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58% expect longer to complete training 45% experiment setbacks or lost resources 28% furloughs or salary cuts 82% expect impact funding

As COVID-19—the disease caused by the novel coronavirus—has sickened millions and killed more than 155,000 people in the U.S., the virus has also halted critical physiological research and shuttered labs across the nation. This is according to nearly 100 researchers who responded to an informal poll conducted by the APS. Survey respondents reported furloughs, layoffs and delays in research completion. The immediate fallout is vast, and the effects could be long-lasting.

Fifty-eight percent of trainee respondents said lab closures due to COVID-19 may increase the time it takes them to complete their training. Forty-five percent of respondents reported setbacks in long-term, time-sensitive experiments or loss of specialized research resources.

“Due to the immediate shutdown of the lab, we were forced to abandon time-sensitive animal experiments in which we had already invested a number of months in data acquisition and interventions,” said one researcher. “We will need to restart these experiments, but are unsure of how this work will be funded.”

Among other findings:

  • 28% of faculty-level researchers have experienced furloughs or salary reductions.
  • 60% of researchers have experienced delays in recruiting new students, staff and postdoctoral researchers due to closures and hiring freezes.
  • 82% of faculty-level researchers believe that coronavirus-related closures will negatively impact their ability to apply for grants and maintain continuous funding.

View survey results broken out by question, below.

 

Respondent Career Stage

Please indicate your career stage so you can be directed to the section of the survey with the relevant questions:
A pie chart representing the data in the table to the left
Career StagePercent (N=97)
Undergraduate Student6% (N=6)
Graduate Student0% (N=0)
Postdoctoral Fellow18% (N=17)
Other (Trainee)1% (N=1)
PI/faculty member/lecturer
(Primary role is educator)
16% (N=15)
PI/faculty member/staff scientist in an academic or non-academic setting
(Primary role is researcher)
57% (N=55)
Other (Non-trainee) 3% (N=3)

Trainee Responses

Do you anticipate that closures related to COVID-19 will increase the time it will take to complete your training?
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AnswerPercent (N=19)
Yes 58% (N=11)
No 21% (N=4)
Not Sure 21% (N=4)
Have coronavirus-related closures impacted your ability to apply for outside funding, such as grants or fellowships?
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AnswerPercent (N=18)
Yes, it has impacted my plans39% (N=7)
No, I am still able to apply 22% (N=4)
I was not planning to apply for any grants or fellowships 39% (N=7)
Has your salary been cut or have you been furloughed from your current position?
A pie chart representing the data in the table to the left
AnswerPercent (N=18)
Yes6% (N=1)
No94% (N=17)
Have coronavirus-related closures caused cancellation of conferences or meetings where you were scheduled to present your research?
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AnswerPercent (N=18)
Yes83% (N=15)
No17% (N=3)
Have coronavirus-related closures affected your career plans?
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AnswerPercent (N=19)
Yes32% (N=6)
No37% (N=7)
Not Sure32% (N=6)
Have coronavirus-related closures impacted your ability to seek new positions, such as internships, fellowships or jobs?
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AnswerPercent (N=18)
Yes28% (N=5)
No61% (N=11)
Not Sure11% (N=2)
Have budget cuts affected your ability to maintain your association memberships?
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AnswerPercent (N=19)
Yes11% (N=2)
No89% (N=17)
Do you believe that home and family responsibilities due to the COVID-19 restrictions will negatively impact your career progress?
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AnswerPercent (N=18)
Yes50% (N=9)
No33% (N=6)
Not Sure17% (N=3)

Principal Investigator Responses

Have COVID-19 disruptions led to damage or loss of specialized research resources such as animal or cell lines or prematurely ended long-term, time-sensitive experiments?
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AnswerPercent (N=65)
Yes45% (N=29)
No51% (N=33)
N/A5% (N=3)
Has your salary been cut or have you been furloughed from your current position?
A pie chart representing the data in the table to the left
AnswerPercent (N=65)
Yes28% (N=18)
No72% (N=47)
Have you had to lay off skilled staff from your lab, been unable to hire staff (including undergraduate students), or has your workforce been reduced due to coronavirus-related restrictions?
A pie chart representing the data in the table to the left
AnswerPercent (N=65)
Yes49% (N=32)
No51% (N=33)
Have coronavirus-related closures affected your ability to recruit new graduate students, staff, and/or postdocs to your laboratory?
A pie chart representing the data in the table to the left
AnswerPercent (N=65)
Yes60% (N=39)
No17% (N=11)
Not Sure23% (N=15)
Have budget cuts affected your ability to maintain your association memberships?
A pie chart representing the data in the table to the left
AnswerPercent (N=65)
Yes26% (N=17)
No74% (N=48)
Not Sure0% (N=0)
Do you believe that home and family responsibilities due to the COVID-19 related restrictions will negatively impact your career progress?
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AnswerPercent (N=65)
Yes34% (N=22)
No40% (N=26)
Not Sure26% (N=17)
Do you believe that COVID-19 will affect your ability to earn tenure at your current institution?
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AnswerPercent (N=64)
Yes, it will make it harder to achieve tenure14% (N=9)
Yes, but accommodations are in place to account for lost research time17% (N=11)
Not Sure11% (N=7)
No16% (N=10)
N/A42% (N=27)
Do you believe that coronavirus-related closures will negatively impact your ability to apply for grants and/or maintain continuous funding?
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AnswerPercent (N=65)
Yes82% (N=53)
No3% (N=2)
Not Sure15% (N=10)
Have coronavirus-related closures impacted funding decisions for grants you have applied for that were or are under review?
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AnswerPercent (N=65)
Yes19% (N=12)
No43% (N=28)
Not Sure39% (N=25)

Respondent Demographics

Are you a current APS member?
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AnswerPercent (N=83)
Yes92% (N=76)
No5% (N=4)
Not currently, but I have been in the past4% (N=3)
What is your ethnicity?
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AnswerPercent (N=83)
Hispanic or Latino11% (N=9)
Not Hispanic or Latino83% (N=69)
I prefer not to answer6% (N=5)
What is your race?
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AnswerPercent (N=83)
American Indian or Alaska Native1% (N=1)
Asian10% (N=8)
Black or African American2% (N=2)
Caucasian/white76% (N=63)
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander1% (N=1)
I prefer not to answer6% (N=5)
Other4% (N=3)
What is your gender?
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AnswerPercent (N=83)
Female58% (N=48)
Male39% (N=32)
I prefer not to answer4% (N=3)
View a Summary of the COVID-19 Impact Survey Results.  A graphic of key results: 58% expect longer to complete training 45% experiment setbacks or lost resources 28% furloughs or salary cuts 82% expect impact funding

 

 

COVID-19 Resources

 COVID-19 Info Page
Curated page of journal articles, news articles and other information to keep you informed.
 COVID-19 Survey Results
Responses to an APS survey on the impact of the pandemic on physiologists
 COVID-19 Federal Agency Resources
Collection of funding and regulatory guidance pages.
 Idle Labs
A featured article from The Physiologist Magazine on how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted physiology labs and research.

 

 

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