Potential Impact of COVID-19 Disruptions on the Next Generation of Vision Scientists.
Importance: Emerging vision scientists who have yet to be awarded their first independent funding may have their research careers disproportionately affected by early COVID-19-related disruptions. In September 2020, the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research convened a panel of 22 such scientists (nominated by their academic institutions) to communicate to the US Congress about the importance of vision research. As part of the effort, interviews were conducted with scientists about the effect of the pandemic on their research. Observations: Qualitative areas of adverse consequences from the early months of COVID-19 disruptions included striking interruptions of patient-based research, limits on other types of clinical research, loss of research time for scientists with young children (especially women), challenges with animal colonies and cell cultures, impediments to research collaborations, and loss of training time. Conclusions and Relevance: The early months during the COVID-19 pandemic increased career stress on many early-stage investigators in the vision field and delayed (and may potentially derail) their ability to attract their first independent research funding grant. As a result, federal and private granting agencies may need to take these factors into account to retain talented, early-stage vision researchers.
Jorkasky, J; Davis, M; Lee, PP
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