More than 50 Scottish studies to tackle virus and its impact.

Research projects to increase the understanding of coronavirus (COVID-19), screen potential treatments and support clinical trials will benefit from almost £5 million of Scottish Government funding.

The money will support 55 rapid research projects in 15 Scottish universities and research institutions, contributing to global efforts to combat the virus and its wider effects, including research to: 

  • better understand the effects of infection
  • develop and test new diagnostics and treatments 
  • investigate new disease surveillance approaches
  • inform interventions to prevent transmission of infection
  • support the mental health of frontline health and social care workers
  • understand the physical and mental health implications of lockdown measures

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“Scotland is home to some of the most respected researchers and scientists in the world. COVID-19 is the biggest challenge we have faced in our lifetimes and it is vital that we capture the potential of the extraordinarily strong research base here to contribute to the global efforts to tackle and mitigate the impact of it.  

“I know many academics are already thinking about how their research can be used during this national and international emergency. This funding enables universities and research institutions to immediately draw on the very best science and methodologies available to build on our understanding of this virus, develop new treatments, stop infection and support people’s mental and physical health.”

Chief Scientist for Health Professor David Crossman said:

“The range of projects – both scientific subject areas and the different research institutions - that are receiving funding will help us understand many aspects of this terrible disease. The projects selected for funding all aim to give results as quickly as possible.

“Scotland is in a strong position to undertake clinical research and the response from universities and research institution to this COVID-19 research call emphatically reinforces that view.”


The Rapid Research in COVID-19 funding call was launched by the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office on 25 March 2020.

Successful applicants were chosen by an independent expert panel, co-chaired by Professor Eleanor Davies from the University of Glasgow and Professor Shaun Treweek from the University of Aberdeen.

All research projects are in a position to start without delay and will be complete within a six month timeframe.

Projects from following universities and research institutions have been awarded funding:

  • University of Aberdeen: 6 projects, £972,870
  • University of Dundee: 2 projects, £487,710
  • University of Edinburgh: 8 projects, £603,500
  • Glasgow Caledonian University: 3 projects, £136,290
  • University of Glasgow: 9 projects, £1,025,458
  • Institute of Occupational Medicine: 1 project, £206,300
  • Edinburgh Napier University: 3 projects, £166,826
  • Queen Margaret University: 2 projects, £92,424
  • Robert Gordon University: 1 project, £55,789
  • University of St Andrews: 3 projects, £132,719
  • University of Strathclyde: 4 projects, £355,096
  • Scotland’s Rural College: 1 project, £36,118
  • University of Stirling: 10 projects, £480,707
  • University of the Highlands and Islands: 1 project, £44,581
  • University of the West of Scotland: 1 project, £128,882


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