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Bereavement during employment in Higher Education (UK): Survey Questions

educational resource
posted on 2024-01-17, 15:16 authored by Erica BorgstromErica Borgstrom, Sharon Mallon, Kerry Jones, Claire Harris

As a group of academics at The Open University interested in bereavement research, we designed and conducted a survey of people employed within Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) within the UK to understand staff knowledge and experiences of bereavement policies (including compassionate or contingency leave) and bereavement support. The data was used to generate a benchmark about these issues in UK HEIs. The survey was run by Open Thanatology at The Open University under the supervision of Dr Erica Borgstrom. The project team includes Dr Sharon Mallon, Dr Kerry Jones, and Claire A Harris. The survey take around 10 minutes to complete.

The survey includes questions about:

  • participant demographics
  • participant's knowledge about bereavement policy at their HEI
  • filtering question: if the participant had a bereavement whilst employed at an HEI
  • participant's bereavement experiences whilst employed (including questions about support from management and colleagues, leave taken, and workload).

The report based on the first survey can be found here:


Research Group

  • Open Thanatology