Covid-19 Research


Information for UCL researchers

Check this section for information on research and funding opportunities, and on new project submissions.

UCL Covid-19 Rapid Response awards issued

Following a competitive round of the UCL Covid-19 Rapid Response Funding call, approximately £700,000 has been awarded across UCL to support Covid-19 research. There were multiple funding sources for this call, including the UCL Coronavirus Response Fund (It’s All Academic campaign), UCLH Biomedical Research Centre (UCLH BRC), and the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund. 

18 projects (from a total of 54 applications) were recommended for funding, including four projects co-funded by Moorfields Eye Hospital BRC (MEH BRC). 

The 18 projects to receive funding are: 

  • COVID-19 post hospitalisation follow-up study, Professor Sam Janes     
  • COVIDTrach; a UK national cohort study of mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients undergoing tracheostomy, Dr Nick Hamilton     
  • Defining neutralising antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection, Dr Laura McCoy    
  • Establishing a mechanism for Covid19 inflammatory disease, Professor Greg Towers
  • How does SARS-CoV-2 affect the nervous system? (MEH BRC co-funded) Dr Ross Paterson and Dr Laura Benjamin
  • Mitigating The Inequitable Effects Of Covid-19 Using Community And Cultural Assets (MEH BRC co-funded), Professor Helen Chatterjee
  • Optimising 2020 secondary school transition processes during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Sandra Leaton-Gray    
  • Predicting beneficial versus harmful responses immune responses in COVID-19 (MEH BRC co-funded), Professor Lucy Walker
  • Protein degraders of cyclophilin proteins as treatments for SARS-COV-2, Professor David Selwood    
  • Rapid evaluation of vaccine-induced neutralising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2–Building Capacity, Dr Matthew Reeves    
  • Rapid, portable, and scalable Covid-19 antibody testing (MEH BRC co-funded), Professor Stefan Howorka
  • Reducing the risk of aerosols in dentistry and getting dentists back drilling Professor Ian Eames    
  • Safety for Passengers in Buses, Professor Nick Tyler    
  • Serological comparison of proven and suspected cases of COVID-19 pneumonia (SeroCOVID), Professor Jeremy Brown    
  • The Impact of COVID-19 and Lockdown on Foster Carers and Children in Care, Dr Nick Midgley    
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sexual and reproductive health in Britain, Dr Nigel Field    
  • The psychosocial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on NHS affiliated staff – monitoring response to the pandemic and the evaluation staff support programmes, Professor Rosalind Raine    
  • You-COPE study: Youth COVID response personal experience: Tracking health and wellbeing amongst 16-24-year-olds in the UK during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Lee Hudson 

COVID-19 UCL Grand Challenges

UCL Grand Challenges icon
UCL Grand Challenges launched a special initiative calling for expressions of interest (EOIs) in research projects focused on societal recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In just a few weeks, we received over 300 EOIs, involving hundreds of researchers from every faculty across UCL. 

The Grand Challenges team are now working through the EOIs. You can read the full update on the Grand Challenges website.

Other resources

Diamond Light Source 

Researchers can apply for access to Diamond Light Source for COVID-19 projects. 

UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre (TDCC)

If researchers want to request samples from biobanks there is a coordinated approach led by the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre

Imperial COVID-19 spatial sim code available at UCL 

Professor Neil Ferguson's COVID-19 modelling code is now installed on all of the UCL HPC resources, Myriad, Grace and Kathleen.

A paper based on the output of this code was one of the pieces of evidence that caused the UK government to enact the lockdown, and in the interests of open science, various teams including one at Microsoft have been working to get the code into a state where it could be open-sourced on Github and pre-installed on various HPC services across the UK.

The code has been released under the GPL and may be found on GitHub.  

Research IT Services

Research IT Services (RITS) stands ready to support the work of UCL researchers tackling COVID-19. During this time, the Research Software Development Group are offering extended free programming support. They also offer researchers one to one advice and support with virtual ‘drop-in’ sessions over Microsoft Teams.  For general enquiries or to arrange a drop-in slot, please contact rits@ucl.ac.uk.  

UCL’s Postgraduate Research students

There is guidance available on the response plan to Coronavirus for UCL's postgraduate research students. For details, go to the UCL Doctoral School website.