AGILE recently launched a survey to obtain information on the PhD students in its member laboratories. This is the first time that AGILE is trying to collect such information in an integrated manner and the results of the survey could be used to identify the number of PhDs awarded every year, the research areas of PhD students, promote the work of the students and other info that could be of use to AGILE in defining future activities of interest to its members. The effort is coordinated by Maribel Yasmina Santos of the U. of Minho in Portugal. The survey collects information on both PhDs that have been completed since 2010 and PhDs that are still in progress.
The survey was made available on February 1, 2012. In the first two months of the survey 49 researchers completed the survey. The number of PhD students by their nationality is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. PhD students’ nationality

The number of respondents by the country the academic institution in which the PhD is carried out is located is shown in Figure 2. Since presently only PhD students from 29 laboratories representing 12 different countries have completed the survey (AGILE has 89 members laboratories from 23 countries) one should be careful in analysing these results in terms of number of PhD students per Lab, or making comparisons between Labs in different countries.

Figure 2. Number of respondents by the country the academic institution is located

Participants of the survey were asked to classify their area of research in eight predefined categories (Figure 3). “Spatial Analysis, Geostatistics, Data Mining, Network Analysis, Geocomputation” is the area with the most interest (14 out of the 49 respondents). Almost 25% of the respondents identify as their research area the category “Other” an indication that there is a need for further refinement of the research areas in future surveys.

Figure 3. PhD research area

With respect the application area of the research the results indicate that “Environmental/Ecological and Urban/Regional Modelling” is the area with the most applications with almost 30% of the respondents (Figure 4). A significant number of PhDs are in the application area “other” and future surveys should further expand the choices provided to the users or ask them to write-in the domain of their application.

Figure 4. PhD application area

The summary of the survey is available as PDF document here.

Council: Maribel Yasmina Santos, Lead: Maribel Yasmina Santos, Member 1: Minho (Guimaraes), Other Member: IGN-FR, Nottingham