TERN and NCRIS surveys: summary of results

A big thanks to everyone who completed the TERN feedback survey and the NCRIS user satisfaction survey, two important assessments of our progress towards delivering world’s best research infrastructure. Here we share a quick summary of some of the results.

As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, it’s pertinent to kick off our survey summary with a view to the next decade of NCRIS-enabled TERN environment monitoring research infrastructure. To help guide future investments, we asked you to tell us the key scientific issues, key technologies or major applications to be addressed using TERN infrastructure.

In the midst of extinction and climate crises, it’s not surprising to see the themes of biodiversity, long-term monitoring, vegetation, soil and environmental modelling rising to the top.

‘What are the key scientific issues, key technologies or major applications that you think could be addressed using TERN infrastructure?’ (based on 52 responses)
Proven and innovative research outputs and impacts

Staying in the future, we also asked you about the outputs that could be generated using TERN infrastructure.  Your responses not only confirmed previous survey results indicating the impact of TERN infrastructure and data in generating new science (papers, theories, methods etc), but also threw up some less traditional applications of research infrastructure, including invention patents and software.

The outputs TERN infrastructure and data generate are quite astounding. It is exciting to think of the impact these outputs will have on Australia’s environment, economy and society as they are further developed and taken up by industry, land managers and policymakers.

‘What outputs would you expect to generate using TERN infrastructure?’ (based on 66 responses)
A diverse community

The 66 respondents to this year’s survey were as diverse as the fields of ecosystem science TERN infrastructure supports.

Not only were they from all states and territories of Australia (as well many from overseas), but they were from a broad range of occupations in the ecosystem science and management community – from university researchers to federal government policymakers, to industry consultants, to managers at NGOs. This, once again, gives us some confidence that this years’ results reflect TERN’s growing stakeholder community.

'What is your primary work activity?' (based on 66 responses)
TERN relevant to 94% of respondents

It’s clear that there is enormously strong support for the collaborative research infrastructure and open data delivered through TERN. 94% of respondents said that TERN’s infrastructure capabilities are relevant to their work.

Even more encouraging from this is the number of respondents who answered that more than one TERN capability is relevant—another indicator giving us confidence that our field observatory restructure reflects the needs of the ecosystem science community.

'Which of TERN's infrastructure capabilities is relevant to your work?' (based on 66 responses)
Thank you!

Thanks to everyone for your help with our feedback survey, yet again, the response rate and quality of feedback were outstanding.

The annual TERN survey is an important assessment of progress towards our goals and complements the other more conventional indicators of impact that we keep track of, such as numbers of scientific publications, numbers of datasets published, and numbers of research centres and students supported.

We are working through the results in detail and reflecting on how we can use them to continue to improve our delivery to, you, our stakeholders. 

NCRIS user satisfaction survey

In March 2019 the Department of Education conducted a short survey to report on user satisfaction across all 24 NCRIS projects as part of their Portfolio Budget Statements.

The survey sought to assess overall user satisfaction in NCRIS projects, which as you can see from the sub-sample of TERN-related respondents was very high.  Similarly positive results were found using a Net Promoter Score (NPS) measure of satisfaction. TERN’s NPS was +47, which is considered excellent and well above average.  There’s always room for improvement though and we plan to use this valuable feedback in our work to further enhance TERN infrastructure and services.

‘Overall, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with this capability?’ (based on 38 responses)
‘How likely is it that you would recommend this capability to a friend or colleague?’ (based on 38 responses)

The NCRIS survey also helped confirm the TERN Survey finding that our infrastructure is helping researchers achieve their goals and deliver quality, impacting research. Whilst TERN helped improve the research of 95% of respondents, we recognise that we still have work to do to ensure that the remaining 5% also reap the rewards of NCRIS investment in TERN ecosystem science infrastructure.

‘To what extent did access to this capability improve your research quality and/or outputs’ (based on 38 responses)

Thank you for your participation in this additional survey, it plays an important role in helping secure ongoing funding for NCRIS research infrastructure projects, including TERN.

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