Research

COVID-19 research

We are undertaking vital research into COVID-19 and offering expert advice to government and local healthcare partners.

In this unprecedented time, this challenge is bringing our researchers together from across disciplines, such as the immunologists, virologists and health professionals who are developing novel testing systems for COVID-19 antibody detection, which will help us better understand the pandemic and also help people back to work.

Find out more about our COVID-19 research efforts below.

New resource helps parents bring stories to life in lockdown

A free resource has been launched to help parents bring stories to life and engage children in a creative and fun way during lockdown.

The resource, called The Gift, has been developed by Makers of Imaginary Worlds who have worked with the University's Mixed Reality Laboratory to create a series of online workshops with artists, theatre makers, parents, and early years practitioners in Nottingham.

 

Reading

 

Nottingham plays key role in getting Oxford Covid vaccine approved

Staff from the University of Nottingham have played a key role in leading the distribution of the approved Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to members of the public across the UK.

560 participants from across the East Midlands came to Cripps Health Centre at the University of Nottingham and have played a crucial role in the study, which led to the vaccine being authorised for widespread use.

 

Vaccine small

 

International funding awarded to Nottingham experts to support global recovery from Covid-19

A new project, led by experts from the University of Nottingham, has received international funding to help improve the emotional, economic and behavioural resilience of students to Covid-19 in African Universities.

The project, jointly led by experts from the University of Zambia, has received funding from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Newton Fund.

 

map-of-africa-small 

 

People with rare autoimmune diseases are at an increased risk of dying during the Covid-19 pandemic

A new study, led by experts from the University of Nottingham, has shown that people with rare autoimmune rheumatic diseases are at a greater risk of dying at a younger age during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Experts looked at the electronic health records of 170,000 people in England with rare autoimmune rheumatic diseases. During March and April 202 (the first two months of the Covid-19 pandemic), the team found that 1,815 (1.1%) of people with these diseases died. 

 

sick-woman

 

People of Black and Asian ethnicity up to twice as likely to be infected with COVID-19 as those of White ethnicity

Researchers in Nottingham have found that people from Asian backgrounds are also 1.5 times more likely to become infected with the virus compared to White individuals.

All patients involved in the study who had COVID-19 were defined as such by a positive nasal swab test or clinical signs and symptoms of the virus, along with radiology and laboratory tests.

 

Stressednurse

 

Banking experts will assess impact of COVID-19 on UK SMEs, new study

The financial risk to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the wake of COVID-19 is being investigated by researchers at Nottingham University Business School. 

The UK-wide study, in collaboration with the Bank of England, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the University of Exeter and the University of Lancaster, will examine the resilience of SMEs and their risk exposure – a measure of potential loss or future losses – resulting from COVID-19. The researchers will subsequently develop new methods to help support SMEs in the aftermath of the pandemic. 

 

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County Lines drug networks adapt to circumvent lockdown restrictions, new research show

Research has found that County Lines drug supply networks — where drugs are transported from one area to another — adapted to the restrictions of the spring lockdown. 

Methods of delivery and payment changed, yet there was no change in the demand for young people to run drugs, perpetuating their risk of exploitation, and continuing the supply of illegal substances. 

 

childcrime

 

A ‘perfect storm’ of factors increased the risk of COVID-19 in young adults following first lockdown, says new study

A combination of mental health, social and economic factors may have contributed to the rise of COVID-19 infections in young adults since the last lockdown, and a ‘blame culture’ will not help the efforts to regain control of the disease in this group, according to a new study.

A team of experts, led by Professor Kavita Vedhara from the School of Medicine, conducted an online survey during the first six weeks of the first UK-wide lockdown. 

 

youthscovidsmall

 

£4 million data project to accelerate COVID-19 research

A new multi-million pound research project will help scientists across the UK to access the data they need more easily to help develop potential therapies and treatment for COVID-19.

Experts from the Universities of Nottingham, Dundee and Edinburgh, along with Public Health England, will build the infrastructure for CO-CONNECT, a £4million UK-wide initiative to support research into the COVID-19 antibody response, by connecting COVID-19 data derived from patient blood samples.

 

coronavirus-blood

 

Rise in reports of exploitation in Nottinghamshire during COVID-19

Anti-slavery practitioners are warning that they have seen an increasing number of exploitation cases being reported during the pandemic.

There has been a 37 per cent rise in Nottinghamshire for referrals to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) – the UK’s support system for potential victims – compared with the same period last year. 

 

Exploit

 

Working-class women were the worst affected by UK-wide lockdown in spring, research shows

Working-class women have borne the brunt of cuts to working hours as employers struggle to ride out the pandemic, according to new findings by social inequality researchers.   

