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Survey Results: The impact of COVID-19 on Irish research and innovation

25 June 2020

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PDF icon Report: The impact of COVID-19 on Irish research and innovation

In response to the Covid 19 pandemic, the Royal Irish Academy conducted a members survey to establish the impact the current crisis is having on research and innovation and to determine the key actions government should take to diminish any negative consequences for the sector.

The Academy issued a members survey in late April 2020 to ask how the crisis was affecting their research, any steps they were taking to mitigate it and what they believed needed to be done to protect the research and innovation sector in the short to medium term future. We received a large volume of responses from all disciplines with the majority of respondents expressing deep concern for how the crisis might negatively impact both their research and the research sector as a whole.

Further issues that the respondents drew attention to were the impact of this crisis on the career progression on early career researchers, Ireland’s capacity to provide costed extensions for fixed-term contract researchers and the ways in which laboratory research would be affected by this temporary pause.

The survey also covered potential solutions and pathways forward for protecting research and innovation from the negative impact of the crisis including:

  1. Allowing higher-education institutions to enable a phased return to laboratory and library research.
  2. Providing costed extensions to fixed-term researchers through specific purpose additional funding allocations to research funders.
  3. Enhanced government investment in e-infrastructures particularly online teaching and learning to future proof third level education provision.

Further recommendations and the full results of the survey can be viewed in the report.

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