Summary of two questionnaires designed to understand the research climate for Bioimage Analysts in the UK between 2016-2019
Background: Bioimage analysis is an emerging field within the global research community. It is an interdisciplinary discipline which requires knowledge of biology, image analysis and biophysics. This report represents the analysis and discussion of two questionnaires run by the Image Analysis Focused Interest Group of the Royal Microscopical Society (IAFIG-RMS). The goal of this document, which represents the analysis and interpretation of these questionnaires, is to highlight the current research climate for Bioimage Analysts in the UK and discusses some of the problems and possibilities for this emerging discipline. Methods: Two questionnaires (2016 and 2019) were developed and sent to researchers in the UK using mailing lists and forums specific for microscopy and image analysis. The participants were asked a range of questions spanning different aspects of their work and funding. Respondents were collected and analysed using Jupyter notebooks. Results: The analysis of the responses from these questionnaires highlighted many interesting issues and aspects of this community. It is clear that a major issue for the community is the nature of the funding and the long-term career possibilities available. Furthermore, the issue of independence is discussed with clear evidence that researchers would like to pursue their own research with the option of dedicated time to support the research of others. Conclusions: It is our hope that this study will help catalyse funding opportunities which help support this emerging discipline and help it establish a unique identity for itself within the research community in the UK and beyond.