Almost half of working-class women (43 per cent) did no hours of work in April compared to just 20 per cent of women in professional or managerial roles. By June fewer than half of all women in work (48 per cent) were still working full-time hours. 

 

workingwoman

 

Anglo-Indonesian scientific alliance in global fight against COVID-19

One of Indonesia’s leading diplomats has visited the University to help prepare for a top-level ministerial visit from his country to the UK aiming to increase collaboration in the global fight against coronavirus.

Indonesia is interested in emulating the University’s in-house testing service, which is designed to tackle asymptomatic transmission amongst students and staff.

 

Indonesia collaboration 

 

University of Nottingham to develop asymptomatic testing service to help control hidden spread of COVID-19

We are developing an in-house testing service specifically designed to tackle asymptomatic transmission amongst students and staff. 

This follows on from the success of two pilot schemes run by the University over the last six months looking both at scientific innovations in the testing process as well as providing asymptomatic testing for the University’s Vet School. 

 

testingcars

 

COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased anxiety and depression in the UK 

People are experiencing significantly more stress, anxiety and depression since lockdown began, with women and young people the most affected, according to a major new study.

3,097 adults joined the COVID-19 Stress and Health Study, led by the University of Nottingham and King’s College London, in the first six weeks of social restriction measures being introduced in the UK. 

 

stressedwoman

 

New study will look at how the immune system responds to COVID-19

A new study will look at how many nurses and doctors have been infected with COVID-19 and how the immune system responds to the virus.

Information from the study will contribute towards future plans on how to vaccinate healthcare workers effectively and strategies of preparing for potential surge in COVID-19.

 

Stressednurse

 

Emergency project to help displaced people in Zimbabwe fight COVID-19

Displaced people living in temporary settlements in Zimbabwe are to get help to protect themselves against COVID-19 in a new project led by education and sociology experts at the University of Nottingham.

It’s estimated that over 52,000 people in Zimbabwe are living as displaced persons in informal communities. Some of these people are former migrants or refugees who have no rural homes. 

 

ZimbabweCOVID 

 

Funding will allow advancement of Nottingham COVID-19 vaccine to clinical trials

Scientists at the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University are to begin clinical trials for a DNA vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

Experts from both universities are working with Scancell Holdings plc, a developer of novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, to adapt its existing cancer vaccine platform for the development of a new vaccine.

 

VaccineSml 

 

Early cases of COVID-19 were missed in the UK due to a lack of testing

The early spread of the Coronavirus could have been prevented if initial case definitions had been less stringent and extensive community testing had been in place sooner according to new research.

In the new study, experts from the University’s School of Life Sciences retrospectively tested routine respiratory samples taken from patients at a Nottingham teaching hospital dating back to early January 2020.

 

testingcars 

 

Impact of Covid-19 has created stark discrepancies in students’ experiences of taking A Levels

A Nottingham researcher has indicated some stark discrepancies in students’ experiences of taking A Levels this year.

Dr Martin Myers in the University’s School of Education, working in collaboration with Professor Kalwant Bhopal at the University of Birmingham, conducted more than 500 survey questionnaires (to date) over a four-month period, between April and July with students whose A levels were cancelled due to the pandemic.

 

alevels 

 

Study looks at the impact of lockdown on those with hearing loss

A new report into how people with hearing loss have been experiencing the Covid-19 lockdown has found there have been many negative effects on them, but also a few unexpected positive ones.

The study was carried out in a rapid turnaround by experts in hearing disability at the University of Nottingham’s Hearing Sciences Scottish Section at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

 

Signlanguage 

 

New study to review impact of the Coronavirus on modern slavery survivors

Experts from the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham are conducting an urgent review into how modern slavery survivors and victims are being impacted by COVID-19.

The research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19, will analyse how measures in place for victims and survivors of modern slavery are being affected and will subsequently offer recommendations for mitigation.

 

RightsLab 

 

Immune response finding offers new hope in fight against COVID-19

Our bodies own natural immune response could offer a new hope in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and help underpin the success of future vaccines.

In an editorial to the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the researchers, led by Emeritus Professor of Immunology Herb Sewell at the University of Nottingham, highlight that a section of the population appears to have some natural cellular immune responses to the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 disease.

 

immune 

 

Investigating the effects of COVID-19 on organised crime

The effects of COVID-19 on Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) are being investigated by the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham.

The research will assess what impact the measures introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have had on perpetrator behaviour, such as how it has changed or continued, and will inform efforts to urgently safeguard vulnerable children and adults during the pandemic.

