2022 Graduate Student Survey

The on-line form presented to the students is available here and the raw data is here.

21 students responded

Q1. How confident are you in the following knowledge areas?

 Not at allSomewhatModeratelyVery
Genetics (mendelian, quantitative, population, molecular)04134
Experimental design and statistics2694
Data management (collection, analysis, database)15114
Factors in crop plants that impact productivity1587
Selection theory and techniques21063
Methods for breeding in selfing and outcrossing systems11073
Plant breeding strategies (traditional, molecular, physiological)2793
Teaching strategies (Inquiry-based learning approaches)11631
Genomic selection (experiment set up, analysis)7752
UAS-HTP (operating equipment, experiment set up, data analysis)9516

Q2. Are there any other knowledge areas in plant breeding you feel are important?

  • Experimental design based on budgets. What realistically you can accomplish as a breeder with certain funding brackets.
  • How to connect with industry to develop new market class specific products.
  • Maybe economics and variety protection.
  • Genome assembly and pangenomics
  • gene editing and transgenics

Q3. What are three knowledge areas you feel most confident in?

Genetics (mendelian, quantitative, population, molecular)11
Experimental design and statistics7
Data management (collection, analysis, database)6
Factors in crop plants that impact productivity6
Selection theory and techniques3
Methods for breeding in selfing and outcrossing systems3
Plant breeding strategies (traditional, molecular, physiological)6
Teaching strategies (Inquiry-based learning approaches)2
Genomic selection (experiment set up, analysis)4
UAS-HTP (operating equipment, experiment set up, data analysis)7
Other (please specify) 

Q4. How confident do you feel in the following skill sets?

 Not at allSomewhatModeratelyVery
Work cooperatively01416
Design experiments3585
Define and solve problems04143
Manage data04134
Consider alternative hypotheses25113
Communicate your scientific ideas orally07122
Make phenotypic selections2586
Molecular techniques7752
UAV-HTP techniques8535
Genomic selection techniques7752
Observe and interpret results13134
Make marker assisted selections8193
Utilize SNPs or genotype by sequencing (GBS)8265
Statistical analysis1974
Choose parents and make crosses2964
Make genome wide selections6951
Write scientific papers and grants7950

Q5. Are there any other skill sets you feel are important in your field of study?

  • presentation skills
  • Data Analytics
  • R Script

Q6. What are the three skill sets you feel most confident in?

Work cooperatively15
Design experiments4
Define and solve problems7
Manage data2
Consider alternative hypotheses1
Communicate your scientific ideas orally5
Make phenotypic selections6
Molecular techniques2
UAV-HTP techniques5
Genomic selection techniques3
Observe and interpret results1
Make marker assisted selections2
Utilize SNPs or genotype by sequencing (GBS)3
Statistical analysis3
Choose parents and make crosses2
Make genome wide selections1
Write scientific papers and grants1
Other (please specify) 

Q7. What percentage of your time did you use the following skill sets in the past year?

Work cooperatively5475
Design experiments9642
Define and solve problems5295
Manage data33123
Consider alternative hypotheses7851
Communicate your scientific ideas orally12360
Make phenotypic selections11451
Molecular techniques14430
UAV-HTP techniques11343
Genomic selection techniques10911
Observe and interpret results5574
Make marker assisted selections13611
Utilize SNPs or genotype by sequencing (GBS)10353
Statistical analysis4683
Choose parents and make crosses12630
Write scientific papers or grants9660
Make genome wide selections16401

Q8. How important do you believe the following methods are in educating graduate students?

 Not at allSomewhatModeratelyVery
One-on-one mentoring01515
Collaboration with faculty other than your advisor03117
Collaboration with other graduate students at your institution04107
Collaboration with graduate students from OTHER institutions0894
Teaching experience1983
Independent development of hypothesis1866
Independent development of research designs1875
Field experience02712
Laboratory experience0876
Exposure to diverse research methods and tools03612
Experience writing grants2478
Experience presenting results (meetings, papers)20712
Exposure to plant breeding students from different ethnic backgrounds2397

Q9. In your opinion, what are the three best methods for educating graduate students?

