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COVID-19 Research Project

The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a rapid transformation of work conditions and work-life balance for university faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students. Within a week, university instructors transitioned to working from home and teaching remotely, and university researchers experienced significant disruptions to research plans. Additionally, the psychological well-being of faculty and future faculty has been affected by looming uncertainty regarding the economic stability of the university.

The ADVANCE COVID-19 project has been addressing the following questions in an effort to understand the differential impacts of COVID-19 on work conditions and work-life balance, and to develop best practices going forward:

  • To what extent have existing inequalities and feelings of insecurity within the academy been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic? 
  • To what extent has the university response to COVID-19, including policy initiatives and communication messages, helped mitigate the differential impacts on already vulnerable groups on the Texas A&M University campus? 

This project focuses on three intersecting levels of vulnerability - gender, race/ethnicity, and appointment type.  We are especially interested in understanding the experiences of three particularly vulnerable groups: tenure-track faculty, academic professional track (APT) faculty, and “future” faculty (i.e. “ABD” graduate students and post-doctoral fellows). The project has involved two rounds of qualitative interviews with 100 scholars affiliated with the College Station campus of Texas A&M.

The research team completed two rounds of interviews (in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021). Data analysis is underway. Members of the research team have shared preliminary results of this study with members of the Texas A&M University community, and have worked to develop recommendations for university administrators to implement in response to the pandemic.  Insights from this project have also been integrated into ADVANCE workshops for faculty hiring committees (STRIDE) and faculty promotion and tenure committees (STRIPE). The results of this study will also serve as the basis for publications.


This project is supported by funds from the following units:

  • Texas A&M School of Innovation/Innovation [X] program
  • Texas A&M College of Liberal Arts
  • Texas A&M Office for Diversity
  • Texas A&M's Glasscock Center for Humanities Research.

Resource Page

Team members have put together a set of resources and articles on COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to academia.

IRB Approval

This project was approved by Texas A&M Institutional Review Board (IRB) on July 21, 2020. IRB # 2020-0682D.