UNSW Research COVID-19 Information

Divisional Support - FAQs and Information

Graduate Research

Higher Degree Research Sharepoint site, Key Contacts

The GRS COVID-19 SharePoint includes up-to-date advice regarding HDR candidatures, frequently asked questions, upcoming events, recent communications, key contacts, event recordings, and recommended links. 

The site is accessible to all enrolled HDR candidates and UNSW staff and provides a single resource for all HDR information related to COVID-19. The information on this site will be updated as the situation continues to evolve, so please check back frequently for updates.

Research Ethics and Compliance

Human Research Ethics, Animal Research Ethics, Gene Technology, Radiation Safety

See updated links to Research Ethics FAQs below:

Research Infrastructure and Facilities

Shared Facilities, MWAC, 3T Human MRI, ANFF, Animal Research, Cryogen, ResTech

You can access the latest updates on Research Infrastructure and Facilities here.

Q: Are shared research facilities still open?

A: Yes, research facilities are generally open, though operating under revised protocols and access conditions.  Each facility is communicating these directly with registered users.  Researcher consultations are available via Teams. See below for specific facilities.

Q: Is MWAC still open?

A: Yes, MWAC is still operational.  MWAC has circulated modified operational protocols to all users via ACLS, designed to ensure the health and safety of staff and research users. Please consult these revised protocols before planning your experiments. Researcher consultations are available via Teams.  Detailed advice for users can be found at MWAC COVID response.  

Q:  Is the 3T Human MRI shared research scanner at POWH (a.k.a. RINSW) still accessible for research scans? 
A:  We are currently fully operational and our research staff is on-site to assist with your experiments.  Consultations are also available remotely. Should the hospital require spare MRI capacity due to COVID-19, we will temporarily suspend research scanning until the situation improves. Please check our website for updates on our operational schedule.   

Q: Can I still access ANFF?

A: ANFF is still open, but under modified operating conditions.  Detailed advice has been sent to all users and is available here.

Q: How is animal research being supported?

A: Animal welfare is an extremely high priority for the University.  A university wide plan is in place to ensure our normal high standards of animal care and to support staff providing essential animal services.  This is being coordinated by Dr Malcolm France and Dr Josephine Joya. Detailed advice is available here.

Q: How are critical services being maintained?

A: Supplies of critical consumables have been maintained throughout the pandemic period.  If you have queries about specific items, please contact the relevant Stores, Lab or School Manager for your area.  For further information on cryogens and cold storage services, contact Cold Storage Services.

Research Technology Services (ResTech) continues to offer access to computing resources, data advice and training courses. The HPC allocation and Cloud computing scheme are fully operational. Data services are available if you need advice with data classification, storage, or support using any of our data tools such as Redcap and eNotebook. All training courses (e.g. Python, Visualisation in R, Matlab and NVivo), weekly Hacky Hours (providing hands-on support for research code, data and tools questions), deep-dive seminars and Lunch & Learn sessions are all online. For information about our services and events please visit our FAQ page. Subscribe to the ResTech mailing list and join the Research Technology Training Teams channel for training and event updates or reach out to us at restech@unsw.edu.au.

Research Grants and Contracts

Pre-award and Post- award FAQs, NHMRC and ARC updates 

Research Grants and Contracts

  • It is possible to vary research related funding agreements due to COVID-19 related issues, this includes fellowships. Please discuss the requirements with your RGC Grants Officer and your Head of School.
  • FAQs related to pre-award and post-award processes can be found here.
UNSW Founders Program

Michael Crouch Innovation Centre (MCIC) 

The Michael Crouch Innovation Centre (MCIC) is currently closed, all staff are working remotely but are available for consultation virtually, all events and activities are being delivered online.

Previous Initiatives

UNSW COVID-19 Capability Map 

National COVID-19 Expert Database 

UNSW COVID-19: Rapid Response Research Initiative 

UNSW COVID-19 Capability Map 

The UNSW COVID-19 Capability Map was developed in 2020 as a depository for all projects underway and under development by UNSW researchers, as well as relevant expertise in relation to COVID-19 at UNSW.  It contains full searchable details of over 260 academics and over 200 current and proposed projects.  Please email covidcapability.RSO@unsw.edu.au for any project updates, enquiries or if you are considering research in this area.

