COVID-19 information for researchers and sponsors

Southampton is part of the national effort to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19, prioritising these studies in line with National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) guidance.

We are also keeping open those studies that critical to participants care and wellbeing, whilst  aiming to restart or maintain other paused research studies where possible  and safe, in order to continue advancing care and treatments for our patients across a range of conditions throughout the pandemic.

National study priority categories


NIHR has established three categories for prioritisation of study delivery:

  • Level 1a (Top Priority) - COVID-19 UPH vaccine and prophylactic studies (as prioritised by the Vaccines Task Force and agreed by Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy CMO) and platform therapeutics trials (currently RECOVERY/RECOVERY +; PRINCIPLE; REMAP CAP).

  • Level 1b - Other COVID-19 UPH studies

  • Level 2 - Studies where the research protocol includes an urgent treatment or intervention without which patients could come to harm. These might be studies that provide access to potentially life preserving or life-extending treatment not otherwise available to the patient.

  • Level 3 - All other studies (including COVID-19 studies not in Level 1a or 1b).

The NIHR guidance for a second wave of covid 19 activity can be found here. This guidance still applies and, as outlined, states that the deployment of staff funded through an NIHR Infrastructure award or funded by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) to front line duties should only occur in exceptional circumstances. 

Please contact researchmanagement@uhs.nhs.uk if you have any concerns or queries about individual studies or this R&D policy.