The outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19 or SARS-CoV-2) has implications for research and researchers at Barts Health and Queen Mary.
On this page we publish information to support our researchers, covering:
- Get involved in our Covid-19 research
- New COVID-19 studies: The JRMO Covid-19 Review Committee
- Covid-19 vaccine research
- Reopening clinical studies
- Travel policy for fieldwork
- Covid-19 data requests and project proposals: Barts Life Sciences' COVID-19 Data Group
- General clinical research guidance
- General non-clinical research guidance
- Guidance on continuing research at Queen Mary
- Guidance on remote monitoring of Barts Health clinical research
- Covid-19 studies open at Barts Health
- QMERC Covid-19 guidance
- Barts Health Knowledge and Library Services' Covid-19 Evidence updates, Clinical Decision Tool and related resources
- Queen Mary Doctoral College FAQ
- Resources for research and technical teams to support the Covid-19 response
Barts Health is now screening 'healthy volunteer' participants for Covid-19 vaccine trials at its bespoke vaccine trials centre based at Bethnal Green Library, in the heart of East London. If you would like to take part in a vaccines study, send an email with your full name, and contact telephone number to email@example.com. You will be contacted by a member of the research team, who will explain more about the study.
NIHR ARC East Midlands has produced a useful document Public perceptions towards vaccine trial research within ethnic minority and vulnerable communities [PDF 343KB] which should be of assistance in tackling some commonly-held misconceptions that can act as a barrier to research inclusion.
The Barts Health website also 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 JRMO has published Guidance on the processes for both expedited study approval, and confirmation of capacity and capability, for all Barts Health and Queen Mary researchers in relation to the set-up of any new Covid-19-related research. Specifically, all new studies must be approved by the JRMO's Covid-19 Review Committee, which operates in accordance with Guiding Principles [PDF 178KB]
As of 10 October 2020, that Review Committee had reviewed a total of 664 proposals:
- 332 research projects (JRMO Research Governance oversight)
- 177 Clinical Effectiveness Unit (CEU) audit/service evaluations
- 72 QMERC studies
The NIHR has launched a central website where anyone can sign up to take part in a variety of expedited clinical trials relating to the development of a vaccine. More information about this work, including how to register as a volunteer, is available on the NIHR website.
Information about getting involved in other Covid-19 research is set out below.
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:
- Statement on the principles around reopening research studies [PDF 177KB]
- JRMO study restart assessment checklist [DOC 69KB]
The HRA has also published guidance on re-starting or making changes to existing studies that the JRMO will take into account.
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.
The JRMO has published Guidance for site study teams and sponsors for remote monitoring and source data verification within Barts Health NHS Trust during the Covid-19 pandemic. This and additional JRMO guidance can be found on the guidance webpage.
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.
Queen Mary Ethics of Research Committee (QMERC) Covid-19 guidance for researchers, 14 August 2020 [PDF 293KB]. There is also a QMERC webpage providing more information about its work.