SfN Member Survey Highlights Society’s Strengths, Member Needs
In January 2023, SfN launched a member needs survey that went to all individuals who had a membership between 2018–2022. The goal of the survey was to provide insight on how the needs of SfN’s members have evolved over recent years (especially during and resulting from the pandemic) and whether these needs are being met by the Society’s current programming and membership benefits. When designing the survey, SfN convened an advisory working group comprised of SfN members from across the field and various SfN committees, which ensured input representing a diverse array of geographic, gender, and career stage perspectives.
The survey generated a response rate of approximately 8% or around 3,900 respondents and all individual responses have been kept confidential. The responses represented the breadth of members invited with a roughly 60/40 U.S./non-U.S. split, which reflects SfN’s historic membership splits. The majority of respondents worked in an academic or medical school setting, and 58% were 11+ years out from their final degree.
Below are some key takeaways from the survey:
- Members were overall satisfied with their membership benefits with 83% being somewhat or very satisfied with their membership.
- The SfN annual meeting remains the primary driver of membership. Two of the top three reasons people join SfN are related to the annual meeting — to submit an abstract (54%) and to receive membership discounts (34%).
- 88% of respondents said they were moderately or extremely likely to renew their membership in the future.
- The top three ways people desire to participate in the Society are 1) attend the annual meeting, 2) publish or review for the journals, and 3) view webinars.
- Respondents believe the biggest challenges facing the field in the next five years are 1) lack of adequate funding research, 2) burnout/ culture of overwork, and 3) increasing administrative and regulatory burden.
SfN volunteer committees and SfN staff continue to analyze the data to find opportunities to better meet the needs of the neuroscience community. Insights from the survey will continue to be included and discussed as is pertinent across the Society.