The ongoing situation regarding COVID-19 has significantly impacted the research & innovation community. UK funders are releasing guidance on how this will impact researchers, grant applicants and grant holders.
What are our aims?
In the event of an epidemic, and in between ongoing epidemics, this group supports UK research funders to share relevant information, network and communicate to support coherence and collaboration in the funding and the use of research in epidemics preparedness and response.
Response to COVID-19
UK research funders have committed over £300m to fund research to accelerate the development of vaccines, diagnostics and treatment for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Funders are aligning their response to WHO research priorities set out in the Coordinated Global Research Roadmap.
In a time of global crisis, it is of critical importance that funders come together to ensure research is coordinated and aligned with global research priorities to support rapid and effective epidemic preparedness and response.
Furthermore, to ensure coordination at a global level, UKCDR is undertaking this in collaboration with the international research funder coordinating mechanism GLOPID-R who co-hosted the WHO R&D meeting on COVID-19 alongside WHO.
So far, our members have responded to the COVID-19 outbreak through the following research funding initiatives:
- A total commitment of £260m by the UK government (DHSC & DFID), making the UK the biggest contributor, for development of vaccines for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases to the Coalition for Epidemics Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), as follows:
- £210m further funding to CEPI announced by PM on 26 March
- £20m specifically for COVID-19 workstream announced in March 2020
- £20m core funding to CEPI announced in Feb 2020
- £10m core funding to CEPI announced in Jan 2019.
- £20m jointly committed by DHSC, through the NIHR, and UKRI through MRC across two rapid-response research calls to tackle COVID-19.
- Up to £15m committed by Wellcome and DFID, through the Joint Initiative on Research in Epidemics Preparedness and Response, to accelerate research and support global efforts to tackle the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.
- Up to USD$50m committed by Wellcome in partnership with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and MasterCard, on an initiative to speed up development of and access to therapies for COVID-19.
- $20m in initial grants awarded by COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator to fund clinical trials
- A £20m investment by the UK government to launch a whole genome sequence alliance to map the spread of COVID-19
Funders, such as UKRI, are also re-purposing existing grants, therefore the figures above do not reflect the totality of the overall investment.
Other initiatives the UK is supporting include:
- The UK-Public Health Rapid Support Team, funded by DHSC, has deployed public health experts to support with the international response to COVID-19 in countries across Africa and Asia.
COVID-19 Guidance for Research Community
COVID-19 Related Resources
Who are our members?
- The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC)
- The Department for International Development (DFID)
- UKRI Research Councils, including:
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC)
- Medical Research Council (MRC)
- National Environment Research Council (NERC)
- UKRI International Development Team
- The Academy of Medical Sciences