COVID-19 Research Funding Programme 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented challenges for India and has wide-ranging consequences for health and wellbeing. 

We invite rigorous proposals for research on COVID-19 in the Indian context. 

We give priority to proposals that take insights and transfer them into action and impact while using processes and best-practices that have proved useful in responding to the crisis. The proposals should focus on concrete results and insights that can directly inform the actions and responses in the near-term.

Purely clinical or medical studies are outside the scope of this research funding.

We will disseminate project reports to the public once the funding period is closed. Researchers can also publish their work elsewhere. 

Find below some themes we are looking for.

We seek proposals that range across urban and rural settings in the broad areas described below, including but not limited to the objectives suggested listed below.

  • Impact of quality of public health systems
    • Filled positions versus vacancies in public health positions.
  • Impact of community initiatives in rural or urban settings
    • IEC efforts, access to testing, deployment of Rapid Antigen Tests, lockdowns.
  • Impact of public-private partnerships and collaboration 
    • In the areas of IEC, testing, surveillance, secondary/​tertiary care.
  • Impact of availability of testing, quality of contact tracing, rigour of testing of primary and secondary contacts.
  • A study of the effectiveness of local elected representatives and their grassroots workers, bureaucracy, NGOs, SHGs and their effectiveness.
  • Impact of locally quarantining and isolating versus centralised centres.
  • Span of frontline health workers in terms of population handled.
  • Motivation of ASHA workers and others including emoluments and training they receive. 
  • Safety of ASHA workers and other frontline workers.
  • Assessing the role of various factors in effective diagnosis, control and treatment: the presence of a Primary Healthcare Centre, increased numbers of frontline health workers, implementation of home isolation programmes.
  • Identification of best-practices for protecting health-care workers and other front-line staff.
  • Identifying and measuring the impact of best practices in the areas of community mobilisation and involvement.
  • Best practices based on the ways in which non-health NGOs, SHGs, and community organisations have reoriented themselves to COVID related work and the impact this will have on both health and non-health areas.
  • Impact of local self governance in the form of active Gram Panchayats in rural areas or Area Sabhas and Ward Committees in urban areas.
  • Social, physical, economic and other barriers and opportunities to rapidly scaling up testing, quarantine, surveillance and care.
  • Effectiveness of approaches to care in challenging environments like isolated areas, high-density communities like slums.
  • Best practice approaches to implement specific behavioural interventions like masks and physical distancing
  • Challenges of special needs communities
  • Measurements of real mortality rates
  • Difficulties faced by non-COVID patients in accessing health care
  • Providing access and support to migrants, and those without Aadhaar and PDS
  • Investigating the effectiveness of apps in improving contact tracing, identifying and tracking symptomatic and high risk individuals and reducing spread and mortality.
  • Implementation of tele-health.
  • Use of data and analysis from tests, sero-surveys, pro-active on-ground surveillance in identifying local clusters, containment management and limiting spread.


Last date for submission of proposal

Announcement of award of funding

Project to commence

Submission of project report

Please send in a tightly focused, 3‑page proposal. 

Include the following in your proposal: 

  • A detailed description and justification of your methods and study location
  • A clear description of the expected outcomes
  • The relevance of findings to informing and shaping future strategies in the near short-term. 
  • A lengthy introduction and literature justification is not required.
Interested applicants should submit their proposal online.
Upload the following documents in a single PDF:
  • Proposal of not more than three pages
  • A detailed budget with breakdown
  • Your anticipated timeline
  • CV of all investigators undertaking research

You are required to submit your proposal online using a Google account. 

If this is not feasible, please contact us at covidresearch@​apu.​edu.​in for assistance.

Applications have closed.