2020-Scottish Government awards GCU research grant

University receives major Scottish Government research grant to tackle coronavirus impact

Tue, 28 Apr 2020 18:39:00 BST

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is delighted to announce that the Scottish Government has awarded the institution £136,290 to fund three vital research projects to tackle the coronavirus and its impact.

The rapid coronavirus research funding is part of a £5 million package to support 55 rapid research projects in 15 Scottish universities and research institutions, contributing to global efforts to combat the virus and its wider effects. 

The studies will focus on increasing the understanding of coronavirus (COVID-19), screening potential treatments and supporting clinical trials, and researchers have six months to complete them.

Professor of Economic Sociology and Social Policy, Michael Roy, from the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, will receive £58,245 to lead a study into ‘Solidarity in a time of crisis: the role of mutual aid to the COVID-19 pandemic’. 

From the School of Health and Life Sciences, Dr Jamie Frankis has been awarded £49,728 for his project investigating ‘How has COVID-19 social distancing amplified the mental health vulnerabilities of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM)?’ and Dr Alex Pollock will get £28,317 for her research on ‘Effective interventions to support the resilience and mental health of frontline health and social care staff during a global health crisis and following de-escalation’. Her project is co-led with Dr Pauline Campbell, also based in the NMAHP Research Unit. 

Professor Cam Donaldson, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, praised Associate Dean for Research in the School of Health and Life Sciences Professor Kay Currie for her hard work.

He said: "This is a great initiative by the Scottish Government and we had a great response from the GCU research community. I also want to thank Kay Currie for the work involved in pulling together an institutional bid in a short space of time."

Professor Currie said she was “delighted” that researchers from GCU have been successful in their bid for funding in response to the Rapid Research funding call launched by the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office on March 25 to contribute to developing evidence to tackle COVID-19. 

She explained: “The three projects that have been funded draw on existing strengths from research centres in the School of Health and Life Science and the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, meaning that the work can start immediately in May and be completed in six months. 

“Dr Jamie Frankis will build on existing national survey work to study ‘How has COVID-19 social distancing amplified the mental health vulnerabilities of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men’. 

“Dr Alex Pollock and Dr Pauline Campbell will conduct a systematic review and evidence synthesis on ‘Effective interventions to support the resilience and mental health of frontline health and social care staff during a global health crisis and following de-escalation’. 

“Each of these studies will enable GCU researchers to use their expertise to provide new insights into specific challenges that affect the well-being of health care providers and different sections of the community, generating recommendations for Government to provide for solutions as we move through the COVID-19 emergency.”

The Scottish Government’s Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said Scotland is home to some of the most respected researchers and scientists in the world. 

She added: “I know many academics are already thinking about how their research can be used during this national and international emergency. This funding enables universities and research institutions to immediately draw on the very best science and methodologies available to build on our understanding of this virus, develop new treatments, stop infection and support people’s mental and physical health.”