Listening to Trainee Concerns and Suggestions During COVID-19: a Report from the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA)
Keywords:COVID-19, trainees, students, neurodegenerative, survey
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to research activities across Canada. The Training and Capacity Building (T&CB) Program of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) conducted a survey be-tween May 11th, 2020 and May 19th, 2020 to identify the chal-lenges faced by CCNA trainees because of the pandemic and how to best support trainees in response to those challenges.
Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers working under the supervision of CCNA investigators (n=113) were invited to complete a web-based survey of 13 questions. Trainees were asked questions about the impact of COVID-19 on their research activities, degree progression, funding status, and suggestions for support from the T&CB Program during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of 41 trainees responded to the survey (response rate: 36.3%); 83% of respondents reported that they experienced changes to their research activities as a result of COVID-19, and 50% anticipated that their degree completion would be delayed. Respondents requested information from the T&CB Program on funding for non-COVID-19 projects, alternative datasets, and short educational workshops.
The majority of CCNA trainees surveyed experienced sig-nificant changes to their research activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The T&CB Program responded by switching to online programming and facilitating remote research. Further engagement with trainees is needed to ensure continued progress of research in age-related neurodegenera-tive disease in Canada post-pandemic.
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