The impact of COVID-19 on families, fertility rates decline and students produce a virtual film festival – 19th June

a woman's hands holding a newborn babies feet

Here’s a round-up of some of the latest stories about UK university COVID-19 projects and initiatives shared on social media over the last 24 hours. 

1. Imperial College London call out for COVID-19 vaccine trial volunteers

Researchers at Imperial College London are appealing for healthy volunteers to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine trial which will take place over 12 months. 

The first phase of the trial involves gathering data from a group of participants to find out how the immune system reacts to the vaccine. Volunteers can sign up on the University website. 

2. University of Salford technicians join leading scientists to test COVID-19 samples 

Laboratory technicians at the University of Salford have volunteered to work with leading scientists to test thousands of COVID-19 samples each day. 

Working at the new Lighthouse Lab at Alderley Park in Cheshire the volunteers are involved in the preparation of the incoming patient samples. 

3. University of Cambridge collaborates on a new study exploring the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on broken families

A collaborative report by researchers at the University of Cambridge, Edge Hill University and the charity, Stand Alone UK, has found that the COVID-19 pandemic has made life far more difficult for those estranged from their family.

Over half of the 800 respondents to the survey reported feeling more isolated now than before the pandemic. 

4. London School of Economics (LSE) researchers find the COVID-19 crisis will cause a decline in fertility rates

The lockdown sparked talk of a potential baby boom but an analysis by LSE researchers has found that the COVID-19 pandemic is having a negative effect on fertility rates. 

In addition to the pandemic, the economic crisis is anticipated to deal another blow as economic recessions are always followed by a decline in fertility rates. 

5. Study finds over 10,000 excess deaths not recorded as COVID-19 related – University of Manchester

Data scientists at the University of Manchester have analysed weekly mortality data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the first nine weeks of lockdown.

They found that over a fifth of excess deaths were not recorded as COVID-19 related despite the likelihood that the virus was the cause. 

6. Regent’s University London film students produce a virtual film festival

BA (Hons) Film & Screen students at Regent’s University London have individually documented their personal lockdown experiences to create 20 documentary shorts. 

The films are available to view on YouTube as part of the University’s virtual film festival. 

7. University of Northampton students teach refugees and asylum seekers conversational English online 

A team of students at the University of Northampton formed the Student Action for Refugees (STAR) group in September 2019 and ran weekly face-to-face conversation lessons before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Since the lockdown, the team have continued to provide conversational English lessons online using Zoom. 

8. University of Glasgow leads Mental Health & Wellbeing Tracker study in Scotland

The Scottish Government has announced that Professor Rory O’Connor at the University of Glasgow will lead a study to track impact of COVID-19 on the population’s psychological wellbeing and tailor policies accordingly. 

9. City, University London students collaborate with Rethink to produce COVID-19 guide

A group of students at City, University London have published an online guide as part of the Rethink Mental Illness Step Up Universities project to help support other students.  

Coping during COVID-19 includes advice for managing psychological wellbeing, anxiety and for exercising at home. 

Recents tweets