Our approach is simple - and intended to be simple for PIs to respond to. In the late spring we email the questionaire to all current and former Chandra PIs. We hope this timing will minimize confusion about whether we are asking about term-time students, last summer's students, or students who are just about to start for the upcoming summer. (We ask for data for the preceding year, eg. June 2002 through May 2003.) We do ask for the names of students so that we can identify unique individuals who may have worked on data for several years. However, so far we have treated the data as snapshots of each year. We also ask for theses which have involved Chandra data in order to get a (partial) list of related thesis titles.
Since the survey is voluntary, we (of course) have incomplete information. We do ask that PIs respond even if they have not had students, in order to get an estimate of the overall participation rate. However, PIs are (probably) more likely to respond if they have actually worked with students. Since we contact only PIs in the first round, we ask them to provide names of Co-Investigators (CoIs) who are working with students, and then send a followup message to them.
The results from the first three surveys are shown in Table 4. The students counted include undergraduates, graduate students, and post-docs.
Table 4 - Responses to PI survey.
We have received a number of suggestions from respondents for additional ways in which they have used Chandra data related to training. Among them are high school student participation, undergraduate theses, student honors related to Chandra projects, and the use of student data in labs.
And finally, we do use the survey in our never-ending quest to keep our contact information for users current by pointing them to our update page:
THANKS TO ALL THE RESPONDENTS!
Nancy Remage Evans and Tara Gokas