At the start of the pandemic, it was hard for researchers to access the data they needed to rapidly answer high priority questions about COVID-19 response. This limited the evidence available to policymakers to inform key decisions.

Data and Connectivity was initiated by Sir Patrick Vallance as one of the UK’s COVID-19 National Core Studies Programmes  in October 2020 to work with policymakers, data custodians, providers of Trusted Research Environments, researchers and the public to make COVID-19-relevant data available for research with greater speed, efficiency and scale.

This enables stronger, research evidence-informed policies for COVID-19 response, pandemic recovery and future health threat preparedness. 

Data & Connectivity works to: 

  1. Map and link data required for priority COVID-19 research, for example linking ethnicity data with vaccination data for research into inequalities in vaccine uptake.
  2. Make data easier to securely access and analyse for researchers undertaking urgent COVID-19 research by improving the network of national Trusted Research Environments – the infrastructure that provides researchers with secure access to health data.
  3. Fund research using these datasets to answer important questions relating to the pandemic in areas of highest priority to policymakers. 
  4. Work with patients and members of the public to ensure their voice is embedded in decision making about how their data is used for COVID-19 research.

More on the National Core Studies

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