Research about Academic Careers in the Covid Era

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In June and July MethodSpace will focus on research-oriented careers including career purpose and goals, skills, as well as expected and unexpected transitions. Find the whole series of posts here.


The typical timeline for getting scholarly work published is fairly lengthy. However, we are already starting to see some preliminary research about ways the Covid pandemic is influencing research and academic life. Here are a few open-access articles. If you know of other resources of value to MethodSpace readers, including blog posts or research in progress, please use the comment area or message me.


Akkermans, J., Richardson, J., & Kraimer, M. (2020). The Covid-19 crisis as a career shock: Implications for careers and vocational behavior.

Abstract. The covid-19 pandemic is a career shock for many people across the globe. In this article, we reflect on how insights from the literature on career shocks can help us understand the career consequences of the pandemic and offer suggestions for future research in this area. In particular, we offer three “key lessons”. The first lesson is that the implications of Covid-19 reflect the dynamic interplay between individual and contextual factors. Here, we argue that although the pandemic was difficult to predict and control, research shows that certain psychological resources – such as career competencies and resilience – could make this career shock more manageable. The second lesson is that the pandemic may have differential implications over time, as suggested by research that has shown the consequences of career shocks to differ between short-term vs. long-term time horizons, and across life- and career stages. The third lesson is that, even though the pandemic is clearly a negatively valenced shock for most people, further into the future it may allow for more positive outcomes. This lesson builds on research showing how negative career shocks have long-term positive consequences for some people. We hope that these insights will inspire both scholars and practitioners to study and understand the work and career implications of Covid-19 as a career shock, as well as to support people in dealing with its consequences.


Chatterjee, A., & Chatterjee, A. (2020, July 6). Managing through uncertain times: A study to understand the effects of conducting socio-academic life online during COVID-19. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/vcbrw

Abstract. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty and disruptions in daily life. It has mandated social distancing and online education. Teens are spending a significant amount of time online and less time on extracurricular activities including team sports, choir/orchestra, and school socials. The cancellation of SAT, the switch to online AP exams, and the Credit/No Credit policy for 2nd-semester all contribute to the uncertainty in teens regarding their future. Our project aims to create a survey that seeks opinions from teens about how they are managing with online socialization, the effectiveness of the online school, and stress levels. Using convenience sampling, adolescents (n = 168) were invited to participate in an anonymous online survey. Participants were asked about the effectiveness of online socializing, online education, hobbies, and extracurriculars to determine stress levels. We looked at models with two dependent stress variables: “low energy, insomnia and headache” and “forgetfulness and disorganization”. We used descriptive, regression, and correlation analysis to assess what thepredictors of anxiety and stress are. Results show that stress levels are highly correlated with online exposure, online schooling, credit/no credit, and home environment. The research focuses on the areas where we can better support teens during lockdown situations by building safer environments for online socialization, and online education.


Corbera, E., Anguelovski, I., Honey-Rosés, J., & Ruiz-Mallén, I. (2020). Academia in the Time of COVID-19: Towards an Ethics of CarePlanning Theory & Practice, 1-9.

Abstract. The global COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people’s work-life balance across the world. For academics, confinement policies enacted by most countries have implied a sudden switch to home-work, a transition to online teaching and mentoring, and an adjustment of research activities. In this article we discuss how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting our profession and how it may change it in the future. We argue that academia must foster a culture of care, help us refocus on what is most important, and redefine excellence in teaching and research. Such re-orientation can make academic practice more respectful and sustainable, now during confinement but also once the pandemic has passed. We conclude providing practical suggestions on how to renew our practice, which inevitably entails re-assessing the social-psychological, political, and environmental implications of academic activities and our value systems.


Góralska, M. (2020). Anthropology from home: Advice on digital ethnography for the pandemic times. 27(1), 46. doi:10.3167/aia.2020.270105

Abstract. The coronavirus pandemic has made ethnographic fieldwork, as traditionally conceived in anthropology, temporarily impossible to conduct. Facing long-term limitations to mobility and physical contact, which will challenge our research practices for the foreseeable future, social anthropology has to adjust to these new circumstances. This article discusses and reflects on what digital ethnography can off er to researchers across the world, providing critical insight into the method and offering advice to beginners in the field. Last, but not least, the article introduces the phrase ‘anthropology from home’ to talk about research in the pandemic times – that is, geographically restricted but digitally enabled.


Teti, M., Schatz, E., & Liebenberg, L. (2020). Methods in the Time of COVID-19: The Vital Role of Qualitative Inquiries. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406920920962

Introduction. COVID-19 is not just a medical pandemic; it is a social event
that is disrupting our social order. … Qualitative inquiries are our best method for capturing social responses to this pandemic.


Utoft, E. H. (2020). ‘All the single ladies’ as the ideal academic in times of Covid‐19?Gender, Work & Organization.

Abstract. Much of what has hitherto been written about women’s lived experiences of the coronavirus pandemic takes their status as mothers and the spouses of men for granted. Skewed care demands on women researchers working from home may translate into individual career disadvantage and cumulative, large-scale gender inequalities in the future,
which is undeniably a serious issue. However, the narrative that single, childfree women must currently, by contrast, beunconcernedly enjoying a surge of productivity needs to be nuanced. Therefore, with this article, I autoethnographically discuss how living alone in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic provides its own set of circumstances and is hardly problem-free, which affects how one can deal with issues of academic productivity and work–life balance. Also, I take issue with the premise that our productivity is the golden standard against which we and our worth should be measured while we are living through a global crisis.


Watermeyer, R., Crick, T., Knight, C., & Goodall, J. (2020). COVID-19 and digital disruption in UK universities: afflictions and affordances of emergency online migrationHigher Education, 1.

Abstract. COVID-19 has caused the closure of university campuses around the world and migration of all learning, teaching, and assessment into online domains. The impacts of this on the academic community as frontline providers of higher education are profound. In this article, we report the findings from a survey of n = 1148 academics working in universities in the United Kingdom (UK) and representing all the major disciplines and career
hierarchy. Respondents report an abundance of what we call ‘afflictions’ exacted upon their role as educators and in far fewer yet no less visible ways ‘affordances’ derived from their rapid transition to online provision and early ‘entry-level’ use of digital pedagogies. Overall, they suggest that online migration is engendering significant dysfunctionality
and disturbance to their pedagogical roles and their personal lives. They also signpost online migration as a major challenge for student recruitment, market sustainability, an academic labour-market, and local economies.

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