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COVID-19 information for researchers

COVIS-19 molecule in red and whiteThe outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2) has implications for research and researchers at Barts Health and Queen Mary. 

As of 30 June 2020, our COVID-19 Clinical Research Review Committee has reviewed a total of 269 proposals:

  • 139 research studies
  • 104 Clinical Effectiveness Unit (CEU) audit/service evaluations
  • 24 QMERC studies

Barts Health and Queen Mary COVID-19 approved research, 30 June 2020 [XLS 14KB]

On this page we publish information to support our researchers, covering:

Reopening clinical studies

Where clinical research studies have been suspended at Barts Health and Queen Mary there are a number of factors to consider before they can be reopened. To help with this the JRMO has issued the following:

The HRA has also published guidance on re-starting or making changes to existing studies that the JRMO will take into account.

Reopening lab-based research

Reopening laboratory-based research is clearly dependent on the labs themselves being reopened. Safety is the top priority for this and decisions are anticipated from early June onwards, lab by lab. We hope to be able to publish a checklist for researchers and/or a link to further information on Queen Mary lab reopening very soon. In the meantime, researchers are advised to discuss this with their Institute or lab managers.  

Travel policy for fieldwork

If it is essential for you to do fieldwork for research continuation now, then you can do so provided you comply with the following. You must ensure you complete the risk assessment, and give specific consideration to local Covid-19 related policies of your institution, any institutions you will be working with and the governments of any countries outside the UK if the research is to be carried out overseas. Contact your line manager or supervisor for further information.

Risk assessments need to be signed off by your Head of School or Institute, and you must be aware that insurance cover will only remain valid if you can demonstrate to your Head of School or Institute that travel is necessary at this time and you can practice social distancing throughout the trip. Risk assessment templates for fieldwork are available on the HSD website.

Setting up new COVID-19-related research studies

The JRMO has published guidance on the processes for both expedited study approval, and confirmation of capacity and capability, for Barts Health and Queen Mary researchers in relation to the set-up of new COVID-19-related research. 

Getting involved in COVID-19 research

The Barts Health website has information, aimed primarily at patients, setting out how to get involved in the Trust's COVID-19 research. This is a very useful resource for research staff who need help with drafting information for patients or volunteers. The page covers such items as 'why do research into COVID-19', 'taking part in research', information about the Trust's PPIE Advisory Group, along with details of the Trust's major ongoing COVID-19 research projects. The JRMO's Engagement and Diffusion Team can help further with this.

The NIHR has also published information on how to best get involved in research at this time. 

General clinical research guidance

COVID-19 guidance to clinical researchers, 3 June 2020 [PDF 290KB]

General non-clinical research guidance

COVID-19 guidance for non-clinical researchers, 1 April 2020 [PDF 231KB] 

Guidance on continuing research at Queen Mary

Guidance on whether research activities can continue at Queen Mary, 18 March 2020 [PDF 389KB] 

Guidance on remote monitoring of clinical research

The JRMO has published Guidance for site study teams and sponsors for remote monitoring and source data verification within Barts Health NHS Trust [PDF 230KB]  during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional JRMO guidance can be found on the Guidance Documents page. 

COVID-19 studies open at Barts Health

Information about ongoing research into COVID-19 at Barts Health is on the Trust website. That page also includes links to videos encouraging patients to take part in both interventional and observational research, made in various languages found in East London. 

QMERC COVID-19 guidance

Queen Mary Ethics of Research Committee (QMERC) COVID-19 guidance for researchers, 7 May 2020 [PDF 315KB]. There is also a QMERC webpage providing more information about its work.

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