The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early career researcher activity, development, career, and well-being: the state of the art

Irina A. Lokhtina, Montserrat Castelló, Agata Agnieszka Lambrechts, Erika Löfström, Michelle K. McGinn, Isabelle Skakni, Inge van der Weijden

Research output: Indexed journal article Reviewpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to identify the documented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on early career researcher (ECR) activity, development, career prospects and well-being. Design/methodology/approach: This is a systematic literature review of English language peer-reviewed studies published between 2020 and 2021, which provided empirical evidence of the impact of the pandemic on ECR activity and development. The search strategy involved online databases (Scopus, Web of Science and Overton); well-established higher education journals (based on Scopus classification) and references in the retained articles (snowballing). The final sample included 11 papers. Findings: The evidence shows that ECRs have been affected in terms of research activity, researcher development, career prospects and 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-265
Number of pages21
JournalStudies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Academic career
  • COVID-19
  • Early career researcher
  • Researcher activity
  • Researcher development
  • Well-being

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early career researcher activity, development, career, and well-being: the state of the art'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this