COVID-19: Understanding the Research Behind the Pandemic

In 2020 the world was shaken by the outbreak of COVID-19, resulting in a global pandemic and forcing public life to significantly change. Now a year on, UK scientists have harnessed critical research capabilities to reduce the spread of disease and rolled out a ground-breaking vaccination program to tackle this health crisis.  

But how were scientists able to develop a vaccine so quickly in the face of such an unprecedented challenge? And are they any closer to understanding the nature of this pandemic and its consequences on our health?  

These are some of the themes and the critical role of research are explored in ‘COVID-19: Understanding the Research Behind the Pandemic’This new, short online course developed by the University of Leeds and the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), examines the critical role of research in the development of vaccines and treatments.  

Throughout the courselearners will be introduced to the challenges that COVID-19 poses to health research communities and find out how scientists have been conducting innovative research that meets ethical, legal and safety requirements. 

As learners progressthey will understand the research process behind developing new vaccines and learn about the role of the public in delivering innovative research.  They will hear how crucial public participation in research is for the future of healthcare and the development of life-saving treatments.  

On completion the course, learners will understand how the UK response to COVID-19 may affect the future of research, and find out the next big questions for researchers, such as understanding Long COVID and the development of future vaccines. 

Suitable for anyone interested in finding out about the research on COVID-19 or working in healthcare, COVID-19: Understanding the Research Behind the Pandemic is available now to join for free on FutureLearn