Research in the Age of COVID-19

Faced with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, student researchers struggle with handling research uncertainty, primarily through online means.

Faced with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, student researchers struggle with handling research uncertainty, primarily through online means. Initial plans for ongoing and near-future researches are being shifted to improvised research methods for a locked-down world.

The adaptation to this new norm has forced most student researchers to rapidly switch from in-person data collection to technology-assisted means. Although this need is widely recognized, there is limited evidence on the best practices to design and implement these surveys (Narasimhan et al., 2020).

Various research techniques, namely the use of questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups, could hardly be conducted the same way as they had been before the pandemic. Thus, these research methods had to be modified and rethought (Khoo & Kara, 2020).

In terms of the implementation of experimental researches, General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) made the issue of distance burdensome for researchers. Lack of materials is also a major problem among the students, but it also makes it more difficult for group researches when the group members are living in different places.

Moreover, when laboratories and research centers closed, student researchers were told to stay at home and were recommended to conduct their research within their premises. Scientific events such as seminars were canceled or postponed to an uncertain date, and most scientific projects had to be put on hold or modified substantially. 

To combat this problem, the Philippine Science High School System had some campuses that conducted virtual seminars known as webinars. They invited multiple speakers with experience in research as they shared their experiences, challenges, and contributions in research, especially in our country. 

However, the progress of the researches of the students would lean on their creativity and industriousness. How and if it will end, only they will decide. Will they be able to overcome the hardships, or will they need more support?

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