Call for COVID-19 rapid response data science taskforce



Closing date


In 2019 a novel coronavirus-induced disease (COVID-19) emerged in Wuhan, China. A month later the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention identified a new beta-coronavirus (SARS coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2) as the aetiological agent.  Most of what we currently know of COVID-19 comes from data about its outbreak in China and Italy, but there may be differences in presentation and course within the multi-ethnic communities of the UK which have not been described thus far. Within the UK, high level mapping is being captured by Public Health England, but there is a lack of in-depth and granular data capture.  This in-depth data is needed to inform prognostic prediction tools, enable effective clinical care or model the ongoing and likely future impact of COVID-19. 

DECOVID is an emerging research collaboration between The Alan Turing Institute, NHS Trusts, HDR UK and other academic partners. This collaboration aims to use near real-time health data as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds to allow researchers and clinicians to identify factors and generate insights that can lead to more effective clinical treatment strategies. DECOVID will be affiliated to PIONEER - the Health Data Research Hub for Acute Care. 

We now wish to draw upon the broad network of researchers within the Turing community, to seed clinical and operational teams to support Trusts as part of this collaboration.

This is a rapid response call for teams of researchers as well as individual researchers to join us in addressing these urgent questions. Teams will rapidly trial tested, robust and reproducible data science and machine learning methods on this new national data resource of COVID 19 data, to create a near real-time, human-in-the-loop analytics platform and information console to support acute care management and clinical decision making. DECOVID has been structured to be nationally scalable.

Please see the Call Document for more information.


Application process

Please submit details via a short Expression of Interest (EOI) form online via the Turing’s Flexigrant site by Friday 3 April 13:00 BST

  • Teams submissions should have all the information above collated for each team member and submitted by the Team Leader.
    • Initial deadline Friday 3 April 13:00 BST
  • Applications to the Talent Pool should be submitted by the individuals, or if a small group is applying, a designated lead applicant should submit the application to the Talent Pool.
    • Initial deadline Friday 10 April 13:00 BST

Please ensure your Head of School, PI / Group Lead / equivalent would approve you switching to one of these projects, if you were called upon.

The application form will remain open to continue to allow way of collecting details of any further interested teams or individuals who could be called upon later, or who may be interested in taking part in the ‘wave 2’ research.



If you have any queries, please contact the team via [email protected].





Wednesday 1 April

Opening date

Friday 3 April 13:00

Closing date

3-8 April

Review period

9 April

Outcome notification

10 April or thereafter

Project start date