UC San Diego. It measures department and mentor effectiveness from the postdoc’s perspective and provides valuable data that will help us identify issues that needs addressing.
  • The plan is to conduct this survey annually (August/September).
  • This year, the survey includes additional questions related to COVID-19, which helps assess the additional impacts to postdocs.

Information Use

  • The results of the survey will initially be analyzed by the Office of Postdoctoral Scholar Affairs/Vice Chancellor for Research. Then the information will be made available to departments/units providing at least 5 respondents. In reviewing results, we will see what we do well and what needs extra attention.
  • In 1994, UC San Diego started using the Balanced Scorecard model of performance measurement to better evaluate how work is being performed. This model is based on the premise that work most accurately evaluated from four perspectives: 1) The financial perspective (how much does it cost?) 2) the business perspective (how fast and how well is it performed?) 3) the customer perspective (how well does it meet customers’ needs?) and 4) the employee perspective (how well are employees able to perform their work?).
  • With the success of the Staff@Work survey, in 2018 the Office of Postdoctoral Scholar Affairs under the authority of the Vice Chancellor for Research decided to expand this model to include postdocs and measure UC San Diego’s climate from the postdoc’s perspective.

Taking the survey


  • Postdoctoral Scholars with appointments in official postdoc title codes (3252, 3253, 3254, 3255, 3256) as of the second week of July, 2020 were invited to take the survey. If a postdoc was hired immediately before or around that time, and appointment and email information were not available, the postdocs will not have received an invitation notice.


  • Responses will be summarized into one report. Individuals will not be identified and only aggregated data will be reported.
  • Further, to do our best to ensure that survey responses are anonymous, we have done the following:
    1. Pre-established "blind lists" of email addresses, grouped by reporting area that are never directly visible by administrators.
    2. Randomized the distribution of ResponseIDs, eliminating the possibility that a specific user's response could be identified based upon survey or alphabetical order.
    3. Ensured that no respondent IP addresses, email addresses, or other identity-related information is logged or stored (i.e., no cookies.)
    4. Ensured that outside of the emailed invitation itself, no record exists correlating a specific user with a specific response.
    5. Ensured that a secure SSL certificate is utilized for all online survey activity, preventing others from "listening in" on the survey responses.
    6. Ensured that only invitation recipients can take the survey. By utilizing a uniquely generated passphrase per ResponseID, the emailed link to each respondent cannot be modified in an attempt to respond for others.
  • If you have any further questions regarding anonymity, please contact

“Department” in the survey

  • Postdocs are appointed into an academic, clinical or programmatic DEPARTMENTS, but activities are focused within a research team, lab, or faculty mentor. In the survey, if the reference is the single word “DEPARTMENT”, the survey is referring to the DEPARTMENT where you have your academic appointment.  If the reference is “RESEARCH TEAM/DEPARTMENT”, the survey is referring to the group, lab, or area within the academic department where you have your primary and/or daily interactions. For some it may be the full DEPARTMENT but for most, it will be your research lab.

Finishing the survey

  • The Postdocs@UCSD survey is important, and there is a strong expectation that all postdocs will participate.
  • Postdocs’ feelings about their work environment can be central to the performance of a department’s research and training program and higher rates of participation help to ensure that we are collecting the most valid data.
  • If you cannot finish the survey all at once, you can return to it at a later time. Click the FINISH LATER button. Your responses will be saved from where you left off. Be sure to keep your original email to re-enter your survey. If you delete this email, you cannot be sent another one.
  • Once you hit SUBMIT SURVEY, your survey has been submitted and you cannot return to make any changes.

Survey schedule

  • Survey opens on August 12, 2020.
  • The last day to participate in the survey is September 11, 2020 at 11:59PM.

Survey help

  • For help, contact your survey administrator, Jennifer Bourque at or (858) 534-6632.

Survey rewards


As a token of our appreciation for your time, you can select your choice of one of the following UC San Diego logo gift items while supplies last from the UC San Diego Bookstore: mug or tote bag.  Please note that these items will not be distributed until the remote work mandate has ended and we are safely back on campus.  Make sure to save your coupon (print or save as an image on your mobile device) with the barcode.  Updates will be posted on our Tritonlytics website.  When you claim your prize, you will also receive a $2 off coupon to use at the Bookstore or Sunshine Market.  We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.


The results from the Postdocs@UCSD™ survey will enable UC San Diego department heads and Vice Chancellors to assess a climate baseline for their respective units, implement department specific interventions, and track progress.  

Download the 2020 Postdocs@UCSD™ Report (PDF)

Download the 2019 Postdocs@UCSD™ Report (PDF)

Download the 2018 Postdocs@UCSD™ Report (PDF)