The impact of COVID-19 on doctoral research: adapting to the challenges and the opportunities of disruption
Evidence and practice    

The impact of COVID-19 on doctoral research: adapting to the challenges and the opportunities of disruption

Karen Evans Professional doctorate candidate, University of Sunderland (London Campus), London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on research activities

  • To recognise opportunities that have come from increased periods of lockdown

  • To consider how this learning can be applied to other potential disruptions

Background The author is a professional doctorate student and full-time nurse in an education role in a UK NHS Trust. COVID-19 caused a major disruption to her research, which focused on nursing workforce development in primary care. She received ethical approval for the research in February 2020 and had just begun to collect data as the country entered its first period of lockdown and all activity not related directly to COVID-19 was sidelined.

Aim To share the author’s reflections on this experience and make recommendations that may help others whose research is disrupted.

Discussion The author had not considered in her plans the disruption that would be caused by COVID-19, but she adapted her study’s design to minimise some of its effects and also discovered some new opportunities.

Conclusion Nurse researchers whose studies are disrupted can adapt to overcome the challenges and try to find new opportunities.

Implications for practice The author hopes that sharing her reflections will encourage other nurse researchers who face unexpected disruptions to their research.

Nurse Researcher. 30, 2, 8-11. doi: 10.7748/nr.2022.e1839


Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared


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