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Research and innovation ideas to address Covid-19

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The AHRC welcomes applications to the UKRI open call for research and innovation ideas to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts. Applications should be made using the form listed on the UKRI Coronavirus hub, following the Call Guidance there. The call is open and early applications are encouraged.

Proposals will be accepted from anyone eligible to apply for AHRC funding.

Applications primarily focusing on research in DAC list countries are encouraged to submit to the AHRC GCRF Urgency Grants Pilot.

The role of the arts and humanities

The impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak are complex and far-reaching, affecting nearly every aspect of peoples’ lives. The arts and humanities, alone or working with other disciplines, have a key role to play in understanding, addressing and mitigating the unfolding impacts of the pandemic. In seeking to do so, topics of interest to arts and humanities researchers, and which lend themselves to the short-term rapid response projects envisaged in this call, might include:

Ethics, governance, and regulation: national and international governance in response to the pandemic; the ethics of vaccine development and delivery; the ethics of nudge and collective responsibility in human behaviour; applied ethics in healthcare settings; the ethics of differential impacts of COVID-19 policy on different social groups; and other relevant ethical issues.

Media and communication: the COVID-19 ‘infodemic’ and miscommunication; effective and trustworthy communication of complex information, including public health information, to wide audiences; the role of public service broadcasting, regional vs. national reporting, and that of social media during the pandemic.

Culture and History: the impact of COVID-19 on public access to and interactions with culture and the arts; impact on mental health of restricted public access to these and other goods under ‘lockdown’; COVID-19 as a source of digital innovation in access to culture and education; death and mourning relevant to the COVID-19 outbreak; experiences of past pandemics as informing responses to COVID-19.

  • Towards a National Collection: digital capacity and digital engagement with cultural assets during the COVID-19 lockdown and during the period of emergence from lockdown, lessons to be learned from these for future patterns of cultural engagement, and related issues.

Design: process, service, communications and information design (specifically as related to healthcare settings, information campaigns, and education technology); design interventions to reduce virus transmission in healthcare and other settings.

Community: community engagement, particularly in decision-making processes in the COVID-19 response; effective engagement and involvement of different communities, including healthcare workers; building trust.

Applications should endeavour to link to the WHO global research roadmap priorities, or other documented evidence of research need. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged.

Please note that this list of topics is for illustration only, and is not intended to represent the full range of possible topics on which arts and humanities researchers might submit applications.

Closing Dates

Open - No Deadline

How to make an application

Application and review process

There is no formal deadline by which to submit, but we encourage applicants to submit as quickly as possible.

Applications, which must be submitted through the UKRI open call page, will be forwarded to AHRC for internal and peer review.

AHRC may contact applicants for additional information. Refer to the UKRI covid-19 funding page for details on how to submit applications.

Outcomes will be notified as quickly as possible. Applicants must show that they are able to start work within 4 weeks of confirmation of funding.

In addition to standard reporting requirements, AHRC will require a project report detailing research discovery and research impact at the end of the project.

Further Information

This call appears in extraordinary times, and AHRC acknowledges with regret that not everyone in our academic community - for example those with caring responsibilities - will be equally placed to take part in it.


For further details contact: AHRCcv19@ahrc.ukri.org

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