Experiences of student and trainee autism researchers during the COVID‐19 pandemic

Kaku, Sowmyashree M. and McVey, Alana J. and Gerber, Alan H. and Pretzsch, Charlotte M. and Jones, Desiree R. and Kodakkadan, Fathima M. and Lei, Jiedi and Singer, Lauren and Chitehwe, Lucy and Poulsen, Rebecca E. and Coffman, Marika (2021) Experiences of student and trainee autism researchers during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Autism Research. ISSN 1939-3806

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.2662

Abstract

Circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in significant personal and professional adjustments. Students and trainees, including those in autism research, face unique challenges to accomplishing their training and career goals during this unprecedented time. In this commentary, we, as members of the International Society for Autism Research Student and Trainee Committee, describe our personal experiences, which may or may not align with those of other students and trainees. Our experiences have varied both in terms of the ease (or lack thereof) with which we adapted and the degree to which we were supported in the transition to online research and clinical practice. We faced and continue to adjust to uncertainties about future training and academic positions, for which opportunities have been in decline and have subsequently negatively impacted our mental health. Students and trainees' prospects have been particularly impacted compared to more established researchers and faculty. In addition to the challenges we have faced, however, there have also been unexpected benefits in our training during the pandemic, which we describe here. We have learned new coping strategies which, we believe, have served us well. The overarching goal of this commentary is to describe these experiences and strategies in the hope that they will benefit the autism research community moving forward. Here, we provide a set of recommendations for faculty, especially mentors, to support students and trainees as well as strategies for students and trainees to bolster their self-advocacy, both of which we see as crucial for our future careers.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: autism research, COVID-19, pandemic, student and trainee researchers, well-being
Faculty: COVID-19 Research Collection
Faculty of Science & Engineering
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2022 14:22
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2022 14:36
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/707230

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