Indiana University School of Medicine researchers, April Savoy, PhD, and Heba Ismail, PhD, together with Indiana University School of Nursing researcher Andrea Cohee, PhD, have had their recent article, “Emotional Distress, Stress, Anxiety, and the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Early to Mid-Career Women in Healthcare Sciences Research,” published in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science. They began their collaborative efforts in 2019 when each of them was announced as an Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) KL2 award recipient.
The article focuses on a survey sent out during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was shared with women across the country who are early or in the middle of their careers as researchers in health sciences with the intent to understand the emotional stressors that were weighing heavily on them. The researchers found that women who are early to mid-career researchers reported having moderate to high overall stress, anxiety, and worries about household settings, additional responsibilities, financial concerns, and reduced research productivity.
“We felt it was important to hear about the struggles those women had to deal with childcare, e-learning, the stress surrounding the infection, financial stressors, and then their career demands,” said Ismail, who is an assistant professor of pediatrics at IU School of Medicine. “We are these women, but we felt if we could get the word out from more of us, that would carry more weight and would also serve as an avenue for these women to express themselves.”
The Indiana CTSI awards KL2 grants to early-career research faculty providing an opportunity to be mentored in a research-intensive, multi-disciplinary setting. The KL2 award program helps each recipient advance and develop in their career as translational researchers.
Here is what the Indiana CTSI KL2 Early Career Investigator Program Leadership Team had to say about the publication:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the trajectory of early-career research scholars,” stated Sheri Robb, PhD, who serves as the director of the KL2 Young Investigator program at the Indiana CTSI.
“This insightful study conducted by Ismail, Savoy, and Cohee provides important information about how the pandemic’s impact was amplified for women,” said Linda DiMeglio, who serves as the director of Indiana CTSI Career Development. “They found a way, during a difficult time, to give women in similar roles a clear voice.”
“As leaders of the KL2 program, we are proud and thankful for our Scholars’ important contribution to the research literature,” said Julie Welch, who serves as director of Indiana CTSI Mentoring Training.