Professor Tom Yates, of the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, and Professor Kamlesh Khunti, from NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East Mildands, will investigate the risk of COVID-19 on ethnic minorities in one of 12 new projects aiming to accelerate the use of data for coronavirus research, it has just been announced.
The urgent research projects are to receive new funding following a rapid call for COVID-19 data research initiatives by Health Data Research UK, Office for National Statistics and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
The research led by Professors Yates and Khunti will examine the key risk factors, effect modifiers and mediators of the excess risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the associated complications of COVID-19 in minority ethnic communities using national linked datasets.
The project will build on existing UKRI and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) work to use national data to answer key COVID-19 research questions.
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.