Climate Survey

The UW School of Medicine faculty Council on Research and Graduate Education (CORGE) conducted a climate survey in Autumn 2019 of the graduate student and postdoctoral training environment at the UW School of Medicine. The survey provided graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with the opportunity to inform the School of Medicine leadership about their experiences with mentorship, resources, discrimination, and harassment while at the UW School of Medicine.

Survey Results and Findings

The findings from the climate survey are summarized in the results white paper “University of Washington School of Medicine Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellow Research Climate Survey Results“ as well as in an independent report by the student group SARJE.

The survey’s findings were discussed at a public forum via Zoom webinar on June 4, 2020. This event was open to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and other stakeholders.

A final survey report was submitted to CORGE, the UW student group Scientists Advocating for Representation, Justice, and Equality (SARJE), the UW School of Medicine Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Education, the UW Graduate School Associate Dean for Diversity and Student Affairs, and other relevant faculty and administration groups at the UW.


The survey was designed by CORGE faculty members and graduate student representatives from SARJE, using a number of resources (including the National Academy of Sciences report entitled Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the University of Washington Climate Survey, and other academic climate surveys). Additional review of questions was performed by faculty and staff with experience in Title IX, program administration, sexual misconduct prevention, diversity, and equity. Questions ask respondents to report on the fairness and support from their mentor, department, program, or research institute.

Climate Survey Timeline

  • September 11, 2019: Pre-survey e-mail sent to SoM Graduate Students and Postdoctoral fellows. The e-mail introduced the survey and let them know to expect to receive a link to their survey on 9/16/2019.
  • September 16, 2019: Survey cover e-mail and web links distributed to SoM Graduate Students and Postdoctoral fellows via REDCap. Each e-mail contained a unique link that can only be completed once by the respondent.
  • September 30, 2019: A reminder e-mail sent via REDCap to SoM Graduate Students and Postdoctoral fellows who had not yet responded to the survey. The e-mail was a repeat of the one sent on 9/16/2019.
  • October 4, 2019: The SoM CORGE Climate Survey concluded at the end of the day and the survey website was unavailable after 10/4/2019.
  • October 10, 2019: SoM CORGE Climate Survey thank you e-mails sent to all SoM Graduate Students and Postdoctoral fellows who received a pre-survey e-mail on 9/11/2019; this included survey respondents and non-respondents.
  • June 4, 2020: Public information forum hosted by SoM CORGE, UW SARJE, and SoM Office of Research and Graduate Education representatives.


The confidentiality of survey respondents was of critical importance in the SoM CORGE Climate Survey. Individual e-mails were initially required to send the survey links to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and to assure that each survey link was only answered once.

  • The association between an e-mail address and a survey was removed by a survey administrator after a survey had been completed.
  • All e-mail addresses were removed from the REDCap survey system by a survey administrator after 10/4/2019 when the survey closed.

The survey concluded with questions that use very broad categories to represent the demographics of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at the UW School of Medicine. All responses were optional, and respondents could share their experiences without providing any demographic information. Because no association was maintained between an individual graduate student or postdoctoral fellow and a survey, the information from these concluding questions was the only demographic information available for survey data analyses.

Additional Resources