Math and Science grads to receive retention survey

Where do Brock Faculty of Mathematics and Science graduates end up going once they have their degree in hand? Postdoctoral researcher Nathan Olmstead and Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) want to find out.

Olmstead is heading up a project called “Brain Drain,” which involves sending out a survey to recent Brock graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“We know Niagara’s economy is evolving and the jobs of today are not necessarily the jobs of yesterday,” says Olmstead. “The question of developing, but also retaining, talent for those jobs is top of mind at Niagara Region and across Niagara.”

The survey, which will be emailed in October to those who graduated between 2004 and 2022, seeks to find out if graduates chose to live and work in Niagara or decided to pursue opportunities elsewhere, along with the reasons for them staying in, or leaving, Niagara. The survey wraps up in November.

Olmstead says he plans on producing a report to be shared with officials across various municipalities within Niagara as well as at Brock and Niagara College, among other places.

“The question of talent development and retention has been on the Region’s radar for a while,” says Olmstead. “This is a great opportunity to dive into the issue and understand the data behind it and where Niagara is today.”

The survey is part of a larger project funded by the Wilson Foundation, which formed a multi-year partnership with the NCO last year.

Facilitated by the NCO, the project engages Brock’s scholars and students, along with members of the wider community, to “map key trends in the socioeconomic development of Niagara in a changing world,” says NCO Director and Brock Political Science Professor Charles Conteh.

“The ultimate aim is to shed light on how the region’s changing human talent pool, along with its natural and physical assets and demographic shifts, are positioning it to exploit emerging global opportunities and address challenges in protecting and advancing the socioeconomic welfare of residents,” says Conteh.

For more information about the survey, contact Olmstead at

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