Almost £5m of Scottish Government funding is to be split between 55 different coronavirus research projects across the country.
The money will support a range of initiatives at 15 Scottish universities and research institutions to help better understand the effects of infection as well as the development and testing of new diagnostics and treatments.
It will also help support the mental health of frontline health and social care workers and understand the physical and mental health implications of lockdown measures.
The University of Glasgow has received the most funding – £1,025,458 split between nine projects – while there are ten projects at the University of Stirling, splitting £480,707 of funding.
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.”
Three projects at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) will share £136,290 of the funding.
Professor Kay Currie, associate dean for research at the School of Health and Life Sciences, said work can start immediately in May and be completed in six months.
She added: “Dr Jamie Frankis will build on existing national survey work to study ‘How has Covid-19 social distancing amplified the mental health vulnerabilities of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men’.
“Dr Alex Pollock and Dr Pauline Campbell will conduct a systematic review and evidence synthesis on ‘Effective interventions to support the resilience and mental health of frontline health and social care staff during a global health crisis and following de-escalation’.
“Each of these studies will enable GCU researchers to use their expertise to provide new insights into specific challenges that affect the wellbeing of healthcare providers and different sections of the community, generating recommendations for Government to provide for solutions as we move through the Covid-19 emergency.”
Professor David Crossman, chief scientist for health, also 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 institutions to this Covid-19 research call emphatically reinforces that view.”
Full list of funding
- University of Aberdeen: Six projects, £972,870
- University of Dundee: Two projects, £487,710
- University of Edinburgh: Eight projects, £603,500
- Glasgow Caledonian University: Three projects, £136,290
- University of Glasgow: Nine projects, £1,025,458
- Institute of Occupational Medicine: One project, £206,300
- Edinburgh Napier University: Three projects, £166,826
- Queen Margaret University: Two projects, £92,424
- Robert Gordon University: One project, £55,789
- University of St Andrews: Three projects, £132,719
- University of Strathclyde: Four projects, £355,096
- Scotland’s Rural College: One project, £36,118
- University of Stirling: Ten projects, £480,707
- University of the Highlands and Islands: One project, £44,581
- University of the West of Scotland: One project, £128,882
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