Medical researchers reviewing data on a screen

NIHR launches second £20m Long Covid funding call

A second call for research proposals on helping and supporting people with Long Covid has been launched by the NIHR.

The call will see up to £20m of funding awarded for research on treatments, healthcare services and diagnostics for adults and children with Long Covid who have not been unwell enough to require hospital admission.

Although many Covid-19 patients make a fully recovery, a significant proportion of people continue to experience chronic symptoms for months following - which has been commonly termed ‘Long Covid’.

Current data has shown that around 20-30% of people who had Covid-19 but were not admitted to hospital experience at least one enduring symptom around a month later, with at least 10% continuing to experience symptoms three months later.

NIHR has funded a range of research projects to tackle the ongoing symptoms experience by people who have had Covid-19, with four new research studies announced by NIHR and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) back in February.

NIHR researchers have also been involved in the £8.4m Post-Hospitalisation Covid-19 study (PHOSP-COVID), which sought to address the ongoing symptoms of Covid-19 in people who have been admitted to hospital.

Part of the findings from that study showed that seven in ten people who were admitted to hospital with Covid-19 had not fully recovered five months later.

The new Long Covid funding call will seek to fund research on four areas treatment and management:

  • Pharmaceutical treatments, including the effectiveness of drugs already being used as treatments, and non-pharmaceutical therapies
  • Treatment pathways and service management approaches, including healthcare, community and social care services
  • Diagnostics, including what tests are appropriate
  • Other topics to help and support individuals with Long Covid

Two deadlines were set as part of the funding call: with proposals on therapies and interventions, and on management and evaluation of services, to be received by April 22, 2021, and for proposals on diagnostics and other topics to be received by May 12, 2021.

Researchers are to be asked to submit an expression of interest form ahead of submitting a full application for each of these deadlines. More information and a guide to applying can be found here.

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