One-on-one mentoring18
Collaboration with faculty other than your advisor4
Collaboration with other graduate students at your institution7
Collaboration with graduate students from OTHER institutions4
Teaching experience3
Independent development of hypothesis2
Independent development of research designs4
Field experience6
Laboratory experience4
Exposure to diverse research methods and tools8
Experience writing grants1
Experience presenting results (meetings, papers)3
Exposure to plant breeding students from different ethnic backgrounds1
Other (please specify)1

This comment is more in regards to Q10 & Q11: I have become less motivated to pursue a career in plant breeding not from lack of interest but because I am a female with disabilities and frankly the job prospects looked too slim for me; the bioinformatics field seemed much more likely to hire someone like me.

Q10. To what extend are you interested in the plant breeding field? (0 to 10 scale)


Q11. How motivated do you feel in pursuing a career in plant breeding? (0 to 10 scale)


Q12. Please indicate the percentage of time you participated in the following activities over the past year

Mentoring an undergraduate student11820
Inquiry-based learning approached4971
Planning research3684
Working in the field1974
Conducting research21117
Being mentored by your advisor41052
Participating in the online community11730
Gathering, analyzing, and managing data2487
Problem solving25104

Q13. Please indicate the value of these activities for understanding the profession of plant breeding

 Not at allSomewhatModeratelyVery
Mentoring an undergraduate student37110
Inquiry-based learning approached05133
Planning research01614
Working in the field02514
Conducting research01614
Being mentored by your advisor0498
Participating in the online community4980
Gathering, analyzing, and managing data01515
Problem solving02415

Q14. Please indicate how often you have interacted with the following types of people in the past year.

 NeverOnce a year or lessOnce every three months or lessOnce a month or lessOnce a week or lessMore than once a week
Other undergraduates at my institution233355
Students in my lab0000318
Other graduate students at my institution1004610
Students from other institutions in the US236631
Students from minority serving institutions346602
Students from institutions outside the US745212
My advisor0011514
Researchers at my institution120594
Researchers from minority serving institutions736230
Researchers from other institutions in the US519420
Researchers outside of the US773220
Researchers from businesses and/or private companies1062210

Q15. Please indicate what was the most prevalent topic of your interactions with your contemporaries?

 Class assignments/ classes in generalTrouble shooting researchCollaborations (i.e. working on a research project)SocialMentoring/ being mentoredInterpreting research resultsTheory of genetics or breedingJob prospects and professional networkingOther
My mentee533152002
Students in my lab3410301000
Other graduate students at my institution753600000
Students from other institutions in the US056700012
Students from minority serving institutions334700013
Students from institutions outside the US0511000005
My advisor065063100
Researchers at my institution164421102
Researchers from minority serving institutions153511203
Researchers from other institutions in the US144502113
Researchers outside of the US152802003
Researchers from businesses and/or private companies123511053

Q16. What is your gender?

Prefer Not To Answer1

Q17. Are you a US citizen?


Q18. Is English your primary language?


Q19. How many years have you been funded as a graduate student by the WheatCAP grant?

  • Less than 1 year: 7
  • 1 year: 9
  • 2 years: 2
  • 3 years: 1
  • 4 years: 0
  • 5 years: 1

Q20. How can we improve the WheatCAP education program?

  • Continue to offer online resources and workshops to help students better understand their field as well as learn how to solve problems that may arise in their research projects.
  • Collaborative activities outside of our research. Not a project but maybe fun prompts like “Where do you see food security in 100 years and the role of plant breeding”.
  • By interacting with other students and sharing the knowledge i know to them and how we work to solve a problem.
  • Keep pushing advisors/researchers to mentor and teach graduate students!
  • I am excited for opportunities to meet other graduate students
  • Greater focus on utilizing whole genome assembly resources
  • Train students to apply for grants.
  • I may answer it accurately later.
  • Providing more workshops
  • More training sessions

Q21. Suggestions for future education activities?

  • Bring in reps of CIMMYT, other companies/organizations that are potential employers so we can be set up for future job opportunities!
  • Workshops on different topics such as writing grant proposals, GS, HTP, breeding methods, and so one.
  • Inviting speakers from CIMMYT, John Innes, CSIRO or others could give new perspective to students.
  • Fun prompts in breakout rooms almost like a panel so we can hear from different students.
  • Seminar every week where one student give a presentation about his research work
  • Wheat quality, and the different market classes across the US
  • once a month journal club
  • More training workshop.
  • not now
  • see Q20