£20 million is available for novel coronavirus research via a rapid research call supported by both UKRI and DHSC via NIHR. The investment will ensure world-class UK academic and industry expertise can initiate new and additional research as quickly as possible. Projects will contribute to the understanding, diagnosis, prevention and management of the virus, including the study of behaviours that may contribute to how it is spread and can be contained. Social science applications, and applications involving social scientists, are welcomed.

UK researchers, working with international partners where appropriate, are invited to submit proposals for projects to develop vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics or address the epidemiology, spread or underpinning knowledge of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak that emerged from Wuhan City, China.

The call encompasses two different elements:

  1. active intervention development including vaccines and therapeutics (closing date 13 February)
  2. diagnosis and understanding of 2019-nCoV (closing date 27 February) 

Social Science is most likely to be relevant to the second of these elements, where the scope encompasses anthropology investigations and wider social science, including:

  • Social science that contributes to understanding and influencing behaviour (for the public, institutions and workplaces) to facilitate containment and minimise counter-productive behaviours
  • Collection of knowledge, perceptions, behaviours and exposures of people affected or at risk of 2019-nCoV infection

Researchers from across the social sciences are therefore welcome to apply. The Panel that reviews proposals received will include social scientists.

Short term (up to 18 month) proposals are sought. All proposals will need to be able to show how progress within the period of award could make a significant contribution to the understanding, diagnosis, prevention and/or management of the 2019-nCoV outbreak.