The following section provides descriptions of surveys developed for T32 training program directors to utilize for evaluation of their programs and basic tips for building your survey.
This survey contains items related to each category identified as critical to T32 training and program evaluation. To that end, this instrument will provide basic feedback to T32 program directors across the core categories of T32 programs. We recommend administering the T32 Core Survey to trainees annually at the end of the academic year.
For each category identified by T32 Program Directors as most important and needing the most evaluation support (e.g., adaptability, wellness), we provide short survey modules (~5-10 items) that can be used to augment the T32 Core Survey. Several of these modules are also accompanied by 1-page resources. We recommend adding no more than 5 modules to the T32 Core Survey (to limit the length of the survey) OR administering the module surveys at a different time than the Core Survey (e.g., December).
- Trainee Skill Development:
- Research or Clinical Skills
- Program Characteristics:
- Supportive Learning
- Mentoring Quality*
- Opportunities Offered
- Job Fit*
- Research Self-Efficacy*
*Survey accompanied by a 1-page resource with more information about the topic and related references.
3. Survey Tips
Surveys can provide critical insight into key aspects of programs. Following best practices for building surveys can help you get responses that are useful and accurate, such as:
- Define a clear, attainable goal for your survey. This can help guide module survey selection from the options above. Or, if your goal is not achievable with a survey, you can explore the use of focus groups, logic models, or other evaluation tools.
- Identify your participants. Are you interested in collecting data from current trainees, program alumni, or some other stakeholder? Alumni survey response rates in higher education tend to be very low (<15%), so consider alternative strategies if you want to collect data from program alumni.
- Keep items simple. If you add additional items to the surveys above, keep them short, clear, and precise.
- Group items by themes or categories. The T32 Core Survey and Survey Modules have items grouped according to categories. If you add additional items, try to add them to these categories. Respondents are less likely to complete surveys that bounce around haphazardly from topic to topic.
- Move more personal questions (e.g., demographic items) to the end.
- Don’t let your survey get too long. Respondents are less likely to complete long surveys, so try to keep response times to no more than 10-15 minutes. We recommend adding no more than 5 Survey Modules to the T32 Core Survey. Or consider administering the Survey Modules at a different time of year (e.g., December).
- Pilot the survey before sending to your participants. Pilot test the survey with at least 3 people and correct any errors before you distribute it to your participants.
- Communicate strategically. When you administer the survey, make sure participants know the importance of their engagement, including how the data will be utilized. Send 1 or 2 follow-up reminders to encourage participation if your initial response rates are low.