How we're supporting researchers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Research is the path forward in this global pandemic, and CTSI, like organizations around the world, is committed to accelerating these discoveries. 

Here are a few ways we’re supporting the promising research coming from the University of Minnesota and joining global fight against COVID-19:

  • Sharing expertise to dozens of COVID-19 study teams. CTSI staff are guiding research teams on study protocols, regulatory requirements, informatics, biostatistics, financial management, recruitment, and more to support the University’s critical COVID-19 research. 

  • Creating access to COVID-19 data. We’ve been developing a special registry that houses the electronic medical records of COVID-19 patients, which will give researchers faster access to high-quality data. We are committed to protecting patients’ privacy and will continue to use best practices for securing, managing, and provisioning access to data of those who chose to share their records for research purposes.

  • Awarding funding to jump-start COVID-19 studies. We will be funding projects that aim to study the virus’ impact on child health (in partnership with the Department of Pediatrics and Children’s Minnesota) or develop novel solutions for patients and healthcare workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both funding programs are currently accepting applications; we urge you to apply. 

  • Making it easier for potential participants to find COVID-19 studies. For example, a special COVID-19 filter has been added to StudyFinder, a website that helps Minnesotans identify UMN studies that need volunteers.

  • Enabling remote consent for COVID-19 studies. IRB-approved COVID-19 studies can now get study participants’ consent through electronic signature, thanks to a CTSI-led effort to validate REDCap’s electronic consent capabilities for FDA compliance purposes. 

  • Providing COVID-19-focused research training. CTSI collaborated with the Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) and Fairview Research Administration to create a “Research 101” training video for Bethesda Hospital’s COVID-19 workers.

  • Helping all research teams as best we can. CTSI continues to be (virtually) open for business, for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 projects. Our team continues educating, funding, and supporting you as best we can. As usual, you can contact us at [email protected] or 612-625-2874 to let us know what we can do for you. 

Our work together—with researchers, healthcare providers, community partners, and those who participate in research—will help alter the course of the pandemic.

- Bruce Blazar, MD, CTSI Director