COVID-19 and Ethnicity Highlight Notice Added to NIHR-UKRI Rapid Response Rolling Call

COVID-19 and Ethnicity Highlight Notice Added to NIHR-UKRI Rapid Response Rolling Call

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) together with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have launched a highlight notice as part of the organisations’ Rapid Response Rolling Call to COVID-19. The highlight notice invites proposals to investigate evidence of an association between ethnicity and COVID-19 incidence and adverse health outcomes.

There is a need to conduct research to increase understanding of potential differences in risk for ethnic groups, which groups are at greatest risk of a range of adverse outcomes, and, based on that understanding, what can be done about this to reduce morbidity and mortality. This call is in addition, and designed to complement, existing work already being done by academic groups and Public Health England.

Research proposals are invited for the following two areas:

Impact of COVID-19 and association between ethnicity and COVID-19 in the general population

Impact of COVID-19 specifically on people working in health and social care from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Research could include:

Studies to improve understanding of genetic risk factors and how these manifest clinically, including in terms of immune responses to COVID-19 infection.

Secondary analysis of existing datasets to understand underpinning reasons for a disparity in outcomes for certain ethnic groups: underlying health conditions, multiple long-term conditions, lifestyle risk factors, deprivation, access and inequalities. The aim is, if possible, to identify modifiable risk factors.

Understanding and optimising behavioural responses to public health measures, including how to influence individuals and communities to make the behavioural or lifestyle changes necessary to reduce risk.

Mental health and how communities are responding to the crisis. This can include exacerbation of pre-existing mental health conditions and concomitant consequences, combined with support or interventions to improve health outcomes.

Research on the impact of COVID-19 on people from BAME backgrounds in the health and social care workforce may also include:

Description and analysis (quantitative and qualitative) of occupational risk by ethnic group and by professional role, including risk of exposure to the virus, infection rates and related harms.

Work related challenges to wellbeing, physical and mental health as a result of the COVID-19 environment, including coping mechanisms (positive and negative), and support and interventions that are sensitive to religious and cultural needs, as appropriate.

In all cases, engagement and involvement in research of patients, service users, carers and the public are vital. Research needs to be timely, and reporting milestones should enable the enaction of evidence-informed policy to mitigate poor outcomes among groups in the short-term.

This highlight notice will be supported through the joint UKRI-NIHR COVID-19 rapid response initiative rolling call. To enable simultaneous consideration of as many relevant applications as possible, it is strongly recommended that applications be submitted by 11 May 2020 (9:00).

The aim is to notify applicants by early June. Applications relevant to this highlight will still be eligible for submission after this, but will be assessed in relation to those already funded.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.