EWRS student & early career survey 2022


Posted on January 18th, 2023 on 14:25:50 by Lena Ulber



In 2022, the EWRS WG Education & Training conducted a survey to gain insights into the interests and training needs of students and early career scientist involved in weed science.

Between July and October 2022, the EWRS WG Education & Training conducted a survey to gain insights into the interests and training needs of students and early career scientist actively involved in weed science. The aim was to use the results of the survey to plan and organize future Training and Education (E&T) activities within the EWRS. The survey consisted of eight questions. In this report, the main outcomes of the survey will be displayed.


If you want to receive additional information on the survey, please contact Lena Ulber (lena.ulber@julius-kuehn.de) or Aleksandra Savic (aleksandra.m.savic@gmail.com).


Outcomes of the survey

In total, 76 participants from 27 countries took part in the survey. A higher number of participants came from Germany, Serbia, Spain and Italy.

In the survey, the first set of questions focused on the type and level of education of the participants.

The majority of participants worked at a university (59%) or research institutions (37%). PhD students (37%) and PostDocs (29%) represented the largest groups among the participants, followed by M.Sc. (13%) and B.Sc. (9%) students (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. Educational program of participants (%)

When asked about their main area of research in weed science, the majority of participants indicated that they focused their work weed biology & ecology and weed management & control, followed by herbicide resistance and genetics of weeds.

Fig. 2 Area of research of the participants (%)

The second part of the survey focused on the type and topics of future EWRS education and training activities.

Regarding the type of training activity (in-person vs. online), there seemed to be no clear preferences among the participant as all both online training (online workshops and online lectures/webinars) and in-person training activities were equally favored by the participants.

Almost half of the participants (46%) indicated a high interest in training activities on statistical methods and listed modelling, use of the software R and bioinformatics/analysis of genetic data/NGS as areas of interest. The use of GIS and spatial analysis was also mentioned as an important topic. The second topic mentioned by a higher percentage of participants (14%) was scientific writing. Other topics of interest were methods for analysis of herbicide resistance and weed molecular biology as well as training on field and laboratory experimental design.

Implications for future EWRS training activities and call for teachers

According to the survey, the focus group for EWRS E&T activities seem to be PhD students and PostDocs. Although participants worked on different thematic areas of weed science, there is a common interest in topics related to statistical methods and their application. Therefore, training future activities should focus on topics such as modelling, use of the software R and bioinformatics/analysis of genetic data. A second topic that should be covered by future activities is scientific writing.

If you are interested in teaching any of the topics mentioned above, please get in touch with Lena Ulber (lena.ulber@julius-kuehn.de). The actual type and length of the training events seem to be of lesser importance for the participants so that the format of the training event can be chosen in a flexible way depending on the content.


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