The present scenario is not favourable to the regular development of research activities, strongly influencing all activities with a marked experimental component, and for an indeterminate period of time. We, therefore, suggest all supervisors and lead researchers to:
- Keep regular contact with all members of your teams, and collaborations, in order to foster cohesion and a close connection between all members, breaking social isolation characteristic of this special situation – when we return to normality, you will feel it was worth to keep the spirit the corps alive. Some initiatives you might like to organize include regular virtual coffees, Happy Hours or other Social Meetings with a project and/or team members or mobilizing projects and teams to participate in answering the COVID19 pandemic;
- Carefully manage your expectations and the expectations of your researchers regarding intended objectives for this period, considering: 1) working conditions are far from ideal, either physically and regarding academic experience; 2) forced isolation most researchers are undergoing (to which some are more sensitive than others); 3) decreased access to critical resources for the development of current research and 4) pressure for performing concurrent activities in the present context of social isolation (e.g. teaching, homeschooling, support to the family members);
- Redirect your work and the work plan of your supervisees/teams towards activities than can be performed remotely, assuming the extension of remote work to be for several months – possible activities include the preparation of projects, the writing of papers and dissertations, remote learning and training including actualization in scientific and technical subjects, strengthening of bonds with international collaborators and networking;
- Explore the transition of some in-person activities – e.g. seminars, workshops, discussion meetings to remote sessions, taking advantage of tools available, globally extending them (both within Técnico and in your Communities of Research);
- Start reflection and planning for the transition to a post-pandemic scenario 1) considering support to all non-permanent PhD students/researchers and considering especially the continuation/extension of scholarships/contracts/thesis keep yourself informed about financing actualizations during the pandemic and communicate those actualizations to your teams, lowering their anxiety levels; 2) Rethinking the organization and future operation of your own research projects, taking advantage of the experience/remote tools availability in order to increase the efficiency of internal working processes within teams/projects.