This call encompasses proposals by new and/or existing large-scale pan-European cohorts that will accelerate the acquisition of knowledge to combat the SARS-CoV-2 infection and, on this basis, make recommendations for effective prevention of the spread and optimal treatment of COVID-19 patients, both during the current pandemic and in the future. It is very important that all population groups (infected and not infected; but also people with mental disabilities or chronic conditions) are included. The following aspects should be taken into account:
- Rapid determination of risk and protection factors that influence susceptibility to infection, clinical manifestation, therapeutic response, and clinical outcome. On this basis, recommendations should be made on the best strategies to control the spread of the virus and protect the entire population.
- Identification of the most successful clinical management options and treatments since the beginning of the outbreak, from primary infection to multidisciplinary rehabilitation after recovery. The cohort makes an inventory of the evidence provided by large-scale studies and/or local practices in order to develop recommendations for optimal treatment and management of future patients.
- The population cohort shall assess the short-, medium-, and long-term impacts of COVID-19 and the various national/regional measures on the health, well-being, and socio-economic situation of individuals.
- The cohort should cover a large geographical area in Europe and other parts of the world. Interaction with national and/or European biobanks may be important.
- The harmonisation of data collection and the standardisation of protocols, as well as the adoption of common formats and models, will receive special attention. This could also include interfacing with data from electronic health records, sickness registers, and health insurance data.
- Integration of cloud-based collaborative portals, artificial intelligence, and other available ICT tools should be integrated where relevant. Links with the recently established European COVID-19 research data sharing platform deserve special attention.
- Cooperation with Member States of the European Union and associated countries is strongly encouraged to deliver results representative of the whole region, as is global international cooperation.
- Liaison with other coordinated and supportive actions by cohorts funded by this programme, as well as with major clinical COVID-19 trials, should be considered. Cooperation between successful proposals and with the existing network of H2020 COVID-19 projects will be encouraged.
- It is expected that projects applying for this grant have a budget between 15 to 20 million euro.