The competition is part of the COVID-19 National Core Studies programme. The programmes’ objective is to address key research questions in support of the UK government’s response to COVID-19.
The aim of this competition is to develop effective assay system approaches to measuring human cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 natural infection or vaccines, to improve clinical management and vaccine deployment.
Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be subject of a separate, possible competitive, procurement exercise. This competition does not cover the purchase of any solution.
A total of up to £1.5million, inclusive of VAT, is allocated for this competition. It is expected that up to three projects will be funded.
To lead a project, you can:
Contracts will be awarded only to a single legal entity. The fund holders are looking for proposals that involve industrial and academic institutions as the lead and subcontractors. This work will still be the responsibility of the main contractor.
Projects must be classified as technical feasibility studies (this means planned research or critical investigation to gain new knowledge and skills for developing new products, processes or services).
The aim of this competition is to develop effective approaches to measuring human cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 natural infection or vaccines, to improve clinical management and vaccine deployment.
Assays that both qualitatively and quantitatively measure the antibodies that recognise and neutralise SARS-CoV-2 are already available. Assays to measure cellular immune responses rapidly and reproducibly are more limited.
Your project must develop a novel assay system that can define the magnitude and profile of T-cell immune responses to SARS-CoV-2. Where it can be justified, other cellular responses, including B cell and innate cell responses, may be of interest.
Your project can focus on assays that work in a clinical or laboratory setting, whilst considering the ease, speed and reproducibility of sample preparation. Assays that use whole blood rather than requiring complex cell separation protocols would be a priority.
Your project must: