This rapid research brief responds to the question: what impact is the pandemic having and likely to have on Australia’s research workforce and its capability to support our recovery efforts?
- Australia’s research workforce will be severely impacted by the pandemic and the effects are likely to be felt for an extended period.
- Income to universities, medical research institutes, publicly funded research agencies, CRCs, and the industrial sector is suffering from the loss of foreign students and a sharp decline in business research spending and philanthropy.
- University job losses of up to 21,000 full time equivalent (FTE) positions are projected over the next six months of which an estimated 7,000 could be research-related academic staff. There are concerns that women, early-career researchers and recent graduates will disproportionately experience negative impacts.
- Domestic and international post-graduate students comprise 57% of the university R&D workforce. Research interruptions and travel and visa restrictions suggest that more than 9000 international research students will not resume their research in 2020.