Results of the Early Career Survey
In order to give the ASLO Board an objective sense of the needs of the society's early career members, the Early Career Committee decided to conduct a survey to collect the opinions of the early career members. The 8-part survey was conducted from October-November 2007 and covered the following areas:
- Please provide the date and type of your highest degree earned.
- What is your current position and employer?
- How long have you been involved with ASLO?
- We would appreciate your providing the following information. (Gender, age and country of residence)
- What is your area of specialization?
- What activities have benefited or would benefit you?
- Have you benefited from Early Career Resources other than those offered by ASLO?
- How else can ASLO better serve you and other early career members?
Approximately 33% (278 out of 841) of the early career members responded to the survey. Based on their responses:
- Regarding potential new programs: travel funds to meetings received the most support, followed by teaching resources, Town Hall meetings, new awards, and a mentorship program. A reserved slot solely for an early career representative on the board and online chats received the least support.
- Approximately 96% of respondents had PhD's.
- Approximately 30% of the respondents were assistant professors, 20% were post-doctoral researchers, and 20% were research scientists.
- Over 70% of respondents identified themselves as working within academia, with a further 18% working for the government and the rest mixed between industry and non-profit organizations.
- Over 60% of the respondents were from the United States, but 22 other countries were also represented.
- A high proportion of respondents had participated in DISCO, DIALOG, DIACES, and similar symposia for recent PhD graduates, as well as attending ICES/PICES Early Career Conferences. Some reported that NSF-sponsored programs such as ADVANCE or other institution-specific workshops were helpful.
- Suggestions for the ASLO early career committee to consider implementing in the future included: providing information on salary scales and placement statistics, designing a database of class materials for resource sharing, and facilitating networking and mentorship. Some respondents expressed their frustration with the current scarcity of research funding.