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Covid-19: Calls for epidemic modellers and advanced imaging

Royal Society and STFC join fight against pandemic, as UKRI launches ‘coronavirus science explained’ website

The Royal Society and the Science and Technologies Facilities Council have issued calls for scientific modelling researchers to join the effort to tackle coronavirus.

On 29 March, the Royal Society made an urgent call to the scientific modelling community to get those with skills to contribute their efforts to combating the pandemic.

Applicants to its Rapid Assistance in Modelling the Pandemic initiative are not required to have any previous experience in epidemic modelling and are asked to fill in an online survey by 5pm on 2 April.

The Central Laser Facility, part of the STFC, announced on 27 March that it was inviting rapid access proposals to its Octopus imaging facility for research relevant to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and Covid-19.

The facility, which is located in the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell in Oxfordshire, offers a range of optical microscopy instruments and techniques such as super-resolution, single molecule imaging and tracking and light sheet microscopy.

Meanwhile, UK Research and Innovation has launched a website in collaboration with the UK government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance and chief medical adviser Chris Whitty explaining the science behind coronavirus.

Topics on the website, which is tailored for non-scientists, include evidence and facts about the virus, information on how people are infected and treatment options.

“In these unprecedented times, it’s vital that people have ready access to up-to-date scientific information and evidence,” said UKRI’s chief executive Mark Walport.

“The Coronavirus: The Science Explained website will be a valuable resource and we’re enormously grateful to all of our partners across Government and the research and innovation community for their support of this initiative.”