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1.
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
2.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0259965, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546945

ABSTRACT

As scientific research becomes increasingly cross-disciplinary, many universities seek to support collaborative activity through new buildings and institutions. This study examines the impacts of spatial proximity on collaboration at MIT from 2005 to 2015. By exploiting a shift in the location of researchers due to building renovations, we evaluate how discrete changes in physical proximity affect the likelihood that researchers co-author. The findings suggest that moving researchers into the same building increases their propensity to collaborate, with the effect plateauing five years after the move. The effects are large when compared to the average rate of collaboration among pairs of researchers, which suggests that spatial proximity is an important tool to support cross-disciplinary collaborative science. Furthermore, buildings that host researchers working in the same or related fields and from multiple departments have a larger effect on their propensity to collaborate.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research/organization & administration , Interdisciplinary Communication , Spatial Behavior , Biomedical Research/statistics & numerical data , Facility Design and Construction , Humans , Movement , Research Personnel/psychology , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data
4.
Elife ; 92020 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497818

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in school closures and distancing requirements that have disrupted both work and family life for many. Concerns exist that these disruptions caused by the pandemic may not have influenced men and women researchers equally. Many medical journals have published papers on the pandemic, which were generated by researchers facing the challenges of these disruptions. Here we report the results of an analysis that compared the gender distribution of authors on 1893 medical papers related to the pandemic with that on papers published in the same journals in 2019, for papers with first authors and last authors from the United States. Using mixed-effects regression models, we estimated that the proportion of COVID-19 papers with a woman first author was 19% lower than that for papers published in the same journals in 2019, while our comparisons for last authors and overall proportion of women authors per paper were inconclusive. A closer examination suggested that women's representation as first authors of COVID-19 research was particularly low for papers published in March and April 2020. Our findings are consistent with the idea that the research productivity of women, especially early-career women, has been affected more than the research productivity of men.


Subject(s)
Authorship , Bibliometrics , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Women , COVID-19 , Efficiency , Female , Humans , Medicine , Periodicals as Topic/statistics & numerical data , Physicians, Women/statistics & numerical data , Sex Factors , Social Isolation , United States
6.
PLoS Biol ; 19(7): e3001369, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329130

ABSTRACT

There is a troubling new expansion of antiscience aggression in the United States. It's arising from far-right extremism, including some elected members of the US Congress and conservative news outlets that target prominent biological scientists fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Aggression , COVID-19/prevention & control , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Science/statistics & numerical data , Anti-Vaccination Movement/statistics & numerical data , Attitude to Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Politics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Science/trends , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology
10.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(4): e25379, 2021 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183758

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Gender imbalances in academia have been evident historically and persist today. For the past 60 years, we have witnessed the increase of participation of women in biomedical disciplines, showing that the gender gap is shrinking. However, preliminary evidence suggests that women, including female researchers, are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of unequal distribution of childcare, elderly care, and other kinds of domestic and emotional labor. Sudden lockdowns and abrupt shifts in daily routines have had disproportionate consequences on their productivity, which is reflected by a sudden drop in research output in biomedical research, consequently affecting the number of female authors of scientific publications. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to test the hypothesis that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate adverse effect on the productivity of female researchers in the biomedical field in terms of authorship of scientific publications. METHODS: This is a retrospective observational bibliometric study. We investigated the proportion of male and female researchers who published scientific papers during the COVID-19 pandemic, using bibliometric data from biomedical preprint servers and selected Springer-Nature journals. We used the ordinary least squares regression model to estimate the expected proportions over time by correcting for temporal trends. We also used a set of statistical methods, such as the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test and regression discontinuity design, to test the validity of the results. RESULTS: A total of 78,950 papers from the bioRxiv and medRxiv repositories and from 62 selected Springer-Nature journals by 346,354 unique authors were analyzed. The acquired data set consisted of papers that were published between January 1, 2019, and August 2, 2020. The proportion of female first authors publishing in the biomedical field during the pandemic dropped by 9.1%, on average, across disciplines (expected arithmetic mean yest=0.39; observed arithmetic mean y=0.35; standard error of the estimate, Sest=0.007; standard error of the observation, σx=0.004). The impact was particularly pronounced for papers related to COVID-19 research, where the proportion of female scientists in the first author position dropped by 28% (yest=0.39; y=0.28; Sest=0.007; σx=0.007). When looking at the last authors, the proportion of women dropped by 7.9%, on average (yest=0.25; y=0.23; Sest=0.005; σx=0.003), while the proportion of women writing about COVID-19 as the last author decreased by 18.8% (yest=0.25; y=0.21; Sest=0.005; σx=0.007). Further, by geocoding authors' affiliations, we showed that the gender disparities became even more apparent when disaggregated by country, up to 35% in some cases. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings document a decrease in the number of publications by female authors in the biomedical field during the global pandemic. This effect was particularly pronounced for papers related to COVID-19, indicating that women are producing fewer publications related to COVID-19 research. This sudden increase in the gender gap was persistent across the 10 countries with the highest number of researchers. These results should be used to inform the scientific community of this worrying trend in COVID-19 research and the disproportionate effect that the pandemic has had on female academics.


