In summer 2020, a survey was initiated within the framework of Young Academy of Europe (YAE) and the CALIPER project about the situation of early-career researchers under the COVID-19 pandemic. The main aim of the survey was to get a better picture of how independent young group leaders experienced the pandemic, and especially about which type of necessary institutional measures could best help them during this period as also outlined in a letter published in Nature by Arild Husby (Selection Committee Chair of YAE) and Gemma Modinos (Chair of YAE) in April 2020. The results of the COVID-19 survey have been recently published in Nature.