Research productivity and gender in the time of COVID

How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted research productivity?

A recent story in The Guardian explores how female academics are struggling to keep up with teaching and care-giving responsibilities during lockdown. According to the report, women in higher education say that prioritizing their students’ and family’s needs during this crisis has meant allowing research projects, article submissions, and funding proposals to fall by the wayside.

Journal editors also report that the number of submissions from women have dropped dramatically since the crisis began — a worrying situation as publications are key to promotion and tenure at many universities. The same is true for raising money for new research; without time to apply for funding, new research by women may be negatively impacted.

According to The Guardian, “professor James Wilsdon, director of the new Research on Research Institute based at the Wellcome Trust, worries that the coronavirus is skewing a playing field that wasn’t ever level in the first place. ‘We have to be very cautious that we are not privileging those who are able to use the coronavirus situation as time to race ahead of their peers, who are held back not by talent or aspiration but by the need to do homeschooling and put three meals a day on the table,’ he says.”

CSWS is highly concerned about these issues and is looking ahead to put in place systems of support for our constituents over the coming academic year. We’ll be announcing more about these measures in the coming weeks and months.

Meanwhile, we would appreciate hearing from you — How has the current crisis impacted your research? What would you like from us to help support you through these challenging times? Please feel free to leave your comments in the window below, or send your thoughts and suggestions to CSWS is here for you!