19 projects to explore social and cultural impacts of COVID-19

Worried young woman looking through window at home in quarantine

Researchers will expand our understanding of how to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on society thanks to funding for 19 international projects.

The findings of the research aim to:

  • support global recovery and renewal
  • enhance the resilience of society in a post-pandemic world.

They are the first jointly-funded projects in the world to investigate the medium-and long-term effects of the pandemic on all aspects of health, social, economic, political, and cultural life in unprecedented detail.

£12 million, 12 countries, four continents

The researchers will lead the projects, worth nearly £12 million (around 14.4 million Euros), from 12 countries across four continents.

The projects are funded by 16 major funders, via the Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) for Social Sciences and Humanities scheme, including:

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

T-AP is a collaboration between humanities and social science research funders from:

  • South America
  • North America
  • Europe.

T-AP works to identify common trans-Atlantic challenges and promote a culture of collaboration in social sciences and humanities research.

Research topics

The topics covered by the 19 research projects include:

  • building resilient media and ensuring effective pandemic communication in divided societies
  • exploring the effect of the pandemic on inequality in North and South America, and Europe
  • analysing the trajectories, outcomes and sustainability of grassroots innovations and collaborations in marginalised and racialised communities
  • understanding and supporting the recovery needs of socially, politically, and physically marginalised communities using creative arts
  • exploring the effects of the pandemic on governance, political participation, gender, and community actions
  • ensuring the resilience of university instruction
  • examining the effects on care work during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summaries of the projects are available on the T-AP website.

Addressing key gaps in our understanding

ESRC’s Interim Executive Chair, Professor Alison Park, said:

We are all too aware of how much the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our health, social, economic, political, and cultural lives.

These new projects, funded through international collaboration as part of the Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) for Social Sciences and Humanities scheme, will address key gaps in our understanding of the medium and long-term impact the pandemic has had on people and societies across the world.

This understanding, in turn, will help inform strategies to mitigate the negative societal effects of COVID-19 and support recovery and renewal in a post-pandemic world.

Path to recovery

Executive Chair of AHRC and UK Research and Innovation’s International Champion, Professor Christopher Smith, said:

We are only just beginning to understand the long-term societal and cultural effects of the pandemic, and arts and humanities research has an essential role to play in understanding and mapping the most effective and inclusive path to recovery.

The projects funded as part of this investment will bring together the skills and insights of researchers across social sciences and arts and humanities to inform a fuller picture of how our society has been affected, and how it needs to change in response to the events of the past two years.

The projects start in March 2022 and will run from between two and three years.

Top image:  Credit: VioletaStoimenova, Getty Images

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