COVID-19 and interdisciplinary research: What are the needs of researchers on aging?
COVID-19 has had an extreme effect on older people. Now more than ever we need collaborative approaches to address complex issues within research on aging. However, the pandemic has dramatically changed the way we conduct, interact, and organize research within interdisciplinary groups. This paper describes a case study of how an interdisciplinary institute for research on aging has managed the process of change during COVID-19 restrictions. A design lead, researcher centered approach was used to understand the needs of researchers as they adapted across 6 months. Firstly, an online survey (n=51) was conducted to understand the scope of change and needs. The survey found broad themes ranging from assistance with finding additional funding to adjusting current research proposals. Following the survey, two Co-Design Sessions were conducted. The first session (n=53) diverged thinking to scope ideas from the survey and actionable themes were created. The second session (n=36) was conducted to converge thinking and focus on solutions based on one of these themes. The results revealed a diversity of ideas addressing the needs of interdisciplinary researchers in aging. These ideas spanned from exploring the capacity to do research remotely and creating virtual collaboration spaces to rethinking stakeholder engagement.
Received: 1 July 2021
Accepted: 12 October 2021
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