Subject(s)
Authorship , Bibliometrics , Biomedical Research/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Publishing/statistics & numerical data , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Sex Distribution , COVID-19/epidemiology , Efficiency , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Sex Factors
12.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(7): 1007-1010, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1141681

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To compare the gender distribution of clinical trial leadership in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) clinical trials. METHODS: We searched https://clinicaltrials.gov/ and retrieved all clinical trials on COVID-19 from 1 January 2020 to 26 June 2020. As a comparator group, we have chosen two fields that are not related to emerging infections and infectious diseases: and considered not directly affected by the pandemic: breast cancer and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and included studies within the aforementioned study period as well as those registered in the preceding year (pre-study period: 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019). Gender of the investigator was predicted using the genderize.io application programming interface. The repository of the data sets used to collect and analyse the data are available at https://osf.io/k2r57/. RESULTS: Only 27.8% (430/1548) of principal investigators among COVID-19-related studies were women, which is significantly different compared with 54.9% (156/284) and 42.1% (56/133) for breast cancer (p < 0.005) and T2DM (p < 0.005) trials over the same period, respectively. During the pre-study period, the proportion of principal investigators who were predicted to be women were 49.7% (245/493) and 44.4% (148/333) for breast cancer and T2DM trials, respectively, and the difference was not statistically significant when compared with results from the study period (p > 0.05). CONCLUSION: We demonstrate that less than one-third of COVID-19-related clinical trials are led by women, half the proportion observed in non-COVID-19 trials over the same period, which remained similar to the pre-study period. These gender disparities during the pandemic may not only indicate a lack of female leadership in international clinical trials and involvement in new projects but also reveal imbalances in women's access to research activities and funding during health emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Leadership , Women , Breast Neoplasms , Clinical Trials as Topic/statistics & numerical data , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , Female , Humans , Male , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Sex Ratio , Sexism
13.
PLoS Biol ; 19(3): e3001100, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125719

ABSTRACT

The issues facing academic mothers have been discussed for decades. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is further exposing these inequalities as womxn scientists who are parenting while also engaging in a combination of academic related duties are falling behind. These inequities can be solved by investing strategically in solutions. Here we describe strategies that would ensure a more equitable academy for working mothers now and in the future. While the data are clear that mothers are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, many groups could benefit from these strategies. Rather than rebuilding what we once knew, let us be the architects of a new world.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Mothers/statistics & numerical data , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Sexism/statistics & numerical data , Teaching/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Humans , Mothers/psychology , Parenting/psychology , Parenting/trends , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sexism/psychology , Sexism/trends
14.
Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet ; 186(1): 40-49, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1086258

ABSTRACT

Between April 20, 2020 and June 19, 2020 we conducted a survey of the membership of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) to explore the impact of COVID-19 on their research and academic careers. A total of 123 individuals responded representing academic ranks from trainee to full professor, tenured and fixed-term appointments, and all genders. The survey included both quantitative and free text responses. Results revealed considerable concern about the impact of COVID-19 on research with the greatest concern reported by individuals in nonpermanent positions and female researchers. Concerns about the availability of funding and the impact of the pandemic on career progression were commonly reported by early career researchers. Recommendations for institutions, organizations such as the PGC, as well as individual senior investigators have been provided to ensure that the futures of early career investigators, especially those underrepresented in academic medicine such as women and underrepresented minorities, are not disproportionately disadvantaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Surveys and Questionnaires , Female , Genomics , Humans , Male , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data
15.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(6)2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061207

