The SNP Government has allocated £5 million to research projects across Scotland aiming to increase the understanding of coronavirus (COVID-19), screen potential treatments and support clinical trials.
The money will support 55 rapid research projects in 15 Scottish universities and research institutions, contributing to global efforts to combat the virus and its wider effects, including research to:
better understand the effects of infection;
develop and test new diagnostics and treatments;
investigate new disease surveillance approaches;
inform interventions to prevent transmission of infection;
support the mental health of frontline health and social care workers;
understand the physical and mental health implications of lockdown measures.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP said:
“Scotland is home to some of the most respected researchers and scientists in the world. COVID-19 is the biggest challenge we faced in and it is vital that we capture the potential of the extraordinarily strong research base here to contribute to global efforts to tackle and mitigate the impact of it.
“This funding enables universities and research institutions to immediately draw on the very best science and methodologies available to build on our understanding of this virus, develop new treatments, stop infection and support people’s mental and physical health.”
Chief Scientist for Health, Professor David Crossman said:
“The range of projects will help us understand many aspects of this terrible disease. The projects selected aim to give results as quickly as possible.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Scotland is in a strong position to undertake clinical research.
“Many academics are already thinking about how their research can be used during this national and international emergency. The response from universities and research institutions to this COVID-19 research call emphatically reinforces that view.”
The Rapid Research in COVID-19 funding call was launched by the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office on 25 March 2020.
Successful applicants were chosen by an independent expert panel, co-chaired by Professor Eleanor Davies from the University of Glasgow and Professor Shaun Treweek from the University of Aberdeen.
All projects will start without delay and be completed within a six month timeframe.
Projects from the following universities and research institutions have been awarded funding:
University of Aberdeen: 6 projects, £972,870
University of Dundee: 2 projects, £487,710
University of Edinburgh: 8 projects, £603,500
Glasgow Caledonian University: 3 projects, £136,290
University of Glasgow: 9 projects, £1,025,458
Institute of Occupational Medicine: 1 project, £206,300
Edinburgh Napier University: 3 projects, £166,826
Queen Margaret University: 2 projects, £92,424
Robert Gordon University: 1 project, £55,789
University of St Andrews: 3 projects, £132,719
University of Strathclyde: 4 projects, £355,096
Scotland’s Rural College: 1 project, £36,118
University of Stirling: 10 projects, £480,707
University of the Highlands and Islands: 1 project, £44,581
University of the West of Scotland: 1 project, £128,882