Impact of COVID-19 on the career development of Researchers

September 3, 2020 8:30 - 10:00

Location: EuroScience Virtual Room


Since the introduction of lockdowns throughout Europe during March 2020, many researchers have been forced to stop or reduce their research activity. Doctoral Candidates and Postdoctoral Researchers typically have fixed-term work contracts or stipends during which they must carry out their planned research. Some researchers can readily work from home but many require access to lab infrastructure/libraries/archives/hardware/fieldwork to carry out their research as planned. For those with parental responsibilities, the lockdown was accompanied by a closure of schools and childcare that reduced the time available to work from home. Any reduction of the time available to researchers can lead to the original goals of projects becoming unviable and consequently reduce their future career prospects, endanger their PhD graduation or force them to work unpaid. The session presents data on how the crisis has affected early-career researchers and available support from governments, institutions and funders. Several researchers funders have provided costed extensions of contracts, for example, German Research Council (DFG), Wellcome Trust and the French government. Nevertheless, many more research funders have not done so.
This session examines how progress towards equality, diversity and inclusion has been set back as the crisis discriminates against researchers with caring responsibilities, particularly female researchers, and internationally-mobile researchers.

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