Excessive bureaucracy has been identified as an obstacle to the conduct of clinical research in many settings. Complex or multiple processes can cause delays, and be costly and demotivating to researchers. In the context of a pandemic with glaring knowledge gaps and great urgency, it is important to ensure that processes do not prevent the conduct of much-needed research.
Our short survey sought to gain high-level insight into the effect of the various bureaucratic processes and their impacts on COVID-19 research. This small survey captures the opinions and experiences of respondents predominantly from low- and middle-income countries. Results reveal a mixed picture in terms of support from institutions and initiatives to accelerate or support research, and a general perception that funding was difficult to obtain. Nearly half of the respondents also reported not being aware of initiatives to foster COVID-19 research in their settings. There is a need to better understand the impact that bureaucratic processes in research have had during the pandemic, and to better identify bottlenecks and their possible solutions.