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1.
Front Public Health ; 9: 749627, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775930

ABSTRACT

Background: There is a critical need to address mental health needs across the globe, especially in low and middle-income countries where mental health disparities are pervasive, including among children. The global mental health disparities suggest an imperative for culturally and contextually-congruent mental health services models that expand upon the existing services and interventions for these groups. Rigorous research is a key tool in providing the scientific evidence to inform public policy and practice efforts to effectively address these needs. Yet, there is a limited number of researchers, especially those from diverse backgrounds, who study these issues. In this paper, we describe the "Training LEAD ers to Accelerate Global Mental Health Disparities Research" (LEAD) program, a research training program funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and focused on global mental health disparities research for early career researchers from under-represented minority groups. Methods: The LEAD program is designed as a two-phase training program for advanced pre-doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty from diverse backgrounds in the U.S., including groups underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research, interested in global mental health disparities research. Trainees are matched with mentors and participate in an intensive 12-week program. Discussion: The LEAD program seeks to provide a robust platform for the development, implementation and expansion of evidence-based culturally and contextually-congruent interventions and services models addressing global mental health disparities across the life cycle, especially in low-resource communities in the global context. By producing a sustainable network of well-trained investigators from underrepresented backgrounds, LEAD will potentially contribute to the shared lessons and efforts relevant to addressing global mental health disparities and improving care for vulnerable populations in low-resource settings.


Subject(s)
Global Health , Mental Health , Research Personnel , Child , Humans , Mentors , Minority Groups , Research Personnel/education
2.
Mol Biol Cell ; 33(3): vo1, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1709244

ABSTRACT

Despite substantial investment and effort by federal agencies and institutions to improve the diversity of the professoriate, progress is excruciatingly slow. One program that aims to enhance faculty diversity is the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences. IRACDA supports the training of a diverse cohort of postdoctoral scholars who will seek academic research and teaching careers. The San Diego IRACDA program has trained 109 postdoctoral scholars since its inception in 2003; 59% are women and 63% are underrepresented (UR) Black/African-American, Latinx/Mexican-American, and Indigenous scientists. Sixty-four percent obtained tenure-track faculty positions, including a substantial 32% at research-intensive institutions. However, the COVID-19 pandemic crisis threatens to upend IRACDA efforts to improve faculty diversity, and academia is at risk of losing a generation of diverse, talented scholars. Here, a group of San Diego IRACDA postdoctoral scholars reflects on these issues and discusses recommendations to enhance the retention of UR scientists to avoid a "lost generation" of promising UR faculty scholars.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cultural Diversity , Education, Graduate , Faculty, Medical/statistics & numerical data , Fellowships and Scholarships/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Universities/statistics & numerical data , California , Education, Graduate/economics , Faculty, Medical/economics , Female , Humans , Male , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , National Institute of General Medical Sciences (U.S.) , National Institutes of Health (U.S.) , Research Personnel/economics , Research Personnel/education , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Salaries and Fringe Benefits/statistics & numerical data , United States , Universities/economics , Women/education
3.
Circulation ; 144(23): e461-e471, 2021 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1666518

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had worldwide repercussions for health care and research. In spring 2020, most non-COVID-19 research was halted, hindering research across the spectrum from laboratory-based experimental science to clinical research. Through the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021, biomedical research, including cardiovascular science, only gradually restarted, with many restrictions on onsite activities, limited clinical research participation, and the challenges associated with working from home and caregiver responsibilities. Compounding these impediments, much of the global biomedical research infrastructure was redirected toward vaccine testing and deployment. This redirection of supply chains, personnel, and equipment has additionally hampered restoration of normal research activity. Transition to virtual interactions offset some of these limitations but did not adequately replace the need for scientific exchange and collaboration. Here, we outline key steps to reinvigorate biomedical research, including a call for increased support from the National Institutes of Health. We also call on academic institutions, publishers, reviewers, and supervisors to consider the impact of COVID-19 when assessing productivity, recognizing that the pandemic did not affect all equally. We identify trainees and junior investigators, especially those with caregiving roles, as most at risk of being lost from the biomedical workforce and identify steps to reduce the loss of these key investigators. Although the global pandemic highlighted the power of biomedical science to define, treat, and protect against threats to human health, significant investment in the biomedical workforce is required to maintain and promote well-being.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research/trends , COVID-19 , Cardiology/trends , Research Design/trends , Research Personnel/trends , Advisory Committees , American Heart Association , Biomedical Research/education , Cardiology/education , Diffusion of Innovation , Education, Professional/trends , Forecasting , Humans , Public Opinion , Research Personnel/education , Time Factors , United States
9.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(40): e27423, 2021 Oct 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462562

