Find out how our researchers and experts are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Latest research

Aston University's contribution to the £90 million COVID-19 research efforts in the Midlands recognised - new report

Date: 18 January 2021

The vast research excellence and expertise from across the West Midlands that has helped in the fight against COVID, has been highlighted in a report published by Midlands Innovation: Mobilising Research Excellence in the Midlands to Tackle COVID-19.

More than £90 million has gone into research that has allowed universities, hospitals and businesses to deliver regional, national and global support during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Aston University research and activity during COVID-19 is cited in numerous parts of the report including reference to an innovative device, that was designed at Aston, to stop patients accidentally spreading coronavirus to ear, nose and throat surgeons - and was rolled out free to NHS clinics across the UK.

Other Aston research looked at how COVID-19 disproportionately affects BAME people with recommendations made to Parliament. Aston Business school research on how to support SME staff and enhance their productivity in the context of COVID-19 was included, as well as Aston Business School podcasts to support SMEs through the crisis.

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COVID-19 and the epidemic of global supply chain disruption

Date: 24 August 2020

Ed Sweeney, professor of systems and logistics, discusses the current challenges facing global supply chains, future trends in the field and how Aston University is uniquely preparing supply chain managers of the future.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted our reliance on global supply chains and exposed their vulnerability, with supply disruption at epidemic proportions during the peak of the lockdown. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the health sector, with a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID testing kits.

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Initial reporting of domestic abuse (IRDA) during COVID-19

Date: August 2020

This conversation analytic study seeks to understand how reports of domestic abuse are made directly to the police and how call-takers respond and progress incoming reports in the UK during lockdown. Dr Emma Richardson, in collaboration with Professor Elizabeth Stokoe (Loughborough University), are examining a corpus of ~400 telephone calls between the public and the police during, and prior to, the Covid-19 pandemic.

The impact of COVID-19 on accounting firms and other businesses in the UK

Date: 22 June 2020

Doctor Ilias G. Basioudis and Professor Carolyn Cordery from Aston Business School are engaged in a unique independent research project investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on auditors, accountants and other businesses in the UK. 

The research will use participant responses to help inform policy decisions that are being made by Government.

Link to survey

Research tackles hidden 'tablet overload' as COVID isolation fears grow

Date: 5 June 2020

Dr Ian Maidment, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy, has published new research which provides a roadmap to help the millions of older Britons struggling with ‘shopping lists’ of medication, as fears grow that the current coronavirus lockdown could be further isolating the most vulnerable.

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COVID-19 amplifies the humanitarian crisis that displaced people and refugees are facing

Date: 12 May 2020

Dr Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik, senior lecturer in politics and international relations, led a team including Dr Amanda Beattie and Patrycja Rozbicka from the Aston Centre for Europe (ACE), as well as partners from the universities of Liverpool and Nottingham, to present evidence that COVID-19 has negatively impacted the living conditions of refugees. The team submitted its evidence report to the Parliament Select Committee on International Development on the impact of COVID-19 on humanitarian crises

The teams’ research shows that pre-existing health inequalities exist amongst refugee communities who, even before the pandemic, live in overcrowded and sub-standard camp accommodation with poor sanitation and lack of medical care and where there were already outbreaks of infectious diseases. The team shows that despite earlier warnings about public health in refugee camps in Europe, there is little evidence of dedicated public health programmes for transient populations. The report also highlighted that countries, including EU member states, are using the pandemic as a means of enforcing refugee detention, and removing some basic freedoms from refugees and resident populations.  

Read the full report 

COVID-19 and self-employment in the UK - ERC insight paper

Date: April 2020

New data suggests the UK economy is facing a worrying “pincer movement” due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a surge in limited companies going bust being mirrored by a drop in new firms setting up.

The ERC is the UK’s leading independent research institute on growth, productivity and innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Mark Hart, Deputy Director of the Enterprise Research Centre and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School, said:

“These stark figures clearly show a significant rise in the number of company dissolutions and a parallel fall in new firm incorporations in a time period that coincides with the arrival of COVID-19 in the UK. They suggest our economy is facing a pincer movement of sharply higher business closures and a concurrent lack of new businesses starting due to an understandable fear about what the future holds.”

Read the full report

The Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) was established in 2013 to provide high-quality, independent research and analysis to inform government policy on small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It is jointly run between Aston and Warwick Business Schools. Learn more about the Centre