2020 AERA-Spencer COVID-19 Impact Survey

Examining the effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the education research profession.

The COVID-19 Pandemic presents new challenges for early career doctorates and doctoral students in education research. In order to be responsive to this situation, this survey is directed to gathering information about the experiences that those launching their careers or completing their doctoral programs have had since the onset of the pandemic. The study aims to provide essential information to higher education institutions, research funders, professional associations, and research organizations seeking to take meaningful steps to support productive research career development and trajectories during this public health crisis.

NORC has been engaged by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Spencer Foundation to conduct a survey of early career doctorates and doctoral students about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives. The survey will gather useful representative data to better understand and support this important population, including:

  • how research topics and priorities have been shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • what personal and professional challenges are present or could emerge;
  • expectations for future career paths and timelines; and
  • what kinds of support strategies are needed or have been most effective.

Approximately 17,000 current and former AERA members from the 2018, 2019, and 2020 membership years are being invited to participate in the online survey. The study population includes early career doctorates (2013-2020) and doctoral students across the United States. By implementing the survey at this critical time, the AERA-Spencer team will be able to document the challenges and successes that these groups have experienced, and use the knowledge gained in helpful ways.

Data collection for the Impact Survey is launching now. NORC will develop survey weights, prepare a summary report of the results, and provide the survey responses and outcomes in a clean data set to the AERA-Spencer team for further analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions


Questions about the survey? Contact us:

Email: AERA-Impact@norc.org

Toll Free: 1-877-888-8703


More information about AERA: https://www.aera.net/About-AERA

More information about the Spencer Foundation: https://www.spencer.org/about-us

Infographics and Visualizations



View All