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COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement

COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement

COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects of our lives is well known.

Victoria experienced six lockdowns between March 2020 and October 2021 that collectively totalled 262 days. Deakin University sought to mitigate this impact on the research by higher degree by research students in various ways, including providing priority access to laboratories and support to pivot research projects. Not all impact on research could be mitigated with direct and indirect effects of limited domestic and international travel, closed university campuses and restricted in-person access to human research participants.

Within this context, you have the option of describing the impact of COVID-19 on your research and how you modified your topic, methods and data collection due to COVID-19 restrictions. The COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement aims to provide the examiners with a clearer understanding of how the research was affected and shaped due to COVID-19 disruptions.

A COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement is not required and you may submit your thesis for examination without reference to the COVID-19 pandemic. Should you wish to submit your thesis with a COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement, do so only under the advice of your supervisory panel.

Please note that you may opt to include a COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement for examination and remove it from your library copy but you cannot do the reverse. A COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement cannot be included in your library copy if it wasn’t included in the examination copy.

Content of a COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement

Following is some examples and advice of what and what not to include in your COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement.

  • How your planned research activities such as topic, research question, methods and data collection and/or the scope of your research were disrupted or changed due the pandemic. For instance: inability to conduct fieldwork or face-to-face research; access to facilities such as labs, archives or other working spaces; inability to collect or analyse data due to travel restrictions.
  • How the research was shaped by the disruption: the actions or decisions taken to mitigate the disruption; new focus; revised research questions or development; pivoting or adjusting the research project.
  • Any other relevant factors relating to the impact of the COVID-19 disruption on your research.
  • Ensure that you do not infer that your thesis is of a lower standard due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Your COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement should not address any effect on your personal circumstances.

Format of a COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement

You may choose to include the statement as an upfront additional page in your thesis and/or address the impact within the content of the thesis.

If placed as a separate page at the beginning of your thesis, it should be no more than 600 words.

We encourage you to discuss with your supervisor the format of a COVID-19 Thesis Impact Statement that best fits your thesis and impact on your research.

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