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Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on PhD students

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An Open University (OU) COVID-19 Rapid Response funding scheme is supporting research which considers the impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing and progress of PhD students.

Dr Maria Aristeidou, a Lecturer in Technology Enhanced Learning at the OU is leading a collaboration between the OU’s Institute of Educational Technology (IET) and University College London (UCL) School of Management, which has received just over £6,000 to support this research, which will also aim to better understand how PhD students’ characteristics (eg gender, age, etc.) may relate to their research progress and well-being during the Covid-19 disruption period. The project has also benefited from a further £3,000 contributed by UCL School of Management and IET.

Dr Aristeidou said:

“Our research examines the wellbeing of doctoral candidates internationally during a global pandemic.  We are creating a new database on the impact of the pandemic on a precious segment of the population, doctoral researchers. From this, we will understand the impact of the pandemic on doctoral researchers and also learn which strategies are mobilised by them to overcome this. This research offers a unique opportunity to advise governments, policymakers and the higher education sector leadership.”

The survey, which resulted in 2,078 responses,1,780 of which were from UK-based PhD students, began in July 2020 and has now ended and the data is being analysed. Findings will be reported at the end of October.

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