NIH Survey Asks About Pandemic Impact on Biomedical Workforce

Funding News Edition: April 21, 2021
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In October, NIH surveyed researchers and administrators to gain a greater perspective of how the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted and burdened the biomedical research workforce. Dr. Marie Bernard, deputy director of the National Institute on Aging, and Dr. Michael Lauer, NIH deputy director of extramural research, published study findings in the blog post “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Extramural Scientific Workforce—Outcomes From an NIH-Led Survey.”

Among the outcomes, they highlight:

  • Most researchers (78 percent) reported lower levels of productivity; the remaining researchers (22 percent) reported no change or a higher level of productivity.
  • Most institutions were implementing COVID-19 monitoring measures, but only a minority were providing or expanding facilities for childcare.
  • The majority of researchers who responded said the pandemic would negatively impact their career trajectory (55 percent); a minority said it would not (14 percent).
  • Less than half of researchers who responded felt that their organization was supportive in helping them to remain productive during the pandemic.

The presented information includes breakdowns by respondent demographics, categorized into race/ethnicity, gender identity, and career level. The survey also examined factors that negatively impact mental health, as 42 percent of respondents said their mental/physical health had a substantially negative impact on productivity.

Read the blog post linked above to learn more.

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