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Research: Career Development

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL15096, tabled on 20 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability of early career researchers to continue in their research career.

Answered on

28 April 2021

We are aware of the enormous pressures that the pandemic has had on researchers and doctoral student’s ability to conduct their research. The Government has made available £280 million of funding to sustain UKRI and National Academy grant-funded research and fellowships affected by COVID-19 through costed grant extensions and other measures.

UKRI has made over £62 million of financial support available to students most impacted by the pandemic. It is estimated that this funding is available for up to 12,000 students. This will go some way in ensuring students at the beginning of their academic career will obtain their doctorates in good time and stead.

Most research environments have now adapted to the pandemic, adjusting data-collection plans for their projects, and also operating in a covid-safe way for staff on site. We understand some researchers have been disrupted more than others, and we expect institutions and funders to work with them on a case-by-case basis.

We will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 and UKRI continues to listen and respond carefully as the situation evolves.