 

Orgcrime 

 

Nottingham investigates COVID-19 risks for BAME healthcare staff

The University is part of a new £2.1m research study investigating the risks ofCOVID-19 on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) healthcare workers.

The study has been launched after evidence emerged that higher proportions of COVID deaths within these groups were recorded - more than twice that of the white population.

 

BAMEhealthcare 

 

Nottingham researchers are looking for entrepreneurs who are mothers to share lockdown experiences   

Researchers are looking for mothers who are entrepreneurs to share their experiences of the coronavirus pandemic, as part of new research into the societal impact of COVID.

A multidisciplinary team is studying how female entrepreneurs with children have managed the dual challenges of running a business and managing childcare through the turbulent months of the pandemic. 

 

workingmums 

 

Nottingham researchers set to work on bacteria study to find first Covid-19 antiviral drug

Molecular microbiologists at the University of Nottingham are working with biotech firm Cyanetics and Public Health England (PHE) to discover a novel antiviral medication to effectively treat Covid-19. 

In its first phase, the Innovate UK-funded project will rapidly screen strains of a harmless bacteria called Streptomyces, which is found in abundance in soil. Importantly, the microbe has the ability to produce natural compounds (called secondary metabolites) with potent therapeutic benefits.  

 

 Antivirus

 

Study will evaluate the pressure of COVID on working-class women

A new study by social inequality experts, led by the University of Nottingham, will examine the effects of COVID-19 on the burden of work for working-class women in the UK.

As the effects of the pandemic roll out, the year-long study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19, will assess how working-class women, who often juggle paid employment with the duties of running a household, have been affected by the additional pressures of increased demands, both at work and at home. 

 

HomeOffice 

 

New study to assess how COVID has impacted waste sector and its workforce

The 18-month research project will explore the impact of the pandemic, which has transformed household waste into a potential biohazard and poses new risks to workers who collect, sort and dispose of waste materials. 

A team of experts will work on the project, including Dr Thom Davies, in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Nottingham.

 

 waste 

 

Nottingham expert to play key role in study into long-term health impacts of coronavirus

A major UK research study into the long-term health impacts of COVID-19 on hospitalised patients has been launched.

The PHOSP-COVID study has been awarded £8.4million jointly by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). This study is one of a number of COVID-19 studies that have been given urgent public health research status by the Department of Health and Social Care.

 

coronovirus 

 

Research to understand the prevalence of COVID-19 in children and teenagers

A new study will be vital in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 by determining how many children and teenagers have been infected during the pandemic, and what proportion of those didn’t show symptoms. 

The study will also establish how many children and teenagers have not yet been infected and may remain susceptible to COVID-19 when lockdown measures are relaxed.  

 

ChildrenSanitiser 

 

Nottingham's part in evaluating coronavirus tests

Testing for coronavirus infection could become quicker, more convenient and more accurate, following the launch of a multicentre national programme of research.

We are part of the programme that will evaluate how new diagnostic tests perform in hospitals, general practices and care homes. 

 

 Symptoms

 

Herd immunity threshold could be lower according to new study

Herd immunity to Covid-19 could be achieved with less people being infected than previously estimated according to new research.

Our mathematicians, working alongside the University of Stockholm, devised a simple model categorising people into groups reflecting age and social activity level.  When differences in age and social activity are incorporated in the model, the herd immunity level reduces from 60% to 43%.  

 

immunity 

 

Research into how lockdown affects our relationships

Researchers in Nottingham are part of a team investigating how the coronavirus lockdown has impacted people’s relationships and routines.

The University is working with a team of experts in social networks on launching, collating and analysing the results of a nationwide questionnaire. 

 

Relationships 

 

Maternal transmission of COVID-19 to baby is uncommon according to new study

Our School of Medicine experts also found the rate of infection is no greater when the baby is born vaginally, breastfed or allowed contact with the mother.

Many early reports suggested that in order to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from mother to baby, it was safer to have a caesarean, to isolate the baby from the mother at birth and to formula feed, but there was very little evidence to support these guidelines.

 

pregnantmum 

 

UK nurses still worried about their health during COVID-19

Second survey of UK nurses and midwives highlights ongoing concern about their health, training and strain on mental health

The second round of results from a three-survey study highlights the ongoing concerns nurses and midwives in the UK have about COVID-19 and the risks it poses to their own physical and mental health, as well as the health of their families.

 

Stressednurse 

 

COVID-19 vaccine to begin phase II/III human trials in Nottingham

We are recruiting for the next phase in human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine in human volunteers.
The vaccine has been developed by researchers from the University of Oxford.

The phase I trial in healthy adult volunteers began in April. More than 1,000 immunisations have been completed and follow-up is ongoing.

