Understanding the impact of Covid 19 lockdown on Higher Degree by Research Candidates

Professor Rebecca Ford – Dean (Research) Griffith University, Science

Professor Rebecca Ford, Dean (Research) and Dr Milton Kiefel, HDR Director at Griffith University have conducted a survey of their HDR Candidates during this current Covid 19 lockdown.

The survey was conducted in April to assist candidates and their supervisors understand how the current Covid19 situation is impacting on candidate’s ability to advance projects in the ways originally planned, including the ability to fulfil thesis milestone obligations.

With a 45% response rate they have a reasonably clear picture of how their students are progressing and the barriers and challenges that students are facing that will impact on achieving project objectives, including upcoming progress milestones.

Dr Milton Kiefel - HDR Director Griffith University Science

Dr Milton Kiefel – HDR Director Griffith University Science

The results show that there is a myriad of impacts being caused by the current lockdown. Not surprising it is more disruptive for students who require access to on-campus facilities or fieldwork as well as those who have been unable to return to Australia.

Although the easing of restrictions will alleviate some concerns there is an understandable feeling of uncertainty.

The ability to maintain effective collaboration with colleagues and research team members is clearly an important part of the HDR process and Griffith Sciences has been able to reach out to students to address their concerns, including those who self-identified as having mental health issues as a direct result of COVID impacts on their thesis progression.

Rebecca and Milton have shared a summary of their survey findings. Download the report.