GSA has become aware of the issues that have impacted many graduate researchers in the first half of 2020, with impacts in the latter half of the year for their research still unclear. GSA are releasing a report entitled “Covid-19 Support for Graduate Researchers” to go into detail about these broader impacts.
GSA has sought input from graduate researchers using the following channels:
- An initial meeting of graduate researchers convened to discuss their concerns.
- Two online “Town Hall” events for graduate researchers (30/06/20 and 2/07/20).
- Responses to the “Tell us how COVID-19 is affecting you” form on our website.
- Calls to our 1800 number to discuss graduate concerns.
- Input from graduate student representatives and their networks, namely the three Graduate Leaders Forums
The campus closure and travel restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many graduate researchers unable to perform data collection and/or having to substantially modify their project/research. Ethics application approval times have been delayed, impacting on some students’ research programs.
The economic impacts of Covid-19 has led to many students with lost income and employabilities, often with cascading life consequences. Graduate parents have had to take time away from study for home-schooling and additional caring responsibilities. Additionally, we have heard from numerous graduate researchers who have had difficulties adjusting to working from home, or who have experienced mental health issues during this challenging time.
This report goes into detail about five issues concerning Graduate Researchers, offering recommendations to the institution.