There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic affected work in different areas. Some people, unfortunately, lost their job. Fortunately, the researchers can continue working, although not without restrictions. Work slowed down for several reasons, in particular, because it became impossible to visit laboratories. We asked our MULTIPLY Fellows to share their thoughts about Covid’s impact on their research.
In my opinion one of the most important parts of the research is reading, there is always something to grasp from any paper. On the other hand, and interestingly, there is always not processed data somewhere that is waiting for its finest hour. Lockdown is ideal for this kind of things. At the same time working from home is not inspiring at all, one needs to feel the change of the environment, even if working alone, one needs to see different walls during the day.
Xavier Porte Parera:
This global pandemic situation is shaking our society at all levels, and science is not an exception. Despite our relatively lucky situation with robust funding and collaborations, scientists face big challenges to keep up with our research programmes.
Scientific research is a job for equilibrists. We researchers balance continuously between unveiling what is unknown to us and communicating it to others. Now, both sides are compromised in this context of mobility and gathering restrictions and only with discipline and creativity we can overcome the endeavour.
During the last months, I found out that the best way to advance in my research was to stick with the discipline to a daily list of specific objectives. One has to stay sharp, to the point, in the laboratory and meetings, while leaving non-immediate or reflexive parts for home office. In particular, one has to rethink with a creative mindset all those big plans that are now cancelled or postponed because of Covid restrictions, finding alternative pathways doable in the current situation. In fact, I try to positively see this whole situation and welcome new unexpected research paths and results.
Ricardo Ezequiel da Silva:
Successful research requires Purpose, Passion and Dedication.
Breaking down a large and complex scientific project (purpose) into smaller objectives (daily tasks) is a good way to identify and solve research problems.
Focus on a well-defined objective helps us to find the proper solutions to advance research.
The achievements will be then proportional to the time and attention we dedicate to the daily tasks.
Follow your passion. When we do what we love, the working place becomes less significant, long working periods are shorter and hard tasks easier to achieve a purpose. It also makes us feel connected to life mainly during these concerned pandemic days.
This pandemic and discrete lockdowns have undoubtedly distorted all commitments on our projects. Even though our research progress has already slowed down, we have investigated new remote cooperations to keep our work efficiency as much as possible. Due to the unavailabilities of some global purchasings, we have compensated for required components or lab consumables by borrowing/lending them internally. By working from home sometimes, we were focused on completing non-technical tasks such as writing reports indeed. Nevertheless, we look forward to getting our “traditional normal” back and working as usual together soon.
When I was doing some programming task at home, the pandemic affects me a little. When I set a goal, I can aim on it.
However, I need to go to the lab and do some experiments at this moment. The coordination problem and the lockdown regulations of the university have a significant drawback on my project. I guess I learnt something and will do better in the future. The most important thing I learnt is to do the possible experiments in advance to accumulate more data to analyze at home.