Help Scientific Researchers Get Back To Work

I think the government need to back current scientific researchers and PhD student, to help them to get back to work on their research. For all of us, apart from those who are working on coronavirus research, our work in the lab has been entirely stopped. While COVID is of utmost important, so are many other clinical trials and research related to other diseases. As researcher, many of us are working on vital therapeutics for conditions that many suffer with. For example, examining the biological basis for mental health conditions usch as schizophrenia, and trying to find therapeutic interventions to relieve symptoms. It would be great to see the government work with Universities to work on how to safely get us all back to work on this critical pieces of research - that may include staggered working, rota systems and social distancing measures. It would also be great to see the government backing PhD students who are currently in a situation where they have lost a lot of funded time and aren't getting any indication of whether this will be extended. Many PhD students feel entirely lost and anxious. This is exasperated by the lack of clarity from senior management at Universities. For example, University fo Glasgow MVLS fund many doctoral students, and they have not indicated whether they will help student financially by extending their funding in order for them to complete research which was halted by the COVID-19 lockdown. It would be brilliant to see the government shine a light on this, and ask Universities (University of Glasgow, and all others around Scotland) to treat PhD researchers properly and fairly with regards to the loss of funded time. This means we can all complete the vital medical research which we conduct.

Why the contribution is important

This idea is important because all medical research is critical. Research into all chronic conditions which is conducted at Universities and research institutes has had to stop due to lockdown. This means we can't work on clinical trials or investigate new medical therapeutics that can benefit patients. This research ranges from mental health conditions, neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular diseases and cancers. We all appreciate that COVID-19 research is vital. However, we mustn't forget about the importance of other medical research across various disciplines. At present. this sort of research is suffering and, in most cases, at a standstill. Scientists need to be able to get back to work in order to help the broader picture in terms of public health. With regards to the funding of research and PhD doctoral students. It's important that the government pressure Universities to treat everyone fairly with regards to loss of funded time. Nobody should be disadvantaged by this, as it impact the quality of research and career prospects too. Other funding bodies such as UKRI and Wellcome have announced that they will provide an extra 6 months of funded time to final year PhD researchers. The University of Glasgow and other Universities who fund students should be encouraged to make similar moves, for the fairness of all researcher opportunities and research outcomes.

by ashleighw on May 05, 2020 at 09:59PM

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