MI talent logo


Understanding the UK Technical Community

The brief 

TALENT is a project that leads and influences change to advance the status and opportunity for technical skills, roles and careers in UK higher education. It is led by the Midlands Innovation (MI) consortium of eight universities in collaboration with key stakeholder and industry partners. MI TALENT were seeking support with a national survey for the technical community to provide insight to complement the national policy commission, which is to be chaired by Professor Sir John Holman. The survey aimed to address related key themes, as well as provide a broad and comprehensive picture to effectively understand the needs of the technical community in UK higher education and research.

The approach

  • The project began with 10 cognitive interviews to test comprehension of the questioning, and to ensure question areas resonated with technical staff. Feedback from these interviews helped to refine and finalise questioning for the survey. ​
  • Shift supported with recruitment for the survey, developing unique URLs for survey tracking across different channels and recruitment materials that sought to engage EDI groups.​
  • The survey consisted of 60 questions, exploring a number of areas, including workplace experiences, roles and responsibilities, satisfaction, the impact of COVID-19, wellbeing and research culture. We received a total of 1,722 complete responses and 561 partial responses to the survey. Following data cleaning, we had a final usable sample of 1,766. 

The value

Shift developed a comprehensive report detailing the findings of the survey, as well as comparisons across key groups to identify nuances in experiences. A full raw dataset was provided, in addition to analysis tables in Excel and Q Reader to allow for further exploration of the results.