About the Program
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging viral infectious disease caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Following the outbreak of Covid-19 in China in early 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has later declared this new coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic on the 11th of March 2020.
Recognizing the extreme risks attributed to COVID-19 high transmissibility, the health ramifications and complications of COVID-19 infections, and the expected impact on human health, societies and economies, it t is now consensually recognized that there is an urgent need to prioritize and intensify R&D efforts to develop both better diagnostic tools and efficient epidemiological surveillance systems.
This will, undoubtedly, enable front-line health workers to perform diagnostic screening quickly, accurately and safely. Synergistic efforts will further contribute towards early detection and consequently reducing the risk of further spread of the virus.
King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology (KACST) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Saudi Health Council, and the Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control (SCDC) has initiated an expedited research funding program (COVID-19 Research Grant Program) that aims to support R&D on COVID-19 to better understand and elucidate the Coronavirus pandemic through in-depth etiological and epidemiological studies, disease pathogenesis, data modelling, developing rapid diagnostics.
The program envisages that the outcomes of these efforts will lead to better understanding of SARS-CoV-2 biology and behavior and will lead into the development of more efficient, accurate and rapid point-of-care diagnostic assays and detection tools.
Scope of Funding
- Development of rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests.
- Development and in-house production of COVID-19 new and novel diagnostic assays.
- Development of COVID-19 immune-serological assays.
- Molecular epidemiology and surveillance.
- Mathematical modeling of COVID-19 and infection dynamics.
- Prospective clinical interventional trials on COVID-19.
- Prospective mental health studies on COVID-19.
Eligible candidates are researcher from public and private educational and R&D institutions, nonprofit organizations and universities, and private industry.