The unintended consequences of the pandemic on non-pandemic research activities


Research about the Covid-19 pandemic has taken center stage in shaping the work of many scholars, inter alia highlighting the importance of research in addressing the grand challenges humanity faces. However, the pandemic has also ushered in increased administrative, teaching and out of work commitments for many researchers, leading to concerns that academics will become less willing to invest time in obtaining resources to undertake non-Covid-related projects. Using a large-scale survey of business, economics and management researchers, coupled with their publication histories and additional institutional data, we examine how far individuals experienced the focus on the pandemic as ‘crowding out’ interest in, and undermining their confidence in applying for grants for work not focused on the pandemic. We found 40% of the sample agree that the pandemic has impaired their confidence in applying for non-pandemic-related grants and ‘crowded out’ other projects. Researchers with current and prior grants, particularly those with the most experience of holding grants, scholars whose work ‘impacted’ beyond academia, and early career researchers, disproportionately considered themselves to be most affected. We also found that researchers’ perceptions differed based on institutional characteristics. We discuss the implications of these findings for grant providers and national research agencies as well as for individual academic researchers and the institutions in which they work.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Economics, Finance & Entrepreneurship
Additional Information: © 2021, Elsevier B.V. This accepted manuscript version is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Uncontrolled Keywords: Academic, Economic and societal impact, Multidisciplinary,Covid-19,Early career research,Grant funding,Strategy and Management,Management Science and Operations Research,Management of Technology and Innovation
Publication ISSN: 0048-7333
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.sci ... 048733321001669 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-01
Published Online Date: 2021-09-15
Accepted Date: 2021-09-06
Authors: Walker, James
Brewer, Chris
Fontinha, Rita
Haak-Saheem, Washika
Benigni, Stefano
Lamperti, Fabio
Ribaudo, Dalila (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4783-8970)



Version: Accepted Version

Access Restriction: Restricted to Repository staff only until 15 March 2023.

License: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record