 

VaccineSml 

 

Nottingham and Indonesia unite in battling COVID-19

Challenges facing Indonesian researchers

COVID-19 is a global challenge which requires global solutions. In the first event of its kind, UK and Indonesian policy makers, scientists, and funding agencies have discussed the roadmap to tackling COVID-19 with the aid of effective multi-disciplinary collaborations.

 

Covid-Indonesia 

 

New study aims to learn the lessons of homeschooling

Parents who have been homeschooling their children are being called on to share their experiences for a new study.

Researchers from the School of Medicine have launched an online survey to gain insight into parent’s experiences that can be used to formulate a blueprint for homeschooling in any future pandemics.

 

Homeschool 

 

Looking after the Wellbeing of the Workforce

Our researchers have launched a new study to investigate how people’s work and employment has changed because of COVID-19, and how this has affected their mental wellbeing.

The Wellbeing of the Workforce (WoW) study will also look at what might be helping people to cope with the current uncertainties around their jobs.

 

 Onlinewoman

 

New AI diagnostic can predict COVID-19 likelihood without a test

Researchers have developed an artificial intelligence diagnostic that can predict whether someone is likely to have COVID-19 based on their symptoms. 

The AI model uses data from the COVID Symptom Study app, which in just six weeks has grown to over 3 million people reporting their health to help fight the epidemic.

 

tracker 

 

Study launched to show how diet has changed in lockdown

Volunteers from across the UK are needed to take part in the COVID-19 Dietary Study being carried out by the University's Division of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics. 

The online study will provide valuable insight into how the UK's food situation has changed and could be used to inform future research and policy to help improve food supply and security during a pandemic.

 

 Shopping

 

Research highlights key failings in COVID-19 preparations

New research finds key Government failings undermined NHS ability to cope with the crisis.

Experts from our Business School contributed to a literature review which focused on key organisational resilience research examining the ‘good, the bad and the ugly’ of preparedness in readiness and response to pandemics.

 

risk 

 

Repurposing existing drugs a more rapid alternative to a vaccine for COVID-19

Dr Steve Alexander from the School of Life Sciences is one of the authors of a review arguing that a multi-pronged approach is needed to find new drugs. 

He cautions that an effective and scalable vaccine is likely to take over a year before it can used to tackle the global pandemic.

 

Vaccine 

 

Why does COVID-19 hit some harder than others?

A new study will examine why some people who contract COVID-19 have symptoms and others don’t, and will question why, out of those who become symptomatic, not all become seriously ill.

New research, led by our experts working with Nottingham University Hospitals, will look to answer a number of important questions around how COVID-19 affects different people. 

 

 Symptoms

 

Are we fighting a war against COVID-19?

Dr Ross Wilson, of the Faculty of Arts, shares his thoughts on the references to war in contemporary reporting of the coronavirus pandemic. 

He explores how the use of language to frame our expectations and identities can we seen as a political tool, but adds that wartime experience can be a useful guide into understanding how individuals and groups cope under pressure.

 

 VE

 

Engineers produce certified 3D printed face shields for NHS

Our engineers have designed a PPE face shield with CE approval that they are 3D printing at scale for healthcare workers to use in the fight against COVID-19.

Using the latest in Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) technology and materials at the University’s Centre for Additive Manufacturing, and working with external collaborators, the team will deliver 5,000 of the face shields to Nottingham’s NHS and community healthcare workers.

 

 Masks1

 

Our key role in developing a potential DNA vaccine against COVID-19

Our experts will contribute essential virology expertise to help develop a safe and effective vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

We are assisting Scancell Holdings plc, a developer of novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, to adapt its existing cancer vaccine platform for the development of a new vaccine.

 

VaccineSml 

 

New ground-breaking study into COVID-19

Researchers at Nottingham University Hospitals and the University of Nottingham have started a new clinical research study to find ways to defeat COVID-19.

The new study, led by the University of Oxford, will investigate whether drug treatments originally developed for other conditions can also help treat patient with COVID-19. The trial started last week and has already recruited three patients in Nottingham to take part.

 

Lungs 

 

Mapping the spread of COVID-19 

The University of Nottingham will be part of a £20m investment into a national consortium to sequence COVID-19.

The Government and the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser have backed the UK’s leading clinicians and scientists, including a team from Nottingham, to map how COVID-19 spreads and behaves by using whole genome sequencing.

 

coronovirus 

 

New study to explore the effect of social distancing

Researchers are looking for volunteers from across the globe to take part in a new study looking into how social distancing has affected their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The study aims to understand what motivates people to adhere to the practice of distancing and how it affects people’s social interactions and mood. 

