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Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in an unprecedented research response, demonstrating exceptional examples of rapid research and collaboration. There is however a need for greater coordination, with limited resources and the shifting global nature of the pandemic resulting in a proliferation of research projects underpowered and unable to achieve their aims. 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 2021 the database contains 10,608 projects, funded by 201 funders, taking place across 142 countries representing an investment of at least $4.7 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. It is being used by the WHO, governments and multi-lateral 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 will be presented and updated frequently to aid interpretation of the global COVID-19 funded research portfolio. Results: In this version four analysis we provide an updated detailed descriptive analysis of the database (three months after version three) 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.

Original publication





Wellcome Open Research


F1000 Research Ltd

Publication Date





209 - 209