COVID-19 BioResource

Working with committed and passionate researchers and participants, we quickly mobilised at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to support cutting edge research into the virus itself and the development and roll-out of vaccines.

NIHR BioResource: Our contribution to COVID-19 research:

The COVID-19 BioResource was the response by our network and our partners at the emergence of the pandemic at the turn of 2020. Using our unique expertise in sample handling and our participant contributions, we have helped drive research into the genetics of COVID-19 and have already made a significant contribution to the international effort in this field.

"Our contribution to COVID-19 research" is a short video explaining the role of the BioResource in response to the pandemic. While most of our regular activity was curtailed back in March 2020, we quickly launched a COVID-19 BioResource, with now more than 8,000 participants registered to take part in research relating to the virus.

The video features our Director, Dr Nathalie Kingston, explaining why the BioResource is such a unique and powerful resource in health research and why we had to respond in the way we did when COVID-19 emerged. 

We are delighted to include interviews with two University of Cambridge researchers, Professor Ravi Gupta and Dr Adam Abdullahi, who have used the COVID-19 BioResource in their research, and one of our wonderful volunteers, without whom this ground-breaking research wouldn’t be possible. Robert explains his motivations and experience of participating in health research by joining the BioResource.



Although research is still taking place, we are no longer actively recruiting participants to our COVID-19 BioResource. Over the last 2.5 years however, we were recruiting various groups of people to the COVID-19 BioResource, including those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have:

  • been admitted to hospital, both in the wards and in the Intensive Care Units (ICU) 
  • mild symptoms
  • no apparent symptoms (asymptomatic)

In addition, we have supported the roll-out and monitoring of vaccine responses by recruiting volunteers who are being or have been vaccinated.

As with the rest of the BioResource, we also needed to recruit people into the BioResource who have not been diagnosed with COVID-19. Take a look at Michael and Tish's story.

Our researchers have done a lot of very successful work following the phenotyping of patients over time and severity of disease. You can see all of the COVID-19 related studies we have supported on our Studies page

We are no longer recruiting to the COVID-19 BioResource from the general public. Our general population cohort is open for recruitment for anyone with or without a health condition. If you are interested in taking part, please see our Participants section for further information or contact us today.

Want to make a difference?

Our volunteers help to advance health research that benefits generations to come. Every volunteer makes a difference.


Studies have already had a significant number of papers published and you can view them on our publications page


If you are a researcher interested in COVID-19 research see our section on Applying for NIHR BioResource support  and our COVID-19 specific application form.

GenOMICC study

We are a key partner in the GenOMICC study - a major new human whole genome sequencing study taking place across the UK National Health Service.

Currently, the genomes of people (currently or previously in an intensive care unit with coronavirus and those who have mild or moderate symptoms) are being analysed.

The ultimate aim is to develop a full catalogue of human genetic variation and COVID-19 by recruiting every single COVID-19 patient who admitted to intensive care in the UK.