Online survey about the image of HZB

Friendly in contact, innovative and cosmopolitan – those are attributes people associate with HZB, according to a survey. Another finding: Greater accessibility to ordinary people interested in science would be good.

What do outsiders really think about HZB? Because the answer to this question is crucial for HZB’s communication strategy, the department “Communication” prompted an online survey through the market research institute HOPP. 301 people took part in the survey – among them users of the HZB large-scale facilities and cooperation partners, for example. 22 percent come from abroad, above all from Europe and Asia. 64 percent of all surveyed considered HZB to be in good international standing. Only six percent felt that does not apply at all. There was also wide agreement that the descriptions of “innovative” (65 percent) and “cosmopolitan” (55 percent) apply. More than half (57 percent) of all surveyed found that HZB has a good reputation in the region. Only 16 percent deemed the HZB to be “provincial”, while 40 percent said that does not apply at all. Around one quarter of those surveyed, however, still had no clear picture of HZB and could not judge its image. This means there is still a relatively large degree of freedom for shaping the image.

The research profile of HZB is known to two thirds of the survey participants. Certain topics were frequently associated with HZB in particular: energy materials research (64 percent), materials research in general (62 percent), photovoltaics (61 percent), and research with synchrotron radiation (58 percent) and with neutrons (48 percent). Relatively unknown, by contrast, is research into materials for energy-efficient information technology (30 percent).

77 percent of the survey participants agree that HZB offers a modern scientific infrastructure. 69 percent consider the papers published by HZB researchers in scientific journals to be relevant (although 19 percent felt they could not judge this). Also praised was the friendly contact (77 percent) and quick provision of help when there are concerns and problems (58 percent). HZB received high approval for its services in basic research (77 percent) and the training of young scientists (71 percent).

Around half of those surveyed, however, find that HZB is not yet open enough to the scientifically interested public, even though it sees this as one of its most important duties. 72 percent of participants came across information about HZB in the past six months, most often in the Internet. On the HZB website, the survey participants are looking for information about research topics (43 percent) and jobs (40 percent). They are also looking for information about the large-scale facilities (22 percent), current news (21 percent), and employee contact data (19 percent).

Eight out of ten visitors are essentially satisfied with the content offered online. 65 percent find the website “informative”, 59 percent say it is “appealingly designed”, and 56 percent say it is “clear”. Half of those surveyed were already familiar with HZB from public and scientific events. Direct contact is an especially important means of finding out about research facilities and cooperative partnerships (participants could name more than one source): 62 percent directly approached HZB researchers about these things, while 42 percent learned of cooperation opportunities from scientific events. The HZB website plays a much smaller role in this, at 31 percent. This clearly shows the high significance of personal and interactive communication for establishing an image.