From the AMA Academic Council
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected marketing PhD students’ research in similar ways to that of junior faculty members. More than 60 universities have extended the tenure clocks for tenure-track faculty by one year—an acknowledgment of the severity of the pandemic on faculty research productivity. The AMA Academic Council encourages a similar treatment for fourth- and fifth-year doctoral students.
PhD students conducting lab research cannot access undergraduate students for research, and other students have had trouble accessing fieldwork sites in corporations for secondary and primary data. Many are taking care of dependents, and some have become sick themselves. PhD students are also likely to have limited access to their faculty advisors and committee members. Cancellation of conferences and consortia and the move toward virtual conferences have limited the opportunities for students at advanced stages to present their research, receive feedback, and gain visibility in the market. Moreover, as most states are facing budgetary pressure, many universities have instituted or are likely to institute hiring freezes.
The AMA Academic Council recommends that the marketing departments guarantee funding for a full additional year with healthcare benefits for all PhD students currently in the fourth and fifth years of the programs. Universities might also consider offering postdoctoral appointments to students scheduled to graduate. This is an opportunity to support the PhD students in this time of unprecedented disruption to the normal operations of academia and the world.