Social Sciences COVID-19 projects awarded funding

Oxford Social Scientists are at the forefront of researching the far-reaching social, economic, and environmental impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Three research projects from across the Division have already secured funding to explore some of society’s most complex challenges presented by the crisis:

Professor Jane Barlow

Professor Jane Barlow, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, has been awarded funding by the UK Department of Health and Social Care (as part of her work with an NIHR Policy Unit) to lead a project examining the impact of the pandemic on the provision of services from pregnancy through to age 5 years for families who are high risk or have complex social needs. Professor Barlow’s research will address the growing concerns about the secondary impact of the pandemic on preschool children and their families through the predicted, significant increases in risks (such a domestic violence and mental health problems) and reduced contact with services due to social distancing measures. The research will enable the government to make rapid policy decisions to support the most vulnerable families during the pandemic.

Dr Abi Adams-Prassl

Associate Professor Abi Adams-Prassl, Department of Economics, has been awarded UKRI funding to further her international, collaborative research into the impact of COVID-19 on economic inequality and employment progression. Building on earlier findings that younger and lower-income workers have been disproportionately affected by the ‘grinding halt’ inflicted on the economy, the funding will enable five follow-up waves of survey data to track the impacts of the crisis on different workers and to assess the effectiveness of different policies aimed at mitigating the effects of containment measures on living standards. The findings will provide vital evidence to policymakers on those most in need of fiscal support.



Professor Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

Professor Rasmus Kleis Nielsen and Dr Richard Fletcher in the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (Department of Politics and International Relations) have received funding from the Nuffield Foundation to explore how the UK public gets information about COVID-19. The collaborative project with researchers from the OII and University of Liverpool addresses what the World Health Organisation has termed an ‘infodemic’: a tsunami of information, filtered through editorialised news media and the algorithmic curation of social media, that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic. The research will analyse how the British public navigates information and misinformation about coronavirus, and how the government and other institutions are responding to the pandemic.

Dr Richard Fletcher