The pandemic has raised the profile of researchers and highlighted a need for research capacity that can be quickly put into action. What that will mean over the longer term however needs some consideration. COVID researchers are working day and night and facing burnout. Non-COVID researchers and their projects are in danger of falling behind in data collection or losing long term funding completely. What happens to crucial environmental research?
All this comes at a time when academic budgets were already facing cuts and research funding was under pressure.
We can be optimistic and look forward to some normalization as the most critical COVID research milestones are passed. The bigger questions are whether research can continue using the same old formula, and are we prepared to maintain a bigger or more flexible research infrastructure ready for the next outbreak.
Sylviane Duval has a long history of working with researchers to help with grant applications, communication, and knowledge transfer. She is a Co-founder of the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization and a member of Evidence for Democracy’s Network of Experts. Her online workshop on Connecting People and Science in the Disinformation Age
runs next week.
Sylviane is also working with some of Canada’s Genomics Enterprise funded researchers who are compiling project applications right now, so I decided to talk with her about what they are having to cope with in a world suddenly focused on science.