Where to next? 6 month update on crucial insights on trends and gaps for future research funding in the long battle against COVID-19

6 April, 2021

Researchers and funders around the world can tap into the latest trends and gaps for future COVID-19 research to funnel resources to where there is greatest research need.

Published today, the latest quarterly Living Mapping Review (LMR) of COVID-19 funded research projects, by UKCDR and GloPID-R, looks in-depth at the trends, opportunities, and remaining gaps in the long battle against COVID-19.

The UKCDR/GloPID-R COVID-19 Research Project Tracker continues to be one of the most comprehensive resources on COVID-19 research funding globally. It now contains over 9,000 funded research projects from more than 132 different research funders in 136 different countries.

Making best use of the expansive data in the Tracker, the Living Mapping Review’s crucial insights into the breadth of COVID-19 research will help both funders and researchers to prioritise resources to underfunded areas where there is the greatest research need and facilitate further strategic collaboration.

The updated analysis shows that the majority of funded projects fall under the social sciences discipline and vaccines R&D has received greater investment than the other research priority areas. It further shows that new research funding for COVID-19 has started to plateau, making it even more important to coordinate to ensure funding is targeted towards those research areas, locations, and populations where there is the greatest continued unmet research need.

We have updated our ‘highlights’; on three of the emergent themes from the Tracker. Firstly, our analysis found limited evidence on the indirect health impacts secondary to the global pandemic response of COVID-19, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Secondly, the unprecedented global research response has highlighted the need for strengthened research capacity, particularly in low-resource settings. Finally, we found an increased interest in the emerging phenomenon, now commonly referred to as “Long Covid”.

Through these emerging themes, we can better understand global research priorities as the pandemic continues to evolve, and further, inform research funding decisions. These three themes are ‘highlights’ which are each available through our website:

The Living Mapping Review was published on Wellcome Open Access and is an open-access, peer-reviewed paper that is updated every three months.


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