NIH COVID-19 Research Initiatives

In response to COVID-19 and the many challenges associated with the pandemic, NIH launched a variety of efforts across its institutes and centers, as well as partnerships between the federal government and private industry. These efforts aim to accelerate research-based solutions in testing, treatments, and vaccines and to support researchers, health care providers, and those hardest hit by the pandemic.

These efforts directly support NIH’s strategic priorities outlined in the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research

Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV)

ACTIV is a public-private partnership to coordinate research and speed the development of the most promising COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

Through ACTIV, NIH and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) are bringing together more than a dozen leading biopharmaceutical companies, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the European Medicines Agency to develop an international strategy for coordinated COVID-19 research.

The ACTIV site includes up-to-date information on master protocols for therapeutics and vaccine trials.

More about ACTIV

Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx)

NIH launched the RADx initiative to encourage innovation to speed the development and availability of COVID-19 tests. RADx programs include RADx Advanced Technology Platforms (RADx-ATP), RADx Radical (RADx-rad), RADx Tech, and RADx Underserved Populations (RADx-UP). 

The RADx site includes information about each of the programs and projects funded through the initiative.

More About RADx

Children and COVID-19

Among NIH’s many research efforts focusing on the effects of COVID-19 on children, is the Collaboration to Assess Risk and Identify Long-term Outcomes for Children with COVID (CARING for Children with COVID). Through this program, NIH is developing and funding studies to find out why some children are at greater risk for infection than others, why symptoms vary among children who are infected, and how to identify children at risk for severe illness from infection. CARING for Children with COVID is helping researchers track and understand multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a potentially serious condition in which multiple body parts can become inflamed. The syndrome has been identified in children who had COVID-19 or were around someone with COVID-19. 

CARING for Children with COVID research includes: 

More About CARING for Children with COVID

Clinical Data Coordination Group

The Clinical Data Coordination Group is working to align COVID-19 data efforts both inside and outside NIH. Its goal is to leverage insights and identify use cases around policy, data harmonization, technology, outreach, and analytics to create a COVID-19 data coordination strategy.



Clinical Trial Networks 

This group was formed to create a roadmap that outlines the data, tools, technology, and people needed to create a central repository of clinical trial network information to be used across NIH.




Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities

CEAL focuses on providing trustworthy information through active community engagement and outreach to the people hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. CEAL research teams are currently active in 11 states, working to support and expand existing NIH community outreach through COVID-19 trial networks. The CEAL website includes resources in English and Spanish and information on current research studies.

More about CEAL

Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (PASC) Initiative

Long after they recover from the initial stages of COVID-19 illness, many people continue to experience symptoms. These symptoms are diverse and include what has come to be known as “Long COVID” and include fatigue, shortness of breath, “brain fog,” sleep disorders, gastrointestinal symptoms, anxiety, and depression, which can persist for months and range from mild to incapacitating. NIH launched a series of Research Opportunity Announcements to learn more about how SARS-CoV-2 may cause such symptoms and other long term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection and develop ways to treat or prevent them.

More About PASC

Pregnant and Lactating Women

This initiative aims to use the collective strength of 18+ institutes and centers at NIH to speed research related to the impact of COVID-19 on women who are pregnant or nursing.




Social, Behavioral, and Economic Health Impacts

The Social, Behavioral, and Economic Health (SBE) initiative is committed to reducing the social, behavioral, and economic health impacts of COVID-19—especially on those communities most affected by the pandemic—through both data science and community and digital interventions.

More about the SBE initiative