The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early career researcher activity, development, career, and well-being: the state of the art
AuthorLokhtina, Irina A.
Lambrechts, Agata Agnieszka
McGinn, Michelle K.
van der Weijden, Inge
early career researcher
Journal titleStudies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractDESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH. This is a systematic literature review of English-language peer-reviewed studies published 2020–2021, which provided empirical evidence of the impact of the pandemic on early career researcher (ECR) activity and development. The search strategy involved (a) online databases (Scopus, Web of Science, and Overton); (b) well-established higher education journals (based on Scopus classification), and (c) references in the retained articles (snowballing). The final sample included 11 papers. PURPOSE. The aim of this paper is to identify the documented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on ECR activity, development, career prospects, and well-being. FINDINGS. The evidence shows that ECRs have been affected in terms of (a) research activity, (b) researcher development, (c) career prospects, and (d) well-being. Although many negative consequences were identified, some promising learning practices have arisen; however, these opportunities were not always fully realised. The results raise questions about differential effects across fields and possible long-term consequences where some fields and some scholars may be worse off due to priorities established as societies struggle to recover. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS. There is a need for revised institutional and national policies to ensure that sufficient measures are implemented to support ECRs' research work in a situation where new duties and chores were added during the pandemic. ORIGINALITY/VALUE. This paper provides insights into the impacts of the initial societal challenges of the pandemic on ECRs across disciplines that may have long-lasting effects on their academic development and well-being.
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