Performance management has long contributed to ill health in researchers

… which is the legend to a picture in Nature’s 13th Nov editorial accompanying their recent survey of 6,000 graduate students.

I’m concerned about the very competitive nature of early-career scientists. At some institutions people are very cut-throat rather than being supportive of colleagues.”

Only 44% are satisfied with the decision to pursue a PhD.

I wonder if these are the same 38% who expected an intellectual challenge (those students we are most interested in)?

The full dataset is online.

list.of.packages <- c("ggplot2", "openxlsx")
lapply(list.of.packages, require, character.only = TRUE)
tmp <- tempfile()
phd <- read.xlsx("/Users/wjst/Desktop/Nature_PhD survey_Anon_v1.xlsx", sheet = "Cleaned data - anonymised", startRow = 1, colNames = TRUE, rowNames = FALSE, detectDates = TRUE, skipEmptyRows = TRUE, skipEmptyCols = FALSE, rows = c(1,3:6811), cols = NULL, check.names = FALSE)
# the word documentation has wrong variable names!
phd[phd$Q28=="No" & !$Q28),"Depressed"] <- c(0)
phd[phd$Q28=="Yes" & !$Q28),"Depressed"] <- c(1)
ggplot(data = phd) +
  geom_mosaic(aes(x = product(Q17, Q19.a) ), na.rm=TRUE, fill="blue")

Good to see that “intellectual challenge” and “high satisfaction” occupies the largest area. But who is getting ill?