In the coming days, the SDRC are publishing a series of blogs featuring Early Career Researchers who are sharing how COVID has impacted their research and career prospects. The first blogs in this series also featured in our COVID Research Impact Report which we published in April. Read the full COVID Research Impact Report here. 

Today’s blog is by Sarah Gregory, PhD Student and Study Coordinator at the University of Edinburgh

I am a part time PhD student and part time study coordinator at the University of Edinburgh. The studies I
coordinate are suspended due to COVID-19 as they involve face-to-face contact with participants. This in
turn means the studies will take longer to achieve and the data from them will not be available for analysis
as quickly as we hoped. In my PhD I use secondary data to explore my thesis question, and alongside these
anticipated delays of data release, one of the large databases I have applied to has currently suspended data
sharing until after COVID-19. I have a grant application under review but the scope of the call was extended
to particularly encourage COVID-19 applications so I worry that our application will no longer be
considered on a level playing field.

Cancelled conferences also reduce the ability to present work, find out  about the latest research in the field and develop your professional network. Longer term I am concerned that dementia research will fall out of favour for public funding as we recover from this pandemic, or that charities that currently support us with grants will not have the ability to do so due to their own loss of income, which will affect job security and progression opportunities. From a wider societal perspective I am worried that dementia is no longer in the public focus and important research work in this field is currently side-lined.

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If you are an Early Career Researcher that would like to share how COVID has Impacted your work, please get in touch at sdrc@alzscot.org