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted almost all sectors of academic training and research, but the impact on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) research mentoring has yet to be documented. We present the perspectives of diverse, experienced mentors in a range of HIV research disciplines on the impact of COVID-19 on mentoring the next generation of HIV researchers.In November to December, 2020, we used an online data collection platform to cross-sectionally query previously-trained HIV mentors on the challenges related to mentoring during the pandemic, surprising/positive aspects of mentoring in that context, and recommendations for other mentors. Data were coded and analyzed following a thematic analysis approach.Respondents (180 of 225 mentors invited [80% response]) reported challenges related to relationship building/maintenance, disruptions in mentees' training and research progress, and mentee and mentor distress, with particular concerns regarding mentees who are parents or from underrepresented minority backgrounds. Positive/surprising aspects included logistical ease of remote mentoring, the relationship-edifying result of the shared pandemic experience, mentee resilience and gratitude, and increased enjoyment of mentoring. Recommendations included practical tips, encouragement for patience and persistence, and prioritizing supporting mentees' and one's own mental well-being.Findings revealed gaps in HIV mentors' competencies, including the effective use of remote mentoring tools, how to work with mentees in times of distress, and the prioritization of mentor well-being. Mentors are in a unique position to identify and potentially address factors that may lead to mentees leaving their fields, especially parents and those from underrepresented backgrounds. We discuss implications beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Mentoring/organization & administration , Research Personnel/education , Cross-Sectional Studies , Education, Distance , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Professional Competence , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology
10.
JAMA Ophthalmol ; 139(8): 896-897, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290764

ABSTRACT

Importance: Emerging vision scientists who have yet to be awarded their first independent funding may have their research careers disproportionately affected by early COVID-19-related disruptions. In September 2020, the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research convened a panel of 22 such scientists (nominated by their academic institutions) to communicate to the US Congress about the importance of vision research. As part of the effort, interviews were conducted with scientists about the effect of the pandemic on their research. Observations: Qualitative areas of adverse consequences from the early months of COVID-19 disruptions included striking interruptions of patient-based research, limits on other types of clinical research, loss of research time for scientists with young children (especially women), challenges with animal colonies and cell cultures, impediments to research collaborations, and loss of training time. Conclusions and Relevance: The early months during the COVID-19 pandemic increased career stress on many early-stage investigators in the vision field and delayed (and may potentially derail) their ability to attract their first independent research funding grant. As a result, federal and private granting agencies may need to take these factors into account to retain talented, early-stage vision researchers.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research/organization & administration , COVID-19/complications , Career Choice , Ophthalmology/organization & administration , Research Personnel/education , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/etiology , Biomedical Research/education , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Male , Ophthalmology/education , Quarantine/psychology , Research Personnel/psychology , Research Support as Topic/organization & administration , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
14.
Glob Health Sci Pract ; 9(1): 177-186, 2021 03 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1168151

