Pandemic piles pressure on junior academics as universities forced to make redundancies
Before Covid-19 struck, Australia’s early to mid-career researchers faced a tough job market. Now, with the pandemic causing university income streams to sputter as international student fees dry up, and the sector facing massive job losses, there is rising alarm that a generation of up-and-coming researchers are at the sharp end of an unfolding crisis.
The full impact of Covid-19 on young researchers was laid bare in a national survey by the Australian Academy of Science’s Early- and Mid-Career Researcher Forum (EMCR), published on 12 August. The survey found strains on mental wellbeing due to factors such as anxiety about unemployment, with the pressure felt most keenly by female researchers who have childcare responsibilities as well as those on non-permanent contracts.