National datasets such as the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) and the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR), while valuable for demonstrating certain aspects of PhD careers at the national level, do not give individual doctoral programs information specific enough to be used for program improvement. To address this need, CGS has secured grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Science Foundation (NSF #1661272) to help universities collect data on the career pathways of humanities and STEM PhDs. Through a competitive sub-award process, CGS will select doctoral institutions to implement surveys of PhD students and alumni, gathering information about their professional aspirations, career pathways, and career preparation.
CGS has issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) with the survey instruments and an Implementation Guide that offers a framework for successful implementation. In addition to collecting aggregate data from partners, CGS will gather information about the implementation process with a view to developing recommended practices for data collection and analysis. Please note that the Request for Proposals (RFP) and accompanying materials were updated March 20, 2017, to reflect a new opportunity for STEM funding.
The current phase of Understanding PhD Career Pathways is built upon two previous projects: a feasibility study funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and a planning grant funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Science Foundation (NSF #1534620). Findings from the feasibility study are summarized in a 2014 report, Understanding PhD Career Pathways for Program Improvement.