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Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in an unprecedented research response, demonstrating exceptional examples of rapid research and collaboration. There is however a need for greater coordination, with limited resources and the shifting global nature of the pandemic resulting in a proliferation of research projects underpowered and unable to achieve their aims. Methods: The UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR) and Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R), two funder coordination groups have collaborated to develop a live database of funded research projects across the world relating to COVID-19. Drawing data continually from their members and further global funding bodies, as of 15 th July 2020 the database contains 1,858 projects, funded by 25 funders, taking place across 102 countries. To our knowledge it is one of the most comprehensive databases, covering a wide breadth of research disciplines. The database is aligned to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Research Roadmap: 2019 Novel Coronavirus. It is being used by the WHO, governments and multi-lateral policy makers, research funders and researchers. This living systematic review aims to supplement the database by providing an open accessible and frequently updated resource summarising the characteristics of the COVID-19 funded research portfolio. Both descriptive and thematic analysis will be presented and updated frequently to aid interpretation of the global COVID-19 funded research portfolio. Results: In this baseline analysis we provide the first detailed descriptive analysis of the database and focus our thematic analysis on research gaps, study populations and research locations (with a focus on resource-limited countries). Conclusions: This living systematic review will help both funders and researchers to prioritise resources to underfunded areas where there is greatest research need and facilitate further strategic collaboration.

Original publication




Journal article


Wellcome open research

Publication Date





UK Collaborative on Development Research, London, UK.