How the Coronavirus Affects Research at Colleges Worldwide

How the Coronavirus Affects Research at Colleges Worldwide

The coronavirus crisis may have halted classes at many colleges and universities when their campuses closed earlier this year. But that is not the only problem the virus has created for the higher education community worldwide. In addition to study programs, there is other important work taking place at these schools: academic research. Even with some institutions now re-opening, their laboratories and the people who work in them may face restrictions on research. Suzanne Ortega is president of the Council of Graduate Schools, a not-for-profit group based in the United States. The council provides support to graduate school education and research projects. Ortega told VOA that just like for everyone else, the sudden, unexpected spread of the coronavirus came as a shock to U.S. academic institutions. Luckily, many schools have been developing crisis communication and risk management plans for years. Some acted quickly, deciding not just to send students home and move classes online. They also decided which research projects to continue and which ones could be delayed. “What happened at the institutional level really trickled down to the lab and the departmental level,” said Ortega. The government agencies responsible for financing most academic research in the U.S. also announced action. The National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation extended time limits for when researchers need to show the results of their ongoing projects. The NIH and NSF, as the two agencies are known, also advised researchers on what to do in this situation. Some academics even decided to take their ...
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