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New £20m call for research into physical and mental effects of 'long COVID'

Published: 12 November 2020

Read more about NIHR COVID-19 research

The NIHR and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) have launched a £20m joint research call to fund ambitious and comprehensive research into the longer term physical and mental effects of COVID-19 in non-hospitalised individuals.

The new funding is available for research which aims to understand and address the effects of so-called ‘long COVID’. 

Increasing medical evidence and patient testimony has shown that some people who contract and survive COVID-19 may later go on to develop longer-lasting symptoms.

Chronic symptoms can range from breathlessness and chronic fatigue to ‘brain fog’, anxiety and stress and can last for months after people initially fall ill.

These ongoing problems may be experienced by patients regardless of how severe their COVID-19 infection was and irrespective of whether they were hospitalised.

UKRI and NIHR are launching the call to fund two or three ambitious and comprehensive research projects and a small number of study extensions that will address long COVID in people who haven’t been hospitalised.

This work will complement other major studies already jointly funded by UKRI and NIHR that are focusing on long COVID in hospitalised patients, for example ISARIC-4C  and Post hospitalisation COVID-19 (PHOSP-COVID). 

Projects are expected to start early in 2021 and may be funded for up to three years in the first instance.

The call will close on 9 December 2020.

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