 

social-distancing 

 

COVID-19 stress hormone study needs volunteers

Scientists are looking for volunteers to take part in a major new study to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the physical and emotional health of people in the UK.

The COVID-19 Stress and Health Study, is being carried out by experts at the University of Nottingham, King’s College London and with the support of the stress hormone testing company MyFertile. The survey is UK-wide and will explore the emotional and physical impact of COVID-19 on the health of our nation.

 

Lockdown-410-x-410

 

The impact handwashing and glove wearing is having on the nation's skin

Our skin experts in the School of Medicine have been working to provide expert advice and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A team of experts in the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology (CEBD) at the University, have set up the Coronavirus Dermatology Resource aimed at dermatology health professionals and patients.

 

 hands

 

Urgent need to support wellbeing of nurses and midwives during COVID-19

A new survey highlights the concerns nurses and midwives in the UK have about COVID-19 and the risks it poses to their physical and mental health, as well as the health of their families. 

The ICON study evaluates the impact of COVID-19 on the UK nursing and midwifery workforce. It is being undertaken at three time-points: prior to COVID-19 peak, during the COVID-19 peak, and in the recovery period following COVID-19.

 
Tirednurse
 

Supporting pharmacists with COVID-19 ethical decision-making framework

A new guidance framework has been launched to support pharmacists and registered pharmacy technicians faced with making difficult decisions linked to the exceptional impact of COVID-19.

The guidance provides helpful reminders about the process of reasoned decision making, the national pandemic ethical framework and some considerations about specific areas of importance to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. The varied experiences of the guidance contributors brings together a wide range of up to the moment professional issues that many may or will be facing.

 

PharmacyFramework 

 

New online resource launched to protect mental health of healthcare workers

A free online resource has been launched to help those working in healthcare cope with the stress of dealing with Covid-19 and help maintain their psychological wellbeing during and after the pandemic.

The e-learning package has been put together by a health psychologist from the University of Nottingham in collaboration with the University of Leicester. It is for any healthcare staff and students. It covers the possible impacts of the pandemic on mental health and practical measures that can be taken to combat them.

 

Elearningstresstool 

 

New advice for delayed surgery patients during COVID-19

Physiology experts are urging people on surgical waiting lists to consider using high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to boost the fitness of their heart and lungs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team of scientists at the University of Nottingham say their new research proves the benefit of HIIT in patients having surgery for urological cancer – results that are also relevant to everyone trying to avoid or recover from COVID-19. In a paper published in a Nature journal, the researchers show how a group of older pre-surgical patients significantly benefitted from a cycling-based HIIT exercise programme in the month running up to their operations. The results suggest that this HIIT regime has the potential to reduce the chances of complications or death during and after surgery.

 

HIIT-Pre-Op-410-x-410

 

COVID-19 eclipses Brexit uncertainty

Professor Paul Mizen, from the School of Economics, shares his research into how COVID-19 has eclipsed Brexit as the biggest worry for UK businesses.

His data shows that 81% of UK businesses reported that COVID-19 is currently one of the top three sources of uncertainty for their business. By comparison, firms reporting that Brexit was an important source of uncertainty for their business fell from 44% in February to 36% in March.

 

cornovirus-markets 

 

Digital technology could help tackle youth mental health crisis

Professor Chris Hollis from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham is leading research into how digital technology can be used to help support young people with mental health problems, including those emerging during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Mental-healthfunding

 

COVID-19 and modern slavery: a research response

COVID-19 represents a large and sudden exogenous shock to the world. The pandemic itself and the measures being undertaken to slow its pace and effect have short, medium and long-term impacts on the problem of modern slavery.

One of our Beacons of Excellence, the Rights Lab, have formulated research approaches to understanding and responding to the effects of the pandemic on some of the world’s most vulnerable people. This represents an early-stage research agenda for anti-slavery responses to COVID-19, and a call for a coordinated, systematic and inter-disciplinary research effort.

 

Rights Lab

 

Lockdown literature: Translating the first Coronavirus pandemic novel

A group of more than 40 Portuguese writers hit the headlines recently after volunteering to jointly author a story, taking turns to publish a new chapter daily, after being challenged by award-winning author Ana Margarida de Carvalho.

The group was joined first by over 40 visual artists, and then by 6 teams of over 40 translators, including Dr Mark Sabine, Associate Professor in Lusophone Studies in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Nottingham.

Dr Sabine translated the penultimate chapter of the series into English, which you can read here, and writes below about the experience of translating a chapter of a serial novel in lockdown.

 

Lockdown literature

 

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