Newsletter Survey 2021 Insights
In May 2021 the incoming Secretariat launched an online survey open to everyone currently involved in IARU. The survey aimed to engage the IARU membership on specific questions and to capture the ideas and current concerns of members. It was structured as a mixture of required and optional questions, and respondents were able to provide free text responses to almost every question.
It was striking to see how a few key themes emerged from the responses, with around half of the potential respondents putting forward their views. The survey received feedback from a broad cross-section of the IARU community, representing Senior Officers, Key Contacts, Group and Initiative Leads and Members.
The feedback from the survey has directly informed the Secretariat’s proposals at the Senior Officers’ Meeting in 2021 and IARU members can view the survey summary on the Senior Officers' Meetings page.
‘The global nature of the network and the fact that most institutions are not competing against each other encourages the sharing of useful information and examples of best practice.’
Survey response, May 2021
Survey feedback on Groups
How active is your group and what makes a group productive?
Many noted the difficulties of maintaining activities during the pandemic and remote working, but the majority described their groups as fairly or very active.
Group productivity was attributed to four factors:
- Clear planning about the work programme and goals
- Committed leadership in the group/initiative
- Engaged members
- Face-to-face meetings
Would it be helpful to have written guidance?
The feedback on this question indicated that members would welcome guidance on:
- Creating New Groups
- Rethinking / Retiring Groups
- Identifying and Prioritising Work
Below are the themes that came up most frequently for the three questions that focussed on more general IARU matters.
What makes IARU different?
- Diverse, truly global membership
- Small number of members
- Shared perspectives and issues
What opportunities do we have?
- Best practice sharing
- Provide more support and encouragement for research collaborations
- Staff and student exchange
What challenges do we face?
- Securing funding within universities to support an individual’s participation in group work (esp. travel costs)
- Getting institutions and managers to incentivise members to be active in IARU
What should the Secretariat stop or start doing?
- The Secretariat’s activities should be more visible to those who are not group leaders
- The website to contain more information and up to date content.
- To have a clearer sense of IARU’s strategic priorities and direction to help inform their work, especially in a post-pandemic context.