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Staff Survey


To date, we have...

  • extracted 650+ data cuts

  • met with 36 teams and rerun 2 surveys

  • analysed 6,932 comments

  • run 13 focus groups with Grades 1 to 3 and Grades 10 to 12 staff

  • supported 20 School/ NSI/ UAS division action plans


The HR Committee has agreed that the priority should be University-wide action planning. Meetings have been held with Heads of Schools, Heads of non-School institutions and Directors of UAS divisions to discuss their results and help identify key points that can form the basis of local action plans. These plans are being brought together, and common themes identified, so that a University-wide action plan can be created. All institutions will then be expected to progress their individual plans.

See how these meetings have progressed across the University >>

Further information will be shared on this page as it becomes available, including the University-level action plan.

Quantitative data analysis

All institutions have received their ORC highlights reports. These provide an in-depth, quantitative analysis of staff answers to the survey questions. Institutions, committees and School offices can request bespoke data cuts if they wish. They should be aware, however, that there are limits to the detail that can be provided: requests that return responses of fewer than 10 answers will not be provided so that individuals are not identified.

Contact Vivienne Lee Martinez for further data cuts >> 

Qualitative data analysis

Dr Jana Bacevic, a Research Associate who works on social theory and the politics of knowledge production, has conducted an analysis of the two comments questions included in the survey. These questions were:

  • What are the best things about working for the University/your area of the University?
  • Do you have any comments or suggestions?

Overall, there were 271,457 words submitted to these two questions. Jana's analysis is looking for patterns with common, recurrent and overlapping themes. Her reports will inform the action plans currently being produced at School and University level.

Work with grades one to three

Feedback from the survey revealed a comparatively low uptake from staff in lower grades. Further work will be done with external company The Engagement Coach to ensure the views of this important group are fed into the University's action plan. These sessions will be confidential. A report will be provided to the operations team but at no point will the University have access to the raw data.

Work with grades 10 to 12

Senior University staff play a key role in taking plans forward. They can inspire and engage others to make a difference, so they need to understand the results in detail and have a say in the next steps.

The Engagement Coach will also run a series of workshops with grades 10 to 12 staff. These sessions will be confidential. A report will be provided to the operations team but at no point will the University have access to the raw data.

Exit survey

Subject to necessary approvals, the University will carry out an ongoing survey of all leavers. Some institutions are already doing this, but there is no overall University picture. 

A leaver survey would be beneficial in a number of ways:

  • It would help us measure the effectiveness of actions taken in response to the staff survey, and to guide future actions
  • Insights from leavers might help us retain other staff
  • It may identify areas of the University where an HR focus might be helpful
  • It helps us meet our obligations to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Further information will be provided in due course.

We are an excellent university because we have excellent people. And in the years ahead, we must take further steps to value our staff.

 Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor, October 2018


Contact us

University of Cambridge staff survey project team: 

Vivienne Lee Martinez is leading work on the staff survey: 

Related links

UniForum [Raven login required]

Vice-Chancellor's consultation [Raven login required]

HR People Strategy


Nurturing a Culture of Mutual Respect Survey [Raven login required]