Opportunities Presented by COVID-19 Pandemic in Academic Research

Greater Public Investment in Future Research.

While the pandemic has wreaked havoc with research timelines and raised questions about possible funding sources, there have been some positive outcomes as well. ‚’One big upside has been that public trust in science and its important role in our society has increased. This recognition should result in greater public investment in research in the years to come.

Greater Spirit of Collaboration:

Collaboration between two or more institutions often becomes bogged down by discussions about who owns the intellectual property stemming from research projects. During COVID, that seems to have almost disappeared, as Universities have become more open with each other, and data are being shared for the public good ‚- leading to a more collaborative way of working. Seeing data flow between institutions without contractual barriers or IP discussions has been really heartening.‚’

A New Way of Thinking:

The pandemic has prompted university leaders to rethink traditional structures and consider new ways of doing things that are better for everyone involved. For instance, the pandemic has revealed that it can be harder for women with young children to be as productive working from home. ‚’When you realize how different groups are being affected disproportionately by the pandemic, that causes you to think about fairness in general and how to address structural barriers that we didn‚’t know existed before the virus. Universities traditionally have been slow to change. Before COVID, shifting everything online would have taken two years and numerous committees, but was made possible in two weeks.‚’ The pandemic gives universities a chance to improve how the respond to challenges going forward, an opportunity to reset completely. That‚’s very attractive.




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