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Early Career Scientists Survey

We kindly ask you to support this research study with your voluntary participation to help us learn about retention factors and obstacles of career development in academia. We are most interested in how you, as a PhD candidate or post-doctoral researcher, assess

·         your own career situation and prospects,

·         the development of career-related competencies,

·         the importance of interdisciplinary work,

·         gender inequity in your work environment,

·         the impact of your supervisor and leadership behavior in general.

The survey is part of an accompanying research study conducted by the Geo.X Research Network in Berlin and Potsdam. In the course of our study, four measurement times are planned with a gap of six months in between. Each measurement time consists of answering an online survey in English. Completing the survey will take about 20-30 minutes. If you struggle to answer a question, keep in mind that there is no "wrong" choice. At the end of the survey, it is possible to freely enter comments.

We are very interested in your participation in as many measurement times as possible. For that reason, we will ask you to provide your E-Mail address. We would like to use your E-Mail address to inform you a short time before the next measurement time starts. Six months after the start of the survey, you will receive a personalized link via E-Mail as an invitation to participate in the next measurement time, since for this type of study we need to bring together data of different measurement times correctly to one and the same person. Although we collect data with personalized links to our online survey, data analysis and reporting is always performed in a summarized way. Hence, conclusions from data about individual persons is not the purpose of this survey. Participation in the first measurement time is possible without providing your E-Mail address. Participation in the survey can be cancelled at any time.

In late 2018, we will publish an anonymous summary of the main survey results. At the beginning of the year 2019, those participants who took part in the first two measurement times will be invited to an informal get-together with a presentation and discussion of the survey results as well an exchange of career-relevant topics.

Legal basis for processing personal data is, provided that a consent of the participant has been declared, Article 6 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In this survey, we ask for the following personal information: your age, your gender, your nationality, if you live in a partnership/marriage, if you have children. Furthermore, we ask for information regarding your employment situation: if you work in a university or non-university research institute, your research discipline, your membership in a graduate program, your current career level, the funding of your job position, your current job responsibilities.

Your data is stored for no longer than necessary and only for the purposes of our longitudinal research study. Recipient of your personal data is the Geo.X Head Office team.

You have the right to:

·         receive information about the processing of your personal data,

·         obtain access to the personal data held about you,

·         ask for incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete personal data to be corrected,

·         request that personal data be erased when it’s no longer needed or if processing it is unlawful,

·         object to the processing of your personal data for marketing purposes or on grounds relating to your particular situation,

·         request the restriction of the processing of your personal data in specific cases,

·         receive your personal data in a machine-readable format and send it to another controller (‘data portability’),

·         revoke your consent to the storage and use of your data at any time.

Please use the contact possibilities at the Geo.X website. In case of further questions regarding data protection, do not hesitate to contact the data protection officer of the Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam – German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ): Marko Blau, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Deutschland, Tel.: +49 331 288 1052, E-Mail:

For technical implementation of this survey we use an online platform by the company Questback GmbH. Questback GmbH is obligated to comply with the current German data security laws and to adopt all measures necessary to save the data from unauthorized access and disclosure. After transfer from Questback servers, data will be stored in a password protected file. Only the three members of the Geo.X Head Office mentioned above have access to the data.

Dr. Annett Hüttges

Career Development and Accompanying Research

Annett Hüttges holds a diploma in work and organizational psychology and received her PhD from the Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. Her research focuses on gender differences in career development. Since 2015, she has been working as an expert for human resources development at GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam.

Currently, she conducts the accompanying research study on obstacles and challenges for career development of early career scientists in the Geo.X research network.

Stefan Rüdrich, M.Sc.

Statistical Analysis of Accompanying Research

After finishing Bachelor and Master studies in mathematics at Freie Universität Berlin, Stefan commenced research for his PhD in the Biocomputing Group, focussing on directed networks. He joined the GeoSim graduate school, a Geo.X PhD program that brought geoscientists and mathematicians together, and was later awarded a short-term scholarship by the Berlin Mathematical School.

In late 2017, he joined the GeoSim coordinator and subsequently the Geo.X Head Office Team to help conduct accompanying research for Geo.X, while finishing his PhD studies.