States of Precarity - Survey


Please note that the States of Precarity Survey has now closed. Thank you to everybody who contributed their voices to the project.

For more information on the progress of the project, please visit our updates page.

Details on the survey can be found below.


Survey Information


Aims of the Study

States of Precarity is a research project that will explore the varied effects of precarity in UK academic Geography. Working in collaboration with the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute for British Geographers), the project seeks to better understand the immediate and long term effects of precarity on staff, research postgraduates, and those who have chosen to leave academia; to provide a snapshot of the far-reaching implications of workplace precarity on the discipline; and to inform the development of best practice guidelines for UK Geography Departments. 

What is the timeline for the survey?

The survey will be open for responses between 24th July and 24th October 2023. 

Who can participate?

Please note that this is not just for people who are currently on fixed-term contracts. We are interested in understanding the cultures around fixed term contracts, their long-term effects, and wider perceptions on precarity within geography. This means the survey is open to everyone working (or who has worked) within UK geography - from PhD students to Professors.

What does participation involve?

You will be asked a series of questions, which will vary depending upon your employment experience. These will include questions about your background, your experiences of precarity, and your views on fixed term and precarious employment. The survey will take 15-20 minutes to complete. 

How do I consent?

In order to participate in the online survey, we will need your informed consent. This will involve you reading the participant information sheet at the start of the survey, and completing the consent questions below it.

How will my personal data be managed and used?

The data captured in this survey will be anonymous unless you opt to leave your name and email in the final question in order to express an interest in participating in further project research activities. 

If you provide your name and email, this information will be shared between the members of the research team and any associated research assistants. 

The project will adhere to all relevant UK data laws. 

  • In its collection, storage and dissemination of data, the project will follow the UK General Data Protection Regulation's (GDPR) principles of lawfulness, fairness and transparency (accessible here). 
  • The project will adhere to the requirements of the UK Data Protection Act (2018) (accessible here). 

Your personal data will be obtained lawfully, will be obtained only as is appropriate (i.e. not excessive) for the project, will be used for the stated purpose, will be processed in accordance with the above laws, and will be captured, stored and communicated in a way that protects it against unauthorised or unlawful processing, accidental loss or destruction. 

The dataset from the study (i.e. data from all participants) will be preserved and made available in anonymised form, so that other researchers can consult and re-use it. Anonymous excerpts from responses may be quoted or paraphrased in project materials (e.g. reports, journal articles, blog posts, web pages).

What happens if I decide to withdraw? 

No survey data will be submitted until you click 'submit' at the end of the survey. As we will be collecting anonymous data via an online survey, there will not be an opportunity to withdraw your response once you have clicked 'submit'.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part? 

While the data captured is anonymous, participants will be asked about potentially sensitive issues such as fixed term contracts and precarious employment. Responding to the survey is voluntary.

What are the possible benefits of taking part? 

We are interested in learning about your views on and experiences of fixed term contracts and precarious employment, with the aim of better understanding the immediate and long term effects of workplace precarity on staff and research postgraduates. Your contribution greatly aids our understanding.

Who do I contact if I have any questions or concerns about this research?

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact 



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