International Perspectives on COVID-19 and University Research

With the prospect of a vaccine now becoming a reality, thoughts are already turning to recovery, and how we can build a better post COVID-19 world. 

It is in this context that several notable reports have recently emerged, among them this one commissioned by Springer Nature.

Unequivocal in its recognition of the role of University research in the COVID-19 recovery, the report identifies three priorities (and a series of corresponding actions) for governments, policymakers and other stakeholders: 

  • Priority 1 – Protect research capacity (CAP1-5)  

CAP1 – Rebalance research effort to tackle changing national and global priorities 

CAP2 – Develop blended online and offline research methods 

CAP3 – Strike new partnerships to counter ‘research nationalism’ 

CAP4 – Address instability and structural inequality in academic career pathways 

CAP5 – Reform postgraduate research training 

  • Priority 2 – Transition to open science (OS1-5)  

OS1 – Increase investment in digital infrastructure 

OS2 – Redefine roles for commercial and community actors 

OS3 – Enable innovation in peer review 

OS4 – Embed preprints in publication workflows  

OS5 – Adopt open science as the ‘new normal’ 

  • Priority 3 – Secure research funding (RF1-5) 

RF1 – Ring-fence research funding to underpin managed systemic change 

RF2 – Realign research investment towards biomedicine, digital and green technologies 

RF3 – Incentivise external partnerships, from discovery research to deployment 

RF4 – Reform funding procedures to deliver greater agility and responsiveness 

RF5 – Co-ordinate solutions to improve research system sustainability 

The full report can be found here.