National COVID-19 Expert Database 

The National COVID-19 Expert Database provides a mechanism for governments, the business sector, the research sector, and other decision-makers to easily access the expertise they need to inform their decision making. To contribute your expertise, please register on the database today.

UNSW COVID-19: Rapid Response Research Initiative 

In 2020 the UNSW COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Initiative was established. Below are the project details of the 13 successful projects that were funded. 


On Friday 27th March 2020, as part of UNSW’s contribution to addressing this crisis, the Vice Chancellor launched the UNSW COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Initiative to support UNSW researchers in addressing the biomedical, societal, and/or economic consequences of the pandemic. 

Due to the rapid nature of the initiative, applications were received over a short 10-day period, generating 167 submissions across all nine faculties, seeking over $35M in funding. The submissions were of extraordinary quality and breadth. This scheme has focused the UNSW community’s mind on COVID-19 research, and will no doubt assist future philanthropic efforts, internal expertise mapping, and external grant funding opportunities.

The applications were reviewed by three senior research leaders not involved in any proposed projects, and while many were creative and worthy collaborative applications, only 13 were able to be prioritised in this round. This scheme is the subject of a major fundraising effort through the Division of Philanthropy, and with donor generosity, we hope to be in a position to be able to make further selections in the future. See the announcement story in InsideUNSW.

List of Successful Projects:

For further information on each of the projects, including other collaborators, investigators and project summary, please click here

Project Title Faculty School/MRI

Lead CI

Accelerated development and clinical evaluation of immunotherapies for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Medicine  Kirby Institute Professor Anthony Kelleher
A randomised trial to determine the effect of continuing versus discontinuing renin angiotensin system blockade on the risk of SARS-CoV-19 infection in patients with uncomplicated hypertension* Medicine  School of Public Health and Community Medicine Professor Alta Schutte
Molecular point of care testing among disadvantaged and vulnerable populations in Australia to contain COVID-19 outbreaks and prevent morbidity and mortality Medicine Kirby Institute Professor Rebecca Guy
Point of Care, rapid testing for SARS CoV2 - Single molecule plasmonic sensor for amplification-free detection Science School of Chemistry and Australian Centre for Nanomedicine Professor Justin Gooding
Real-time phylogeography of SARS-CoV-2 directly from patient samples Medicine School of Medical Sciences Conjoint Professor William Rawlinson
Why do only some patients develop severe COVID-19 following infection with SARS-CoV-2? Medicine St Vincent's Clinical School & Garvan Institute Conjoint Professor Stuart Tangye
'Count me in': a national research register of one million Australians involved in COVID-19 research Medicine  Centre for Big Data Research in Health Professor Louisa Jorm
Advanced manufacturing technologies to support Australian companies to retool for on-demand and rapid manufacturing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and critical components of medical devices Engineering School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Dr Xiaopeng Li
Weathering the storm: Australia’s  responses to domestic and family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic Arts & Social Sciences Social Policy Research Centre Associate Professor kylie valentine
New disinfection systems to overcome PPE shortages and provide long term protection against infection in Hospitals and Public Settings. Science School of Optometry and Vision Science  Professor Mark Willcox
Alcohol purchasing and consumption: learning from pandemic containment measures for more effective alcohol policy  Arts & Social Sciences Social Policy Research Centre Professor Alison Ritter
COVID-19: Understanding the sex and gender dimensions on women’s health and wellbeing Law Australian Human Rights Institute Professor Louise Chappell
Tracking the Social, Cognitive and Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 from the Womb to Old Age Science School of Psychology Dr Susanne Schweizer

* This project was awarded however not taken up due to subsequent changes in both disease incidence and the evidence base.


covid 19 information

All units within the Division of Research & Enterprise remain functioning. Any questions you may have can be directed through the regular channels, however should you require any further assistance, please contact research.services@unsw.edu.au.

UNSW COVID-19 research expertise
UNSW is the home of many world class researcher experts with research capability in or closely related to COVID-19.

The UNSW COVID-19 Capability Map contains fully searchable details of over 260 academics and over 200 current and proposed projects and is now accessible to all UNSW staff.