The Pediatric Neurology 2020 Research Workforce Survey: Optimism in a Time of Challenge

Joshua L. Bonkowsky, Ryan J. Felling, Zachary M. Grinspan, Réjean M. Guerriero, Barry E. Kosofsky, Ariel M. Lyons-Warren, Gabrielle A. deVeber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The past decades have seen a transformational shift in the understanding and treatment for neurological diseases affecting infants and children. These advances have been driven in part by the pediatric neurology physician-scientist workforce and its efforts. However, pediatric neurology research faces significant challenges from internal and external forces including work-life balance demands, COVID-19 pandemic effects, and research funding. Understanding the impact of these challenges on the perceptions, planning, and careers of pediatric neurology physician-scientists is needed to guide the research mission. Methods: Our objective was to survey the research challenges, goals, and priorities of pediatric neurologists. In 2020 we conducted a cross-sectional, 28-question survey emailed to 1,775 members of the Child Neurology Society. Results: One hundred fifty-one individuals responded to the survey. Most respondents were grant investigators (52%) and conducted clinical research (69%). Research areas included epilepsy (23%), neurodevelopmental and autism (16%), neurocritical care and stroke (11%), neurogenetics and neurometabolics (9%), neonatal neurology (8%), and others. The most common funding source was the National Institutes of Health (37%). Shared major research concerns were funding, utilization of remote technology, overcoming disparities, natural history and multicenter studies, global neurology, and diversification of the research portfolio. Commitment to continuing and increasing research efforts was evident. Conclusions: Our survey demonstrates obstacles for physician-scientist researchers in pediatric neurology, but it also shows optimism about continued opportunity. Creative approaches to address challenges will benefit the research mission, maximize the current and future pool of researchers, and help improve the lives of children with neurological disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-67
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Career
  • Child neurology
  • Funding
  • Physician-scientist
  • Survey
  • Workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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