The Covid-19 crisis has caused limited access to funding, labs, and publishing, jeopardizing the careers of young scientists like 32-year-old postdoctoral scholar Anzela Niraula, reports Wired.
Covid-19 couldn’t have come at a worse time for a generation of young scientists like Niraula. This fall, precisely as tens of thousands of PhD students and postdoctoral researchers enter a narrow, high-stakes window to learn hands-on skills, secure funding, build lasting relationships with their mentors, and establish long-term careers, they instead find themselves quarantining at home without a clue what the future holds. Their situations vary by university, degree, and program, but their concerns are shared. Funding is tenuous. Access to labs where they will be mentored and prove themselves is in short supply. The job market is rough. Postdocs who’ve already found a lab where they’ll continue their research worry about job security. International students and academics, who according to the National Science Board make up about half of the academics and a third of the science and engineering workers across the US, worry about their visa status. Gender gaps yawn wider than ever. Stress and fear run high. “All of the postdocs and graduate students in my lab are fantastic people and fantastic scientists,” says Anna Mapp, a professor of chemical biology at the University of Michigan and the associate dean of the university’s Rackham Graduate School, which offers more than 180 degree programs. “But, as a mentor, I worry what is in store for them.”
Read the full story in Wired.