Help Needed for Survey of (Natural/Medical/Social) Scientists

Today I want to ask you to contribute your perspective on sex/gender and other types of classification of human subjects in your research on behalf of my Berlinian colleague Diana Schellenberg (psychologist). Please find her call for participants for her study below. (And PLEASE take the time to support her research, since it’s very important from a meta-science point of view; besides that, she asked me to post this announcement on my weblog, so it’s also about my being able to motivate readers to participate—reimbursement with chocolate and gratitude is guaranteed if you let me know that you completed the survey.)

Dear Tabea,

As you may recall, I am writing my dissertation on sex/gender in empirical research. Part of the thesis is concerned with the views and methods that medical, psychological and neuroscientific researchers employ when conceptualizing and operationalizing sex/gender in their studies. I am currently conducting an online survey to obtain as many perspectives as possible from researchers of various backgrounds and from all over the world.

I would greatly appreciate your input and would like to cordially invite you to participate in the 45- to 60-minute survey that can be spread out over several sessions. I would also greatly appreciate if you were to recommend the survey to your colleagues.

Please be assured that, although I personalized this e-mail, the survey is anonymous and involves many participants, so I will not know who follows the link below and participates in the study.

You can find the survey here.

If you would like some additional information, please find it in the recruitment letter below this e-mail and feel free to contact me at any time.



My PhD thesis1 is concerned with sex/gender assessment in empirical research. In a first step, I would like to learn about researchers’ sex/gender-related perspectives and methods.

I am inviting empirical researchers
– from the natural, social and life sciences (e.g. medicine, psychology, neuroscience, biology, sociology and related fields)
– who conduct research with human participants, in which participant sex/gender has ever played any role (e.g., related to equipment, sample descriptions, research questions, and/or any type of data analysis)
– from anywhere in the world
to take part in a survey that
– takes about 45-60 minutes to complete (several short sessions possible)
– can be paused and returned to via personalized hyperlink
– will be analyzed descriptively (no attempts to draw causal conclusions from your answers).

Sex/gender does not have to be your research focus. Even if sex/gender plays a minor role in your research (e.g., you solely use it to describe your sample), your participation is extremely valuable.

The project is intended to be as transparent as possible, and I am interested in your honest opinions and methods regarding sex/gender in your research, so please be assured that the survey is anonymous and does not contain any deceptive or experimental elements. A similar survey will be conducted with persons, who are likely to be in the role of research participants (“potential study participants”).

If you would like to participate in the survey, please follow this link.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at

Thank you for your time and support.

Best regards,
Diana Schellenberg, Dipl.-Psych.
Department of Educational Psychology
Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

  1. I am conducting my PhD project at Technische Universität Berlin. My supervisors are Prof. Angela Ittel (Technische Universität Berlin); Dr. Anelis Kaiser (University of Bern), and Prof. Kerstin Palm (Humboldt University of Berlin). []

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