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To make best use of the expansive data in the COVID-19 Research Project TrackerUKCDR GloPID-R produce a quarterly Living Mapping Review of COVID-19 funded research projects, which analyses globally funded COVID-19 related research

COVID-19 has resulted in an unprecedented research response, demonstrating exceptional examples of rapid research and collaboration. There is however a need for greater coordination, with limited resources and the shifting global nature of the pandemic resulting in a proliferation of research projects underpowered and unable to achieve their aims.

Published on Wellcome Open Access, this Living Mapping Review (LMR) is an open-access, peer-reviewed paper that is updated every 3 months, providing in-depth analysis of the breadth of funding, remaining gaps, opportunities, and trends. 

It will help both funders and researchers to prioritise resources to underfunded areas where there is greatest research need and will facilitate further strategic collaboration.


 A living mapping review for COVID-19 funded research projects: March 2022

This fifth version of the paper provides a one year update to the Living Mapping Review, on data in the tracker collected up to the 15th July 2021. The analysis now covers 12,419 projects, funded by 255 funders, taking place across 149 countries representing an investment of at least $4.9 billion.

For the first time in this iteration, the projects are additionally mapped against the research priorities identified in the United Nations Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery. New research funding for COVID-19 has continued to plateau, making it even more important to coordinate to ensure funding is targeted towards those research areas, locations and populations where there is greatest continued unmet research need.


COVID-19 funded research projects in focus 

A deeper looks at three key themes that emerged from analysis of our Tracker (Last updated: July 2021):

1. Indirect health impacts of COVID-19

To date, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed over a million lives and devastated health systems across the globe. However, the true scale of the impact of this pandemic remains underestimated, with limited evidence on the indirect health impacts secondary to the global pandemic response.

From disruptions in healthcare delivery to impoverishment from loss of livelihoods, there is likely to be devastating consequences on other health conditions.

Here, we provide a snapshot of funded research activity focused on the indirect health impacts of COVID-19.

2. Research capacity strengthening

The pandemic has triggered an unprecedented global research response across multiple disciplines to gain insights into this novel infection and its impacts. To date, thousands of research activities have been embarked on with a predominance of research projects in higher income countries. Strengthening research capacity, particularly in low-resourced settings, facilitates an equitable response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Research capacity strengthening activities are purposeful initiatives which enhance the ability of individuals, organisations and systems to successfully undertake research

Here, we provide a snapshot of funded research activities with capacity strengthening as an objective.

3. Long Covid

As the coronavirus pandemic evolves, there is increased interest in the emerging phenomenon, now commonly referred to as “Long Covid”.

To date, there is a lack of consensus on a clear definition, diagnosis, clinical characterization and management, rehabilitation and appropriate support for sufferers in addition to difficulties in ascertaining its prevalence.

Here, we provide a snapshot of funded research activity focusing on various aspects of Long Covid.

  • LMR nine-month update: July 2021

    Read the 9 month update on Wellcome Open Research


    COVID-19 Funded Research Projects In Focus 

    As part of the release of the 6-month update, we have updated our deeper looks at three key themes that emerged during our analysis:

    1. Indirect health impacts of COVID-19

    To date, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed over a million lives and devastated health systems across the globe. However, the true scale of the impact of this pandemic remains underestimated, with limited evidence on the indirect health impacts secondary to the global pandemic response.

    From disruptions in healthcare delivery to impoverishment from loss of livelihoods, there is likely to be devastating consequences on other health conditions.

    Here, we provide a snapshot of funded research activity focused on the indirect health impacts of COVID-19.

    2. Research capacity strengthening

    The pandemic has triggered an unprecedented global research response across multiple disciplines to gain insights into this novel infection and its impacts. To date, thousands of research activities have been embarked on with a predominance of research projects in higher income countries. Strengthening research capacity, particularly in low-resourced settings, facilitates an equitable response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Research capacity strengthening activities are purposeful initiatives which enhance the ability of individuals, organisations and systems to successfully undertake research

    Here, we provide a snapshot of funded research activities with capacity strengthening as an objective.

    3. Long Covid

    As the coronavirus pandemic evolves, there is increased interest in the emerging phenomenon, now commonly referred to as “Long Covid”.

    To date, there is a lack of consensus on a clear definition, diagnosis, clinical characterization and management, rehabilitation and appropriate support for sufferers in addition to difficulties in ascertaining its prevalence.

    Here, we provide a snapshot of funded research activity focusing on various aspects of Long Covid.

  • LMR six-month update: April 2021

    In this six-month update we provide a detailed analysis of the database and focus our thematic analysis on research gaps, research areas in need of coordination, study populations and research locations (with a focus on resource-limited countries).

    COVID-19 Funded Research Projects In Focus 

    As part of the release of the 6-month update, we have updated our deeper looks at three key themes that emerged during our analysis:

    1. Indirect health impacts of COVID-19 (April 2021)
    2. Research capacity strengthening (April 2021)
    3. Long Covid (April 2021)
  • LMR three-month update: December 2020

    In this three-month update we provide a detailed analysis of the database and focus our thematic analysis on research gaps, research areas in need of coordination, study populations and research locations (with a focus on resource-limited countries).

    Read Version 2 on Wellcome Open Research

    COVID-19 Funded Research Projects In Focus 

    As part of the release of the first 3-month update, we have taken a deeper look at three key themes that emerged during our analysis:

    1. Indirect health impacts of COVID-19 (Dec 2020)
    2. Research capacity strengthening (Dec 2020)
    3. Long Covid (Dec 2020)
  • Baseline Living Mapping Review: July 2020

    In this baseline analysis we provided the first detailed descriptive analysis of the database and focus our thematic analysis on research gaps, study populations and research locations (with a focus of resource-limited countries).

    Read the baseline LMR – July 2020 

  • About UKCDR's work on COVID-19

    The  initiative COVID CIRCLE – COVID-19 Research Coordination and Learning – is a partnership between UKCDR and the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R).

    COVID CIRCLE harnesses current UKCDR and GloPID-R activities, including continual mapping and analysis of global COVID-19 funding through our COVID Tracker.

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