PhD Survey

Dear Scientist/Engineer

Your participation in a survey on making funding proposals and tenders more effective.

I would like to invite you to participate in the study entitled “Using Plain Language for more effective interdisciplinary engineering communication”. The purpose of this study is to develop viable Plain Languages guidelines and ways to assist scientists/engineers in effectively communicating interdisciplinary technical information. Your participation will assist in determining the effectiveness and readability of texts.

My name is Antoinique van Staden ( I am conducting research for a PhD in English at the University of Pretoria under the supervision of Dr Idette Noomé, who can be reached at 0124203379 or for further information.

The aim of this study is to explore whether and how applying Plain Language principles to funding proposals and technical documents such as tenders can help scientists/engineers to communicate their work more effectively to an interdisciplinary panel of experts. The procedure consists of a survey on demographic information (which will not identify you personally) followed by a few questions on how you feel about working with language practitioners and examples of original texts and texts rewritten in Plain Language to test your preferences. The survey should take 10-20 minutes to complete.

The deadline to complete the survey is 20 April 2020. To participate in the survey, click on the link below, or copy the link into your browser:

Your participation in this study is voluntary. Refusal to participate will involve no penalty. You have the right to withdraw from the study at any time. Any information you provide will be kept completely anonymous. I will ensure that no information you provide can be linked to your responses. You are also assured that only the researcher and supervisor will have access to the data, and that the data will be stored securely, in accordance with the policy of the University of Pretoria. Surveymonkey's security policy can be found at the following link (separate from the survey):

Please note that you are under no obligation to answer any questions that you are not comfortable with. The findings of the study can be made available to you on request after completion of the study.

The homepage of the survey includes a section indicating your informed consent to participate in the survey. Your participation will make a valuable contribution to better understanding of interdisciplinary engineering communication.

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