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need for data to inform coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response efforts. At the same time, the pandemic has created challenges for data collection, one of which is interviewer training in the context of social distancing. In sub-Saharan Africa, in-person interviewer training and face-to-face data collection remain the norm, requiring researchers to think creatively about transitioning to remote settings to allow for safer data collection that respects government guidelines. Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA, formerly PMA2020) has collected both cross-sectional and longitudinal data on key reproductive health measures in Africa and Asia since 2013. Relying on partnerships with in-country research institutes and cadres of female interviewers recruited from sampled communities, the project was well-positioned to transition to collecting data on COVID-19 from the onset of the pandemic. This article presents PMA's development of a remote training system for COVID-19 surveys in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, and Nigeria, including challenges faced and lessons learned. We demonstrate that remote interviewer training can be a viable approach when data are critically needed and in-person learning is not possible. We also argue against systematic replacement of in-person trainings with remote learning, instead recommending consideration of local context and a project's individual circumstances when contemplating a transition to remote interviewer training.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Data Collection , Education, Distance , Education, Professional/methods , Pandemics , Research Personnel/education , Research/education , Adolescent , Adult , Africa South of the Sahara , Communicable Disease Control , Democratic Republic of the Congo , Female , Humans , Internet , Kenya , Nigeria , Physical Distancing , Reproductive Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
15.
Autism Res ; 14(6): 1078-1087, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1147553

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted autism research and services. Early career researchers (ECRs) are particularly vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic on job security and career development. The goal of this study was to capture the challenges ECRs are facing during the pandemic and the supports that are needed for career development and research. ECRs were invited to complete an online survey that focused on four major areas; the impact of COVID-19 on their research; changes in productivity due to COVID-19; changes to training due to COVID-19; and current mental health. 150 ECRs were eligible and provided sufficient data for inclusion. All but one ECRs reported their research had been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Reductions in productivity were reported by 85% of ECRs. The biggest impacts included recruitment of participants, increased needs at home and personal mental health. ECRs reported a 3-fold increase in burnout, as well as increased anxiety. ECR supports, such as funding, flexibility, and tenure extensions, are required to ensure ASD research does not suffer from a "lost generation" of researchers. LAY SUMMARY: The COVID-19 pandemic has had negative impacts on research around the world. Loss of productivity impedes autism research discoveries. However, researchers in the earliest phases of their career, specifically postdoctoral fellows through individuals in assistant professor (or equivalent) positions, are particularly vulnerable to long-lasting effects of pandemic-related disruptions which may limit their ability to continue as autism researchers. This survey highlights the needs of this group and identifies mechanisms by which these early career researchers may be supported in this time. This is critical to ensure the next generation of ASD researchers and clinician scientists continue on the path to advancing understanding of autism in the decades to come.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , Biomedical Research/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Efficiency , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Research Personnel , Biomedical Research/trends , Career Mobility , Humans , Research Personnel/economics , Research Personnel/education , Research Personnel/psychology
16.
PLoS Biol ; 19(2): e3001073, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1138555

ABSTRACT

Meta-research, or the science of science, is a powerful technique that scientists can use to improve science, however most scientists are unaware that meta-research exists and courses are rare. This initiative demonstrates the feasibility of a participant-guided "learn by doing" approach, in which a multidisciplinary, global team of early career researchers learned meta-research skills by working together to design, conduct and publish a meta-research study.


Subject(s)
Research Design , Research Personnel/education , Communication , Humans , Interdisciplinary Research , Learning
17.
Trends Biochem Sci ; 46(5): 345-348, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091629

ABSTRACT

Scientific success is mainly supported by mentoring, which often occurs through face-to-face interactions. Changes to the research environment incurred by the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have necessitated mentorship adaptations. Here, we describe how mentors can broaden their mentorship to support trainee growth and provide reassurance about trainee development amid uncertain circumstances.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Mentoring , Pandemics , Research Personnel/education , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans
18.
J Am Geriatr Soc ; 69(1): 8-11, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066713

ABSTRACT

Fellows and junior faculty conducting aging research have encountered substantial new challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. They report that they have been uncertain how and whether to modify existing research studies, have faced difficulties with job searches, and have struggled to balance competing pressures including greater clinical obligations and increased responsibilities at home. Many have also wondered if they should shift gears and make COVID-19 the focus of their research. We asked a group of accomplished scientists and mentors to grapple with these concerns and to share their thoughts with readers of this journal.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Faculty, Medical/trends , Fellowships and Scholarships/trends , Geriatrics/trends , Medical Staff, Hospital/trends , Research Personnel/trends , Career Mobility , Faculty, Medical/education , Geriatrics/education , Humans , Medical Staff, Hospital/education , Research Personnel/education , SARS-CoV-2
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