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Coronavirus developments at a glance: 13-19 June

This week’s coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic from Research Professional News

Covid-19 Funding Insights

A UK coronavirus rapid-response scheme may be an exceptional call, but standard grantsmanship still applies

How $8bn in funding commitments for Covid-19 R&D have played out globally 


United States
Covid-19 has led to a major scaling back of research programmes in Antarctica by both the UK and the United States.

Fellows in the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions scheme say they feel “let down” by the programme’s response to Covid-19, which is forcing them to put research on hold and face periods of unpaid work in future.

The European Commission has set out an EU strategy for supporting the development of vaccines against Covid-19 and ensuring fair access to any effective vaccines among member states.

EU industry and health ministers have given their support to European Commission proposals for the EU’s financial recovery from Covid-19, including the establishment of a new €9.4 billion health programme.

The European University of Well-being, a consortium of seven universities established in line with the EU’s European Universities Initiative, has put together a policy team focused on improving citizens’ health in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Universities in England have distanced themselves from comments by the universities minister, who has claimed that English universities had asked the UK government to restrict the number of England-domiciled students that institutions in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales can recruit for the 2020-21 academic year.

Major academic publishers have been told to reduce the cost of their agreements with universities by a quarter given the pandemic’s impact on sector finances.

Coronavirus research in Africa needs to avoid fuelling distrust in science in vulnerable communities, a trio of ethicists argue in a letter published on 11 June.

Research specifically on issues faced by black, Asian, and minority ethnic people has received just under $2.6 million out of nearly $1 billion spent on Covid-19 research globally so far, the latest data show.

The Covid-19 pandemic could lead to poverty increasing in Asia for the first time since 1990, particularly if governments fail to include women in recovery strategies, according to two University of Sydney academics.

New Zealand
New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has based her leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic on respect for expertise and helping people understand the measures required to control the virus, a leading academic has said.