ABSTRACT

With more time being spent on caregiving responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, female scientists' productivity dropped. When female scientists conduct research, identity factors are better incorporated in research content. In order to mitigate damage to the research enterprise, funding agencies can play a role by putting in place gender equity policies that support all applicants and ensure research quality. A national health research funder implemented gender policy changes that included extending deadlines and factoring sex and gender into COVID-19 grant requirements. Following these changes, the funder received more applications from female scientists, awarded a greater proportion of grants to female compared to male scientists, and received and funded more grant applications that considered sex and gender in the content of COVID-19 research. Further work is urgently required to address inequities associated with identity characteristics beyond gender.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Gender Equity , Policy , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Awards and Prizes , Biomedical Research/economics , Biomedical Research/organization & administration , COVID-19/virology , Efficiency , Female , Financing, Organized/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Research Personnel/economics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sex Factors
16.
Transfusion ; 61(6): 1690-1693, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059648

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several studies have highlighted the disparities in gender equity that exist in different medical specialties. The COVID-19 pandemic has further heightened the inequity faced by female physicians as they are challenged by increasing household and childcare duties in addition to their professional responsibilities. Given these hurdles, fewer women than men have published in various medical disciplines. In this brief report, we wanted to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the academic output of female physicians and researchers in transfusion medicine. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We compared all articles in four transfusion medicine journals published from January 1 to July 31, 2019 with the same time period in 2020. Overall, 1024 articles were reviewed for whether they included women as first or senior authors. RESULTS: Overall, women were first authors in 45.9% (n = 458) of all publications and senior authors in 35% (n = 356) of all publications. There was a statistically significant decrease in the percentage of women as first authors between 2019 (49.1%) and 2020 (42.7%) (p = .04). There was no significant change in the percentage of women as senior authors between 2019 (35.4%) and 2020 (35.5%) (p = 0.99). CONCLUSIONS: Similar to other medical specialties, the COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the disparities faced by female researchers in transfusion medicine as evidenced by a decrease in publications with women as first authors.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research , COVID-19/epidemiology , Physicians, Women , Publications/statistics & numerical data , Transfusion Medicine , Academies and Institutes/organization & administration , Academies and Institutes/statistics & numerical data , Bibliometrics , Biomedical Research/organization & administration , Biomedical Research/statistics & numerical data , Biomedical Research/trends , Efficiency , Female , History, 21st Century , Humans , Male , Medicine , Pandemics , Physicians, Women/organization & administration , Physicians, Women/statistics & numerical data , Physicians, Women/trends , Publications/trends , Research Personnel/organization & administration , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Research Personnel/trends , Sex Factors , Transfusion Medicine/organization & administration , Transfusion Medicine/statistics & numerical data , Transfusion Medicine/trends
17.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(2): 100190, 2021 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051991

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every stakeholder in healthcare, including the vulnerable population of clinician investigators known as physician-scientists. In this commentary, Rao et al. highlight the underappreciated challenges and opportunities, and present solutions, for physician-scientists vis-à-vis the uniquely disruptive event of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Physicians/statistics & numerical data , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Workforce/statistics & numerical data
18.
20.
Pediatr Neurol ; 116: 62-67, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-957346

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The past decades have seen a transformational shift in the understanding and treatment for neurological diseases affecting infants and children. These advances have been driven in part by the pediatric neurology physician-scientist workforce and its efforts. However, pediatric neurology research faces substantial challenges from internal and external forces including work-life balance demands, COVID-19 pandemic effects, and research funding. Understanding the impact of these challenges on the perceptions, planning, and careers of pediatric neurology physician-scientists is needed to guide the research mission. METHODS: Our objective was to survey the research challenges, goals, and priorities of pediatric neurologists. In 2020 we conducted a cross-sectional, 28-question survey emailed to 1,775 members of the Child Neurology Society. RESULTS: One hundred fifty-one individuals responded to the survey. Most respondents were grant investigators (52%) and conducted clinical research (69%). Research areas included epilepsy (23%), neurodevelopmental and autism (16%), neurocritical care and stroke (11%), neurogenetics and neurometabolics (9%), neonatal neurology (8%), and others. The most common funding source was the National Institutes of Health (37%). Shared major research concerns were funding, utilization of remote technology, overcoming disparities, natural history and multicenter studies, global neurology, and diversification of the research portfolio. Commitment to continuing and increasing research efforts was evident. CONCLUSIONS: Our survey demonstrates obstacles for physician-scientist researchers in pediatric neurology, but it also shows optimism about continued opportunity. Creative approaches to address challenges will benefit the research mission, maximize the current and future pool of researchers, and help improve the lives of children with neurological disorders.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research/statistics & numerical data , Neurologists/statistics & numerical data , Pediatricians/statistics & numerical data , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Optimism , Societies, Medical/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Workforce
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