AERA and Spencer Foundation Launch Covid-19 Impact Survey
AERA and Spencer Foundation Launch Covid-19 Impact Survey

October  2020

AERA and the Spencer Foundation launched the COVID-19 Impact Study on October 29.  The survey is directed to early career scholars within seven years after receiving their degrees and current doctoral students. The sample is drawn from the AERA database, with over 17,000 potentially eligible respondents.

The AERA-Spencer COVID-19 initiative grew out of a recognition at the outset of the pandemic that this major health and life-threatening event would yield changes in the personal and professional lives of education researchers. The survey aims to monitor and assess these effects and to provide results of value to higher education institutions, federal agencies funding research, other research funders, professional associations, and other research organizations.

The survey was designed by the AERA-Spencer project team and replicates some questions from related higher education studies to be able to compare findings to others found elsewhere. Also, the survey takes up issues of institutional support, institutional climate, and general experiences of discrimination and inclusion, with attention to the dual pandemic of COVID-19 and systemic racism. The survey built upon the team’s focus group study (12 groups and approximately 60 participants), which was designed to be diverse in terms of demographic backgrounds, academic institutions, and workplaces. The report on the focus group study will be published later in 2020. AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine and Spencer Foundation President Na’ilah Suad Nasir are the principal investigators leading the project.

The survey is being administered on behalf of AERA and the Spencer Foundation by NORC, located in Chicago, Illinois. For further information on the study and its administration, visit the NORC website for the AERA-COVID Impact Study at

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