Among the projects are vital questions about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, a study of long-COVID and a national study to understand differences in susceptibility and risk factors between ethnic groups. Another will use linked datasets to understand transmission of COVID-19 in schools.

A total of 47 applications were submitted following the two-week competition and the successful projects were selected by an independent panel that included clinicians, academics and patient and public representatives. Criteria for assessment included the proposed benefits to patients and the public and how the research would improve data for future studies.

The projects will form part of the larger Data and Connectivity National Core Study. This study is led by Health Data Research UK in partnership with the Office for National Statistics and enables access to health and administrative data from across the UK and provides the infrastructure for vital data research.  The 12 projects will join the study in January and will be expected to complete by the end of June 2021.

All projects are expected to leave a legacy for future research studies by enhancing the value of data by, for example, creating additional data linkages, improving the quality of data and following best practice in open science, sharing code and tools. Each will be required to engage and involve patients and the public in their work and use the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway to share resources with other researchers.

Discover all of these projects on the HDR Innovation Gateway

Click the ‘projects’ tab within the collection on the Gateway to explore these projects. You can also access health data tools, publications and collaborate via a community forum all on the HDR Innovation Gateway.

The 12 successful projects are:

Irene Higginson, King’s College London

Area of focus: palliative care
Research title: CovPall-Connect. Evaluation of the COVID-19 pandemic response in palliative and end of life care: Connecting to boost impact and data assests

To find out more about the project, please read the project lay summary here.

Till Hoffmann, Imperial College London

Area of focus: surveillance and epidemiology
Research title: How can National Core Studies healthcare data be connected with wastewater surveillance of COVID-19 in a privacy-preserving fashion to inform epidemiological models and democratise data access?

To find out more about the project, please read the project lay summary here.

Trisha Greenhalgh, University of Oxford

Area of focus: long-COVID
Research title: Remote-by-Default Care in the COVID-19 Pandemic: addressing the micro-meso, and macro-level challenges of a radical new service model

To find out more about the project, please read the project lay summary here.

Kevin Wyche, University of Brighton

Area of focus: transmission and environment
Research title: Is exposure to airborne fine and ultrafine particulate matter a determining factor in COVID-19 infection and outcome within the UK?

To find out more about the project, please read the project lay summary here.

Paul Elliott, Imperial College London

Area of focus: surveillance and epidemiology
Research title: Characterise and quantify the biological, social and environmental drivers of medium-term health outcomes following infection with SARS-CoV-2.

To find out more about the project, please read the project lay summary here.

Aziz Sheikh, University of Edinburgh

Area of focus: vaccines
Research title: Can we enable harmonised, near real-time, data on pharmacovigilance of COVID-19 vaccines using routinely collected linked national datasets across the UK?

To find out more about the project, please read the project lay summary here.

Andrew Hayward, UCL

Area of focus: transmission & environment
Research title:What are the relative contributions of different exposures and settings to COVID-19 community transmission? Analysis of community cohort studies linked to national testing data

To find out more about the project, please read the project lay summary here.

Kamlesh Khunti & Professor Tom Yates, University of Leicester

Area of focus: ethnicity
Research title: Ethnicity and COVID-19: investigating the determinants of excess risk

To find out more about the project, please read the project lay summary here.

Rachel Denholm, University of Bristol 

Area of focus: transmission & environment
Research title: Enhancing the Utilisation of COVID-19 Testing in Schools Studies: The Joint Analysis of the ONS COVID-19 School Infection Survey and COVID-19 Mapping and Mitigation in Schools (CoMMinS) Study

To find out more about the project, please read the project lay summary here.

Julia Hippisley-Cox, University of Oxford

Area of focus: vaccines
Research title: Uptake and comparative safety of new COVID-19 vaccines by age, sex, region, ethnicity, comorbidities, medication, deprivation, risk level and evidence of prior COVID infection

To find out more about the project, please read the project lay summary here.

Stephen Machin, London School of Economics

Area of focus: economy
Research questions to be addressed: Economic scarring from the COVID-19 induced crisis: monitoring inequality in economic and education outcomes.

To find out more about the project, please read the project lay summary here.

Tracey Warren, University of Nottingham

Area of focus: employment
Research questions to be addressed: How is COVID-19 impacting women and men’s working lives in the UK?

To find out more about the project, please read the project lay summary here.

Discover all of these projects on the HDR Innovation Gateway

Click the ‘projects’ tab within the collection on the Gateway to explore these projects. You can also access health data tools, publications and collaborate via a community forum all on the HDR Innovation Gateway.

For further information about the Data and Connectivity National Core Study, visit our website here.