The survey, commissioned by the Research Steering Group – chaired by Professor Patrick Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and established by the University’s Research & Innovation Committee to oversee COVID-19 response planning over the summer relating to our research environment – ran through July and received approximately 1,000 responses.
The Research Steering Group has already used the findings to identify a critical need for the University to take steps to support, as soon as possible, the most affected researchers back towards increased research productivity.
Steps already being taken to address feedback from the survey include:
A new, temporary COVID-19 Rebuilding Research Momentum Fund with support from the John Fell Fund will provide small awards to help support those staff whose research productivity has been most severely hit. The types of disruption experienced by researchers as revealed through the survey has informed the eligibility and selection criteria of the new fund, the details of which are being finalised and will be announced on the fund website in the coming days.
A new Research Staff Hub will be launched, pioneered by Professor David Gavaghan as the University Academic Advocate for Research Staff, presenting a new opportunity and resource to build a more inclusive researcher community. Working with divisions and departments, the Hub will act as a focus for researcher communications. Although the creation of the Hub has itself been delayed by the pandemic, appointing of its first Head is underway and they will take up this new role in the coming months.
As the academic year commences, Research and Innovation Committee will pick up further actions arising from the survey, and how the University can help to mitigate pandemic impacts on the researcher community.
You can read more and access the full survey report here.