A living mapping review for COVID-19 funded research projects: 21 month update
Bucher A., Antonio E., Grund H., Jabin N., Jones C., Kifle M., Khader S., Boily-Larouche G., Lay M., Norton A.
Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in an unprecedented research response, demonstrating exceptional examples of rapid research and collaboration. There has however been an ongoing need for greater coordination, with limited resources for research and the shifting global pandemic. 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 15th April 2022 the database contains 16,353 projects, funded by 319 funders, taking place across 157 countries representing an investment of at least $6.2 billion. To our knowledge it is one of the most comprehensive databases. The database is aligned to the World Health Organisation and GloPID-R Global Research Roadmap: 2019 Novel Coronavirus and the UN Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery. It is being used by the WHO, governments and further policy makers, research funders and researchers. This living mapping 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 are presented and updated frequently to aid interpretation of the global COVID-19 funded research portfolio. Results: In this version eight analysis we provide an updated detailed descriptive analysis of the database (on data from three months after version seven) and focus our thematic analysis on research gaps, research areas in need of coordination, study populations and research locations (with a focus on resource-limited countries). Conclusions: As the global funding response to COVID-19 plateaus, this living mapping review helps both funders and researchers to prioritise resources to areas where there is continued unmet research need.